Thanks to the work of hundreds of organizations and hundreds of thousands of activists, the King Amendment—an attempt by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) to wipe out hundreds of state laws designed to protect food and agriculture standards—has been dethroned. The amendment did not survive the House version of the Farm Bill, which passed this week.
It’s a huge victory. For animal welfare. For states’ rights. For every group and individual who fought for its defeat.
That said, the Farm Bill, expected to sail through the Senate next week, falls far short in many key areas. According to Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine), a staunch supporter of local and organic farming:
“This Farm Bill is a real missed opportunity. Subsidies for the biggest farms were protected while help for struggling families was cut. Even bipartisan provisions that would have created real reform in crop subsidy programs were stripped out of this bill at the eleventh hour—and loopholes that would allow the largest agri-businesses to collect almost unlimited payments were included. I wish I could vote for this bill because there are some good provisions that we fought for to help sustainable farmers. But in the end, it’s just too much of a giveaway to corporate special interests.”