When you dig beneath the surface of Donald Trump’s pick to run the USDA, Sonny Perdue, all you find is a trail of slime. Exposed for what he really is, a shill for the big-ag and factory farm industry, he is a testament to the depth of systemic corruption running rampant in the US government. Center for Food Safety has a petition to block him from being accepted to Trump’s administration, please sign it to prevent one more cog in the wheel of Trump’s fascist regime.

 As a friend to the biotech industry, Perdue is expected to help degrade future regulation of GE trees. The USDA already has incredibly lax regulations on GMOs. The USDA refuses to regulate GE trees unless they have a documented plant pest gene in the process of creating the GE organism, which is how ArborGen’s GE loblolly pine slipped through federal regulation.

If Perdue is head of the USDA, this will spell disaster for regulation on anything created with genetic engineering. The nomination of Perdue for head of USDA only further exposes that the system only serves itself, not the people or ecosystems impacted by the release of GMOs.

– Ruddy Turnstone, GJEP

Perdue and others in Trump’s cabinet are setting the table for an expansion in GMOs and GE trees. History has shown that grassroots movements have been the greatest defender against GE trees. In 2015, 1,000 women from the MST took over operations of genetically engineered tree company Futuragene in Brazil.

Trump’s cabinet just keeps getting worse. This week, Trump officially announced his choice of former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue to head the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Perdue has been the favorite of corporate agribusiness companies, and has shown himself to be very friendly towards biotech companies and factory farms in Georgia. In fact, over his seven Georgia political campaigns, he received more than $325,000 from agribusiness interests.1

Tell your Senators we need an agriculture secretary that will protect family farmers, sustainable agriculture, animal welfare and the environment – not another corporate shill >>

As Governor of Georgia, Perdue championed the expansion of factory chicken farms in the state2, and signed a bill in 2009 that would prohibit local communities from taking action to stop animal cruelty, pollution and other hazards from factory farms.3 Perdue was also named Governor of the Year in 2009 by the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) for his support and expansion of biotech in Georgia, the same year Atlanta hosted the annual BIO convention.4 As head of USDA, Perdue could undo years of work to curb factory farming and regulate genetically engineered crops. And don’t forget – its Trump’s USDA that is now in charge of finalizing the national GMO labeling law.

As secretary of agriculture, Perdue would also oversee programs aimed at curbing agriculture’s environmental footprint and contribution to climate change. But as is the case with most of Trump’s cabinet choices, he’s also a climate denier. In an opinion piece he wrote in 2014, Perdue mocked “liberals” and the “mainstream media” for daring to connect extreme weather events – like increases in hurricanes, droughts, and soaring temperatures—to climate change.5 When Georgia faced an urgent drought in 2007, Perdue responded by holding a prayer vigil at the state capitol to urge residents to “pray for rain.”6

In a time when bee populations are collapsing, family farms are struggling to survive, and every day we see the real impacts of a changing climate, we cannot allow the confirmation of agency heads that support policies which create more polluting factory farms, more pesticides in the food we feed our families, or more toxic chemicals in the environment.

Tell your Senators to block the confirmation of Sonny Perdue as secretary of agriculture >>