1.Vilsack Not "Change We Can Believe In"
2.Obama Kills Hope for Change Naming Vilsack to USDA
3.Vilsack is not just totally pro-biotech, he is committedly anti-democracy

EXTRACTS: Obama is planning an organic garden at the White House...

Why should you [Obama] eat well when the rest of us can't and the person you chose for the USDA is making sure there are laws in place to ensure that?

Eat what we have to, Obama.  You served it up to us. (item 3)



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1.Vilsack Not "Change We Can Believe In"
Ronnie Cummins
Organic Consumers Association, December 17 2008

CLICK HERE TO STOP VILSACK'S CONFIRMATION [please copy the link into your browser if necessary]

WASHINGTON, DC Today's announcement that former Iowa Governor, Tom Vilsack, has been selected as the new Secretary of Agriculture sent a chill through the sustainable food and farming community who have been lobbying for a champion in the new administration.

"Vilsack's nomination sends the message that dangerous, untested, unlabeled genetically engineered crops will be the norm in the Obama Administration," said Ronnie Cummins, Executive Director of Organic Consumers Association. "Our nation's future depends on crafting a forward-thinking strategy to promote organic and sustainable food and farming, and address the related crises of climate change, diminishing energy supplies, deteriorating public health, and economic depression.”

The Department of Agriculture during the Bush Administration failed to promote a sustainable vision for food and farming and did not protect consumers from the chemical-intensive toxic practices inherent to industrial agriculture. While factory farms and junk food have been subsidized with billions of tax dollars, the US industrial farm system has released massive amounts of climate-destabilizing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and increased our dependence on foreign oil.

The Secretary of Agriculture is responsible for directing the U.S. Department of Agriculture and its $97 billion annual budget, including the National Organic Program, food stamp and nutrition programs, agriculture subsidies, and the Forest Service.

While Vilsack has worked to restrain livestock monopolies, his overall record is one of aiding and abetting Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs, also known as factory farms). Vilsack’s support for unsustainable industrial ethanol production has already caused global corn and grain prices to skyrocket, literally taking food off the table for a billion people in the developing world.

Over the past month, Organic Consumers Association members have sent over 20,000 emails to President-Elect Obama’s Transition Team, calling for the appointment of a Secretary of Agriculture who would develop and implement a plan that promotes family-scale farming, a safe and nutritious food system, and a sustainable and organic vision for the future. 

"Obama's choice for Secretary of Agriculture points to the continuation of agribusiness as usual, the failed policies of chemical- and energy-intensive, genetically engineered industrial agriculture," said Cummins.

"Americans were promised 'change,' not just another shill for Monsanto and corporate agribusiness. Considering the challenges we collectively face as a nation, from climate change and rising energy costs to food insecurity, we need an administration that moves beyond 'business as usual' to fundamental change””before it's too late," concluded Cummins.

Vilsack's business as usual positions have included the following:

”¢    Vilsack has been a strong supporter of genetically engineered pharmaceutical crops, especially pharmaceutical corn.
”¢    The biggest biotechnology industry group, the Biotechnology Industry Organization, named Vilsack Governor of the Year. He is also the founder and former chair of the Governor's Biotechnology Partnership.
”¢    When Vilsack created the Iowa Values Fund, his first poster child for economic development was Trans Ova and their pursuit of cloning dairy cows.
”¢    The undemocratic 2005 seed preemption bill was the Vilsack's brainchild. The law strips local government’s right to regulate genetically engineered seed.
”¢    Vilsack is an ardent supporter of corn and soy based biofuels, which use as much or more energy to produce as they generate and drive up world food prices, literally starving the poor.

The OCA will soon launch to mobilize hundreds of thousands of people to oppose Vilsack's Senate confirmation through an online petition.

More information is available at:

Additionally, OCA's nationwide network of 850,000 organic consumers are urging members of Congress to move beyond business as usual and implement a comprehensive strategy for organic food and farming in 2009 and beyond.
2.Obama Kills Hope for Change Naming Vilsack to USDA
Pamela Drew     
opednews, Dec 17 2008

For a brief and shining moment there was hope for change we can believe in, but the appointment of Monsanto's biotech champion from Iowa effectively kills the idea that consumer rights will be any different under Obama.

