Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 24, 2014

Advocates Grade Member Food Policy

Advocates Grade Member Food Policy

“Top Chef” judge Tom Colicchio argued the status quo of food policy in the United States is unacceptable. (Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

Cheflebrities, farmers and food policy wonks are banding together to keep an eye on Congress, releasing a National Food Policy Scorecard designed to let consumers know where their lawmakers stand on a broad array of alimentary issues.


The scorecard, which will tentatively be updated biennially, will be maintained and administered by Food Policy Action, an offshoot of the Environmental Working Group.

EWG Vice President for Government Affairs Scott Faber said FPA originally examined 39 Congressional votes before whittling its criteria down to 32 legislative actions — ranging from food-safety issues to school lunch funding — for this inaugural scorecard.

50 Members received perfect scores — 49 Democrats and Independent Sen. Joe Lieberman (Conn.). House Republicans Steve Stivers (Ohio), Bob Turner (N.Y.) and Mark Amodei (Nev.) brought up the rear, garnering goose eggs from the newly minted watchdogs. The lowest-scoring Democrat was Sen. Claire McCaskill (Mo.), who only did what FPA wanted about a third of the time. New Jersey Reps. Jon Runyan and Frank LoBiondo were the most food-sensitive Republicans, tying for the top of the GOP heap with a 79 percent approval rating.

Although several Republican veterans — including House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (14 percent), Texas Rep. Kevin Brady (7 percent) and Senate Conference Vice Chairman Roy Blunt (6 percent) — were chided for their dismal scores, Faber attempted to brush aside the notion that Democrats were universally favorable to food lovers.

“There is progress to be made by members of both parties,” he said.

EWG President Ken Cook echoed those sentiments, stressing that although FPA plans to remain neutral, it will make its wishes known on Capitol Hill.

“We didn’t make this partisan, but we are making it political,” Cook said.

Restaurateur and “Top Chef” judge Tom Colicchio credited ex-Sens. Bob Dole (R-Kan.) and the late George McGovern (D-S.D.) with helping to establish the modern “food safety net.” But he argued that the status quo, an unpalatable state of affairs that allows global hunger and rampant obesity to flourish, is no longer acceptable.

“If Members are voting along partisan lines, maybe now they won’t,” Colicchio said of the priorities check.

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  • wilsonccjr@gmail.com

    Wow, does this open Pandora’s Box! I go out and I shop and do and see and such.. and everywhere I look I see fat people, Americans who are clinically obese! Men? They are sad. But, that said, I have never in my entire lifetime seen as many fatty puff women, hugely clinically obese.. FAT AS A LARD BUCKET, as I see now, everywhere. When I see an American woman who is NOT fat I at first suspect that perhaps she suffers an illness. But, then, looking closely, I see that most who are NOT fat are NOT ill, but are taking care of themselves. The youth! NO parenting for most, the mothers being the primary influence, and they, the youth, start life with the focal point of the day as EATING, and ..American mothers what they are, FAST food in the order of the day. I am sickened by what I see and the natural anticipation of enormous future health issues is more than alarming. But, so.. well.. with the Obamacare, and rationed treatment, the candy companys will be floating in riches; child complains of ill health due to obesity, Mommie dishes out another bag of candy, before she goes next door to visit with the male neighbor, and.. well, we know the rest. The women of this country are destroying our country. And, the beat goes on. If the incompetent that they put into the White House is re-elected, it WILL HAVE BEEN THESE SAME fatty puff, non-parenting losers who will have put him right back in there! In this fashion, the circle is completed and they fulfill their secret fantasies.. You can figger that out.. I have!

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