House Farm Bill: Bad for Taxpayers, Hungry Families, and the Environment
Washington, D.C. – Today, Environmental Working Group joined anti-hunger, public health, labor, and animal welfare groups at the National Press Club to voice deep concerns with the recently passed House Agriculture Committee 2012 farm bill.
The following is a statement from Scott Faber, vice president for government affairs at EWG:
“The budget-busting House farm bill will feed fewer people, help fewer farmers, do less to promote healthy diets and weaken environmental protections – and it will cost far more than expected. This bill is Robin Hood in reverse – it cuts funding for nutrition assistance programs like SNAP to help finance even more lavish subsidies for the largest and most successful farmers.
“By cutting more than $16 billion from SNAP and more than $6 billion from environmental programs, the House bill will leave more than 2 million people without enough food to eat and contribute to the loss of millions of acres of wetlands and grasslands. What’s more, the bill guts rules that protect water quality and wetlands from pesticides, weakens federal reviews of biotech crops, and undermines the ability of states to set consumer safety or environmental standards.
“Rather than provide a true safety net for all farmers, the House bill will give every big subsidized grower a raise in the form of higher price guarantees for their crops – at a time when large commercial farms have average household incomes of more than $200,000 a year and net farm income has nearly doubled. Instead of placing reasonable limits on crop insurance subsidies, the Lucas-Peterson proposal actually expands them – at a cost of more than $9 billion. Reasonable reforms such as payment limits, means testing and administrative reforms – which are applied to nutrition assistance but not crop insurance – could save taxpayers more than $20 billion.”