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A recent editorial criticized Save The Illinois River (STIR) for opposing Right to Farm, State Question 777. STIR filed a lawsuit against the ballot measure over threats to clean water, air and food safety if industrial-scale animal factories are deregulated by this ballot measure.
This time, the environmentalists are right. Just like the Ten Commandments regulate human behavior, Oklahoma needs reasonable regulation of agriculture to control industrial-scale animal-factory polluters.
Small or independent family farmers are already at a competitive disadvantage against Big Ag. They stuff tens of thousands of chickens and hogs into densely populated confinement barns and sell factory-produced meat at much lower prices than independent Oklahoma farmers.
Now these concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) — many from out-of-state and the U.S. — want to change the Oklahoma Constitution. They want unreasonable blanket protection from lawsuits for anything they do, no matter how harmful.
They want to tie the hands of future legislators and stop them from responding to problems with food safety, animal welfare and the quality of water, air and land before we even know what those future problems are.
Voters should not fall for this deceptively titled ballot measure, which some people are calling Right to Harm. “No” is the correct vote against SQ 777 on Nov. 8, to protect family farmers from unfair competition and save our quality of life in Oklahoma.