Washington, DC— Today, Representative Ro Khanna announced the introduction of a House of Representatives companion bill for the Farm System Reform Act (FSRA). The bill, H.R. 6718, was introduced with original co-sponsors Representatives Raskin, Lieu, Norton, DeFazio, Blumenauer, and Haaland.
Senator Cory Booker originally introduced the Farm System Reform Act in the Senate in December. Senator Elizabeth Warren supported the Senate legislation. It calls for major agricultural reforms that uplift independent family farmers, protect rural communities and public health, and overhaul the currently broken food system. Among the reforms is an immediate moratorium - or “pause” - on the construction of new or expanding large factory farms while also initiating a phaseout of existing large factory farms by 2040.
“Two years ago Food & Water Action made the bold first-call for a national ban factory farms. Today, the Farm System Reform Act —which not only bans factory farms but also holds corporate polluters accountable, protects America’s farmers and creates a more just food system overall— is live in both the House and the Senate,” said Food & Water Action Executive Director Wenonah Hauter. “Hyper-concentration of agricultural power has caused farm income to decline, wages to stagnate, food worker benefits to degrade, layoffs to increase, and grocery store prices to inflate. Giant, unaccountable corporations have been given free-reign to push their own profit before anything else. Now, the coronavirus pandemic is exposing it all as slaughter plants become epicenters of the disease, and corporations strangle our food supply.”
“Giant meatpackers cannot be permitted to continue to profit off of the labor of family farmers, consolidating the food industry to the point that our supply chain is threatened,” said Rep. Ro Khanna. “Congress must step in to ensure an honest market, or risk losing another historic industry to the hands of big corporations. If we had a food system with fair competition, independent and diversified producers would provide a dependable and sustainable food supply. Folks deserve to know where their animal products are really coming from, and farmers deserve a fair shot in their own business. Proud to work with Senator Booker to level the playing field in American agriculture and keep getting food out to every American.”
Also included among the Farm System Reform Act reforms is $100 billion for farmer buyouts and debt forgiveness over the span of 10 years, along with programs for transitioning to alternative and healthy agriculture activities like pasture-based livestock, specialty crop cultivation, or organic commodity production.
“We applaud Representative Ro Khanna, Senator Cory Booker, and every co-sponsor of the Farm System Reform Act for backing this visionary bill that finally reverses decades of consolidated and predatory corporate agriculture,” concluded Hauter.
Read Rep. Khanna’s full release here.