The significance of the Missouri Farming Rights Amendment, also known as Amendment 1 cannot be overstated.
The tactics of deception begin in the title, “Right to Farm.” It sounds like a no brainer. Of course everyone, especially in largely rural states like Missouri, believes anyone should have the right to farm. It also makes opposing the amendment sound like one opposes the right to farm, when actually that is exactly what many opponents want to assure for the small family farms this amendment could threaten.
Proponents claim this will protect the rights of farmers when it is clearly another instance of pandering to corporate food control. It all comes back to a Supreme Court ruling that a corporation is a person. Amendment 1 could grant any corporation permission to do whatever they want when they claim to be a “farmer” or “rancher.”
They claim Amendment 1 would preserve consumer choice when, if passed, it would leave Missourians with no ability to regulate food safety. It is a blatant attempt to limit (or curtail) the consumers right to know and to demand safe food and humane farming practices.
This isn’t about the right to farm. We already have a right to farm. This is about industrialized agriculture wanting unrestricted ability to farm in whatever way is most advantageous to them without regard to food safety, environmental concerns, or the will of the people.
This bill began as a backlash against regulating puppy mills and, if approved, will prevent restrictions on genetically modified organisms (GMOs), unravel environmental and animal welfare laws, while making it harder for lawmakers to regulate farming and ranching practices in the future.
There is a groundswell of consumer interest in the industry that is gaining traction and momentum. The public is demanding safe food and humane ranching practices which is inconvenient to the agendas of the giant biotech companies and industrialized agriculture. The jobs they are so concerned with protecting are their own, not those of the family farmer they are steam rolling over.
Consumer activism led to the Monsanto Protection Act, which protected them against consumer lawsuits, not being renewed. Now the big corporations want another way to give themselves legal free reign over our food supply while leaving the American people with no recourse against the hazardous and inhumane affects of their methods.
Let’s look at some of the people who oppose this bill; the Humane Society of the United States, the Sierra Club, rural groups battling for decades against corporate hog and poultry organizations, the president of the Missouri Farmers Union, family farms that fear this could be the final step toward their demise, and consumers concerned about GMOs, growing pesticide use, and corporate food control. The people who oppose this bill aren’t against the farmer, many of them are farmers. We are against the American people losing our right to take action on what we believe. That’s a pretty basic right.
The impact of this amendment goes way beyond the state of Missouri. Several other states have passed or are considering similar laws. The outcome here could influence the next right-to-farm movement because other state legislators will look at similar bills more seriously. The outcome not only affects the people of Missouri but anyone worldwide who depends on U.S. agricultural exports.
If you are registered to vote please go to the polls August 5 and defeat industrialized agriculture’s attempt to override your rights as citizens and consumers.
For a good historic synopsis of what corporations get away with when they claim to be people read Andrea Brower’s “The Difference Between a Farmer and a Global Chemical Corporation.”
Vote No on Amendment 1 website