A Congressional conference committee is meeting now to resolve differences between the Senate and House versions of the Farm Bill. A broad and diverse bipartisan group of California lawmakers opposes the King Amendment, which is not contained in the Senate version of the omnibus legislation.
In their letter to Pelosi and McCarthy, state legislators write that if the Farm Bill is enacted with the King Amendment included:
"it would undermine California's ability to carry out its food and environmental safety requirements and standards and its ability to ensure that only safe, nutritious and healthy food is sold in the state. If the Farm Bill were to pass with this provision intact, there would not be one sector of the food and agriculture community that would go unaffected. This provision could allow for the introduction of invasive pests and diseases from other states and lower quality food that does not meet California's specific standards.
Additionally, in California, we have recently enacted state laws to restrict the trade in shark fins which is decimating shark populations worldwide; to improve food safety and animal health by regulating all hens in egg laying industry; to ban the force-feeding of ducks and geese for foie gras; and many others. All of these laws could be in jeopardy, as well as the right of state legislators and voters to duly deliberate on and decide these issues in the future, if the King amendment is enacted.
The provision is such an infringement on states' rights that it is opposed by the National Conference of State Legislators, the County Executives of America, the National Sheriffs' Association, the Fraternal Order of Police, and more than 90 other groups. We hope you will do everything in your power to remove this overreaching King amendment, and protect our voices here in California and our ability to ensure the health and safety of our constituents, animal welfare and the environment.
As the conference committee considers the Farm Bill legislation in the coming weeks, we urge you to consider this bipartisan opposition and work to remove the King amendment. This provision is a threat to state's rights and will have devastating implications to California and the nation."
Steinberg and Rendon were joined by Senators Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres), Kevin DeLeon (D-Los Angeles), Loni Hancock (D-Oakland), Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar), Jim Beall (D-San Jose), Ricardo Lara (D-Long Beach), Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), Carol Liu (D-Pasadena), Lois Wolk (D-Davis) and Assemblymembers Luis Alejo (D-Watsonville), Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica), Raul Bocanegra (D-Pacoima), Susan Bonilla (D-Concord), Rob Bonta (D-Oakland), Steven Bradford (D-Inglewood), Susan Buchanan (D-San Ramon), Ian Calderon (D-City of Industry), Ed Chau (D-Monterey Park), Wesley Chesbro (D-Eureka), Brian Dahle (R-Redding), Roger Dickinson (D-Sacramento), Paul Fong (D-Cupertino), Steve Fox (D-Palmdale), Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), Rich Gordon (D-Los Altos), Jeff Gorell (R-Camarillo), Adam Gray (D-Merced), Isadore Hall, III (D-Compton), Jose Medina (D-Riverside), Kevin Mullin (D-San Mateo), Dr. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento), Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), Mark Stone (D-Santa Cruz), Das Williams (D-Santa Barbara), Mariko Yamada (D-Woodland).
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