Bacon Could Become Scarce In California As Pig Rule Takes Effect

Hey, the majority of Californians can’t complain. They voted for this. They’ve voted Democrats in control of the legislature since 1970. The  Assembly is 60D-19R, Senate is 30D-9R. That’s a supermajority. Republicans have controlled the assembly for about one year. Even if it’s squishy Dems supposedly voting in squishy Dems, the squishies vote with the hardcore leftists. And you get

Bacon may disappear in California as pig rules take effect

Thanks to a reworked menu and long hours, Jeannie Kim managed to keep her San Francisco restaurant alive during the coronavirus pandemic.

That makes it all the more frustrating that she fears her breakfast-focused diner could be ruined within months by new rules that could make one of her top menu items — bacon — hard to get in California.

“Our number one seller is bacon, eggs and hash browns,” said Kim, who for 15 years has run SAMS American Eatery on the city’s busy Market Street. “It could be devastating for us.”

At the beginning of next year, California will begin enforcing an animal welfare proposition approved overwhelmingly by voters in 2018 that requires more space for breeding pigs, egg-laying chickens and veal calves. National veal and egg producers are optimistic they can meet the new standards, but only 4% of hog operations now comply with the new rules. Unless the courts intervene or the state temporarily allows non-compliant meat to be sold in the state, California will lose almost all of its pork supply, much of which comes from Iowa, and pork producers will face higher costs to regain a key market.

That vote was 62.66% in favor, 37.34 against. Rather close to the numbers that vote in the presidential elections, always for the Democrat.

With little time left to build new facilities, inseminate sows and process the offspring by January, it’s hard to see how the pork industry can adequately supply California, which consumes roughly 15% of all pork produced in the country.

The National Pork Producers Council has asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture for federal aid to help pay for retrofitting hog facilities around the nation to fill the gap. Hog farmers said they haven’t complied because of the cost and because California hasn’t yet issued formal regulations on how the new standards will be administered and enforced.

Barry Goodwin, an economist at North Carolina State University, estimated the extra costs at 15% more per animal for a farm with 1,000 breeding pigs.

Strangely, one lawsuit was dismissed, which had used the Interstate Commerce Act, because all pork products come in to California from other states, not California. The California law would require producers in states not named California to comply with California law. One of the provisions states “Prohibits certain commercial sales of specified meat and egg products derived from animals confined in noncomplying manner.” Another would apply up to $1,000 fines. Yet another provides for inspections by California inspectors. Will California send them to North Carolina, Iowa, and Minnesota, the top three producers of pigs? Would the states and companies allow that?

If half the pork supply was suddenly lost in California, bacon prices would jump 60%, meaning a $6 package would rise to about $9.60, according to a study by the Hatamiya Group, a consulting firm hired by opponents of the state proposition.

But, it won’t jump by 60%, it would go to zero in most cases, as producers would simply avoid selling pork products in California. No bacon, sausage, barbecue, pork dumplings, or anything else that would be affected. That’s simply the easiest thing to do, is it not? Some products will be sold, and the prices will certainly jump way more than 60%. Is that realistic? Because that’s what the law says. Even if they want to sell it, the law says they can’t.

The California rules also create a challenge for slaughterhouses, which now may send different cuts of a single hog to locations around the nation and to other countries. Processors will need to design new systems to track California-compliant hogs and separate those premium cuts from standard pork that can serve the rest of the country.

At least initially, analysts predict that even as California pork prices soar, customers elsewhere in the country will see little difference. Eventually, California’s new rules could become a national standard because processors can’t afford to ignore the market in such a large state.

Can’t they ignore it? The law says they must if the producers can’t comply. Do they want to do things that increase the prices all across the country and even world? Or sell what they can at a massively increased price in California and the same elsewhere? Let California suffer, and see if the citizens reverse their course.

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5 Responses to “Bacon Could Become Scarce In California As Pig Rule Takes Effect”

  1. Dana says:

    The voters have mandate it; California goes kosher!

    • Kye says:

      I long ago decided I don’t give a rats ass what the state of California does, says, supports or any laws they pass. They live in the New Gulag of their own making.

  2. Elwood P. Dowd says:

    We note that Teach didn’t address any of the changes that CA demanded, e.g., caging that allows hogs to turn around, stand etc.

    No doubt PETA types want to shut down all animal use, and it’s a fact that humans are omnivores, but we can be more compassionate regarding the animals we kill to consume.

    Teach always recommends that corporations boycott states that criticize or disagree with industry objectives, but fails to understand that corporations are in the business of making money by selling stuff. California is a huge US market for pork.

  3. Dana says:

    The distinguished Mr Dowd wrote:

    Teach always recommends that corporations boycott states that criticize or disagree with industry objectives, but fails to understand that corporations are in the business of making money by selling stuff. California is a huge US market for pork.

    What the industry are saying is that, with the new rules, they won’t make money selling in California. To make money selling in the Pyrite State would mean serious industry changes which would drive up costs, and prices to California consumers.

    Thing is, those additional costs would also drive up prices for those of us who live in the sane states as well. You’ve told us that you are very well-to-do, so perhaps an increase in food costs wouldn’t bother you, but one would think, given the tremendous concern you have shown for the poor and downtrodden, that you might consider what a major increase in food prices would mean for them.

    Of course, in your home town, it seems that the locals are harvesting the raw materials for a new food: Soylent Green.

  4. alanstorm says:

    I foresee a string of “Pork-easies” in Reno and other border cities.

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