Regarding the October 22 editorial »Food for thought in California”:
The op-ed hit the right spot by concluding that the U.S. Supreme Court should uphold a California farm animal welfare law, but gave too much credence to claims of economic disruption to the hog industry . The industry has failed to notice that thousands of growers – from Tyson Foods to Niman Ranch – view Proposition 12 as a market opportunity and are ready to comply and meet California consumer demands, without any price shock. .
The egg industry is already transitioning to a cage-free future, after voters approved Proposition 12 and its antecedent, Proposition 2, to ban extreme confinement of laying hens and pigs and restrict sales of pork and of eggs in the state of farms relying on immobilized housing systems. , regardless of their location. Pork industry trade groups, meanwhile, dispute customer wishes and promise that animal welfare preferences portend more expensive pork chops.
The biggest question for the industry is not the implementation of Prop 12, but its response to the wishes of McDonald’s, Costco, Kroger and nearly every other major food retailer for crate-only pork. There is no reason to appeal against these social prerogatives. About 90% of American pork passes through their boxes and kitchens.
The writer is president of the Center for a Humane Economy.