Â“Certified OrganicÂ” Candidates Won in 2006 Elections
Many candidates who won election support organic agriculture. This list includes only those candidates who filled out the Organic Consumers Fund Candidate Survey.
Sarah Palin will be the next Governor of Alaska. In her response to the Organic Consumers Candidate Survey, Palin indicated support for a fair share of the agriculture budget for organic, strict standards for organic products, food labels that identify US-made and local products, government support for farmers to create local markets and reduce non-renewable energy consumption, farm subsidies for organic transition, and increases in government programs that help low-income Americans buy organic food.
Incumbent Democratic US Representative RaÃºl Grijalva was reelected to his 7th District US House seat. Answering, Â“yesÂ” to every question but 6b (Â“undecidedÂ”), he scored Â“96% OrganicÂ” on the Organic Consumers Candidate Survey: http://organicconsumersfund.org/responses/RaÃºlGrijalvaAZ.html
Question 3--When a company knowingly withholds information about harmful effects of their products they should be held accountable. We have regulatory agencies that are charged with protecting the public health. They must be given the resources and political backing to do what is right and not allowed to become an extension of industry they are charged to regulate.
Question 14--There are so many unmet needs in our nation: health care education, veterans services, social security preservation, etc. that must also be addressed along with green house gas reductions, and shifting to non-fossil fuel based energy technologies.
Tucson incumbent Democratic State RepresentativeDavid Bradley was reelected to his 28th District State House seat. He scored Â“100% OrganicÂ” on the Organic Consumers Candidate Survey: http://organicconsumersfund.org/responses/DavidBradleyAZ.html
The other 28th District State House seat was won by Democrat Steve Farley who also scored Â“100% OrganicÂ” on the Organic Consumers Candidate Survey: http://organicconsumersfund.org/responses/SteveFarleyAZ.html
Incumbent Democratic US Representative Lois Capps (D-CA 23rd) was reelected. Answering, Â“yesÂ” to every question but 16 (Â“undecidedÂ”), she scored Â“96% OrganicÂ” on the Organic Consumers Fund Candidate Survey: http://organicconsumersfund.org/responses/LoisCappsCA.html
Democrat Jared Huffman was elected to represent CaliforniaÂ’s 6thAssembly District. He scored Â“100% OrganicÂ” on the Organic Consumers Fund Candidate Survey:
Question 1-- I want to help in any way I can to grow the market share of organic products.
Question 2-- The organic label must mean something, so we must continue to have strong standards.
Question 3-- The precautionary principle is desperately needed in the area of pesticides.
Question 4-- At least until the federal and/or state government has articulated a strong and coherent protective policy in this area it makes no sense to prevent local government from acting.
Question 16-- With a minor caveat about "full" public funding. I don't believe every candidate deserves public funding. Some threshold level of viability must be established for a public financing system to work, and to avoid a huge public backlash that would kill the system in its infancy. Candidates should have to gather signatures, and yes, raise some nominal amount of money in very small contributions (e.g., $5) to demonstrate a basic level of support before qualifying for public funding.
Incumbent Democrat Richard Blumenthal was reelected to serve as ConnecticutÂ’s Attorney General. Answering, Â“yesÂ” to all but 4 questions (he didnÂ’t answer question 6a and he answered 8, 9 and 11 Â“undecidedÂ”), he scored Â“83% OrganicÂ” on the Organic Consumers Fund Candidate Survey:
Question 1-- I agree with the fair share principle, while reviewing the percentage
Question 3-- I have led such government action
Question 4-- I appose federal preemption.
