A perilous proposal


It might have been a Freudian slip, but the sentiment expressed by a proponent of a state question that would grant state constitutional protections to agricultural practices, procedures and technology portends peril.

An Oklahoma Farm Bureau member drumming up support for State Question 777 said the so-called Right to Farm and Ranch Amendment is needed to shield the industry from new laws and regulations. In doing so she longed for the days before some pesticides were removed from the market after they were proven hazardous to human health and the environment.

Comments like this raise concerns about SQ 777 and the motive of those peddling it. Some of its supporters describe themselves as the “original environmentalists” yet they employ technologies suspected to be less than safe.

Questions are being raised today about health and environmental risks of glyphosate, a popular herbicide used extensively in agricultural settings. The passage of SQ 777 would cripple the ability to address this growing concern and others — both known and unknown.

Proponents argue the amendment to the state’s constitution would ensure a “safe and affordable food supply.” But they resist efforts to mandate labeling for genetically modified foods and continue to pump antibiotics into animals being fed for market even though that practice threatens public health.

SQ 777 would be a boondoggle for the agriculture industry and a public risk. It would threaten the ability to protect human health, public safety and the environment.