Farm Bill Amendment May Overthrow Foie Gras Ban

A new amendment introduced last week may overthrow any state's policies on animal welfare

While everyone has been yammering on about "duckeasies" and foie gras ban loopholes, the big guys over on Capitol Hill may just make all this talk irrelevant.

The San Fransisco Chronicle reports that an amendment tacked onto the Farm Bill in the House of Representatives would deny individual states' power of regulation of farm products.

The consequences of this amendment, however, may be scary. Not only would this nix the foie gras ban, but it could also overturn any animal welfare, food safety, and environmental laws relating to farm products in any state. In California specifically, the SF Chronicle points out, it could overturn the (voter-approved) law stipulating that hens must be able to spread their wings in their cages.

Oregon, Michigan, Ohio, and Washington also have state-specific hen welfare laws, and while these may be overturned, some representatives say this could lead to a nationally enacted law.

On the environmental side, opponents say the amendment may overturn clean water standards, allowing overpollution of lakes and streams from pesticides. The Farm Bill, including the new amendment, will head to the House floor for voting.