Archive for April 2008
Study Uncovers Factory Farm Tax Breaks at Taxpayers' Expense
Iowans Agree: Factory Farms Should Pay
of Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (CCI) hail a recent report
called “CAFOs Uncovered” by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS),
the leading science-based nonprofit working for a healthy environment
and a safer world. The report analyzes the obvious and not-so-obvious
costs that taxpayers and consumers are forced to pay to keep the
factory farm industry afloat.
Mellon, director of UCS’s Food and Environment Program, stated, “If
CAFOs were forced to pay for the ripple effects of harm they have
caused, they wouldn’t be dominating the U.S. meat industry like they
report states that, “misguided federal farm policies have encouraged
the growth of [factory farms] by shifting billions of dollars in
environmental, health and economic costs to taxpayers and communities.”
executive summary of the report states that factory farms “are not the
inevitable result of market forces. Instead, these unhealthy operations
are largely the result of misguided public policy that can and should
“This is another study that confirms what CCI has been saying for years,” said CCI member Garry Klicker from Bloomfield.
“The Environmental Quality Incentives Program should be used to help
family farmers protect our air and water, not as another form of
corporate welfare for factory farms. We also need environmental
protection laws that force factory farm polluters to pay for their
clean up and report their toxic emissions.”
why members of Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement are asking
Governor Culver to veto the odor study, HF 2688, a bill that requires
taxpayers to foot the bill of nearly $23 million to study factory farm
odor mitigation techniques over the next five years. This report is
another reinforcement that factory farms get too much taxpayer funding,
and the odor study delays enforcing much-needed standards. The report
also highlights the need for clean air standards for hydrogen sulfide
and ammonia, which are toxic to human health.
Twisted Crime By Iowa GOP Leaderhsip
By Sam Garchik
Check out this link from the Register. What is the mater with these people?
Prodigy's 'puzzling' fall leads to murder charge
New Study Out: Confined Animal Feeding Operations Cost Taxpayers Billions
By the IFU
New study by the Union of Concerned Scientists puts nail in CAFO's economic arguments, talks about benefits of alternative systems, and shows graphic photos of manure piles.
Confined Animal Feeding Operations Cost Taxpayers Billions, New Report Finds
Science Group Calls for Policies that Reduce CAFO Subsidies and Encourage Modern, Sustainable Meat, Milk and Egg Production
WASHINGTON (April 24, 2007) – Misguided federal farm policies have encouraged the growth of massive confined animal feeding operations, or CAFOs, by shifting billions of dollars in environmental, health and economic costs to taxpayers and communities, according to a report released today by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). As a result, CAFOs now produce most of the nation's beef, pork, chicken, dairy and eggs, even though there are more sophisticated and efficient farms in operation.
“CAFOs aren't the natural result of agricultural progress, nor are they the result of rational planning or market forces,” said Doug Gurian-Sherman, a senior scientist in UCS's Food and Environment Program and author of the report. “Ill-advised policies created them, and it will take new policies to replace them with more sustainable, environmentally friendly production methods.”
“CAFOs Uncovered: The Untold Costs of Confined Animal Feeding Operations” enumerates the policies that have allowed CAFOs to dominate U.S. meat and dairy production. For example, it found that from 1997 to 2005 taxpayer-subsidized grain prices saved CAFOs nearly $35 billion in animal feed, which comprises a large percentage of their supply costs. Cattle operations that raise animals exclusively on pasture land do not benefit from the subsidy. (To read the full report, go to: http://www.ucsusa.org/food_and_environment/sustainable_food/cafos-uncovered.html)
The report also details how other federal policies give CAFOs hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to address their pollution problems, which stem from the manure generated by thousands, if not tens of thousands, of animals confined in a small area. The report estimates that CAFOs have received $100 million in annual pollution prevention payments in recent years through the federal Environmental Quality Incentives Program, which was established by the 2002 Farm Bill.
“If CAFOs were forced to pay for the ripple effects of harm they have caused, they wouldn't be dominating the U.S. meat industry like they are today,” said Margaret Mellon, director of UCS's Food and Environment Program. “The good news is that we can institute new policies that support animal production methods that benefit society rather than harm it.”
