You don’t have to support, or even like, Sens. Warren or Sanders.
But if you care about a clean environment, pesticide-free food, and your local organic farmer, you’ve got to like what these two candidates are saying.
In March, Warren wrote:
Consolidation is choking family farms, but there’s a whole lot of other ways in which big business has rigged the rules in their favor and against family farmers. I will fight to change those rules.
Warren said that farmers “are caught in a vise” because Big Ag has rigged the system. It doesn’t have to be this way, she wrote:
We can make better policy choices — and we can begin by leveling the playing field for America’s family farmers.
In a campaign speech in Iowa, Sanders referred to the “trust-busting legacy of President Teddy Roosevelt” when he said:
"If he were alive today, I think I know what he would be saying to these huge agribusiness corporations. He would say we are going to break them up. And working together, that is exactly what we are going to do."
The introduction to Sanders’ agriculture policy proposal outline, posted on his website, reads:
Agriculture today is not working for the majority of Americans. It is not working economically for farmers, it is not working for rural communities, and it is not working for the environment. But it is working for big agribusiness corporations that are extracting our rural resources for profit.
For far too long, government farm policies have incentivized a “get big or get out” approach to agriculture. This approach has consolidated the entire food system, reducing farm net income, and driving farmers off the land in droves. As farms disappear, so do the businesses, jobs, and communities they support.
A few examples of policy changes Sanders wants to see are:
• Place a moratorium on vertical integration of large agribusiness corporations. (This policy would stop companies like Costco from building huge factory farms that put all the risk on small farmers and funnel all the profits to corporate shareholders).
• Change regulations to improve markets for family farms — Strengthen organic standards so behemoth agribusinesses cannot circumvent rules and cut out small producers who make investments in their communities and environment.
• Reform patent law to protect farmers from predatory patent lawsuits from seed corporations. (Monsanto is famous for suing farmers, even when the only reason Monsanto’s GMO crops show up in their fields is because the seed drifted there).
As an organization consistently advocating on behalf of consumers and family farmers, during the past presidential elections we’ve had to beg candidates to acknowledge that we need better food & farming policies. We’ve shouted from the rooftops that bad agriculture policies are harming human health, polluting the environment and contributing to global warming.
In the past, our pleas were met with radio silence.
Finally, two high-profile presidential candidates are talking about these critical issues. If we let them know, maybe more candidates will speak out. And maybe, finally, we’ll see major policy reforms that support consumers and family farmers.
SIGN THE PETITION: Tell Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders “Thank you!” for standing up to Big Ag and looking out for consumers and small farmers!