2016 Presidential Science, Tech, Health, and Environmental Forum

What are the top science, tech, health, and environmental questions the candidates for president should answer?

INSTRUCTIONS:
A) Be sure to vote on existing questions.
B) Address your question to the candidates and ask about their policy positions. Don’t ask rhetorical questions. Ask your question in summary form (your “headline” question), then a new window will open up, where you should:
C) Provide more detail in a 2-part format:
1) Declarative statement (1-2 sentences max) describing the situation and context, followed by
2) Question (1 sentence) asking what they will do about it if elected.

FOLLOW THIS EXAMPLE FROM 2012:
What priority will you give to funding scientific research?
Federally funded research has helped to produce America’s major postwar economies and to ensure our national security, but today the UK, Singapore, China, and Korea are making competitive investments in research. Given that the next Congress will face spending constraints, what priority would you give to investment in research in your upcoming budgets?

A top science question the candidates for president should answer is:

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  1. Will you support evidence-based policy making even if your "base" rejects the scientific consensus?

    On the right, many Americans reject the scientific consensus that the earth is warming due to human activities. On the left, many reject the consensus that the genetically engineered crops currently on the market are safe to eat and that many of these crops have advanced sustainable agriculture. Some people from BOTH parties reject the consensus that or that vaccines are safe and effective at saving lives. Will you stand up for science in the face of these stances? If so, how?

    70 votes
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      1 comment  ·  Food & Ag  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    • Do you believe that the people of this nation deserve to know what is in the food they buy?

      Currently, only a few states have laws requiring the labeling of genetically modified ingredients. Will you support a federal law requiring the clear labeling of all ingredients in all foods so that anyone who can read will know what they are buying, eating, and feeding to their children and animal companions? How will you make sure this happens?

      63 votes
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        3 comments  ·  Food & Ag  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
      • Please explain why you are for or against mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods and medicines?

        After over 20 years since the introduction of vaccines, drugs, foods, and the like that have been developed using recombinant technologies, there is no evidence that the technology itself is harmful to humans or the environment. Yes, traits matter, and it is possible that certain traits may be harmful. (The use of the term GMO is inaccurate. Almost all of our foods are genetically modified. Animals and crops developed using recombinant technologies should be more accurately called recombinantly modified organisms, or RMO's. RMO's are a subset of GMO's).

        44 votes
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          1 comment  ·  Food & Ag  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
        • Will you work to ban the use of antibiotics in food production?

          Science has clearly demonstrated that the overuse of antibiotics both in the healthcare system and in food production is creating dangerous antibiotic-resistant bacteria - "superbugs". In addition, there is growing evidence that excessive exposure to antibiotics is behind many exploding health problems because as well as killing pathogens, they also destroy beneficial bacteria in the human body. Why then are we still allowing food producers to use antibiotics simply to increase growth rates in animals when this practice is a clear public health hazard?

          40 votes
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            0 comments  ·  Food & Ag  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
          • How do you feel about industrialized animal agriculture facilities or "factory farms", which pollute air & water, and hurt small farmers?

            CAFO's or Factory Farms are often overlooked in our national environmental discussion, yet they are major polluters of local waterways and the air - and significant drivers of climate change via CO2 and Methane. Very few environmental organizations or scientists are discussing the issue, though some like Sierra Club and Earthjustice have begun to do so. Even if one ignores the elements of extreme animal cruelty and more unhealthy (non-free range and non- organic) meat, they should still be very, very worried about the environmental pollution associated with these facilities - which supply a majority of the meat and dairy…

            39 votes
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              0 comments  ·  Food & Ag  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
            • What will you do to ensure American food is safe to eat, while addressing GMOs and bee decline.

              GMOs used in conjunction with the herbicide glyphosate have been linked to health and environmental problems. Bee decline, likely caused by neonicotinoid insecticides, is placing 30% of our food crops at risk. What are your positions on GMO-chemo crops and pollinator protection?

              35 votes
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                0 comments  ·  Food & Ag  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
              • 31 votes
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                  0 comments  ·  Food & Ag  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                • How will you restore the ability of small farmers to sell meat and dairy products locally?

                  Until the 1960's small farmers were able to slaughter their own livestock and produce dairy products for local markets. Lobbyists for Big Food played roles in getting laws passed that now force small farmers to utilize distant, costly facilities for livestock processing. Those lobbyists were also instrumental in getting regulations passed that make setting up a small dairy cost prohibitive. These restrictive regulations have been devastating to local rural economies - small farmers have no lobbyists. Considering that locally produced food is also fresher, healthier, safer, more cost effective and environmentally efficient, what steps will you take to dismantle these…

                  30 votes
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                    0 comments  ·  Food & Ag  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                  • Do you oppose federal legislation which would preempt state laws requiring food products to label GMO ingredients (on the label itself)?

