Tell Sens. Warren and Sanders “Thank you!” for standing up to Big Ag and looking out for consumers and small farmers!

In the last two months, two presidential candidates—Sens. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)—have floated proposals to take on Big Agribusiness and start rallying support for America’s small family farmers.

 

If we let Sens. Warren and Sanders know that we approve of their efforts to take on Big Ag, maybe other presidential candidates will start speaking out about food and farming!

 

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!

farmer in a crop field giving the thumbs up

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!

Sign the Petition

Letter

Dear Sens. Sanders and Warren,

 

Thank you for making agriculture policy reform a key issue on the campaign trail.

 

As a consumer who also cares about the environment—and about climate change—I am grateful to hear you speaking out on this issue.

 

I am deeply concerned about the contamination by industrial food producers of the U.S. food supply with pesticides, antibiotics and other drugs.

 

I’m equally concerned about the soil degradation and water pollution directly related to industrial food and farming, especially giant vertically integrated factory farm operations.

 

And I am also concerned about the impact of industrial farming, including GMO crops, pesticides and synthetic fertilizers, on global warming.

 

I fully support your efforts to reform U.S. food and farming policies in ways that support those farmers and ranchers who produce toxin-free foods while also building healthy soils. If we level the playing field for these producers, they will lead the way in revitalizing our local economies and restoring the natural cycles essential to a healthy ecosystem.

 

Thank you.