I often rail against CAFOs (monster corporate pig farms) and support the family farm. Besides past FFA members like myself, and the Sierra Club-types, another anti-CAFO group are people who care about the spread of nasty infections that are stronger than anti-biotics (i.e. MRSA). Here's a letter from the KC Star today from Rep. Maria Chappelle-Nadal:
ANIMALS AND STAPH
Recently in the news, at least 10 reputable medical studies have reported that antibiotic overuse in concentrated animal factory farms helps breed MRSA, the dreaded antibiotic-resistant superbug that causes deadly staph infections. Reputable medical organizations, such as the Missouri Association of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons, have called for a moratorium on building any new concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) in Missouri until the hazards to the health and welfare of Missouri citizens can be resolved and citizen safety can be reasonably assured.
Yet while we hear of ways to treat the symptoms — wash your hands, avoid overcrowding — we hear nothing about safety measures to prevent MRSA in these crowded meat factories. Meanwhile, meat factory workers are potentially exposed to these superbugs, and in turn, can expose the rest of the community. It is fair to ask: What is the state doing to inspect these meat factories, and stop the breeding of deadly antibiotic-resistant staph germs?
Your readers will be disturbed to find out that apparently, little if anything is being done to protect them from this threat.
Missouri House of Representatives, District 72
University City, Mo.
Another voice against corporate pig farms!! The current issue of The Missouri Sierran, the publication of the Sierra Club, included the following piece from Roy Hengerson, the Missouri Legislative Director for the Sierra Club:
Family farmers, local government officials and environmentalists won a significant victory by blocking efforts to reduce or eliminate feeding operations (CAFOs) in 2007. However, we know the issue will be back in 2008 . . . During the 2008 Session local control allies will closely monitor the legislative process. . . . The records of individual legislators will be scrutinized and where appropriate will be used in the 2008 legislative elections in order to hold legislators accountable to their constituents.
The Sierra Club and other environmentalists aren't afraid to stand up and point fingers. Count on CAFO being an important issue again this year, especially in the attorney general race, as Rep. Jeff Harris is sponsoring anti-CAFO bills (HB 1932) this session.