Legislators debate loss of ‘local control’ in agriculture proposal

A new bill sponsored by Rep. Bill Reiboldt, R-Neosho, would prevent local government from regulating or creating any ordinances or rules regarding “seeds, fertilizers or soil conditioners” for Missouri farmers.

Reiboldt says farmers “just want to be regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Missouri Department of Agriculture.”

The bill was approved by the House this week and sent to the Senate. If approved by senators, it would go to Gov. Eric Greitens for his signature. If the bill passes, counties wouldn’t have the ability to regulate or create health ordinances regarding agricultural inputs.

Opponents of the bill say that it could specifically limit counties from creating any future regulations regarding facilities including concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs, which pose threats to the environment and public health, largely due to the amount of manure they produce, which can affect air or water quality, according to the CDC.

Reiboldt said the bill would not impact CAFOs because the ban on local action would not include regulations that relate to CAFOs or the manure they store.

Read more: Columbia Missourian

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