Lynn Gallager Letter to the Editor in the Des Moines Register 12/5/16

The recent Register editorial asked why candidates don’t talk about food [Editorial: Why don’t candidates talk about food? Jan. 30]. I would like to know why no one seems willing to talk about the failures of the industrial livestock system?

The federal government spent a billion dollars dealing with the bird flu in 2015. Iowa’s secretary of agriculture asked our Legislature for half a million dollars for 2016 to deal with bird flu and similar problems. They have said that the bird flu will return, that it’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. This is taxpayer money being spent on private enterprises. Have they decided these businesses are too big to fail, so the taxpayers will be continuously asked to bail them out?

A similar problem occurred in 2013 and 2014, when disease outbreaks affected pigs in 31 states. Seven million pigs died. This could happen again and again.

When is someone going to tell the truth? Concentrated animal feeding operations should not exist. Taxpayers should not be keeping them afloat. They are degrading the environment and they are torturing animals. They overuse antibiotics and are incubators of disease including superbugs. They put public health at risk. And they want to keep their dirty business behind closed doors.

The Feb. 1 New York Times editorial “No More Exposés in North Carolina,” sheds light on factory farms and the ag gag laws that are passed to keep the public in the dark.

Please do not support factory farming. We need to phase it out.

— Lynn Gallagher, Solon

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