USDA Organic = “100% Organic”: 100% of the ingredients must be organic “Organic”: For a USDA Certified Organic seal, the product must have at least 95% organic ingredients “Made with Organic Ingredients”: Must have at least 70 percent organic ingredients, and list up to three organic ingredients or food groups on the principal display panel Any product with less than 70% organic ingredients cannot print organic on their principal display panel, but may list organically produced ingredients in the ingredients list. Fair Trade Certified (Reliable) Ensures that farmers receive fair prices, workers receive fair wages, and enables more direct access to the global market. TransFair USA certifies coffee, tea, herbs, cocoa, chocolate, bananas, sugar, rice, vanilla, flowers, and honey, based on the principles of fair prices, fair labor conditions, direct trade, community development, and environmental sustainability. Certified Humane Raised and Handled (Reliable) Humane Farm Animal Care, an independent non-profit organization, certifies eggs, dairy, meat, and poultry. Their Animal Care Standards require that animals are allowed to engage in their natural behaviors, have sufficient space, shelter, and gentle handling to limit stress, and have ample fresh water and a healthy diet without added antibiotics or hormones. Inspections are carried out annually.
Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Chairwoman Stabenow (D-MI) and Ranking Member Roberts (R-KS) 11 Democrats and 10 Republicans (2 newbies in 2011) House Committee on Agriculture Chairman Lucas (R-OK) and Ranking Member Peterson (D-MN) 26 Republicans and 20 Democrats 16 new Republicans and 7 new Democrats
http://farm.ewg.org/ Environmental Working Group – Ken Cook
Title I: Commodity Programs, including commodity crop price support (for wheat, corn, barley, grain sorghum, oats, upland cotton, rice, soybeans and other oilseeds, and peanuts) and income support programs – $41.6 billion; Title II: Conservation, providing for farmland preservation, with special consideration to beginning, limited-resourced, and socially disadvantaged producers, specialty crop producers, and producers transitioning to organic methods – $24.1 billion; Title III: Trade, covering food aid, export market development, and export credit guarantee programs e.g. the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program and the Market Access Program (MAP) – $1.9 billion; Title IV: Nutrition, providing primarily for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly the Food Stamp Program) – $188.9 billion; Title V: Credit, providing for the two government-related farm lenders, the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) and the Farm Credit System (FCS) – ($1.4 billion); Title VI: Rural Development, supporting rural development through loan and grant programs for economic and infrastructure development, including broadband and telecommunications infrastructure – $.2 billion; Title VII: Research, providing for the administration of research, extension, and economic analysis programs – $.03 billion; Title VIII: Forestry, providing assistance to local entities engaged in protecting and restoring forests – $40 million Title IX: Energy, promoting bio-fuels and cellulosic ethanol production – $.6 billion; Title X: Horticulture and Organic Agriculture, providing grants to state departments of agriculture for U.S specialty crop research, marketing, and promotion, expansion of farmers’ markets, transitioning farmers to organic production, and cooperative federal-state pest and disease detection programs – $.4 billion: Title XI: Livestock, supporting livestock and poultry marketing and competition and contracted producer rights, stockyard and packing reporting and tracking requirements, and country of origin retailing requirements and providing for state-inspected meat to enter inter-state commerce – $1 million; Title XII: Crop Insurance and Disaster Assistance, providing for crop insurance and farm disaster assistance – $21.9 billion; Title XIII: Commodity Futures, providing for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) – no cost; Title XIV: Miscellaneous, affecting research, energy, and rural development and providing assistance to socially disadvantaged and limited-resourced producers – $6.4 billion; Title XV: Trade and Tax Provisions, containing trade and tax provisions and providing for supplemental Agricultural Disaster Assistance – $3.8 billion
Product name and manufacturer
Where was it grown?
Does it have any certified labels or does it
state “sustainable or health” claims?
Does the label provide information about
the farmer or farming practices?
Are the ingredients listed?
Are there any ingredients that stand out or
raise a red flag?
Could a factory farm be organic?
Was an organic cow entitled to
dine on pasture?
Do food additives and synthetic
chemicals have a place in organic
Now a $7.7 billion business – dominated by large
corporations (hence marketing/labeling schemes)
Consumers of organic food imagine their carrots and
soy milk coming from small, local farms
Grocery stores aren’t farmer’s markets
Worry that new megaproducers
bring with them the same old problems
of conventional agriculture =
Energy-intensive production methods
Long-distance food transportation
Weaken organic standards
Availability has mushroomed – fresh produce, milk,
eggs, cereal, frozen food, and junk food
Gerber’s, Heinz, Dole, ConAgra, ADM… all created or
acquired organic brands.
