Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker co-sponsor bill to phase out factory farming


U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker are co-sponsoring a bill that would phase out large-scale factory farming.

Booker first proposed the Farm System Reform Act in December of 2019 but last week, added Warren and Rep. Ro Khanna as co-sponsors.

The legislation would ban new controlled animal feeding operations (CAFOs) and shutter those that already exist by 2040. It uses the EPA definition of a “large concentrated animal feeding operation.” This means it is targeting farms with at least 700 cows, 2,500 hogs, 1,000 cattle or 125,000 chickens.

“For years, regulators looked the other way while giant multinational corporations crushed competition in the agriculture sector and seized control over key markets,” Warren said in a statement. “The COVID-19 crisis will make it easier for Big Ag to get even bigger, gobble up smaller farms, and lead to fewer choices for consumers.....We need to attack this consolidation head-on and give workers, farmers, and consumers bargaining power in our farm and food system.”

Booker added that large multinational corporations like Tyson, Smithfield and JBS have “undue influence” over both the market place and public policy.

“Our food system was not broken by the pandemic and it was not broken by independent family farmers,” he said.