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Nature_and_Environment.97

Food

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{Nature_and_Environment.97.3}: ... {wren1111} Fri, 21 Dec 2007 12:27:33 CST (31 lines)
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<b>A Food Bill for America’s Cities</b>
"http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/12/18/5877/"

<i>With many legislative hiccups along the way, Congress is rapidly
deciding the fate of America’s food supply: what’s grown, how it’s
produced and by whom, and how that food will affect our health and
the planet. The roughly $288 billion Farm Bill, covering everything
from urban nutrition and food stamp programs to soil conservation
and agribusiness subsidies, will dictate much about what we eat and
at what price, both at the checkout line and in long-term societal
costs. And if agribusiness lobbies keep getting their way, as
they’ve largely done in this year’s Farm Bill battles, the ‘food
bill’ we all pay will be astronomical — not just the cost of the
Farm Bill itself, but the hidden costs of a taxpayer-subsidized
industrial food system that causes profound harm to public health
and the environment, as well as to farmers and workers.

Despite valiant progressive efforts that may bring some change at
the margins, the big picture is not pretty: increasingly centralized
power over food, abetted by lax antitrust policies and farm
subsidies that provide the meat industry and food-processing
corporations with cheap raw ingredients; huge subsidies for corn and
soy, most of which ends up as auto fuel, livestock feed, and
additives for junk food, fattening America’s waistlines while
soiling the environment; and, despite organic food’s rising
popularity, a farming system that’s still heavily reliant on toxic
pesticides (500,000 tons per year), which pollute our waterways and
bloodstreams while gobbling up millions of gallons of fossil fuel.
As a nation we consume (quite literally) some 100 billion gallons of
oil annually in the making and long-distance transport of our food
supply.

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