A Washington Post 60 minutes investigative expose revealed that Trump’s nominee to head the Drug Enforcement Agency, Tom Marino, a Republican from Pennsylvania had led a successful effort in the House of Representatives to strip the DEA of its most potent weapon against large drug companies suspected of spilling prescription narcotics onto the nation’s streets. The revelation forced Marino to withdraw and Trump to start again in pursuing his long-promised campaign against opioid misuse. The story suggests two lessons. First, corporate influence in Congress is so strong that even in an opioid epidemic, the drug industry can persuade Congress to deregulate to protect its profits. Second, the power of investigative journalism continues to be an important check on abuses of authority.
Food Policy Action
Food Policy Action was established in 2012 through a collaboration of national food policy leaders in order to hold legislators accountable on votes that have an effect on food and farming. Its goal is to change the national dialogue on food policy by educating the public on how elected officials are voting on these issues. Through education and the National Food Policy Scorecard, more people will be armed with the information they need to vote with their forks and elect more food policy leaders across the country.
Associated Press reports that at a time of record auto recalls, safety advocates say the Republican-run Congress is snubbing their agenda and taking sides with the auto and trucking industries in favor of legislation that could worsen matters. For example, there’s no increase in the maximum fine of $35 million per violation that can be levied against automakers who don’t report safety defects and no increase in money for NHTSA to hire more staff to investigate potential safety defects and oversee automakers.