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Fixing Broken Food and Farm Policy

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Environmental Working Group released its 2012 farm bill platform today. We believe that Congress should enact farm and food policy legislation that: provides producers with an effective safety net at a lower cost to taxpayers; creates new markets for farm products; invests in conservation and nutrition programs that benefit all farmers and consumers; promotes greater consumption of fruits and vegetables; and meets the nation’s deficit reduction goals. Read the entire platform here.

EWG has long been a leading and vocal advocate for transparency and accountability in federal farm programs. With hundred of thousands of recipients collecting $250 billion in payments since 1995, it’s imperative for American taxpayers to know exactly who is receiving their money – and how big the checks are.

Under President Obama, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has made it harder for the public to track the flow of government payments to the corporate owners of mega farms that benefit the most – and are already reaping record profits.  Even more concerning is the prospect that there will be less accountability under new farm subsidy proposals that are currently under consideration in Congress for the 2102 farm bill.

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Table Scraps

-       Gannett reporter Doug Zellmer takes an in-depth look at the host of issues complicating passage of the 2012 farm bill.

-       The staff of the Huffington Post Green page is making Meatless Monday part of their Earth Week activities.

-       Silicon Valley’s Mercury News editorialized on the 2012 farm bill over the weekend, writing: “So have the record prices and yields made Midwestern farmers and Big Ag happy? No, no, no. When Congress takes up the 2012 Farm Bill on Monday, their wails for subsidies will be as loud as ever.”

-       The Hagstrom Report, a by-subscription-only agriculture news site, asked ranking House Agriculture Committee member Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) about EWG’s proposal to for a $40,000 payment limit on crop insurance. Peterson responded, “Now [that] they won that battle [on direct payments], they are going to create another battle.”

Tweet of the day:

? @marionnestle The exceedingly strange world of federal crop insurance subsidies http://t.co/akv5UnFV

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