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Food Policy Action Statement on Clovis Withdrawal as USDA Chief Scientist Nominee

Food Policy Action Statement on Clovis Withdrawal as USDA Chief Scientist Nominee

By | November 2nd, 2017 | FPA Blogs & News, Press Releases - Food Policy Action |

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Today, Food Policy Action (FPA) issued the following statement from its Executive Director Monica Mills on Sam Clovis withdrawing his name as nominee to be USDA Chief Scientist:

“Sam Clovis had no business being nominated, let alone voted on, as USDA’s chief scientist. His withdrawal should have happened months ago. His disturbing views and complete lack of scientific experience make him wholly unfit for this critically important position at USDA. This is a huge victory for consumers, producers, our food system, and fact-based governance. The American people deserve a USDA chief scientist who actually has expertise in their field and who believes in facts and the scientific method.”


Washington, D.C. — Today, Food Policy Action (FPA) issued the following statement from its Executive Director Monica Mills on Sam Clovis withdrawing his...

Washington, D.C. — Today, Food Policy Action (FPA) issued the following statement from its Executive Director Monica Mills on Sam Clovis withdrawing his name as nominee to be USDA Chief Scientist:

“Sam Clovis had no business being nominated, let alone voted on, as USDA’s chief scientist. His withdrawal should have happened months ago. His disturbing views and complete lack of scientific experience make him wholly unfit for this critically important position at USDA. This is a huge victory for consumers, producers, our food system, and fact-based governance. The American people deserve a USDA chief scientist who actually has expertise in their field and who believes in facts and the scientific method.”

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Food Policy Action Midterm Progress Report Shows Congress Falling Short

Food Policy Action Midterm Progress Report Shows Congress Falling Short

By | November 1st, 2017 | FPA Blogs & News, Press Releases - Food Policy Action |

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Food Policy Action Midterm Progress Report Shows Congress Falling Short Midterm report card reflects turbulent political environment and a lack of votes on positive food policy measures Washington, D.C., November 1, 2017 – Today, Food Policy Action released its 2017 Congressional Scorecard. This 6th annual scorecard is a midterm progress report published halfway through the…


Food Policy Action Midterm Progress Report Shows Congress Falling Short Midterm report card reflects turbulent political environment and a lack of votes...

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Food Policy Action Midterm Progress Report Shows Congress Falling Short

Midterm report card reflects turbulent political environment and a lack of votes on positive food policy measures

Washington, D.C., November 1, 2017 – Today, Food Policy Action released its 2017 Congressional Scorecard. This 6th annual scorecard is a midterm progress report published halfway through the 115th Congress to educate the public with objective, factual information about votes taken and bills introduced by Congress on critically important food issues.

The Senate was graded on 1 vote and 10 bills, and the House on 5 votes and 11 bills. Unfortunately, there was little headway on the passage of good food policies. Scores were down significantly this year, especially in the Senate, which included only the confirmation vote of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt based on his blatant record opposing the very agency he was nominated to lead. The majority of House votes were dangerous anti-regulatory bills that would roll back many basic protections in our food system. Neither the House nor the Senate spent much time on food issues this year, leaving little to score and more extreme scores than in years with more available votes. The FPA Scorecard’s takeaway: Washington is falling short when it comes to food policy, showing little progress in this first year of the 115th Congress.

“We deserve better,” said FPA co-founder, food advocate, and chef Tom Colicchio. “Food policy is connected to every critical issue faced by this great nation. Yet Congress has allowed the political dysfunction of a new Administration to not only prevent positive food bills from moving forward, but to roll back basic critical protections that keep our food system safe. This is unacceptable. FPA will continue to hold members of Congress accountable for the votes they cast – or I should say lack of votes this year – that impact food and our food system.”

This year, 130 Members – 80 House Members and 50 Senate Members – received 0 percent, the lowest possible mathematical score for this year’s report. The overall midterm scores averaged 49 percent across both chambers, down from 57 percent for the 114th Congress. Worth noting:  220 members of Congress – 140 in the House of Representatives and 40 in the Senate – received perfect scores of 100 percent.