Question 7-- I support improvements in our testing system, including consideration of this proposal
Question 9-- Need study and action
Question 10-- I support devoting more resources, whether or not shifted from other farm programs
Question 14-- In general, yes
Question 16-- I support campaign finance reform and some public funding
Incumbent Republican State Representative Ed Homan (District 60) won reelection. Answering, Â“yesÂ” to all but 2 questions (14 and16), he scored Â“89% OrganicÂ” on the Organic Consumers Fund Candidate Survey:
Democrat Phylis King was elected to serve as State Representative for District 18B. Answering Â“yesÂ” to all but three questions (she answered, Â“noÂ” to 6 a & b and Â“undecidedÂ” to 8), she scored Â“86% OrganicÂ” on the Organic Consumers Fund Candidate Survey: http://organicconsumersfund.org/responses/PhylisKingID.html
Question 6a--I'm not convinced that genetically engineered foods are bad for us. Isn't this just a better way of doing things? progress?
Question 7--I support a strict ban on feeding slaughterhouse waste to farm animals and an increase in testing for Mad Cow disease but I don't think we have to test every animal until we start seeing more cases with positive results.
Question 8--When is it dumping and when is it humanitarian aid?
Question 11--I also support an increase in minimum wages so that fewer people would need food stamps.
Democrat Dave Loebsack will be going to the US Congress to represent IowaÂ’s 2nd US House District. Answering yes to all but three questions (he was Â“undecidedÂ” on 6B, 7, and 13), he scored Â“89% OrganicÂ” on the Organic Consumers Fund Candidate Survey:
Question 6b-- I believe this would be the ideal solution to the problem but I have concerns about the potentially prohibitive costs of such a program.
Question 7-- I think this is a good solution but I have concerns about the cost and the logistics of such a program.
Question 13-- First and foremost we need to agree to the Kyoto Protocol. We need to drastically cut our greenhouse gas emissions but I would need to see data showing that the 80% goal is feasible, before committing to that reduction level.
Question 14-- We also need to redirect funds from military spending to social programs that have been slashed by the Bush Administration and the Republican Congress.
Incumbent Democratic US Representative Tom Allen (District 1) was reelected to Congress. Answering, Â“yesÂ” to all but one question (he answered Â“undecidedÂ” to question 1), he scored Â“96% OrganicÂ” on the Organic Consumers Fund Candidate Survey:
Question 1-- I believe that all agricultural spending should be made on the basis of its effectiveness and not on some arbitrary formula. That is why I strongly oppose massive federal subsidies to corporate agricultural interests.
Question 4-- I fought against the bill in the House.
Question 12-- As a member of the Health Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee I am working to expand access toward the goal of universal coverage. Earlier this year, I introduced H.R. 5288, the Small Business Health Plans Act, legislation to make quality, affordable health care available to small businesses and farms and their employees.
Question 14-- I support a substantial reduction in U.S. forces this year with complete withdrawal by the end of 2007.
Question 16-- I have been an outspoken leader on campaign finance and ethics reform since I entered the House in 1997. Earlier this year, Representatives David Obey, Barney Frank, David Price and I introduced H. Res. 359, to prohibit Members and their staffs from accepting lobbyist-paid travel, to require that Members have at least 24 hours to review bills before House action, restore budget rules designed to enforce fiscal discipline, to limit the time duration of floor votes to prevent strong arm tactics from party leaders and to deny lobbyists, including former Members and staff, special access to Members that the general public cannot get or afford. In a December 8, 2005 column, The Washington Post's David Broder called our initiative "strong medicine -- a stiff enough dose of salts that even a watered-down version would mark a major change in the ethical environment of Capitol Hill."
Incumbent Democratic State Representative Judd Thompson (District 55) was reelected to MaineÂ’s House of Representatives. Answering Â“yesÂ” to all but three questions (he answered Â“undecidedÂ” to 1, 6a and 7), he scored Â“89% OrganicÂ” on the Organic Consumers Fund Candidate Survey: http://organicconsumersfund.org/responses/JuddThompsonME.html
Question 1-- I don't like requiring a specific spending limit. It could work both ways; someone could claim some monies are helping the cause when in fact they are not.
