Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, March 30, 2017

Contact:  Lori Ann Burd, Center for Biological Diversity, (971) 717-6405,
Patrick Davis, Friends of the Earth, (202) 222-0744,
Courtney Sexton, Center for Food Safety, (202) 547-9359,
Patty Lovera, Food & Water Watch, (202) 683-2456,

Senate Agriculture Committee Vote Disappoints Environmental, Food Advocacy Coalition

WASHINGTON— The U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture today voted to advance the nomination of Gov. Sonny Perdue as secretary of agriculture to the full Senate.

In response to today's vote, Friends of the Earth U.S., the Center for Food Safety, the Center for Biological Diversity and Food & Water Watch issued the following statements:

“During the impossibly short and easy confirmation hearing for Sonny Perdue, the Senate Agriculture Committee failed to properly scrutinize his record,” said Erich Pica, president at Friends of the Earth. “Allowing the Trump administration to smoothly confirm a nominee dogged by ethics complaints and vexed with deep personal ties to Big Agribusiness is reprehensible. Perdue's inability to separate business and politics make him unfit to serve and we hope Democrats will not turn a blind eye to his ethics.”

“Ethical leadership is essential for promoting a safe, fair and sustainable food system and for supporting our rural communities. Sonny Perdue has strong ties to and long-time investment in corporate agribusiness, and his track record does not suggest dedicated concern for food safety, small and disadvantaged farmers, or the environment,” said Andrew Kimbrell, director of the Center for Food Safety.

“Sonny Perdue's record shows that he'll consistently side with corporations and profiteers at the expense of the American people and the future of our planet,” said KierĂ¡n Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity.  

“Sonny Perdue's nomination is another feather in the cap of big agribusiness,” said Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch. “He will bring backward views on climate change to the USDA and has a long list of financial ties to industries the USDA regulates. The Senate should not confirm someone who would gut agriculture regulations that protect independent farmers, workers and consumers so that agribusiness can continue to prioritize profits above food safety, farmer livelihoods, worker safety and the environment.”

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