Debate over Prop. 2 continues in earnest

Sep 30, 2008

An article in the San Diego Union Tribune over the weekend presented both sides of the debate over Proposition 2, the initiative on the November ballot that, if passed, will set new standards for farm animal confinement.

The story implied that UC Riverside poultry specialist emeritus Don Bell is an "opponent of the measure" when it followed a statement about concerns that Prop 2 will increase food prices with his quote.

According to the story, Bell said:

“Pennies, nickels, dimes and dollars add up as today's prices for everything (increase) – not just eggs and not just food. Unjustifiable cost increases are a luxury we simply can't impose upon the public in today's troubled economy.”

The story included a wide variety of viewpoints on the measure:

“It will put us out of business.” - Ryan Armstrong, Valley Center farmer

"It would be a bad idea.” - Nancy Reimers, Gustine veterinarian

“These animals are sacrificed for the benefit of people. The least we owe them is to treat them humanely.” - Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society of the United States

“If anybody who buys eggs went to one of those factories, you would have a hard time convincing them to keep buying those eggs.” - Nigel Walker, Dixon farmer

"'Battery' cages are certainly promoting suffering." - Ixchel Mosley, Eastlake veterinarian

“This is not a trivial effect for the individual farmer, to the allied businesses associated with egg production and to the egg-consuming public." - Don Bell

“The most likely outcome . . . is the elimination of almost all of the California egg industry over a very few years.” - Dan Sumner, director of the UC Agricultural Issues Center

By Jeannette E. Warnert
Author - Communications Specialist