October 29, 2009

Big Ag in the White House

Sigh. I know that he's got a lot on his plate, but some times I wonder WTF the current resident of the White House is thinking. If, during your campaign, you say you will not hire former lobbyists, then, you know what, don't do that, or at least try.

Some back story from the indispensable Tom Philpott here, including this:

President Obama has nominated one of [Big Biotech Ag's] own as the chief agricultural negotiator at the U.S. Trade Office.

To take the post, Islam “Isi” Siddiqui will have to leave his current perch as vice president for agricultural biotechnology and trade at CropLife America, the trade group representing the U.S. agrichemical industry (member list here). Its mission: to hip the public (and the government) to the ““benefits of pesticides and crop-protection chemicals.”

This is the crew that chided Michelle Obama for daring to opt not to use “crop protection” (i.e., toxic pesticides) in the White House Garden. ...

As the Doha round of global trade talks lurches on, Siddiqui’s position will be an important one. Southerm-hemisphere nations like India and Brazil are pushing for lower U.S. crop subsidies, while the U.S. is demanding wide-open markets for U.S. goods—everything from foodstuffs like industrial corn to agrichemicals. Siddiqui can be counted on to push that agenda hard.

So, if this nomination sounds like a bad idea to you, go here please and type in the requisite info.

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