This is Ligonier's friendly neighborhood blog and an attempt to recapture our lively opinionated debates in a free speech zone.

Please join our conversations. Contributors welcome.


claysh@gmail.com

Monday, November 25, 2013

NAFTA and US Farmers—20 Years Later

(At the link below, read a brief history of how we come to our current deplorable state of depleted food and disappearing farms, thanks to the much-vaunted - and truly anti-farmer...but pro "agri-giant" - NAFTA agreement.)

It concludes:
"There is widespread recognition among the U.S. public of the need to change food and farm policies to ensure healthier foods and more stable rural economies, but policymakers in Congress and the Obama administration continue to push hard on the same failed policies. More free trade agreements, including the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), largely cut and pasted from NAFTA, but with dangerous new ideas to limit any remaining restrictions on GMOs and questionable food additives, and to pave the way for even more untested emerging technologies. A “new” Farm Bill currently being negotiated shifts from commodity support to an insurance model, which still locks in place the same advantages for even bigger farms and corporations and the same willful ignorance of the devastating impacts of droughts and flooding caused by climate change.

The wild ride of prices under the NAFTA roller coaster has left us with a food system that is dominated by fewer and bigger corporations. In many communities across the country, people are opting out of the existing Big Food system to rebuild smaller, healthier options that are rooted in local economies and connections between farmers and consumers. Whether those experiences can build up from the local to national agriculture and change policy is a big question, and one made harder by the huge dominance of corporate interests. But rebuilding the system from the ground up, and considering how to make fairer links to farmers in Mexico and elsewhere, is really the only path forward."

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/11/25-3