the dark side of the farm bill

Brent Finnegan -- July 25th, 2007

The story in today’s DNR about the 2007 Farm Bill focuses on how the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank Network and those who qualify for food stamps stand to benefit from it. The headline reads, “Farm Bill’s Good, Keep It Coming.”

But it glosses over the darker side of the farm bill: corporate subsidies. Critics of the bill say it’s designed to help multi-million dollar corporate farming operations and farm insurance companies, while giving the shaft to smaller family-owned farms, as well as impoverished people around the world. The critics range across the political spectrum, from progressive environmental and anti-poverty groups to ultra conservative organizations like the Heritage Foundation.

Dozens of organizations — including Sojourners, Oxfam America, Taxpayers for Common Sense, Environmental Defense, The Episcopal Church, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine — all oppose the bill in its current form. All these groups support an amendment called Fairness in Food and Farm Policy, designed to “to reduce and restructure farm subsidies and to increase spending on USDA nutrition, conservation and rural development programs.”

One of the architects of the un-amended Farm Bill is Harrisonburg’s representative, Bob Goodlatte, who sits as the ranking minority member on The House Committee on Agriculture.

Groups in favor of the amendment are urging immediate action, telling people to call their representative before noon tomorrow.

6 Responses to “the dark side of the farm bill”

  1. Dave Briggman says:

    I think there was a story in the Washington Post the other day which talked about the number of large companies and DEAD PEOPLE who are receiving farms subsidies through the Department of Agriculture.

    This is a great source to see who gets what as farm as farm subsidies go:

  2. Dave Briggman says:

    The story.

  3. David Miller says:

    King Corn anyone, I’ve got it ( a movie about the corn industry and the subsidies that proliferate it) if you’d like to borrow it for some very relevant info on the subject.

    Link to the trailer.

  4. Sam Rasoul says:

    The problem is the strangle-hold that big agribusiness has on the committee as a whole. This is a story all too frequent in our legislature. Answer: Campaign Finance Reform and Term-Limits.

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