Saturday, November 21, 2015

Are Some Congressmembers Willing To See Their Constituents Become Unhealthy In Return For Contributions?


It's probably not news to most DWT readers that corrupt conservatives in Congress always put the special interests of their contributors from the junk food industry and from biotech companies ahead of food safety. You may have read that Thursday the FDA-- not Reagan's FDA or Bush's FDA or Hillary's FDA but Obama's FDA-- approved, for the first time ever, genetically engineered salmon. No, not for pet food, which would be bad enough, but for people food. The company that will benefit AquaBounty Technologies hired one of K Street's sleaziest lobbying firms, Policy Directions-- which also lobbies for Nestle Infant Nutrition and Nestle Purina PetCare-- to get the job done for them. Before they could get FDA approval they had to get Mike Pompeo's H.R. 1599 passed, the Orwellian-named "Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015," which prevents the FDA from requiring the labeling of bioengineered foods and makes it illegal for any individual state to require GMO labeling of food. It passed on July 23 275-150, 138 progressives Democrats and a dozen libertarian-leaning Republicans voting against it. Of the 45 Democrats who joined the GOP to pass their Frankenfood bill almost all were from the corrupt Republican wing of the Democratic Party, like Donald Norcross (NJ), Gwen Graham (FL), Brad Ashford (NE), Kyrsten Sinema (AZ), Dan Lipinski (IL), Ami Bera (CA), Jim Cooper (TN), Collin Peterson (MN), Jim Costa (CA), Kurt Schrader (OR), basically most of the same garbage Democrats who voted against the Syrian refugees Thursday.
"It was a flawed and irresponsible approval ... It sets a very dangerous precedent, given our federal government agencies are ill-equipped to handle genetically engineered animals," said Dana Perls, food and technology campaigner at Friends of the Earth, an international network of environmental organizations that has vehemently fought AquaBounty's efforts. "I think it is a grave mistake we will come to regret."

Perls said her group and others would continue to try to undermine the market for the fish. "It’s clear: People don’t want to eat it," she said. "We’re going to continue to work with grocery stores and retailers to continue to listen to consumers who don’t want to eat this under-studied, unlabeled GMO fish."

Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) has long opposed the AquaBounty fish, saying that its existence would threaten a mainstay industry of his state. He repeatedly has pushed for delays in the FDA approval process, telling the Post in a 2012 interview that he hoped such hurdles eventually would "break that company."

"This harebrained decision goes to show that our federal agencies are incapable of using common sense," Young said in a statement Thursday. "By embarking on this science experiment, the FDA ignores fundamental risk questions related to our wild fish species and food safety."
Whole Foods, Trader Joe's and even Target have assured food activist groups they won't carry the Frankenfish. One major problem is that Pompeo's "Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act" specifically prohibits labeling this kind of dangerous product so people will have no way of knowing if they're getting real salmon or garbage and there will be a good chance that any salmon you buy in a few years that isn't labeled "wild caught" will probably turn your child into a two-headed dog.

