Booker, Warren propose bill to limit farm size
U.S. Senator Corey Booker has reintroduced his Farm System Reform Act, cosponsored by fellow Democrat Elizabeth Warren. They say the global pandemic has exposed the inherent dangers in the “highly concentrated food system” in the U.S.
Booker says the food system was not broken by independent family farmers but by “large multinational corporations like Tyson, Smithfield and JBS.” Booker says the influence of those companies “was on full display” with President Trump’s recent executive order to reopen meat plants over the health and safety of workers.
The bill would, among other provisions, put a moratorium on new and expanding large CAFOs, phasing them out by 2040; provide a voluntary buyout for farmers who what to transition out of CAFOs; strengthen the Packers and Stockyards Act; reinstate Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) for beef and pork and expanding to dairy; and, prohibit the USDA from labeling foreign imported meat products as “Product of USA.”
A companion bill has been introduced in the House by Representative Ro Khanna of California.
Groups that support the Farm System Reform Act include: Indiana Farmers Union, Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, Missouri’s Food for America.