|To the Editor: BG resident opposes Issue 2|
|Written by Stephen H. Vessey|
|Monday, 12 October 2009 08:20|
Here are a few of the reasons why I am voting no on Issue 2:
1. It does not belong in the State Constitution; that document was intended to deal with fundamental principles of governance.
2. Laws governing the treatment of animals can, and should be, dealt with at the legislative level, as is happening in other states.
3. Standards boards need to be independent of the entities they regulate. The proposed board would be chaired by the head of the Ohio Department of Agriculture, the same agency that promotes industrial farming in the state and that is wresting regulatory control from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. In this instance, the fox really is going to be guarding the chicken house.
4. As proposed, this board would seem to be judge and jury in making decisions about food safety. The way animals are housed is about much more than any pain and suffering animals might experience. Confining animals often requires the use of antibiotics, promoting the appearance of resistant strains of bacteria. Strains of bacteria lethal to humans are much more prevalent in the confined facilities where most of our food-production animals are now housed.
In sum, this proposed amendment to our constitution seems to be a thinly veiled attempt by the food industry to maintain control of all aspects of animal food production in this state.
Stephen H. Vessey
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