How do you know which U.S. politicians are voting against your best interests on food safety issues, thereby reducing the overall quality, nutrition, and healthfulness of the U.S. food supply?
And how can you tell which politicians are actually voting to protect our food supply, helping to pass laws to improve quality and safety standards?
As it turns out, there’s a very convenient resource at Food Policy Action that summarizing the historical voting record of each state’s senators and representatives, assigning each one a score from 0% (total sell-out) to 100% (protecting your best interests).
Looking at the voting records is a good way to see past the rhetoric and get a clear summary of your reps’ actual behavior.
Just click on your state, and you’ll see all your state’s reps listed with their scores.
For my state of Nevada, our two Senators scored as follows:
- Harry Reid (Democrat) – 100%
- Dean Heller (Republican) – 0%
So strictly in terms of their voting records, Harry Reid is doing an excellent job of voting to make the U.S. food supply safer and healthier (pro food safety), while Dean Heller is voting to trash it (anti food safety).
The votes for Nevada’s representatives fall along party lines as well:
- Steven Horsford (Democrat) – 92%
- Dina Titus (Democrat) – 85%
- Joe Heck (Republican) 31%
- Mark Amodei (Republican) – 8%
So in Nevada, our politicians are essentially canceling each other out.
In neighboring California, the situation is a little better since they have two Democratic Senators. Their scores are:
- Barbara Boxer (Democrat) – 100%
- Dianne Feinstein (Democrat) – 83%
California has dozens of representatives, and their votes also fall across party lines, with Democrats generally voting to protect U.S. food safety and Republicans voting to trash it.
Voting-wise that makes the math pretty simple. If you favor having healthier and more nutritious food, less crap in the food supply (antibiotics, pesticides, harmful GMOs, etc), better labeling, and higher food quality standards overall, favor Democrats over Republicans if/when you vote. But check the results for your own state just to be sure.
A major food safety issue where Californians totally dropped the ball was in voting against GMO labeling laws last year, but that’s because Monsanto and their allies spent $60 million to put out such a ridiculous avalanche of false information that they convinced many ignorant voters to vote against their own best interests, mainly by scaring them into thinking it would cost them a lot of money if GMO foods were labeled as such. But of course that’s ridiculous since 60+ countries and several U.S. states already have such laws, and it doesn’t increase the cost of food. What it actually does is help people decide not to buy genetically-modified foods (which are repeatedly being shown to be unsafe).
Now Monsanto’s big push is in trying to get the labeling of GMOs made illegal at the national level, thereby trumping all state laws. So given the track record of the above, it looks like they’ll have a lot more Republicans on their side than Democrats.
This makes me curious though… what are the Republicans going to eat?
P.S. I encountered this resource (and many others) while listening to the Food Revolution Summit this week. This is an incredible series of online interviews hosted by John and Ocean Robbins. It continues to run through May 4th, with new interviews posted every day. I’ve listened to every single interview so far. It’s very empowering to learn what practical action steps we can take to help create positive ripples in the world. I encourage you to sign up for it and tune in as well.