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caligirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-06-08 03:03 PM
Original message
Clintons:Monsanto: Mark Penn: Pennsylvania farmers getting screwed over

This diary is long. Sorry. It shows that during Bill Clinton's administration Monsanto got a foot hold in the FDA, and that the serious problems facing rural farmers and dairy cow owners are rooted in decisions dating back to Bill and his relations to Monsanto and the control they had with the FDA through him. These rural farmers and our food safety have been under assault ever since and now Hillary is paying the Monsanto PR man,Mark Penn, several million to run her campaign. Hillary is pushing for a faux 'food safety department' that really is nothing more than a means for Monsanto to gain more control over farmers and the market while doing nothing about food safety. So she continues the Monsanto relationship Bill started. (and this even mentions Monsanto's actions in India that have resulted in many suicides by India's farmers.)
Getting Real in Pennsylvania - about Pennsylvania
by Scaredhuman
Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 10:28:51 PM PST

Barack Obama has an alternative to attacking Hillary Clinton, and one that would have meaning to urban voters in Pennsylvania as well as to its rural people.

Let me explain. But, as I do so, please, keep one thing in mind - Hillary Clinton's campaign strategist and long time advisor, is Mark Penn, who is CEO of Burson-Marsteller, PR firm to Monsanto. /...

First issue:

Recently Pennsylvania survived a Monsanto push to ban labels telling consumers if the milk was rBGH-free or not.

"Pennsylvania's Department of Agriculture reversed course today (January 18, 2008?) in deciding that consumers ought to have the right to know how the cows that produced their milk were being raised. Whatever the reason for the choice consumers make, they can't make it without a label defining its meaning.

"This is a victory for free speech, free markets, sustainable farming, and the consumer's right to know," said Michael Hansen, a senior scientist with Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports. "Consumers increasingly want to know more about how their food is produced, and particularly whether it is produced in natural and sustainable manner. There is no justification for prohibiting information about rbGH use on a milk label." /...

But "a victory for free speech, free markets, sustainable farming, and the consumer's right to know," oddly enough, leaves off flesh and blood farmers. Instead, concepts are heralded. But Dailykos readers, in thinking about Pennsylvania, should realize we're talking Pennsylvania dairy farmers - rural people - who cared deeply about this. It affected their ability to sell their products, and in potential lawsuits they faced for trying to tell the truth about their products - all thanks to Monsanto. That battle is going on across the country.

Second issue:

NAIS. Don't know what it is? That, my friend, makes it seems to farmers and ranchers and rural people that liberals have the heads up their ... . Because if they gave a good goddam about what is actually happening to these people - to the gun toting, Bible reading, flag saluting, home-schooling people in the countryside whom many liberals disdain - liberals would know they are up against something as serious as NSA spying.

(Somehow I think "liberals" don't know and are disdainful, and I hope that progressives, who may not know, are at least not disdainful, but it doesn't matter - Democrats should care about all the people in this country and stop being afraid of those who are different, not in color but in beliefs, enough to see their plight and our common concerns.)

NAIS - the National Animal Identification System - is one of the largest overreaches by our government in its history and it threatens to wipe out farmers - through costs, overwhelming red tape, and personal invasiveness so great many are refusing to submit. A global tracking tag will monitor every movement of every animal they own. /...

It is Big Brother on a scale hard for us to conceive and at a personal threat to privacy, that we city people would find impossible to bear.

We worry rightly about our being spied on. These folks are being.

And there was no democratic process that set this up.

***It looks like Big Brother, but it is Monsanto and other Big AG corporations using the USDA to set up a "corporate" data base allowing corporations infinite and immense oversight of all private animal stock in this country.

Before some idiot says that "but oh, that will help make us safer about food," try changing the words just a little and say instead, "oh, but spying helps make us safer from terrorists" and you'll see how this is working.

Just as with the excuses about spying, there are plenty of identification systems already in place to track animals and every one brought to slaughter houses has to be registered with all information, in the first place.

