July 13, 2012

Farm and Food Policy Takes a Step Backwards

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Environmental Working Group issued the following statement after the House Agriculture Committee markup and passage of its version of the 2012 farm bill.

“The farm bill passed by the House Agriculture Committee last night is quite simply the worst piece of food and farm legislation in recent memory. With the U.S government in a deep fiscal crisis, the committee’s farm bill increases unlimited subsidies for the largest and most profitable farm businesses. As millions of families struggle to put food on the table, the bill cuts funding for critical nutrition assistance programs by $16.1 billion.

And with water, land and wildlife habitat under unprecedented assault by industrial agriculture, the committee’s bill slashes environmental programs by more than $6 billion while gutting regulation of pesticides, forestry, and genetically modified crops.”

“But, the committee made a bad bill even worse by restricting the ability of states to set standards for food and farm production and by turning back a bipartisan amendment to modestly reform our bloated crop insurance program even though 26 large farming operations each received insurance subsidies of $1 million or more in 2011.

The full House should reject this budget-busting food and farm legislation that feeds fewer people, helps fewer farmers, protects fewer consumers, and places more pressure on our land and water. ”

Scott Faber, vice president for government affairs at EWG.

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