Friday, October 29, 2010

Great read by:

Monsanto Brings Small Family Dairy to Court

"Oakhurst Dairy has been owned and operated by the same Maine family since 1921, and Monsanto recently attempted to put them out of business. Oakhurst, like many other dairy producers in the U.S., has been responding to consumer demand to provide milk free of rBGH, a synthetic hormone banned (for health reasons) in every industrialized country other than the U.S.
Monsanto, the number one producer of the rBGH synthetic steroid, sued Oakhurst, claiming they should not have the right to inform their customers that their dairy products do not contain the Monsanto chemical. Given the intense pressure from the transnational corporation, Oakhurst was forced to settle out of court, leaving many other dairies vulnerable to similar attacks from Monsanto."

"Monsanto executive told The New York Times that the safety of genetically engineered foods was the government's problem, not the company's:

"Monsanto should not have to vouchsafe the safety of biotech food," said Phil Angell, Monsanto's director of corporate communications. "Our interest is in selling as much of it as possible. Assuring its safety is the FDA's job."
"As Angell implies, Monsanto's interest in selling as much genetically engineered food as possible is in direct conflict with the government's responsibility for food safety.
Monsanto has induced politicians to abdicate their responsibility to protect consumers through generous campaign contributions and heavy lobbying. "
The most telling evidence that Monsanto's strategy has been an overwhelming succes is the number of former Monsanto employees who have been given jobs in the FDA and other regulatory agencies that monitor Monsanto's products.
"Margaret Miller is just one example. While working as a Monsanto researcher, she contributed to a scientific report for the FDA on Monsanto's genetically engineered bovine growth hormone.
Shortly before the report was submitted, Miller left Monsanto to work at the FDA, where her first job was to review the same report! Assisting Miller was another former Monsanto researcher, Susan Sechen. Needless to say, the FDA accepted Monsanto's findings, which became the basis for its approval of Monsanto's genetically engineered bovine growth hormone and its decision not to require labels on milk produced through the use of the artificial hormone.
The FDA official who made the decision not to label Monsanto's milk was Michael Taylor, who had worked as a lawyer for Monsanto. Today, Michael Taylor is in the Obama Administration, in charge of food safety.

President Obama knows that agribusiness cannot be trusted with the regulatory powers of government.

On the campaign trail in 2007, he promised: "We'll tell ConAgra that it's not the Department of Agribusiness. It's the Department of Agriculture. We're going to put the people's interests ahead of the special interests."
But, starting with his choice for USDA Secretary, the pro-biotech former governor of Iowa, Tom Vilsack, President Obama has let Monsanto, Dupont and the other pesticide and genetic engineering companies know they'll have plenty of friends and supporters within his administration.
President Obama has taken his team of food and farming leaders directly from the biotech companies and their lobbying, research, and philanthropic arms.
Michael Taylor, former Monsanto Vice President, is now the FDA Deputy Commissioner for Foods.

Roger Beachy, former director of the Monsanto-funded Danforth Plant Science Center, is now the director of the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Islam Siddiqui, Vice President of the Monsanto and Dupont-funded pesticide-promoting lobbying group, CropLife, is now the Agriculture Negotiator for the US Trade Representative.

Rajiv Shah, former agricultural-development director for the pro-biotech Gates Foundation (a frequent Monsanto partner), served as Obama's USDA Under Secretary for Research Education and Economics and Chief Scientist and is now head of USAID."

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