EWG, Food Policy Action launch Plate of the Union farm bill campaign | TheFencePost.com
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EWG, Food Policy Action launch Plate of the Union farm bill campaign

Food Policy Action Education Fund co-founder Tom Colicchio, left, and Environmental Working Group President Ken Cook discuss their groups’ new “Plate of the Union’ campaign. (From video)

The Environmental Working Group and the Food Policy Action Fund today are launching their "Plate of the Union" campaign on the next farm bill.

The campaign is couched in the broadest cultural and political terms.

"It aims to awaken a new audience of American consumers to become activists for policies that make food safer, make healthy food more accessible and make food production better for our environment," the groups said in a joint news release.

"The new initiative will deploy grassroots and online tools and tactics to raise awareness about farm and food policies, and show why now — more than ever — consumers must rise up and demand their right to healthy food."

"We plan to change that. Congress should be on notice: From now on, when it comes to food policy, eaters will have a central seat at the main table," said EWG President Ken Cook and Food Policy Action Education Fund Co-Founder Tom Colicchio.

In a video, Colicchio said a tomato should not cost more than a fast-food burger, but that the "new administration" will put "Big Ag" ahead of consumers.

In the same video, Cook notes that most consumers don't know anything about the farm bill, but says they should. Cook also said the farm bill "is the one thing the Trump administration has to do."

They said the Plate of the Union campaign will focus on four main imperatives:

"Stop taxpayer subsidies going to Big Ag polluters – instead, invest in healthier farms. Billions of taxpayer dollars flow every year to huge agribusinesses that heavily pollute drinking water with synthetic fertilizers, manure and pesticides. Lax federal policies perpetuate the farm pollution problem and contribute to the overuse of antibiotics on livestock. We should only reward farms that take concrete, measurable steps to protect the environment."

"Protect and improve vital anti-hunger programs. More than 44 million Americans, including millions of children, rely on the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. However, this vital program is always under fire by some members of Congress. SNAP funding should be increased, not cut, so that millions of hungry families can eat without running out of benefits halfway through the month."

Increase federal investments in organic agriculture. Although consumer demand for organic food far outstrips domestic supply, less than 1 percent of the nation's farmland is dedicated to organic farming. Elected officials must do more to help American farmers transition to organic agriculture.

Expand federal programs to revitalize land and reduce food waste. Roughly 40 percent of food in the U.S. goes to waste each year. Plate of the Union will promote smart food policies aimed at reducing the nation's shocking waste and support urban agriculture to revitalize wasted space that could help produce healthy food and economic opportunities for cities and local communities."

The website offers ways to participate in the campaign.