Progressives and environmental and labor activists are objecting to President-elect Joe Biden's selection of Tom Vilsack to be his agriculture secretary, reprising the role he held in the Obama administration.
Those opposed to Vilsack's nomination say he has a record of supporting corporate interests over those of farmers, loosening regulations, and backing genetically modified, herbicide-resistant crops.
The NAACP has pointed to Vilsack's role in firing former USDA official Shirley Sherrod in 2010 as disqualifying.
Joe Biden's pick of Vilsack is a missed opportunity to reshape the U.S. Department of Agriculture, says Ricardo Salvador, director of the Food and Environment Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists.
"Going back to a secretary of the past is not the way to strike in a new direction. That is status quo."
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