The Latest on Farming
Environmental Working Group joined several groups today to call on lawmakers to stop a secret farm bill from being attached to any legislation designed to straighten out the nation's finances.Read More
A New York Times headline this month (Nov, 13) read: “The Problem is Clear: The Water is Filthy.” It should have read: “The Problem is Clear: Agriculture Granted the Right to Make the Water Filthy.”Read More
It’s a new day for those who have felt poorly served by California’s chief food and agriculture agency.
Democrats in Iowa tried hard to turn Congress’ failure to pass a federal farm bill into a political liability for their Republican opponents. It didn’t work.Read More
With the elections finally behind us, Congress has returned to Washington to try to wrap up a slew of unfinished business. Among other things, lawmakers are grappling with how to revive the expired farm bill, while at the same time they must somehow address the looming “fiscal cliff” of higher taxes and crippling budget cuts that could drive the economy back into recession.Read More
The following op-ed appeared in the Des Moines Register on Monday, November 12, 2012.
It’s too late for Congress to pass a good farm bill this year. The coming lame duck session of the 112th Congress will have its hands full dealing with the “fiscal cliff” and should focus on issues that simply cannot wait.
The opening episode of the 4-hour epic that premieres on PBS on November 18 goes right to the cause of the problem. In a short time, farmers converted an area twice the size of New Jersey and centering in the Oklahoma Panhandle from native grassland to wheat fields. They did so because of a concerted policy in the 1920’s to industrialize agriculture and to “turn farming into a factory.” But the wind-swept prairie that dominated the region was unsuited for growing much, aside from drought- resistant grasses. Once farmers turned over the firm soil, they set the stage for a monumental disaster.Read More
With high crop prices, high land prices and guaranteed business income thanks to federal crop insurance, farm businesses are doing very well, thank you very much. The Bloomberg news service reports that during this Great Recession, farm earnings in Iowa and across the U.S. increased eight times faster than non-farm wages from 2008 to 2011. Actually, farm businesses have been doing nicely even longer than that. Farm household income has exceeded average household income every year since 1996.Read More
With only five legislative weeks left, Congress must vote to extend the farm bill, but it must do it in a way that reflects the nation’s spending priorities, supports family farmers and protects the environment.Read More
If there was one message from yesterday’s voting, it’s that taxpayers – regardless of party – are worried about the nation’s economy and finances.Read More
In the wake of the 2012 election, Environmental Working Group has issued the following statements on three key issues central to EWG’s mission: Federal farm policy, natural gas extraction that protects people, water and land and fixing the nation’s failed federal chemicals law.Read More
By now, every American is familiar with Mitt Romney’s suggestion that 47 percent of Americans are “victims” who are “dependent” on government assistance.Read More
The Mississippi River is alive again here as it flows through the Twin Cities metropolitan area. Once again, this urban river runs clear and its waters are a world-class fishery for walleye, sauger and small and largemouth bass.Read More
Despite all the attention being paid to the farm bill by political candidates, the coming elections are not likely to be decided by agricultural policy positions. In the run-up to Election Day, you might think rural voters were looking for someone to blame for Congress’ failure to pass a farm bill.Read More
Ken Cook, president of the Environmental Working Group, will join other experts at San Francisco’s Commonwealth Club at 6 p.m. tonight for a debate on California ballot initiative Proposition 37, to require a label for foods made with genetically engineered ingredients. Tickets are still available.Read More
Pesticide and chemical companies battling California’s Proposition 37, to require labeling of genetically engineered foods, are telling Californians these genetically engineered foods are perfectly safe and no different from food grown naturally. But at least one corporation is delivering a very different message to corn farmers.Read More
In May 2009, Steve Ruh, who was then chair of the National Corn Growers Association’s Ethanol Committee, called corn ethanol the “most environmentally friendly fuel available today.”Read More
Americans are eating their weight and more in genetically engineered food every year, a new Environmental Working Group analysis shows.Read More
Compared to the billions that the government pays to subsidize industrial-scale growers of commodity crops such as corn, rice and soybeans, federal farm bill spending to promote cultivation and marketing of healthy fruits, nuts and vegetables is tiny. The Specialty Crop Block Grant (SCBG) program is one of the more important programs to support these healthy foods, known also as “specialty crops”.Read More