In September of 2013, The House and Senate Committee's looked to "re-up" the soon expiring Farm Bill which had previously been enacted in 2008. The Farm Bill was a sweeping legislation that encompassed numerous corporate interests and was backed by powerful lobbies. As a result, the Farm Bill became a hotly contested piece of lawmaking as it touched on almost all aspects of food production and distribution within international and domestic arenas. The Farm Bill provokes debate in many areas that we have been studying this spring. By analyzing the newly enacted Farm Bill, I will address several important topics including transnationalism, hegemony, GMO's, labeling, pesticides, health and ethics. Critiquing the Farm Bill will allow me to identify issues within the inter-domestic capitalist system which creates a stratified class system and privileges while and impoverishing the majority.
First some background. The Farm Bill is voted on and enacted every 5 years. The 2013 version (HR 1947 and S954) resulted in a compromise that was eventually adopted in January 2014. (Lovera 2013) According to Patty Lovera, the Farm Bills overthrows the "GIPSA" Rule and minimalizes USDA involvement by abusing the fair market. The Farm Bill also compromises Food Safety by not holding the FDA accountable for inspection. Backers of the FB sight the World Trade Organization as reason to avoid "Country of Origin" labels despite fiercely contested Labor issues. A lot of these decisions stem from the "Monsanto Protection Act" as well as "Monsanto Riders" which are endorsed by lobbies in Washington. (Cummins 2013) Clearly a lot is at stake for consumers, as Big Ag lobbies try to protect corporate interests. .
The Farm Bill is not merely a single law that addresses a specific issue. The Farm Bill is an all-inclusive Bill that hosts a wide range laws and acts that originate from a multitude of sources.