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The Latest from AgMag

Thursday, February 9, 2012

December 31 marked the overdue demise of one of the government subsidies that has long propped up the corn ethanol industry. But if you think corn ethanol is now standing on its own in the energy marketplace, take another look. Yes, the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC) is gone and will no longer pay oil companies for every gallon of ethanol they mix with gasoline.

Key Issues: 
Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The National Academy of Sciences should review the health, environmental and safety effects of E15 ethanol blends before they’re allowed on the market, but limiting EPA’s authority to enforce the Clean Air Act would be a bad idea.

Key Issues: 
Wednesday, February 1, 2012

As the 2012 food and farm policy fights heat up, entrepreneurs have some lessons for Washington. These were on full display at a recent TEDx Manhattan conference, where the innovative business leaders shared how they are changing the way we eat and developing a following among consumers concerned about where their food comes from.

Friday, January 27, 2012

When the farm bill fight gets rolling again in Congress, one question will be at the heart of the debate: Is it fair to ask farmers to take a few basic steps to protect soil and clean up waterways in return for the billions of dollars that taxpayers spend each year to provide them with cut-rate crop insurance?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

More whole grains, beans, fruits and vegetables will be on the menu for 31 million children who participate in the federally-supported National School Lunch Program under new nutrition standards announced Wednesday with the hearty support of First Lady Michelle Obama.

Key Issues: 
Friday, January 20, 2012

For too long, funding provided by the United States’ most far-reaching food and farm legislation has primarily benefited agri-business and large scale industrial-scale commodity farms that aren’t growing food.  Instead, they’re growing ingredients for animal feed, fuel and highly processed food -- at a high cost to our nation’s health, environment and rural communities.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Climate Change activists should be concerned about proposed cuts to farm bill conservation programs, which would be the carbon emissions equivalent of adding 2 million cars a year to America’s roads. As a possible 2012 farm bill looms, the ag committee leaders and their industrial agriculture lobby remoras are sorting through the smoking ruins of the 2011 secret farm bill process.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Since 1995 U.S. taxpayers have sent $194 billion in subsidies to farmers including $5 billion per year in fixed direct payments paid regardless of need or crop price. Below is a list of recent EWG staff analysis on traditional, commodity crop based farm subsidy programs.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

For the third consecutive year, the Environmental Protection Agency has drastically reduced cellulosic biofuel mandates, citing economic and technological hurdles. Even though industry officials consistently assure lawmakers and taxpayers that commercial production is “just around the corner,” EPA yesterday reduced the 2012 cellulosic mandate by ninety eight percent.

Key Issues: 
Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Advocates of healthy food and farm policy reform have had a lot of success in 2011.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Gulf state taxpayers help fund the creation of agriculture pollution they ultimately deal with. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has launched a new initiative to pay Gulf Coast farm businesses in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida $50 million over the next three years to help reduce the pollution that runs off their farm fields into the public’s waters.

Monday, December 19, 2011

By Appetite for Profit's Michele Simon.

Last month, when Congress declared pizza a vegetable, it was hard to believe things could get much worse. But never underestimate politicians’ ability to put corporate interests ahead of children’s health.

Key Issues: 
Friday, December 16, 2011

Making sense of the complex farm bill is the first step in bringing much-needed change to America’s badly broken food and farm system.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Thirty-four years ago, Saturday Night Live’s ad parody, Little Chocolate Donuts, seemed like absurdist comedy. But the iconic John Belushi bit – co-written by current Minnesota Senator Al Franken – is now a sad reality. Parents have good reason to worry about the sugar content of children’s breakfast cereals, according to an Environmental Working Group review of 84 popular brands.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

With deliberations on the 2012 farm bill due to begin in January, EWG looks at how the industrial agriculture lobby dominates the hearing process, leaving little room for good food reformers.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The secret farm bill thankfully is dead for the time being. Here's 5 lessons to keep in mind for the 2012 farm bill debate.

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Congressional Super Committee was created to make tough budget choices, but the leaders of the Ag Committees appear to be going in the opposite direction with more lavish subsidy giveaways to mega farms. EWG has new details about the secret farm bill that have started leaking out today.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Industrial agriculture’s lobbyists and a handful of their powerful Congressional allies have been working overtime to skirt the usual democratic process and write a new five-year farm bill behind closed doors.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

If you wanted an object lesson in how broken food politics are in America, you couldn't do better than to read how farm lobbyists, teamed up with big food companies and malleable friends in both parties in the House and Senate, tore up USDA's fledgling, modest school lunch reforms as they wrote this year's agriculture spending bill.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Congressional Super Committee was created to make tough budget choices, but the leaders of the Ag Committees appear to be going in the opposite direction with more lavish subsidy giveaways to mega farms.