Thursday, May 21, 2009

Straight from the horse's mouth

Below I copied OCA's (Organic Consumer's Association) Alert Update of the is worth reading, trust me.

Former Monsanto Lawyer Michael Taylor & the White House Food Safety Working Group In a recent issue of Bytes, we alerted you that former Monsanto lawyer Michael Taylor, who has been serving on President Obama's Department of Agriculture Transition Team, was "the leading candidate to staff the White House food safety working group."

Michael Taylor, who now promotes himself as a food safety expert, is a lawyer whose accomplishments include shepherding Monsanto's genetically engineered bovine growth hormone rBGH through Clinton's FDA as the Deputy Administrator for Policy. Alexis Baden-Mayer, OCA's Political Director, attended the Food Safety Working Group's Listening Session in Washington, DC, on May 13th, 2009.

Here's her report: If Michael Taylor was in the room, I didn't see him, but it's too soon to declare victory. We should keep reminding Secretary Vilsack, who chairs the working group, that we don't want Michael Taylor or any other former corporate lobbyists to be involved in crafting the government response to food safety. I had an interesting conversation with Bryce Quick, Deputy Administrator for the US Department of Agriculture's Food Safety Inspection Service since 2005, who greeted me by saying, "Organic, oh we're going to have problems with you!" He claimed to have visited an organic farm in Latin America several years ago that had major food safety issues although he wasn't sure if it was actually certified. When the meeting broke into small groups to craft policy "themes" it was clear that the conversation wasn't going to get too deep, I was placed in a group tasked with developing ways to "Allocate Resources Efficiently." I managed to get the group to find consensus around the idea that food safety solutions need to be scale appropriate, as regulations created for factory farms aren't going to be appropriate for small and micro producers who sell direct to consumers. What would you like Secretary Vilsack to know about food safety? Tell him here:

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