Regarding "House panel scrambles farm egg bill," (Santa Rosa Press Democrat editorial excerpt, July 17): Californians who supported Proposition 2, which imposed costly regulations on egg farmers, should feel buyer's remorse. It's the right of state voters to put their own businesses at a competitive disadvantage, but California has no right to impose those standards on or discriminate against farmers in other states something already known by constitutional scholars and, now, also given an express endorsement in Iowa Rep. Steve King's Farm Bill amendment.
The lesson is this: Listen to animal rights groups at your own peril. The PETA-like Humane Society of the United States used an emotionally appealing campaign that preyed on voters' lack of agricultural experience (only about 2 percent of Americans are farmers) to push supposed cage-free requirements that may not even improve animal welfare. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, chickens in cage-free environments are prone to higher rates of death and parasites and have higher exposure to disease vectors.
But the real goal of the animal rights groups wasn't animal welfare. It was to raise the cost of food from animals. Californians may get duped by wolves in sheep's clothing, but that doesn't mean the rest of us have to live with it.