Tell Congress: Farm Bill Provisions Shouldn’t Poison the Planet
Too many farms today rely on sprawling monocultures and toxic pesticides, methods with devastating impacts on the environment. This kind of agriculture drains the soil of nutrients and contributes to the proliferation of pests.
We know viable sustainable alternatives exist, and the health of our food and environment depends on pursuing them. That’s why we’re joining our friends at U.S. PIRG to make sure the farm bill Congress is finalizing right now promotes healthy, sustainable agriculture.
The Environmental Action team
The Farm Bill and the Environment – A Message from US PIRG
The U.S. Senate has passed a farm bill — the legislative heart of American agriculture — that is free of attacks on sustainable farming. It means senators listened to people like you, people who know we can’t grow healthy food without clean water and proper stewardship of our land.
But now Congress is working to combine it with the far more harmful House version, which is filled with provisions that could hurt public health and the environment.
The stakes are high: The farm bill that Congress agrees on will remain in place for at least the next five years. So now we’re asking you to weigh in once more.
How You Can Help
Without swift action, we could be tied to legislation that poisons our waterways and pollutes our land with devastating chemicals for years to come.
The House farm bill could prevent states from passing certain food safety laws, and it includes millions of dollars to subsidize large-scale industrial farms run by companies that buy and use lots of chemicals on food.1 Policies like these have long-term consequences, and we need to act now to make sure the final version of the farm bill doesn’t repeat the mistakes of the past.
Many farmers know that we can produce all the healthy food we need without the use of dangerous pesticides. Sustainable farming works. A 13-year study by Iowa State University found sustainable agricultural systems, like crop rotation, could be expanded to large scale farms — without sacrificing yields or profitability.2
For instance, farmer Denise O’Brien has owned Rolling Acres Farm in Iowa — passed down between family members for generations — since 1976. She grows vegetables and fruit, and raises chickens, without the use of chemicals or antibiotics, and now, she’s teaching other farmers to grow food sustainably at a commercial scale.
This farm bill is an opportunity to subsidize the right things, and to protect the health of our food, our families and our land. But Congress needs to hear from you.
1. “Senate Passes Bipartisan Farm Bill Free Of Anti-Sustainability Amendments,” U.S. PIRG, June 28, 2018.
2. “Healthy Farms, Healthy Families,” U.S. PIRG, accessed on July 6, 2018.