Opinion: Yankton Sioux opposition to hog farm
"The Ihanktonwan Dakota (Yankton Sioux Tribe) and friends stand in peaceful protest against a swine factory farm development just north of Marty. Two recent reports spell out loud and clear why factory farms harm our health as well as our air, land and water.

The Pew Charitable Trusts and John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health report details many reasons why industrial-scale agriculture is not only unsustainable, it is a threat to human health. The report cites human illness caused by drug-resistant bacteria associated with the overuse of antibiotics as one result of factory farming. Degradation of land, water and air by animal waste, toxic gases and dust make workers and neighbors ill. The study also shows that modern agriculture is responsible for one-fifth of the nation's global warming pollution. These are all very compelling reasons that factory farms pose more risk than previously known.

Another report from the Union of Concerned Scientists goes on to tell us more about how the factory farm takeover of American agriculture β€” which is destroying our family farms and environment β€” is fueled by our own tax dollars. From 1997 to 2005, $35 billion in animal feed subsidies and $100 million in annual pollution prevention payments through the federal Environmental Quality Incentives Program have been paid to factory farms.

The report suggests something that should be common sense β€” factory farms should pay for their own cleanup costs, not the public. These scientists urge Congress to enforce laws that encourage competition. Strangely, the laws are in place, just not enforced."

Get the Story:
Julie M. Jansen and Mary Jo Stueve: Illnesses, threat to life found at industrial-scale agriculture plants (The Sioux Falls Argus Leader 5/24)

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