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New Farm Law is Bad for Taxpayers and the Environment

Contact: 
(202) 667-6982
ssciammacco@ewg.org
For Immediate Release: 
Friday, February 7, 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Obama signed into law today a farm bill that is bad for taxpayers and bad for the environment, the Environmental Working Group said in a statement.

Craig Cox, senior vice president of agriculture and natural resources, said:

EWG is deeply disappointed that President Obama signed a farm bill today that expands unlimited subsidies for the largest and most successful farm businesses at the expense of family farmers, hungry families, taxpayers and the environment. 

President Obama called on Congress last year to reduce crop insurance subsidies in order to reduce the deficit ‘without creating hardship for vulnerable families.’ Unfortunately, the farm bill he signed today does the exact opposite.

The bill uses the savings of ending the widely-discredited direct payment program to create new subsidies that will be even worse for taxpayers and the environment. The new law also locks in profits for crop insurance companies and their agents. Meanwhile programs that feed hungry families and reward good stewardship of the land get shortchanged.

While the new farm bill strengthens local and regional food systems and includes an important conservation compliance provision to improve the health of America’s soil and water, at the same time it cuts nearly $4 billion from conservation funding.

EWG is also disappointed because the bill President Obama signed today is less transparent than the House-passed version. Keeping taxpayers in the dark about insurance subsidies that benefit the largest and most successful farm businesses, and likely some members of Congress and various billionaires, is simply indefensible.