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Two New Bills Would Blunt Impact of Factory Farms on Public Health and the Environment

Separate legislation introduced in the House and Senate would strengthen CAFO oversight—or halt construction altogether.

December has seen a flurry of interest in regulating factory farms.

As we wrote last week, the first-ever national poll measuring sentiment toward Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) indicated that voters may favor increased government oversight of those facilities.

Now, two new pieces of legislation introduced this month would strengthen the government’s role in regulating CAFOs. One, introduced in the House by Representative Rosa DeLauro, a Democrat from Connecticut, and in the Senate by New York Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand, would give the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authority to investigate livestock operations implicated in outbreaks of foodborne illness. The other, introduced by Senator Cory Booker, a Democrat from New Jersey, would put an immediate ban on the construction of new large CAFOs and shutter existing ones by 2040.

The Farm System Reform Act of 2019 calls for an immediate and permanent moratorium on the construction and expansion of all large CAFOs and outlines a plan to close all existing large CAFOs by 2040.

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