Missouri voters on August 5th will be asked to vote for or against Amendment 1. The text of the amendment sounds wholesome and agreeable. Who could deny the first sentence “That agriculture which provides food, energy, health benefits, and security is the foundation and stabilizing force of Missouri’s economy?” However, it’s the next sentence of the amendment that has more implications than meets the eye:
“To protect this vital sector of Missouri’s economy, the right of farmers and ranchers to engage in farming and ranching practices shall be forever guaranteed in this state, subject to duly authorized powers, if any, conferred by article VI of the Constitution of Missouri."
A little history is helpful here. Lately local initiatives have been successful at outlawing the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), regulating treatment of animals or forcing these operations to capture and purify water contaminated with chemicals and fecal matter. The industrial agriculture producers who back this amendment don’t like this and want to be free from local and state regulation. This amendment takes away the rights of state and local governments to regulate these farming operations, letting these big corporate farms do whatever they please. Missouri farmers and its people would have no say on what goes on with this corporately owned farmland, its animals or its production methods.
Additionally, the amendment lifts a longstanding ban on foreign ownership of agricultural land, allowing more corporate players in Missouri. This gives corporate farming and ranching operations even more of an edge over locally owned ones. Locally owned operations tend to be more accountable and responsible to their communities, because unlike corporate owned operations, they live there.
Please follow the recommendation of these organizations who recommend you go to the polls and vote no on amendment one on August 5th. Learn more here>>>
Missouri Farmer’s Union
Kansas City Star
St. Louis Today
Humane Society of the U.S.A.
The Sierra Club
GMO Free Midwest
Missouri Association for Social Welfare
Jefferson City New Tribune