News Release

Groups Organizing Against Tom “Mr. Monsanto” Vilsack as Secretary of Agriculture

WENONAH HAUTER, SETH GLADSTONE, sgladstone@fwwatch.org, @foodandwater
Hauter and Gladstone are with the group Food & Water Watch, which recently put out the statement “Tom Vilsack, a Friend of Big Ag, is the Wrong Choice for USDA.” They have joined with RootsAction and other groups to advocate against his nomination as secretary of agriculture.
See from the Guardian: “Tom Vilsack’s Cozy Relationship With Big Ag Makes Him a Non-Starter at USDA.”

“Tom Vilsack has made a career of catering to the whims of corporate agriculture giants — some of whom he has gone to work for — while failing to fight for struggling family farmers at every turn,” said Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch. “America needs an Agriculture Secretary that will finally prioritize sustainable family farming and national food security over corporate profits. Tom Vilsack has proven not to be the leader we need.”

See from The Counter: “How USDA Distorted Data to Conceal Decades of Discrimination against Black Farmers.”

      In These Times reports that while Vil­sack was secretary of agriculture during the Obama administration, he “resist­ed Repub­li­can attacks on food stamps and upped fed­er­al sup­port for organ­ic food – he angered pro­gres­sive groups by let­ting poul­try fac­to­ries self-reg­u­late, speed­ing up the approval process for GMO crops, shelv­ing new reg­u­la­tions on big agri­cul­ture at the industry’s behest, and step­ping in to craft an indus­try-friend­ly nation­al GMO-labelling bill intend­ed to replace a pio­neer­ing stricter stan­dard in Ver­mont. The move helped earn him the deri­sive moniker ‘Mr. Mon­san­to.'”