A northwest Iowa operation which may eventually yield a human blood substitute has won a major victory at the Iowa Statehouse. Two veterinarians formed “Trans Ova Genetics” in Sioux Center in 1979. Now, the business seeks federal approval to raise cows to produce an animal by-product that may one day account for one-quarter of the world’s blood supply for humans. There’s one obstacle, though, and that’s the Iowa law which prohibits corporate ownership of farmland and livestock. The Iowa House voted last night to allow an exception when livestock is raised for “life science” enterprises. Representative Dwayne Alons of Hull is a northwest Iowa farmer who backs the project. He calls it a new frontier in modifying animals to produce human products that could be usefularound the world.Representative Effie Boggess of Clarinda said it was an exciting new enterprise.But there were critics, like Representative Keith Weigel of New Hampton, who argued against any excep tions to Iowa’s ban on corporate ownership of livestock or farmland. He says the bill would throw out what family farmers consider an important protection.Weigel said the bill lets a corporation shut out family farmers because the corporation will own a cow from birth ’til slaughter — what’s known in business as “vertical integration.” In an emmotional plea he says the bill makes him “sick”The bill passed on an 88 to five vote and now goes to the Senate for consideration.too late.
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