the fourth year in a row, Food Policy Action has published its National Food Policy Scorecard which reflects the votes of members of Congress and their co-sponsorship on bills related to a range of food issues. “While the average scores have increased by four points, the 2015 report illustrates a Congress that has so far failed to act on major food policy reforms, including reauthorizing childhood nutrition programs and addressing the overuse of antibiotics in animal agriculture, among other disappointments,” FPA stated. This year, 116 members of Congress — 87 in the House of Representatives and 29 in the Senate — received perfect scores of 100 percent, while 280 members scored below 50 percent and four members received less than 10 percent. The Senate was graded on five votes and 10 bills and the House on 10 votes and support of 12 bills. The legislative topics ranged from school meals and nutrition to GMO labeling, trade and animal welfare. The list included the House vote on repealing the USDA Country of Origin Labeling program (COOL) for beef, pork, and chicken and votes in both chambers on “fast-track” negotiation authority for trade agreements. Members were also scored on their co-sponsorship of bills, such as the Senate’s Preventing Antibiotic Resistance Act of 2015 (PARA) and the House’s Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act (PAMTA). All of the members to receive a perfect score were Democrats except Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). Here are the scores for some members of Congress Food Safety News regularly follows:

  • Robert Aderholt (R-AL): 38 (up from 0)
  • Roy Blunt (R-MO): 40 (up from 17)
  • Thad Cochran (R-MS): 57 (up from 50)
  • Susan Collins (R-ME): 88 (up from 75)
  • Rosa DeLauro (D-CT): 100 (up from 96)
  • Sam Farr (D-CA): 86 (up from 80)
  • Dianne Feinstein (D-CA): 89
  • Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY): 100 (up from 85)
  • Collin Peterson (D-MN-7): 45 (up from 39)
  • Frank Lucas (R-OK): 18 (up from 17)
  • Chellie Pingree (D-ME): 100 (up from 96)
  • Louise Slaughter (D-NY): 100 (up from 92)
  • Debbie Stabenow (D-MI): 100 (up from 50)
  • Tom Udall (D-NM): 100
  • Elizabeth Warren (D-MA): 100 (up from 88)

Compared to last year’s grades, 126 House and nine Senate scores decreased, while 213 members of the House and 78 in the Senate saw their grades improve. FPA was established in 2012 and its chairman is Ken Cookpresident and co-founder of the Environmental Working Group. Affiliations of FPA board members include Stonyfield Farm, the Humane Society of the United States, Oxfam America, Bread for the World, Food Democracy Now!, United Food and Commercial Workers, Live Real, the National Black Farmers Association, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Union of Concerned Scientists. (To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here.)