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Agricultural News

Op-Ed: Old Data and Misleading Tactics Still Used to Generate Anti-Farmer Headlines

Wed, 27 Apr 2016 15:43:26 CDT

Op-Ed: Old Data and Misleading Tactics Still Used to Generate Anti-Farmer Headlines Farm Policy Facts is a coalition of farmers and commodity groups created to educate members of Congress and Americans about the importance of agriculture and its contribution to a strong and vibrant United States. The organization recently release the following op-ed about farm subsidy mistruths.

Last week, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) sent out a report with this headline: "The Rich Get Richer: 50 Billionaires Got Federal Farm Subsidies." The piece was meant to draw attention to the "problem" of well-known billionaires and celebrities pocketing farm subsidies.

The only problem is, there isn't a problem.

Martin Vandepas, the lone person to comment on EWG's webpage about this report, innocently asked: "Is there any more recent data available? The chart doesn't show any crop subsidies after 2007. That was 9 years ago."

To date, Martin's question has gone unanswered by EWG.

That's because the inconvenient answer is "no." Billionaires haven't received farm payments in a really long time because lawmakers closed that loophole in the 2008 Farm Bill.

Some still receive conservation subsidies environmental subsidies the EWG supports and encourages. Those subsidies were conveniently omitted from this billionaires' report, as well as others in the past.

So why would EWG try to incite a panic about a problem that was fixed nearly a decade ago? Because it's part of their propaganda cycle designed to generate false headlines. About every 18 months, EWG publishes a nearly identical report in hopes of stoking anger to gut what's left of the farm safety net.

In the same spirit of recycled material, Farm Policy Facts has decided to repost the article we published about EWG's last billionaire report. EWG's misleading tactics haven't changed and neither has our view. Click here for the Farm Policy Facts story on EWG's previous misleading reports.

Source: Farm Policy Facts



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