CSPI Reaction to Resignation of Ag Secretary Veneman
Statement of CSPI Executive Director Michael F. Jacobson
November 15, 2004Ann Veneman deserves good grades for being willing to talk to consumer groups, but has a decidedly weak record on food safety and nutrition. She was a former food-industry lawyer and many of her top aides came from the very agribusinesses USDA regulates. Considering that every year hundreds of people die from food poisoning--and tens of thousands from heart disease--caused by meat and poultry, it is vital that President Bush appoint someone who will care as much about American's health as agribusiness' wealth.
An alternative would be for the Bush administration to support legislation that would remove the consumer-protection units from USDA and transfer them to a new, independent Food Safety Agency.