Recent letters submitted by the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association in support of Missouri Senate bill SB 391 clearly exposes their ignorance when it comes to health security for citizens of our communities. Their tactics are well scripted but misleading. They advance the fear concept that public health policies are going to prevent their personal future financial gains. Their scripted tactics are not supported by any science or experience and only promote unrealistic anxiety.

This Senate bill and a similar bill in the House (HB951) is meant to provide total freedom from any health benchmarks for large scale industrial farms otherwise known as Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs), and (much of) the hog operations are owned by Chinese and Brazilian corporations.

The real danger lies in an environment of no preventative health standards much like the days before our understanding how diseases are caused and spread like tuberculosis, sexually transmitted disease, polio, tetanus and the corporate denial of cigarette related illnesses. Because of these unregulated industries in states like Iowa and North Carolina, we are now seeing increasing scientific reports of the spread of drug resistant microorganisms, respiratory illnesses, increased mortality and loss of our dearly needed ground water in neighborhoods nears CAFOs.

Lobbying groups like the Missouri Farm Bureau tout improved technological advances in animal husbandry. While they may contribute to society via production of some necessary or desired good, as our population increases, we are rapidly becoming more aware of the impact on our own human health and our water resources. Increased meat production will be outweighed by an unhealthy community. That is why we must be able to set applicable health rules in our communities.

For these undeniable reasons, our senate and legislature must defeat Senate Bill 391 and House Bill 951 and allow communities to protect the health of their citizens. 

Everett Murphy M.D.

Corva Murphy

Cooper County