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Fact Sheets: Agricultural Policy

Fact Sheets Count: 23
February 6, 2015

Abusive Poultry Contracts Require Government Action

The poultry sector is dominated by a few large poultry processing companies that control every step of chicken production — from chicks to cutlets.

June 12, 2014

Monsanto’s Seed Company Subsidiaries

The rise of genetic engineering has not only diminished the ability for farmers to practice their own methods of seed selection, but also turned another sector of agriculture into a business monopolized by a few corporations.

May 23, 2014

Grain Reserves: Common-Sense Farm Policy

Farming is a tough job. Farmers deal with unstable weather patterns and have just a few buyers for most crops. This leads to boom-and-bust swings between bumper crops and dire shortages. Income isn’t guaranteed, and farmers are required to put a lot on the line to get their crop into the ground.

April 8, 2013

Monsanto: A Corporate Profile

Roundup herbicide. Agent Orange. PCBs. Genetically engineered seeds. These may not seem related, but they all have something in common: Monsanto.

December 5, 2012

The Economic Cost of Food Monopolies

The agriculture and food sector is unusually concentrated, with just a few companies dominating the market in each link of the food chain. In most sectors of the U.S. economy, the four largest firms control between 40 and 45 percent of the market, and many economists maintain that higher levels of concentration can start to erode competitiveness. Yet according to data compiled by the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2012, in the agriculture and food sector, the four largest companies controlled 82 percent of the beef packing industry, 85 percent of soybean processing, 63 percent of pork packing, and 53 percent of broiler chicken processing.

July 23, 2012

GE Crops, Chemicals and the Environment

Roundup, an herbicide produced by Monsanto that contains the active ingredient glyphosate, has been vigorously applied to crops for years. Most genetically engineered (GE) crops are designed to be tolerant of specially tailored herbicides. Farmers can spray the herbicide on their fi elds, killing the weeds without harming the GE crops. With the development of Roundup Ready crops, the application intensity of Roundup has only increased.

November 14, 2011

Livestock Traceability: What You Need to Know

In 2011, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced its latest attempt to create a national animal traceability program, despite close to a decade of widespread opposition from ranchers and $100 million allocated on a previous, failed attempt.

August 30, 2011

Marketing and Cultivation of Genetically Modified (GM) Products in the EU

Major GM-producing countries, agribusinesses, biotech companies and the World Trade Organisation relentlessly pressure the European Union to lower regulatory legal and political landscape. Here is an overview of EU regulation of GMO cultivation and sales as of Summer 2011.

August 4, 2011

FOODSTAMPED Action: Economic Justice for Farmers and Eaters

The earnings of all but the richest people in America have been stagnant for the past four decades, making it harder for both urban and rural families to put healthy food on the table. The recession made the problem of food insecurity worse. By 2009, one in every seven rural residents and one in every nine urban residents received food stamps. How can we turn things around and build a healthier, fairer food system?

February 26, 2011

Rebuilding Local Food Systems

Not long ago, towns all over rural America had vibrant economies based on farming and agriculture. There were independent grain mills and local dealers for seeds, fertilizers and other inputs, as well as a slaughter facility to process farmers’ livestock. The income from agriculture sources then circulated throughout the community, providing steady jobs and stable income for a large portion of the town’s population. But things have changed. Now many rural downtowns lay silent, with empty buildings where locally owned business once were.

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