“These scores are extreme because this is where Congress stands in such a turbulent political environment with a frustrating lack of bipartisanship on food policy votes,” said Ken Cook, FPA co-founder, board chairman, and EWG President. “Food policy is not a partisan issue. Congress should prioritize a more balanced, healthy and sustainable food system.  With this year’s report showing great room for improvement, I hope that Congress will do more next year than this year. In 2018, voters need a clearer sense of where their legislators stand on issues that affect the food system. We must all communicate with our legislators about the scorecard and let them know that we want good food policies prioritized in 2018.”

The few bright spots for the food movement highlighted in the Scorecard were Republican and Democrat proposals including a bill proposed by Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) to require greater transparency in commodity checkoff programs to prevent anti-competitive activities, a bill sponsored by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) to provide agricultural workers with a fairer legal immigration program, bills proposed by Reps. Susan Davis (D-CA-53) and Alma Adams (D-NC-12) to revise food assistance programs so that the benefits better afford a healthy diet, a bill sponsored by Rep. John Faso (R- NY-19) to improve oversight of organic imports, amendments by Reps. Jared Huffman (D-CA-02) and Elizabeth Esty (D-CT- 05) to maintain basic protections in the Clean Water Act. And there were more, but overall the Scorecard illustrates a weak food policy agenda midway through the 115th Congress.

“We applaud those in Congress who broke through the noise to raise their voice for the good food movement; even those not scored in this midterm report, but their efforts did not go unnoticed,” said FPA Executive Director, Monica Mills. “Safe, nutritious, affordable food for all matters greatly to all Americans across party lines, and while this year’s Scorecard shows a weak Congressional agenda on food policy, this is only a midterm score. Congress has a huge opportunity to show leadership on these issues as we move into discussions ahead of the 2018 Farm Bill. It is our job to hold them accountable during the next election cycle.”

Read the complete 2017 midterm Food Policy Scorecard for the 115th Congress here.

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Media Contact: Betsy Barrett, 202-997-3266, betsy@foodpolicyaction.org

About Food Policy Action: Food Policy Action was established in 2012 through a collaboration of national food policy leaders in order to hold legislators accountable on votes that have an effect on food and farming. Our goal is to change the national dialogue on food policy by educating the public on how elected officials are voting on these issues. Through education and FPA’s Scorecard, more people will be armed with the information they need to advocate for sound food policy and to elect more food policy leaders across the country. Find out more at www.foodpolicyaction.org.

Top Chefs Urge Congress to Protect 40 Million Americans from Hunger

Top Chefs Urge Congress to Protect 40 Million Americans from Hunger

By | October 4th, 2017 | FPA Blogs & News, Press Releases - Food Policy Action |

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WASHINGTON – As Congress begins debate on food and farm policy, some of the nation’s top chefs gathered on Capitol Hill today to urge lawmakers to protect the nation’s most effective anti-hunger program from budget cuts. Award-winning chefs from celebrated restaurants in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and other cities from across the country joined anti-hunger…


WASHINGTON – As Congress begins debate on food and farm policy, some of the nation's top chefs gathered on Capitol Hill today to urge lawmakers to ...

WithDonnelly

WASHINGTON  As Congress begins debate on food and farm policy, some of the nation’s top chefs gathered on Capitol Hill today to urge lawmakers to protect the nation’s most effective anti-hunger program from budget cuts.

Award-winning chefs from celebrated restaurants in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and other cities from across the country joined anti-hunger advocates from the Plate of the Union campaign to rally support for SNAP. More than 40 million low-income Americans, including one in four children, rely on SNAP each day to help put enough food on the table to survive.

SNAP is funded through the federal farm bill, which Congress must reauthorize every five years. The next farm bill is slated to come up for a vote in 2018 and SNAP funding is always a target for deep cuts.

