Constitutional Law

Right-to-farm amendment goes before Missouri voters

Missouri voters on Tuesday will consider changing their state constitution to guarantee the right to “engage in farming and ranching practices.”

More than $1 million has been spent in campaigns for and against the proposal, known as Amendment 1, the New York Times reports.

Agricultural groups and corporations support the amendment as a way to combat laws such as Oregon’s ban on genetically modified crops and California’s ban on the sale of eggs from hens kept in small cages, the story says. Opponents include the Humane Society of the United States, which successfully fought to regulate dog breeding in Missouri.

North Dakota passed a right-to-farm constitutional amendment in 2012. So far, there has been little impact, according to Rusty Rumley, a senior staff attorney for the National Agricultural Law Center at the University of Arkansas. He told the Times it’s difficult to predict how the Missouri amendment would play out.

“Really and truly, I don’t think anybody knows,” Rumley told the newspaper. “The thing with constitutional amendments is, they’re written to be broad. It could take quite a while to know what it’s all going to mean.”

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