2016 report card highlights a growing discrepancy between consumer demand and good food policy out of Washington Washington, D.C., October 17, 2016 – Today, Food Policy Action released its National Food Policy Scorecard for the 114th Congress. This is the 5th annual Congressional scorecard released by the organization to educate the public about votes taken…
2016 report card highlights a growing discrepancy between consumer demand and good food policy out of Washington
Washington, D.C., October 17, 2016 – Today, Food Policy Action released its National Food Policy Scorecard for the 114th Congress. This is the 5th annual Congressional scorecard released by the organization to educate the public about votes taken by Congress on critically important food issues. While there was some headway on the passage of good food policies – and scores overall increased by 6 points since the 113th Congress – Washington is still falling short, showing little progress on major food policy in the last two years.
“This year’s Scorecard shows that Congress owes the American public much better leadership on these issues,” said FPA co-founder, food advocate, and chef Tom Colicchio. “Food is connected to every critical issue facing our nation – everything from our health, economy, and immigration, to labor and the environment. These issues matter to Republicans, Democrats, and independents. How Members of Congress vote on related policies has a tremendous impact on our food system. Members of Congress regularly vote on policies that affect the safety, security, and nutrition of our food supply. And yet, there has been very little attention to bringing transparency and accountability to that discussion. Food Policy Action was created for exactly this purpose – to hold Members of Congress accountable for the votes they cast that impact food and our very out-of-balance food system. FPA will continue to stand on the side of voters. Our 5-year mark is showing Congress that we’re not going away, and that we will continue to arm the public with information to hold their elected officials accountable for their food policy record.”
The Senate was graded on 10 votes and 12 bills, and the House on 16 votes and 15 bills. This year, 82 Members of Congress – 79 in the House of Representatives and 3 in the Senate – received perfect scores of 100 percent, while three Members received 12 percent, the lowest possible mathematical score for this year’s scorecard. The overall scores averaged 57% across both chambers, up from 51% for the 113th Congress.
The Senate had higher average grades than the House, reflecting the three food-related unanimous consent votes which all Senators supported, including the reauthorization of the Older American Act that provides support for senior nutrition programs like Meals on Wheels. Additionally, we applaud both chambers for passing the Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing Enforcement Act and the Global Food Security Act, demonstrating that even in a partisan environment, there is room for common ground on food issues.
Despite the modest bi-partisan gains in the 114th Congress, the 2016 Scorecard illustrates a Congress that has so far failed to act on major food policy reforms, including reauthorizing childhood nutrition programs, curbing the overuse of antibiotics in animal agriculture, and mandatory on-pack labeling of GMOs, among other disappointments. Additionally, many of the votes that were considered do not represent what the American public is demanding. These types of bills – that prevent transparency for consumers, roll back clean water and food safety protections, and block basic worker protection standards for farmworkers – do just the opposite. Rather than fixing our out of balance food system, they forestall progress and set exactly the wrong priorities of partisanship and corporate coffers over market signals of consumers and the health and safety of American families.
“The American consumer is making abundantly clear what they want on these issues,” said Ken Cook, Food Policy Action co-founder, board chairman, and EWG President. “We are seeing increased demand in the marketplace for food that is healthy, affordable, fair to workers, good for the environment and keeps farmers on the land. It’s time for Congress to step up and bring forward the good food policy that the public is demanding.”
Read the complete 2016 National Food Policy Progress Report for the 114th Congress here.
FPA releases polling and targets to defeat incumbents Blum, Garrett and Valadao on food issues Washington, D.C. – Today, Food Policy Action, an organization dedicated to educating the public about the votes their elected leaders take on critically important food issues, announced that Congressmen Rod Blum (IA-01), Scott Garrett (NJ-05), and David Valadao (CA-21) will…
FPA releases polling and targets to defeat incumbents Blum, Garrett and Valadao on food issues
Washington, D.C. – Today, Food Policy Action, an organization dedicated to educating the public about the votes their elected leaders take on critically important food issues, announced that Congressmen Rod Blum (IA-01), Scott Garrett (NJ-05), and David Valadao (CA-21) will be the group’s top targets for defeat in the 2016 campaign cycle. The organization will devote significant resources in these races as part of a larger half-million dollar effort to hold elected officials accountable for their votes on food policy.
“We know that food is political, and Food Policy Action is targeting races across the country to once again show that food can matter in elections,” said Tom Colicchio, Food Policy Action Co-Founder, food advocate and chef. “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.”
