California’s Unconstitutional ‘Bacon Ban’
Before Californians approved Proposition 12 in 2018, the measure’s opponents warned that it would effectively ban the sale of bacon in the Golden State.
That was a bit of a stretch. Prop. 12, which was supported by 63 percent of voters, outlawed the sale of pork or chicken products (including eggs) unless they were produced by farms that complied with new minimum space requirements for each animal. The Humane Society of the United States, which backed the initiative, calls it the world’s strongest law protecting the welfare of farm animals.
When the new rules took effect on January 1, 2022, bacon was not banned from the state, but Californians had cause for concern. California consumes about 13 percent of the pork eaten in the United States every year but produces only about 0.3 percent of the national supply. When the new rules kicked in, much of the bacon from other states was suddenly illegal in California.
Prop. 12 also raised a constitutional issue. In a
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