Friday, May 04, 2007

Nebraska Farm Bureau Thinks the Safe Food Act is a Bad Idea

Farm Bureau Opposes Creation of a New Food Safety Agency
Focus- New Food Safety Agency Is Bad Idea /Commentary

Why would a Farm Bureau oppose a Safe Food Act?

Here's a little background on Nebraska's agricultural business, from their site:
  • "Nebraska's farms and ranches use 45.9 million acres - 93 percent of the state's total land area."
  • "Nebraska's livestock industry [beef, hogs, poultry, eggs] accounts for more than 60 percent of the state's total agricultural receipts each year."
  • "Corn, soybeans, winter wheat and grain sorghum are Nebraska's leading crops."
According to Michael Pollan's recent NYTs article, You Are What You Grow, the US government, via the Farm Bill, subsidizes the growing of, or as Pollan says, "promotes the overproduction of", 5 crops - corn, soybeans, wheat, rice, and cotton - "to the tune of some $25 billion a year."

Now, this is just a hypothetical case, but let's suppose that the Safe Food Act, via its increased funding for research into hazardous food ingredients, finds an association between consumption of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and metabolic syndrome (obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, high blood lipids, heart disease). And let's say that, as a result, consumption of HFCS in this country wanes. What would happen to that multi-billion-dollar subsidy for corn?

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