Question 6a-- I strongly support identifying organic foods and giving people that choice, I am not familiar with the extent and definition of GE products so am hesitant to make a blanket commitment
Question 7-- I need to have a better risk assessment. We don't mammogram all young women for breast cancer. The simplest reason is that too many breasts would be removed with a false positive result.
Question 10-- One of the best organizations to this through are the Soil and Water Conservation Districts. I am a past chair of the Kennebec County SWCD.
Question 12-- When we talk about making health care affordable, this is the low hanging fruit.
Question 15-- Isn't this issue a reach for 'Organic Consumers' advocacy?
Incumbent Democratic State Representative Edward Finch (84th District) was reelected to MaineÂ’s House of Representatives. Answering, Â“yesÂ” to all but one question (he answered Â“undecidedÂ” to question 6b), he scored Â“96% OrganicÂ” on the Organic Consumers Fund Candidate Survey: http://organicconsumersfund.org/responses/EdFinchME.html
Question 6b--I would want more information
Question 12--Only if it is a national plan. I don't believe a state the size of Maine with our demographics can do it.
Question 13--Good goals but I wonder if it is doable in the timelines suggested.
Question 14--End the war-Yes Redirect the entire $500 billion as suggested-probably no. There are other needs as well.
Question 15--A most definite yes. These electronic machines with no paper trail scare the hell out of me.
Question 16-- A good goal but I don't think it would pass a test on constitutional freedom of speech grounds.
Incumbent Democratic US Representative John Tierney (District 6) was reelected to Congress. Answering, Â“yesÂ” to all but three question (he didnÂ’t answer questions 1, 6b and 13), he scored Â“84% OrganicÂ” on the Organic Consumers Fund Candidate Survey:
Question 1-- I think they should get a "fair share," and I believe it will be important to review a number of facts to determine just how that concept is defined.
Question 6b-- I need more information on just what such testing would entail.
Question 9-- And would find useful more information on how such a shift would be defined and quantified.
Question 10-- Again, with more information on quantification and definition.
Question 11-- And also think consumer education will be essential.
Question 13-- I support a very significant reduction and will need more information on how the 80% figure was selected.
Question 14-- And a host of other necessary alternatives (from homeland security to economic competitiveness) that would be a better use of the $11 million per hour now being spent in Iraq - without accountability.
Question 16-- I am the author of the most far-reaching "Clean Money, Clean Elections" bill in Congress.
Incumbent Republican State Representative John Lepper (Second Bristol) was reelected to MassachusettsÂ’s House of Representatives. Answering, Â“yesÂ” to all but six questions (he answered Â“undecidedÂ” to questions 11, 12, 13, 14, 16 and 17), he scored Â“77% OrganicÂ” on the Organic Consumers Fund Candidate Survey: http://organicconsumersfund.org/responses/JohnLepperMA.html
Question 17--The last several questions require tremendous amounts of study and ensuing regulations that are way beyond the scope of my office. When issues of complexity are put before me, I study them without a bias, seeking the facts that are available. Then, I am prepared to establish a position. Forgive my undecided responses on these final questions. On the organic issue, we shop at Trader Joes, Whole Foods Market and try to purchase products that are without additives and are grown without chemicals or pesticides.
Incumbent Republican State Representative Lorence Wenke (District 63) was reelected to MichiganÂ’s House of Representatives. Answering Â“yesÂ” to all but six answers (he answered Â“noÂ” to 6a, 11, 12, and 16, and Â“undecidedÂ” to 7 and 13), he scored Â“71% OrganicÂ” on the Organic Consumers Fund Candidate Survey:
Question 14--But not redirecting all of the $500 Billion to that cause.
Democrat Tim Walz will be going to the US Congress to represent MinnesotaÂ’s 1st US House District. Answering,Â”yesÂ” to all but one question (he answered, Â“undecidedÂ” to question 14), he scored Â“96% OrganicÂ” on the Organic Consumers Fund Candidate Survey:
Question 3-- I believe we need to invest more in researching the negative effects of these products before they become commercially available.
