Elizabeth Kucinich, the wife of former Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), will head a new organic farmers group’s lobbying efforts in Washington, D.C.
The Rodale Institute said yesterday it’s creating the Organic Farmers Association and putting Kucinich in charge of advocacy.
"Policymakers have not yet grasped the significance of organic agriculture for resilient, reliable, non-toxic food production, and its ability to mitigate climate change while restoring our nation’s soil health," she said in a news release. "We have an opportunity to benefit organic farmers, while positively impacting our nation’s health and mitigating our climate crisis."
Kucinich is Rodale’s board policy chairwoman. She was formerly policy director at the Center for Food Safety, which opposes the use of many farm chemicals and supports mandatory labeling of foods derived from genetically modified crops, among other issues.
She is a professor at Coventry University in the United Kingdom, and her website calls her "a champion for business as an agent of world benefit, social and environmental justice and animal welfare."
Although organic agriculture has a voice through organizations such as the Organic Consumers Association and through state-level organizations, this would be the only national group exclusively devoted to organic producers, said Jeff Moyer, executive director of the Rodale Institute.
On policy matters, the group will allow all members one vote, "so that large and small operations have an equal voice at the table," the organization said on its website.