Heading into the 2016 presidential election, then-candidate Donald Trump formed a 64-member Agriculture and Rural Advisory Committee. On Wednesday, the Environmental Working Group reported that 15 members of that committee have received a combined $2.2 million in Trump tariff payments.
More than 9,000 people living in the largest U.S. cities received thousands of dollars in Trump tariff payments intended to mitigate the impact of the trade war on U.S. agriculture, said the Environmental Working Group on Thursday.
A new analysis from the Environmental Working Group reveals that state and federal testing of lakes and other bodies of water has found toxins from algae blooms in waterways in 48 states. The toxins, which sometimes make their way into drinking water supplies, can cause negative health outcomes ranging from skin rashes to serious illness or death.
More than 40 percent of private wells tested positive for coliform bacteria at least once over a 16-year period, according to a new study of Iowa state records by the Environmental Working Group and the Iowa Environmental Council.
Although only a couple of members of Congress are known as active farmers, 32 current lawmakers have received farm subsidies, according to the Environmental Working Group database.
The election of Donald Trump means that environmentalists can forget about new, broader rules on land and water stewardship by farmers, said a prominent Republican farm leader. "Those new regulations are not going to happen," said Chuck Conner, who added that the 2018 farm bill would continue the system of incentives for voluntary action against erosion and polluted runoff.
A refrain among U.S. farmers and processors is that bountiful America helps feed a hungry world with a population forecast to increase by one-third, to 9.7 billion people, by mid-century. The actuality is that U.S. farm exports "go to countries that can afford to pay for them," and less than 1 percent go to the world's hungriest nations, says the Environmental Working Group.
Voluntary soil and water conservation programs "aren't leading to clean water, clean air and a healthy environment," says the Environmental Working Group in unveiling a database that tracks federal conservation spending to the county level. EWG says Congress should require farmers to perform more stewardship work in exchange for farm supports, and focus scattershot conservation programs on the practices with the greatest payoff in the areas with the greatest need.
The second-most widely used weedkiller in the country, atrazine, poses potential chronic risk to birds, mammals and fish due to runoff and spray drift, said a draft ecological-risk assessment by the EPA. The assessment is part of a review that started in 2013 on whether to extend use of the broad-spectrum herbicide in the U.S. for 15 years.
"There's a lot of doom and gloom in the air about the state of the farm economy," says a report by the Environmental Working Group, and much of it is a campaign for larger crop subsidies. "The farm subsidy lobby has been working overtime to sue what it calls a 'farm crisis' to deflect well-deserved criticism of the fatally flawed federal subsidy program that they're desperate to protect."