The News in Food – May 2008

May 23, 2008

A New Farm Bill

After a long and winding legislative journey, the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 has finally become law. Contentious debates in the House and Senate, a presidential veto, and a clerical mistake all presented hurdles for the bill. On Wednesday, the massive piece of farm, nutrition and fuel-related legislation, which solidly passed in Congress, went to the White House. As expected, the president vetoed the bill, saying, “At a time of high food prices and record farm income, this bill lacks program reform and fiscal discipline. It continues subsidies for the wealthy and increases farm bill spending by more than $20 billion, while using budget gimmicks to hide much of the increase. It is inconsistent with our objectives in international trade negotiations, which include securing greater market access for American farmers and ranchers.” Congress promptly overrode his veto by an overwhelming margin, but an enrolling error (the omission of the entire 34-page trade title) left the final version with only 14 of the 15 titles that Congress originally passed.

Farm-Bill Veto Overridden Despite Glitch, Washington Post

There has been a lively discussion among sustainable agriculture advocates about the farm bill. Though there have been significant wins in some areas, it lacks the major farm subsidy reform and other changes that many hoped and fought for.

Congress (almost) passes a farm bill; Bush vows to veto: How should sustainable-food advocates respond to the latest farm bill proposal?, Grist

High food prices

Food prices are rising quickly, straining American’s budgets and wreaking havoc in many countries.

New York Times Topics: Food Prices and Supply

Manufacturing a food crisis, The Nation

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