Iowa Agenda 21 Ban Pushed By Conservatives

02/05/2013 07:06 pm ET | Updated Feb 05, 2013

A Republican state representative in Iowa told lawmakers Tuesday that a bill banning the implementation of the United Nations sustainability program in the state is "not tinfoil-hat stuff."

During a subcommittee meeting on a law to ban implementation of United Nations Agenda 21 in Iowa, state Rep. Ralph Watts (R-Adel) told lawmakers that the sustainability plan is part of a worldwide movement to end private property rights in the United States, radioiowa.com reported. Agenda 21 was signed by U.N. members in 1992. Never ratified by the U.S. Senate, the program does not contain the force of law in the United States. Opposition to Agenda 21 has been a popular issue for Tea Party state legislators around the country in the last year.

“There’s some signals out there that we need to be concerned about. This is not tinfoil-hat stuff, I guarantee you,” Watts said, radioiowa.com reported. “A lot of people haven’t focused on it. They really aren’t aware of it, but it’s very real.”

Watts also compared the U.N. program to pornography after state Rep. Todd Taylor (D-Cedar Rapids) questioned if the bill was "a solution in search of a problem?"

“Oh no, there’s a problem alright, but it’s hard to define,” Watts said, kcrg.com reports. "It’s kind of like defining pornography. I know it when I see it but it’s hard to define."

State Rep. Dawn Pettengill (R-Mount Auburn) told the subcommittee that she fears that Agenda 21 would force her and others to move into urban areas, radioiowa.com reported.

Agenda 21 has been on the rise nationally at the state level. Virginia lawmakers passed a resolution opposing Agenda 21 on Monday and last year, Alabama passed a ban. The Missouri House Tourism Committee heard testimony on an Agenda 21 ban last week, while a bill to prevent the legislation is pending in New Hampshire.

Missouri state Rep. Lyle Rowland (R-Cedercreek) told the Tourism committee that Agenda 21 details "will likely make your hair fall out." New Hampshire state Rep. Lenette Peterson (R-Merrimack) told The Huffington Post in November that research from the John Birch Society has shown Agenda 21 is being implemented in the U.S.

In October, then Georgia Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers (R-Woodstock) sponsored a four-hour workshop for Republican senators, where a birther activist said that President Barack Obama and the U.N. are using "mind-control" to implement Agenda 21. The activist also compared Obama's rural policies to the genocide programs of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin and Chinese dictator Mao Zedong. Rogers later said he did not know the content of the workshop in advance.

Democrats have largely opposed the Agenda 21 bills. Last year, then-New Hampshire state Rep. Christopher Serlin (D-Portsmouth) called the issues "real tinfoil-hat material," and then Kansas state Rep. Mike Slattery (D-Mission) condemned his colleagues as "stupid is as stupid does" for considering the issue.

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