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The Public Deserves Better

The Public Deserves Better

By | September 25th, 2014 | Blogs |


By, Tom Colicchio The food that feeds our families and supports our agriculture industry is affected every day by the decisions that elected officials make in Washington. Members of Congress regularly vote on policies that affect the quality, availability, and sustainability of our food supply. And yet, there has been very little attention to bringing…


By, Tom Colicchio The food that feeds our families and supports our agriculture industry is affected every day by the decisions that elected officials m...

By, Tom Colicchio

The food that feeds our families and supports our agriculture industry is affected every day by the decisions that elected officials make in Washington. Members of Congress regularly vote on policies that affect the quality, availability, and sustainability of our food supply. And yet, there has been very little attention to bringing transparency and accountability to that discussion.

As someone who has spent his life in the food business, I firmly believe that when citizens enter the voting booth, they need to be as informed about food policy as they are about a candidate’s views on job creation, foreign policy, and social issues. Unfortunately, in Arkansas right now, we have a classic example of what’s wrong with the political discourse around food in this country.

U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton, who is running for Senate, released a campaign ad that misleads voters and misconstrues the facts about the Farm Bill. The Farm Bill is a critically important law that shapes food production, determines nutrition assistance, and supports farmers, among other things. Sadly, Rep. Cotton’s ad wrongfully accuses President Obama of “hijacking the farm bill and turning it into a food stamp bill,” which simply isn’t true.

But don’t take my word for it. The Washington Post called the ad’s claims “invented history,” and the non-partisan fact-checker Politifact gave the dubious ad its “Pants On Fire” rating, which is the equivalent of an “F” on a high school report card. The truth is, SNAP (a.k.a. food stamps) first became a part of the Farm Bill during the Great Depression, and has been included in every Farm Bill that has become law since 1973. It has been supported by Members from both sides of the aisle for decades.

Today’s voters deserve better. We’ll never be able to improve food policies in this country if our leaders distort and distract instead of discuss and debate. Voters need information, which is why I co-founded Food Policy Action, a non-partisan organization dedicated to bringing light and accountability to the food debate.

Every year, Food Policy Action puts together a Legislative Scorecard to help voters get the information they need to know exactly how their elected officials vote on these important issues. You can find more information about the scorecard at www.foodpolicyaction.org.

Last year, Rep. Tom Cotton scored a 0% on the Legislative Scorecard. In other words, on every single vote that touched upon sensible food policy, Rep. Cotton voted the wrong way. In light of this score and his blatantly false ad, I know this much to be true: the public deserves better. It’s up to voters to make sure Rep. Cotton gets the message.

Tom Colicchio is Co-Founder of Food Policy Action, a Food Advocate and Chef

Food Policy Action Statement on Rep. Tom Cotton’s Campaign Ad

Food Policy Action Statement on Rep. Tom Cotton’s Campaign Ad

By | September 19th, 2014 | Press Releases - Food Policy Action |


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Friday September 19, 2014 Contact: Claire Benjamin (202) 631-6362 claire@foodpolicyaction.org “Tom Cotton’s campaign ad is misleading and dishonest,” said Claire Benjamin, Managing Director of Food Policy Action. “The truth is, food stamps have been a part of the Farm Bill for decades, and this year’s Farm Bill actually cut food stamps by…


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Friday September 19, 2014 Contact: Claire Benjamin (202) 631-6362 claire@foodpolicyaction.org “Tom Cotton's campaign ad is...

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday September 19, 2014

Contact: Claire Benjamin
(202) 631-6362
claire@foodpolicyaction.org

“Tom Cotton’s campaign ad is misleading and dishonest,” said Claire Benjamin, Managing Director of Food Policy Action. “The truth is, food stamps have been a part of the Farm Bill for decades, and this year’s Farm Bill actually cut food stamps by billions. Arkansas families deserve sensible, bipartisan leadership, not the kind of dishonesty Tom Cotton is selling in order to get elected to the Senate.”

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Our 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. Food Policy Action promotes positive policies through education and publication of the National Food Policy Scorecard.

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