Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Farm Bill

Originally uploaded by andrea dunlap
A farm bill has just been passed in the House, and another one will be up for debate in the Senate in the fall. Considering all the fuss people like Michael Pollan were making about this bill for months prior I'm surprised I didn't hear more about this as it happened. I didn't sign any petitions or get any requests to call my senator... It seems to me from the reading I've done that the Farm Bill (which only comes up once every five years) is just too crowded with measures and subsidies and rules to ever get anywhere new or change in any way. Subsidies, research, conservation, marketing, food stamps, food aid... all of these are covered by the bill. It is expected that more opposition will build by the time August break is over for the Senate. There's still time to do some grassroots lobbying.

According to the New York Times this is hailed as a victory for Nancy Pelosi, but when I look it over, I'm not so sure... It looks more like she's trying to protect Democratic interests for the coming election. Maybe that's more important than a reformed farm bill, or maybe some of us will be so annoyed we'll vote for the libertarian party...

You can see something of what the liberals think of the House Farm Bill in the San Francisco Chronicle's analysis (the bottom of the article has a good summary of itself).

I just joined this action alert service that's provided by the Organic Farming Research Foundation so that I can keep up a little better with what's going to happen next in the Senate. I think it might get a little more exciting around September...

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