Question 12-- I support ensuring that every America has health care, but I do not believe that universal care has to mean single payer. I believe Americans are innovative enough to come up with a system that combines the best elements of single payer and free market health care systems.
Incumbent Democratic US Representative James Oberstar (District 8) was reelected to Congress. Answering, Â“yesÂ” to all but one question (he answered, Â“undecidedÂ” to question 16), he scored Â“96% OrganicÂ” on the Organic Consumers Fund Candidate Survey:
Question 16--Before making a final decision I would like to see the plan for implementing public financing of campaigns.
Democrat Mark Ritchie is going to be Minnesota Â‘s Secretary of State. Answering yes to all but three questions (he didnÂ’t answer questions 12 or 13 and he was Â“undecidedÂ” on question 16), he scored Â“86% OrganicÂ” on the Organic Consumers Fund Candidate Survey:
Question 8--I know way too much about this particular subject to just have a simple yes or no response. Yes, we need big time changes - but I have very specific requirements for what I want to see if a real farm program.
Question 9--What you are calling farm subsidies I call consumer subsidies and I have specific ideas on how to shift consumer subsidies to help family farmers and ranchers survive the transition.
Question 10--Yes, the big subsidies to petroleum and petroleum-based industrial production can be shifted. Again, I have very specific ideas on how to do this.
Question 14--Yes, the big subsidies to petroleum and petroleum-based industrial production can be shifted. Again, I have very specific ideas on how to do this.
Question 15--Yes, but it is not enough.
Question 16--I like what a few states have done but no one has really laid out a plan that seems workable to me yet.
Democrat Patricia Torres Ray was elected to serve as State Senator for District 62. Answering yes to all but three questions (she answered Â“undecidedÂ” to questions 7, 13 and 16), she scored Â“89% OrganicÂ” on the Organic Consumers Fund Candidate Survey:
Question 1--This seems reasonable on the face of it.
Question 7-- I support enough testing to keep us safe. I don't know how much that would be.
Question 8-- I am from Colombia and have seen with my own eyes the devastation US trade policies have caused for small farmers in Colombia.
Question 13-- We need to aggressively confront the causes of global warming, but I do not know if an 80% reduction by 2050 is enough or unreasonable. We need to act decisively and we need to act now!
Question 16-- This is my first political campaign and I don't know how I wish to approach campaign finance reform. It's a complicated issue and it's not clear to me that full public funding is the answer. It's something I am concerned about and will pay close attention to.
Incumbent Democrat State Representative Larry Haws (District 15B) was reelected to MinnesotaÂ’s House of Representatives. Answering Â“yesÂ” to all but one question (he answered Â“undecidedÂ” to 16), he scored Â“96% OrganicÂ” on the Organic Consumers Fund Candidate Survey:
Democrat Jolie Justus was elected to serve as State Senator for District 10. Answering, Â“yesÂ” to all but one question (she answered, Â“undecidedÂ” on question 16), she scored Â“96% OrganicÂ” on the Organic Consumers Fund Candidate Survey:
Although he did not fill out our survey, we are excited to report that organic farmer and Democrat John Tester will be going to the US Senate. We are looking forward to working with him.
Democrat Carol Shea-Porter will be going to the US Congress to represent
New HampshireÂ’s 1st US House District. Answering, Â“yesÂ” to all but one question (she answered, Â“undecidedÂ” to question 11), she scored Â“96% OrganicÂ” on the Organic Consumers Fund Candidate Survey:
Question 5-- Yes, and there are two other good reasons. The food is healthier because it's fresher, and it helps support our farmers.
Question 11-- I do believe we need to first drive the costs down by all the methods mentioned. I am afraid that if we just give more money to currently enrolled women and children, fewer new people will be enrolled, because the government will save money by making the program more restrictive. We need to help organic farmers bring down the costs so everyone can benefit.
Question 12-- I support single payer, universal health care. I want everyone enrolled in Medicare, where people can choose their health care provider and that provider is reimbursed by Medicare. Preventive health care is critical to our nation's economy as well as to our health.
Question 14-- That money needs to be directed to many domestic programs, including the ones you have mentioned.
Incumbent Democrat Robert Menendezwas reelected to the US Senate. Answering, Â“yesÂ” to all but three questions (he answered, Â“undecidedÂ” to questions 6a, 6b and 8), he scored Â“89% OrganicÂ” on the Organic Consumers Fund Candidate Survey:
Question 1--The distribution of federal spending on agriculture is currently skewed towards states that receive corn, wheat, rice, and other commodity subsidies. New Jersey is not a major supplier of these commodities, so we do much worse than other states in terms of agricultural spending. I am in favor of shifting the balance of federal agricultural spending so as to better support New Jersey farmers, who have a very difficult time staying afloat in a high-cost state.
Question 3-- I strongly support more aggressive government action to determine the potential health risks caused by pesticide use, particularly the effect of pesticides on children, and if certain pesticides are found to pose an unacceptable health risk, I believe they should be pulled off the market immediately.
Question 4-- I am opposed to the National Uniformity for Food Act that passed the House earlier this year, and I have expressed that opposition in a letter to Majority Leader Frist.
Question 5a-- I support Country of Origin labeling, and have voted against attempts to delay its implementation.
Question 5b-- I strongly support initiatives to encourage the use of renewable energy by farmers.
Question 6a-- I would have to see the specifics of the proposal. The practice of selective breeding to produce new varieties of plants has been crucial for developing strains of crops that are resistant to disease and tolerant of diverse weather conditions. In some cases, this has helped to avert famine and starvation in the developing world. If the labeling of genetically engineered foods was to include all selectively bred crops, I would be concerned that this would hinder the process of developing new crops. I would need to know much more about the details of such a labeling program before being able to come to a decision on it.
Question 6b--Again, this depends on how Â“genetically modifiedÂ” is defined, and I would need to know more before being able to answer.
Question 8-- My first priority is to the farmers of New Jersey, and I have heard from a number of them concerns about the current farm subsidy programs. I look forward to reviewing these issues as part of the farm bill reauthorization next year.
Question 9-- As described in my answer to Question #1, I believe that there is a tremendous amount of inequity in the current agricultural subsidy system, and there are certainly opportunities to correct that imbalance. Organic agriculture deserves to be well supported in the upcoming farm bill.
Question 10-- I am a strong supporter of providing additional resources towards agricultural conservation programs and renewable energy initiatives.
Question 12-- I strongly support expanding access to affordable health care for all Americans. I believe we should expand programs that have proven to be effective and efficient in delivering care to people who have no insurance Â– Medicaid, the State ChildrenÂ’s Health Insurance Program, and Medicare Â– as well as provide tax credits and pooling opportunities to help small businesses provide coverage for their employees. I also wrote legislation, which recently became law, to promote preventive health care and provide ongoing outreach to underserved communities. The goal of this program is to keep people healthy through prevention and education, including healthy eating and healthy lifestyles.
Question 13-- I am a cosponsor of the Global Warming Pollution Reduction Act (S. 3698), which calls for an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Question 14-- I voted against the Iraq war when I was in the House, and most recently, I voted for the Kerry amendment in the Senate to redeploy our troops by next July. I believe this is a war of choice, not a war of necessity. It has distracted us from finding and punishing Osama bin Laden, who led the attacks on our country. And it continues to demonstrate the presidentÂ’s misplaced priorities by diverting funding from programs vital to American families, such as health care, education, the economy, and the environment. I believe we have to change the direction our countryÂ’s headed by changing the course in Iraq and changing our nationÂ’s priorities to meet our nationÂ’s needs.
Question 15-- As a Member of the House, I cosponsored H.R. 550, the Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act, which would require a voter-verified permanent paper record or hard copy.
