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Obama’s Debt Reduction Plan Would Eliminate Wasteful Farm Subsidies

For Immediate Release: 
Monday, September 19, 2011

Washington, D.C. – Kenneth A. Cook, president and co-founder of Environmental Working Group, has applauded President Obama’s plan to reform the nation’s wasteful agriculture policy in his drive to reduce the nation’s debt.

“Environmental Working Group has been raising objections to automatic farm payments regardless of crop prices for nearly two decades,” said Cook. “We are encouraged to see the tide turning in favor of investments in agriculture that are smarter for farmers and the environment and fairer to taxpayers who have been padding the bank accounts of profitable agribusiness operators for years.”

Last week Cook sent a letter to the Congressional super committee urging its members to take similar steps outlined today by President Obama.

“Cutting out this wasteful spending will help bring down the deficit while protecting other priorities,” wrote Cook. “Direct payments that go out regardless of market conditions or actual land use must be eliminated, or at least targeted only to farmers who demonstrate a clear financial need....and new limits should be applied to crop and revenue insurance, and administrative support for private insurance companies should be cut further.”

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