Opponent of Prop. 2 offers another point of view

Sep 4, 2008

Since I wrote about the Huffington Post blog aimed at drumming up votes for Prop. 2, I want to give the flip side from a column that ran in the California Farm Bureau's publication AgAlert.

Written by Jill Benson, vice president of a 100-year-old agriculture outfit in Modesto, the article said the initiative is "a risky, dangerous and costly measure -- because it threatens our food safety and public health by putting us at increased risk for Salmonella contamination and avian influenza (bird flu)."

She said farmers' first concern is always the healthful, humane care of hens.

"Prop. 2 bans the safe, humane practices our state's farmers developed based on generations of experience and expert advice," Benson wrote.

Proponents of Prop. 2 say the hens live in cages so small that the birds can’t spread their wings, nest, dust-bathe, perch or walk more than a few steps.

For her column, Benson cited the recently released UC Davis economic impact study, which, she noted, found that passage of Prop. 2 will eliminate almost all of the state's egg industry in five years and further harm the state's economy due to resulting job and revenue losses.

As a result, California will lose thousands of jobs and $615 million in economic activity and millions more in lost state and local tax revenues, the article says.

By Jeannette E. Warnert
Author - Communications Specialist