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Posted on Sun, Apr 8, 2012 : 3:29 p.m.

New farm bill needs to create more competition in food industry

By Letters to the Editor

Kim Bayer’s recent article “Ann Arbor area events encourage participation in changing 'food culture'” addresses the growing disconnect between people and food. Whereas food culture used to be at the center of existence, we now find ourselves consuming food without knowing what is in it or where it comes from. The thriving local food movement in Ann Arbor is a great way to work outside the conventional system to maintain our community’s food culture. However, on a larger scale, it is also important to work within the system.

As Ann Arborites and Michiganders, we have unique opportunities to promote healthy, sustainable food both through supporting local food systems and reaching out to Senator Debrrie Stabenow, the chair of the Agriculture Committee in the U.S. Senate. The Farm Bill, the primary food policy tool of the U.S. government, is passed every five years and is up for review in 2012. This year’s Farm Bill should support healthy food for consumers by addressing the consolidation of food production by powerful agribusinesses and create more competition in the food industry.

Everyone who cares about preserving America’s food culture and ensuring access to healthy, sustainable, and affordable food for all Americans should call on Senator Stabenow to support a competition title in this year’s Farm Bill.

Eva Greenthal
Ann Arbor


Wed, Apr 18, 2012 : 10:50 p.m.

Would like to see labeling on all Genetically Modified Foods packaging. It seems that the agribusiness lobbyist got to our congress before the American people got to express their opinion on this issue. Right now almost all American's now consume genetically modified foods and most of us aren't aware of it. We are the world's largest genetically engineered food experiment...and we are the lab rats. There is a great campaign to get Genetically Modified Foods labeled right now called: "Just Label It". I would like to have the freedom to opt out of eating genetically modified foods.....labeling would allow me and others the ability to do this. Would also like to see labels on meat and other animal products which were raised in factory farm conditions, which often require heavy usage of antibiotics, steroids, Genetically Modified feeds and overcrowd/mistreat the animals.

Richard Wickboldt

Sat, Apr 14, 2012 : 11:38 a.m.

The farm subsidy known as the farm bill is the direct reason for the destruction of our farming culture in this country. The roots of the farm bill many decades ago was a good one to help preserve the true farmer. However over time our corrupt, incompetent and ignorant politicians and their staff have allowed the 1%ers to use it as another tool to steal tax payers money to fill their over flowing bank accounts. The farm bill should be eliminated. Madness to pay farmers to keep fields fallow while the price of food continues to rise. We should also put in tight regulations on the commodity market exchange where the prices for food products are set. The commodity market exchange is another tool the 1%er speculators use to steal our money. Weare growing subsidized food products to make fuel supposedly to offset dependence on foreign oil and keep gasoline prices. Gosh that surely hasn't worked! The prices of the ethanol and the corn are set on the commodity market where the price is really driven by speculators (hedge funds) for those wealthy 1%ers who think they have the right to make a high return on their investments. This whole system is madness!

G. Orwell

Mon, Apr 9, 2012 : 2:41 a.m.

"Everyone who cares about preserving America's food culture and ensuring access to healthy, sustainable, and affordable food for all Americans should call on Senator Stabenow to support a competition title in this year's Farm Bill." It won't be easy. Obama appointed Michael Taylor, former Monsanto lawyer, as his Food Safety Czar. Of all the people in the US, he couldn't find anyone more qualified???? Couldn't he have found an organic or local food avocate? If Michael Taylor did his job properly as the Food Safety Czar, he would ban GMOs. That will never happen because Michael Taylor was appointed to destroy organic and family farms. Obama promised he would not appoint lobbyists to his cabinet. His cabinet is full of lobbyists from GE, Goldman Sachs, Raytheon, Fanni Mae, etc.


Mon, Apr 9, 2012 : 2:27 a.m.

The farm bill is full of freebies to win votes for politicians. If you want leadership from a Mi we need to vote Sen Stabenhow out of office. A true leader would, stop requiring ethonal as a fuel. Currently 50% of our corn crop is used to produce ethonal. If less crop land grew corn, more land could be used for a variety of crops.

Chuck Warpehoski

Mon, Apr 9, 2012 : 2:19 a.m.

Excellent point! The food summit was a good start to create a strong local food system, but if big ag keeps writing the rules in Washington, that will stifle all the local good work. I hope to see leadership from Sen. Stabenow to level the playing field for small farmers.