For over a decade the world has rejected the patent protected, fee based seeds that tolerate toxic doses of patented herbicides, but denied the right to know what is in our food supply, ignorant Americans have supported these untested ingredients.

Like the policies that allowed subprime ending to create opportunities for a few corporations to benefit at the expense of the public benefit, "biotech policy" has provided the makers of PCB's and Agent Orange the opportunity for unfettered control of the Nations food supply and Vilsack has been among the chief supporters. In fact George Bush's Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns and Visack had partnered in early efforts to advance the climate of control for Monsanto.

"Vilsack and Johanns were partners heading the biotech efforts to roll supports for a biotech agenda out in the States, expanding gmo legislative efforts, well beyond Federal lobbying.

The Governors Biotechnology Partnership has significantly grown in recent months with more than half of all U.S. Governors now members of the educational outreach organization.

As the group gathered in Providence during the National Governors Association annual meeting, Governor Thomas J. Vilsack (D-Iowa), who chairs the organization, and Governor Mike Johanns (R-Nebraska), vice chair, announced that twenty-seven Governors are now members. There were thirteen founding Governors when the organization was formed more than a year ago to promote healthy discussion of the potential of biotechnology."

Anyone who believes that party affiliation changes the lure of corporate dollars in the corporate government is sadly mistaken. Bipartisan support for the deep pockets is the overlooked element of the corporate government and Vilsack is more of the same.

In the announcement Reuters quoted Senator Democratic Senator Tom Harkin in support of the Vilsack appointment, but no mention was made of how Harkin joined John Ashcroft in attacking the EU concerns over the dangers of biotech crops. When the British Medical Assn. cautioned against GM foods in 1999, Harkin cowrote the complaint with Ashcroft.

"In a strongly worded report that immediately increased trade tensions with the United States, the British Medical Association also called for gene-altered crops to be processed separately from conventional crops, rather than mixed together as is done today in the United States, so that any health effects that may eventually turn up will be traceable to the products that caused them.

If growers in the United States or other countries continue to refuse to segregate gene-modified products, the association concluded, then Britain should consider banning imports of those foods."

In America we have a don't look, don't find policy when it comes to identifying Monsanto's products or dangers associated with them. No one has been a bigger supporter of this corporate coup than Vilsack.

Change we can believe in was a great theme for the campaign but the reality is becoming clear, this land is owned by Monsanto so Americans who want to have pure foods or the right to choose what they eat can just shut up and swallow what serves the corporate interests.

Pamela Drew tracks the legislation, politics, science and spin surrounding the genetically altered foods. She is a freelance researcher, writer and documentary film producer living in New York City, where she works with advocacy groups and small producers to create sustainable farming practices and community based agriculture programs. Pamela is the executive producer of the controversial film 'Roundup Ready Nation ~ dying for profits'
3.Vilsack is not just totally pro-biotech, he is committedly anti-democracy
Linn Cohen-Cole
opednews, Dec 18 2008 [extracts only]

Obama is planning an organic garden at the White House but it is clearly only for a false show given his choice of Tom Vilsack to run the USA.

Vilsack, according to The Organic Consumer's Association, was named Governor of the Year by Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), the biggest pro-genetic engineering lobby in existence.    Why?  Not for nothing.    Because he'd championed local transgenic R&D corporations like Trans Ova, which clones cows. Vilsack was also the founder and former chair of the Governor's Biotechnology Partnership. Vilsack speaks for biotech.  He is Monsanto's boy. 

Notice that Vilsack is not only Monsanto's boy in his speaking FOR biotech but Monsanto's boy in character as well in how he has been the planner of laws that would undo rights of citizens to control their own communities.    These are Monsanto laws.

Obama has picked not only someone who is ENTIRELY and ACTIVELY and AWARD-WINNINGLY OPPOSED to organic farming but someone who is fundamentally undemocratic in the service of destroying organic farming and establishing an economic anti-trust monopoly.

So, Obama, it seems only right that YOUR garden should be filled with ONLY genetically engineered crops, including all the pesticides that go along and the industrial chemical crops and the drug crops your biotech masters are seeking.  Why should you eat well when the rest of us can't and the person you chose for the USDA is making sure there are laws in place to ensure that?

Eat what we have to, Obama.  You served it up to us.
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