| Tom Vilsack, aka “Mr. Monsanto,” served corporate interests for eight years as Secretary of Agriculture under Obama and continued to do so as head of one of the largest U.S. dairy lobbies after leaving office.
Now, with Vilsack as the nominee for the same position under Biden, we have disturbing insight into how bad the situation is likely to be at USDA with Vilsack again at the helm. There is still time to stop his confirmation, but we must act now.
Two quick things you can do to stop his confirmation:
RootsAction is proud to be working in a coalition with Food & Water Watch, Progressive Democrats of America, and The Zero Hour to vigorously organize the opposition to the Vilsack nomination.
- Click here to send an email to your senators urging them to REJECT Vilsack and vote NO on his nomination. You can send a pre-written message or write your own.
- Sign up for our upcoming ACTION party! RootsAction.org is hosting an online Cabinet Update and Calling Party this Thursday, January 28 at 5 PM Pacific / 8 PM Eastern. We will be calling our senators and urging them to vote no on Vilsack and a few of Biden’s other worrisome nominees.
Why do we need to reject Tom Vilsack?
Tom Vilsack is in the pocket of “Big Ag.” As Agriculture Secretary he repeatedly capitulated to corporate interests over the needs of workers and small farmers. Vilsack ushered through a spineless GMO labeling standard rubber stamped by Big Ag, and sped-up the approval process for genetically modified crops. He allowed the meat industry to further monopolize -- squeezing out small farmers -- and scaled back oversight of poultry processing plants, permitting them to effectively self-regulate and thereby endangering food and worker safety. Immediately after leaving his post at the USDA in 2016, Vilsack became CEO of one the largest U.S. dairy lobbies.
Tom Vilsack also has an egregious record on matters of civil rights. At the end of his tenure as USDA secretary, Vilsack proudly claimed to have presided over a “New Era for Civil Rights at the USDA,” but -- according to the numerous civil rights groups and associations of black farmers angered by his recent nomination -- the truth was quite the opposite. An extensive two-year investigation by The Counter revealed that Vilsack’s USDA misrepresented data to minimize persisting disparities and discrimination against black farmers to deceptively portray its civil rights record in a positive light.
Email your senators and urge them to vote NO on Vilsack for Secretary of Agriculture.
And if you can afford it, a contribution of any amount will go a long way toward supporting this work. Please chip in here.
-- The RootsAction.org Team
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● George Goehl, The Guardian: "Biden's pick for agriculture secretary raises serious red flags"
● The Counter: "How USDA distorted data to conceal decades of discrimination against black farmers"
● David Dayen, The Intercept: "Obama’s Agriculture Secretary Urges 2020 Democrats to Back Dairy Industry"
● Tom Philpott, Mother Jones: "USDA Ruffles Feathers With New Poultry Inspection Policy"
● Politico: "Black farmers, civil rights advocates seething over Vilsack pick"