Farm Bill debate begins–yo​ur voice is needed:

The Pulse: Facts you need from experts you trust

Visit our interactive farm

Our government is currently paying farmers to grow virtually the opposite of what it recommends that Americans eat—including billions to subsidize items such as corn syrup that go into processed food. Not only do these policies undermine our health, they damage our air, soil, and water. Thankfully, there’s a better way. Check out our new analysis, The Healthy Farm: A Vision for U.S. Agriculture, that identifies four ways that modern, science-based practices can produce abundant, affordable, healthy food and protect our environment. Be sure to visit our interactive healthy farm and take action as debate on the Farm Bill heats up. —Karla

Science in Action
Farmers Market Debate on Farm Bill begins—we need your help
We have an opportunity right now to reorient government policies to provide greater support for healthy food and farms. A proposal has been introduced to strengthen support in the Farm Bill for programs that meet our food needs, provide economic opportunities, and minimize harmful environmental costs. Tell Congress: the Farm Bill should support healthy farms and food—not processed food and industrial agriculture!
Cartoon of the Month
Cartoon: Farm Bill
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 VOTE for UCS! Support our submission in the Looking @ Democracy video contest. INFOGRAPHIC: Are U.S. farms growing the food we should eat? Find out! Organic dairy—it’s good for your bones and great for the local economy. Learn more. Just rotate the crops? How one scientific study is upending the claims made by chemical companies!
Ask a Scientist
Karen Perry StillermanKaren Perry Stillerman
Senior Analyst,
Food and
Environment ProgramFollow
Karen’s blog >>
Our country has one of the highest costs for medical care, and has increasing amounts of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and other diseases. To what extent can changes in our food system help make Americans healthier and what is UCS doing about these problems? —Janet Cruz, Kamiah, ID It’s true that healthcare spending in the United States currently accounts for 18 percent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and is expected to rise sharply as the population ages. And rates of diet-related chronic diseases are soaring. Most of us know we should eat a healthier diet—with more fruits and vegetables, and less meat, sugar, and processed foods—but we’re being undermined by a food system that sets us up to fail. MOREDo you have a question for UCS scientists? Submit your question today.
This Just In
Visit our interactive farm Take a trip to a modern, sustainable farm
Healthy farms can meet our need for affordable, healthy food while providing real environmental and economic benefits. Our interactive graphic takes you on a tour of the top practices and benefits associated with modern, sustainable farming. Start your journey now!
Got Science
ALEC’s at it again: this time pushing state legislation that threatens our food’s safety by shielding factory farms from whistleblowers. Here’s what you need to know…
Buzz from the UCS Blog: The Equation
  Laura Wisland: Solar Power Blooms Across the Country  Michael Halpern: Duped Again on Emergency Contraception  Todd Sanford: Wildfire Season Has Arrived in the West  Kevin Knobloch: A Welcome Voice of Corporate Leadership
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  Did you miss Ricardo Salvador on @MHPnews? Check out this weekend’s segment on #GMOs, Monsanto, hunger, and more…  VIDEO: Planning for sea level rise @weatherchannnel highlights the growing risks of rising seas. #climate  We need a science champion for @EPAadm. Tell your senator to confirm Gina McCarthy:  States are choosing renewable energy facts over fiction peddled by #ALEC, #Koch brothers @CSMonitor
Your commitment to UCS ensures that scientific facts inform decisions that affect our environment, our health, and our security. Donate today.

There’s a reason industry doesn’t love us

Policy and Action from Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports tests your food for serious risks like antibiotic-resistant superbugs on meat, and pushes industry to change. Your donation this week helps us do more of this work, and your tax-deductible gift is matched, increasing your impact!

We’re getting under their skin.

Consumer Reports latest investigation — supermarket ground turkey, and how birds that can be routinely fed antibiotics have more drug-resistant superbugs on their meat — made industry nervous, and made Congress pay attention.

We deluged Congress with more than a quarter-million messages demanding restrictions on antibiotics in food animals. We stood up to industry when they tried to debunk our findings. And we ran a full-page ad in Trader Joe’s hometown newspaper asking the grocer to lead the way and stop selling meat raised on drugs.

Now we need your help to do more! Every $10 you donate this week will be matched with another $5 to help us do more groundbreaking food testing.

Help us reach our goal with your tax-deductible donation. Whatever you can give this week will go further and get results!

As an independent nonprofit, we take no money from industry or government, and have no agenda other than your family’s health. With 80 percent of antibiotics sold in the U.S. used by beef, pork and poultry producers so animals can tolerate filthy, crowded conditions, we’re at real risk of losing the effectiveness of our antibiotics.

Your tax-deductible gift will help to research legitimate dangers like drug-resistant superbugs in your family’s food. It will help us push hard to stop these unnecessary risks to your health.

Now, a generous donor has agreed to help us raise more money for research if we can show consumers like you care!Your support today counts more than ever before.

Give your $10 tax-deductible donation, and we’ll get another $5 to do even more work.

If you can’t donate, we understand. But please forward this to friends and family so they can get involved with this important consumer movement. And thank you again for all your support!

