Tom Vilsack – USDA SecretaryPosted 7 years ago under Uncategorized
The former Governor of Iowa, Thomas James Vilsack, was selected by Barack Obama as the 30th Secretary of Agriculture for the United States in 2009, after he ran out of money (and popularity) trying to run for President in 2007 for the 2008 election. Before that, Vilsack’s campaign for president was noticeably contrived and attempted to utilize social media, including a massively-outdated and hokey “my space” page, Facebook and even video blogs on “blip.tv.” After dropping out of the presidential campaign, Vilsack immediately endorsed Hillary Clinton and was named national co-chair for her campaign.
Vilsack’s nomination for Agriculture Secretary received mass endorsements immediately from Big Food unions, federations and associations that knew already that he was a biotech proponent, pushing for industrial farms and “pharma crops” – the kind that grow drugs inside the plants by using genetic modification. Though Iowa is a dominantly large agricultural state, Vilsack’s nomination to the “throne” of Agriculture was due in large part to his “seed pre-emption bill” from 2005 that put him on the map as a politician who blocks communities from regulating where genetically engineered crops could and would be grown. Plus, “Tom” Vilsack was the founder and former chair of the Governor’s Biotechnology Partnership and had been named “Governor of the Year” by a powerful biotech lobbying industry front group called the Biotechnology Industry Organization. (1)
“Big Food” and Biotech industry lobbyists were jumping for joy that a new corporate shill would be running legislation and appointing more biotech shills to make key decisions in Washington DC. Those decisions would mainly regard polluting food with chemical insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, algaecides, pesticides, GMOs and synthetics manufactured by such big businesses as the Corn Refiners Association, American Farm Bureau Federation, National Farmers Union and the National Grain and Feed Association. (2)
The Organic Consumers Association (the good guys) called out the “poor choice” Obama had made nominating Vilsack to such a control position when he was basically a biotech industry insider. This man would surely undermine energy and environmental reforms as he has a track record for helping large industrial (CAFO) farms and promoting genetically modified crops every chance he gets. Vilsack tried to distract the public from his true agenda with his infamous “Christmas Tree Tax.”
March 2012: Secretary Vilsack publicly defends the use of “pink slime” (animal muscle tissues and ligaments) added to ground beef, to be used in public school meals.
April 2014: Vilsack functions as GMO apologist, saying industry agriculture takes the “brunt of criticism” for greenhouse gases and global warming, when factory farms (confined animal feeding operations – CAFOs) are only responsible for about 10% of emissions worldwide, yet America is the world’s home of fast-food and junk science, thanks to politicians with the same point of view as Tom Vilsack.
2002: Dial it back to when Vilsack was a leading advocate for Monsanto
As Iowa Governor, Vilsack proudly promoted pesticide-laden food and animal feeding operations that look like concentration camps from WWII. Animals in CAFOs suffer from diseases, over-use of antibiotics, over-production of milk and eggs from synthetic hormones, feces-contaminated living quarters, cannibalism, and most of the animals are fed genetically modified food they would never eat if allowed to roam in the wild or even graze outside on natural grounds. This leads to digestive disorders and even cancers, which translate into drugs, synthetics, pesticides and other carcinogens in the US food supply. On top of this, Vilsack has a track record for promoting the MOST CONTROVERSIAL and toxic forms of agriculture practice, including “pharma crops,” which are plants genetically engineered to produce pharmaceuticals, like ProdiGene’s corn crop that supposedly grows a vaccine for pigs.
Yet this is the very “chemicalized” corn crop contaminated half-a-million bushels of soybeans that were grown on the same fields one season later (this happened in Nebraska). The USDA ordered the biotech firm ProdiGene to pay for the burning of hundreds of contaminated acres. Here’s the rub: just before ProdiGene went out of business, it received a $6 million investment from none other than the Governors Biotechnology Partnership, chaired by you know who – Tom Vilsack. Vilsack believed that pharma crops should have a steady green light with no restrictions on experimentation in fields across the country. In reaction to opposition he said, “we should not overreact and hamstring this industry.”
July 2009: Another shill and biotech industry lobbyist/insider takes control of US Food
Michael Taylor becomes the “Food Czar” of the FDA–Senior Advisor to the Food and Drug Administration. This man, who was a former Monsanto lobbyist and the Vice President for Public Policy at Monsanto Corporation from 1998 to 2001, would serve the USA as Commissioner on Food Safety, while promoting the deadliest food ever known to mankind, GMO. The Organic Consumers Association gathered nearly 40,000 letters opposing this appointment, to no avail. This complicates the situation for the entire organic food industry, and Vilsack would surely be able to empower himself with this industry hack Taylor functioning as the “head of the snake.” (3)
Taylor is another spoke in the crooked wheel of the agri-chemical industry running and ruining the US government and it’s regulatory policies on food safety, environment safety, human safety and sustainability. There’s a revolving door between Biotech, the Supreme Court, the FDA, the USDA, and around and around they go. Now there are even public scientists and academics revealed as being heavily involved in spreading propaganda that Monsanto and the other biotech giants write, then calling it sound science, or safe and beneficial, sustainable, drought-resistant, or whatever sounds good. This was all exposed by the USRTK through a FOIA (freedom of information act request).
