President-Elect Donald Trump and Organic Food – How Concerned Should We Be?

President-Elect Donald Trump and Organic Food - How Concerned Should We Be?

(Photo courtesy of Donald J. Trump) With Donald Trump now officially moving into the White House in January, I wanted to take a look at how his presidency would impact organic food. First off, whatever Trump does, it will not be worse than President Obama. While many people may assume that Obama has been a […]

President Trump
LivingMaxwell.com

donald-trump-organic-food (Photo courtesy of Donald J. Trump)

With Donald Trump now officially moving into the White House in January, I wanted to take a look at how his presidency would impact organic food.

First off, whatever Trump does, it will not be worse than President Obama. While many people may assume that Obama has been a friend to organic, nothing could be further than the truth. He has been an absolute and unmitigated disaster for organic.

Not only did he recently sign the worst GMO-labeling bill imaginable, which has put the future of organic in serious jeopardy, but his administration has approved every single genetically-modified crop that has been applied for, including genetically-engineered salmon, Agent Orange Corn and three types of genetically-engineered apples that don’t turn brown. Furthermore, under Obama’s watch, the day-to-day operations of the National Organic Program have been so harmful that the Cornucopia Institute has alleged corruption at the USDA.

Now, back to Trump. Based on sources from Advocacy Election ’16, Agri-Pulse, The Huffington Post and my personal contacts here in New York City, this is what we know.

THE GOOD

I wish there was a lot more that we could say but these are the (few) things that we can be optimistic about.

  • I know for a fact that Ivanka Trump eats healthy, organic food. Furthermore, she has an insanely elaborate and sophisticated water filtration system installed in her New York City apartment. Why is this relevant? Anyone who cares that much about high quality water also cares about high quality food. Given her inclination for healthy living, Ivanka Trump may be able to educate her father about what is really happening with organic, particularly in regards to GMO-contamination, the biggest threat to organic.
  • Donald Trump is adamantly against the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), a trade agreement that would be horrible for organic food. The worst aspect of TPP is that it would essentially make it illegal to label GMOs. Based on recent news reports, President Obama is trying to push TPP through before he leaves office.
  • Last year, Donald Trump sent out a Tweet — and later retracted it, for fear of drawing the ire of the world’s most powerful chemical company — about Monsanto’s genetically-modified corn causing issues with the brain. How much should we read into it? It is very hard to say, but it is definitely worth mentioning.
(Image courtesy of Food Democracy Now!)

(Image courtesy of Food Democracy Now!)

THE BAD

Unfortunately, there is a good amount to mention here.

  • It is well documented that Donald Trump eats a lot of fast food. Generally speaking, people who eat fast food, which is full of GMOs, don’t care too much about organic. However, from what I am told, both the Bush and Obama families ate a ton of organic food while in the White House, yet these personal food choices did not translate into favorable policies for organic.

trump-eating-mcdonalds

  • In terms of GMOs, he has been quoted as saying that “I support the use of technology in food production, which has enabled American farmers to increase yields to levels never before experienced in the history of the world. Through innovation, American farmers are producing crops more resilient to drought, heat, and pests.” Additionally, he is against “unwarranted government mandates that hurt farmers and confuse consumers, such as mandatory biotech labeling.” Not good.
  • Trump said that he vows to “end this war on the American farmer,” and it is well known that he is against government regulation, particularly the EPA, so that could mean super-toxic pesticides, synthetic biology, and genetically-engineered animals could fly through, or even avoid, the regulatory process. This could be very dangerous.
  • Politico reported this morning that Michael Torrey, principal and founder of the lobbying shop Michael Torrey Associates, is leading Trump’s transition effort for the USDA. Torrey has more than 25 years of experience in the agricultural political world, and his clients include the Illinois Soybean Association, the American Beverage Association, Dean Foods,  and pizza franchise Little Caesars. This has Big Food written all over it. Not surprising but scary nonetheless.
  • Trump’s agriculture advisory board is stacked with Big Ag advocates.

