Jul 30 2010

Farm Bill Encompasses Myriad Issues, Food Activists Gear Up Organizing

Feature Stories | Published 30 Jul 2010, 10:51 am | Comments Off on Farm Bill Encompasses Myriad Issues, Food Activists Gear Up Organizing -

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farm billThe 2008 US Farm Bill is set to expire in two years, and the agricultural community has already started to mobilize for substantive changes to be made in the 2012 version of the bill. To date, the passage of the farm bill that occurs every four or five years has elicited little public attention, allowing farm-state legislators and corporate agribusinesses to dictate the writing and voting process. Now, farmers and food activists hope to see increasing public participation in the upcoming debate, as more and more people realize the consequences of poor food policy. Among those consequences are highly priced fresh and organic produce that is inaccessible to poor people, hormone and antibiotic-fed livestock, pesticide and waste runoff into drinking water sources, monopolization of market prices, and huge subsidies to giant agribusinesses that result in produce surplus—surplus which is then dumped onto the world market with devastating effects to poor farmers in other areas. The national organization Food and Water Watch which has a chapter in Los Angeles, now turns to the farm bill to implement new agricultural policies that can turn the situation around. The demands listed in their “Blueprint for a Healthy Food System” and “Action for a Fair Farm Bill” include fair pricing and contract policies for small and local farmers, re-establishment of agricultural reserves, smarter government purchases that support healthy, locally grown food, agricultural credit to encourage organic farming, and measures that make healthy food more accessible to low-income communities.

GUEST: Patty Lovera, Food & Water Watch’s Assistant Director and lead food policy expert.

Find out more at www.foodandwaterwatch.org.

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