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.
That some members of Congress are farmers is hardly new. Many of the Founding Fathers worked the land. But as the industrial age transformed America’s agrarian society and technology made it possible for fewer farmers to grow more crops on more land, the number of lawmakers actively engaged in agriculture dropped sharply.Read More
Sorting out the details of USDA’s farm subsidy data and Congressional disclosure forms is a difficult process. Records don’t always match up; details appear one place but not another. And USDA, taking advantage of a change in the law, now withholds previously available information on the names of individuals who have ownership interests in farms receiving federal payments. EWG took the time to sort it all out, as much as possible. Here’s what we found:Read More
Lobbyists for the corn-ethanol and the “advanced” biofuels industry had a meeting yesterday (March 21) organized by the United States Department of Agriculture Office of Rural Development to “discuss opportunities to find common ground and synchronize biofuels industry policy,” according to a news report.Read More
Federal nutritional guidelines advise us to eat five-to-nine servings of fruits and vegetables a day. That’s not too difficult if you are lucky enough to have access to the fresh and tasty produce grown in Northern California, where I live.
But many folks in this region and in the rest of the country aren’t so lucky.Read More
To judge by the results of their budget-slashing, all-night tea party a few weeks back, Republicans must have swarmed out of their caucus and onto the floor of the House of Representatives with a single rallying cry on their lips.
Women and children first!Read More
Volatile food markets and food insecurity contributed to the civic unrest that recently brought down Egypt’s president. To better understand the unfolding reality of global food price volatility, ActionAid and the Environmental Working Group (EWG) today released an interactive map showing which countries are at highest risk of a food crisis due to recent food price hikes.Read More
Attending the TEDx Manhattan event on the future of food and farming was a day-long drink from a fire hose of cutting-edge ideas, sobering realities and sincere enthusiasm about how America can eat better and farm more sustainably.Read More
The Obama administration’s proposed 2012 federal budget released today targets several wasteful agriculture programs, including cutting $4.25 billion over 10 years from subsidies to large farm operations, wealthy landowners and the crop insurance program.Read More
The Obama administration’s proposed 2012 federal budget released today targets several wasteful agriculture programs, including cutting $4.25 billion over 10 years from subsidies to large farm operations, wealthy landowners and the crop insurance program. Continuing these subsidies is completely unjustified at a time when growers are profiting from years of record-setting income and commodity crop prices are skyrocketing.Read More
America is emerging from a financial calamity that claimed millions of jobs. Hundreds of thousands of families struggle every day just to feed their kids. The tenuous economy has increased pressure on the government to reduce spending and rein in the mounting federal deficit. But not everyone is feeling the pain.Read More
The Iowa caucuses are more than a year away but potential 2012 presidential hopefuls are already parachuting into corn country to pander to Big Ag. Perennially coy Newt Gingrich is only the latest to genuflect before Iowa’s long reigning monarch – King Corn. Delivering the keynote address at the Renewable Fuels Association summit (Jan. 25), the former Republican Speaker of the House (Speaker’s Bureau fee listed at $40,000+) and tax cutting champion called for continued mandates and support for the 30-year old corn ethanol industry.Read More
Last week was a reminder – if I needed it – of just how out of touch the powerful farm lobby is with the rest of America.Read More
Here’s who lost out today (Jan. 21) when the Environmental Protection Agency decided to allow the use of fuel containing up to 15 percent ethanol (E15) in any gas-powered car or truck built since 2001:
- Car owners whose engines and catalytic converters may be damaged even as auto makers void their warranties.
- Owners of lawnmowers, outboard motors, chain saws, ATVs and a host of other outdoor tools whose engines will break down if they’re fueled with E15.
- The environment, as this misguided policy encourages all-out corn production and the massive water pollution that results, ultimately reinforcing the devastating “dead zones” in the Gulf of Mexico and Chesapeake Bay.
- Birds and other wildlife, which will lose habitat as large-scale farmers expand into marginal and highly erodible land.
A group of corn ethanol producers is mounting an aggressive campaign they call their “Fueling Freedom Plan” that would have taxpayers spend scarce resources on biofuels pipelines, gas station pumps and other infrastructure development in order to put ethanol on “a level playing field” with gasoline – and into the tank of every engine in America.Read More
Food and agriculture policy always comes down to money: how federal dollars will be prioritized and spent.Read More
The 10 most important stories from EWG's AgMag blog in 2010.Read More
Indications are that the wasteful corn ethanol tax credit may be included in a legislative deal negotiated by the Obama White House to extend tax cuts enacted under President George W. Bush. Last week the Environmental Working Group published a top ten list of reasons why Congress should allow the ethanol tax credit to expire at the end of the year.Read More
The $1.15 billion settlement awarded to black farmers to compensate for decades of discrimination by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) become a reality yesterday (Dec. 8) as President Obama signed the funding legislation in a White House ceremony.Read More
Rumors are flying that the lame duck Congress will attach an extension of the so-called ethanol “blender’s tax credit” to a bill to extend the Bush-era income tax cuts as part of a broader deal. Here are the Top 10 reasons – based on previously released EWG research – why Congress should say no to the tax credit extension.Read More