Deception? Danger? “Right to Farm”? Missouri Alert!

Nothing says “Owned by Monsanto” like  House Joint Resolution 7 &11 put forward by Rep. Jason Smith, newly nominated candidate for Missouri’s US Congressional District 8, and Rep Reiboldt of the 160th. The bill just passed out of the House committee and now moves on to the House floor.

This bill (HJR 7 & 11-rolled together) is to become a Missouri Constitutional Amendment ballot initiative if it passes out of both Houses of the Legislature….and it, unlike raw milk, is inherently dangerous and should never be approved by anyone, for any reason.

The sell on this bill is that animal rights advocates are endangering all farmers and ranchers by advocating to constrain every day practices in agriculture. While it IS true that animal rights activists and bureaucrats are trying to stop people from disbudding, castrating, vaccinating and other things, some of which may be truly objectionable, this proposed Constitutional Amendment will ensure that CAFO’s (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations) proliferate, and lay the ground for no holds barred transgenic manipulation and proliferation of ALL genetically engineered organisms in our State.

A missouri television station covered this in their typical (arguably necessary) sound bite manner here:

Here is the full text of the Amendment copied from http://www.moga.mo.gov, the bold text within the verbiage is what we need to concern ourselves with. It won’t all appear on the ballot across the State should it pass the legislature.

“Submitting to the qualified voters of Missouri an amendment to article I of the Constitution of Missouri, and adopting one new section in lieu thereof relating to the right to farm.

Be it resolved by the House of Representatives, the Senate concurring therein:

That at the next general election to be held in the state of Missouri, on Tuesday next 2 following the first Monday in November, 2014, or at a special election to be called by the 3 governor for that purpose, there is hereby submitted to the qualified voters of this state, for 4 adoption or rejection, the following amendment to article I of the Constitution of the state of 5 Missouri:

Section A. Article I, Constitution of Missouri, is amended by adding one new section, 2 to be known as section 35, to read as follows:

Section 35. That agriculture which provides food, energy, health benefits, and security is the foundation and stabilizing force of Missouri’s economy. To protect this vital sector of Missouri’s economy, 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 and modern livestock production and ranching practices.

Section B. Pursuant to Chapter 116, RSMo, and other applicable constitutional provisions and laws of this state allowing the General Assembly to adopt ballot language for the 3 submission of a joint resolution to the voters of this state, the official ballot title of the amendment proposed in Section A shall be as follows: “Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to ensure: 

• That the right of Missouri citizens to employ modern farming and ranching  practices and equipment shall not be infringed”.

We must  ask questions…What is “modern” in this language? Is it using electricity and machines? What does that actually mean?

So, the voters will get this question: “Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to ensure that the right of Missouri citizens to employ modern farming and ranching practices and equipment shall not be infringed”

But behind the scenes, and NOT on the ballot, if Missouri voters accept this proposal, they would be approving the entire bold section above forever in our Constitution! Including that dastardly last sentence.

Here it is again:

No law shall be enacted which abridges the right of farmers and ranchers to employ agricultural technology and modern livestock production and ranching practices. 

In light of Monsanto being headquartered in St Louis as they are, and Monsanto’s  roughly 90% control of the total crops in genetically modified corn and soy, having sold their GMO pig, and moving ever forward in patenting and mutating all life on the planet, that scares the heck out of me!

Would this proposed Amendment destroy any chance of our ever having a right to know if we are eating GMO products or not? It sure could be argued that letting people know what they are consuming would prohibit farmers from using some “modern” “technology” in their ag endeavors.

This bill is NOT good for farmers. It will greatly increase further consolidation of agriculture, increase proliferation of genetically modified patented life forms, and destroy local control of the spread of the consolidating (ie. Family Farm Destroying) CAFO’s.

There is only one segment of the population that this is “good” for. The Biotech and Mega Farm Corporations.

We must call our representatives and let them know this bill has major problems. Not the least of which is that the voters won’t even see the entire language they are supposed to vote on. There are some truly good legislative efforts in the House and Senate right now….this just is NOT one of those.

