Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Johanns will replace Veneman at USDA

The latest issue of the sharp web magazine, Informed Eating, wishes "good riddance" to Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman and Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson. The magazine's writer/editor Michele Simon says:
Public health advocates certainly won’t shed any tears over the loss of these two corporate apologists. Veneman’s legacy includes how, upon the discovery of the first U.S. cow infected with mad cow disease, she cheerfully encouraged Americans to go back to eating their hamburgers, while nearly a year later, testing remains woefully inadequate thanks to cattle industry pressure.

But Thompson wins the prize for most quotable quotes in favor of food industry interests. Who can forget how, at a 2002 meeting of the Grocery Manufacturers of America (a powerful trade association), he told members to “go on the offensive” against critics blaming the food industry for obesity.

Simon says it won't matter who replaces Veneman -- "as long as they are on the Bush team, just expect business as usual" -- but some of us can't help following the news. Here is the farm policy weblog's summary of news coverage about Agriculture nominee and Nebraska Governor Mike Johanns.

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