from The Atlantic.com/health
This letter was initiated by Kari Hamerschlag, a senior analyst with the Environmental Working Group, and authors Anna Lappé and Dan Imhoff, out of frustration with the lack of meaningful reforms and public input into the legislative process by the Senate Agriculture Committee as it drafted its version of the 2012 Farm Bill. They sought additional ideas for the letter among a dozen other signers, who made key contributions. Many other leaders of the sustainability movement signed on; the full list appears below.
Every member of Congress received a copy of the letter at close of business on June 4th, in anticipation of the Farm Bill's going to the Senate floor for debate later this week. The writers and signers hope that this letter will spur more citizens to learn about this legislation and contact their representatives.
An Open Letter to Members of Congress:
With the 2008 farm bill due to expire in a matter of months, the Senate Agriculture Committee approved legislation in April to steer the next five years of national food and agriculture policy. We applaud the positive steps that the proposed bill takes under Senator Debbie Stabenow's leadership, including incentives for fruit and vegetable purchases, scaling up local production and distribution of healthy foods and bolstering marketing and research support for fruit, nut and vegetable farmers.
Unfortunately, the Senate bill falls far short of the reforms needed to come to grips with the nation's critical food and farming challenges. It is also seriously out of step with the nation's priorities and what the American public expects and wants from our food and farm policy. In a national poll last year, 78 percentsaid making nutritious and healthy foods more affordable and accessible should be a top priority in the farm bill. Members of the U.S. Council of Mayors and the National League of Cities have both echoed this sentiment in recent statements calling for a healthy food and farm bill.