[Senator Diane] Feinstein's Egg Products Inspection Act Amendments' would establish a national standard for the "humane" treatment of egg-laying hens and the labeling of eggs, including increasing the size of hen cages.
Her legislation is opposed by a number of farm groups, including the beef, pork and sheep industries, which signed a letter contending the legislation could set a "dangerous precedent for allowing the federal government to dictate everything that happens on farms."
Republicans have advocated national standards on other matters, such as when California sought to regulate greenhouse-gas emissions from vehicles, contending it was preferable to a patchwork of state laws.
Prospects for the bill are uncertain. Feinstein was thwarted in efforts to include the measure in the Senate farm bill.
An effort is under way in the Republican-controlled House to block states from imposing their own standards for agriculture products on producers from other states. The effort comes in response to the California law, which will take effect in 2015, that requires that all eggs sold in the state to be produced by hens held in cages that meet the California standards.World to End Tommorrow; Women, Children and Chickens to Suffer Most!