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June 21, 2012 

Amendments Strengthen Senate Farm Bill

Statement by Justin Tatham, Union of Concerned Scientists

WASHINGTON (June 21, 2012) – After a marathon week of debate, the Senate passed the farm bill—the Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act (S. 3240)—today by a bipartisan vote of 64 – 35. Action on the farm bill will now move to the House of Representatives. The House Agriculture Committee is scheduled to begin markup of its version of the farm bill July 11.

Over the last month, experts at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) have promoted a number of amendments to the bill that would strengthen support for local and healthy food production, conservation and working-lands programs, and federally funded research that would contribute to those efforts.

Below is a statement by Justin Tatham, senior Washington representative for UCS’s Food & Environment Program:

“Any farm bill worth its salt must provide more support for healthy food and farms and address the inequities in farm subsidy programs that benefit industrial agriculture at the expense of public health and the environment. The bill the Senate approved today is a big step toward achieving that.

“In particular, the Senate bill includes new measures that would provide much-needed funding for programs that would increase the production and availability of healthy and local foods, make it easier for organic farmers to get crop insurance, and require recipients of crop and revenue insurance to take basic measures to protect soil and water resources. The bill also includes common-sense limits to crop and revenue insurance premium subsidies. 

“As the farm bill moves ahead, we urge the House to pick up where the Senate left off and continue to improve the bill to make sure it promotes healthy food and local farms.”

 

The Union of Concerned Scientists puts rigorous, independent science to work to solve our planet's most pressing problems. Joining with citizens across the country, we combine technical analysis and effective advocacy to create innovative, practical solutions for a healthy, safe, and sustainable future.

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