Today, the House of Representatives is debating on the House floor and will vote on vital amendments to the 2013 Food and Farm Bill and we need YOUR help to put an end to DC’s love affair with bloated corporate waste.
As it currently stands, the House version of the farm bill is another wasteful government handout to agribusiness giants and America’s wealthiest farmers.
Rather than encourage the production of healthy, organic and sustainable food, the current House farm bill has been larded up with an orgy of corporate handouts that literally steal food from the mouths of America’s most needy, threatens our environment and places our remaining family farmers at an unfair disadvantage in the market place.
Despite this, we have a number of important amendments that need your urgent support today so the Farm Bill does not simply promote factory farms, GMOs and the worst practices of industrial agriculture!
This year, the House Ag Committee has called for $20.5 billion in cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), literally stealing food from the hungriest, most needy children and less fortunate while piling up giant agribusiness handouts left and right.
While the 2013 Farm Bill does away with more than $5 billion in direct payments to America’s wealthiest farmers, it’s being replaced with a crop insurance bailout program that will only balloon out of control payments to the largest, commodity GMO farmers on the planet and enrich crop insurance companies to the tune of billions of dollars a year.
In an age of growing climatic uncertainty and erratic weather, the new crop insurance payment program sets the American taxpayer up for a continual bailout of commodity GMO farmers and crop insurance companies. Last year alone, taxpayers paid more than $12 billion in crop insurance payments for failed crops during the disastrous drought of 2012. The truth is, America can’t keep bailing out giant industrial GMO farmers when their crops fail.
At Food Democracy Now! we need you to take action RIGHT NOW- tell your member of Congress to oppose the current version of the farm bill and amend it to make it better.
Please call your Member of Congress and urge support for the following amendments:
Urgent Amendments that Need YOUR Help Today to Build an Organic, Sustainable Food Supply!
1. SUPPORT Amendment #93 by Fortenberry (NE) – Payment Limit Reform This cost-saving amendment restores common-sense rules and fiscal integrity by capping total commodity benefits at $250,000 per year for any one farm and places an annual per-farm cap at $50,000 and closes an important loophole that ensures payments go to working farmers, not corporate farm owners.
2. SUPPORT Amendment #149 by Kind (WI) Petri (WI) Crop Insurance Reform. Limits supplemental crop insurance subsidies (over basic coverage) to those producers with an AGI under $250,000; limits per person premium subsidies to $50,000 and reduces subsidies to crop insurance companies.
3. SUPPORT Amendment #28 by Thompson (CA), Fortenberry (NE) – Soil Erosion and Wetland Protection Bipartisan amendment enhances conservation by linking taxpayer subsidies for crop insurance to basic conservation requirements that minimize the damage to highly erodible lands and wetlands.
4. SUPPORT Amendment #74 by Blumenauer (OR), Capps (CA), Moran, James (VA) – Environmental Payment Reform ends Factory Farm Bailout Reforms the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to increase access for farmers, and eliminate payments to factory farm projects that do not show strong conservation benefits.
5. SUPPORT Amendment #73 by Blumenauer (OR), Capps (CA), Moran, James (VA) - Conservation Reserve Program Reform Requires that 20% of acreage enrolled in Conservation Reserve Program be set aside for Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program and Continuous Conservation Reserve Program, which allows states to target high priority and environmentally sensitive land, and to continuously re-enroll that land in CRP.
6. SUPPORT Amendment #85 by Slaughter (NY) – Reauthorize Antibiotic Resistance Research The rise of antibiotic resistant bacteria continues to be a pressing public health concern. This amendment would re-authorize provision of 2008 Farm Bill to allow USDA to make grants to fund research and education on antimicrobial resistance and drug use in livestock production.
7. SUPPORT Amendment #174 McGovern (MA) Restores the $20.5 billion cuts in SNAP by offsetting the Farm Risk Management Election Program and the Supplemental Coverage Option.
Additional Amendments for consideration:
Hastings (FL) #129 Improves federal coordination in addressing the documented decline of managed and native pollinators and promotes the long-term viability of honey bee, wild bees, and other beneficial insects in agriculture.
Blumenauer (OR) #124 Based on the EQIP title of the Balancing Act (H.R. 1890), this amendment would among other things limit payments to confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs), provide greater support for farmers transitioning to organic farming and provide financial support and technical assistance to help livestock producers reduce their use of non-therapeutic antibiotics;
Polis (CO) #192 Allows institutions of higher education to grow or cultivate industrial hemp for the purpose of agricultural or academic research. The provision only applies to states that already permit industrial hemp growth and cultivation under state law.
McClintock (CA) #92 Strikes the Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program, which helps improve and expand farmers’ markets, community-supported agriculture programs and local food systems.
Thanks again for your support!
Family farmers, eaters and future generations greatly appreciate all that you’ve done to help make for better food, agricultural and environmental policies that nourish our families, our communities and our environment!
Remember, democracy is like a muscle - either you use it or you lose it!
Thanks for participating in food democracy,
Dave, Lisa and the Food Democracy Now! team