Oppose Wolff as Undersecretary for Food Safety
TAKE ACTION: If you're in the U.S., then please e-mail your strong opposition to Dennis Wolff as Undersecretary for Food Safety.
Mr. David Lazarus
Senior Advisor to the Secretary
US Department of Agriculture
Dear Mr. Lazarus,
I understand that you are the Secretary of Agriculture's representative to the Whitehouse Food safety Working Group. In this capacity I ask that you convey to both Secretary Vilsack and to President Obama my concern regarding recent news that Mr. Dennis Wolff is being considered as Undersecretary for Food Safety.
Mr. Wolff should not be appointed to this position for three reasons:
First, Mr. Wolff is simply not qualified for this job. He has no food safety experience.
Second, during his tenure as Secretary of Agriculture in Pennsylvania Wolff clearly and consistently demonstrated willingness to put the interests of huge multinational corporations, including Monsanto, ahead of the interests of American farmers and citizens.
Specifically, Wolff changed the state's food labeling regulations making it illegal to label milk as "rBGH-free" (produced by cows not treated with recombinant bovine growth hormone). Only under pressure from the Governor of Pennsylvania did Wolff rescind this regulation. This amounts to a highly unethical attempt to censor the freedom of speech of dairy processors, and to take actions in favor of a huge multinational, Monsanto, in total disregard for consumers' right to know what's in their dairy products and other foods.
Third, he simply cannot be trusted. For instance, during the rBGH controversy, he claimed that consumers were "concerned or confused" about rBGH-free labeling and said his department received "many calls" about it. Yet when pressed by a reporter, he couldn't provide any surveys showing consumers were confused and could not come up with the name of even a single consumer who had complained. He also created a committee to whitewash his regulatory decision to ban rBGH-free labeling, which excluded the group most affected by the rules and most opposed to them””the Pennsylvania Association of Milk Dealers.
In short, appointing Mr. Wolff as Undersecretary is counter to the best interests of American agriculture and of the citizens of this country.