Letter to the Pilot

Tuesday, November 12, 2002

Iowa's not a science project


Recently the University of Iowa's Center for Agricultural Safety and Health (ICASH) published a brochure highlighting the public health and community impacts of factory farms. The brochure is an excellent resource that provides yet another reason to be concerned about factory farms.

Factory farms are linked to respiratory and other illnesses, neurological and mood problems, and antimicrobial resistance, according to the brochure. People living near a factory farm may

experience diarrhea, headaches and nausea. Other effects include abnormal balance, grip strength and delays in verbal recall...

Senate File 2293, recently passed by the Iowa Legislature, requires the DNR to monitor airborne pollutants from factory farms. However, the bill says the DNR cannot enforce air quality rules until at least 2005.

This is outrageous! Sound science already tells us that factory farms cause serious health problems. In addition, there is plenty of evidence that factory farms destroy the economies of our local communities. In fact, the ICASH report states, "Citizens continue to express concerns about the public health and socioeconomic problems linked to large-scale (factory farms)."

The state of Iowa is not a science project and the owners of factory farms should not be allowed to experiment with our land, water and air.

Vern Tigges,