You are here

Blog (Page152)

Posted By: Food Democracy Now on Jun 04th, 2010
Posted By: Food Democracy Now on May 28th, 2010

Secretary Vilsack and Attorney General Eric HolderBy Dave Murphy


For America’s remaining 30,000 poultry growers, the Department of Justice and USDA’s joint workshop on competition in the poultry industry held last Friday in Normal, Alabama has been a long time coming. For some, it arrived too late. As the second of five DOJ/USDA hearings to be held across the country this year, many attendees felt this hearing was more balanced than the previous hearing in Iowa, but still left many wondering what the overall impact these hearings would have in such a highly consolidated industry which continues to force so many family farmers out of business.


Of the seven chicken producers that opened the session’s morning Roundtable Discussion on Poultry Grower Issues, four of the farmers, were “former producers”, which was a foreshadowing of the theme of the day; that poultry farmers daily face fear, uncertainty and intimidation from those companies they contract with, otherwise known as “integrators”.

Posted By: Food Democracy Now on May 27th, 2010

By Josh Berkman

Haiti aid must help Haitian farmers, not Big Ag

House committees are expected to hold a mark-up of a supplemental bill that includes the $2.8 billion in emergency funding to Haiti this week. But mere allocation of this money for Haiti is not enough – how the money actually gets used is of paramount importance.

To ensure U.S. aid to Haiti benefits Haitian farmers rather than international agribusiness, Congress must include language in the bill that makes certain this money will be used to support community-based food production and procurement, cash vouchers and other programs that support local reconstruction efforts. American Jewish World Service (AJWS) is calling on Congress to include this language -- you can help by contacting your Representative through this form.

The U.S. approach, to this point, has been to structure relief and reconstruction efforts through large international bodies, our own military operations and shipping in-kind goods. Local Haitian voices have had little, if any, say in matters that are crucial to their future, and the result has been a disconnect between their needs and the kind of aid that arrives.

Posted By: Food Democracy Now on May 24th, 2010

Alabama Poultry DOJ/USDA WorkshopLast week Lisa and I drove more than 1,800 miles roundtrip to Normal, Alabama to hear contract poultry growers share their plight with Attorney General Eric Holder and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack at the DOJ/USDA’s second joint workshop dealing with competition and monopoly issues in the food and agricultural sectors.


The stories of abuse and intimidation we heard from farmers as they spoke to us in person and those that testified were appalling. Many poultry growers mentioned that the companies they grow for had personally threatened them or knew of fellow farmers who had been warned that even attending the government workshop would be enough for them to face retaliation. For farmers with a limited market to sell into, that represents a threat that could force them to lose their farm and the home they live in.


As one of the most vertically integrated sectors in agriculture today, the poultry industry is legendary for the abuses that it heaps on farmers, the animals and the environment alike. Many farmers we spoke to believe the Big Chicken corporations treat them no better than “indentured servants”.


Below is a roundup of some of the press following the poultry workshop:

Posted By: Food Democracy Now on May 21st, 2010

Press release: Department of Justice


WASHINGTON The Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today held the second of five joint public workshops on competition and regulatory issues in the agriculture industry.  The workshop, led by U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, focused on issues in the poultry industry and featured panel discussions on poultry grower issues and trends in poultry production. It also included opportunities for public comments.

“Secretary Vilasck and I are committed to improving our understanding of how particular agricultural markets function,” said Attorney General Holder.  “That’s why we decided to hold a series of five workshops across the country to examine the challenges facing America’s farmers, growers and producers.  One thing that already is clear is that competition is crucial to ensuring opportunity and fairness in our agricultural markets.  The Department of Justice is committed to working jointly with the Department of Agriculture in protecting competition in those markets.”

Posted By: Food Democracy Now on May 17th, 2010

This study is yet another reason to eat organic and to know your farmer, asking pertinent questions regarding their production methods. There are currently 80,000 chemicals in use today, most of which have never been tested for safety. Common sense, however, dictates that chemicals should be used only when proven safe, particularly when it comes to exposing our children. Unfortunately, this is seldom the case.

Posted By: Food Democracy Now on May 14th, 2010

Press Release: Department of Justice


WASHINGTON The Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the schedule and panelists for the second joint public workshop on competition and regulatory issues in agriculture, which will be held on May 21, 2010, in Normal, Ala., at the Ernest L. Knight Reception Center at Alabama A & M University.  The workshop, the second of five, will focus on the poultry industry.

The workshops, which were first announced by Attorney General Eric Holder and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Aug. 5, 2009, are the first joint Department of Justice/USDA workshops ever to be held to discuss competition and regulatory issues in the agriculture industry. The goals of the workshops are to promote dialogue among interested parties and foster learning with respect to the appropriate legal and economic analyses of these issues, as well as to listen to and learn from parties with experience in the agriculture sector. Attendance at the workshops is free and open to the public.

Posted By: Food Democracy Now on May 14th, 2010

Alfalfa is the fourth largest crop grown in the United States and Monsanto wants to control it. On April 27, the Supreme Court heard arguments in a case that could well write the future of alfalfa production in our country.

Fortunately, for those who are concerned about the potential environmental and health impacts of genetically engineered (GE) crops, Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan is not yet residing on the bench.

Posted By: Food Democracy Now on May 13th, 2010

State Department SealThe U.S. State Department will aggressively confront critics of agricultural biotechnology as the United States seeks to mitigate the effects of climate change, Jose Fernandez, assistant secretary for the Bureau of Economic, Energy and Business Affairs, told several hundred attendees from around the world at the Biotechnology Industry Organization's annual convention last week in Chicago.

Nearly 15,000 stakeholders from the medical, agricultural and industrial sectors crowded the vast McCormick Place conference center, where it can be a half-mile walk between meeting rooms.  Highlights of the May 3-6 meeting were keynote presentations by former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, and former Vice President Al Gore.  Lesser-known celebrities included New Yorker writer Michael Specter, author of the book Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms the Planet, and Threatens Our Lives.

Posted By: Food Democracy Now on May 12th, 2010

Let's Move - MichelleWASHINGTON, D.C., May 11 - Today, First Lady Michelle Obama joined Domestic Policy Council Director Melody Barnes and members of the Childhood Obesity Task Force to unveil the Task Force action plan: Solving the Problem of Childhood Obesity Within a Generation. In conjunction with the release of the action plan, Cabinet Members and Administration Officials will hold events across the country to highlight the importance of addressing childhood obesity.

Posted By: Food Democracy Now on May 11th, 2010

Layer ChickensBy Dan Flynn

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Monday announced new performance standards for the poultry industry to use in knocking down Salmonella and Campylobacter contamination levels.

Vilsack said after two years under the new standards, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) estimates that 39,000 illnesses will be avoided each year under the new Campylobacter standard, and there will be 26,000 fewer illnesses with the revised Salmonella standard.

Posted By: Food Democracy Now on May 11th, 2010

WASHINGTON, May 11, 2010 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced "The People's Garden" healthy garden series summer program with a full range of programming for both kids and adults. The Healthy Garden Workshops will primarily be for adults, while the Growing Healthy Kids will be offered for young people.


© 2018 Food Democracy Now | Privacy Policy | Contact Us
Log In |

Created by RA Globe