Flawed Farm Bill Heads Towards Senate Floor

Media Contacts
Emily Rusch

Vice President and Senior Director of State Offices, The Public Interest Network

CALPIRG

The U.S. Senate is moving to vote on the farm bill, S.3240, that would continue the current system of agricultural subsidies to large, profitable, agribusiness. Taxpayers’ hard earned dollars will be handed out in the billions. And subsidies will continue to disproportionately benefit corn and soy, which are then processed into junk food ingredients, like high-fructose corn syrup, accelerating the obesity epidemic in America.

In this current economic climate the reauthorization of the farm bill should be a straightforward opportunity to end these wasteful subsidies and align our farm policies with public health goals. 

We commend the Senate for ending the Direct Payments Program. However we urge the Senate to stop the wasteful crop insurance program. This program has cost taxpayers’ $30 billion over the last decade. A recent Environmental Working Group study found that 73% of crop insurance subsidies went to just 4% of farm businesses. One company in California received over $1.6 million in taxpayer subsidies last year. 

We also ask the Senate not to create a duplicate new subsidy scheme (ARC) that would lock in currently high corn and soy prices and once again direct billions of taxpayer dollars to giant agribusinesses.

CALPIRG urges our U.S. Senators, Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, to vote no on the 2012 Farm Bill unless it is amended to stop wasteful taxpayer subsidies to large, profitable agribusinesses. At a time of tough budget choices, the last thing we should be doing with our tax dollars, is giving billions to companies that don’t need the support.   
 

staff | TPIN

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