Meat & Livestock News

Industry Leaders Rally Against EATS Act, Defending State Agricultural Regulations


  • Over two dozen meat and poultry companies oppose the EATS Act, fearing it will undermine state laws like California’s Prop 12 by centralising agricultural regulation without external oversight.
  • These companies argue the act could reverse progress in humane farming practices and prioritise profit over ethical standards.
  • Signatories, including ButcherBox, Applegate, and Whole Foods Market, urge Congress to exclude the EATS Act from the 2023 Farm Bill, emphasising the importance of upholding state and local regulatory powers for the benefit of consumers, animals, and the environment.

In a significant move, over two dozen key players in the poultry and meat processing, marketing, and distribution sectors have collectively voiced their opposition to the Ending Agricultural Trade Suppression (EATS) Act through an open letter addressed to Congress.

This act, aimed at centralising regulatory authority over agriculture within state and local governments sans external oversight, is currently under consideration for inclusion in the 2023 Farm Bill.

The signatories, representing companies dedicated to claims-based meat products, have expressed a strong disapproval of the EATS Act. Their letter articulates concerns that the act would effectively strip state and local governments of the ability to set pre-harvest agricultural production standards within their territories.

Labelling the act as a guise for “protecting farmers from costly regulations,” the companies argue that it would dismantle significant advancements in humane farming practices—a movement many farmers have already embraced and invested in.

The letter emphasises, “While some companies remain silent in the name of cheaper production costs, we believe it is our responsibility to amplify the concerns of our customers and business partners through our platforms. As organisations with a direct impact on the US food system, we must never prioritise profit over the people, animals, and planet who produce our food.”

Urging Congress to reject the EATS Act and any similar proposals in the 2023 Farm Bill, the signatories include notable names such as ButcherBox, Applegate, Canada’s duBreton along with its U.S. counterpart North Country Smokehouse, Niman Ranch and its parent company Perdue Foods, True Story Foods, and Whole Foods Market.

This collective stance underscores a commitment to maintaining and advancing standards that benefit consumers, animals, and the environment alike.