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Fox News Covers House Freedom Caucus Letter Against China’s EATS Act and Foreign Attempt to Takeover U.S. Food Production

— March 19, 2024

Led by Rep. Anna Paulina Luna, R-Fla., they argued EATS would federally override state laws and expand foreign influence in American’s pork industry.

Washington, D.C. — On March 8, ten U.S. House Representatives, primarily Members of the House Freedom Caucus, weighed in with staunch opposition to the so-called Ending Agriculture Trade Suppression (EATS) Act, H.R. 4417/S. 2019 , led by Rep. Ashley Hinson, R-IA, and Sen. Roger Marshall, R-KS, in a letter to House Agriculture Committee leaders. Fox News broke the story here on the letter that the Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM) and Competitive Markets Action (CMA) advocated for.

EATS Act is widely viewed as an attack on states’ rights to benefit China’s hold on the American pork industry, as groups like the Organization for Competitive Markets, Competitive Markets Action, FreedomWorks, Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, and Moms for America have conveyed. The letter sent today to House Agriculture Committee Chairman Glenn “G.T.” Thompson, R-Pa., and Ranking Member David Scott, D.-Ga., urges them to exclude H.R. 4417, the EATS Act or any other language like it, from the upcoming Farm Bill. Led by Rep. Anna Paulina Luna, R-Fla., they argued EATS would federally override state laws and expand foreign influence in American’s pork industry.

Nine of Luna’s colleagues co-signed the letter including House Freedom Caucus Chairman Bob Good, R-Va., as well as Reps. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., Nancy Mace, R-S.C., Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., Matt Rosendale, R-Mont., Jeff Van Drew, R-N.J., and Tim Burchett, R-Tenn.  Thousands of American, family-owned pork farmers and companies oppose the EATS Act, which would undercut their investments in housing systems that are more humane and comply with voter-approved laws in the United States.

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Photo by Kenneth Chipper Vera on Unsplash

The EATS Act aims to overturn California’s Proposition 12 and Massachusetts’s Question, which require whole pork cuts sold in those states to be sourced from farms where sows are allowed to lie down, stand up, and turn around.  As today’s letter notes, a legal challenge to these state laws was rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court in a strongly worded opinion by Justice Neil Gorsuch, a Trump appointee, and joined by fellow conservative Justices Clarence Thomas and Amy Coney Barrett.

Today’s letter follows several previous congressional letters in opposition to the EATS Act, including an October 2023 letter signed by 16 House Republicans from all wings of the party, and two letters sent last August, one signed by 171 House members including five Republicans, and another signed by 30 senators including Republican Susan Collins, R-Me.

“The EATS Act is simply a veiled attempt by these foreign-owned corporations to subvert the will of American voters, who chose to adopt a series of measures through ballot initiatives and state lawmaking to allow more space for animals raised for food production,” wrote the Members who championed the letter. “The EATS Act proposes to unwind these legitimately enacted animal housing standards, and the Chinese government, with its profound level of control of pig production in the United States, stands to reap a substantial benefit.”

“If the Farm Bill includes the EATS Act or any language that nullifies state and local agriculture laws that keep American family farmers in business, we will have no choice but to actively oppose the passage and enactment of the legislation and we will engage our grassroots army to help defeat it,” said Kimberly Fletcher, President of Moms for America. “Ensuring that the Chinese and other multinational conglomerates aren’t allowed to further consolidate food production in the U.S. is a critical component of our legislative agenda, and this federal power grab by the swamp must me defeated at all costs.”

“We applaud Rep. Luna for her tremendous leadership and the Members of Congress who’ve joined the effort to kill the EATS Act that would strengthen China’s grip on American agriculture,” said Taylor Haynes, president at the Organization for Competitive Markets and founder Wyoming Independent Cattlemen’s Association. “American family farmers are in peril and it’s a David and Goliath situation these brave Members of Congress are empowering us to win.”

“As American farmers, we have a duty to feed our nation with food that is safe and produced in the best possible manner,” said Mike Schultz, founder of the Kansas Cattlemen’s Association and vice-president at the Organization for Competitive Markets. “That means standing together in the face of Chinese threats like these. This isn’t just about the one industry. It’s about every one of us and the very plates on our kitchen table.”

“Recently, Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller called out the EATS Act as an attack on states’ rights, and now we see a rising tide of opposition to the measure by the most conservative lawmakers,” said Marty Irby, president of Competitive Markets Action and board secretary for the Organization for Competitive Markets.  “The Chinese-controlled Smithfield controls a quarter of U.S. pork production and the EATS Act gives a lift to its efforts to expand its already enormous footprint on U.S. soil.”

“Rep. Luna and her colleagues in Congress fighting against EATS are heroes to the American producers that Joe Biden’s Secretary of Agriculture has sold out to foreign conglomerates,” said Jonathan Buttram, President of the Alabama Contract Poultry Growers Association and Treasurer at the Organization for Competitive Markets. “We call on Agriculture Committee leaders and members to send the EATS Act back to China where it came from.”

Additional comments from Rep. Luna can be found here in Fox News’ story.

The Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit based in Lincoln, Nebraska. The foundation of the Organization for Competitive Markets is to fight for competitive markets in agriculture for farmers, ranchers and rural communities. True competition reduces the need for economic regulation. Our mission, and our duty, is to define and advocate the proper role of government in the agricultural economy as a regulator and enforcer of rules necessary for markets that are fair, honest, accessible and competitive for all citizens.

Competitive Markets Action (CMA) is a 501(c)(4) non-profit based in Washington, D.C., that was formed with the mission of shaping policy to promote more regenerative and sustainable agriculture, and competitive markets in the U.S., and to defend against attacks on states’ rights by the federal government. CMA works to raise awareness of the harm caused by multinational conglomerates to the American family farmer, the consumer and our U.S. economy as a whole in an effort to bring about legislative and regulatory reforms.

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