Just a few days ago, President Trump tapped Sonny Perdue, a former governor of Georgia, to lead the USDA.
There are many very questionable things about this pick, but in terms of his farming record and how it could impact organic, here is what we know about this nominee:
* He was named Governor of the Year by the Biotechnology Industry Organization – an ominous sign. As you may remember, Tom Vilsack, the last USDA Secretary and no friend of organic, also received that award.
* Despite the fact that he is a trained veterinarian, Sonny Perdue pushed for the growth of factory chicken farms and prohibited counties from regulating them, even though they were causing massive contamination of the water supply.
* Throughout his career, he’s been a consistent fan of deregulation. Big Ag needs MORE regulation, not less. Again, not good.
* He owns and operates an international commodities trading business, which certainly aligns him with major seed and chemical companies.
* We don’t know how he feels about organic and protecting the fastest-growing sector of the food industry. Maybe he understands its importance more than we realize.
* He never worked for Monsanto or Dow, like so many other people at the USDA.
As we evaluate Sonny Perdue, let’s not forget that President Obama’s USDA Secretary, Tom Vilsack, viewed organic as a “nuisance” and approved every single GMO that passed his desk.
On the surface, it appears that Sonny Perdue does not favor organic. Hopefully, he’ll prove otherwise.
Have a great week!
Max Goldberg, Founder
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