An Inverted Pyramid of Organic Piffle

In the midst of all the Farm Bill chatter, our pals over at USDA are gamely trying, yet again, to water down the organic label. Lots of media outlets have noticed this (including the NYTimes). But instead of reading those articles and trying to memorize all of the non-organic ingredients USDA would like to allow into your organic sustenance, I recommend reading DairyQueen over at Ethicurean.

What is a Loophole Anyway?

Here at the Center we talk a lot about closing loopholes in current Farm Bill programs. Just this week we said:

The new [EWG] data illustrates how the nation's largest farms exploit loopholes to exceed the limits on farm program payments. It's time for Congress to close loopholes, make the paper limits real and stop subsidizing mega farms to drive their neighbors out of business.

But we might not always do the best job of explaining exactly what these loopholes are.

EWG, Revisited

Yesterday, the big news was EWG’s new farm subsidy database, and rightfully so. Yet again we were reminded of the vital need for strong, effective farm program payment limitations. And fairly predictably, I put up a long and sarcastic post about the King of Farm Programs, Maurice Wilder. When you’re trying to write a blog, it’s a lot easier to be angry and sarcastic, let me tell you.

All Shook Up

Today the Environmental Working Group put up their latest and greatest version of the (in)famous farm subsidy database. The new and improved database includes the latest numbers from USDA, released last fall, known as the “1614” database, after the section in the 2002 Farm Bill that required its release. The entrance to the database will be at


Get the Newsletter