Saturday, October 29, 2011
For the past several weeks, rumors of a "Secret Farm Bill" being hatched behind closed doors in Washington between only a handful of legislators and industrial agriculture lobbyists have been leaking out of Congress. Last week those rumors hit panic mode.
According to multiple sources in DC, the most corporately entrenched Senators and Representatives of the Ag committees are locked behind closed doors on Capitol Hill with agribusiness lobbyists.
They're trying to carve up the 2012 Food and Farm Bill in an intentionally hurried process that will kill any needed reforms for protecting family farmers, the environment and improving healthy food opportunities for all Americans.
If corporate greed gets its way, family farmers and food reformers will possibly be locked out of the conversation on reforming food and farming policy until 2017. It's no wonder people are marching in the streets!
Why the 2012 Food and Farm Bill Matters
There is nothing more essential and personal to us than the food we eat and the water we drink. Agriculture policy dictates the quality, availability and health of our food resources. U.S. food and ag policy is far-reaching throughout the world, determining the fate of all those who eat.
Typically the Farm Bill is conducted every five years, involving a lengthy process of public hearings in Congress and meetings with stakeholders across the country. At risk with this secret deal are vital reform programs of commodity subsidies (already on the chopping block), funding for conservation, organic conversion and important nutrition programs.
While members of Congress are working to find ways of cutting the budget, the currently proposed cut of $23 billion from the 2012 Farm Bill by members of Congress ag committees and the $33 billion in cuts proposed by the White House should not be made in haste or in any secretive backroom bargain that excludes the voice of the American farmer and eaters while taking advice from agribusiness lobbyists.
In a democracy, we deserve transparency and accountability, and in few places is this more personal or necessary than determining our food policy, where all stakeholders deserve a seat at the table, not simply those with the largest financial interest.
If you think the ghouls of Halloween are serving up a frightening brew, wait until these creepy members of Congress write your Food and Farm Bill behind Closed Doors!
Tell these congressional leaders that they work for the American people and that you want to end the collusion between corporate greed and Congressional misdeeds.
Tell Congress to Kill the Secret Farm Bill today!
We are committed to this fight now, more than ever - please join us. Together, our voices will create the future we hope for.
Thanks for being a part of the solution and participating in food democracy,
Dave, Lisa and the Food Democracy Now! Team
1. "Keith Good Farm Policy: Farm Bill Deal Offered to Super Committee",
FarmPolicy.com, October 17, 2011
2. "Quick and dirty: Congress may rewrite the Farm Bill in two weeks",
Grist, October 24, 2011
3. "Representative Frank D. Lucas 2009-2010, Sectors, 200-2010",
4. "Representative Frank D. Lucas 2009 - 2010, Top 20 Contributors,"
5. "Hearing to review the causes and consequences of government
over-regulation of agricultural biotechnology", House Committee on
Agriculture, August 4, 2011
6. "Representative Collin C. Peterson 2009 - 2010, Top 20 Contributors",
7. "Senator Deborah Ann Stabenow 2007 - 2012 Top Industries",
8. "Senator Pat Roberts 2007-2012, Top Industries", OpenSecrets.org
9. "Show Senator Pat Roberts that small farmers aren't little GQ-reading
dilettantes", January 14, 200, Ethicurean