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Food Policy Action Launches Petition to Push Senate to Reject Sam Clovis as USDA's Chief Scientist

Thu, 24 Aug 2017 10:12:14 CDT

Food Policy Action Launches Petition to Push Senate to Reject Sam Clovis as USDA's Chief Scientist Today, Food Policy Action (FPA) announced that it has launched a petition calling on the Senate to reject the nomination of Sam Clovis to be Chief Scientist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The online petition is being sent out nationwide to FPA’s network of activists, advocates, farmers, chefs, and restaurateurs.

"FPA calls on the Senate to reject the Clovis nomination," said Ken Cook, chairman and co-founder of FPA. “Sam Clovis has no business being nominated, let alone voted on as USDA’s chief scientist. Look, this is not a partisan issue. This is a qualifications issue. His complete lack of science experience and disturbing views make him wholly unqualified and unfit for this critically important position at USDA."

In previous administrations, both Republican and Democratic presidents have nominated well-respected scientists and professionals in the fields of food nutrition, public health, and biochemistry to serve as USDA chief scientist. The 2008 Farm Bill even mandates that the position "shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, from among distinguished scientists with specialized training or significant experience in agricultural research, education, and economics."

“The USDA head scientist is essentially the head of food policy using a scientific lens. While Mr. Clovis may hold a degree in economics, he does not meet the mandated description as a distinguished scientist with agricultural experience,” said Monica Mills, FPA’s Executive Director. “He is a former talk-show host who advocated alt-right views about President Obama, people of color, and the LGBTQ community. Clovis’s only connection to food and agriculture seems to be that he grew up in Iowa.”

Given Clovis’ lack of science expertise and the recent reporting by CNN about his disturbing and troubling statements, FPA’s petition calls on Congress to reject the Clovis nomination. The text of the petition to the Senate reads:

"Our food and agriculture system needs strong leadership. Sam Clovis has no education or experience in hard sciences or food and agriculture policy. He believes climate science is 'junk' and his views about people of color and the LGBTQ community are disturbing and troubling. I urge you to reject his nomination as chief scientist and under secretary for research, education and economics at the U.S. Department of Agriculture."

Source - Food Policy Action



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