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Failed Food Aid Reform Amendment To House Farm Bill ‘A Moral Outrage’

Noting the House this week voted down an amendment to the Farm Bill that would have allowed up to 45 percent of funds in the Food for Peace program to be used for aid other than U.S. commodities, development blogger Ansel Herz writes in Humanosphere, “Congress has again preserved American exceptionalism, and in so doing ensured millions more people in poor countries will go hungry.” He includes quotes from several Congress members about the amendment, and says, “This shows how far food aid reform has to go. The amendment did not reflect the far-reaching, meaningful reforms to food aid proposed by the Obama administration and progressive [non-governmental organizations (NGOs)] like Oxfam.” He continues, “That the amendment failed is a terrible sign — a moral outrage, really — that entrenched interests blocked a tiny, productive shift in how we feed the world’s hungry. The upside is, as Oxfam points out, that the vote was close. And Congress has an opportunity to support an even stronger package of reforms in the form of the Food Aid Reform Act. The world is watching” (6/20).