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Utah backs challenge to California egg law over money, obesity

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Posted at 12:49 PM, Mar 19, 2015
and last updated 2015-03-19 18:09:37-04

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Attorney General’s Office is backing a challenge to a California animal welfare law that it claims could impact egg prices in our state.

In an amicus filing with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and obtained by FOX 13, Utah urged the court to strike down California’s law which requires larger cages for chickens claiming “that the economic extraterritorial reach of AB 1437 will have a negative effect on a significant number of Utah citizens as ‘the impact of increasing egg prices disproportionately affects low-income families because they spend a larger portion of their disposable income on food than other families [with more income].”

The attorney general’s office said it is raising the question on behalf of poor citizens who can’t afford to bring a legal challenge on their own.

“Given that studies of low cost egg protein now suggest that consumption of eggs may also help reduce obesity, Utah has an additional interest in testing the constitutionality of AB 1437, as a substantial portion of its population, especially its low income population, could find obesity rates cut absent a substantial increase in egg prices,” Utah Federal Solicitor Parker Douglas wrote.

Read the filing here:

The original lawsuit challenging California’s law was tossed, but has been brought to the 9th Circuit Court for consideration. Farm groups and other states are challenging the law.