Oregon Democrat Representative Michael Blumenauer released an “alternative Farm Bill” during a press conference. The news conference was held with Michael Pollan, an author of books criticizing the current U.S. food system.
The Hagstrom Report says Bluemenauer has long been advocating for fruits and vegetables, as well as organic and local foods, in previous farm bill debates. His version of the farm bill covers all titles in the 2014 Farm Bill and adds titles focused on food waste and animal welfare. His bill eliminates the two main crop subsidy programs, which are the Agricultural Risk Coverage Program and the Price Loss Program. It also eliminates conservation spending on confined animal feeding operations, opting instead to give more money to organic and local production, as well as research that benefits smaller farms.
Blumenauer was joined at the news conference by several Democratic Representatives who have endorsed his bill. Connecticut’s Rosa DeLauro says crop insurance and subsidy programs could be cut to increase nutrition spending. Blumenauer adds that if people receiving SNAP benefits are going to be drug tested, then tests should also be done for the “overuse of antibiotics in animals.”