A new scorecard for lawmakers was launched on Wednesday by the advocacy group, Food Policy Action. The National Food Policy Scorecard will grade lawmakers on food issues relating to food safety, hunger, farm subsidies, farm workers’ rights and humane animal treatment. Other heavy-hitters in the food industry are backing the movement, such as Top Chef Tom Colicchio, Stonyfield Farm’s Gary Hirshberg, and Robin Schepper, the former executive director for Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign.
The scorecard looked at over 30 key food policy votes in Congress. Lawmakers were rewarded for voting on initiatives to reduce or eliminate federal subsidies paid to farmers, boost E. coli prevention funding, and that repeal ethanol subsidies. However, they were penalized for voting to reduce food assistance or weaken pesticide regulations.
Food Policy Action feels that despite Democrats out-scoring Republicans, the food scorecard is objective and non-partisan. Scott Faber, VP of Environmental Working Group said, “Food is a bipartisan issue.” Adding that, “some Republicans scored well and Democrats scored poorly.” Others chimed in saying “it isn’t about politics, it’s about values.”
Food Policy Action’s mission is to increase awareness about food policy. More specifically, they want to promote policies that encourage “healthy diets, reduce hunger at home and abroad, improve food access & affordability, uphold the rights and dignity of food and farm workers, increase transparency, improve public health, reduce the risk of foodborne illness, support local and regional food systems, treat farm animals humanely and reduce the environmental impact of farming and food production.”
It is not set on how the scorecard will be implemented. Only a few media outlets have reported the results from the scorecard released this past Wednesday.