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DES MOINES — U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst has taken up arms in Iowa Republicans’ battle in what they are calling the “war on meat.”
Ernst on Tuesday announced proposed legislation that would prohibit federal agencies from enacting bans on serving meat to federal employees.
During a conference call with Iowa reporters, Ernst conceded there are no current proposals in federal government to ban serving meat to employees.
Ernst pointed to a suggestion in a 2012 newsletter circulated within the federal agriculture department that employees consider participating in “meatless Mondays” to help reduce meat consumption. Ernst also cited Democratic proposals on environmental protection that she claimed would harm the animal agriculture industry.
“There is definitely a move afoot, and this is one way that we can start pushing back,” Ernst said. “We certainly don’t want to let it continue to creep along until it’s actual policy or law. We’ve got to start now.”
Gov. Kim Reynolds, like Ernst a Republican, previously dubbed April “Meat on the Table” month in Iowa.
Ernst introduced her bill with U.S. Sen. Roger Marshall, R-Kan. Because Democrats have majorities in both chambers of Congress, the bill is unlikely to have enough support to pass.
“Our federal agencies shouldn’t be encouraging people to ban agricultural products at the expense of America’s hard-working farmers and producers,” Ernst said. “It’s important for Congress to make its intention known that we should get ‘meatless Mondays’ and other types of activist bans against agricultural products out of our government dining halls.”