On December 8th, the USDA and the Department of Justice will hold a workshop in Washington, D.C. where the public will have the opportunity to voice their opinion about the consolidation of the food and agriculture industries.
You can make your voice heard even if you can't travel to Washington DC.
If you are concerned about a small group of corporations controlling the majority of our food system, this is the time to speak out. Big Food consolidation hurts small companies and family farms, but it also hurts consumers. With more consolidation we have fewer choices and are exposed to greater food safety risks. Healthy food has become more expensive, while junk food is the only affordable option for too many people.
Worse, with the revolving door between corporate lobbyists and industry regulators, there is too little accountability. Big Food calls the shots on everything from food safety regulations to labeling. Consumers are left in the dark.
This has to change. The Department of Justice needs to hear from us all about how we feel about consolidation in our food economy. Sign our petition asking the DOJ to break up some of these monopolies.
I want access to fresh, wholesome, clean, affordable, and tasty food. I want to know exactly what is in my food and who made it. I want to support my local farms and producers -- and when I purchase food I want more of the money I spend to go to those producers and not to large corporations.
As the food industry becomes more and more consolidated I see more and more of my choices disappear. There are too many corporate interests acting against consumer interests -- like no mandatory labeling for GM foods. Heavily processed food has become cheaper than simple produce, making it harder for those of us struggling in this economy to make healthy eating choices. In too many neighborhoods it's hard to find any supermarket, let alone find fresh, locally grown or produced food. People of all income levels want to make healthy choices -- but in the current food economy they simply can't.
Meanwhile, big food corporations are making record profits and enjoy unprecedented power in deciding everything from nutritional standards for school food to labeling and food safety regulations. All of us are harmed by the environmental damage wreaked by large food corporations. But Big Food is not held accountable for their environmental impact. We consumers pay the price.
Changing the food system for all is going to require taking a hard look at the consolidation of agriculture and the food industry. A country that champions choice can and must do better. Please break up some of these corporate monopolies.
Thank you for the opportunity to submit my comment.