Democrat John Hall will be going to the US Congress to represent
New YorkÂ’s 19th US House District. Answering, Â“yesÂ” to every question, he scored Â“100% OrganicÂ” on the Organic Consumers Fund Candidate Survey:
Question 1--Organic agriculture deserves support from farm programs to help farmers transition and maintain healthy farms and retain the integrity of organic. Farm programs right now favor large-scale agriculture that is neither good for the consumer, the community or the planet.
Question 2-- Absolutely, Organic needs the integrity that it had for so many years when it was developed by small farmers and trusted by consumers.
Question 3-- Agribusiness and pharmaceuticals get away with huge profits while poisoning our environment, our food and harming their employees. We know there are good farming practices that increase the value of farm products, protect our natural resources and employ more people -things that benefit all of us. On farm research and whole farm planning are tools that deserve government funding to bring solutions to growing problems into fruition.
Question 4-- Higher standards to protect people and the planet should always be the rule.
Question 5a-- Labeling is an important tool for information. In a democracy, labeling should be extensive to give people the choices they need -by their own decision.
Question 5bÂ—Absolutely. If the farm programs were going towards local food systems we would not have lost so many family farms and our food system would be far more sustainable.
Question 6a-- GMO crops are a big problem in our ecosystem. Food needs to be labeled, and agriculture should be steered towards more sustainable methods.
Question 6b-- Obviously, we just need the political will to get there.
Question 7-- This is obvious, but our elected officials and regulatory agencies need to get on board with consumer demands.
Question 8-- US trade policies are a disaster, harming farmers, consumers, the environment and workers.
Question 9-- We have the solutions to help family farms. We need the political will to enact them. The incentive programs do more than give incentives, they provide needed support - US agriculture policy unfairly favors large-scale agriculture which is ruinous to our economy, and our farmland.
Question 10-- Funding for CSP, EQIP and other conservation programs are critical. Appropriating bills are a struggle year after year and these programs should get full funding at 5-year levels.
Question 11-- Again, these programs are fought for year in and year out in the appropriations cycle. I would favor their full funding with increases yearly as part of the Farm Bill.
Question 12-- Universal health care is one of my priorities.
Question 13-- Yes, I have been working to promote alternative energy for decades, which will reduce greenhouse gasses and slow global warming trends significantly.
Question 14-- I am opposed to the war in Iraq. The money from that war should be spent on supporting family farms, protecting the environment, developing alternative energy, creating a just food system, and providing universal health care.
Question 15-- I have been an advocate for paper records and believe that in a democracy, our system is failing.
Question 16-- Campaign finance reform is absolutely necessary if we are to call ourselves a democracy. The current system makes it next to impossible for anyone to run who isn't of the wealthy class.
Incumbent Democrat Maurice Hinchey was reelected to the US House (District 22). Answering, Â“yesÂ” to every question, he scored Â“100% OrganicÂ” on the Organic Consumers Fund Candidate Survey:
Question 4-- I helped lead the fight against passage of H.R. 4167.
Question 7-- I have been a leader on the House Agriculture Appropriations Committee on expanding mad cow prevention efforts.
Question 11-- I have been strong advocate for increased funding of the Farmers Market program.
Question 12-- I have cosponsored legislation to establish a universal health care system since I was first elected to Congress.
Question 14-- I was an early and vociferous opponent of the war in Iraq, and have continued to support its timely end.
Question 15-- I am a long-time cosponsor of the "Clean Money, Clean Campaigns" legislation.
Question 16-- I led the fight in the House in support of net neutrality.
Question 17-- I have cosponsored legislation to support requiring electronic voting machines to produce voter-verified paper records and election officials to use these records to conduct mandatory audits of election results.