Chris Meyer, Consumers Union
Policy and Action from Consumer Reports

Demand Fair and Inclusive Amendments to Immigratio​n Bill


The current immigration reform bill marks a new phase in the fight for immigrant rights in the United States. However, with some minimal gains there are some major losses with this bill. A coalition initiated by black immigrant rights groups, civil rights organizations and faith groups have decided to coordinate a day of action to demand fair, just and inclusive immigration reform that addresses the needs of a diverse group of immigrant groups including Blacks, Asians and Eastern Europeans. In the coming weeks, the Senate Judiciary Committee will be making changes to the proposed bill. Tomorrow, these immigrant groups are standing together to ensure that their needs and concerns are addressed in the bill.
Tomorrow, The Black Institute joins black immigrant rights groups, civil organizations and faith groups across the country in a National Day of Action to demand fair and inclusive immigration reform bill that includes the needs of all immigrant groups.

The Black Institute

That Happened

By ThinkProgress War Room

10 Crazy Things the Right Did This Week

Another week, another 10 helpings of crazy brought to by the right wing.

  1. Heritage Foundation puts out shoddy report claiming immigrants are takers not makers, conservatives pounce. In a remarkable display this week, the Heritage Foundation put out a study claiming that immigration reform will cost $6.3 TRILLION over the next ten years (Ed. note: it won’t). Immediately, conservatives like Grover Norquist and groups like the American Enterprise Institute and Cato stepped up to trash the report.
  2. Heritage Foundation report co-written by racist who has previously written for white nationalist websites. The co-author of the aforementioned report, Jason Richwine, wrote his PhD dissertation about how racial minorities like Hispanics have inherently lower IQs. In addition to these obviously racist views, he also wrote for a white nationalist website and appeared at a conference alongside a well-known white nationalist. Richwine resigned from Heritage late Friday afternoon.
  3. Senator proposes ‘Downton Abbey amendment’ to immigration reform bill. Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) is an avowed enemy of immigration reform including a pathway to earned citizenship, but he appears to have found some jobs he approves of undocumented immigrants being allowed to have: domestic workers. Lee proposed an amendment to allow undocumented immigrants to be hired, but only as domestic workers, specifically including cooks, waiters, butlers, governessess, maids, valets, gardeners, footmen, grooms, and chauffeurs.
  4. Shadowy conservative group cuts ad featuring New Hampshire moms, except the moms turn out to be GOP activists. Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) has seen her standing with Granite Staters plummet since she voted against expanded background checks. AnIowa-based secret money group rode the rescue this week with an ad backing Ayotte that purported to show regular moms supporting her. It turns out these regular moms were actually regular GOP activists.
  5. House GOP stages Benghazi hearing, learns nothing new. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) continued the GOP’s Benghazi witch hunt this week with a dramatic hearing. After the hearing, however, Issa admitted that the only thing we learned is that it was a terrorist attack — something President Obama acknowledged in the Rose Garden the day after the attack happened. In other words, we didn’t learn anything new at all as a result of the hearing. In fact, many of the GOP’s star witnesses actually debunked various right-wing conspiracy theories.
  6. GOP senate nominee claimed a $281,500 deduction that the IRS has referred to as a “tax scam.” Massachusetts GOP senate nominee Gabriel Gomez made an agreement with a local conservation association not to alter the facade of his historic home, something which earned him a $281,500 tax deduction. It turns out that he was already legally barred from making any changes. The IRS and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) have both highlighted this practice as an egregious “tax scam.”
  7. Tea Party activist calls for armed march on Washington, D.C. A Tea Party radio host called for protesters carrying loaded rifles to cross into the District of Columbia, which has very strict gun laws, from Virginia. After the police indicated they would meet the gun-toting protesters at the D.C. line, the host then called for mass lawbreaking in addition to the armed gun march.
  8. GOP demands budget process then prevents said process from happening. For the past few years, the GOP has demanded that the Democratic-controlled Senate pass a budget and then confer with the House under the “regular order.” Democrats passed a budget in March, but now Senate Republicans are blocking Senate Democrats from starting an official conference committee with the House, since that would expose the GOP’s unwillingness to compromise. “I think for us to after four years of complaining about Harry Reid’s failure to bring up a budget and then we do one and block conference is something that’s incomprehensible,” said Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).
  9. Fox News brings on convicted cover-up expert to discuss alleged Benghazi cover-up. Following the aforementioned House GOP hearing on Benghazi, Fox News brought on Oliver North to discuss the alleged cover up. North himself was of course actually convicted of participating in the Iran-Contra cover-up.
  10. NRA makes some suspicious suggestions. At their national conference last weekend, the NRA suggested that parents store their firearms in their children’s rooms (in case of a home invasion). And the NRA’s youth magazine suggested that children build their own indoor, at-home shooting ranges.

BONUS: An exhibitor at the NRA’s national convention was selling a female zombie target that bleeds when you shoot it, which the company called “the ex-girlfriend.” After outcry from groups like UltraViolet, not only did Amazon drop the product but the company agreed to stop making it.