Hamburger heaven — for corporate farms

From Margot Ford McMillen at the Progressive Populist:

Right now, in a state house near you, a few amoral lobbyists and politicians are working their black magic. They are few because they’ve bought out or squeezed out all the smaller companies. And they are powerful.

In Iowa, lawmakers are pushing for a bill to label and punish people who complain about factory farms in their neighborhood. The so-called “chronic complainers” may be researchers or they may be citizens trying to protect their families and their real estate investments, but under this law if you complain three times about industrialized agriculture, you are labeled and you have no right to be heard.

In 13 states, there are already laws against disparagement of agriculture. In the words of South Dakota’s version, this includes “dissemination … of any information … that an agricultural food product is not safe for consumption … or that generally accepted agricultural and management practices make … food products unsafe …”

That was the law that Oprah fought in Texas when she was prosecuted for saying she’d not eat another hamburger. She won the battle, by the way, but the war is still on.