Posted by Dave on June 14, 2012
Right now the U.S. Senate is working to hammer out the final details on the farm bill and it isn’t pretty. While a number of important reforms have been won, like getting rid of wasteful direct payments, agribusiness lobbyists have succeeded in larding the bill up with billions in inefficient programs that harm America’s farmers, our environment and eaters everywhere.
Fortunately, this morning, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) took to the Senate floor to announce an important amendment to the Farm Bill that would require labeling of genetically engineered food. Sanders repeated the well-known facts that:
- Already nearly 50 countries around the world require GMO labeling.
- In a Canadian study, the GMO Bt toxin was found in the blood of 93% of pregnant women.
- Monsanto's Roundup tolerant GMOs have led to the rise of superweeds that now infest more than 10 million acres - Predicted to reach 40 million acres by mid-decade - that means more chemicals used on our crops
It was an amazing and historic speech, but GMO labeling and creating a sustainable food supply won’t happen without you.
If you want to create a system that promotes healthy and organic food and builds a sustainable future for family farmers and the environment, Food Democracy Now! needs you to act today!
After you tell your Senators that you support the Sanders-Boxer GMO labeling amendment, please them tell that you support these other vital amendments for reform.
It’s hard to image that 150 years ago, President Abraham Lincoln founded the U.S. Department of Agriculture to promote family farm ownership of the land and improve food and agriculture production that benefited farmers and the American people. Today, the USDA more accurately represents the interests of the massive agribusiness lobby that milks the government of billions of dollars in federal subsidies while stealing opportunities from America’s hungriest families and hardworking family farmers.
Right now, the current farm bill is set to make massive cuts to vital nutrition and conservation programs while rapidly expanding the subsidized insurance programs that will cost taxpayers more than $90 billion over the next 10 years while putting the environment and our land greatly at risk.
Food Democracy Now! and farmers and eaters everywhere need you to stand up for family farmers and the environment today!
As it is currently written the 2012 Farm Bill will give away billions of dollars to America’s largest and most profitable farmers, while continuing to discriminate against the fastest growing segment of the food supply – organic food and farming.
The good news is that Senator Merkley (D-OR) has introduced an important amendment that would make crop insurance more accessible to organic famers and pay them a fair premium when their crops failed. Currently, when an organic farmer’s crops fail they are paid the going rate for commodity crops, not the fair market price premium that organic crops receive. A recent report found that organic food industry creates more than half a million jobs and the most important job in organic agriculture is the organic farmer. They need your support today!
With the rise of corporate funded science, public funded research of important plant varieties has been largely abandoned for the quick biotech fix. In the past century alone, more than 75% of crop biodiversity has been lost. Fortunately, Senator Tester (D-MT) has introduced an amendment that will protect vital crop breeds and diversity.
As we are well aware, classical breeding is cost-effective and offers the best source of complex traits that allow farmers and researchers to respond to changing conditions and new market opportunities to create sustainable crops for our future.
Remember, democracy is like a muscle... either use or lose it!
Thanks again for participating in food democracy,
Dave, Lisa and the Food Democracy Now! team