A new bill allowing factory farms to “go undercover” is currently advancing through the US Senate. S.2421 has a catchy title called the FARM (Fair Agriculture Reporting Method) Act.
A new bill allowing factory farms to “go undercover” is currently advancing through the US Senate. S.2421 has a catchy title called the FARM (Fair Agriculture Reporting Method) Act. The name itself would bring to mind family, farmers, fairness, and everything green. But in reality it is an industry sponsored cloak that exempts factory farms from a vital Superfund law which mandates reporting of dangerous air emissions released into U.S. communities.
All industries must report releases of toxic substances, however the largest industrial factory farms want to hide under the skirts of traditional agriculture with privileged exemptions that will pose a clear danger to public health.
Hydrogen sulfide and ammonia are just two of the hundreds of toxic gases produced by factory farms and are listed under the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.
Hydrogen Sulfide, a potent neurotoxin, can cause irreversible central nervous system damage even at chronic low ambient levels. Children are more vulnerable to this toxin according to the Journal of Environmental Science and Health. Ammonia emissions irritate tissue and inhibit the lungs’ ability to clear dusts resulting in cough, lung inflammation, edema, and scarring.
S.2421 opens an unreasonable loophole for the largest factory farms which should be regulated like any other industry. This bill shouldn’t be passed as a standalone bill, as part of a spending bill, or as part of this years’ Farm Bill. In order to protect Illinois communities from toxic pollution, Senator Durbin must ensure this bill does not become law.
Socially Responsible Agricultural Project
Illinois Citizens for Clean Air and Water