The following article is posted with permission from the Environmental Working Group.
This is quite simply the worst piece of food legislation I've ever seen.
The House could vote any day now on its version of the 2012 farm bill - the single biggest factor that determines what ends up on your plate - and it's a doozy. This bill would feed fewer people, help fewer farmers, do less to promote healthy diets and weaken environmental protections - all while giving hand-outs to Big Ag!
We can't afford to wait. EWG Action Fund is leading the charge to fight this bill, but we need your help. Ask your member of Congress today to reject this farm bill.
- Repeal the program that helps farmers certify that their crops meet organic standards - at a time when demand for organic food is soaring.
- Exempt genetically-engineered crops from environmental reviews and set arbitrary deadlines on regulators. This provision would eviscerate already weak oversight over genetically-engineered crops by allowing sales of foods that haven't been analyzed and approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
- Provide fewer incentives for healthy diets. This bill would cut nutrition assistance programs by $16 billion. It would not expand access to fruits and vegetables, as the Senate has proposed, and would take the "fresh" out of USDA's Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Snack Program for school children.
- Eliminate common-sense rules that protect water from pesticides. Reps. Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) and Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) tacked on riders that would damage water quality and wildlife habitats. More than 1,000 American lakes and streams are already too pesticide-fouled to meet federal clean water standards.
- Cut $6 billion from conservation programs that benefit farmers and help keep air and water clean.
- Give big handouts to Big Ag. Big subsidized growers would get higher price guarantees for their crops - driving more tax dollars to mega-farms and driving out small family farmers. It would also expand crop insurance by $9.5 billion. Right now, farm businesses can get unlimited insurance subsidies: 26 of them collected more than $1 million apiece in 2011.
We deserve better than this travesty. Everyone should have access to affordable, healthy food. Tell your member of Congress to reject this bill right away.
This bill is mind-boggling. We need to stand up now. Thank you for adding your voice.
President, EWG Action Fund