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The subsidy jackpot and California’s nitrate problem

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Critics of the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (previously known as food stamps) have been using recent news stories of lottery winners getting SNAP benefits to demonize the program, despite its very low instance of fraud. These attacks come when more than 40 million Americans – half of them children – rely on food stamps to get through a brutal recession.

But what would these critics say if about lottery winners who shared a $46 million dollar jackpot and received hundreds of thousands of dollars in farm subsidies for years after?

Perhaps we’ll hear from some of them at Thursday’s Senate Agriculture Committee hearing on the commodity title, i.e. farm subsidies.

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Animal waste and fertilizer from farming operations in California’s Salinas Valley and Tulare Lake Basin are responsible for 96 percent of the nitrate contamination in the area’s groundwater, a new study commissioned by the State Water Resources Control Board found. EWG issued this statement on the Water Resources Control Board report.

Food & Environment Reporting Network reporter Stett Holbrook takes an in-depth look at how nitrate pollution impacts local communities.

Bloomberg News reported on the issue of global agriculture pollution and its increasing cost economic impact on developing countries.

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Table Scraps:

-       Oxfam has partnered with Sex and the City star Kristin Davis in an effort to influence US policy so women worldwide can feed their families and communities.

-       Joe White, president of the Kane County Illinois Farm Bureau says that “Ethanol is responsible for holding the prices up, there’s no doubt,”

-       The editorial of the Redding California Searchlight’s on “Crop subsidies for the 1 percent”

-       My family sends me coveted Chimayo chilies every year, so this story in the Southwest Farm Press on New Mexico’s struggling chile crop is a total bummer.

-       Blistering Field and Stream piece by Pulitzer prize-winning outdoor columnist Bob Marshall on how “fish-and-game protections are in the path of a killer Congress.”

Tweet of the day:

? @wholesomewave Debunking Myths About Food Stamps fb.me/15jmbQsWh

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