State Agricultural Disparagement Statutes: Suing Chicken Little

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State Agricultural Disparagement Statutes: Suing Chicken Little

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Title: State Agricultural Disparagement Statutes: Suing Chicken Little
Author: Cochran, Daniel E.
Citation: State Agricultural Disparagement Statutes: Suing Chicken Little (2001 Third Year Paper)
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Abstract: This paper will analyze how several different states have approached agricultural disparagement statutes in efforts to protect their unique economies and agricultural industries. Specifically, this paper will examine how six different state legislatures (Texas, North Dakota, Idaho, Alabama, Georgia, and Colorado) have used different approaches in passing agricultural/perishable product disparagement statutes to meet the unique needs of their state. While there has been previous analysis on the constitutionality of these statutes as a whole based on their elements for causes of action, I argue that each state's agricultural disparagement statute should be evaluated within the appropriate and specific context. This entails an individual analysis for each state - based on that state's primary agricultural industry, the public's perception of that industry, and the actual consumers of those specific agricultural products. The state legislatures that enacted agricultural disparagement statutes had unique intentions behind their involvement and a unique market they wanted to protect. (For example, the market for a tobacco product would differ greatly from the market for apples.) Above all, these states wanted to maintain consumer confidence in their agricultural products and deemed it necessary to enact statutes that would prevent this confidence from becoming eroded by false public criticism.
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