Thursday, October 29, 2009


Photo, top : Becky Bolt. San Juan Island Farmers Market

From the "Small Farmers. Big Change." web page of Equal Exchange comes this important message, below. It's important that our voices are heard NOW:

"The Revolving Door between Big Ag and OUR government

A broad coalition of groups around the country (Pesticide Action Network, National Family Farm Coalition, Food & Water Watch, Farmworker’s Association of Florida, Institute of Agriculture & Trade Policy, Food Democracy Now!, Greenpeace, Center for Food Safety) have mobilized to block the appointment of Islam Siddiqui to the critical post of U.S. Chief Agricultural Negotiator.
Equal Exchange is encouraging our friends and allies to read the following statement and petition and sign on. We share in the belief that President Obama should be held to his promise to put people’s interests ahead of the special interests of big agriculture.
Dear Colleagues:
Despite campaign promises to the contrary, President Obama has nominated to two key posts “Big Ag” industry insiders who come straight from the chemical pesticide and ag biotechnology sectors.
  • Islam Siddiqui — current VP of science and regulatory affairs at CropLife (THE lobbying association for the pesticide/GMO industry). A former registered lobbyist, Siddiqui has been nominated to the critical post of U.S. Chief Agricultural Negotiator. This position will enable him to keep pushing chemical pesticides, inappropriate biotechnologies, and unfair trade arrangements on nations that do not want and can least afford them.
  • Roger Beachy — long-time head of Monsanto’s defacto nonprofit research arm — has been installed as director of the USDA’s newly created National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). This office comes with a $500 million budget, and therein control over the U.S. ag research agenda for years to come.
Please join us in signing this petition, urging President Obama to withdraw his Big Ag industry insiders nominations to vital agriculture posts.
We need 50,000 signatures to make an impact and we have until Nov. 4th (when the Senate Finance Committee will vote) to make a difference.
Click here to sign the petition".
Thanks, Small Farmers and Equal Exchange!
Please go here to read more important information from Equal Exchange's "Small Farmers. Big Change." web page, here for info from Organic Consumers Association, and here for the petition from Food Democracy Now. And, please, tell your friends.