Incumbent Democrat Marcy Kaptur was re-elected to the US House (District 9). Answering, Â“yesÂ” to all but one question (she answered, Â“undecidedÂ” to question 9), she scored Â“96% OrganicÂ” on the Organic Consumers Fund Candidate Survey:
Question 4--I opposed HR 4167
Question 5a--I have long been a supporter
Question 5b--I have long been a supporter
Question 16--I support campaign finance reform that includes strict restrictions on the amount of money spent as well as full disclosure of its source. I also support free TV time as a condition of FCC licensing.
Democrat Peter Welch will be representing Vermont in the US House of Representatives. He scored Â“100% OrganicÂ” on the Organic Consumers Fund Candidate Survey: http://organicconsumersfund.org/responses/PeterWelchVT.html
Question 1-- Americans want and need sustainable local organic agriculture.
Question 2--We must maintain integrity of organic standards to succeed.
Question 3-- One reason to promote organic agriculture is to diminish use of pesticides.
Question 4-- I have always strongly supported labeling and right to know legislation, including seed labeling in Vermont.
Question 5a-- In Vermont I have strongly supported farm to school food efforts.
Question 5b-- I have strongly supported this in Vermont.
Question 6a-- The public has a right to know.
Question 6b-- We must assure safety.
Question 8-- This is critical to our agricultural future. I favor emphasis on efforts to sustain local food protection and family farms.
Question 11-- I strongly support changing our priorities from industrial agriculture to local and sustainable agriculture.
Question 12-- I have been a leader for universal health care in Vermont's legislature.
Question 13-- We have passed strong legislation in Vermont to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This is a planetary crisis requiring immediate action.
Question 14-- I have opposed the Iraq war from the beginning and have called for the firing of Donald Rumsfeld. I have called for a timetable and plan to bring our troops home and return responsibility of Iraq to the Iraqis.
Question 15-- We must guarantee that all votes cast are counted accurately.
Question 17-- We must have net neutrality to guarantee access to all users.
Incumbent Democrat Tammy Baldwin was reelected to the US House (District 2). Answering, Â“yesÂ” to all but two questions (she answered, Â“undecidedÂ” 6a and 8) She scored Â“92% OrganicÂ” on the Organic Consumers Fund Candidate Survey: http://organicconsumersfund.org/responses/TammyBaldwinWI.html
Question 1-- I support increased funding for programs that educate about and increase study of organic agriculture so that farmers and consumers have the most up-to-date knowledge about how to become more efficient and successful while protecting the environment for future generations.
Question 2-- I believe it is important to maintain a strong organic program that certifies the integrity of the organic label placed on consumer products.
Question 3-- I voted against H.R. 4167, the National Uniformity for Food Act, because I believe that it will prevent states and local governments from being allowed to have stricter labeling standards on foods than the federal government.
Question 5a-- I support mandatory country-of-origin labeling on all agricultural products, including meats, because they provide a significant level of important information concerning agricultural products that will expand the level of consumer choice, confidence, and knowledge in the retail marketplace and potentially increase demand for U.S. origin commodities.
Question 6a-- I believe that consumers should have all available information so that they can make informed choices for themselves and their families.
Question 6b-- I believe that extensive research must be done to determine the risks involved in creating, and eating, genetically modified crops. This should inform regulations of labeling for genetically modified foods and ingredients.
Question 7-- The USDA's BSE testing program is important to ensuring food safety, but I do not believe that individual farms and slaughterhouses should be prevented from performing their own BSE testing.
Question 8-- Farm subsidies play a vital role in the U.S. agricultural industry--without them, many smaller farms and farmers would not be able to compete against larger producers and processors. I agree that the U.S.'s subsidies can negatively affect international agricultural trade and agriculture industries in foreign countries, but any subsidy restructuring mandated by the WTO's Doha Round or Federal legislation must not unnecessarily endanger domestic agriculture.
Question 9-- I support funding for easing the transition from conventional to organic farming.
Question 11-- These programs help two very important groups simultaneously--they ensure that low-income families and children have access to healthy and nutritious food, while expanding the number of customers for the organic food industry.