FPA worked with Lake Research Partners on a poll for Iowa’s 1st Congressional District. The results found the race to be nearly evenly divided with 48 percent of voters supporting Republican Rod Blum and 46 percent supporting Democrat Monica Vernon. After voters heard statements on Monica Vernon’s positions on important food safety net programs and Rod Blum’s record against better food policy, the race shifts to 48 percent support for Vernon and 45 percent support for Blum. Vernon increases her margins most notably among women under 50.
FPA also recently sponsored a poll with the Humane Society Legislative Fund that was conducted by the Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group. The results found the New Jersey 5th Congressional race to be in a dead heat, and when voters were asked open-ended questions on Garrett including his stances on food safety and lack of action on reducing the misuse of antibiotics, they said they felt more negative about the incumbent.
“Americans across the country want their elected officials to support a food system that promotes nutrition, food safety, and ending hunger – the polling clearly demonstrates it,” said Celinda Lake, President and CEO of Lake Research Partners. “Our polling showed Iowa’s 1st Congressional District to be a very close contest, but it also showed that nutrition matters to people, and that it helps Monica Vernon to show that she will stand up to protect Iowa’s most vulnerable seniors and children who depend on food and nutrition assistance programs. 56 percent of voters find that convincing, and support for Vernon flips from being down two points to up three points.”
“In New Jersey’s 5th Congressional District, voters have serious doubts about Congressman Scott Garret’s cuts that leave 2 million American families hungry every month. We’ve seen this in past elections too. In 2014, we saw key targets like unmarried women move toward food-friendly candidates when we reminded them that incumbents voted to cut nutrition support to children, seniors, and veterans.”
“We want to make a difference because ultimately, having good food champions in Congress will change food policy for the better,” said Ken Cook, Food Policy Action Board Chairman and Co-Founder. “I cannot say it enough; food matters in elections. The food movement is just getting started, and Reps. Blum, Garrett and Valadao need to understand that there are consequences to voting on the wrong side of food safety, security, and nutrition. We plan to arm voters in these districts who care about these issues — and want to help fix our out of balance food system— to become active over the next six weeks to elect Monica Vernon in Iowa, Josh Gottheimer in New Jersey, and Emilio Huerta in California.”
In addition to IA-1 and NJ-5, FPA is also targeting CA-21 between Republican incumbent David Valadao and challenger Emilio Huerta. Valadao has voted for and championed initiatives that would roll back nutrition standards and cut programs which ensure our children, seniors and veterans have enough to eat. Huerta has been a fighter for conservation, food and farm workers and making sure that our most vulnerable have enough to eat. We are optimistic that voters in this central valley district will support Huerta, who will better represent their values in Washington.
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 and to educate the public with objective information on how the United States Congress votes on a full range of food policy issues, which vitally influence our health, economy and the environment. 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 the National Food Policy Scorecard, more people will be armed with the information they need to advocate for sound food policy and vote with their forks to elect more food policy leaders across the country.
Endorsements and ads are made and paid for by Food Policy Action, www.foodpolicyaction.org, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.
Food group endorses Clinton-Kaine Presidential ticket and 12 candidates in top Congressional races Washington, D.C. – Today, Food Policy Action, an organization dedicated to educating the public about the votes their elected leaders take on critically important food issues, endorsed candidates in twelve of the most competitive Congressional races i n the country as well…
Food group endorses Clinton-Kaine Presidential ticket and 12 candidates in top Congressional races
Washington, D.C. – Today, Food Policy Action, an organization dedicated to educating the public about the votes their elected leaders take on critically important food issues, endorsed candidates in twelve of the most competitive Congressional races i n the country as well as in the Presidential race.
For the first time, FPA is weighing in on the most important political race in the country and supporting Hillary Clinton for President.
FPA endorses Hillary Clinton for her strong record supporting good food policies including maintaining a strong safety net for America’s most vulnerable, promoting water and land conservation and sustainable farming, increasing access to healthy food, upholding strong worker rights and fair wages, funding enhanced food safety inspections, and providing more consumer transparency. Unlike Secretary Clinton, Donald Trump has been on the record in support of food policies that would be harmful to our food system – specifically, his opposition to consumer transparency, his objections to vital sa fety net programs for America’s seniors and families, and his uninformed plan to dissolve the FDA.
“The Clinton-Kaine ticket is the better choice to make our food and agriculture system more balanced, healthy and sustainable,” said Tom Colicchio, co-founder of Food Policy Action, chef, and food advocate. “Food is political, and it matters in this election. We all feel the impact of the food system’s successes and its failures up and down the food chain. Our out of balance food system is truly failing the American public, and we need a strong leader in the White House who will prioritize fixing our food system. We urge all voters who care about good food policy to support Hillary Clinton for president and help get out the vote this year.”
