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.
Coalitions often help bring about real change for the public good. Not this one though.Read More
Bad federal policy and intensifying storms are washing away the rich dark soils in the Midwest that made this country an agricultural powerhouse and that remain the essential foundation of a healthy and sustainable food system in the future.Read More
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
Two weeks ago in this space, my colleague Sheila Karpf called out the five largest commodity crop organizations over the glaring lack of women in leadership positions on their boards. Her impetus was agribusiness’ new effort to polish its tarnished brand by enlisting women in a PR effort called CommonGround.Read More
Three leading environmental groups say they’re hauling Chicago’s sewer system and the Environmental Protection Agency into court over the pollution that pours out of the city, down the Mississippi and eventually to the Gulf of Mexico, helping to grow the perennial “Dead Zone.”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
Since 2006, Environmental Working Group has been building an email list of engaged consumers who sign up to get regular alerts about our latest research and practical tips to help them keep their families safe, healthy and informed.Read More
Big Ag is big business – and big profits. And when anyone raises questions about the billions of tax dollars lavished on the largest industrial growers of corn, soybeans and other commodity crops or points out the harm that these perverse incentives do to the environment, Big Ag’s lackeys lash out.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
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
Big agribusiness hates it when we talk dirty. The Dirty Dozen that is, EWG's list of fresh fruits and vegetables that are most likely to carry pesticide residues.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.