U.S. Senate to Vote on Farm Bill

June 19, 2012 at 1:52 pm

The Senate is expected to begin voting on the amendments in the Farm Bill starting today, though it’s still unlikely that Congress will pass the entire bill before the current Farm Bill expires on September 30. The big issues include cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) and policy changes that will eliminate direct payments to farmers, in the form of subsidies for commodity crops, and replacing those with an expanded crop insurance subsidy program. This would essentially be another vehicle to get big subsidies into the hands of a few, very lucrative, farm businesses while having very little impact on the majority of smaller, family farms– we’ll have more on that in another post. In the meantime, here is a useful infographic from Take Part about the real costs of the proposed 2012 Farm Bill.

In a climate of increasing alarm over the health of our nation, our agriculture policy should be designed to support more fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods instead of subsidies for a handful of commodity crops (corn, rice, soybean, cotton, and wheat). In fact, some argue that the Farm Bill should actually be referred to as the “Food Bill” in order to make a clear link between farm policy and the eating habits and health of Americans.

Entry filed under: Healthy Foods. Tags: , .

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