Is it time to abolish the U.S. Department of Agriculture?

For The New Republic, Gabriel Rosenberg and Jan Dutkiewicz argue that we should abolish the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and replace it with a Department of Food that will prioritize the interests of laborers and eaters, as well as public health and the environment. The writers point to many examples of the department’s “support for a dysfunctional status quo,” but the real crux of the problem is that USDA was built “for a different country and a different time,” when a majority of people made their livelihoods from agriculture. Not only does that country no longer exist, but the writers argue that it’s been “replaced by one where very few people—and very few, very large corporations—control food production and distribution to the detriment of American consumers, taxpayers, and workers.” What would a People’s Department for the people really look like? —Tina Vasquez