Question 12-- I am a strong believer in health care for all. I believe that all Americans should have comprehensive, affordable, accessible health care, including proper prevention and nutrition.
Question 13-- I am a co-sponsor of H.R. 5642, the Safe Climate Act, which would set exactly these goals for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
Question 14-- The money currently diverted to military involvement overseas can be spent on many things, among them domestic agriculture, environment, and nutrition programs.
Question 15-- I believe it is vitally important for paper voters records to be created, and that voters have the opportunity to verify them, to ensure transparency and accountability in our election system.
Question 16-- I support the public financing of campaigns because I believe confidence and trust in elections is essential to a democracy.
Incumbent Democrat Ron Kind was reelected to the US House (District 3). Answering, Â“yesÂ” to all but seven questions (he didnÂ’t answer 4, 6a, 6b, 12a, 14, or 16, and answered Â“noÂ” to question 7), he scored Â“63% OrganicÂ” on the Organic Consumers Fund Candidate Survey:
Question 4-- States have led the way in identifying local health risks. Unfortunately, it is very difficult for food production companies to manufacture and market their products when they must comply with different labeling requirements in each state. I would prefer a system in which consumers were informed of health risks in all states, not just in those that have passed their own labeling laws.
Question 6a-- I believe that consumers should have the information they need to make responsible food choices. Similarly, producers, processors, and merchants need more information about genetically modified products. More emphasis should be placed on studying these products and their effects, and on making this data available to the public. Organic producers are particularly vulnerable to a rise in bioengineered products, because contamination from adjacent or nearby farms would destroy the integrity of an organic operation. Therefore, clear guidelines as to the production and handling of genetically modified crops and the measures of preventing drift must be developed along with those for consumer notification.
Question 6b-- While I agree that genetically modified products need to be tested to ensure their safety, I am concerned about the burden such testing could place on farmers. Any safety program must be designed so that the financial and administrative costs do not fall on producers.
Question 7-- Universal testing would place an enormous burden on the livestock industry and would be extremely difficult to implement. The risk of Mad Cow disease remains very low in this country, and the current testing regime has proven effective in protecting the U.S. food supply from contamination.
Question 8-- During the debate over the 2002 farm bill, I led a movement in the House to shift money away from the costly, trade-distorting subsidy programs that benefit a small minority of farmers, and into conservation programs that are open to all producers who volunteer to help conserve our water, soil, and other natural resources. In anticipation of a farm bill renewal next year, I have introduced H.R. 6064, the Healthy Farms, Foods, and Fuels Act. This bill seeks additional funds for farm conservation, biofuels production, and programs that link farmers to consumers and provide people with more healthy food choices. This bill also provides transition payments for farmers making the transition to organic production and increased funding for organic research.
Question 9-- These programs are included in my Healthy Farms, Foods, and Fuels Act.
Question 12-- When 45 million Americans lack health insurance and far too many hardworking Americans are underinsured, it is clearly past time for Congress to step in and address the problem. I have written legislation, the Small Employer and Family Farmer Health Benefits Program Act of 2005, which would create a health insurance pool for farmers and employees of businesses with fewer than 100 people, as well as tax incentives for businesses with low income employees.
Question 13-- I am a cosponsor of the Safe Climate Act, which establishes this goal.
Question 14-- In the absence of a clear strategy from the Administration for success in Iraq, some have proposed an immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops. I believe we should bring our troops home as soon as possible, but given the high stakes in Iraq, we have to manage our exit in a responsible way, taking care not to leave chaos or civil war in our wake. Therefore, I will continue to push for the Administration to articulate a clear policy in Iraq that will establish objective benchmarks to measure whether the progress being made is adequate enough to allow our troops to come home.
Question 15-- I am an original cosponsor of the Clean Money, Clean Elections Act, which would allow candidates who opt to campaign without outside contributions to use money from a special fund established in the U.S. Treasury.