Food Policy Action, a coalition of Environmental Working Group and other agencies, has published its Congressional scorecard for the year. Other members of the agency include the Humane Society of the United States, Center for Science in the Public Interest, the Union of Concerned Scientists, Oxfam America, and the Natural Resources Defense Council, among others.
The 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 and affordability, uphold the rights and dignity of food and farm workers, increase transparency, improve public health, reduce the risk of food-borne illness, support local and regional food systems, protect and maintain sustainable fisheries, treat farm animals humanely and reduce the environmental impact of farming and food production.” The agency was established in 2012.
The scorecard rates the votes of Congress members and the bills they sponsor on food safety and nutrition. FPA said in a statement, “while the average scores have increased by four points, the 2015 report illustrates a Congress that has so far failed to act on major food policy reforms, including reauthorizing child nutrition programs and addressing the overuse of antibiotics in animal agriculture, among other disappointments.”
All of the members who received perfect scores were Democrats, except Bernie Sanders, who is an Independent. Those members include Louise Slaughter (D-NY), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Tom Udall (D-NM), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Chellie Pingree (D-ME), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), among others.
The members with the lowest scores include Trey Gowdy (R-SC) with 14, Frank Lucas (R-OK) with 18, Rob Woodall (R-GA) with 10, Keith Yoder (R-KS) with 13, Ted Yoho (R-FL) with 10, Roy Blunt (R-MO), with 40, Robert Aderholt (R-AL), with 38, James Lankford (R-OK), with 40, Mitch McConnell (R-KY) with 40, Jim Bridenstine (R-OK) with 18, Dave Brat (R-VA) with 20, Doug Collins (R-GA) with 18, Paul Ryan (R-WI), with 20, Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) with 20, Steve Chabot (R-OH), with 18, and John Kline (R-MN) with 20, among others.
Votes on food related issues are also enumerated, with the meaning of the bills and amendments, and if it passed or not. Some of the votes considered crucial were S.388, the Animal Welfare in Agricultural Research Endeavors Act, and the Farm to School Act of 2015, along with votes on the Federal Minimum Wage and the Health Families Act.