Representatives from California and Wisconsin have introduced a bill called the Farmer Fairness Act. The bill deals with environmental liability that Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation contract farmers are already subject to under the Clean Water Act.
Under the new bill, that liability would extend to the poultry and meat companies that they contract with to sell their livestock and poultry. In announcing the legislation, the sponsors said, “Large agribusiness companies like Tyson and Perdue buy livestock and animal products from farmers. The companies control the way the livestock is fed, medicated, and housed. They dictate what equipment and capital the farmer has to use.
Farmers often don’t make enough to live off of because the cost of the operations, which are mandated by the companies, can leave farmers in the red.” They say through all of that, the farmer also takes on environmental liability as well. The bill is supported by groups like the National Farmers Union, Food and Water Watch, and the Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement.