"US Farm Trade Nominee Siddiqui Defends Record"

"The Obama administration's pick for chief agricultural trade negotiator defended himself on Wednesday against charges from environmental groups and others who said he would favor big agribusiness over small farms and organic farmers if confirmed.

Islam 'Isi' Siddiqui, a senior farm trade official during the Clinton era, has been a vice president since 2001 at the chemical trade lobby CropLife America. Environmental groups say that job should disqualify him from consideration for the new position. [ID:nN28303971]

'All the allegations ... and attacks which I have seen are directed at the trade association that I worked for for eight years,' Siddiqui said at a confirmation hearing before the Senate Finance Committee.

'There is no evidence in my public service of 32 years where I made any disparaging remarks against organic or sustainable development,' he said."

Roberta Rampton reports for Reuters November 4, 2009.

Source: Reuters, 11/05/2009