Sunday, February 26, 2012

Organic Farm Bill

"Every five to seven years, the United States Congress passes what is arguably the single most important piece of legislation affecting the nation’s food environment. The federal farm bill, a massively complex piece of legislation that authorizes billions of dollars of taxpayer spending, is the largest source of support for America’s farmers and the programs that form the food safety net that provides food to this country’s needy. It plays a key role in decisions about what foods are grown and produced in the United States and, therefore, what Americans eat. The farm bill should be of interest to anyone who cares about the quality of the American diet.
The farm bill’s commodity programs provide payments to farmers for growing specific kinds of crops. The most heavily subsidized crops – corn, soybeans, and wheat – are implicated in rising rates of obesity and obesity-related diseases. At the same time, commodity programs provide no support for fruits and vegetables.

The nutrition title accounts for more than two-thirds of farm bill spending. Several nutrition assistance programs are authorized in the farm bill, including the nation’s largest and most important food safety net, food stamps. Since an estimated one-fifth of Americans depends on federal food assistance programs to supplement their diet, these programs have significant relevance to any efforts at increasing fruit and vegetable consumption. Key provisions in the bill include block grants, plant pest and disease management programs, and funding for farmers’ markets."

"In order to reach deficit reduction requirements, Members of Congress are currently facing the daunting task of determining unprecedented spending cuts. While the funding for organic programs is miniscule in regards to the overall budget, everything is under scrutiny.

Please help defend the small, but critical, programs that support hard-working, committed organic businesses going the extra mile to bring healthy, delicious, and responsible organic food to your plate."

Go to  to sign the petition!

And email your representatives directly!

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