Lawmakers send 'right-to-farm' measure to 2014 ballot - My Cameron News: Missouri Legislative News

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Lawmakers send 'right-to-farm' measure to 2014 ballot

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Posted: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 12:05 pm

Lawmakers in Missouri's Capitol have approved a ballot measure that would forever guarantee the right to engage in farming and ranching in the state.

Supporters say the right to farm needs to be part of the state constitution so that out-of-state groups won't push through laws that hurt farmers.

But some lawmakers, like Sen. Rob Schaaf, say the measure could be a safety risk.

Schaaf says farm animals are increasingly being fed antibiotics and that that's creating a new wave of food poisoning "super bugs." He says putting a right to farm in the Constitution could make it harder for the state to stop those super bugs, potentially putting consumers in danger.

"The agricultural industry is somewhat blind to this problem and they're looking at it from a financial point of view more than a public health point of view," said Schaaf, R-St. Joseph.

But the right-to-farm measure does have a limit: city governments would still be able to regulate farming practices. And Republican Senator Mike Parson says that is a carefully negotiated compromise that has the support of most interest groups on the issue.

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