The widely criticized House version of the 2018 Farm Bill, HR2, narrowly passed in the House late last week. This version of the bill fails to invest in sustainable farming or rural and urban communities across the country. A better (but still flawed) version of the Farm Bill is expected to be taken up in the Senate at any moment.
Pesticide Action Network (PAN) is one of more than 500 organizations who opposed the House bill, including farmer organizations, advocates for rural communities, and hunger and social justice groups. Thousands of PAN’s supporters across the country voiced their opposition to the bill, and urged their Representatives not to support it.
PAN’s Executive Director Kristin Schafer responded to last week’s passage of the House Farm Bill:
“We said it before and we’ll say it again: the House Farm Bill fails to address the challenges facing communities across the country. This legislation doesn’t serve the most hungry in our communities, and ignores very real threats to the future of farming in this country from depletion of our soil, contamination of our water and air, and decimation of rural communities. The bill also creates loopholes that would result in more harmful pesticides on the market, benefitting only the corporations that produce them.
Whether white, black or brown, rural or urban, the Farm Bill impacts us all. It is an opportunity to join together across racial, cultural and geographic differences to build a healthy, just and thriving food and farming system. Today, the House decided to instead bow to wealthy special interests that rig the rules against farmers, farmworkers, families and rural communities.”
Moving forward, the Senate has an opportunity for real leadership. We will be joining the growing coalition that is now pressing for improvements to their working draft of the bill, rather than retreating to the significantly flawed House version. Things are expected to move quickly this week — and there’s a lot at stake. PAN is keeping tabs on all moving pieces as the farm bill process progresses — stay tuned.
For more on PAN’s vision for our food and farming future, view our Food & Farm Platform.