Letter to the Editor

Why Clay County Board Of Supervisors needs to stand up to big pork

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

ďAs a physician, I should be 'pro' factory farming. Think of all the new patients I could care for! The toxic gases, bacteria, and dander spewed into the air by CAFOs will increase the number of children that develop asthma if they live or go to school within 3 miles of a CAFO. Imagine all the elderly who would suffer from COPD and other respiratory illnesses because of exposure to the same toxic air. Multiple studies show residents living near CAFOs have more ER visits and poorer health than the rest of the population. Imagine all those that could become sick with antibiotic resistant bacteria, or those that would need care because they developed swine flu and other viruses spread from CAFOs to humans. I should see CAFOs with dollar signs in my eyes ... all that increased revenue I could make!

But I donít see it that way. I took an oath. First, do no harm. Second, do my best to care for my patients. I believe that extends to speaking out against anything that promises to threaten the health and well-being of others. CAFOs and the waste they produce do just that. Fifty years of scientific and medical research articles discuss the health risks for people who work in CAFOs and those that live near them." ó Dr. Julie Reiland, Avera McKennan

Not to mention the smell, and the 750 polluted water bodies in Iowa. Supervisor Barry Anderson said he hoped "Iowa Select would do business in Clay County again." I'd bet most Clay County residents would disagree. No one deserves to live near an open pit filled with millions of gallons of feces and urine, especially children and elderly who are most affected by CAFO air pollution. It's time the Clay County Board Of Supervisors looks beyond "business as usual" to the damage that CAFOs cause to our air, water, and public health. Any local or state leader who would not be willing to put their own family beside 5,000 to 7,000 hogs and the sewage they create should not be voting to do it to someone else. Let's encourage the supervisors to join the 17 other Iowa counties who are supporting a moratorium of new CAFOs until the Legislature develops adequate regulations to protect the public health and our environment. Anyone interested in ensuring that Clay County is a safe and healthy place for families please attend the Oct. 10 BOS meeting 10-11 a.m. in the Administration Building, 300 W. Fourth St.

ó Joan Olive, Spirit Lake