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Fri Mar 29, 2013, 02:24 AM

DU, oasis that it is, does not have the intestinal fortitude to clean our own Party.

A major blind spot at DU is that "we", the Democratic Party, have the most control over our own Party.

Because of this constructive and accurrately descriptive of the current actions, ommissions, and stances of our political tribe is the individual' most effective and natural role once joining a Party is not popular; specifically, to criticize the policies, appointments, and acclaimed political "wins" under a Democratic Party administration makes one a minority, sometimes mocked, at DU. Democratic Party malacontents are the canaries in Party politics and, if one looks at DU, often tend to those with some age, experience, and less vested interest.

Your contribution to DU is smart, clever, and heroic in my perception.

Montsanto example:

Michael R. Taylor


Michael R. Taylor is the Deputy Commissioner for Foods at the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).


He received a B.A. degree in political science from Davidson College and a law degree from the University of Virginia. In 1976, after passing the bar examination, Taylor became a staff attorney for the FDA, where he was executive assistant to the Commissioner.[1][2]

In 1981 he went into private practice at King & Spalding, a law firm, one client of which was the biotechnology company Monsanto,[3] where he established and led the firm's food and drug law practice.[1][2]


On July 17, 1991, Michael Taylor left King & Spalding, returning to the FDA to fill the newly created post of Deputy Commissioner for Policy. During that time, he signed the Federal Register notice stating that milk from cows treated with BGH did not have to be labeled as such.[1][7] His name is not on the FDA’s 1992 policy statement on genetically engineered plant foods,[8] but he is said to have been a co-author.[1] Both of these documents grew out of, and fall within, the regulatory policy framework that was developed starting in the mid 1980s under the Reagan and Bush Administrations to ensure safety of the public and to ensure the continuing development of the fledgling biotechnology industry without overly burdensome regulation.[9] The policy had three tenets: "1) U.S. policy would focus on the product of GM techniques, not the process itself, (2) only regulation grounded in verifiable scientific risks would be tolerated, and (3) GM products are on a continuum with existing products and, therefore, existing statutes are sufficient to review the products."[9]


Between 1994 and 1996 he moved to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), where he was Administrator of the Food Safety & Inspection Service. During that term he implemented a science-based approach ( called Hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP)) to raising safety standards for meat and poultry production[11] over the protests from industry, which has been called by food safety advocates "a truly heroic accomplishment".[1][12]

Between 1996 and 2000, after briefly returning to King & Spalding, he then returned to Monsanto to become Vice President for Public Policy.[14]

In 1999, a lawsuit (Alliance For Bio-Integrity v. Shalala[15][16]) and GAO report revealed considerable disagreement within the FDA concerning decisions about biotechnology products made during Taylor's tenure there. The lawsuit and report also revealed that Mr. Taylor had recused himself from matters related to Monsanto’s BGH and had “never sought to influence the thrust or content” of the agency’s policies on Monsanto’s products.[1][17]


On July 7, 2009, Taylor once again returned to government as Senior Advisor to the FDA Commissioner.[21] And on January 13, 2010, he was appointed to another newly created post at the FDA, this time as Deputy Commissioner for Foods.[22]

Taylor is featured in the documentaries The Future of Food and The World According to Monsanto[23] as a pertinent example of revolving door since he is a lawyer who has spent the last few decades moving between Monsanto and the FDA and USDA.


How Monsanto outfoxed the Obama administration

The inside story of how the government let one company squash biotech innovation, and dominate an entire industry

By Lina Khan

Last November, the U.S. Department of Justice quietly closed a three-year antitrust investigation into Monsanto, the biotech giant whose genetic traits are embedded in over 90 percent of America’s soybean crop and more than 80 percent of corn. Despite a splash of press coverage when the investigation was initially announced, its termination went mostly unreported. The DOJ released no written public statement. Only a brief press release from Monsanto conveyed the news.

The lack of attention belies the significance of the decision, both for food consumers around the world and for U.S. businesses. Experts who have examined Monsanto’s conduct say the Justice Department’s decision not to act all but officially establishes the firm’s sovereignty over the U.S. seed industry. Many of them also say the decision ratifies aggressive practices Monsanto used to entrench its dominance and deter competition. This includes highly restrictive contractual agreements that excluded rivals, alongside a multibillion-dollar spree to buy up seed companies.

When the administration first launched its investigation, many antitrust and agriculture experts believed it was still possible to imagine an industry characterized by greater competition in the marketplace and greater diversity in seeds. That future may now be foreclosed.



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