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Subsidies

EWG’s renowned farm subsidy database reveals that taxpayer support goes mostly to large, profitable operations, not to sustainable family farms that truly need the help. We’re working to change a badly broken system.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Critics of the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP (previously known as food stamps) claim some recipients are wrongly receiving benefits after winning lottery jackpots. SNAP fraud is serious. Those who are not in need and improperly receive benefits are taking precious resources from people desperate to feed their families in our slowly healing economy. Thankfully, according to the US Department of Agriculture, SNAP fraud is limited.

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AgMag
Blog Post
Wednesday, February 15, 2012

America’s farmers need a safety net, but so do the rich soil and clean water that sustain not just agriculture but the entire fabric of American society.

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Reports & Consumer Guides
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?

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AgMag
Blog Post
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.

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AgMag
Blog Post
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.

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AgMag
Blog Post
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.

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AgMag
Blog Post
Tuesday, December 20, 2011

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

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AgMag
Blog Post
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.

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AgMag
Blog Post
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.

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AgMag
Blog Post
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.

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AgMag
Blog Post
Friday, November 18, 2011

Details became public today of a farm bill proposal written in secret by the top leaders of the House and Senate Agriculture committees and sent this week to the Congressional “Super Committee.” As Environmental Working Group had predicted, huge grain and cotton operations would harvest a windfall in taxpayer dollars while hardworking American families that are just scraping by would be badly hurt by cuts to vital nutrition programs such as SNAP (formerly called food stamps).

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Key Issues:
News Release
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.

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AgMag
Blog Post
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.

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AgMag
Blog Post
Thursday, November 17, 2011

 

Environmental Working Group President Ken Cook and Senior Vice President Craig Cox today demanded that the top agriculture committee leaders make public new cost estimates for a five-year farm bill they are drafting behind closed doors and seeking to insert into the “Super Committee” budget-cutting process.

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Key Issues:
News Release
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.

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AgMag
Blog Post
Friday, November 11, 2011

The leaders of Congress' Agriculture Committees continue to deliberate the next farm bill in secret, and the conventional wisdom now is that direct payments may see cuts or be entirely banished in the final product. We hope so.

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Key Issues:
AgMag
Blog Post
Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Environmental Working Group released a new Direct Payment Database today, giving taxpayers a look inside the complex agriculture partnerships and corporations that got the lion’s share of $4.7 billion in federal direct payments to farmers in 2009. EWG found that the ten agribusinesses receiving the biggest payouts raked in a total of $5.4 million. The biggest payments went to large agribusinesses in the southern states of Arkansas, Louisiana, Georgia, Tennessee and Mississippi.

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Key Issues:
News Release
Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Direct payment farm subsidies are in the budget crosshairs and may at long last be eliminated as Congress works to reduce the federal deficit. These long-discredited subsidies send checks out year-after-year to highly profitable farm businesses with huge landholdings. Originally set to expire in 2002, direct payments have long been protected by the efforts of the subsidy lobby even though farm businesses are enjoying record income and most U.S. small businesses and households are suffering.

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Reports & Consumer Guides
Tuesday, November 8, 2011

It’s been two weeks since EWG president Ken Cook first sounded the alarm that a “secret” farm bill was in the works. He called out the industrial agriculture lobby and a handful of their powerful Congressional allies after it became clear that they were working overtime to write a new farm bill behind closed doors and slip it into law through the congressional “Super Committee.”

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Key Issues:
AgMag
Blog Post
Thursday, November 3, 2011

A newly released report on subsidized federal revenue insurance for industrial crop farmers shows that the government has failed to control its costs and big insurance companies and agents continue to reap billions of dollars in windfall profits. Environmental Working Group, which has long advocated meaningful reform of this misguided policy, commissioned economics professor Dr. Bruce Babcock of Iowa State University to do the analysis.

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Key Issues:
News Release

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