Food is a necessity and a fundamental human right. All people have a right to adequate, safe, nutritional and high quality food; and those who grow it have a right to a fair return for their labor.
The United States’ industrialized agriculture system is highly destructive of our environment, of our people’s health, and of our society’s future. Unless it changes radically, we face desertification, ecosystem collapse, mass extinctions, and starvation.
Our civilization itself is threatened by the loss of the ecosystem services on which it depends for its existence. moreover, agriculture is the high-order term in climate change, not only because of the amount of carbon it contributes to the atmosphere, but more importantly because of the vital role it could play in sequestering carbon and restoring a healthy carbon cycle.
“Regenerative Agriculture,” also called “Agroecology” refers to a suite of holistic principles and methods that together have the proven potential to rapidly restore our rural and natural environments to full health, sequestering vast quantities of carbon, restoring ecological balance and biodiversity, building soil, and reversing desertification, all while producing more food of a higher quality. It also has the potential to restore agricultural communities to economic independence and security.
The principles of regenerative agriculture are promoted by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UN FAO) and by an increasing number of academic institutions involved in agricultural and sustainability research. In addition to its positive environmental effects, the adoption of regenerative agriculture throughout the food system will put a stop to unethical confined animal operations, improve the diversity and nutritional content of our food, and rationalize the pricing and distribution of food.
- We call for legislation that assists new and existing farmers and ranchers to convert their operations to regenerative agricultural methods that promote widespread ownership of small and medium-sized farms and ranches, and that revitalizes and repopulates rural communities and promotes sustainable development and stewardship.
- We call for legislation that recognizes, through appropriate regulation, foods that are produced using regenerative methods, including no-till/minimum till, natural soil building techniques, development of natural soil biomes, and set-asides for wildlife alongside cultivated areas.
- We advocate regionalizing our food system and decentralizing agriculture lands, production,and distribution. We encourage public support for producer and consumer cooperatives, community kitchens, Community Supported Agriculture, urban agriculture, and community farms and gardens.
- We advocate the creation of a Food Policy Council composed of farmers, including small farmers and consumers, to oversee the USDA and all food policies at the local, state, and national level. This council should adjudicate conflicts of interest that arise when industries police themselves.
- We support the highest organic standards (California Organic Certification Standards, for example). We advocate shifting price supports and government subsidies to organic, regeneratively produced food products so that they will be competitive with chemically produced food. We believe that everyone, not just the wealthy, must be able to afford safe and healthy food.
- We urge the banning of sewage sludge or hazardous wastes as fertilizer, and of irradiation and the use of genetic engineering in all food production.
- We would phase-out man-made pesticides and artificial fertilizers in favor of Integrated Pest Management techniques as part of a regenerative approach to biodiversity in the rural ecosystem.
- Food prices ought to reflect the true cost of food, including the health effects of eating processed foods, antibiotic resistance, pesticide effects on growers and consumers, soil erosion, water pollution, pesticide drift, and air pollution. Indirect costs (loss of rural communities, a heavily subsidized transportation system, cost of the military necessary to defend cheap oil, and reduced security), though more difficult to calculate, should be factored into the cost of our highly centralized food system.
- World hunger can best be addressed by food security—being self-sufficient for basic needs. Overpopulation is largely a consequence, not simply a cause, of poverty and environmental destruction, and all remedial actions must address living standards and food security through sustainable production.
- Because of the tremendous amount of energy used in agriculture, we support farm subsidies to encourage the transition from dirty fuels to regenerative, no-till practices that use clean renewable energy as one of the most effective ways to move our country to a sustainable future.
- We encourage states to promote net-metering to make decentralized energy production economically viable, with subsidies to farm operations transitioning from fossil fuels to renewable energy.
- Animal farming must be practiced in ethically and environmentally sustainable ways. We support a rapid phase out of confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) and a complete transition to an integrated, regenerative agriculture approach to the cultivation, treatment, and use of livestock, not only for environmental reasons, but also for the sake of food safety (e.g. disease epidemics), public health, and animal protection. protection.
- Applying the Precautionary Principle to genetically modified organisms (GMOs), we support a moratorium until safety can be demonstrated by independent (non-corporate funded), long-term tests for food safety, genetic drift, resistance, soil health, effects on non-target organisms, and cumulative interactions. Most importantly, we support the growing international demand to eliminate patent rights for genetic material, life forms, gene-splicing techniques, and bio-chemicals derived from them. This position is defined by the Treaty to Share the Genetic Commons, which is available through the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. The implications of corporate takeover and the resulting monopolization of genetic intellectual property by the bioengineering industry are immense.
- We support mandatory, full-disclosure food and fiber labeling. A consumer has the right to know the contents in their food and fiber, how they were produced, and where they come from. Labels should address the presence of GMOs, use of irradiation, pesticide application (in production, transport, storage, and retail), whether organic standards were met, whether regenerative methods were employed in cultivation, and the country of origin.
- We support the restoration of farmlands to African American families who have been discriminated against and who have lost, or are about to lose, their farms as a result. Greens will work for a meaningful remedy to restore African American farmers’ unencumbered ownership of their land.
Sources Green Party