 

 

 

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26 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kyle Durham
    Feb 18, 2013 @ 14:39:32

    As a Missouri farmer, I can appreciate concerns raised by this proposed Amendment. Conversely, I can also see the merit in protecting our state’s #1 industry from external influences that seek to determine what are and are not acceptable practices.

    As we have seen in many states, animal rights groups have introduced ballot measures through initiative petition to regulate how producers (predominantly livestock producers) conduct their businesses. These measures oftentimes have no scientific basis, but rather an emotional basis.

    Allow me to at this time, in the interest of full disclosure, to say that my family’s farm includes no livestock, but is a corn and soybean operation. That said, I also realize that the majority of the beans and a significant portion of our corn is consumed by the livestock industry, so this issue has a direct effect on my family’s bottom line as well.

    Though I cannot with any authority speak to modern practices in raising livestock, please allow me to share how our farm has used “modern” practices. On our farm, we plant Roundup-Ready soybeans (developed by Monsanto), and about 50% of our corn is Roundup-Ready as well. It was a management decision we made to reduce the frequency and complexity of applying herbicides to control weeds in our field. It is true that somewhere around 90% of soybean acres have the RR gene, but that isn’t because Monsanto has forced farmers to accept it. Like us, many of them made the conscious decision to significantly reduce their herbicide usage while still producing the best crop they can. On the other hand, some producers have chosen not to employ the RR technology, as we have done on a portion of our corn acres. And seed companies do exist that still produce “conventional” varieties and hybrids.

    As we understand that consumers have a choice as to which products to buy and that that decision can be made based on how the product is produced, we should also understand that farmers are free to make their own management decisions as to which technologies they choose to employ. Our personal decisions were based on reduced herbicide usage, cost-efficiency, and local markets either providing an incentive to grow conventional varieties. That said, I cannot speak for anyone else, but am confident that management decisions on their farms are made in a similar manner.

    Thank you for allowing me to weigh in on this matter. If we want a food system that is vibrant, stable, and dynamic, we all (both producers and consumers) need to work together to determine our goals and how to achieve them.

    Have a great day!

    Reply

    • Jude in MidMo
      Jul 16, 2014 @ 13:05:02

      Thank you for reminding me that Missouri farmers are also in BED with Monsanto! This is extremely sad that you appear to be selling your soul to the DEVIL for a mere buck. So sad.

      Reply

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  4. RO
    Apr 16, 2013 @ 17:04:53

    consumers do not have a choice as to which products to buy..monsanto bought the federal political whores and now we have to fight state by state and guess who will win here in missouri …
    i will fight for gmo labeling

    Reply

  5. Trackback: Right to Farm Proposed Constitutional Amendment | Truth Farmer
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    Jun 09, 2014 @ 08:02:35

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  7. Ray Hendrix
    Jun 12, 2014 @ 19:30:21

    As Missouri citizens we must demand that this bill is clarified before it can become law…It must NOT become law in it’s present state! Monsanto and other huge corporate interests are the ones behind this law, in order to further protect their seed patents and genetic altering of our food supply. I am all for protecting the small farmer, that is NOT what this law is about. It does not protect the small farmer from being contaminated by GMO pollination. It does not protect the small farmer against Monsanto lawsuits. Instead it protects the corporate farming consolidation, within the industry. Get the word out and VOTE NO!!

    Reply

    • Jerry Foster
      Jun 13, 2014 @ 17:06:48

      Ray, everything you said about the Right to Farm Amendment is not true. This Amendment applies across the board to anyone engaged in farming. It will give some level of protection to individual farmers from lawsuits by radical activist groups like the Human Society of the United States, an organization that recently had to pay out around $20 million to settle RICO litigation for hiding payments to a witness in a federal law suit. RICO is the federal statute used to go after organized crime. Do you want an organized crime group like HSUS suing farmers who milk cows or grow pigs? If you are from Missouri and you eat, you should vote yes on Amendment 1 on August 5.