Yet another shill and biotech industry insider takes control of US Agriculture
The following October, still in 2009, the long-time president of Monsanto’s “nonprofit” arm–Danforth Plant Science Center–Roger Beachy is nominated “Director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture.” This was a newly created “Institute” most likely set up for a shill like Roger Beachy, Michael Taylor or Tom Vilsack. These industry insiders now steer the direction of US agricultural research to feed their cohorts’ agendas and pockets, no matter the end result. In other words, Beachy is running a $70-million dollar “institute” that got its money from Monsanto and is a Monsanto front. (6)
Obama’s choice of Vilsack for secretary of agriculture points out the blatant continuation of agribusiness in America and all the failed policies put in place to limit chemicals from polluting US soil and giving Americans cancer and central nervous system disorders. The food system is actually responsible for a third of greenhouse gases, so that was all a lie by Vilsack anyway. The catastrophic “American diet” drives the CAFO industries, the processed food industries, the GMO food industries, and the chronic care doctors and hospitals that rip everyone off, charging an “arm and a leg” for chemical medicines, surgery, chemotherapy and radiation that only makes things worse. That’s Agri-politics at its worse and Vilsack is parked front and center. (4)
May, 2012: The Organic Watergate, including USDA regulatory abuse and corporate exploitation
Most people have never heard of the Organic Watergate because most people tune into television and newspapers for their news, or websites that are created by the same corporate entities that control the advertising revenue for the networks. An actual conspiracy of collusion has been unsealed and revealed across the web on alternative health news networks where millions of Americans tune in daily for actual truth news. The collusion between corporate agribusinesses and the USDA runs deep. (5)
Cornucopia, the nation’s leading organic farming watchdog, published the “White Paper” that details “violations of federal law” and “ignoring congressional intent,” providing ample proof that there’s regulatory abuse and corporate exploitation going on at the highest levels and for some time now. Cornucopia Institute has lifted the veil on how the USDA has crippled the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990, the law passed by Congress to protect the integrity of organic food and farming. This 75-page research paper is available HERE.
National Organic Standards Board compromised with corporate shills who vote for synthetics to dilute organic integrity
Back in 1990, Congress passed the OFPA – Organic Foods Production Act, in order to set up an INDEPENDENT advisory panel called the NOSB – National Organic Standards Board. This board would have statutory power to keep synthetic ingredients out of food production and off of farms, thus protecting human health and the environment from “threats.” The USDA stacked the NOSB with agribusiness executives they knew would vote to let synthetics infiltrate the organic label, thus helping “grow” GMO. This is long-term abuse of Congressional intent!
The organic industry, in other words, was looking for the US Government to step in and help regulate and maintain the organic pedigree – – the level of quality foods not infiltrated with synthetics or chemical pesticides (not rip it all to shreds). So, Congress earmarked the majority of the 15 NOSB seats for scientists, environmentalists, consumers and farmers in order to BALANCE THE POWER. The Organic Industry believed it worked, until 2011, when they all found out otherwise.
The Disturbing Truth about NOSB
Because the National Organic Standards Board is not itself a scientific body, it would rely on technical reviews that were legally mandated, and done by impartial scientists. Sounds simple and fairly reliable. Problem is that ONE executive, by the name of Dr. Richard Theuer, authored 45 of the 50 technical reviews during an entire two-year period in the 1990s. How much money does it take to buy one shill? Today, only about $25,000, just ask Dr. Kevin Folta of University of Florida who was recently caught in a huge scandal for cutting and pasting Monsanto’s propaganda word-for-word under the auspice of his own scientific reviews, findings and professional, academic opinions.
“Bioscience” conglomerate gets their synthetic, genetically modified petrochemical-corn-oil approved as “organic” for INFANT formula
You’ve heard of Dean Foods before, now meet Dutch-based multi-national conglomerate Royal DSM and Martek Biosciences, Dean Foods’ new “partner-in-crime.” What irresponsible company would use genetically mutated algae and soil fungus processed with petrochemical solvents for use in infant formula? – only Dean Foods, the largest dairy processor in the lower 48 states. These are UNREVIEWED synthetic ingredients getting processed under organic guidelines, somehow, thanks to one Tom Vilsack. It all boils back to Vilsack–the Organic Watergate. These ingredients in baby formula are illegal in organics, but they’ve been muscled through by the industry reps and lobbyists posing as farmers and violating Congressional standards for their position with NOSB.
