June 19, 2018

How Do Your Representatives Score on Food Policy?

Food Policy Action has released its Legislative Scorecard for the 113th Congress. It gives 71 members perfect scores, and 35 a score of zero. The grades were set based on how the Senators and Representatives voted on six specific bills relating to food safety, domestic hunger programs, animal welfare, nutrition, organic farming, and food accessibility andĀ if they sponsored the eight related bills that did not come to a vote.

Important Notice Recall

The list of bills used on the Scorecard include the Senate’s Preventing Antibiotic Resistance Act of 2013 (PARA), the House’s Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act of 2013 (PAMTA) and the Grayson Food Safety Inspection Amendment.

Tom Colicchio, FPA board member, said in a statement, “few things have as much of an impact on our lives as food. That’s especially true for the families who don’t have enough to eat. Until now, voters had no simple way to find out whether their lawmakers voted to cut or protect food assistance for the neediest Americans. Thanks to the FPA scorecard, now they know.”

Ken Cook, FPA board chair and Environmental Working Group President said, “there is no question but that food has become more political in 2013. Hardly a day goes by when policymakers aren’t debating whether to cut SNAP, the food stamp program, reform farm subsidies, roll back food safety standards, reduce the use of antibiotics, pay food workers a living wage, or set standards for the humane treatment of farm animals.”

Among those who received perfect scores of 100 included Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA), Rep Xavier Becerra (D-CA), Senator Mark Begich (D-AK), Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA). All others who received perfect scores were Democrats, with the exception of Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Senator Angus King (I-ME).

Those who received scores of zero were all Republicans, including Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL), who is the Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, FDA, and Related Agencies. Others include Rep. John Boehner (R-OH), Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL), Rep. John Campbell (R-CA), Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR), and Rep. Steve Southerland (R-FL).

In fact, FPA is targeting Southerland as their top politician for defeat in the upcoming elections. They say that he voted against additional funding to protect against E. coli contamination, voted to make it easier for corporations to discharge pesticides that pollute rivers, voted to cut SNAP by more than $39 billion preventing children and veterans from receiving food, and voted to eliminate the Health Food Financing Initiative that increases access to affordable food in low-income communities.

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