Sending Office: Honorable Ro Khanna
Cosponsor the Farmer Fairness Act
Current cosponsors: Reps. Pocan, Lofgren, and Blumenauer
Supporting Organizations: Food and Water Watch, the National Farmers Union, and Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement
I invite you to cosponsor the Farmer Fairness Act. The bill would extend the same Clean Water Act environmental liability requirements of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) contract farmers to integrator companies.
As you may know, large agribusiness companies contract with farmers to buy livestock and animal products. The companies, commonly referred to as integrators, impose strict contracts on these farmers. The companies own the livestock and often control the
way the animals are fed, medicated and sheltered.
Additionally, integrators dictate which equipment and capital the farmers have to use. Farmers often do not earn enough to make a good living because the cost of operations, as mandated by the companies, can leave the farmer in debt. Through all of this,
the farmer assumes the total environmental liability for the operation.
According to Food and Water Watch, CAFOs “…come with a host of environmental and public health impacts that are borne by consumers and communities. Factory farms produce millions of gallons of manure that can spill into waterways from leaking storage
lagoons or fields where manure is over-applied to soil.”
Moreover, CAFOs are required to obtain permits under the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System. However, they are not subject to the environmental liability despite
the overwhelming control that an integrator company has over contracted CAFOs. The Farmer Fairness Act
would change that by requiring integrator companies to share the responsibility for CAFO pollution.
If you would like to cosponsor this legislation or have any questions, please contact Kevin Fox in my office at
Kevin.Fox@mail.house.gov or at extension 5-2631.
Member of Congress
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