October 21, 2018

Food Policy Scorecard Shows Consumers Where Lawmakers Stand

A new National Food Policy Scorecard that shows how members of the 112th Congress voted on issues including food safety, hunger, farm subsidies, organics, food labeling and more shows the top 20 spots are occupied by Democrats with100 percent voting records and the bottom 20 spots are all Republicans with voting records of 14 percent or less, three of whom, Rep. Steven Stivers (R-OH), Rep. Robert Turner (R-NY) and Rep. Mark Amodei (R-NV) have scores of zero percent.

BallotThe scorecard was developed by Food Policy Action, a group whose stated mission “is to highlight the importance of food policy and to promote policies that support healthy diets, reduce hunger at home and abroad, improve food access & affordability, uphold the rights & dignity of food and farm workers, increase transparency, improve public health, reduce the risk of food-borne illness, support local and regional food systems, treat farm animals humanely and reduce the environmental impact of farming and food production.” Food Policy Action chose 32 votes, 18 in the Senate and 14 in the House taken over the last two years, and ranked members based on their voting records. In the Senate, the average score was 58 percent, in the House it was 57 percent and, to be clear, many Republican lawmakers had higher than average scores. But Food Policy Action thinks there is room for improvement on both side of the aisle.

For example, most Americans agree that the “goal of federal food and farm policy should be to make nutritious and healthy food more affordable and more accessible,” yet our policies fall short, the group says. Foodborne illness sickens millions of Americans every year, one in four children does not get enough to eat, one third of adults and almost 20 percent of children are obese and millions of Americans live in food desserts where they can’t easily access healthy foods.

“Studies show that only 2 percent of our food economy is food that’s healthy, clean, green, and fair,” said Food Policy Action board member Navina Khanna. “Voting with our forks isn’t an option for most people. It’s time to hold our legislators accountable for creating and enforcing policies that make a food system healthier for people and the planet. The scorecard allows us to do that.”

Comments

  1. Suzanne Moore says:

    This doesn’t surprise me at all, given that our legislators – especially Republicans – are perfectly will in to knowingly export horse meat that is adulterated with substances that are banned in food animals world wide.

    Since the US doesn’t regard horses as food animals – in fact, the FDA classifies horses as “companion animals” – horses are not bred, raised or regulated as food animals. Many of the most widely used horse medications as well as other products – fly spray for one – contain substances that are specifically banned for use in ANY food animal at ANY time during their entire lifetime. Even ONE use of a banned substance – no matter when – and that animal is PERMANENTLY banned from the human food chain.

    Every year, we send tons of unregulated, unchecked horse meat for consumption overseas, mainly in the European Union. These horses were NOT farmed – they are companion, sport, recreation or race horses that the kill buyers acquire any way they can. There is NO oversight, NO documentation, nothing even though it’s almost a certainty that many, if not most, of these horses have at some time been dosed with the most widely used anti-inflammatory in equine veterinary practice – phenylbutazone, known to horsemen as bute. This drug was originally licensed for human use, but was withdrawn because of severe side-effects – including death – that were suffered by some patients. Children are especially at risk for developing aplastic anemia.

    Our legislators know all this but take no action because of influence of millions spent of lobbying them by Big Ag. All this is on public record.

    If they are this careless with others, why not us?

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