Monsanto’s Government Ties

Who does the government protect when food safety and nutrition are an issue? (Note: Monsanto wants everyone to depend on their genetically engineered crops for food.)

Link: Millions Against Monsanto Campaign – Organic Consumers Association

A Monsanto official told the New York Times that the corporation should not have to take responsibility for the safety of its food products. "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."

It would be nice to think the FDA can be trusted with these matters, but think again. Monsanto has succeeded in insuring that government regulatory agencies let Monsanto do as it wishes. Take a look:

Clarence Thomas

Prior to being the Supreme Court Judge who put GW Bush in office, Clarence Thomas was Monsanto’s lawyer.

Anne Veneman

Former US Secretary of Agriculture Anne Veneman was on the Board of Directors of Monsanto’s Calgene Corporation.

Donald Rumsfeld

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was on the Board of Directors of Monsanto’s Searle pharmaceuticals.

Tommy Thompson

Former US Secretary of Health, Tommy Thompson, received $50,000 in donations from Monsanto during his winning campaign for Wisconsin’s governor.

John AshcroftSenate candidate

More Ties

In order for the FDA to determine if Monsanto’s growth hormones were safe or not, Monsanto was required to submit a scientific report on that topic. Margaret Miller, one of Monsanto’s researchers put the report together. Shortly before the report submission, Miller left Monsanto and was hired by the FDA. Her first job for the FDA was to determine whether or not to approve the report she wrote for Monsanto. In short, Monsanto approved its own report. Assisting Miller was another former Monsanto researcher, Susan Sechen. Deciding whether or not rBGH-derived milk should be labeled fell under the jurisdiction of another FDA official, Michael Taylor, who previously worked as a lawyer for Monsanto.

The two congressmen receiving the most donations from Monsanto during the 2000 election were Larry Combest (Former Chairman of the House Agricultural Committee) and Missouri John Ashcroft

(later to be named Attorney General). (Source: Dairy Education Board)

More posts about Monsanto:

Are you eating Monsanto’s genetically modified crops?

Monsanto Backs Off Bio-Wheat

Shining a Light on Agribusiness and It’s Poster Child Monsanto

Monsanto Files Patent for the Pig