Louisiana is one of a dozen states asking the US Supreme Court to block a California law which states any eggs sold there must come from hens who have been able to stretch their limbs in their cages.
State Ag Commissioner Mike Strain says California can pass whatever law they want, but saying that their standards should apply to all eggs shipped into the state violates the Commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution.
“Then any state could set up a set of parameters that either one, it’s just their rules or something that other states simply cannot do.”
Strain says California’s 2015 law which requires hens in cages to spend most of their day in large enough spaces so they can lay down and turn around is a standard that has nothing to do with bio security or health safety. Strain says, at the end of the day, this would inhibit the free flow of products across state lines.
“It’s exactly why we have the commerce clause so that we can have orderly commerce and you’re not allowed to block product to moving from one state to another unless there is a disease threat.”
A suit is being filed by Missouri on behalf of 12 states claiming that since California’s law took effect, it has cost consumers nationwide up to $350 million dollars annually because of higher egg prices. Strain says under California’s requirements, eggs run $2.50 a dozen, when a standard dozen of eggs costs 99 cents. He says Louisiana is 100% on board with the suit.
“Because this is a test, again, of the commerce clause of the Constitution and that’s why it is headed to the U.S. Supreme Court.”