Five Charts on Food Industry Influence

• Jun 16, 2014

The Sunlight Foundation By:Nancy Watzman and Bob Lannon

The multi-billion dollar food industry is one of the most well connected in Washington. These interests spend tens of millions on campaign contributions every election cycle, concentrating dollars on the members that serve on the agriculture committees, who make the decisions on the nation’s food policy.

They also employ some of the biggest name lobbyists and attorneys in town to influence not just legislation, but the regulatory process as well.

In recent years alone, the industry has worked with Congress to torpedo voluntary guidelines for marketing food to children. It has lobbied to slow down, weaken, and introduce exemptions into the newly approved food safety law meant to reduce food borne illnesses. Farm groups have pushed to keep recipients of crop subsidies secret. The potato lobby has been recruiting senators to keep white potatoes part of the federal WIC program that provides food for low income women and families, despite their lack of nutritional value.

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