Top 10 Reasons Iowa Needs a Moratorium on Factory Farms
- Iowa has over 10,000 factory farms. In the last 5 years, the DNR found over 5,000 “unknown” facilities and 400-500 additional sites are built each year.
- Iowa has 26 million corporate owned hogs that produce over 22 billion gallons of untreated liquid manure and raw feces. According to recent studies, Iowa produces the most waste per square mile than any other state in the country.
- This waste is dumped untreated on fields across that state. Meanwhile, commercial fertilizer rates have stayed the same, meaning that double and sometimes triple the amount of nitrates are being applied, saturating farm fields across the state.
- Runoff from factory farm manure releases pollutants into our air and water, polluting Iowa’s 767 already impaired waterways.
- Time is of the essence. Climate change reports indicate that as temperatures increase so too will be likelihood of toxic blue green algae outbreaks that plague our beaches.
- Factory farms are a public health hazard, especially for populations with weakened immune systems such as children or older adults. A recent study found that high level of nitrates in Iowa’s drinking water contributes to over 300 cases of cancer annually in the state.
- Manure from factory farms emit substantial amounts of toxic air pollutants. Residents living near factory farms experience increased rates of asthma. Due to this increasing threat to public health, the American Public Health Association recently endorsed a nationwide moratorium on all new and expanding factory farms.
- Iowans don’t like factory farms. 1 in 4 counties have passed resolutions pushing the state to act by calling for a moratorium on new and expanded factory farms, local control, and/or a complete overhaul to the current system. According to survey by Johns Hopkins Center for a Liveable Future, 63% of Iowans think the state legislature should pass a proposal banning the construction of new CAFOs and the expansion of existing CAFOs.
- Factory farms are an economic drain on communities. Large corporate-owned factory farms extract profits and leave us with the pollution, lower property values, and ruin our quality of life. What we really need are independent family farms who buy locally, grow locally, and sell locally.
- We believe in an agricultural system that works for farmers, workers, eaters, and the environment. Our food and farm system belong in the hands of independent family farmers not under the control of a handful of giant corporations. The first step towards a better system of agriculture is a moratorium on new or expanding factory farms.
Talk to your county supervisors about passing a moratorium resolution. This non-binding resolution will send a powerful message to elected officials at the state level that everyday folks want a moratorium!