      Reply

      • truthfarmer
        Jun 14, 2014 @ 22:38:32

        Jerry, the amendment is NOT going to protect traditional farmers the way Missouri Farm Bureau, Monsanto, Cargill, MoFarmers Care (for the aforementioned Cargill Monsanto and Soy and Corn Growers) say it will. The fact is that “farmer” and “rancher” wil both need to be defined, and that will happen in court or via agencies and get contested in court. We already HAVE statute to halt nuisance suits, just like every state does.
        The bill is being sold as a protection against animal rights activists. The HSUS is NOT a group that I would in any way align myself with, but changing our Constitution and allowing these things to be defined and regulated by those who have CAUSED the destruction of independent agriculture is certainly not going to be beneficial for independent agriculture.
        It’s very deceptive and it is not going to be beneficial for the vast majority of the citizens of the state, but it will guarantee the proliferation of genetically modified patented life forms.
        Think critically about this. Look at the original language and think about the promotors of the amendment. They admit that they can’t get legislation passed to “protect” against HSUS and they think this change to the Constitution will stop animal rights activists. People have a right to be wrong headed…just don’t change the Constitution to save us from the boogeyman. That’s certainly overreach.

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    Jun 29, 2014 @ 14:27:15

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  9. Paula Presley
    Jul 04, 2014 @ 21:09:00

    Alas, I’m not a farmer, nor do I know much about farming. I had hoped to get clarification by reading this article. If this comes to the voters, I want to vote for what is best for all of Missouri….and for all to whom our ag output is sold. A constitutional amendment is a pretty serious thing, not easily changed if it appears it’s not working. Why can’t a statute take care of this?

    Reply

  10. Jerry Foster
    Jul 07, 2014 @ 09:58:20

    Paula, a statute is a government regulation that prohibits people from doing something or, conversely, grants people permission to do something. A constitutional amendment is a law that regulates what the government can do. In that way, the amendment protects the rights of the people from unreasonable government interference.

    Additionally, statutes may be changed by legislators without a referendum of the voters, thus their protection may be short lived. As you noted, changing the Constitution is not so easy.

    You might be interested to know that the proposed Right to Farm Amendment is supported by more than 1000 individual farmers who contributed their own money to MO Farmers Care to support the campaign, in addition to their normal support of the mainstream farm organizations that are backing Amendment 1. In addition, the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives is backing the Right to Farm Amendment.

    Since we have seen several attempts by out of state animal rights and environmental groups to change or prohibit the way we farm, it is apparent Missouri needs this protection. That is why I hope all Missouri voters will support their farming and ranching neighbors by voting YES on Amendment 1 on August 5.

    Reply

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    Jul 08, 2014 @ 23:21:20

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  12. Joe
    Jul 17, 2014 @ 22:42:23

    We don’t need the government to give us the right to farm via a constitutional amendment, that is a scam. We already have a God given right to farm and grow crops. What the government giveith, the government can taketh away.

    The only thing this amendment will do is forever protect companies like Monsanto to do whatever modern ( code word for genetic craziness) techniques they want.

    And look out because if your non-GMO crop blows pollen into a Monsanto or Monsanto Farmer’s patented field and contaminates it, you can be sued for obstructing their constitutional right to employ modern agriculture technology.

    We haven’t ever needed a law to allow us to farm, don’t believe the scare tactics, say no to giving Monsanto the right to farm with patents.

    Reply

  13. Mike Stephens
    Jul 18, 2014 @ 11:10:00

    People who are ignorant of agriculture and are against agriculture use the Monsanto name as a lightning rod since this is so much negative incorrect about the company. But Monsanto is part of ag, Has done great things for farmers and supports both parties in MO. How do I know this – Because I am an employee and a democrat – mostly in a minority but I just don’t see the Company biasing against people or farmers but using common sense. They wants sensible control and management of issues on a federal basis so that there is a level playing field for all farmers with equal access to government approved technology but based on random beliefs and life styles that are not science based. There have been many lawsuits against technology that have nearly all failed and have only lined the pockets of lawyers. Time for some common sense

    Reply

    • truthfarmer
      Jul 18, 2014 @ 16:42:11

      Seriously? Helped agriculture? How? Through consolidation and suits against farmers for genetic pollution allowed to exist by the rotating govicorp that is the USDA and the FDA? The USDA is in business with the biotech corps and the FDA is run by the same biotech corps. It’s all documented and readily verified.

