The Organic Consumers Association doesn’t hold back in this piece: Six Reasons Why Obama Appointing Monsanto’s Buddy, Former Iowa Governor Vilsack, for USDA Head is a Terrible Idea.
Click through to read the whole case against Vilsack. Among other things, they don’t like his advocacy of genetically-engineered crops for food or pharmaceuticals, his tendency to travel in Monsanto’s jet, and his support of biofuels.
I can’t recall anything Vilsack did as governor to address pollution from conventional farming or to promote sustainable agriculture. Then again, I was out of the state for most of his first term. If anyone wants to make the case for Vilsack as ag secretary in the comments, have at it.
I would much rather see Vilsack in a different post, such as secretary of education. He is very smart, understands policy and works hard, so he would be an asset to the cabinet—just not as agriculture secretary, in my opinion.
On a related note, if you care about food policy and sustainable agriculture, you should bookmark the community blog La Vida Locavore, featuring Jill Richardson (known to Daily Kos readers as OrangeClouds115) and Asinus Asinum Fricat, among others.
Jill’s recent posts indicate that Obama will likely improve food safety and may move us in the right direction in several other agricultural policy areas.