So how do you know which Members of Congress are, generally speaking, the good guys and the bad guys on food issues? Luckily for us all, Food Policy Action has released a scorecard rating every Member of Congress based on how they voted on food policy issues including "domestic and international hunger, food safety, food access, farm subsidies, animal welfare, food and farm labor, nutrition, food additives, food transparency, local and regional food production, organic farming and the effects of food production on the environment." This is a list of House Members who scored 100%. These people are trying to keep you and your family safe:
Karen Bass (D-CA)
Joyce Beatty (D-OH)
Xavier Becerra (D-CA)
Brendan Boyle (D-PA)
Julia Brownley (D-CA)
Michael Capuano (D-MA)
Matt Cartwright (D-PA)
Judy Chu (D-CA)
David Cicilline (D-RI)
Catherine Clark (D-MA)
Yvette Clarke (D-NY)
Steve Cohen (D-TN)
John Conyers (D-MI)
Elijah Cummings (D-MD)
Pete DeFazio (D-OR)
Diana DeGette (D-CO)
Rosa DeLauro (D-CT)
Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA)
Debbie Dingell (D-MI)
Mike Doyle (D-PA)
Donna Edwards (D-MD)
Keith Ellison (D-MN)
Eliot Engel (D-NY)
Elizabeth Esty (D-CT)
Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Ruben Gallego (D-AZ)
Alan Grayson (D-FL)
Raul Grijalva (D-AZ)
Luis Gutierrez (D-IL)
Janice Hahn (D-CA)
Denny Heck (D-WA)
Brian Higgins (D-NY)
Mike Honda (D-CA)
Steny Hoyer (D-MD)
Hank Johnson (D-GA)
Marcy Kaptur (D-OH)
Joe Kennedy (D-MA)
Dan Kildee (D-MI)
Ann Kuster (D-NH)
Jim Langevin (D-RI)
John Larson (D-CT)
Barbara Lee (D-CA)
Sandy Levin (D-MI)
John Lewis (D-GA)
Ted Lieu (D-CA)
Alan Lowenthal (D-CA)
Nita Lowey (D-NY)
Caroline Maloney (D-NY)
Jim McDermott (D-NY)
Jim McGovern (D-MA)
Grace Meng (D-NY)
Gwen Moore (D-WI)
Jerry Nadler (D-NY)
Grace Napolitano (D-CA)
Richard Neal (D-MA)
Richard Nolan (D-MN)
Frank Pallone (D-NJ)
Donald Payne (D-NJ)
Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
Chellie Pingree (D-ME)
Mark Pocan (D-WI)
Charlie Rangel (D-NY)
Bobby Rush (D-IL)
Tim Ryan (D-OH)
Linda Sanchez (D-CA)
John Sarbannes (D-MD)
Jan Schakowsky (D-IL)
Adam Schiff (D-CA)
Bobby Scott (D-VA)
Jose Serrano (D-NY)
Brad Sherman (D-CA)
Louise Slaughter (D-NY)
Jackie Speier (D-CA)
Mark Takai (D-HI)
Dina Titus (D-NV)
Paul Tonko (D-NY)
Niki Tsongas (D-MA)
Chris Van Hollen (D-MD)
Pete Viscolsky (D-IN)
Maxine Waters (D-CA)
Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ)
Peter Welch (D-VT)
Frederica Wilson (D-FL)
John Yarmuth (D-KY)
I feel a need to mention that there are plenty of terrible legislators on this list-- like Steny Hoyer and Denny Heck for example-- but who are good on food issues. The Members Blue America has endorsed this cycle are highlighted and linked to a contribution page. The very worst Members of the House on food issues-- 13 men and one woman who must sit home and try to figure out how to kill their constituents are, predictably all Republicans, not just corrupt, but also ideologically insane:
Tim Huelskamp (R-KS)
Glenn Grothman (R-WI)
George Holding (R-NC)
Austin Scott (R-GA)
Paul Gosar (R-AZ)
Ted Yoho (R-FL)
Mia Love (R-UT)
John Ratcliffe (R-TX)
Greg Harper (R-MS)
Tom Graves (R-GA)
Jody Hice (R-GA)
Doug Lamborn (R-CO)
Tom Rice (R-SC)
Rob Woodall (R-GA)

Labels: ,


At 9:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This scorecard (and other scorecards) is bounded by what legislation is actually introduced in Congress. If a politician is on the right side of all of the scored issues, as determined by Food Policy Action's BOARD OF DIRECTORS and VOTE ADVISORY COUNCIL, they score a 100%.
so if nobody introduces legislation on other food issues, such as limiting marketing to kids or soda taxes, the scorecard does not take that into account. therefore, you might look up your legislator and determine they are perfect on food policy, even though there's so much more that needs to be done, and FPA is not the definitive authority on good food policy .
(see for example 100 %er Yvette Clark: she's gotten money this cycle from PACs of Coca-Cola, McDonalds, and Sugar Cane League. Hmm.)

Food Policy Action has an ironic transparency record, this from the Hagstrom Report 2013, but situation unchanged:

"Ken Cook [the EWG president who chairs the FPA] said the organization, which is in its second year, is financed by individuals, but declined to mention their names. He said that the group is organized as a 501(c)(4) organization, which means that it is not required by law to reveal its donors.

EWG was among the groups that called on agribusinesses to reveal their political donations when Washington state was considering an initiative to require labeling of genetically modified foods. The opponents of that labeling scheme did reveal the donor list after the Attorney General of Washington state said it was required by law.

Cook said today that Food Policy Action does not need to reveal its donors because it is not required to by law."

You write:
"Before they could get FDA approval they had to get Mike Pompeo's H.R. 1599 passed, the Orwellian-named "Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015," which prevents the FDA from requiring the labeling of bioengineered foods and makes it illegal for any individual state to require GMO labeling of food."

So far, HR1599 has not been taken up by the Senate: So this issue is not yet set in stone.


Post a Comment

<< Home