1990 Scorecard Vote
Every five years, Congress reauthorizes a "farm bill" as the foundation of U.S. agricultural policy. Beginning in 1985, environmentalists sought to broaden the farm bill debate beyond matters of agricultural subsidies to include soil conservation, wetlands protection, and enhancement of water quality. Among the many reforms sought by environmental interests in 1990 was the establishment of national standards to govern the production and processing of food that is to be labeled as "organically produced" -- that is, food that is produced without the use of industrially synthesized pesticides, fertilizers, and hormones. National standards are required to ensure that consumers get what they pay for when they buy organic foods, currently a market of $1.2 billion annually. The environmental pay-off will come through an expanded market for farmers who opt to produce crops and livestock without agricultural chemicals.
Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-OR) offered an amendment to the Food and Agricultural Resources Act to establish national standards for organic food. The DeFazio amendment passed by a vote of 234-187 on August 1. Yes is the pro-environment vote.