Cascadian Farm Organic Frozen Dinners – still have
“natural” chicken flavors, xanthan gum, soy lecithin…
many “organic” additives – HEALTHY?
A subsidiary of General Mills (3rd largest food
conglomerate in North America)
General Mills “PR Farm”
Horizon Organic Milk – Colorado company = $127
million (AKA the Microsoft of organic milk)
controlling 70 percent of the retail market
Ultrapasturized milk – high heat that “kills the milk”
including enzymes and vitamins so it can travel long
Factory Farms in the west = organic CAFOs eating
certified organic grain
• USDA regulations allow food products that contain 95100% certified organic ingredients
• Prohibit chemical fertilizers, synthetic substances,
irradiation, sewer sludge or GMOs in production
• Prohibit antibiotic and synthetic hormone use in
organic meat and poultry
• Require 100% organic feed for
• Labeled “100% organic,” “organic,”
or just “made with organic
ingredients cannot be produced
1). What is the U.S. Farm Bill?
A. A guidebook for effective farming in the U.S.
B. The federal government's primary legislation that
addresses both domestic and international
policies on agriculture and food.
C. A bill that allows the federal government to
investigate U.S. farms without a warrant in order
to ensure food safety.
D. A federal government policy that promotes good
health by providing a tax subsidy for buying
produce in farmers’ markets.
B - The Farm Bill is passed every five
years by Congress and dictates laws
and affairs under the jurisdiction of
the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
2). True or False:
“The Farm Bill only impacts U.S.
producers & consumers.”
False -While the Farm Bill dictates
domestic rules and regulations, many
of its policies have international
implications that impact small-scale
farmers across the globe.
3). What issues are regulated by the Farm
A. Subsidies to encourage American farmers to
grow more corn
B. Tax credits for ethanol
C. Regulations for organic agriculture
D. Humanitarian food aid
E. A and C
F. All of the above
4). For every dollar you spend on
groceries, how much does a farmer
C - $0.16 cents for every dollar.
84.2 cents pays for food marketing, while just
15.8 cents is spent on the raw farm
commodities themselves. "Food marketing”
includes transportation, processing, and
distribution. In other words, we spend five
times as much on getting our food from farm
to table as we do on actually growing it.
5). Peaches, bell peppers, strawberries, pears,
spinach, and potatoes are among the twelve
fruits and vegetables distinguished on a list by
the Environmental Working Group as what?
A. Grown with unsustainable methods
B. Mostly imported from abroad
C. Most often contaminated by pesticides
D. Often genetically modified
C - Most often contaminated by
pesticides along with apples, celery,
nectarines, cherries, lettuce and grapes.
6). When you go for your morning cup of
coffee, choosing a brand with which of the
following certifications can help small
farmers earn a higher share of the profit:
A. USDA Organic
B. Fair Trade
C. Food Alliance
D. Rainforest Alliance
B - Fair Trade. Fair trade certification
ensures that farmers receive a minimum set
price, workers receive fair wages, and
growers follow sound environmental
Comprehensive piece of
Written by the Agriculture
Reauthorized every 5-7 years
Next reauthorization up in 2013
(2012 legislation extension)
How food is grown
What food is grown
Who grows it
Our diets and public health
Well-being of farmers and
Environment and natural
2008 Farm Bill Titles
Bio Fuels and Ethanol
Horticulture and Organic Agriculture
Crop Insurance and Disaster Assistance
Trade and Tax Provisions
5 Year Budget
But farm bill
from 2008 - 2010
specialty crops from
2008 - 2010
The Price of Fruits & Vegetables
Continues to go UP!
What do you think needs to
CHANGE in the new FARM
1. Fair Farm Bill: For YOU
• Better Choices! Breaking up the agribusiness
monopolies will bring a more vibrant marketplace.
• Increased Access! More families will have easy
access to healthy foods they can afford.
• Stronger Local Infrastructure! Reversing the
consolidation in the food system would allow for
more local businesses.
2. Fair Farm Bill: For Farmers
• A Level Playing Field! A fair marketplace for small
farmers cannot exist without breaking up the
• Fair Markets! Farm pricing and contract policies can
ensure that ALL producers receive
– enough from their sales
– services to provide
a fair return.
3. Fair Farm Bill: For the
• Environmental Stewardship! Conservation
programs can improve biodiversity, minimize
pollution, and conserve essential resources.
• Sustainable Farming! Independent farmers will
receive support to help them shift to more diversified