Presidential candidates largely ignoring food, farm policy. What should we ask them?

| | February 18, 2016
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The 2016 presidential election is hurtling into unknown territory. . . But one time-tested electoral tradition remains in place: Everyone. . . is largely ignoring food and farm policy on the stump.

. . . .If I were a debate moderator or a reporter on the trail, here are some questions I would ask [the candidates]:

1. [I]n the US Corn Belt. . . topsoil is disappearing much faster than the natural replacement rate. . . .  As president, how would you push farm policy to reward soil- and water-friendly farming practices in the heartland?

2. Meanwhile, in the country’s fruit and vegetable belt, a different kind of water crisis unfolds. . . . How would your administration respond to California’s declining water resources . . .?

3. Republican candidates have focused largely on the alleged scourge of undocumented immigrants . . .  while the Democratic debate has hinged on income inequality. The two issues intersect . . . through the hidden labor required to feed us. . . . How would you act to improve wages and working conditions for the people who feed us?

Related article:  USDA to overhaul regulatory process for biotech crops to incorporate advances in gene editing

4. . . . .Would your administration continue to promote biotech crops around the world and lobby foreign governments to accept them? Why or why not?

5. For decades, US antitrust authorities have watched idly as huge food companies gobble each other up, grabbing ever larger shares of food and agriculture markets. . . . How would your Department of Justice look at consolidation in ag markets—and would you consider antitrust action to break them up?

6. According to a 2013 report from the Union of Concerned Scientists. . . if Americans followed USDA recommendations for daily consumption of fruits and vegetables, 127,000 lives and $17 billion in medical expenses would be saved annually. What’s the proper federal role for convincing people to eat healthier. . .? 

Read full, original post: 6 Things I Would Ask the Presidential Candidates About Food and Farming

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