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Organic Consumers Association

Alert: Dennis Wolff Being Considered for Sec. of Agriculture

Please e-mail President-Elect Obama NOW
(You...) may remember this name: Dennis Wolff. He's the Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture, dairy farmer and rBGH user, and the author of the infamous PA rules that would have banned ANY kind of rBGH-free labeling. This was an outrageous attempt to censor the freedom of speech of dairy processors and snuff out the consumers' right to know what's in their dairy products. In response, Oregon PSR and our nationwide and PA colleagues organized a massive grass roots effort to protest to Governor Ed Rendell. After receiving thousands of messages of outrage, he told Wolff to rescind the ban. Now Wolff's name has surfaced again, only at a much higher, more dangerous level - he's being considered by Barack Obama as the new Secretary of Agriculture. We must do everything possible to prevent this from happening and I urge you to send a quick e-mail to help. I've heard one unconfirmed report that Obama could make the decision as early as this Monday. Here are suggested talking points. Please feel free to put them in your own words and add your own, but please do send the e-mail.

1.       If you voted for Obama, or better yet, volunteered for him, please say so up front.

2.       Say up front that you are opposed to Dennis Wolff as Secretary of the Agriculture Department.

3.       Remind Obama that he promised to bring positive change, and one of those changes is a return to our democratic principles with respect for the Constitution.

4.       Dennis Wolff would take us in the opposite direction:

a.       He tried to ban all labeling of dairy products that didn't use the genetically engineered growth hormone rBGH or rBST. This was an outright violation of freedom of speech of the dairy processors and the farmers who supplied them.

b.      This action would have prevented consumers from knowing which dairy products had the artificial hormone, suppressing our right to know what's in our food. It is contradictory that Obama would support country of origin labels that would help inform consumers where their food is coming from, yet appoint someone who tried to cut off our ability to make other choices about our food.

5.       Dennis Wolff lacks credibility and can't be trusted:

a.       He said that consumers were "concerned or confused" about the labeling and said his department received "many calls" about it. Yet when a New York Times reporter asked him about this, Wolff couldn't provide any surveys showing consumers were confused and could not come up with the name of ONE CONSUMER who had complained.

b.      He held one meeting of the so-called Food Labeling Advisory Committee and said they recommended the labeling ban. Yet the committee never voted on anything and never made any recommendations specific to dairy. Moreover, the group most affected by the rules and most opposed to them, the PA Association of Milk Dealers, was never even invited to the meeting. This doesn't have to be a long e-mail, but it's important to let the truth be known and to feel free to say exactly what you're thinking. If you would like further details, please feel free to contact me. And, as with all these updates, please feel free to forward this to anyone you like.

To send your personal message to the president-elect, go to: http://www.change.gov/page/s/yourvision

Please make your voices heard - Thank you!

Rick
Rick North, Project Director - Campaign For Safe Food
Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility

503-968-1520

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