From the Food for Maine's Future e-letter. Please contact your senators and urge them to vote NO.
The recent nomination of Islam Siddiqui to be the next Chief Agricultural Negotiator for the U.S. Trade Office has ignited a firestorm of opposition. Siddiqui is a former pesticide lobbyist and current Vice President for Science and Regulatory Affairs of CropLife America, a pesticide and biotechnology trade group known for aggressively pursuing and protecting the interests of agribusinesses like Monsanto, Syngenta, DuPont and Dow. While with the USDA, Siddiqui oversaw the release of the first proposed organic standards, which would have allowed GMOs and irradiated foods to be labeled as "organic".
A national ad hoc coalition has formed to oppose the Siddiqui appointment, including sustainable agriculture, family farm, farmworker, environmental, anti-hunger and trade groups. A very broad group of stakeholders have stepped forward to ensure this critical appointment is awarded to someone who understands and prioritizes a just, fair, and sustainable approach to food and the global economy.
More than 90,000 people recently signed Pesticide Action Network's petition calling on President Obama to withdraw Siddiqui's name for consideration. PAN Senior Scientist Marcia Ishii-Eiteman explains, "Siddiqui's confirmation would tell the world that the U.S. continues to value the interests of our chemical and GMO seed industry over any serious concern for stabilizing climate, protecting the planet's ecosystems or defending the health of farmers, farmworkers and future generations. At this critical political moment, we need a chief ag negotiator who understands that current trade agreements don't work."
Maine Fair Trade Campaign, Food for Maine's Future, and Food AND Medicine urge you to contact Senators Snowe and Collins today and tell them to Vote No on Siddiqui's nomination.