Chief Agricultural Negotiator to be a pesticide advocate
November 18, 2009
Islam Siddiqui is the vice president of science and regulatory affairs at CropLife America, a company which regulates pesticide and biotechnology originating from companies like DuPont and Monsanto. In reality the company is not so much a regulatory organization, but the voice saying GMOs, industrial agriculture and pesticide use is good for people and the environment. We need a Chief Agricultural Negotiator to be on the other side of the spectrum. Too many times we have seen how our mechanized agriculture has negatively affected food production in developing countries (for instance, the switch from shade grown to monoculture coffee in Costa Rica and other countries). Our relationship with developing countries should be based on the understanding that local, sustainable agriculture is better for farmers, eaters and the environment. Tell President Obama that. We cannot have a Big Agriculture lobbiest appointed to the government who believes that heavy pesticide use is responsible for food security rather than sound agroecology.
The CropLife website says “20%-40% of the world’s potential crop production is already lost annually because of the effects of weeds, pests and disease. These crop losses would be doubled if existing pesticide uses were abandoned, significantly raising food prices. Learn more about how crop protection products allow farmers to increase food production.” They pretend like the only option is pesticides or no pesticides. The answer is organic, ecological farming and that is where the efforts of our government should be directed.
A real kicker: Siddiqui complained about the organic, pesticide-free garden Michelle Obama planted at the White House and asked CropLife’s supporters to write a letter to Mrs. Obama criticizing the message she was sending to the public.
Take action with Center for Biological Diversity and tell your senator to reject the nomination.