Search OCA:
Get Local!

Find Local News, Events & Green Businesses on OCA's State Pages:

OCA News Sections

Organic Consumers Association

The Insanity of Our Food Policy

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Farm Issues page and our Food Safety Research Center page.

American food policy has long been rife with head-scratching illogic. We spend billions every year on farm subsidies, many of which help wealthy commercial operations to plant more crops than we need. The glut depresses world crop prices, harming farmers in developing countries. Meanwhile, millions of Americans live tenuously close to hunger, which is barely kept at bay by a food stamp program that gives most beneficiaries just a little more than $4 a day.

So it's almost too absurd to believe that House Republicans are asking for a farm bill that would make all of these problems worse. For the putative purpose of balancing the country's books, the measures that the House Republican caucus is pushing for in negotiations with the Senate, as Congress attempts to pass a long-stalled extension of the farm bill, would cut back the meager aid to our country's most vulnerable and use the proceeds to continue fattening up a small number of wealthy American farmers.

The House has proposed cutting food stamp benefits by $40 billion over 10 years - that's on top of $5 billion in cuts that already came into effect this month with the expiration of increases to the food stamp program that were included in the 2009 stimulus law. Meanwhile, House Republicans appear satisfied to allow farm subsidies, which totaled some $14.9 billion last year, to continue apace. Republican proposals would shift government assistance from direct payments - paid at a set rate to farmers every year to encourage them to keep growing particular crops, regardless of market fluctuations - to crop insurance premium subsidies. But this is unlikely to be any cheaper. Worse, unlike direct payments, the insurance premium subsidies carry no income limit for the farmers who would receive this form of largess.   


>>> Read the Full Article

For more information on this topic or related issues you can search the thousands of archived articles on the OCA website using keywords: