Congress Must Reject Regressive Farm BillAntiquated bill props up pesticide-intensive agriculture and factory farms
WASHINGTON, D.C. – A draft of the 2018 Farm Bill will be released today by the House Agriculture Committee.
Lisa Archer, Food and Agriculture Program Director at Friends of the Earth, issued the following statement in response:
This regressive Farm Bill doubles down on a failing food system that harms our health, decimates soil and pollinators, pollutes our water, and leaves us vulnerable to climate chaos. Congress must reject this outdated and unjust bill and any amendments that undermine critical protections for people and the planet.
The massive corporate subsidies in this Farm Bill will continue to enrich agribusiness and crop insurance companies while encouraging pesticide-intensive, polluting factory farming. These outrageous handouts will drive land costs up, allow mega-farms to get even bigger, and make it harder for small-scale, regenerative and organic farmers to compete.
It is immoral that this Farm Bill will expand welfare for insurance companies and mega-farms while slashing nutrition assistance for the working poor.
We need to move beyond this antiquated Farm Bill that spends billions of taxpayer dollars to subsidize environmentally destructive commodity crops that feed factory farms and junk food companies. Instead, we should channel resources into programs that support organic agriculture, local and regional healthy foods, beginning farmers, conservation, and diversified, pasture-based systems that protect our water, build healthy soil, and provide greater biodiversity and habitat for pollinators and other wildlife.
Congress needs to pass a Farm Bill for the 21st century that supports a healthy, sustainable, and just food system for all. We strongly support Rep. Blumenauer’s Food and Farm Act that will help U.S. farmers produce abundant, healthy food while reducing pesticide use and protecting our soil, water, climate, and pollinators. This visionary legislation will help local and regional farmers grow healthy fruits and vegetables for our schools and invest in the research farmers and ranchers need to be more resilient to climate change. It will also prevent tax dollars from subsidizing animal waste facilities built by factory farms and require that farmers protect our water and soils in exchange for the generous crop insurance and farm subsidies that taxpayers provide.
Communications Contact: Erin Jensen, (202) 222-0722, [email protected]