Carrageenan Health Impacts – the Epitome of Carcinogenic “Organics”
Carrageenan is derived from seaweed and has been used as a thickening agent for foods for decades in the US. It’s a well-known inflammatory agent and probable carcinogen, as recognized by the World Health Organization and the IARC, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, even at low molecular weight. “Due to its unique chemical characteristics, there is no safe form of carrageenan.” It can degrade when heated, digested or processed and contaminate other food. Carrageenan is another sad example of a food-substance that should have never been “voted” into the organic food supply.
The largest scandal in organic industry history – corporate lobbyists posing as organics inspectors – exposed by industry watchdog Cornucopia Institute
Now comes the case of the foxes watching the chicken coop. The “Organic Center” board is chaired by Mark Retzloff, President of Aurora Dairy, a monstrous factory farm milk producer for Walmart and Costco. Aurora “willfully” violated 14 federal organic laws in 2007, which was the largest scandal in organic industry history. Every giant corporation has a member involved in organics, including of course Dean Foods and their “WhiteWave” division* of Horizon and Silk. These are not coincidentally the same companies seeking approval for USE OF SYNTHETICS IN ORGANIC FOOD, as pointed out by Cornucopia’s investigate research team, saying; “Talk about a conflict of interest.” Thanks again to Tom Vilsack for appointing so many hacks that vote for synthetics to be included under the USDA certified organic label.
Currently, there are more than two hundred non-organic and synthetic compounds that have already been approved for use in organics; luckily, most of them are benign and ethically derived. Organic industry stakeholders, including consumers and farmers, need to help keep this number of synthetics in organics to a minimum, and make sure it’s a hot topic at every meeting of the National Organic Standards Board.
Illegal appointments to the board subvert congressional intent
According to Cornucopia, a comprehensive voting analysis of members of the NOSB clearly illustrates how appointments to the board, of CURRENT and PAST, have illegally subverted congressional intent, meaning the members don’t even come close to meeting the standards and legal qualifications of recommended guidelines (bio’s basically) for each appointed to fill the seats.
Several of the “farmers” are simply biotech industry representatives posing for the positions with NOSB, and Tom Vilsack is currently at the root of this. These members, new and old, are NOT organic industry stakeholders either. This stacks the votes in corporate agri-chemical and agri-business favor, and often it only takes a few of these to get more risky and gimmicky synthetics “approved” as organic additives, further diluting its integrity as a whole. Plus, it can make loopholes for allowing weak animal husbandry standards that use the CAFO “factory farm” production model to produce eggs, dairy and meat, and there’s the rub. In fact, two current sitting “farmer” members were agribusiness employees at the time they were appointed to a FIVE YEAR TERM on NOSB and did not meet the congressional legal qualification of owning or operating an organic farm. Why are they not being ousted? Ask Tom Vilsack–the Secretary of US Agriculture. (7)
Voting records for biotech shills at NOSB significantly lower than actual farmer members
Of the fifteen board members, the ones who actually care about the integrity of organics, like organic farmers and environmentalists, vote about 90% of the time to keep non-organics OUT of the mix in order to prevent the eroding of organic integrity. At the other end of the scale, the agribusiness shills only vote somewhere between 10% and 17% to keep out synthetics that are proposed by the companies they work or worked for recently. These hucksters (and corporate lobbyists) include John Foster, a handler with WhiteWave* (recalling Dean Foods sellouts Horizon and Silk here), Harold Austin, a handler with Zirkle Fruit, and Carmela Beck a so-called farmer with Driscoll’s. All of this is revealed in black and white in the Cornucopia study, which spans five years. These reports were prepared by experienced organic farmers and policy experts, including former certification officials and staff scientists with doctorates in agriculture. If real farmers were put in the positions that are supposed to be filled with real farmers, then many of the close votes that went in the biotech industry’s favor would have gone the other way.
USDA hired agribusiness executives and consultants to do “technical reviews” for ingredients brought before NOSB board!
Cornucopia’s Organic Watergate also blew the whistle on illegal activities beyond the board members collaborating with the nefarious Vilsack himself. Contractors hired by the USDA to provide technical reviews of synthetics and non-organics weren’t even scientists or agriculture experts, but simply biotech and agri-chem executives, so everything considered by the NOSB board was based on bogus research by industry insiders. This goes on with Big Pharma and Vaccine industries, but now we know it is prevalent in the organic food standards industry as well. This is highly disturbing, considering that the phony panel isn’t even a scientific panel to begin with, and they’re ADVISING the NOSB body. Tom Vilsack is well aware of all of this and is building his cozy relationship with agribusiness as each day passes, and as each non-organic ingredient passes the NOSB “test” as well. Other corporations with members on the NOSB board include Whole Foods and General Mills. (8)
Bottom line: NOSB was designed to create a strong defense against “business as usual in Washington DC,” but key agri-business players like Tom Vilsack, Michael Taylor, Roger Beachy, Jon Entine, Kevin Folta–these charlatans undermine the whole system of clean food, and put control in the hands of thoughtless corporations that run unethical farms and genetically insert toxic pesticides and chemical synthetics into our food supply.