Sunday, April 14, 2013
Hoosier resolutions 5 and 27 sound like Missouri
From the Heartland, Margot McMillen writes: I said I’d look further for traces of laws ensuring “modern farming practices” for corporations, and it didn’t take long to find 3 states with efforts for amendments similar to Missouri’s proposals. Last November, North Dakota, a state besieged with fracking and sky-high land prices, passed a “right to farm” amendment into the constitution. Its language is eerily like the proposal in Missouri, to wit: The right of farmers and ranchers to engage in modern farming and ranching practices shall be forever guaranteed in this state. No law shall be enacted which abridges the right of farmers and ranchers to employ agricultural technology, modern livestock production and ranching practices. Again, we have the seriously vague words “modern,” “technology,” and the confusing phrase “no law shall be enacted…” So, in North Dakota, no county, township, parish, city or any governmental body will be able to pass a law or ordinance to protect themselves from chemicals, GMOs, CAFOs or any other kind of industrial farming scheme. North Dakota, one of our chief wheat-raising states, will not be able to refuse to plant untested (and untrusted) GMO wheat under this Constitutional clause. The same sort of language is being considered in Montana, another primary wheat-raising state, and in Indiana, one of the buckles on the corn belt. The Hoosier experience, summed up by Indiana’s TribStar.com, sounds just like Missouri. They say: "House Joint Resolution 5 and Senate Joint Resolution 27, identical pieces of legislation making their way through the two chambers, seek to amend the Indiana Constitution to prevent any legislative body from adopting any rules regulating farming . . . The amendment, apparently, would prevent any rules regulating large industrial agricultural businesses such as confined animal feeding operations. It would also prevent any laws that protect public health and private property rights for Hoosiers who are not farmers. Even zoning laws could be challenged." Indiana voters will decide whether to approve this amendment. Let’s see who spends the big bucks to get it passed.