The campaign to expose the harmful, violent, and destructive reality of the animal agriculture industry.

Agriculture business evades participation in environmental solutions yet dominates federal subsidies

0

Most industrial monocrop plantings (e.g., corn andsoybeans) does not produce food. Rather, these crops provide feed for livestock, ethanol production, and industrial products such as high fructose corn syrup.

DAILY KOS: Climate change (e.g., drought and floods) is putting a spotlight on large corporate farming (agribusiness) that now dominates food production, processing, and distribution. Unfortunately, EPA and states lack sufficient legal oversight and political willingness to address agribusiness’s increasingly negative impact on water quality and greenhouse gases. Yet United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) funds overwhelmingly subsidize agribusiness, and EPA funding and oversight has not sufficiently prodded states to exercise their primary responsibility to regulate agribusiness. The upcoming five-year period 2023 Farm Bill and newly available 2022 funding provide an opportunity for Congress and executive agencies to transition toward a more climate-resilient agricultural sector that participates in domestic environmental and climate efforts.

Perhaps stemming from idyllic perceptions of early small family farms, the domestic agricultural sector remains largely exempt from federal environmental rules. J.B.Ruhl, Farms, Their Environmental Harms, and Environmental Law, Uni. of Cal. (2000). Because agriculture’s negative environmental impacts involve land use practices, most responsibility for mitigating this environmental damage rests with state authorities. Unfortunately, many rural states remain reluctant to fully exercise authorities on their farming constituents. See, e.g., Blind Eye to Big Chicken, Environmental Integrity Project (October 28, 2021).

The agricultural sector is now dominated by agribusiness whose farming methods result in significant greenhouse gases (GHGs), water pollution, soil carbon releases, and water resource depletion. Agribusiness emits around 11% of all global warming pollution in the United States, not including soil carbon releases from tilling and crop practices. See, https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/sources-greenhouse-gas-emissions. Without agribusiness reducing its carbon footprint, it is unlikely the U.S. can achieve its economy-wide net-zero GHG goal by 2050…

2023 Farm Bill, EPA revolving state loans, and new IRA funding provide Congress and executive agencies opportunities to align agriculture with national policies. The pastoral small farm myth, perpetuated by the American Farm Bureau Federation’s lobbying clout, belies the actual circumstances and data on agribusiness. Federal policy should leverage funding to encourage states to mitigate agribusiness environmental harms, while growing an alternative sustainable farm system compatible with today’s climate-challenged reality. SOURCE…

RELATED VIDEOS: