The Hagstrom Report

Agriculture News As It Happens


Food Policy Action leaders lean left

Food Policy Action’s board consists of leaders of 12 groups, all of which would be considered on the left of the political spectrum, even if their leaders claim to represent bipartisan, policy-oriented organizations.

A vote advisory council with a somewhat different membership recommended the food policy votes on which members of Congress were scored.

Food Policy Action board

  • Ken Cook, Environmental Working Group president
  • Tom Colicchio, chef, restauranteur, head judge of “Top Chef”
  • Gary Hirshberg, co-founder and chairman, Stonyfield Farm
  • Wayne Pacelle, CEO and president, Humane Society of the United States
  • Ray Offenheiser, president, Oxfam America
  • Rev. David Beckmann, president, Bread for the World
  • Dave Murphy, founder and executive director, Food Democracy Now!
  • Mia Dell, chief lobbyist, United Food and Commercial Workers
    Navina Khanna, co-founder, Live Real
  • Robin Schepper, formerly executive director of “Let‘s Move,” senior adviser to Bipartisan Policy Center
  • John Boyd, president, National Black Farmers Association
  • Michael Jacobson, executive director, Center for Science in the Public Interest.

Vote Advisory Council

EWG President Ken Cook, who chaired a news conference today, said that members of the vote advisory council had set aside their institutional affiliations to decide what votes to recommend.

  • Stacy Dean‬, Center for Policy and Budget Priorities
  • Ariane Lotti, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (formerly with Organic Farming Research Foundation)
  • Ferd Hoefner, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
  • Christine Melendez Ashley, Bread for the World
  • Colin O’Neil, Center for Food Safety
  • Erik Olson, Pew Charitable Trusts
  • Franz Matzner, Natural Resources Defense Council
  • Scott Faber, Environmental Working Group
  • Mia Dell, United Food and Commercial Workers
  • Robin Schepper, formerly executive director of “Let‘s Move,” senior adviser to Bipartisan Policy Center
  • David Plunkett, Center for Science in the Public Interest

Members of the board said in a news release today that they joined the new group because the food movement is not well represented in Washington.

<br />David Beckmann

David Beckmann

“Hungry people don’t have well-paid lobbyists working to protect the programs they rely on to help lift themselves out of poverty,” said Beckmann, a World Food Prize laureate who also is president of the Alliance to End Hunger.

“The food policy scorecard will ensure that families who are hungry, as well as those who care about hunger, know who voted for food and farm policies that serve the public interest,” he said.

Robin Schepper

Robin Schepper

“Without greater pressure from voters, Congress won’t change our food policies to promote healthier diets and lifestyles,” said Schepper, former executive director of First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” initiative to fight childhood obesity.

“Everyone has a role to play if we are going to reduce childhood obesity, especially our legislators in Congress.”

Ray Offenheiser

Ray Offenheiser
“While many of us have begun voting with our forks, too few of us have been voting with our votes,” said Offenheiser.

“That's about to change,” he said. “Now legislators will think twice about casting votes in Congress to protect the narrow interests of well-heeled lobbyists above the will of people in their districts and hungry people around the world. The FPA will be keeping an eye on our elected leaders on behalf of the voters who sent them to Washington.”

Navina Khanna

Navina Khanna
“Studies show that only two percent of our food economy is food that's healthy, clean, green, and fair,” said Khanna, whose Live Real organization advocates healthy local food and food justice.

“Voting with our forks isn’t an option for most people,” she said. “It’s time to hold our legislators accountable for creating and enforcing policies that make a food system healthier for people and the planet. The scorecard allows us to do that.”