Agriculture Workshop Comment Number: AGW-14273

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Comment Number: AGW-14273

From: Kelly Moltzen
Sent: Wednesday, December 30, 2009 10:40 PM
To: ATR-Agricultural Workshops
Subject: Comments for consideration
Attach: Subsidies and Specialty Crops_Analysis by Kelly Moltzen NYU Graduate Student.docx

I recently submitted an Independent Study term paper to Dr. Marion Nestle at NYU, which is essentially an analysis of the corn and soy subsidies in the U.S., as well as the fruit and vegetable specialty crop policies.  I hope your committee finds this paper helpful in determining policy change.  I believe that the cost of fruits and vegetables is prohibitive in terms of trying to get Americans to follow the Dietary Guidelines, especially relative to the low cost of other food products, made by the food industry with corn and soy commodities.  Cheaper, unhealthier foods are also much more prevalent in low-income neighborhoods where it can also be difficult to find affordable (if any) fruits and vegetables.  One such example is in the South Bronx, where I encountered this issue firsthand this past summer as the nutrition intern at Bronx Health REACH. (REACH = a CDC initiative; Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health). 

While not covered extensively in this paper, I would also like to add that I personally believe Monsanto is hurting farmers everywhere with its policies on saving seeds, and insistence on using genetically modified crops. Additionally - a fact I learned from the film "Food, Inc" - concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) takes the solution of an ecologically stable system (cows fertilize the soil, greens provide food for the cows) and turns it into two problems (on the one hand: cows that become resistant to the antibiotics they need from consuming their unnatural diet of grains; and on the other hand: damage to the environment from pesticides, extensive use of harmful nitrogen fertilizers, run-off and eutrofication).  

Thank you for your time and consideration regarding these important issues.  For additional information please visit Dr. Nestle's website,, as well as my blogs and twitter, listed in the signature below.

Kelly Moltzen
MPH Candidate, NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development
Dietetic Intern, James J. Peters Veterans Affairs Medical Center
(845) 304-1521

"We should be ashamed to leave this planet, to leave this world, to be ashamed to die, until we have won some victory for humanity." ~Horace Mann

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