MY TAKE

We can’t say for sure where Donald Trump stands on organic, but we know that he is pro-farmer, for GMOs and opposed to excessive EPA regulation.

With Big Food lobbyists and advocates furiously jockeying for position, there is a wild card in this whole situation: Ivanka Trump.

If she can see how organic has been betrayed under Obama and the inherent danger of current policies, Ivanka Trump could be the one person to stand up to all of the powerful ag-biotech special interest groups who would love to see organic destroyed.

Let’s hope she gets involved in this incredibly important matter and makes it a serious priority. If she does, any fears that we do have about where organic is heading should be greatly lessened. If she doesn’t, we ought to be real concerned.

Of course, I’ll be watching this issue very closely and will keep you updated.

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24 Comments

  • Baran says:

    Everyone who is truthfully negatively commenting against GMO’s and indicting this i’m going to make money off GMO seeds through E-mails against Monsato’s CEO along with the executives who are so good hearted they make sure thatThey N their Children fill their bellies with life sustaining organic foods are on the Radar….., surely as human beings THEY have a heart they CARE and keep alive their CHILDREN their Kindred Mother, Father, THEY WANT to keep them HEALTHY……, But, damn you!….., the rest of you people we gotta make our money….., we’re leeches you are our life blood……., SzuCK

  • I’m confident that President-elect Trump will see to it that the Dark Act is overturned. And he’s vowed to help all farmers, who will finally be able to pay their employees a decent wage. And organic farmers can finally produce more and charge less.

    I think we have PTSD from so many years of corruption that it’s hard to imagine an honest leader who intends to do what he promised and make America great again.

    And Mr. Trump is not antisemitic – that’s a false and divisive claim.

  • Rebecca Thistlewaite says:

    I don’t know where you get your information about the Obama Administration and organic agriculture. Before Obama, the National Organic Program was funded at less than $3 million annually. It could barely function. Now it’s budget is $9 million annually. Organic acreage is way up, now topping 4.1 million acres, an increase of over 11% since just 2014. Funding for the organic cost-share program is over $11 million annually, which helps defray the cost of organic certification for farmers and ranchers. Funding for organic research is way up as well. You really need to do a better job with your research before you make completely unfounded statements like Obama has been an unmitigated disaster for organics.

  • Joanie says:

    I also think it’s a mistake to say that Trump is “pro-farmer.” Trump has made it clear that he wants to deport all undocumented Mexicans. Farmers absolutely depend upon those (underpaid) workers to harvest their crops and are clear that without them, there is no way they can afford to get their crops to market. You can’t be pro-farmer and want to deport their entire labor force at the same time.
    http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2016/06/21/dairy-industry-may-suffer-if-trump-is-elected-farmers-say/

  • Joanie says:

    I agree with Eva! I just read that Ivanka’s husband, Jared Kushner, followed in the footsteps of his father to became a fellow real estate magnate. Jared’s dad is a convict.​ “The elder Kushner, pled guilty to 18 counts of illegal campaign contributions, tax evasion, and witness tampering in 2005. He received a 2 year prison sentence.” Which puts Jared in a whole new light for me.
    http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/11/time-pay-attention-jared-kushner

    Ivanka is heavily interviewed in this 2003 documentary called Born Rich: Children of the Insanely Wealthy. To me she comes off as perfectly pleasant but rather passive and uncritical teenager. Which underlines her failure later to stand up against her father’s anti-semitic rhetoric.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8o46HH-TfNYJared Kushner, her husband,

  • Yukirei says:

    I just stumbled your site and it is truly a treasure trove of information- thank you! Your comment about Ivanka’s water filtration piqued my interest- do you happen to know what kind of system she uses?

  • Let us prey that the angels are in our new president and that the right thing for this world is done! We must get the word out about the benefits of eating organic food!

