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Oppose the King Amendment to the 2018 Farm Bill

Oppose the King Amendment to the 2018 Farm Bill

Name: Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018

Bill Number: HR 2

HR 2, the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 or the “Farm Bill,” is a comprehensive piece of legislation that is passed by Congress every five years. The bill covers an array of agricultural, food and farming policies and programs.

This year, Iowa Congressman Steve King, a member of the House Agriculture Committee, offered the text of the “Protect Interstate Commerce Act (PICA),” HR 4879, as an amendment to the Farm Bill.

While it sounds innocuous, the King amendment is detrimental to state animal welfare efforts. It would allow producers in states without any humane welfare standards (such as a ban on battery cages or gestation crates) to market their products in states that have enacted such reforms. This would put the farmers in “humane” states at a strong economic disadvantage as humanely raised products are more expensive to produce. It would also, therefore, make it virtually impossible for additional states to pass legislation mandating more humane (and costly) farming measures, because such welfare standards would drive producers out of business as cheaper products from other states flood the market.

And the King amendment doesn’t stop there. It would allow any individual, corporation or government entity to challenge—and potentially invalidate—a state or local government’s humane regulations. The King amendment would also threaten other important state laws that affect farm worker safety, employment contracts and pesticide use.

The King amendment was included in the Farm Bill via a voice vote, after which the Committee voted 26-20 to send the bill to the House floor for consideration and full vote. The Senate version of the Farm Bill has not yet been introduced, however, so there is still time to influence the text of the bill that is ultimately passed by the House.

 

Call to Actions:

  1. Please contact your U.S. Representative and urge them to OPPOSE the King amendment to the Farm bill.
  2. Spread the word! Share this page with your social network.

 

Recipients

  • Your Representative

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Message

Please Oppose the Inclusion of the King Amendment in the Farm Bill

Dear [Decision Maker],

I am writing to ask you to oppose the King Amendment that was recently added to HR 2, the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 or the "Farm Bill."

The King amendment would destroy state autonomy by giving states, corporations and even individuals a federal private right of action to challenge another state's and local government's laws that affect any aspect of agriculture, including state mandates for specific humane farming reforms. Any entity bringing a cause of action against such a state law will result in a preliminary injunction to preclude that state for enforcing their regulations until the matter is adjudicated. This raises serious constitutional concerns about state's rights.

Moreover, if the King amendment becomes law, it would allow states without any humane welfare standards, such as a ban on battery cages or gestation crates, to market their products in states that have enacted such reforms. This would put the farmers in those few "humane" states at a strong economic disadvantage as humanely raised products are more expensive to produce. It would, in turn, make it virtually impossible to pass legislation mandating more humane (and costly) farming measures because such welfare standards would drive producers out of business as cheaper products from other states flood the market.

Over the years, consumers have demanded food products that are produced under improved animal welfare standards. The King amendment would frustrate state efforts to sell products within their borders that incorporate these improved standards.

Please oppose the inclusion of the King amendment in passage of the Farm Bill.

Sincerely,
[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]