                    Senators (of both parties)--heavily lobbied by Monsanto and Big Ag--are poised to soon quietly pass a law which would override (or delay implementation of) state laws that require GMO ingredients to be clearly indicated on food labels. Vermont's law requiring that is due to take effect on June 1. Polls show that more than 90% of Americans want COMPULSORY (not voluntary) GMO labeling, which is already in effect in 64 countries (including Western Europe, Brazil, Russia, China and many others). Do you support or oppose such federal preemption legislation?

                    30 votes
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                      0 comments  ·  Food & Ag  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                    • Would you support a transition to a largely plant-based organic agriculture system?

                      Considering all the international research that proves animal farming and fishing is one of the most unsustainable practices and one of the primary causes of environmental problems such as greenhouse gas emissions, water pollution, species extinction, and freshwater depletion, and considering humans can thrive and improve their health on a plant-based diet, how would you support a transition to a largely plant-based organic agriculture system? This would move us away from the ugliness and violence of factory farming, factory fishing, massive pesticide use, and GMOs.

                      26 votes
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                        3 comments  ·  Food & Ag  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                      • Influence of large oil/pharma/agriculture companies should be stopped & FED must be nationalized or USA will continue its decline.

                        Unless the influence/lobby of large oil/pharma/agriculture companies (for ex Monsanto, DuPont, Cargill) is stopped and the FED is nationalized (now it is a private bank with heavy influence on everything), nothing in USA will go the right way and the USA will continue its decline. How can we change the system to eliminate the influence of these large corporations/oligarchs and give the USA back to its citizens?

                        22 votes
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                          0 comments  ·  Food & Ag  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                        • Would you continue USAID's policy of free GMO seed distribution and GMO promotion to African nations?

                          The Nigerian government recently told USAID they did not want GMO seed in their country. Our government's policy of promoting GMO seeds abroad with American taxpayer money is a profit-driven program for Big Ag corporations. GMOs have a history of failure, most recently in India, and have themselves never been proven safe or reliable. Would you continue this program?

                          21 votes
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                            1 comment  ·  Food & Ag  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                          • What actions would you propose to align practices for food production with climate change, and public health initiatives

                            Subsidies in food production have fueled the development of monocultures (corn) that require extensive resources (fertilizers, pesticides) to be produced in high yields. The way that we grow these crops is a major contributor to climate change. Additionally, subsidies to products like corn make the heavily processed foods that use them comparatively cheap and contributes to the growing obesity epidemic. As clearly outlined on http://plateoftheunion.com/, we need federal oversight to align the initiatives of food production to produce a wider variety of healthier crops in a sustainable fashion.

                            21 votes
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                              0 comments  ·  Food & Ag  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                            • How will you perform sustainable agriculture?

                              The world is facing challenges such as pollution and overpopulation. Climate change is also occurring. How will you properly manage food production that does not pose a threat to the environment? Also how will you successfully feed a large population nutritiously.

                              18 votes
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                                0 comments  ·  Food & Ag  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                              • What would you do to get GMO foods labeled as such and how would you label them?

                                What is your take on banning GMO crops in the U.S. so we can limit the massive amounts of poison we are putting in our soil and in our bodies?

                                18 votes
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                                  0 comments  ·  Food & Ag  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                • What policies would you implement to improve our regulatory processes to ensure the health and safety of our population and environment?

                                  There is a group that believes that without full evidence of safety, products should not be approved. Another group believes that without full evidence of hazard, products should not be banned. After over 20 years of recombinantly modified vaccines, drugs, and food consumption, there is no evidence that the technology itself is the cause of any harm, yet some advocates insist that more studies are required. What is your view on approving new GM products like these for use in humans?

                                  17 votes
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                                    0 comments  ·  Food & Ag  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                  • 12 votes
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                                      0 comments  ·  Food & Ag  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                    • Would you establish policies to provide food security similar to our policies aimed at energy security??

                                      Humans require food for survival. Energy is useful for staying warm and many modern conveniences. We have an obsession with energy security, but do not seem to be as concerned about our food supply.

                                      11 votes
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                                        0 comments  ·  Food & Ag  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                      • Will you stand on the side of science and and resist the effort to label GMOs?

                                        Like climate change, the majority of scientists and agricultural experts agree that GMOs are just as safe as conventionally grown food. Labeling will create a stigma that they are not safe and cause an undo burden for growers and producers. How can you explain support for mandatory labeling if there is no safety or health reason to do so?

                                        10 votes
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                                          2 comments  ·  Food & Ag  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                        • 8 votes
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                                            1 comment  ·  Food & Ag  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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