We know our 2016 presidential candidates like their food, just ask Hillary Clinton who has spent $9,046 on pizza during her campaign. But where do these candidates actually stand when it comes to food issues? The information is surprisingly scarce.
I get it, agriculture, GMOs, farming; it’s not the most exciting stuff. But that tomato salsa on your chipotle burrito didn’t just magically appear. Someone had to grow the vegetables, sell the vegetables, make the salsa, and sell the salsa to you through a complex supply chain. Who knew food was such hard work?
On top of that, debates over whether or not our food should be labeled when it is genetically modified are becoming heated and solutions to childhood obesity are attempting to be solved by policies like the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act that was signed by Obama in 2010.
Food is probably the most essential part of our day, so why aren’t we hearing more discussions from the candidates about this? I guess they are too busy looking at Donald Trump’s hands… here’s what we do know about what the candidates will do for the food industry:
Ted Cruz wants you to keep eating your French fries, but isn’t crazy about dependency on food stamps and GMO labeling.
GMO Labeling: He’s not a fan.
“I don’t think the federal government should be mandating labeling that’s not driven by the sciences, particularly when there have been enormous benefits in terms of driving down the cost of food and feeding people all across the world.” Cruz said in an interview with RFD TV.
Food Stamps: Also not a fan. He’d rather help those in need get back up on their feet, as illustrated in his reasoning for voting “no” on the 2014 Farm Bill.
Farming Opportunities: Cruz wants to improve the legal immigration system to provide farmers with more labor. He also believes the government should have a role in ensuring that food is safe.
Trump’s tough on immigration, but does that benefit the food industry? I don’t think so.
GMO Labeling: Trump hasn’t said much about GMO labeling, he did retweet this comment in October.
The comment has since been removed.
Food Stamps: Lacks his support. Trump states in his book Time to Get Tough that, “The food stamp program was originally created as temporary assistance for families with momentary times of need. And it shouldn’t be needed often.”
Farming Opportunities: Trump hasn’t said much about this issue.
Kasich is apparently a “friend of agriculture”, but we’re not sure why.
GMO Labeling: Nobody knows. He hasn’t talked much publicly about his stance on this.
Food Stamps: He is likely opposed. In 1996, Kasich cosponsored a bill that put limits on access to food stamps. Kasich believes in enacting a work requirement for those seeking aid.
Farming Opportunities: Again, we’re not sure. In 2014, however, he was named the first “Friend of Agriculture” by The Ohio Farm Bureau Federation’s Agriculture for Good Government Political Action Committee (AGGPAC).
“Working with the agriculture community has been a priority of our administration and I am honored to be the first statewide candidate to be named a ‘Friend of Agriculture’ by Ohio Farm Bureau,” said Kasich.
Hillary wants food for all, regardless of the cost.
GMO Labeling: Doesn’t have a clear stance. She did mention the possible disadvantages of labeling at the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) Convention.
“The term ‘genetically modified’ sounds Frankensteinish and turns people off. Drought-resistant sounds really like something you’d want. There is a big gap between what the facts are, and what the perceptions are.” Hillary said.
Food Stamps: Is a strong supporter, just look at her tweet from 2013:
Farming Opportunities: Clinton wants to increase funding for the next generation of farmers and ranchers as she stated on her website.
Is it surprising that Sanders has a lot of ideas for reform when it comes to our food?
GMO Labeling: Thinks should be required in the U.S.
“In 49 countries around the world, including all of Europe, people have the opportunity of knowing whether or not they are eating food which contains genetically engineered ingredients. In the United States, we don’t.” Sanders wrote in a Huffington Post blog article.
Food Stamps: Fully supports it. He has supported other pieces of legislature like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to help America eat healthy and affordably.
Farming Opportunities: Wants to encourage more family farms, and less of the factory farms.
Let’s get the focus off of whose wife has the dirtiest secret and focus on the real issues here. I like my food.