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Rose Acre Farms, Inc. v. United States

ELR Citation: 39 ELR 20058
Nos. No. 07-5169, (Fed. Cir., 03/12/2009)

The Federal Circuit reversed a lower court decision that U.S. Department of Agriculture regulations restricting a farm's egg sales during a two-year period due to the presence of salmonella bacteria constituted a taking for which just compensation is due. The farm's monetary loss due to the regulations was not insignificant, but it did not approach the level of severe economic harm. In addition, the character of the government's regulation strongly favors a non-taking since the regulations broadly applied to almost any egg producer in the United States. The regulations were not functionally comparable to government appropriation or invasion of private property and that the regulations properly placed the burden on Rose Acre to bear the costs associated with ensuring that their eggs did not injure the public. And the farm's reasonable investment-backed expectations are not strong enough to conclude there was a taking. Accordingly, the government did not commit a compensable taking and is not liable to for just compensation.