      You talk about “science based” things. And you are talking about “based” and not legitimate science. Legitimate science has found Monsanto guilty of approving things that are cancer causing as well as fertility killing and calling it “food”. The agencies are guilty of calling things science that are not at all actually science. You get the results you paid for if you own those conducting the “experiments” or “studies”.

      Monsanto is one of the most evil corporations ever in existence. (Central banks and Raytheon are up there, too.) The continual destruction of health Monsanto has engaged in is well documented. Those who support them are the ones who are ignorant of agriculture and what is helpful to life and mankind. Those who take money from them are getting the only reward they will ever have. And I include all the legislators whose campaign coffers are lined with blood money from Monsanto in that category. State and Federal alike.

      I do like one thing about your post. You openly admit that Monsanto buys actions from both Democrats and Republicans. No heirloom seed company has a PAC….

      Reply

    • Joe
      Jul 21, 2014 @ 00:02:54

      First of all Gary Wheeler, who is Treasurer of a group pushing this ignorant bill, is deeply connected to Monsanto, as his family are and in the past have been big shots with the company.

      Secondly, Monsanto wants to patent crops, they want to control food, and do not want others to have free access to non-patented crops to sell to the public. They want only crops that do not need pollinators, do not re-seed (so you have to keep on buying from them and only them) and that will make other crops genetic dead ends for reproduction if they are cross pollinated with their patented crops.

      Very nasty company, this is about big money and big control, Monsanto doesn’t do anything for just the good of people, thats a freaking laugher.

      Last, we already have a right to farm, it’s God given, there is no need for scare tactic Constitutional Amendment. Once you give the Government the power to s
      allow you to do something, they can also take it away and someday just as easily squeeze out small farmers for giant ones – who is going to fight them?

      Reply

  14. Mike Slack
    Jul 18, 2014 @ 12:23:31

    Mr. Stephens, did you really use the words Monsanto and level playing field in the same paragraph? Monsanto has used their lawyers and deep pockets to bankrupt farmers, accusing them of stealing their Roundup ready technology when in fact wind pollination contaminated their crops. There is a revolving door between Monsanto executives and FDA and USDA management posts, an incestuous relationship that benefits Monsanto and no one else.

    Reply

  15. John Weeks
    Jul 18, 2014 @ 13:45:16

    Prohibition(-217) of Yahweh’s 613 Laws says: Do not let your livestock gender with another kind. In Torath Kohanim (Leviticus) 19:19 The Book of Yahweh pg. 98 it states, in part, “You must not let your livestock gender with another kind.” Side note (c.) states, in part, “Yahweh seperated each beast after it’s kind. Genisis 1:1-25. So, this is not speaking of crossbreading two kinds of cattle. What this actually means, however, is that man must not deviate from the apointed order of things, nor go against the eternal laws of nature as established by Yahweh. For instance altering the genes of an animal to be able to mix with a plant, or, to alter the genes of two different species of animals so they may crossbreed, such as crossbreeding a dog with a cat. No product derived in this way is Tahor/Kosher (permissable) for consumption, it is forbiden to do so. The Body of Christ has never layed claim to follow the LAW (biblical Law), they call it the Old Testiment Law-the Law of the Jews. NO TRUE YAHDAIM would be involved in this line of work transgressing the laws of life. Someone is lying to the public. We can all be wrong, but we can’t all be right.

    Reply

  16. John Weeks
    Jul 18, 2014 @ 13:51:41

    The quote I stated ended after “…dog with a cat.” The rest is my opinion, and no one else contributed or advised me in this comment. John M. Weeks Jr.

    Reply

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