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Vilsack VP pick reinforces pro-corporate Clinton bias

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Presumptive Democratic Nominee Hillary Clinton is reportedly considering Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack as her running mate for the presidency.

In response, Friends of the Earth Action President Erich Pica issued the following statement:

Friends of the Earth Action opposes Secretary Tom Vilsack as a possible vice presidential pick.

While he has supported organic and local food systems, on issues affecting GMOs, factory farms, pesticides, dietary guidelines, and antibiotics, he consistently sides with Big Business against the interests of the environment, workers, consumers, public health and small-scale farmers.

Under Vilsack’s leadership, the USDA has aggressively promoted dangerous anti-worker regulations that would speed up poultry kill lines and successfully moved to privatize supervision of worker safety at poultry processing plants. He has supported the second generation of GMO crops that will increase pesticide use. He opposed the unanimous recommendation from the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee to urge Americans to eat less meat for the sake of health and the environment. And he has recently brokered a GMO labeling bill — opposed by the vast majority of the food movement — that would allow companies to use discriminatory QR codes to inform consumers that they are using GMOs in their products.

As agriculture secretary, he supported the Trans Pacific Partnership and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, both of which would accelerate corporate takeovers of our food system and damage critical food safety standards.

Americans need staunch champions for a healthy food system, not a vice president who will allow Big Agriculture to wreak havoc on our environmental health. Should Secretary Clinton choose Secretary Vilsack as her running mate, it will further prove her interest in siding with corporate power over the American people.

Expert contacts:
Erich Pica, (240) 432-3470, epica@foe.org
Kari Hamerschlag, (510) 207-7257, khamerschlag@foe.org

Communications contact: Kate Colwell, (202) 222-0744, kcolwell@foe.org