As noted in the previous post, there are several very specific food-related issues that will be on voters’ ballots in various states or cities. However, nationally, food has hardly been mentioned at all. Indeed, the candidates for President have not discussed (in public at least) anything specifically related to food, agriculture, or nutrition (except that they like the food in whatever state they are campaigning).
Nonetheless, food-related issues are relevant in several major respects. Immigration policy will have a major impact on agriculture as much of the fruit and produce we eat is harvested by guest workers from other countries. More restrictive immigration laws will also affect the restaurant and food service industry who depend on foreign-born workers. Likewise, minimum wage laws could certainly affect this industry.
As food scientists, perhaps the most serious concern is whether the next leader of the free world will continue to support regulations and agencies responsible for ensuring food safety. This has been one of the few issues for which bipartisanship exist. The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), passed by Congress in 2010 and signed by President Obama in 2011, is evidence of this support for food safety regulations.
Polling surveys indicate that both parties support food safety regulations (a bit more by Democrats than by Republicans), but overall, this has been a nonpartisan issue. Whether food and water safety regulations will be subject to the temporary moratorium advocated by Mr. Trump, is not clear. Food safety is just as important to farmers, processors, and the food industry as it is to consumers. Thus, there may well be bipartisan resistance to any effort to reduce food safety regulations.