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Excerpt: "The House bill weakened the new whole farm revenue insurance program that would benefit diversified, organic and healthy food farmers - who are critically important for expanding the production of healthy food. The bill also pulled funding for important rural development programs that help farmers produce food in local and regional markets."

The House farm bill removes support for organic food and farmers. (photo: Organic Food, Fresh Fuzz)
The House farm bill removes support for organic food and farmers. (photo: Organic Food, Fresh Fuzz)



House Farm Bill Fails to Support Healthy Food and Farms

By Justin Tatham, Union of Concerned Scientists

13 July 12

 

he House Agriculture Committee passed their version of the Farm Bill today. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), the bill fails to adequately support healthy food and farms and pales in comparison to the Senate's Farm Bill, which passed last month.

Below is a statement by Justin Tatham, senior Washington representative for UCS's Food & Environment Program:

"The House version of the Farm Bill negates the significant progress made in the Senate. Instead, the bill continues to perpetuate farm policies that disproportionately lavish subsidies on large-scale commodity crop producers and heavily processed foods, feed, and fuel instead of healthy food. The bill reverses progress on subsidy reform and instead allows even more generous subsidy payments for farmers instead of ratcheting down these payments as has been the trend.

"In terms of crop insurance, which primarily benefits commodity crops, the House bill weakened the new whole farm revenue insurance program that would benefit diversified, organic and healthy food farmers – who are critically important for expanding the production of healthy food. The bill also pulled funding for important rural development programs that help farmers produce food in local and regional markets.

"Organic agriculture is also unfairly singled out in this bill. The House bill would eliminate the National Organic Certification Cost Share Program, a program that provides much-needed assistance to organic farmers. Further, the bill fails to address the unnecessary insurance premium surcharge placed on organic producers.

"The bill backtracks on conservation by deepening cuts to important conservation programs, namely the Conservation Stewardship Program. It also fails to reestablish conservation compliance requirements for crop and revenue insurance programs, the main subsidy program for large scale, conventional agriculture in the Farm Bill."

 

Comments   

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+18 # ER444 2012-07-13 07:31
If the Democrats don't take over the House in November, America is screwed!!
 
 
+2 # John Locke 2012-07-15 07:32
ER444: so whats new, we are already screwed...Obama is no friend to the family farmer!
 
 
+13 # Barbara K 2012-07-13 07:38
Of course nothing out of the House Greedy Old Pigs would be good for us. They are not interested in taking care of us, the citizens. To them, it never was about us. Hope we all remember that in November.
 
 
+9 # grouchy 2012-07-13 09:06
Golly gee, I wonder just who paid them off!
 
 
+1 # John Locke 2012-07-15 07:33
grouchy: Thats a tough one, can you give us some hints?
 
 
+5 # Bodiotoo 2012-07-13 09:20
Time to END the "show votes"...this political theater that the "Leadership" is always pursuing is a waste of taxpayers time and money.
Show Vote...leads to Camera Exposure...lead s to nothing accomplished.
Wake up America and start electing working class people to the house.
 
 
+4 # Todd Williams 2012-07-13 12:12
This is a true story. Years ago I was a reporter for a weekly newspaper in Raymondville, Tx. (that"s in Willacy County in South Texas). One morning my editor asked me to go out and interview a farmer who supposedly lost much of his cotton crop to a hailstorm the night before. I met the farmer (an Anglo man) at a field that was part of his 100K plus-acre farm. He told me he had a major crop loss. I looked at the field seeing only a very few rows damaged by hail. He said most of the damage was in the middle of the field beyond where I could see. Later that day I spoke with the county extension agent (a Latino) and I told him what I saw and what the farmer said. The agent said that there was very little damage to the crop at all. He then told me the farmer had reported 100% crop loss on the federal crop insurance report. I asked the agent why he didn't dispute the bogus claim and he begged me not to write the truth because he would lose his job and he had a wife and three kids to support. The Anglo farmer got what he wanted and went ahead and harvested most of his cotton. This is how big agra industry works in this country. And believe me, that was NOT an isolated incident.
 
 
+4 # sandy.lieberson 2012-07-13 12:19
the only solution is electing alternative representatives .
let's get out the vote!!
 
 
+1 # Eliza D 2012-07-15 13:39
You are so right Bodiotoo-anyone who has been a CEO has already demonstrated that his or her main concern is enriching number one and should not get anyone's vote. Why, oh why, do people fall for the likes of Meg Whitman, Mike Bloomberg or Mitt Romney? As for my family and friends, we aren't counting on this government to protect our food supply. More and more we are growing our own. But we fight for people like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren with a faint flame in our hearts.
 

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