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California coalition fights gestation crate ban

Californians for SAFE Food, a coalition of public health and food safety experts, labour unions, consumers, family farmers and veterinarians, have launched a campaign to oppose Proposition 2, a November ballot initiative that bans some current practices in California agriculture.

The campaign fights the proposition, that would require that gestation sows, egg-laying hens and veal calves have enough room to lie down, stand, turn around and fully extend their limbs.

Gestation stalls
The proposition could end the use of gestation sow stalls in California. The state would then be the fifth in the USA, after Colorado, Oregon, Arizona and Florida. In the European Union, the use of gestation crates is banned as from January 1, 2013.

The coalition, which e.g. includes the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), California Cattlemen's Association and Pacific Egg and Poultry Association, says the proposition, sponsored by a coalition of animal rights groups, would jeopardise food safety and drive up food costs.

Un-safe food initiative
Proposition 2, for that reason, has been dubbed 'the un-SAFE food initiative'.

"Proposition 2, quite simply, is an un-SAFE food initiative. It undermines California's current high food safety standards, putting us at greater risk with exposure to illness and disease like Salmonella and Bird Flu," said Julie Buckner, spokeswoman for the "NO on Prop. 2" campaign. "While the proponents claim the measure is 'moderate,' it is really a wide-sweeping, risky, and dangerous measure that will have costly, negative consequences for California."

Related websites:
Californians for SAFE food
National Pork Producers Council (NPPC)

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