Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Matt Bogard on GMOs and Farm Subsidies

Back in April, Matt Bogard posted a series of questions on GMOs and farm subsidies. As Matt notes, the typical view of ag subsidies is almost completely at odds with the data and relevant research.

I definitely recommend reading the whole thing, so here are his questions:

1) Do farm subsidies encourage farmers to plant biotech or GMO seeds?

2) If subsidies drive the production of commodities and most of these are GMO,  aren’t we indirectly subsidizing GMOs?

3) Do farm subsidies make unhealthy foods cheaper and contribute to obesity?

4) Do farm subsidies largely prop up wealthy farmers vs. helping small farmers thrive in a volatile, competitive global and corporate dominated marketplace?

I'm fairly confident that a large percentage of the population would confidently answer "yes" to each of these questions. The reality is either "no" or at least a much less emphatic "maybe."


  1. When talking about subsidies, a lot of "libertarian" minded people seem to think Monsanto, Syngenta and Dow are all getting direct checks from the Feds. Everytime, I ask for a specific program or any evidence....only to hear silence. Everynow and then, I'll get called a Shill and I have to be bought and paid for my Monsanto.
    No doubt you'll be labeled a shill soon enough.

    1. Zombie Hero,

      While I certainly will claim the moniker "libertarian," I have always had trouble identifying the supposed link from farm subsidies to the major agribusiness firms. Any benefit they would be able to obtain would likely be competed away since there are several manufacturers of these seeds/chemicals.

      Thank you very much for your thoughtful comment!