December 18, 2008
Vilsack is not just totally pro-biotech, he is committedly anti-democracy By Linn Cohen-Cole
Excerpts from this article, chosen by Gerhard Bedding:
Vilsack, according to The Organic Consumer’s Association, was named Governor of the Year by Biotechnology Industry Organization(BIO), the biggest pro-genetic engineering lobby in existence. Why? Not for nothing. Because he’d championed local transgenic R&D corporations like Trans Ova, which clones cows. Vilsack was also the founder and former chair of the Governor’s Biotechnology Partnership. Vilsack speaks for biotech. He is the man who helped wipe out the local votes of many towns and counties who had voted not to allow genetically engineered seeds
“Vilsack lobbied hard to get seed pre-emption bills into state legislative bodies, beginning in 2005. These bills seek to control the use of seeds on the state level, and thus deny local communities(and small farmers, and even backyard farmers) the power to establish their own regulations for protection from genetically engineered seeds. If seed pre-emption bills become law, citizens will not be able to regulate where genetically engineered crops are grown, the creation of GE buffer zones, or the banning of pharmaceutical crops, among other things. The use of seeds becomes entirely regulated by government, and opens the door to human and plant exposure to every adverse effect of genetically engineered crops. –And simultaneously ruins biodiversity, because once transgenic seeds prevail, there’s no going back. Seed pre-emption bills have been introduced in sixteen states, and the battle is ongoing. But Vilsack has been one of the chief architects of looming biodiversity disaster, and there’s no reason to believe he’d halt his love affair with genetic engineering and Big Ag just because he’s working for Obama.”
OCA names six reasons Vilsack was a terrible choice:
* Former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack’s support of genetically engineered pharmaceutical crops, especially pharmaceutical corn:
* The biggest biotechnology industry group, the Biotechnology Industry Organization, named Vilsack Governor of the Year. He was also the founder and former chair of the Governor’s Biotechnology Partnership.
* When Vilsack created the Iowa Values Fund, his first poster child of economic development potential was Trans Ova and their pursuit of cloning dairy cows.
* Vilsack was the origin of the seed pre-emption bill in 2005, which many people here in Iowa fought because it took away local government’s possibility of ever having a regulation on seeds- where GE would be grown, having GE-free buffers, banning pharma corn locally, etc. Representative Sandy Greiner, the Republican sponsor of the bill, bragged on the House Floor that Vilsack put her up to it right after his state of the state address.
*Vilsack is an ardent support of corn and soy based biofuels, which use as much or more fossil energy to produce them as they generate, while driving up world food prices and literally starving the poor.