On August 5, 2014, Missourians will have the opportunity to vote on Amendment 1, also known as the “Right to Farm” bill. Because of this initiative’s misleading namesake, it is important for voters to know what the vague, open-ended language on the ballot really means. With potentially harmful effects on our farmers, farmland, and animals, it is pertinent that you are well educated about this issue before casting your vote in the upcoming election.
What You Need to Know
Animal welfare groups like the Humane Society of the United States have largely opposed this bill, as it is believed that it could lift state-mandated safeguards that regulate puppy mills and farm livestock. With Representative Jason Smith from Smith’s Kennels, one of the largest, family-operated dog breeder operations in Missouri, co-sponsoring Amendment 1, the personal agendas of the bill’s supporters are more concerning than ever. As a proponent of animal welfare, Wayside Waifs encourages you to vote no on this initiative to deregulate the puppy mill industry.
Empowerment of Foreign Corporations
Despite the bill’s intention to mislead voters, which appears to cater to the needs and wants of local Missouri farmers, the only parties whose rights this initiative caters to are those of foreign corporations and factory farms. In fact, if Amendment 1 was added to the state constitution, it could undo previously passed legislation implemented to protect local farmers, farmland, and animals.
To put things in perspective consider the fact that Smithfield Farms, Missouri’s largest pig producer, has already been acquired by a Chinese aggregate. Additionally, a 50,000-acre plot of farmland was recently purchased by a Chinese corporation, wanting to open a factory farm. What makes these developments so concerning? Amendment 1 could disassemble legal checks and balances that are in place to protect the environment. 40 percent of Chinese farmland suffers from degraded quality. This is directly correlated to pollution resulting from the lax environmental practices of large, profits-first corporations. Missouri land is a precious commodity, and it deserves to be treated as such.
Reduced Food Labeling
Missouri residents have the right to safely manufactured food and knowledge about its contents. However, Amendment 1 could result in the dismantling of efforts that succeeded in the implementation of better food regulation, specifically the labeling of GMOs. In recent years, Missouri farmers have been a large source for food produced from sustainable practices. With the quality of our food on the line, it is crucial that Missouri voters prevent Amendment 1 from being enacted in our state constitution.
Protect Our State
Your vote matters, so make it count. Missouri farmers, farmland, and animals are dependent on it. Before the upcoming election, educate family and friends about the negative effects this bill could have on the Missouri agriculture system, as we know it.
For more information about why you should vote no on Amendment 1, be sure to visit http://votenoon1.com/.