The congressional food policy scorecard is out. Average grade: 57 percent

Congress fails again. On Tuesday, Food Policy Action (FPA)—an advocacy group co-founded by chef Tom Colicchio and Environmental Working Group president Ken Cook—released the latest edition of its annual scorecard, an interactive report that grades every member of Congress based on their food-oriented voting record in the most recent legislative year. As touchstones, FPA used 12 Senate bills and 15 House bills, reflecting issues ranging from country of origin labeling and aerial pesticide spraying to nutrition support for seniors and the labeling of GMOs.

Compared to last year’s Congress, the average individual score increased by 6 percent.

The scorecard is a pretty useful way to see what your representatives have been up to, or even just brush up on recent food policy initiatives. You can browse by state, party, and chamber, or click through for information and votes on each bill. 82 members of Congress—79 in the House and 3 in the Senate—received perfect scores, while three received scores of 12 percent, the lowest score on this year’s report card. Some (sorta) good news? Compared to last year’s Congress, the average individual score increased by 6 percent. But that average score is only 57 percent, up from 51 percent last year—and so the 114th Congress still gets a failing grade.

“Despite the modest bi-partisan gains in the 114th Congress, the 2016 Scorecard illustrates a Congress that has so far failed to act on major food policy reforms, including reauthorizing childhood nutrition programs, curbing the overuse of antibiotics in animal agriculture, and mandatory on-pack labeling of GMOs, among other disappointments,” FPA wrote Tuesday, in a post on its blog.

Joe Fassler is The Counter's deputy editor. His reporting has been included in The Best American Food Writing and twice nominated for a James Beard Media Award. A 2019 - 2020 Ted Scripps Fellow in Environmental Journalism at the University of Colorado, Boulder, he's the author of two books: a novel, The Sky Was Ours (forthcoming from Penguin Books), and Light the Dark: Creativity, Inspiration, and the Artistic Process.