Des Moines, IA -- A bill to enact a moratorium on new and expanded factory farms - House file 203 - was introduced in the Iowa House of Representatives yesterday by Representative Sharon Steckman (D-53) with unprecedented support. The House bill includes thirteen cosponsors and will allow time for an analysis of the impacts of factory farms on Iowa’s water, independent farms, and rural communities. Senator Claire Celsi (D-21) will also be introducing companion legislation in the Iowa State Senate.
Iowa is in the midst of a factory farm crisis. There are over 750 impaired waterways in the state, and nearly 200 community water systems struggle to treat for factory farm pollutants. The number of independent family farms is in freefall. Rural residents struggle to cope with these industrial facilities located in their communities. With over 10,000 factory farms already in existence, Iowa’s water, family farms, and rural communities cannot handle any additional expansion.
“Industrial agriculture is destroying the fabric of our beautiful state. We must fight back and demand our legislators act to protect our food, water, and climate,” said Cherie Mortice, retired teacher and Board President of Iowa CCI.
Emma Schmit of Food & Water Watch said, “ Enough is enough -- it’s time for a factory farm moratorium. A moratorium will give legislators and regulators an overdue opportunity to evaluate the public health, economic and societal impacts of factory farms while providing Iowa’s communities with important statutory protections from further expansion of this industry.”
On February 21st, Iowa CCI, Food & Water Watch, and Iowa Alliance for Responsible Agriculture members from across Iowa will be gathering at the State Capitol to pressure legislators to take bold action on factory farms.
Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement works to empower and unite grassroots people of all ethnic backgrounds to take control of their communities; involve them in identifying problems and needs and in taking action to address them; and be a vehicle for social, economic, and environmental justice.
Food & Water Watch champions healthy food and clean water for all. We stand up to corporations that put profits before people, and advocate for a democracy that improves people’s lives and protects our environment.