SQ 777 Opponents Voice Concerns About Farming Amendment

Sunday, September 18th 2016, 11:45 pm
By: News On 6

State Question 777 opponents said they won't stop pushing to get the measure voted down.

Opponents of the state question said voting it through would have a negative impact on farmers and everyone else.

It's known as the "Right to Farm" amendment, and opponents held a meeting Sunday to recruit people to spread the word on why they say State question 777 is so wrong.

This meeting in Tulsa is one of many Vote No on State question 777 members have been conducting across the state.

The people who showed up heard from Drew Edmondson.

He's the chairman of the Oklahoma Stewardship council: A group that has dubbed the state question "Right to Harm."

"If you are small farmer and the competitive disadvantage you face now that has driven a lot of small farmers out of business is only going to get worse. And more small farms are going to disappear if 777 is on the books,” said Drew Edmondson, Oklahoma Stewardship Council Chairman.

He said the state question is misleading and that Oklahomans already have the right to farm.

State Question 777 actually calls for the right to make use of agricultural technology, use of livestock procedures, and use of ranching practices, he said.

Opponent Pat Daly said that wording of the amendment is the problem.

"They will have cart blanche to do whatever they want,” said Pat Daly, SQ 777 Opponent.

If the amendment is voted in, farmers would no longer face *new government regulations.

"They won't be able to use any agricultural regulations at all to protect the health and welfare and safety of the citizens of Oklahoma forever. Forever is a long time,” Daly said.

Edmondson said they'd be able to "farm" as they see fit.

So treatment of animals, pesticides use would be left up to the individual’s discretion.

"It's gonna be harder and harder for consumers to find the kind of produce they do want to buy that is hormone free and not genetically modified,” Edmondson said.

Numerous organizations and individuals, including many farmers, are standing together to defeat State Question 777. Those opposing the proposal include Inter-Tribal Council of the Five Civilized Tribes, Oklahoma Municipal League, League of Women Voters, Edmond City Council, the Association of Central Oklahoma Governments, Save the Illinois River, Conservation Coalition of Oklahoma, Humane Society of the United States, Humane Society Legislative Fund, Bella Foundation, Oklahomans for Food, Farm and Family, Oklahoma Food Cooperative, Sierra Club, Oklahoma Welfare League, Oklahoma Alliance for Animals and Oklahoma Coalition of Animal Rescuers.

The Oklahoma Stewardship Council is a coalition of family farmers, community leaders and concerned citizens opposing State Question 777. For more information about the OSC, visit About No on 777

For more information from proponents of SQ 777, visit Oklahoma Right To Farm.