Cornucopia’s Take: Tom Vilsack, USDA Secretary during the entire Obama administration, recently met with Sonny Perdue, the Trump administration nominee for Secretary of the USDA.
Under the Bush administration the USDA monkey-wrenched the organic program (mostly through numerous delaying tactics in terms of rulemaking and enforcement). But under the Obama/Vilsack administration they perfected the game by forming an intimate partnership with corporate agribusiness lobbyists, particularly the Organic Trade Association.
Under both Republicans and Democrats, the USDA’s policies have been beholden to corporate farming and food processing interests — rolling out the red carpet for Monsanto and other GMO proponents and paying lip service to supporting organics. It’s bipartisan corruption.
Cornucopia will be watching the first moves of the Trump/Purdue leadership at the USDA very carefully. We will reach out to engage with the new political appointees and assume that they are going to work in good faith until proven otherwise.
Vilsack backs Perdue as his USDA successor
by Chuck Abbott
On the same day that Senate Democrats toughened their opposition to President Donald Trump’s cabinet nominees, former agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack said he supports Sonny Perdue as his successor at USDA. With Vilsack, Perdue “is the only cabinet nominee to secure the support of his predecessor in the Obama administration,” said the Trump transition team.
The statement grew out of a telephone conversation last weekend between the former two-term governors, said a transition official. “They worked (together) in the past” and had a lively conversation about USDA. Through a spokesman, Vilsack confirmed his support of Perdue.
“I have had the opportunity to work with Governor Perdue and know how committed he is to all of our farmers, ranchers and producers regardless of size or production method (to) expand markets here and throughout the world,” said Vilsack in the three-paragraph statement. “As a former governor, he knows full well the opportunities and challenges that exist in rural communities. He will, I am sure, work hard to expand opportunity in rural America.” Read Full Article »