December 11, 2013
On December 10, Food Policy Action released its 2013 National Food Policy Scorecard. The National Food Policy Scorecard was launched last year to rate members of Congress based on their positions on food and farm policy votes.
Food Policy Action promotes policies that advance certain good food priorities, including supporting healthy diets, improving access to food, reducing hunger, upholding workers’ rights, improving public health, reducing the risk of foodborne illness, supporting local and regional food systems, and reducing the environmental impact of food production. Board members include among others Rev. David Beckman (Bread for the World), John Boyd (National Black Farmer Association), Ken Cook (Environmental Working Group), Gary Hirshberg (Stonyfield Farm), and Robin Schepper (Bipartisan Policy Center).
Senators were graded on six votes and House members on 13 votes that were part of this year’s farm bill floor debates. The House votes include two on conservation, four on food stamps, two on farm subsidy reform, and several others. The Senate votes include three on food stamps and one each on subsidy reform and GE labeling.
Compared to last year, there were fewer food and agriculture policy votes to score overall, in large part because the farm bill floor debates in the House and Senate were severely restricted and very few amendments were brought up for a vote.
This year, 87 members of Congress (73 Representatives and 14 Senators) received perfect scores. At the other extreme, 38 members received a zero score (28 Representatives and 10 Senators).
Information about the votes and how each legislator scored are available on Food Policy Action’s website.