If we want a better food system there are plenty of things that would make a bigger difference than GMO labeling. The other day I argued that labeling probably wouldn’t have an effect on the big picture issues that people attach to GMOs. Here are the top 10 political initiatives that I’d rather be debating and voting on:
10. Ban the advertising of unhealthy foods to kids, or at least stop giving companies a tax break for these ads.
9. Protect the most fertile lands from being covered in concrete.
8. Eliminate subsidies for agriculture.
7. Institute measures to improve farm animal welfare.
6. Pay farmers for ecological services — like sheltering wildlife, sequestering carbon, and protecting watersheds.
5. Tax sugar.
4. Eliminate use of medically important antibiotics in agriculture.
3. Guarantee the right to good food (perhaps through programs like this), and spend a little money up front so that we don’t have to spend so much later on diet-related disease.
2. Guarantee farmworkers’ right to make a decent wage without being sexually abused or exposed to unsafe chemicals.
And the piece of policy I’d most like to be voting on this coming election day:
1. Tax — or cap-and-trade — greenhouse gases, which could turn agriculture into a climate solution, rather than a big part of the problem.