Ben Lilliston

Ben Lilliston oversees programmatic work at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy and is the co-author of the book Genetically Engineered Foods: A Self-Defense Guide for Consumers.

Articles by this author

Cattle in central California. Views
Friday, August 03, 2018
Stop Meat Companies from Rigging the Grass-fed Market
Food companies have a long history of keeping consumers in the dark about the origins of their food. But outright deception is another level of darkness. There are strong signs that global meat companies are taking advantage of a loophole to label imported beef, particularly grass-fed, as “Product...
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Saturday, March 03, 2018
The High Cost of Trump's Infrastructure Plan
While campaigning, then-candidate Donald Trump promised a big, beautiful $1 trillion infrastructure initiative —though its actual contents and who would pay for it were never revealed. When President Trump announced the plan 's details last month, the initiative was considerably smaller, and a lot...
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Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Trump’s Farm Policy: Agribusiness First
A fundamental challenge for food and farm policy is how to manage the disparity in economic power between multinational firms that dominate the marketplace and individual farmers and workers in the food system. It is the role of government to ensure a fair marketplace that protects farmers and food...
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Sunday, October 22, 2017
Trump’s USDA Does Bidding of Meatpackers, Turns Back on Farmers & Ranchers
Every day, independent livestock and poultry producers operate within a marketplace dominated by a handful of very large, mostly global meat companies. The overwhelming market power of companies like Smithfield, JBS and Tyson, to set prices and determine market rules, reduces competition and...
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Thursday, July 20, 2017
Trump’s Action Plan With China Puts Global Agribusiness First
Politicians and headline writers often tout new trade announcements as big wins for U.S. farmers and ranchers. Almost never do they declare plainly, and more accurately: this deal is a big win for global agribusiness! Conflating the interests of global agribusiness operating in multiple countries...
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Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Who Will Trump Side With on Paris Climate Decision?
In the coming weeks, various factions within the White House will debate whether the U.S. should leave the Paris climate agreement - the global plan signed by nearly 200 countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. President Trump is expected to reach a decision by the G7 meeting in Italy in late...
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Wednesday, April 12, 2017
When Climate Change Was Part of the Farm Bill
Last month, Congress held initial hearings to inform the 2018 Farm Bill. Agriculture Committee members heard about the struggling farm economy, crop insurance and rural development. One issue that wasn’t discussed, despite its profound impact on farmers, is climate change. Both Republican House and...
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Monday, January 23, 2017
Tillerson’s Damaging Record of Extraction and Opposing Climate Action
Rural communities in the U.S. and around the world are vulnerable to industries, often with headquarters elsewhere, who view local natural resources simply as an asset to be extracted. No global corporation better exemplifies this approach than the oil giant ExxonMobil. Now, President Donald Trump...
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Tuesday, September 06, 2016
The TPP's Climate Blindspot
Free trade deals, and in particular the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), have taken a beating this election season. Most of the noise on trade from Presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton has focused on the loss of jobs linked to the offshoring. Much less attention has...
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Monday, March 21, 2016
Selling TPP as the Farm Economy Drops off a Cliff
The farm economy is beyond struggling. Farm income was 50 percent lower in 2015 than in 2013 and is expected to drop further in 2016, reports the USDA . Prices for commodity crops, livestock and poultry are tumbling . Farmland prices are declining. Farm debt is rising . Approximately 45 percent of...
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