The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Email:,info(at)fwwatch(dot)org,Seth Gladstone -,

Issue 2 Passes: Agribusiness Rewrites Ohio's Constitution

Statement of Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter


"The Farm Bureau-sponsored campaign to change Ohio's constitution and
give industrialized agriculture control over livestock issues succeeded
with the passage of ballot Issue 2. Consumers, small family farmers and
the neighbors of large, industrialized animal operations are the

"The grassroots coalition opposing Issue 2, Ohio
Against Constitutional Takeover (Ohio ACT), faced a David and Goliath
battle. Outspent by a factor of 40 to 1, the coalition faced-off
against an entrenched, well-financed and powerful industry."

for Livestock Care Political Action Committee (PAC), a coalition
representing major corporate agribusiness, and headed by a Farm Bureau
staff member, spent over $4 million on Issue 2. Concerned that the
filthy and inhumane practices of large-scale animal operations could be
regulated under state law in the future, the ballot initiative changed
the state's constitution to protect agribusiness.

Ohioans who voted in favor of Issue 2 would be shocked to know that the
newly created entity, the Livestock Care Standards Board, clears the
way for factory-style animal operations to self-regulate."

the leadership of the Farm Bureau, agribusiness cynically lied to Ohio
voters. They claimed to be protecting small farmers and consumers, but
the real beneficiaries are the large monopolistic corporations that
control meat production. By pouring millions of dollars into a media
campaign misrepresenting the goals of Issue 2, the industry essentially
"bought" the right to regulate itself and to circumvent the Ohio

"The Farm Bureau and their allies were so afraid
of the truth that they attempted to use their financial clout to
silence their opponents' criticisms and suppress their constitutional
right to freedom of speech. They pressured radio stations to drop Food
& Water Watch's ad opposing Issue 2. They filed complaints with
the state election commission in an attempt to intimidate us.

whole country is now watching Ohio to see what the new Livestock Care
Standards Board will do with its power. Food & Water Watch, and its
Ohio ACT allies, will closely monitor this board, redoubling our
efforts to get the state legislature and governor to rein in large
corporate agribusiness."

Food & Water Watch mobilizes regular people to build political power to move bold and uncompromised solutions to the most pressing food, water, and climate problems of our time. We work to protect people's health, communities, and democracy from the growing destructive power of the most powerful economic interests.

(202) 683-2500