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Bill Would Modernize Conservation Programs in Farm Bill

Contact: 
(202) 667-6982
ssciammacco@ewg.org
For Immediate Release: 
Thursday, May 9, 2013

Washington D.C. – Environmental Working Group (EWG) applauds Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) and the other co-sponsors of the Balancing Food, Farm and the Environment Act for recognizing that our land, our food, and our farms are all worth protecting.

EWG President Ken Cook issued the following statement:

Americans have never been more interested in their food, including how their food is grown.  But, how we grow our food is hurting our families, threatening future generations of farmers, and squandering our natural heritage. Too much of our food and drinking water are polluted with fertilizers and pesticides, our antibiotics are becoming less effective, and millions of acres of prairie and wetland and being lost forever. 

Many farmers are already growing food in ways that protect our families, preserve the productivity of our soil, and protect our natural heritage. Many more farmers would too. But our broken farm policies do too little to reward stewardship and too much to encourage unsustainable crop and animal production. We think America's families, farmers, and food are worth protecting. That's why EWG is proud to support the Balancing Food, Farm and Environment Act.

USDA programs like the Conservation Stewardship Program and the Environmental Quality Incentives Program -- programs that reward farmers when they produce food in ways that protect our families, our food, and our farms -- are a critical component of the federal farm bill.  Unfortunately, the House and Senate agriculture committees are missing huge opportunities to reform conservation programs to make every dollar count. Worse yet, they are choosing to cut these programs while spending even more on misguided subsidies that encourage unsustainable farming practices. All this at a time when millions of acres of wetlands and prairie are being lost and our food and water is polluted with pesticides and fertilizers.

We think America’s farmland, food and families are worth protecting. That’s why we are supporting the Balancing Food, Farm and Environment Act.