California Proposition 12

In November 2018, California voters approved Proposition 12, a ballot measure that prohibits the sale of pork which are not produced according to the state’s arbitrary production standards. Beginning Jan. 1, 2022, Proposition 12 imposes unscientific animal housing standards that reach outside of California’s borders to farms across the United States.

California, which doesn’t have any significant commercial hog production, is seeking to regulate how farmers across the country operate, imposing onerous regulations, inspection and permitting requirements, and highly prescriptive measures on livestock farmers. Currently, less than one percent of U.S. pork production meets Proposition 12 requirements, a troubling statistic since California represents 15 percent of the U.S. pork market, with large Latino and Asian populations which have long-standing cultural preferences for pork.

Compliance with Proposition 12 will cost individual farmers millions of dollars. Ultimately, Proposition 12 has the potential to drive smaller hog farmers out of business and undermine the overall global competitiveness of the U.S. pork industry.

The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), jointly with the American Farm Bureau Federation, is suing the state of California, challenging Proposition 12 as invalid under the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

This page includes NPPC legal filings related to the Proposition 12 case, as well as further background materials on the issue.