The federal legislation could unravel over 1,000 state laws throughout the country
WASHINGTON (August 18, 2023)—Today, the Humane Society Legislative Fund launched an advertising campaign highlighting farmers’ opposition to the “Ending Agricultural Trade Suppression” (EATS) Act (H.R. 4417 and S. 2019), which was reintroduced in Congress earlier this year. The ad features a farmer in Michigan and will initially air in media markets in Arizona, California, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
“In a blatant power grab by the federal government, the EATS Act deprives states of the ability to protect farms, food, people, and animals within their borders,” said Sara Amundson, president of the Humane Society Legislative Fund. “Adding controversial provisions to the Farm Bill, like EATS, could jeopardize its passage and force uncertainty on America’s farmers and producers. This legislation runs contrary to the principles of federalism and has no place in American democracy.”
Many farms, small and large, already comply with the standards the EATS Act was designed to undermine. Some of America’s largest pork producers such as Niman Ranch and the Clemens Food Group have publicly stated that they do not support the EATS Act.
A recent China Weekly report highlights the benefits of the EATS Act for large multinational corporations, and the harm it would cause to small American farmers. Last month, 38 farmer and rancher organizations led by Farm Action Fund sent a letter to Agriculture Committee leadership in both chambers, urging leadership to oppose EATS, as the legislation would hurt family farmers in favor of a handful of corporations.
The EATS Act could wipe out many of states’ agriculture laws. The broad scope of the legislation places many state laws at-risk including those impacting food quality and safety that keep consumers safe, infectious disease containment, kosher and halal labeling standards, and the prevention of invasive pests that threaten crops. A report published by the Harvard Law School in July highlighted over 1,000 state laws that could be eliminated if the EATS Act becomes law.
The 2023 Farm Bill is a sweeping legislative package directing agricultural priorities for the next five years. The current Farm Bill expires at the end of September and Congress must pass a new bill to continue funding critical agriculture programs.
Media contact: KateSarna@hslf.org; 202-836-1265
The Humane Society Legislative Fund is a social welfare organization incorporated under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code and formed in 2004 as a separate lobbying affiliate of The Humane Society of the United States. The HSLF works to pass animal protection laws at the state and federal level, to educate the public about animal protection issues, and to support humane candidates for office. Visit us on all our channels: on the web at hslf.org, on our blog at hslf.org/blog, on Facebook at facebook.com/humanelegislation and on Twitter at twitter.com/HSLegFund.
Paid for by Humane Society Legislative Fund, 1255 23rd Street, NW, Suite 455, Washington, DC 20037.