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Food Chain Weekly News Topic
Food Chain Radio Show #917
April 27, 2013 • Sat 9AM Pacific

Michael Olson hosts:  Kathy Kozer, National Family Farm Coalition; Eric Munoz,

Oxfam America;  Mary Kay Thatcher, American Farm Bureau Federation

Should we send the hungry food or money?

When possible, the United States sends the surplus crops of its farmers to feed the world’s hungry.
The Obama administration is planning to change this traditional way of aiding the world’s hungry:  Instead of sending the surplus crops of its farmers, the administration wants to send the surplus money of its taxpayers.

The reason put forth for this change of plans is simple:  Sending surplus U.S. crops to the hungry destroys the market for local agriculture.  After all, the reasoning goes, local farmers cannot compete with free crops from abroad, and when local agriculture is destroyed, the hungry become even hungrier.

But others say sending surplus U.S. taxpayer money to foreign farmers will undermine the competitiveness of U.S. farmers and related industries. After all, the reasoning goes, what U.S. farmer can compete with foreign farmers receiving free U.S. taxpayer money?
This disagreement over how the U.S. should administer its food aid leads us to ask…  
Should we send food or money?

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