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Greenpeace response to Joe Biden’s selection of Tom Vilsack for Agriculture Secretary

by Katie Nelson

December 10, 2020

“It’s foolish for Biden’s transition team to pick an individual from an industry that has been a major cause of the climate catastrophe and expect different results."

In response to Tom Vilsack’s selection as Agriculture Secretary, Greenpeace USA Forest Campaigner Diana Ruiz said:

“By tapping Tom Vilsack, a Big Ag lobbyist, President-elect Biden is choosing a wolf to guard the hen house.

“Vilsack has enabled the unchecked growth and consolidation of big meat and dairy companies. And during the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen how food monopolies dismantle worker rights and safety protections while exacerbating the climate emergency.

“The USDA carries a mandate that determines the health of U.S. forests and other climate-critical ecosystems — but U.S. agribusiness control has resulted in chemically-induced industrialized food, production line uniformity, worker exploitation, and food insecurity. This model of production is poisoning our air, water, and soil, and is fueling both the climate crisis and biodiversity loss. The USDA needs a leader who will pursue genuine and just climate solutions, not perpetuate Big Ag’s dominance.

“The current models of food production are incompatible with delivering on climate justice. The way our food is grown, produced and sold continues to jeopardize the rights of Black, Indigenous and people of color. These same systems of production remain one of the leading drivers of climate change

“It’s foolish for Biden’s transition team to pick an individual from an industry that has been a major cause of the climate catastrophe and expect different results. As Vilsack’s appointment moves forward he’ll need to completely transform his approach and make decisions that shift power to people, workers and for the climate, not corporations.”

Katie Nelson

By Katie Nelson

Katie Nelson is a Senior Communications Specialist at Greenpeace USA.

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