Useful: Flawed Food Score Card
By Brad Wilson at Oct 29, 2012
In re-interpreting the Food Scorecard, (http://www.foodpolicyaction.org/) below, my conclusions for the election and the two political parties are quite consistent. The Democrats are a lot better!
By taking into account the missing data and interpretation I've been presenting, I would rate them both much lower. Democrats are still much better, but not nearly as good as they used to be, as they too seem to have succumbed to corporate-funded Republican domination of elections over the decades. Today, none of them effectively oppose cheap corn, cotton, etc., and very few have done something (and not enough,) to oppose cheap milk. I guess I’d mostly just lower the ratings in a pro-rated way, by cutting them in half, with the top score being 50 out of 100. This remains a valuable tool, just prior to the election. It's still a dramatic contrast, and one the big money (corporate welfare, deregulation against consumers,) doesn't want us to talk about.
Compare the ratings and political party affiliations clearly here:
As long as the Food Movement remains uninformed and misinformed (as here,) about the key “Farm Justice Proposals for the 2012 Farm Bill, no Democrats will likely be supportive of the needed changes. The Food Movement must squarely face their failures (their flawed data and analysis, and unknowing support for Mega-ag-biz goals,) and join in strong support of these proposals.
Open Letter to Food Policy Action Regarding the Food Policy Scorecard
Your food scorecard is a great idea, but fails the test of factuality on several accounts, thus siding with the agribusiness input and output complex and CAFO complex on the biggest issues, as the full data clearly shows. This should not be matter of controversy, as you support my goals, you simply use the false agribusiness paradigm that has infiltrated the food movement. This, of course, goes directly against your own fine values and intentions. . . .
Briefly, on "Food Prices" you miss the way farmers (dominated by agbiz, cheap corn/milk) have long subsidized consumers. While the Family Farm Movement (ie. nffc.net) has long offered standards for both unfairly LOW (to protect farmers and prevent export dumping) and HIGH (to protect consumers) prices, you provide no standard and only call only for for downward. On "Farm Subsidies," you rely on false interpretation of the Farm Subsidy Database. In fact, farm prices were lowered and farmers got back (in subsidies) only about 1/8 of the reductions. Most "recipients" are tiny fractions of full time farmers, and not valid data. Almost all family farmers (and similar farmers) relying on these programs are in the top 10%, and they' make the majority of that, as I've proven. ERS full cost data showed farmers losing money for a sum of 8 crops every year 1981-2006, except 1996 and (all) 6 related studies found farmers (of 6 crops) losing money even with subsidies. Your This also relates to your "Jobs" section, which leaves out independent jobs on farms. Agribusiness called for removal (cheap corn, cotton, etc.) of 1/3 of US commodity crop farmers and farm workers within five years, yet their programs were better than what you offer. Diversified farms create more jobs than about any other method. All of this has a huge impact globally, as the US sets global commodity prices. It also has a large impact on other issues you list: Diet-related Disease, Food Sustainability, Hunger in rural regions, and the viability of local food systems.
You're also wrong about the history of scorecards. You include new proposals which have arisen out of the new food movement, which is great. For the biggest issues, properly understood, (ie. price floors, subsidies, and a wide range of other issues) however, there have long been scorecards (often yearly) of Congress and candidates (ie. National Farmers Union, Iowa Farmers Union). Understandably, you're reporting in the same way as much of the new food movement, which has great goals, but which lacks accurate historical understanding (of the five decades of movement work against food processor exploitation and the input complex [ie. pesticides].) Historically, the commodity crop and dairy regions (but not California) have been strongest advocates for farm and food justice (ie. against subsidies as a replacement for fair prices, ie. against cheap corn, milk, etc.). Midwestern Democrats were the strongest leaders on the biggest issues until 2002 when Iowa Senator Tom Harkin (Harkin-Gephardt Farm Bill) became Senate Ag Chair, and all progressive Democrats switched to a Republican “Freedom to Farm” (1996) style bill, (and you do the same). (As of last November, Chellie Pinegree wasn’t even aware of that history of Farm and Food Justice action in Congress.) The strongest proposals today on the biggest issues you seem to have no knowledge of.
In conclusion, please note that I'm merely showing ways for you to do a better job at what you're doing. In particular, note that I'm reinterpreting your work based upon a much larger body of data. If you truly value a strong foundation of data to undergird your work, you must address my concerns.
Here are a few sources representing large bodies of data (and many footnotes). The issues I raise apparently were not considered by you in creating your scorecard (and throughout the food movement):
(Data Slides) http://www.zcommunications.org/albums/list/bradwilson
(See data slides in these videos: “The Dairy Crisis & the 2012 Farm Bill,” “Michael Pollan Rebuttal 1 Debunking Pollan's ‘Corn Subsidy’ Argument,” and part 2, “Michael Pollan Rebuttal 2 Debunking Pollan's ‘Corn Subsidy’ Argument.”