(STATEHOUSE) - The House could vote next week to send a farmers' rights bill to Governor Pence's desk.
The House Agriculture Committee gave a 12-1 endorsement to a bill declaring farmers have a right to use any "generally accepted" farming practices. Farm groups say the bill is needed to protect the industry from attack by environmental and animal-rights activists.
Hoosier Environmental Council attorney Kim Ferraro argues many legal farm practices, from confined feeding operations to genetically modified crops, should be open to scrutiny. The Indiana Farm Bureau says the bill doesn't order judges to rule a certain way -- it just ensures the legislature's original intent is honored.
The one-paragraph bill says laws "shall be construed to protect the rights of farmers to choose among all generally accepted farming and livestock production practices."
South Bend Democrat Patrick Bauer cast the only no vote. The Senate has already approved the measure 40-8.
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