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The 2016 US election is almost upon us, and in what has been one of the most bizarre presidential races many will remember, there has been an awful lot of noise to cut through to get to real concrete policy. Where do the two candidates stand on food policy and the issues surrounding it? Here’s where Hillary Clinton stands on five key issues. Click here to see what happens if Donald Trump wins the election.
1. Food Security
Clinton has pledged to protect and support the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP or food stamps), which currently prevents one in seven Americans from going hungry. 44% of SNAP recipients are children and access to local and fresh food is also key to Clinton’s food policy: she plans to double funding for the Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP) and the Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP), according to Lucky Peach.
2. Minimum Wage
A hot topic across the US, where food jobs account for five of the eight worst paid occupations. A federal $15 minimum wage is the dream for many, but Clinton has been slightly less committal, coming out in support of a $12 federal minimum, while offering support for state efforts to go higher.
3. Climate Change
Clinton has called for an emergency climate summit in the first 100 days of her administration and is easily seen as the greener of the two candidates. She has outlined three targets to be met within 10 years of her taking office – generate enough renewable energy to power every home in America, and cut US energy use and oil consumption by a third – and plans to launch a $60 billion Clean Energy Challenge with the intention of making America the “world’s clean energy superpower,” according to her website.
The presidential hopeful is generally seen as supportive of GMO technology saying as much at a San Diego biotech conference in 2014, and, as John Robbins, President of The Food Revolution Network points out in the video below, her key agricultural advisor, US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsak, is an open advocate of GMO, having “received a ‘Governor of the Year’ award from the trade group representing Monsanto and the other GMO companies,” whilst Governor of Iowa.
5. Farming Methods
Clinton has been supportive of Farm Bill conservation programs to help farmers reduce the use of inorganic fertilisers and pesticides and led efforts while a Senator for New York to prevent meat from antibiotic-fed animals entering the school food system. She received a perfect score from the Humane Society (who have also described a potential Donald Trump Presidency as “the greatest threat ever to federal policy-making and implementation of animal protection laws”) and also had her own organic vegetable garden in the grounds of The White House as First Lady, long before Michelle Obama.