According to a recent poll, at least half of U.S. consumers oppose industrial factory farming.
Now some federal legislators (and some presidential candidates) are catching up with voter sentiment. And some are stepping up with proposals to either severely restrict, or outright ban what Big Ag refers to as CAFOs (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations).
The latest good news? A bill, introduced by Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), that could, among other things, lead to the end of industrial factory farms.
The Farm System Reform Act would start with a moratorium on new CAFOs. It would also provide $100 billion over 10 years to help farmers quit factory farming.
After helping farmers transition out of factory farming, the bill would enforce a complete ban on large CAFOs by 2040.
Booker isn’t the only presidential candidate to come out against factory farming. Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass), Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), and author Marianne Williamson have all signed a letter from Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement calling for a moratorium on new and expanded factory farms in Iowa—one of the biggest factory farm states and host of the first Democratic presidential 2020 primary contest.
It’s great to see the ban factory farms movement finally gain some real traction, especially given the results of this poll:
• A majority of national respondents (57 percent) support greater oversight of existing industrial animal farms. In addition, 43 percent of those surveyed say they favor a national ban on the creation of new CAFOs, compared to only 38 percent who oppose such a ban.
• More than 8 out of 10 surveyed expressed concern about air and water pollution, worker safety and health problems caused by CAFOs.
• When informed of the widespread use of antibiotics on CAFOs, which contributes to growing antibiotic resistance in people, 85 percent were either very or somewhat concerned.
• Nearly 70 percent are troubled that these problems disproportionately impact low-income communities and communities of color.
• And 78 percent are concerned that CAFOs continue to receive billions in taxpayer subsidies.
As Kansas rancher Mike Callicrate said in statement issued by Booker’s office:
“Farmers and ranchers need a marketplace that compensates them fairly and Senator Booker's Farm System Reform Act is a big step in the right direction. Things like country of origin labeling on meat, updates to the Packers and Stockyards Act, and resources to get folks out of a system that is bankrupting them will make a big difference."
Please let your members of Congress know that you want them to support this bill!