Final Farm Bill Keeps Environmental Safeguards Intact
Congressional negotiators managed to eliminate the worst of the proposed anti-environment provisions that threatened our food, water, and wildlife.
Congress released a final version of the $867 billion farm bill today, which was largely stripped of the controversial provisions that appeared in the anti-environment version passed by the House. “Many poison pills are gone that would have axed protections covering endangered species, pesticides, clean water, and food for hungry individuals,” says Erik Olson, senior director of the Health & Food program at NRDC.
The bill, which has the support of top lawmakers in both parties and both chambers of Congress, is predicted to be passed and signed into law in the lame-duck session.
The final version keeps the Conservation Stewardship Program—which promotes whole farm stewardship and sustainability in rural communities—intact and ditches stricter rules on food stamp eligibility, one of the bill’s most contested issues. Attempts to weaken both pesticide restrictions and endangered species protections were also rejected. “While the final bill still contains some problematic provisions,” Olson says, “we are thankful that our champions defeated many of the worst proposals.”