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Do Californians regret voting for Proposition 12?

NPPC VP believes if residents would have known about supply, price and environmental consequences, they would have voted against it.

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Residents of California likely didn’t have a clear idea of what would be in store for them once the Proposition 12 law was enacted.

Maria C. Zieba, vice president of government affairs for the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), said if voters there knew then what they are finding out now, many who voted in favor of the measure would have done otherwise.

Zieba is a California native, although she said she hasn’t lived there for more than 15 years. However, that connection made her the go-to person on the topic during the NPPC Policy Panel discussion on June 5 at World Pork Expo in Des Moine, Iowa.

Proposition 12, which forbids the production and sale of pork that uses gestation stalls and eggs from caged hens in California, was approved by voters in 2018.

Zieba pointed out that a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) study proved that Californians are now experiencing having 20% less pork from its own state, as well as a price increase of 20%.

And, she added, in order to meet consumer demand, more pork has to be imported.

“Clearly, I think if Californians believed that they would have to be sourcing product from Europe or Brazil, or other foreign countries, and creating that greenhouse gas emission that transportation creates, they probably wouldn’t have voted for Prop 12, knowing all the intricacies,” she said. “It’s not better for animal welfare. It’s not better for the environment, and it’s causing all sorts of different issues on the supply side and on pricing.”

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