Target: Loretta E. Lynch, Attorney General of the United States
Goal: Prevent further farm consolidations to protect small farms.
Rural economies have been decimated in the past decade with the rise of factory farms. Due to current farm subsidy distributions and generally lower crop prices, small farmers aren’t able to make enough money to remain in business and are forced to sell to large factory farms, also known as agribusinesses. In most industries, mergers and acquisitions must not create a monopoly. In agriculture, it has continued largely unchecked and created a highly consolidated business environment where the small farmer can no longer compete.
These agribusinesses aren’t currently well regulated for environmental impacts and the manure runoff enters streams and ground water at an alarming rate. The crowded and unnatural living conditions for animals is nothing short of abusive and leaves them susceptible to illness, which drives the overuse of antibiotics.
In addition to polluting the water supply, these factory farms have other health impacts, including the introduction and use of GMOs. Neighbors and workers report numerous health complaints, ranging from headaches and nausea to longer-term health impacts. The odor from the manure doesn’t just smell, it also releases toxic pollution into the air, which likely contributes to the reported health issues.
By enabling small farms to compete, and reinstating those that were forced to sell to agribusinesses, animals, people, and the environment will all benefit. The food supply will be healthier as animals will no longer live in overcrowded, unhealthy, and abusive conditions. Air and water will be cleaner as small farms produce less manure and often reuse it as fertilizer for other crops. Rural economies will rebound with the reintroduction of family farms. The economic recovery will flow out to the entire U.S. Urge the Department of Justice to prevent any further consolidations in the farming industry and revisit those it has already approved by signing this petition.
Dear Attorney Lynch,
Family farms need your help. Over the past decade countless small farmers have lost their livelihood, and often sole source of income, to the rise of factory farms. These factory farms have been allowed to grow and acquire small farms largely unchecked for years, creating a virtual monopoly in the agricultural industry. These monopolies harm the consumer, the environment, the animals on the farms, and public health.
Since the Department of Justice approves farm consolidations, it is a key element in returning the agricultural industry to family farms and improving public and environmental health. We, the undersigned, urge the Department of Justice to return farming to rural families by preventing any further mergers or acquisitions in agriculture and by revisiting those it has already approved.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: skeeze