64 farm groups urge Congress to reject Rep. King’s rurality attack
Washington, D.C. – Today, 64 farm groups sent a letter to members of the House Agriculture Committee urging them to reject H.R. 4879/3599. This legislation, which Rep. Steve King (R-IA) intends to insert into the 2018 Farm Bill, is a direct attack on the rights of local and state governments to create policies that provide market opportunities for family farmers and protect rural communities.
Farm and food organizations from across the country, including the Organization for Competitive Markets, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, National Farmers Organization, National Family Farm Coalition, Family Farm Action and many more, have joined forces to stop this outrageous legislation.
The letter states, “Farming practices and environmental conditions vary widely throughout the United States and largely are governed by those at the local level who best understand their community. H.R. 4879/3599 seeks to mandate a one-size-fits-all approach by establishing a race to the bottom on any standard of production or manufacture of agricultural products.”
King’s legislation would wipe out most state and local laws regarding the production or manufacture of agricultural products, only to benefit a few corporate agribusiness interests.
King’s legislation, called the “Protect Interstate Commerce Act,” violates the 10th Amendment and would more aptly be called the “States’ Rights Elimination Act.” It negates laws governing pesticide application, farm labor, consumer protections like BPA free baby food containers and farm safeguards such as the transport of commodities like diseased firewood, to name a few.
Farmers and ranchers will not stand idly by as Representative King attacks their rights. The letter to Congress concludes, “We urge you to side with farmers, small businesses, consumers, and local governments over corporate agribusiness interests by rejecting H.R. 4879/3599’s attempt to override the right of citizens to maintain control of food and farming locally.”
–Organization for Competitive Markets