Monday, May 30, 2016

Conflict of Interest

Having to promote an industry, while simultaneously policing it, is a precarious arrangement.

In the 1980's President Reagan cut spending on public health and filled USDA positions with people from the industries they are supposed to monitor.

Appointed officers by Reagan and Bush:
  • First Secretary of Agriculture - From the hog industry
  • Second Secretary of Agriculture - The President of the Meat Packer’s Association
  • Head of the USDA Food Marketing & Inspection - The VP of the National Cattleman's Association, and later the President of the National Cattlemen's Association


Right now, if you look at appointed positions associated with the USDA and food inspection offices, for example:
  • Secretary of Agriculture
  • Senior Advisor on Food and Nutrition
  • Deputy Secretary of Agriculture
  • Director of the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion
  • Director of Consumer Nutrition and Health Research
  • Administrator of Grain Inspection


...you will see they are former executives from:
  • Monsanto's Calgene Corporation
  • National Cattlemen's Beef Association
  • National Pork Board
  • National Pork Producers Council
  • National Livestock and Meat Board
  • Packers and Stockyards Administration
  • Meat Export Federation
  • Infinity Pork, LLC
  • ConAgra Foods


It seems it would be more ethical (and healthy) to have unbiased, non-industry individuals regulating the quality of our food supply.

More about USDA:
Corporate Influence
Quality for Schools