  • Donald E Lewis says:

    I started my organic Farming /Gardening in 1950. My Vermont Dairy Farm was 30 Jersey cows and sixty acres of very rocky land. I used 24-D a growth stimulant that grew the weeds so fast they wilted. I over applied on the ends of my corn rows and had a quarter moon area that nothing would grow for a long time in 1949.
    This prompted me to experiment with organic vs chemicals starting in 1950 for three years. Learned from my cows they were the best chemist with their four stomachs when given a choice. Never have used any chemicals of any kind starting in 1953. Won many awards over thousands of Dairy Farmers starting in 1958 all using chemicals. I have written a book “Learned by the Fencepost” it can be reviewed by typing the title o Google. Can also email a post Monsanto is the Monster for our unhealthy food production. Organic saves soil.

  • Aquaman says:

    Miss Eva:

    I think you should watch “Hillary’s America” and know American history before you fully comment the way you have. I think your opinion is rather biased. Didn’t Obama just put down the right to label GMO’s the way they should be labelled? I think you will want protection when ISIS is about to take your life. Yo should think very deeply about what needs to be done to make America Great again.

    Aquaman

  • Brooleybop Goodtimes says:

    I would like to know what your source is for him eating a lot of fast food. I have never heard that anywhere. If he ate fast food while on the campaign trail wouldn’t it be fair to speculate that he was trying to connect to the “common man” so he didn’t look like such a Mitt Romney sipping champagne?

    I pray he picks good people for USDA but even if he doesn’t, you still will have the CHOICE to buy organic and best of all will be able to eat it without worrying about illegal immigrants overwhelming your country.

  • Thank you for concrete data and something to do about our concerns. Your article is refreshing.

  • Rita M says:

    We are so screwed in so many ways!

  • Sherri Tracy says:

    Please communicate with both Melania and Ivanka. They are concerned mothers. ?

    • Ann says:

      please see that gmo’s are harmful and rule that they be listed on the ingredients as such. Also see that all ingredients, even the way food is processed and with what methodto be listed on all labels..

      This is an example: I bought peppercorns from two companies. When I called one of the companies I was told the peppercorns were washed with methylene oxide. UGH A lot of spices come from India, other countries as well as our own go through a lot of traveling to get to the processing plants…hopefully in America…trucks, ships, containers, air cargo etc. So when they come to the company that packages them they are dirty from the air and being handled, plus have molds, fungi, fecal matter from rodents, etc. The FDA does NOT require the method (temperatures etc) and ingredients used in processing (cleaning them up before formulating them) along with other ingredients in spices, supplements, etc. to be on labels. Methyls come from petroleum. This is harmful, toxic, cheap, and quick.
      The other company I called used irradiation which is harmful and toxic and this was labeled organic. Both had in the ingredients: peppercorns. We are being manipulated by the FDA,Monsanto and other strongholds.

      (Good companies do a wash with distilled water, going through low heat drying (as not to kill the enzymes which help us absorb the nutrients) and have used machines that don’t require stearates to help it flow into the capsule which decrease the absorption of the good stuff in our bodies. The other method used probably more than methylene oxide is irradiation which is much like what a microwave does to food…causing harm to our bodies. For example, it is very good to eat raw nuts but not nuts that have been irradiated. Not to long ago California put into law that all almonds will be irradiated. I buy my almonds from nuts.com and they have the CA nuts but I check each time and by the way I buy the ones from Spain which are actually raw. It is ludicrous to have to go to so much trouble to find something that is actually good for our bodies especially organics. We need some cleaning up in this area.

  • Amy Ferguson says:

    Thank you for taking a positive approach with our new president… We have to hope he will do more than Obama. Moving forward we have to hold a positive outlook and move in that direction.
    Thank you again.

  • Eva Gorecki says:

    If Ivanka is the lynchpin to save organics and influence her father, organics are done. I just read today how she, her husband, and Donald have not said a word about anti-semitic rhetoric and intimidation against reporters and Jews in general throughout his campaign. Remember, she has converted to Orthodox Judaism and is raising her children that way. If she has been quiet with all the hate against her adopted beliefs and that of her husband and children, there’s no reason to believe she will stand up for organics, especially when she will always have the $$$ to get true organics any way that she can.

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