Posted on Apr. 11, 2007
By John Ikerd
Springfield News-Leader

Koster Not Telling the Truth

An open letter to Sen. Chris Koster: You owe your colleagues and the people of Missouri an apology. I was in the Missouri Senate gallery during the presentation of your CAFO bill, SB-364, on April 3.

I heard you tell your colleagues there is no credible scientific evidence linking concentrated animal feeding operations to human health risks. Either you were completely ignoring the stack of scientific research reports provided at your Senate Agriculture Committee hearings on this bill or you were intentionally misleading your colleagues. Extensive research on this issue has been conducted by scientific institutions such as the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health, University of North Carolina Medical School and University of Iowa Medical School. A large body of scientific research indicates significant health risks associated with CAFOs, while only a few studies have failed to find a definite link between CAFOs and human health.

You may choose to disagree with the dominant scientific opinion on this issue, but to deny its existence is either to admit to incompetence or deny the truth. "Nothing is Politically Right that is Morally Wrong," as is written on the wall of the Senate chamber.

John Ikerd, professor emeritus of agricultural economics, University of Missouri, Columbia

Springfield News-Leader: http://www.news-leader.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070411/OPINIONS03/704110311/1069/OPINIONS

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