Instead of favoring CAFOs, the report recommends that government policies provide incentives for modern production methods that benefit the environment, public health and rural communities. The report also shows that several smart alternative production methods can offer meat and dairy at costs comparable to CAFO products.
For example, some livestock producers move beef and dairy cattle frequently to different areas of a pasture, enabling them to spread out manure, prevent overgrazing, and take advantage of grass as a cost-effective source of animal feed. Meanwhile, some hog farmers have built hog hoop barns—open-ended structures with curved roofs—as an alternative to confining the animals in cramped buildings.
“Many farmers are succeeding when they work with nature instead of against it,” said Gurian-Sherman. “These savvy producers are proving that hog hoop barns, smart pasture operations, and other alternative methods can compete with the massive CAFOs. And that's despite the fact that the cards are stacked against them.”
In addition to steering taxpayer dollars away from CAFOs, the report also urges Congress to enforce laws that encourage competition so alternative producers can get their meat and dairy to consumers as easily as CAFOs. Making CAFOs, rather than taxpayers, pay to prevent or clean up the pollution they create is also critical, Gurian-Sherman said.
Mellon noted that next week the Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production is expected to issue its final report that documents the effects of intensive animal production on humans, animals, and the environment. “When taken together,” she said, “the two reports paint a grim picture of CAFOs and make strong, practical recommendations for new policies that can take us in a new, more efficient direction that will not fleece the American public.”
Iowa Farmers Union
PO Box 8988
Ames, IA 50014
Dean, Carter, Gingrich, Reid Booked for The Daily Show
By Coverage By Alex Weprin — Broadcasting & Cable
Comedy Central Ramps Up Political Guests for Indecision 2008
Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart announced a number of notable political figures that will appear as guests in the next two weeks as part of its “Indecision 2008” coverage.
Former President Jimmy Carter, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) will all appear on the program.
Carter will appear next Monday, April 28, followed by Gingrich April 29, Dean May 1 and Reid May 5.
The Daily Show and partner program The Colbert Report have been able to draw a number of political bigwigs as part of their 2008 election coverage, including all three current presidential hopefuls.
Trish and Ellen Step Down from RR
By Iowa RR
After four years of building and nurturing the Rapid Response list-serve, we have decided to step down from our positions as Iowa Coordinators. We will remain on the list as active members.
We are proud of our accomplishments and appreciate the hard work and progressive activism of the members of this list.
Rapid Response will live on in the capable hands of Dave and Carol Bradley who have generously agreed to take over as moderators/coordinators. So, please don't go anywhere and stay tuned for LTE campaigns for progressive local, state and national candidates.
If you would be interested in helping grow the RR list by recruiting new members, Dave and Carol would appreciate any help or volunteers.
Contact Dave and Carol at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Trish and Ellen
Odor Study Vote Reveals Corporate Lobby Influence
Kristin Schaaf, Iowa
Citizens for Community Improvement
The Iowa Senate voted last night with a 29-17-4 vote to pass
the odor study, House File 2688, a bill that requires taxpayers to foot the
bill of nearly $23 million to study factory farm odor over the next five years.
The bill passed with two amendments, which means it will go back to the House
for a final debate.
Iowans are disappointed in the legislators’ obvious catering
to the corporate agriculture lobbyists rather than listening to the needs of
everyday people. This study is nothing but a stall tactic for factory farms to
not enact clean air standards. A 2002 joint study by the University
of Iowa and Iowa
State revealed that Iowans need
clean air standards for hydrogen sulfide and ammonia, which are toxic to our
Our legislators have put the needs of corporate lobbyists
before the needs of everyday Iowans. It’s time for Voter Owned Iowa Clean
Elections – a system where people matter more, and money matters less. And it’s
time for our legislators to stand up for what’s right and enact policies that
benefit the common good.
“Iowa Terror” on the radio
By Mike Palecek
and funny and dry as a dead Iowa corn snake baking in the sun. Palecek
delivers a quick, deadpan slap to reactionary, mindless post-9/11
America. The sting is delightful.”
Protect Iowa’s Air Quality and Taxpayers’ Dollars.
