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Critics say egg bill is slippery slope

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With a renewed push for a federal egg bill regulating hen housing this year, including measures to effectively double the minimum living space for egg-laying hens, opposition remains very much the same as last year.

Iowa Pork Producers Association Communications Director Ron Birkenholz, above, says that the specifics of the egg industry don’t make a difference in the stance of IPPA.

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says the bill likely won’t get very far once it’s introduced by California Senator Dianne Feinstein, as is expected.

Oregon Representative Kurt Schrader will bring the bill up in the House.

In July of last year, Iowa Representative Steve King introduced an amendment to the House Ag Committee-approved farm bill that asserted, pursuant to the Constitution, only the federal government is able to regulate interstate commerce. His amendment, dubbed the Protect Interstate Commerce Act (PICA), was aimed at stopping groups like HSUS “from establishing a patchwork of restrictive state laws aimed at slowly suffocating production agriculture out of existence.”

However United Egg Producers President and CEO Chad Gregory is more optimistic. He says the bigger picture reveals the true victory – one he says all of agriculture should be grateful for.