America's wetlands and prairies are being lost and our drinking water and food supplies are contaminated with toxic pesticides, fertilizers, hormones and antibiotics. The productivity of our farmland is being depleted, threatening future generations of farmers.
Many farmers are producing food in ways that protect family farms and the environment. But farm policies are doing too little to reward good stewardship and too much to underwrite unsustainable crop and animal production by the largest and most successful farm businesses.
Mother Nature has good news for people who love bad news.
More than 100 food and farm leaders, CEOs, actors, chefs, pediatricians, authors, environmentalists and public interest groups sent a heartfelt letter today to Kathleen Merrigan, who is resigning as deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, to thank her for her extraordinary service at the agency over the past four years.Read More
The departure of Kathleen Merrigan, Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, “leaves a gaping hole in the Obama administration's leadership on food and agriculture policy,” Environmental Working Group’s president Ken Cook said today.Read More
For years the federal government wrongly sent millions in taxpayer-funded farm subsidies to dead farmers – a black eye for subsidy defenders and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Now it seems farmers are paying the dead back for all that bad publicity by bulldozing historic prairie cemeteries.Read More
The draft budget released by the House Budget Committee takes a first step toward reforming wasteful farm programs by calling for $31 billion in savings from farm subsidies and crop insurance, Environmental Working Group said in a statement today. The budget document cited record farm income over the last few years in the face of crippling federal deficits as a reason to reexamine farm subsidies and the structure of the bloated crop insurance program.Read More
Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Rep. John Duncan (R-Tenn.) today introduced companion bills in Congress that would provide much-needed reform of the heavily subsidized federal crop insurance program. The Crop Insurance Subsidy Reduction Act of 2013 would restore the program’s fiscal integrity while ensuring that farmers are protected by an effective safety net when the weather turns against them.Read More
In recent years, millions of acres of America’s native grasslands have been plowed under to grow corn for ethanol to blend into gasoline. And new research is clearly pointing to the federal ethanol mandate as a main driver of this tsunami of land conversion in the Midwest.Read More
The South Dakota researchers, Christopher K. Wright and Michael C. Wimberley, focused on grassland conversion in areas close to wetlands in the Prairie Pothole Region – a critical Midwest flyway for migratory birds. They wrote that, “in South Dakota... 80% of grassland conversion is occurring within 500 m [meters] of neighboring wetlands.”Read More
Environmental Working Group vice president for government affairs Scott Faber released the following statement on the American Family Economic Protection Act.Read More
One of the better tools that conventional row crop farmers can use to increase the environmental health of their land is to plant “cover crops” of legumes and grasses. These help control erosion, sequester carbon, improve soil health, fight weeds, add nitrogen to the soil and make soil nutrients more available, reducing the need for chemical fertilizers.Read More
In a recently posted blog titled Something’s Gotta Give, Marcia Zarley Taylor proves once again that she is one of the most cogent observers of crop insurance. Taylor is executive editor of the agriculture website DTN, and her post warns farmers that the once-sleepy crop insurance program is taking center stage as Congress starts over on the farm bill. She quickly explains why.Read More
Faster is better, right? So is it a good thing that it now takes only 59 days for an Iowa lake to undergo a change that once took 631 days? No. Not when we’re talking about how long it takes for a lake to fill up with mud.Read More
I need to start by publicly apologizing for not engaging in the debate over genetically engineered crops, technically, genetically modified organisms or GMOs, until two years ago.Read More
WASHINGTON – The decision by a federal appeals court not to block the sale of gasoline containing 15 percent corn ethanol (known as E15) is a setback for consumers and the environment, says Environmental Working Group vice president for government affairs Scott Faber.Read More
WASHINGTON – Buried in the 150-page “fiscal cliff” tax bill passed New Year's Day is a last-minute farm bill extension that buys time for Congress to craft and debate an improved measure to establish food and farm policy for the long haul.Read More