Obama Appoints Pesticide Boss As Top Government Agriculture Negotiator

While the Government slumbers through spring break, President Obama:

(…) bypass(ed) a vacationing senate to make recess appointments of 15 nominees, including an Indian American; agricultural scientist (Dr. Islam A. Siddiqui,) as chief agricultural negotiator in trade talks. (Economic Times, March 28, 2010)

Dr. Siddiqui, a graduate from Uttar Pradesh Agricultural University in Pantnagar, is a known rotating player of agribusiness industry, having sometimes served simultaneously as chemical boss, pesticide lobbyist, and government advisor and negotiator.

Siddiqui, named Chief Agricultural Negotiator in the Office of the US Trade Representative, is currently vice president for Science and Regulatory Affairs at CropLife America, where he is responsible for regulatory and international trade issues related to crop protection chemicals. (Economic Times, March 28, 2010)

(…) From 1997 to 2001, Dr. Siddiqui served as the Clinton Administration at U.S. Department of Agriculture as Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs.

From 2004 to 2009, Dr. Siddiqui served on the US Department of Commerce’s Industry Trade Advisory Committee on Chemicals, Pharmaceuticals, and Health/Science Products & Services, which advises the US Secretary of Commerce and USTR on international trade issues related to these sectors. (The Hindu, March 28, 2010)

The Hindustan Times reports that Dr. Siddiqui will be expected:

(…) to play a central role in the stalled negotiations over the Doha talks under the ambit of the World Trade Organisation (WTO),

Noting that:

(…) The Doha Round has been contentious with differences on agriculture not being bridged between the US and countries like India and China.

The Hindustan also points out two-sided opposition to the President’s special recess appointments:

(…) Siddiqui’s appointment is likely to face criticism not only from Republicans, but also the ecological groups who have labelled him “Monsanto Man”, referring to his history as a man who lobbied for the agribusiness industry. (Hindustan Times, March 29, 2010)

Civil Eats has a complete report here: (Civil Eats, March 29, 2010)

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1 Response to Obama Appoints Pesticide Boss As Top Government Agriculture Negotiator

  1. david llewellyn foster says:

    It beggars belief especially in the context of Michelle Obama’s exemplary organic gardening initiative at the White House. Perhaps we should not forget those eponymous Machiavellian remarks, also attributable to Sun Tzu in the “Art of War,” from the Godfather (II) about keeping one’s friends close, but enemies closer…there may be no bigger business than war, but there is no greater priority than the protection of ecological biodiversity and local food production. America should reinvent itself & go organic and start living instead of loafing – then the whole world might emulate this example and become a sustainable garden of delights rather than a sick ideological kindergarten terrorised by hell-raising fanatics and pathogenic bullies. Is this just primarily a gender question or are there crucial parallel issues here to do with fundamental readings of reality, ultimate cosmological principles and the true meaning of violence? As Vandana Shiva makes so clear, the seeds of life are not commodities to be re-engineered and patented, but humanity’s irreplaceable universal heritage and our collective future. These paranoid corporate megalomaniacs who preach dominance through monocultural monopoly and “state” control are clinically insane, morally bankrupt and quintessentially ugly. We are at the final tipping point, the decisions we make now will determine the immediate survival of all life on earth.

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