farm subsidies


Photo: Iowa State University/Lisa Schulte Moore
Photo: Iowa State University/Lisa Schulte Moore Photo: Iowa State University/Lisa Schulte Moore

How US Farm Subsidies Make Taxpayers Pay Twice (And How We Could Change That)

, senior analyst, Food and Environment

Usually, when you buy something, you pay for it just once. But if you’re a US taxpayer, you’re paying twice for the food system you’re “buying” with your hard-earned tax dollars. An example: today’s massive federal farm subsidies encourage farming practices that lead to toxic algae blooms, drinking water pollution, and other costly problems we have to pay for again downstream. By contrast, modest investment in just one proven alternative farming system would achieve annual savings—in the form of water pollution averted—of $850 million. Read more >

Photo: Iowa State University/Lisa Schulte Moore
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Why We Need a Policy for Food, Health and Wellbeing

, , director, Food & Environment Program

This week I’ve joined a number of food system leaders at the New York Times Food For Tomorrow conference, where the role of public policy in the food system has been a recurrent topic. Public policy is about directing public resources to support the public interest. It is for this reason that this weekend I joined Mark Bittman, Michael Pollan and Olivier De Schutter in calling for a better way for this nation to manage its food and agriculture system. Read more >

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Death, Taxes, and Food

, , senior analyst, Food and Environment

The taxman cometh. At my house, the 1040 is signed and the check is written, joining millions of others in the mail this week. Recently, the U.S. Treasury Department reported that improvement in the U.S. economy is leading to rising revenues from federal taxes. But just what are our tax dollars buying? Read more >

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How a (Farm) Bill Became a Law

, , senior analyst, Food and Environment

Much has been written about the ugly sausage-making of the just-ended farm bill process: the abandoned opportunity to truly reform the nation’s farm subsidy system, the cynical refusal to deny subsidies to millionaire farmers, and the 4 percent of food stamp beneficiaries who ultimately took it on the chin. But now that President Obama has signed the thing into law, it’s worth reviewing a number of real and meaningful wins that UCS and its allies and supporters achieved in this bill. And also noting that our work isn’t done. Read more >

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Refocusing the Farm Bill

, sr. scientist emeritus, Food & Environment

The current farm bill debate is unprecedented, shaking to its very foundation the powerful alliance of commodity and food stamp interests that has driven farm bills for decades. The failure of the House to include a nutrition program in its version of the farm bill, while lavishing public monies on farmers to encourage commodity crop production, is the height of hypocrisy…and mean-spirited as well. Read more >

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