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Policy Plate BLOG

Your daily serving of food and farm policy.

The Latest from Policy Plate

Thursday, February 6, 2014

A new coalition led by the Grocery Manufacturers Association aims to create a “federal legislative solution that will protect consumers by eliminating confusion” when it comes to the labeling of genetically engineered food.  Only their “solution” is anything but.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The farm bill passed by Congress takes food and farm policy in the wrong direction.  The bill creates new, expanded and largely unlimited crop insurance subsidies that will flow predominantly to the largest and most successful farms- at the expense of family farms, the environment and America’s hungriest citizens.

Monday, February 3, 2014

The Senate voted 72-22 in favor of moving forward with consideration of farm bill on Monday evening.  The final vote is set to take place on Tuesday.

Key Issues: 
Thursday, January 30, 2014

In an interview with The Real News, EWG’s Jason Rano talks about what the newly House-passed farm bill would do if signed by President Obama.  Putting an end to direct payments, cutting SNAP, and expanding the crop insurance program are among the programs highlighted.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The House of Representatives has finally passed a farm bill.  Passing through the House floor with a vote of 251-166, Wednesday morning marked the end of an over two-year battle.  While groups representing almost every interest have been calling on Congress to pass a five-year bill, the final bill leaves some wondering if it was really worth the wait.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The farm bill produced by the conference committee last night (January 27) falls short of the reforms needed to create federal food and agricultural policy that can meet the challenges of the 21st century, EWG said in a statement today.

Monday, January 27, 2014

House and Senate leaders who have been negotiating the farm bill have finally come to an agreement after years of struggling to get it across the finish line. 

Key Issues: 
Thursday, January 16, 2014

More than 200 organizations and businesses called on President Barack Obama today to uphold his 2007 campaign pledge to require the labeling of genetically engineered (GE) foods. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) is the latest GOP senator to urge to the House-Senate conference committee to re-link the federal crop insurance program to conservation compliance in the final farm bill.

Key Issues: 
Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Looking for a way to save more than $60 billion?

Reducing subsidies to large farm businesses, crop insurance companies and their agents, and trimming their windfall profits could generate enormous savings, EWG has found.

Key Issues: 
Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Every day, thousands of farmers take steps to reduce polluted runoff and restore wetlands and grasslands.  In a new interactive map, EWG’s Libby Foley has highlighted 20 of these farmers and their personal conservation success stories.

Key Issues: 
Monday, November 18, 2013

EWG’s Mary Ellen Kustin and Soren Rundquist analyzed county data and found many of the counties that enjoyed an increase in farm subsidies also faced increased rates of poverty.  The interactive map below illustrates the growth in crop insurance premium subsidies compared to change in poverty rate.

Key Issues: 
Thursday, November 14, 2013

EWG’s Brett Lorenzen compares the price of crop insurance to disaster programs it was designed to replace and finds out just how costly crop insurance has become for the taxpayer.

Key Issues: 
Thursday, November 7, 2013

An analysis released today by EWG shows that at least 50 billionaires or the farm businesses they had financial interests in have received over $11 million in traditional farm subsidies between 1995 and 2012.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

report released today, authored by EWG’s Alex Rindler, found that at least 50 billionaires or the farm businesses they had financial interests in received a total of $11.3 million between 1995 and 2012. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

During the first meeting of farm bill conferees last week, seven U.S. senators, including three former Agriculture Committee chairs, called for conservation compliance, a measure that would require those receiving federal crop insurance support to implement basic conservation practices.

Friday, November 1, 2013

The Boston Red Sox may have won the World Series in baseball, but when it comes to the World Series of Subsidies, look no farther than EWG’s Subsidy All Stars.  

Friday, November 1, 2013

EWG’s Mary Ellen Kustin writes on the unbalanced distribution of federally subsidized crop insurance dollars, highlighting the 26 subsidy recipients who each received over $1 million in crop insurance premium support.

Friday, October 25, 2013

With the Farm Bill conference set to begin, EWG sent a letter to conferees seeking a farm bill that strengthens environmental protections and makes real reform to our broken crop insurance program.

Key Issues: 
Thursday, October 17, 2013

House Agriculture Committee Chairman Rep. Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) recently spoke out against the provision that would link crop insurance and basic conservation practices, known as “conservation compliance”, claiming it would be “misguided and redundant” because of similar requirements for producers participating in other USDA programs.