Statement of Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director, Food & Water Watch
Washington, D.C.--“Big business celebrates another feather in its cap with the nomination of former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue to be Secretary of Agriculture. As Governor, Perdue famously prayed for rain as a solution to drought, and signed a law that blocks local governments from regulating crop production or animal husbandry. It seems like he’s well poised to gut agriculture regulations that protect independent farmers, workers and consumers so that agribusiness can continue to prioritize profits above food safety, farmer livelihoods, worker safety and the environment. We are concerned that the USDA under Perdue will roll back the fair farm rules recently released by the agency that help level the playing field for livestock producers and also anticipate further deregulation of the meat industry with efforts to privatize meat inspection.
"As a state senator, he led an effort to deregulate natural gas that left many citizens unable to pay their soaring gas bills.
“What’s more, his current role of Perdue Partners, a global food trade company, raises important conflict of interest questions given that the agency oversees food imports and exports. He founded the company with his cousin – Senator David Perdue (R-Ga.), who as Governor he appointed to the Georgia Port Authority, a key point of agricultural export in the state – and two of his other appointees. Senator Perdue should recuse himself from voting on this nomination in both the Senate Agriculture Committee and on the Senate floor, and the Senate should oppose Perdue’s nomination to Secretary of Agriculture.”
Contact: Kate Fried, Food & Water Watch, (202) 683-4905, [email protected]