Energy & Environment

More than half of Americans support more oversight of factory farms: poll

More than 50 percent of Americans think that the government should provide more oversight of companies with industrial-sized animal feeding operations, according to a new poll.

The survey of registered voters in Iowa and North Carolina from the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future found broad support for oversight and regulation of factory farms and other large-scale animal operations, while much fewer Americans supported a reduction in such oversight.

Fifty-seven percent of Americans said that a lot or a little more oversight was needed of the industry, while 29 percent said that the amount of government regulation should remain the same. Just 6 percent said that the government was too strict with the factory farming industry.

“These poll results demonstrate that Americans want safer, more sustainable food animal production methods that work for local communities,” said said Bob Martin, director of the Food System Policy Program at the center.

“[Americans] are concerned about the impact of CAFOs on human health, water and air, and the environment, and they want government officials to take decisive action to curb these impacts,” he added.

The center’s poll found that roughly a quarter of registered voters in the two states had negative views of factory farms, while less had a positive opinion and the majority were indifferent or had no opinion.

The poll surveyed 1,000 registered voters between Oct. 6-13, plus 417 in Iowa and 418 in North Carolina. The margin of error among the national population sample was 3.1 percentage points, while the margin of error among the North Carolina and Iowa samples was 5 percentage points.

This article was updated at 4:45 p.m. on 12/10


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