The Farm Bill and the Quality of the Food We Eat
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After promising to reform the subsidies that critics call
corporate welfare, the House passed a new Farm Bill today. What happened to promised reforms? How does the Farm Bill dictate food quality and public health? Also, despite reports of economic growth, the market continues its downward slide and, on Reporter's Notebook, NASA responds to a report that it allowed astronauts to fly after reports that they were intoxicated.
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Stock Market Continues Slide despite Economy Growth ()
Yesterday, the stock markets saw a massive sell-off. Today, the Commerce Department reported the strongest economic growth in more than a year. Nevertheless, the markets continued to slide. Daniel Gross writes the "Contrary Indicator" column for Newsweek magazine and the "Money Box" for Slate.com.
Space, the Final Binge ()
Astronaut Lisa Nowak was arrested in February on charges she tried to kidnap her rival in a love triangle. An investigative panel was created by NASA, and today it released a sensational finding. On two specific occasions, astronauts were so drunk before launches that concerns were raised about flight safety, but "(t)he individuals were still permitted to fly." Today, NASA held a news conference on the issue. Frank Morring writes for Aviation Week and Space Technology.
- Frank Morring, Jr: Senior Space Technology Editor of Aviation Week & Space Technology
Farm Bill's Distorted Economics and the Quality of Our Food Supply ()
The Farm Bill dates back to the Depression and World War II, and it still reflects the priorities of those bygone days. The result is that $25 billion in subsidies have gone mostly to corporations and wealthy investors, many of whom are paid to grow nothing at all. Small farmers are driven out of business. Today, the House passed a new Farm Bill, worth $286 billion over the next five years, that includes $25 billion in crop subsidies. Yesterday, the House defeated an amendment that would have cut those subsidies and invest the money in conservation, nutrition, rural development and deficit reduction. What happened to promised reforms? To what extent does the Farm Bill determine what food Americans eat?
- Catharine Richert: Agricultural Reporter for Congressional Quarterly
- David Keating: Executive Director of the Club for Growth, @campaignfreedom
- Tom Buis: President of the National Farmers Union
- Michael Pollan: Contributing Writer to the New York Times, @michaelpollan
- Larry Mitchell: Director of Governmental Affairs for the American Corn Growers Association
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