Trump has just signed a new Executive Order, this time specifically on agriculture, directing the Secretary of Agriculture to undertake a 180-day review to “identify and eliminate" what Trump says are "unnecessary regulations”.1 The Presidential Order also creates a new task force to recommend eliminating food and agriculture legislation, policies, and regulations that might hinder the profit-making of “agribusiness.”
What kind of regulations are they looking at? Well, the details are slim, but what is there doesn’t look good. We know that regulations regarding the oversight, production, and export of genetically engineered crops are high on the list.2 The Executive Order also seems to push for faster and/or easier approvals for pesticides and biotech crops, pushing biotech crops abroad to ease export market access, easing the privatization of scarce public water resources for corporate gain, and opening public lands up to mining, farming, ranching and other activities that don’t belong on our public lands.3
We know that Agribusiness has Trump’s ear. He picked Sonny Perdue, one of Big Ag’s own, for his USDA Secretary. And this week, theAssociated Press dropped a bombshell: Dow Chemical gave $1 million to Trump’s inauguration fund, and the chemical giant is now urging the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to set aside its findings on chlorpyrifos and three other pesticides that federal scientists from several agencies found were harmful to endangered species and human health.4 Trump’s EPA also just greenlighted Dow’s new “Enlist Duo” genetically engineered crops, resistant to 2,4-D, part of the Vietnam Era Agent Orange pesticide.
In January, then President-elect Trump sat down chemical giant Bayer’s CEO Werner Baumann and Monsanto’s CEO Hugh Grant at Trump Tower and had a “productive meeting” on “the future of the agriculture industry” and the pending merger between the two companies. Combined, President Trump, EPA Administrator Pruitt, and newly confirmed USDA Secretary Perdue have received millions of dollars from Big Ag and chemical companies.
We can’t allow the protections we depend on for clean water, clean air, and safe food to be gutted by the new administration and the corporations which have purchased great influence over the President and his policies.
Trump and his administration have heard from the corporations, now they need to hear from you – add your name!