by Blake Hurst
American Enterprise Institute
January 27, 2014
Californian voters approved a ballot measure in 2008 requiring California egg producers to provide additional room in chicken coops for egg-laying hens. The ballot initiative will increase the costs of egg production in the state by 20 percent, putting out-of-state egg producers at a large competitive advantage. To protect California farmers, the state passed a law requiring all eggs sold in California to be from chickens with coops big enough to meet 2008 requirements. Out-of-state egg producers will either be unable to send eggs to California, or they will have to make large capital investments in order to supply part of the 180 million dozen eggs California annually imports. In early December, Missouri’s Attorney General Chris Koster told a gathering of farmers that he would soon file suit against the state of California. He believes California’s regulations violate the Constitution’s Commerce Clause.

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