MUNCIE -- Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels and several Hoosier agricultural organizations are firing back in the public relations battle over concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs).
The Indiana Soybean Board last month inserted an eight-page brochure into the Hartford City News-Times promoting livestock and exposing common myths about CAFOs. The brochure includes a letter from the governor, who wants to double Indiana's pork production.
The brochure debunks "common myths," such as, "Modern livestock farms produce huge amounts of waste that pollute our water," "Corporate farms have taken over the family farm," and "Large farms are bad for the community ... and the animals' well-being."
According to CAFO opponents, the Animal Agriculture Alliance (AAA) and the American Feed Industry Association, which share offices in Arlington, Va., are behind the campaign.
"The Animal Agriculture Alliance is calling everybody terrorists who says they shouldn't be building hog barns," said Idaho economist William Weida, director of New York-based GRACE Factory Farm Project, which has been helping East Central Indiana citizens confront CAFOs.
AAA is co-sponsoring the Midwest's first anti-terrorism training course focusing on the threats that international and domestic terrorists, especially animal rights extremists, pose to the livestock, restaurant and research industries.
In announcing the training course (Oct. 17-18 in Columbus, Ohio), AAA reported that GRACE (Global Resource Action Center for the Environment) had conducted "anti-agriculture activist training sessions" for residents of East Central Indiana.
"Incited by GRACE activists' inflammatory rhetoric, some extreme elements of the anti-agriculture movement may take matters into their own hands," AAA said in a news release. "Documents recovered from al-Qaeda training camps indicate that the USA's food supply is a high-priority target. Domestically, terrorist/activists within our own borders have declared war on modern food and agriculture."
Contact news reporter Seth Slabaugh at 213-5834.
Originally published September 7, 2006
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Indiana Governor Says Critics of Factory Farm Agriculture Are 'Eco-terrorists'
State helps turn up heat over CAFO public relations
The Indiana Soybean Board distributed a brochure in Blackford County debunking livestock 'myths.'
By Seth Slabaugh
The Star Press (Muncie, Indiana), September 7, 2006
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