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Action Alert: Tell Your Representatives: Vote NO on Worst Farm Bill Ever!

Chrys Ostrander

Tell Your Representatives: Vote NO on Worst Farm Bill Ever (a message from the Center for Food Safety)

On Friday, the House is set to re-vote on the 2018 Farm Bill, including several provisions that would be disastrous for the environment and family farmers. The bill failed to pass on the first vote, and Congress must continue to oppose it as long as such harmful language remains.

This is not a “farm bill” or even a “food bill”; it’s a simply a wish-list for industrial agriculture and pesticide corporations. Urge your Representative to oppose this Farm Bill before it’s too late.

Unfortunately, Congress is poised to do the bidding of Big Ag. One of the most egregious provisions in the bill would prohibit local governments from restricting the use of toxic pesticides in their jurisdictions. This provision is a blatant handout to pesticide companies. The U.S. Supreme Court previously upheld the authority of governments to protect people and the environment by passing more restrictive regulations on local pesticide use. If the bill passes, communities would lose the ability to take action against toxic chemicals in their backyard.

Communities have the right to defend the developmental health of children and the overall health of citizens. The toxic pesticides used by Big Ag can cause brain damage, learning disabilities, behavior abnormalities, and serious illness in children and can harm people of all ages. The Farm Bill should not prioritize pesticides over people. With the health and safety of our children on the line, the stakes have never been higher.

Please email your Representative today and demand they reject this Farm Bill!

This nightmare bill, if made law, would gut years of significant progress Center for Food Safety (CFS) and others have made in advancing sustainable agriculture and protecting the environment from pesticides and other harmful practices. With your support, CFS has won numerous lawsuits to protect the environment and human health from the impacts of pesticides, factory farms, and chemicals. CFS has been at the forefront of pollinator and endangered species protection efforts, fighting through legal and policy actions to improve pesticide regulation.

The Farm Bill is intended to provide farm and food policy to protect family farmers, healthy foods, and support diverse, resilient agriculture in the U.S. This Farm Bill does none of that; it is corporate welfare to multinational pesticide and food corporations that dominate industrial agriculture. In addition to impeding local pesticide regulations, the House Farm Bill would also:

Eliminate food justice and hunger programs: The current Farm Bill eliminates supplemental nutrition assistance (SNAP, formerly known as Food Stamps) for 2 million Americans.

Promote corporate subsidies: It allows for unlimited commodity subsidies to mega-farms and CAFOs, creating even further consolidation in the industry.

 Gut local and regional food systems: The proposed bill guts programs ($350 million) providing assistance to rural communities and family farmers to grow local and regional food systems.

Cut conservation programs: It also cuts funding by nearly 1 billion to conservation practices on farms; eliminates funding and authority of the conservation stewardship program, the largest farm conservation program; and severely limits conservation options for farmers.

Preempt state and local rights: The bill prevents state and local governments from improving regulation of pesticides or CAFOs at the state or local level.

Encourage pesticide use: The bill does not allow for meaningful court review of unlawfully approved pesticides, thus threatening extinction of endangered species. It also pushes back the current deadlines for EPA to review and re-approve currently-used pesticides and instead allows them to remain on the market.

Threaten organic integrity: The bill eliminates all funding for the organic cost share program, which provides much-needed assistance to farmers that get certified.

Weaken the national organic food law: The bill threatens the integrity of the organic food law and weakens the independent National Organic Standards Board that is supposed to advise on the organic standards and review materials proposed for allowed uses in organic foods. It also fails to include any provisions expanding crop insurance to organic or improve access to conservation support for organic producers.

These anti-children, anti-environment, and anti-farmer provisions must be opposed.
Please contact your Representative today and make your voice heard!

Action Alert June 2018