FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Newspapers Throughout Missouri Bash Amendment 1 as “Harmful,” ”Vague,” “Open-Ended,” and “a Farce”
Sweeping measure would “protect corporate agriculture rather than the traditional family farm” and give “massive out-of-state corporations extra protection in the state constitution”
(August 3, 2014)—This weekend, newspapers across Missouri editorialized against Amendment 1, the so-called “right to farm” amendment that Missourians will vote on this Tuesday. Now almost every Missouri newspaper has urged voters to vote “no” on Amendment 1.
Of the 16 Missouri papers that we are aware of that have adopted a position on Amendment One, 15 have now urged a ‘no’ vote. The newspapers editorializing against Amendment 1 include the Christian County Headliner News, Columbia Daily Tribune, Columbia Missourian, Jefferson City News Tribune, Joplin Globe, Kansas City Star, Lake Sun Leader, Ozarks Sentinel, Sedalia Democrat, Sedalia Weekly Observer, Springfield News-Leader, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Sullivan Journal, Warrensburg Daily Star Journal, and the West Plains Daily Quill.
This morning, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorial board wrote of Amendment 1: “Something smells in hog country … Giving massive out-of-state corporations extra protection in the state constitution doesn’t help a thing. VOTE NO.” Also this morning, the Sullivan Journal editorial board called Amendment 1 “a waste of ballot ink” and “a farce,” and wrote that it “is not for the little family farmer – it’s for the corporate farms and others that do not have our interests in mind.”
On Saturday morning, the Kansas City Star editorial board wrote of Amendment 1: “The courts would have the final say on what this vaguely worded amendment actually means. Voters can avoid costly and lengthy legal challenges by rejecting it.”
Also on Saturday morning, the Sedalia Democrat editorial board explained that Amendment 1 would turn the Missouri Constitution into “a testing ground for blanket protections against a threat the amendment can’t even define.” And the Columbian Missourian editorial board added that “[w]e don’t see a need for [Amendment 1] and many farmers are being misled on its purposes. It’s not needed to protect farmers.”
The Joplin Globe editorial board previously called Amendment 1 “a measure designed to protect corporate agriculture rather than the traditional family farm.” And the West Plains Daily Quill editor previously wrote, “I don’t want Smithfield, or any other mega-corporations, especially those owned by the Chinese, from building a factory farm next to mine … Protect yourself from the vague provisions of Amendment 1. Vote No.”
Wes Shoemyer, former state senator and President of Missouri’s Food for America, responded: “This outpouring of support from newspapers across Missouri shows what we’ve known all along: when people take the time to look at what Amendment 1 would do, they don’t like what they see. Amendment 1 doesn’t protect Missouri’s right to farm – it protects the right of foreign corporations to do as they want with Missouri farmland.”
· Amendment 1 will be on the Missouri statewide ballot next Tuesday, August 5th. It seeks to enshrine into the Missouri Constitution a right for corporations and others to engage in any activities they consider “farming” for perpetuity. Its effect would be to undermine even minimal protections for family farms, animals, and the environment, while producing contentious litigation.
· Missouri’s Food for America is a broad coalition of family farmers, environmentalists, food safety advocates, animal welfare organizations, and concerned citizens who recognize the long-lasting, damaging effects of the “Right to Farm” amendment. It was formed to fight back against industrialized agriculture and factory farms former state senator Wes Shoemyer of northeastern Missouri.
· Opponents of Amendment 1 include the Missouri Farmers Union, the Humane Society of Missouri, the Missouri Rural Crisis Center, the League of Women Voters of Missouri, the Missouri Coalition for the Environment, The Humane Society of the United States, the ASPCA, Missouri Libertarian Party, and the Locke and Smith Foundation.
Media Contact: Kevin Stamps; 636-208-6570, firstname.lastname@example.org