March 10, 2014
The debate over the stench from hog farms has new traction in Missouri.
Some say the state's flawed right-to-farm legislation encourages multimillion-dollar lawsuits.
Kansas City attorney Charlie Speer has at least 350 cases pending in Missouri against large hog operations. In contrast, only three were on file in Iowa, the nation's biggest pork-producing state with more than six times the number of hogs Missouri produces.
Speer says Iowa's hog farms are traditionally family-run. But his targets in Missouri are corporate mega-farms.
But Virginia-based Smithfield Foods says the lawsuits are all about money. The company says Missouri sets no limits on how much a plaintiff can recover for an alleged nuisance.
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