of Agriculture Nominee Promotes Genetically Engineered Food
President-elect George Wienerboy Bush
has nominated Ann Veneman, a lawyer and former California secretary
of agriculture, for U.S. secretary of agriculture. Bushs choice
of Veneman is especially disconcerting for several reasons.
Veneman is a proponent of genetically engineered food. In a profile
of Veneman, the Associated Press (AP) quoted her as recently saying, We simply will not be able to feed the world without biotechnology.
Forget about feeding the world, isnt Veneman aware that the U.S.
is unable to feed millions of its own citizens? Specifically, Im
thinking of the ungodly number of American children who go to school
each day hungry. Exactly how Veneman expects the good old U.S., with
or without biotechnology, to feed the entire world is beyond my intellectual
Of course, if Veneman were serious about feeding the world, she would
advocate a vegetarian diet. Which brings me to another Veneman quote,
courtesy of the AP: The big problem is children simply do not
know where food comes from. They go to the grocery store and think milk
just comes out of a carton, or fruit and vegetables just appear on that
shelf. I doubt Veneman (who, by the way, has no children) wants
children to really know where Big Macs or any meat product comes from.
Most parents, and the meat industry, protect children from
learning too much about the lives of chickens and cows before theyre
chopped into little pieces. Perhaps with Veneman at the helm, the USDA
will encourage schoolchildren to visit factory farms, feedlots, and
slaughterhouses. And while Venemans big problem quote
may make her appear as a supporter of family farms, she isnt.
By all appearances, Veneman has sided with the concerns of big agribusiness.
Nor does Veneman appear to be an environmentalist. Mining and timber
groups have cheered her nomination, and Laura Skaer, executive director
of the Northwest Mining Association, has said, We expect shell
be more friendly to natural resource development. In short, friendly
toward clearcutting and strip mining.
Personally, I blame Al Gore for the current presidential mess. America
wouldnt be confronted with four more years of Republican-orchestrated
environmental rape if Al Gore had resigned from the presidential race
(ha!) and urged everyone to vote for the Green Partys Ralph Nader,
a near-vegetarian who advocated the teaching of vegetarianism in public
Please write Veneman and encourage her to, among other things, promote
a vegetarian diet. (If nothing else, its always somewhat amusing
to read an official response from a faceless bureaucrat at the Department
of Agriculture who isnt supportive of your particular cause,
but tries to appear terribly sympathetic and understanding.) Contact:
Ann Veneman, Secretary of Agriculture nominee, USDA, 14 St. and Independence
Ave. SW, Washington, DC 20250.
The award for most offensive election-year advertisement
goes to Chick-fil-A which ran a print ad in USA Today featuring a cow
standing on his or her hind legs and holding a Vote Chikin
sign and a Itz Not Right Wing or Left placard. The ad, joked
Chick-fil-A, was Paid 4 By the Comittee 2 Eat Mor Chikin. For
more info, log onto www.chick-fil-a.com.
To protest the ad, contact: Jacki Kelley, Senior Vice President of Marketing,
USA Today, 1000 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA 22229; Tel: 800-USA-0001.