However, even before lawmakers have begun debate over the farm bill, the anti-hunger program has already been targeted by the House Budget Committee. According to key staff, lawmakers on the budget committee will seek to cut SNAP funding this week by $150 billion (more than 20 percent) over the next 10 years.

In 2016, the average SNAP household received about $255 a month, while the average recipient received about $126 a month – about $1.39 per meal – according to the nonpartisan think tank, the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities.

“Cutting funding from this program is quite simply taking food from the mouths of children,” said chef Tom Colicchio, food advocate and co-founder of Food Policy Action Education Fund. “Today we’re making the case to our elected leaders that they must stand with the millions of families who rely on SNAP to have enough to eat.”

The Plate of the Union campaign is a collaboration between Food Policy Action Education Fund and Environmental Working Group. EWG President Ken Cook, who is also co-founder of FPA-EF, said SNAP is not where budget-cutting lawmakers should look.

“If Congress wants to slash farm bill funding, it should target the billions taxpayers send to mega farm operations in the form of crop and insurance subsidies, not this vital anti-hunger program that helps millions of struggling families put food on the table,” said Cook. “In a country as rich as ours, having enough food to feed yourself and your family shouldn’t be a privilege afforded to only those with means.”

Cook and Colicchio were joined by representatives from the campaign, Food Research Action Network, Center on Budget Policy and Priorities, James Beard Foundation, Patachou Foundation and a number of award-winning chefs, including:

  • Katie Button, Curaté and Nightbell, Asheville, N.C.
  • Joy Crump, Foode, Fredericksburg, Va.
  • David Guas, Bayou Bakery, New Orleans and Washington, D.C.
  • Ben Hall, Russell Street Deli, Detroit
  • Mourad Lahlou, Aziza, San Francisco
  • Steve McHugh, Cured at Pearl, San Antonio
  • Spike Mendelsohn, Sunnyside Restaurant Group, Florida, Illinois and Washington, D.C.
  • Mary Sue Milliken, Chef, Border Grill Restaurants & Truck, Los Angeles and Las Vegas
  • Patrick Mulvaney, Mulvaney’s B&L, Sacramento, Calif.
  • Marie Yniguez, Bocadillos, Albuquerque, N.M.

Food Policy Action Statement on FDA’s Proposed 2021 Delay of Nutrition Facts Labeling Requirements

Food Policy Action Statement on FDA’s Proposed 2021 Delay of Nutrition Facts Labeling Requirements

By | September 29th, 2017 | FPA Blogs & News, Press Releases - Food Policy Action |


Today, Food Policy Action (FPA​)​ issued the following statement from its Executive Director, Monica Mills, at the Food and Drug Administration’s proposed delay of nutrition facts until 2021 for most small companies. “It is very disappointing to hear that this Administration is delaying more transparent and accurate nutrition labeling requirements–especially around added sugar. As the…


Today, Food Policy Action (FPA​)​ issued the following statement from its Executive Director, Monica Mills, at the Food and Drug Administration's propo...

Today, Food Policy Action (FPA​)​ issued the following statement from its Executive Director, Monica Mills, at the Food and Drug Administration’s proposed delay of nutrition facts until 2021 for most small companies.

“It is very disappointing to hear that this Administration is delaying more transparent and accurate nutrition labeling requirements–especially around added sugar. As the FDA drags its feet on this important issue for consumers it is putting corporate interests ahead of the health of every American. This decision rolls back progress on nutrition that has bipartisan support. All Americans need more transparency about the nutrition of their food–not less. FDA’s decision to delay keeps consumers in the dark about the ingredients and nutrition in their food.

“We urge the FDA to stop bowing to corporate interests at the expense of Americans’ health. We ask Congress to stand up and fight against more rollbacks by this Administration on healthy food policy. We made a promise to America’s consumers to provide more information, not less. Let’s keep that promise.”

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Food Policy Action's Mission / Our Mission

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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