Agriculture Workshop Comment Number: AGW-13539

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Comment Number: AGW-13539

From: Susanne E. Freidberg
Sent: Monday, December 28, 2009 9:00 PM
To: ATR-Agricultural Workshops
Subject: Comments Regarding Agriculture and Antitrust Enforcement Issues


I am a professor of geography, and regularly teach a course on food and agriculture. 
  Every year, my students want to know why our government spends so much on farm 
subsidies that benefit so few farmers. They want to know why our agricultural 
trade negotiators demand open world markets for US exports while demanding protection 
against other countries'.   They want to know why our food safety regulations 
are dangerously far behind where they need to be. They want to know why efforts 
to genuinely reform the Farm Bill fail again and again.

Every year, the answers turn out to be pretty much the same.  Corporate control 
of our food supply, especially (but not only) in the grain and livestock industries, 
has given the so-called 'farm lobby' a level of political power that endangers 
not just Americans' health, but also our democracy.  It is a depressing message 
to deliver to my students. The appointments and actions of our new administration 
are, so far, not very encouraging.  But I hope that the Department of Justice's 
upcoming investigation signals a renewed willingness to use antitrust legislation 
when and where it's needed.  I hope that I'll be able to give my next crop of 
students better news about the state of the U.S. food supply--and the state of 
the political system that's supposed to govern it.


Susanne Freidberg
Associate Professor of Geography
6017 Fairchild Hall
Dartmouth College
Hanover, NH 03755

Updated April 7, 2016

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