If you were appalled last fall when Congressional leaders worked behind closed doors with agribusiness lobbyists to craft a Secret Farm Bill and then disgusted this spring when the discovery of government subsidies paying for Pink Slime fed to our nation’s school children went viral, you should be outraged over the current debate unfolding in Washington, DC over the 2012 Food and Farm Bill.
In a matter of a few hours the Senate will begin voting on vital amendments to the Food and Farm Bill, also known as Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2012. As it stands now, the bill needlessly cuts vital nutrition and conservation programs and provides a massive boondoggle for crop insurance companies that will cost taxpayers billions of dollars every year, while putting our environment at risk.
It’s vital that we tell our Senators that we need a Farm Bill that works for the American people, family farmers and the environment and not corporate agribusiness and insurance companies. Urgent calls are needed to make sure that we have a farm bill that promotes healthy, sustainable food.
A recent analysis of the federal crop insurance payments found that 26 farming operations received over $1 million or more last year alone. With one Minnesota corn and soybean farm receiving more than $1.7 million in federal crop insurance subsidies.
As it is currently written, the expanded insurance program in the Farm Bill will make it profitable for farmers to plant on the most marginal, highly erodible land, while requiring no conservation measure to be followed when a farmer receives government insurance subsidies.
The 2012 Food and Farm Bill should be about creating health food for America’s citizens, providing safety nets for family farmers and protecting our soil, land and environment for the future, not larding agribusiness and corporate lobbyists with billions in government handouts.
Here are a list of the amendments that Food Democracy Now! and our allies for a healthy, sustainable food system are supporting today, please make sure that your Senators hear about your support for them today! Please call your own Senators today and tell them that you support these amendments:
- Gillibrand Amendment No. 2156 Restores funding for vital nutrition programs and limits excessive payments to crop insurance companies.
- Chambliss Amendment No. 2438. Links the receipt of federally subsidized crop insurance to basic conservation requirements.
- Durbin-Coburn Amendment No. 2439 Limits the amount of insurance subsidies for the wealthiest farmers.
- Merkley Amendment No. 2382 Creates an organic crop insurance program that offers organic farmers.
- Sanders Amendment No. 2310 Allows states to label genetically engineered foods.
- Brown Amendment No. 2445 Provides mandatory funding for Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development.
Thanks for participating in food democracy,
Dave, Lisa and the Food Democracy Now! team