05 Apr '11, 1am

Budget fight threatens to turn Farm Bill into Industrial Ag Bill

Will eco-friendly and people-friendly farm programs get steamrolled? Will the next Farm Bill, scheduled for passage in 2012, put public policy in service of a food system that works for farmers, eaters, and the environment? Well, optimism over federal food-policy reform never runs very high in sustainable-ag circles. The agrichemical lobby is flush with cash and friends in Congress and the White House . But the current budget fight is making a bleak situation look downright disastrous. It’s looking like the looming budget deal will slash funding for the few programs that currently counteract the Big Ag policy agenda. And while the current fight only involves fiscal 2011 funding, what emerges from it will set the “baseline” for funding in the coming Farm Bill, Ferd Hoefner, policy director for the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC), told me in a phone convers...

Full article: http://www.grist.org/farm-bill/2011-04-04-budget-fight-th...

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