FPA continues to hold Congress accountable for their votes on food and agriculture. For the first time, FPA is endorsing candidates in 12 of the most competitive races in the country, with a goal of electing more and better food leaders across the country. FPA is committed to helping Congress have more effective leaders on food and agriculture issues to drive more bipartisan solutions and market signals that can move the dial forward for good food policies.
FPA supports the following candidates in the most competitive races with failing food policy incumbents:
1. Illinois: FPA endorses challenger Rep. Tammy Duckworth over incumbent Sen. Mark Kirk (FPA 2015 Score 40%)
2. Missouri: FPA endorses challenger Jason Kander over incumbent Sen. Roy Blunt (FPA Score 40%)
3. North Carolina: FPA endorses challenger Deborah Ross over incumbent Sen. Richard Burr (FPA 2015 Score 40%)
4. Ohio: FPA endorses challenger Ted Strickland over incumbent Sen. Rob Portman (FPA Score 40%)
5. Pennsylvania: FPA endorses challenger Katie McGinty over incumbent Sen. Pat Toomey (FPA 2015 Score 40%)
6. Wisconsin: FPA endorses challenger Russ Feingold over incumbent Sen. Ron Johnson (FPA 2015 Score 40%)
7. CA-10: FPA endorses challenger Michael Eggman over incumbent Rep. Jeff Denham (FPA 2015 Score 20%)
8. CA-21: FPA endorses challenger Emilio Huerta over incumbent Rep. David Valadao (FPA 2015 Score 18%)
9. IA-01: FPA endorses challenger Monica Vernon over incumbent Rep. Rod Blum (FPA 2015 Score: 18%)
10. IL-10: FPA endorses challenger Brad Schneider over incumbent Rep. Bob Dold (FPA 2015 Score 30%)
11. NJ-05: FPA endorses challenger Josh Gottheimer over incumbent Rep. Scott Garrett (FPA 2015 Score: 30%)
12. NY-01: FPA endorses challenger Anna Throne-Holst over incumbent Rep. Lee Zeldin (FPA 2015 Score 50%)
“Expanding our involvement in elections across the country is an essential strategy to strengthen our political prowess and empower voters to vote with their forks at the polls,” said Ken Cook, Food Policy Action’s cofounder and board chairman. “By letting voters in these competitive districts know that these incumbents are serving them rotten food policies and that there are more and better options out there, we’re making the good food movement relevant to the voter constituency. FPA knows food only wins when good food candidates do. We will keep doing all that we can to elect better food leaders in Congress because we know that will ultimately lead to better food policy that the American public deserves.”
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 the National Food Policy Scorecard, more people will be armed with the information they need to vote with their forks and elect more food policy leaders across the country.
Endorsements made by Food Policy Action, www.foodpolicyaction.org, are not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.
Wednesday, September 13, 2016 Media Contact:Betsy BarrettFood Policy Actionbetsy@foodpolicyaction.org(202) 997-3266 FPA Executive Director Earns Spot On Most Innovative Women in Food and Drink 2016 List Claire Benjamin DiMattina is spotlighted as top leader in food and drink WASHINGTON, DC — Today the editors of Food & Wine and Fortune magazines released their list of women…
Wednesday, September 13, 2016
Food Policy Action
WASHINGTON, DC — Today the editors of Food & Wine and Fortune magazines released their list of women entrepreneurs, activists and leaders in the food world who have helped transform the industry and the way people eat and drink. Twenty women were spotlighted on the 2016 Most Innovative Women in Food and Drink list.
One of the women featured on this year’s list is Food Policy Action’s Executive Director, Claire Benjamin Dimattina. DiMattina oversees FPA’s advocacy, policy, political and fundraising efforts which have grown exponentially over the years. She helped launch FPA and FPA-EF after serving on the Hill for over 10 years directing food policy and legislative affairs for food policy champions Senator Leahy, Congressman Peter Welch and Congresswoman Chellie Pingree.
“We are so happy, but not in the least bit surprised that Claire is being honored among this esteemed list of women,” said FPA co-founder, “Top Chef” head judge and food advocate Tom Colicchio. “As co-founder of Food Policy Action, I’ve witnessed Claire’s incredible tenacity and expertise in food policy. Her leadership on this issue is unmatched on the Hill, and she has significantly moved the dial forward in holding Congress accountable to fix our broken food system. We appreciate her strong commitment to this important issue and could not be more grateful and proud to have her at the helm of our organization.”
The list highlights DiMattina’s leadership on policies that impact childhood nutrition, increase access to healthy food, and support farmers. To view an online copy of the article, click here.