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Comment Number: AGW-14136
|Sent:||Wednesday, December 30, 2009 2:36 PM|
|Subject:||Comments on the Agriculture and Antitrust issues|
To whom it may concern,
I am writing to express my grave concern at the state of our food system in the United States. I write as a parent, as a religious leader, and as a citizen.
As a parent trying to feed my family within a budget, I am concerned about the cost of healthy food. As a religious leader, serving as a minister in an agricultural community in central Washington, I am worried about the decimation of family farms, the lack of regard for the natural environment and the impact of food prices upon the poor and jobless. As a citizen, I am appalled by the unethical influence peddling that has so degraded our farms and agricultural practices in this country.
The state of our farming and food supply system has profound moral implications. Due to the influence of agribusiness and chemical companies, such as Archer Daniels Midland and Monsanto, our food system now fails to do what it is meant to do: provide healthy, nourishing food to citizens and meaningful employment to farmers. Food prices are rising as family farms vanish. Healthy food that is unprocessed is expensive and yet "value-added" food, a ridiculous term by the way, laced with corn syrup and other additives, is cheap. Poor people have limited access to fresh foods, and local farmers cannot bring their products to market and still compete against the subsidized products of the giant agribusinesses. And we face peril: our entire food system is vulnerable to famine caused by mono-culture growing practices as well as the dangers of contamination that occur in large-scale processing plants. Finally, our food system causes harm to local environments and is ultimately unsustainable. If the epidemic of obesity and diabetes brought on by corn syrup doesn't kill us, the pollution might.
You do not need me to tell you the causes of this bloated system of profit at the expense of the citizens: the deals between the corporations and the regulators are not even backdoor now...regulators come from and return to the very industries they are supposed to watch over. The fox guards the henhouse, indeed.
I ask you, as a parent trying to feed my family healthy food without going broke, as a religious leader concerned for the moral questions implicated herein, and as a citizen afraid for the future of our country, I ask you to address this consolidation of corporate power and influence over our farms and food.
Thank you for your attention and your work in this matter,
Rev. Cecilia Kingman
Cascade Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
"Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it." ~ Rabbi Tarfon