USDA


USDA Nominee Perdue’s Connection to Coca-Cola is Deeper Than Georgia Roots

, science and policy analyst, Center for Science and Democracy

Agriculture secretary is the last Cabinet post to be filled by the Trump transition team. The delayed nomination of this position says a lot about the administration’s interest in the agency, which is incredibly important considering that the USDA is responsible for the production, distribution, and safety of the food we eat. Read more >

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Photo: Kristin & Jordan Hayman/flickr

Even Without an Agriculture Secretary, Trump’s Cabinet Says Plenty about Food and Water Plans

, senior analyst, Food and Environment

It’s official. This week’s Veterans Affairs nomination leaves the Trump administration’s Secretary of Agriculture position as the last cabinet slot to be filled. With his inauguration just 7 days away, the president-elect still hasn’t announced his pick for this vital position that touches every American’s life at least three times a day.

But while we wait (and wait, and wait) to see who will run the department that shapes our nation’s food and farm system, it may be instructive to take a look at what some of his other personnel choices say about his intentions in this realm. And particularly, what the Trump team could mean for two of our most basic human needs—food and water. Read more >

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Photo: Karen Perry Stillerman

Food and Farm Progress to be Thankful For

, senior analyst, Food and Environment

It seems like a million years since October 2008. That’s when author Michael Pollan published his open letter to the next “farmer-in-chief,” calling on the incoming president to take bold steps to transform the nation’s food system. The role of farmer-in-chief has been inhabited ever since by Barack Obama, and as his presidency winds down, some observers—including Pollan—have criticized the administration for not doing enough.

Others have tempered that assessment, arguing that the Obamas accomplished a lot in the food arena under tough circumstances, even though we have a long way to go. Personally, I agree with the latter view: we have quite a bit to be thankful for, in terms of concrete progress over the last eight years toward a healthier, fairer, more vibrant food system. Read more >

Photo: Karen Perry Stillerman
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Talking Conflicts of Interest, Bias, and Sunshine in the Dietary Guidelines

, science and policy analyst, Center for Science and Democracy

Yesterday, I testified at a meeting of the National Academy of Medicine advisory committee to review the process to update the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. You might remember that Congress mandated the formation of this committee earlier this year. Their first charge is to write a report with recommendations on how the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) selection process can be improved to provide more transparency, minimize bias, and include committee members with a range of viewpoints. This is a topic we’ve thought a lot about here at the Center for Science and Democracy. Read more >

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Why Would Congress Vote to Keep Carrots Out of Corner Stores?

, food systems & health analyst

Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) proposed a new requirement for retailers that redeem federal SNAP (formerly food stamp) benefits: they should carry more nutritious foods in their stores. Read more >

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