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Bringing Food to the Presidential Race

April 8, 2008

Amid tense farm bill deliberation, an increased demand on emergency food programs and a failing economy, food policy has become an issue of universal significance. Yet discussion of food policy has been relegated to the edges of the current Presidential race. Acknowledging this lack of discussion, Alexandra Lewin, a Cornell Doctoral student has compiled Corporations, Health and the 2008 Presidential Race, which highlights each candidate’s relationship to the food industry; from voting records and public statements to disclosures of the amount each candidate has received from industry donors. The report focuses on health and nutrition programs, as well as local agriculture, with little emphasis on the federally-funded Food Stamps program. Lewin observes that none of the candidates have been openly critical of the food industry and that the advocates, journalists and voters should seize the Presidential race as an opportunity to force the candidate’s clarity on their food policy stances, thus pushing food and nutrition policy to the forefront of debate.

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