The economic state of U.S. agriculture is dire. The Federal Reserve Banks of Kansas City, Minneapolis and Chicago report that a growing percentage of U.S. farmers cannot pay the interest on their loans. Five years of falling cash receipts for agricultural commodities is eroding equity for operations that are not forced out of farming. Maximizing production to “export to prosperity” relies on agricultural practices that expose U.S. consumers to fertilizer nitrates in water, to pesticide and chemical residues in produce, and to contaminated foods. Consumer information about food, including country of origin and information on additives and genetically engineered ingredients, is non-existent or difficult to understand.
The New NAFTA proposes to remedy this situation by increasing agribusiness exports and further limiting regulation of food safety and the environmental impacts of industrial agriculture—policies that will worsen both farmers’ economic straits and the safety of our food.
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