By Leigh Adcock, IFU
This handout was composed by our lobbyist Judie Hoffman and her college intern Dan Thele, and handed to all legislators last week. Please make contact with YOUR legislators about this bill and tell them you oppose it!
It Is Time For Action, Not Another Study
The “Livestock Odor Research and Air Modeling Study” included in HF
2862 is a seriously flawed piece of legislation because it delays
progress in improving Iowa’s air quality. Now is the time when we
should be acting on current scientific findings in order to protect
agricultural workers and those who live in rural Iowa.
Action on Air Quality Needed Now
Research has already been done on cost effective ways to mitigate
odor. Included are better siting methods, and the use of biofilters
and covers on lagoons. Iowa’s taxpayers should not be required to fund
another round of studies on proven technologies when the legislature
has not shown any willingness to act on the information already
gathered from previous studies. Instead we should require producers to
implement what we already know.
has enacted ambient air quality standards that limit hydrogen sulfide
to 0.05 parts per million and is working on limiting ammonia
emissions. Missouri, Nebraska, and Colorado regulate sulfur emissions
and emissions of other types.
Health Effects of Gases and Particulates
Emitted From Livestock Operations
Ammonia and hydrogen sulfide, two odor causing gases emitted from confined
feedlot operations, are known to cause serious respiratory problems.
The bacteria found within particulates
emitted from livestock operations create lung inflammation that leads to
non-allergic asthma. Twenty-five percent of those who work in confined
feedlot operations have some form of respiratory disease, 10% higher than the United States working
population as a whole.
Before Iowa funds another odor study, Iowa Farmers Union
urges you to act on scientific information that has already been
gathered. Regulations should be put on ammonia and hydrogen sulfide
emissions and the health effects of emissions from livestock operations
should be investigated. If this is not done, the proposed study will
amount to little more than a means to further delay action on this
CRITICAL VOTE: Will Your Representative Vote Against Iowa Women?
By Nicole McLuen, Field Director- Healthy Families
This is your last chance to defend family-planning for low-income women in the Iowa House.
Will your Representative vote against Iowa’s women because they didn’t hear from you?
Poisonous, anti-Planned Parenthood, and anti-woman amendments will be offered TODAY to strip funding from the Healthy Families line-item.
The more support constituents can give to our Representatives the better armed they will be to take a stand against the opposition.
Iowa Right to Life has been gathering support among Representatives to strip funding from this vital program.
If Iowa Right to Life truly valued reducing abortions in Iowa, they would support preventative contraceptive and family planning programs to prevent unintended pregnancies in the first place. Unfortunately, their attack machine is only focused on Planned Parenthood despite this program’s effectiveness.
Take a minute right now to ensure your Representative knows your position on this vital issue. Over 100,000 Iowa women are in need of this program… without your support, they may continue to go without.
Will your Representative vote with Iowa Right to Life because they didn’t hear from you?
Thanks for all that you do!
Hike to Help Refugees event, May 3
By Beth Pearson
Enjoy the outdoors and get together with friends for a great cause at the Iowa Corridor's second annual Hike to Help Refugees, Saturday May 3, 2008!
You will be entertained by music and activities on a scenic 8 mile route (2 mile alternate) ending with a family friendly festival of music, Sudanese food, an international fair, and games for children.The hike will start and end at the Riverside Festival Stage at City Park in Iowa City.
Each participant is asked to raise at least $80, which is enough to provide shelter for a refugee family of five. One hundred percent of money raised by hikers goes directly to providing the basic need of shelter for refugees.
UNHCR reported in 2007 that the number of refugees around the world–most of them women and children–has increased to its highest level in four years. Imagine being forced from your home with no place to go; the Hike to Help Refugees website makes it easy for you to make a difference for a family of refugees. Use our website to send automatic emails to a list of friends and allow them to electronically sponsor your hike.
For more information, to register online, or to make a donation, visit our website at: www.hiketohelprefugees.org
Can''t hike? Make a difference with your donation at www.hiketohelprefugees.org/donate
A refugee''s road can be long. Join us on May 3, 2008 to help make it a little shorter.
Iowa Policy Project
120 N. Dubuque St., Suite 208
Iowa City, IA 52245