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How Food-Policy Friendly Are Your Politicians?

By Caren Baginski on October 24, 2012
© New Hope 360

On National Food Day and prior to an important election, a new organization launched by "healthy food advocates, animal welfare and anti-hunger champions" is making it simple to know exactly how lawmakers stand on food policy.

Food Policy Action (FPA) has selected 32 floor votes—18 in the Senate, 14 in the House—taken by Congress over the past two years. The votes cover food safety, hunger, farm subsidies, food labeling, organic farming and local food systems. 

What makes FPA unique is that while other national organizations have graded lawmakers, no group has ever done so on recorded votes on specific legislative actions concerning food. 

FPA's National Food Policy Scorecard ranks lawmakers from 0 to 100 percent in terms of how they have voted on past important food policy issues. Higher scores mean more Yes votes on advantageous food policies. 

"Until now, consumers have been voting with their pocketbooks to demand safe and affordable food that is produced without harming the environment or treating animals inhumanely," said Ken Cook, founding board president of FPA and president of the Environmental Working Group. "Now, they can actually vote for lawmakers who have stood with them, not with big food or industrial agriculture." 

In addition to Cook, the following industry leaders make up the FPA's Board of Directors: 

  • Tom Colicchio, Chef, Restaurateur, Head Judge of Top Chef
  • Gary Hirshberg, Co-founder and Chairman, Stonyfield Farm
  • Wayne Pacelle, CEO and President, Humane Society of the United States
  • Ray Offenheiser, President, Oxfam America
  • Rev. David Beckmann, President, Bread for the World
  • Dave Murphy, Founder and Executive Director, Food Democracy Now! 
  • Mia Dell, Chief lobbyist, United Food and Commercial Workers
  • Navina Khanna, Co-founder, Live Real
  • Robin Schepper, former Executive Director, "Let's Move!"
  • John Boyd, President, National Black Farmers Association
  • Michael Jacobson, Executive Director, Center for Science in the Public Interest
  • Ken Cook, President, Environmental Working Group

Visit FPA's site to see how your lawmakers stack up.

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