March 29, 2017

Voting Next Week? See How Your Legislators View Food Safety

Food Policy Action released its National Food Scorecard for the 114th Congress earlier this month. Overall scores increased by six points since the last Congress, but there is little progress on major food policy in the last two years.

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Chef Tom Colicchio, Food Policy Action co-founder and advocate said in a statement, “this year’s Scorecard shows that Congress owes the American public much better leadership on these issues. Food is connected to every critical issue facing our nation – everything from our health, economy, and immigration, to labor and the environment. And yet, there has been very little attention to bringing transparency and accountability to that discussion.”

The Senate was graded on 10 votes and 12 bills, and the House was graded on 16 votes and 15 bills. Seventy-nine members of the House of Representatives and three Senators received perfect scores of 100%. The overall scores were 57% in both chambers, up from 51% for the 113th Congress.

But overall, Congress has failed to act on major food policy reforms. They did not reauthorize childhood nutrition programs, refused to curb the overuse of antibiotics in animal agriculture, and did not vote on mandatory labeling of GMOs on food products.

You can see how your representative voted with the 2016 Food Policy Action Scorecard. You enter your zip code, or select a state, chamber, and party, and get the ratings on your elected officials.

In addition to this scorecard, FPA is trying to defeat three Congressmen in the 2016 election. Mr. Colicchio said, “we’re letting voters in these districts know that these incumbents are serving them rotten food policies. We are targeting these three races because of the incumbents’ demonstrated voting records against good food policy.”

Those representatives are Rod Blum (R-IA), Scott Garrett (R-NJ), and David Valadao (R-CA). Blum scored 25% in FPA’s rankings. Garrett was in favor of cutting plans that help feed poor Americans and will not vote to reduce the misuse of antibiotics; he scored 27%. Valadao supported initiatives that would roll back nutrition standards and cut programs that make sure children, seniors, and veterans have enough to eat; he also scored 25% in FPA’s rankings. All three of these men voted to decrease federal food safety regulations.

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