Your Opinion: Is ‘Right to Farm’ counter-productive?

Dear Editor:

The “Right to Farm” bill is really a bill that exempts the Missouri Farm Bureau and the big corporate farms from any regulation. Missouri farmers have been farming for years without a bill to guarantee that right. The problem is, the Missouri Farm Bureau is still mad about Proposition B.

The article in the June 4 edition of the News Tribune quoted U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer as saying, in part, that “agriculture has a huge target on its back.” It is not agriculture that has a target on its back, it is the inhumane and sometimes unhealthy practices of the larger-than-life corporate farms that are under scrutiny.

By the way, after Missouri citizens voted for Proposition B our legislators, arrogantly assuming they know more than the majority of the voting citizenry, significantly rewrote the bill omitting many of the important requirements.

The newspaper article quoted Dr. Alan Wessler as saying, in part, “I am concerned with animal rights. I do not know anyone, including most rescue groups, who advocate for ‘animal rights’! What I and most others do advocate for is ‘animal welfare.’” Dr. Wessler also said, in that article, that the “amendment also would help protect agriculture from frivolous lawsuits.” I guess he is referring to lawsuits regarding the pollution of our waterways and our air quality.

The newspaper article said that Todd Hayes, a Missouri Farm Bureau vice president stated that their goal is to allow “consumers to be able to decide what’s best for them.”

Well, even if consumers decide how we want our food raised, if our decision does not coincide with their philosophies, how do we, as middle-class consumers, guarantee that our legislators will not change our decisions as they have in the past?

The Right to Farm bill would make the farming industry self-governing. Do citizens really want downed animals, rampant antibiotics, hormones, pollution, and yes, cruelty, as the method by which we nourish our bodies?

I do not think this is what the good Lord intended.