Ben Lilliston

Articles by this author

At factory farms, thousands of animals are raised in confined spaces, producing a massive amount of waste stored in manure lagoons. (Photo: KARIM JAAFAR/AFP via Getty Images) Views
Wednesday, January 15, 2020
Cory Booker's Halt on Factory Farms Would Help the Climate
Growing momentum to curb large-scale, high polluting animal factory farms could result in a big win for the climate, while aiding independent farmers and ranchers trying to stay afloat in a struggling agriculture economy. A bill introduced last month by New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker is the latest...
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 Part of the pushback against these deals is the continued growth in rural communities of controversial factory farms (operations with thousands, if not tens of thousands, of animals producing large amounts of manure) primarily to feed exporting agribusiness companies. (Photo: KOMUnews/cc/flickr) Views
Tuesday, October 01, 2019
Trump’s Japan Deal Another Win for Global Meat Companies
If the world can be seen as a game of Risk , the global meat industry—with the help of the Trump administration—just got Japan. While the President touted last week’s deal as aiding struggling U.S. farmers hurt by trade fights, the real winners are global players like the Chinese-owned Smithfield,...
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Protester holds a sign reading: Protect workers and the environment Views
Friday, July 19, 2019
Did Obama's Trade Legacy Just Hammer the Green New Deal?
One of core elements of the proposed Green New Deal is a just transition—the creation of fair wage jobs that benefit communities, particularly those currently or formerly dependent on high polluting industries. In early July, a World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute panel ruled that renewable...
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The drivers of our slumping farm economy are longstanding and structural. (Photo: Shutterstock) Views
Wednesday, May 29, 2019
Taking Farmers for a Ride
Over the last year, President Trump has taken farmers on a roller coaster ride that’s finally gone off the rails. Escalating trade fights have kicked farmers, already mired in a five-year slump, in the gut. Now, the administration is working up a new trade aid package, while simultaneously opposing...
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While emissions in many sectors are declining, those from the agriculture sector have increased more than 10 percent since 1990, according to the EPA. Views
Sunday, March 31, 2019
Latest Agriculture Emissions Data Show Rise of Factory Farms
New data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) shows a steady increase in agriculture-related greenhouse gas emissions, much of it linked to industrial systems of crop production and the rise of factory farm systems of animal production. The annually updated GHG data is designed to...
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While most of the focus on climate risk disclosure has been on the fossil fuel industry, few sectors face as much risk as food and agriculture—in particular, companies with long supply chains increasingly vulnerable to disruption.(Photo: shutterstock) Views
Monday, January 07, 2019
Senator Warren's Push for Climate Risk Disclosure
Just prior to the new year, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) threw her hat into what is expected to be a crowded 2020 presidential race. Senator Warren has been an advocate for climate action, and her lead climate proposal capitalizes on her market regulatory expertise to require new levels of...
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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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landscape cloud field Views
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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