Right to Farm equals No Right to Grow Food

Yesterday, Missouri passed by a .03% margin an undemocratic constitutional amendment cynically called “right to farm.” Big Ag is pushing this in Oklahoma. This is for the benefit of multinational meat companies (Tyson) and chemical companies (Monsanto). They want it to be impossible for local citizens to exercise any control over these global corporations. Practices and products of these companies have been destructive and dangerous for farming and ranching and for our food supply. Now they are attacking our democracy.

In the past 50 years these companies’ monopolistic practices have: (1) driven nearly all U.S. farmers and ranchers out of business; (2) eliminated nearly all but the largest 3 meat packers; (3) eliminate nearly all but the largest seed/chemical company – Monsanto; (4) crippled rural farm economies; and (5) made the U.S. a net importer of food.

These same forces that destroyed the market based farming and ranching economy is now attacking our democracy. They would amend the Oklahoma constitutions to prohibit local citizens from exercising their democratic rights to protect their food supplies, their people, their land, and their economies from the monopolistic business practices of these global companies.

Party leaders in both parties will push this measure to gain support from Big Ag donors. The grass roots on both the right and the left will oppose this because it destroys the democratic rights of Oklahoma citizens and gives power to federal and global political and business interests. Perhaps more importantly, it continues to destabilizes our food supply by further destroying our ability to feed ourselves.

Harlan Hentges

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