No, this is about (my guess) Monsanto having a way to track its cloned animal "intellectual property" and/or (my guess) their desire to know just who still has normal animals out there and which they are. This is about (my guess) Monsanto happy for a system which overwhelms independent small farmers so badly that they are pushed to the verge of going under, or go ahead. Guesses. But something big and ugly is going on and at the least, it kills the competition.

NAIS is pushed under the aegis of "Food Safety"

- back to that in a moment - but

NAIS does nothing to actually deal with the worsening industrial methods and factory-warehousing and slaughterhouse conditions that the corporations use and which are responsible for Mad Cow and Bird Flu.

It may be being set up to allow corporations to shift liability for sick animals onto farmers - a rancher's guess - though it is the Mad Cow in the feed (still in pig, chicken and fish feed and pet food, thanks to Bill Clinton) and the grotesque holding pens and slaughter houses of the Big AG corporations that spawn the diseases, not steers or sheep out in a farmer's field, eating grass.

By the way, speaking of USDA and FDA and labels and Monsanto, I haven't found out yet which corporations (though I have a sneaking suspicion of one that might be involved), are

pushing for the label "Naturally raised" to include even cloned animals which have never even
seen the light of day outside of an animal factory.

This might scare you as a consumer but keep thinking rural a bit longer, and realize the huge threat to to the livelihoods of those farmers and ranchers who actually raise "free range" animals under good conditions because they then must compete against the giants (who are doing nothing good) as they sell to a public which is willing to pay more for healthier meat from animals living in more humane conditions. /...

Okay, back to Pennsylvania. They barely fended off the Monsanto-driven push to ban labeling
of milk and they lost entirely on NAIS which is mandatory now in Pennsylvania. Both
Now, look carefully at "Food Safey" -

"Food Safety" is the boogeyman (not unlike terrorism) Monsanto and the AG industry use to gain more control over farmers and over all aspects of the market while doing squat to actually deal with "food safety."

Again, like how we deal with terrorist threats.

******** So, who is pushing a "Food Safety Deparment"? Whose husband put Monsanto in charge of his FDA which approved the first genetically engineered product "ever" and then wouldn't label it (rBGH)? Who has Monsanto running her campaign?**********

*Hillary Clinton.*

**All the anti-farmer things mentioned above come home to roost with her, given Bill's actions and Monsanto at her arm.

To give a neat example of how it works:

** Hillary supports the Farm Bill's Credit & Crop Insurance, talking about it being "almost
impossible in some cases for coming generations to make a career in agriculture." /...

It sounds so good until one learns that

*** "the U.S. Department of Agriculture has struck an unusual arrangement with agribusiness giant
Monsanto Co. that gives farmers in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Minnesota a break on federal
crop insurance premiums if they plant Monsanto-brand seed corn this spring." /...

***For farmers who buy its GE-seeds, Monsanto sends Pinkerton agents onto their property to make sure farmers don't collect GE-seeds - Monsanto's patented "intellectual property." Monsanto also uses planes and helicopters to surveille farmers. /...

***Has Hillary ever said a thing critical about the way farmers are being crushed or moved to protect them?

Can we just agree that Monsanto is the devil incarnate (some think that understates the case) and that Bill was its eager agent for years, and that Hillary is now its hand-maiden, already showing signs - with the crop insurance and the "Food Safety Department" - of what she will do for Monsanto if she gets into office?

Progressives have MISSED that NAIS and the ban on labeling are immense, frighteningly undemocratic threats to farmers. Some Amish dairy farmers have even turned in their herds to escape NAIS.

Progressives have missed forming alliances with angry farmers and ranchers who hate Monsanto and are doing their level best just to survive as farmers. Progressives have missed that the yin to that yang of angry farmers are "consumers" (your city/country split right there) who are afraid about food and want to know what the hell is in their milk.

Got milk? Milk got .... what?

Instead, when Ohio went for Clinton, people on Dailykos people had some harsh words for Ohio's people, talking about them like they were nobodies, rather than realizing that Obama hadn't touched what they care about, failing to make even the points about Bill literally deconstructing the state with NAFTA.

Progressives miss that farmers and ranchers and rural people are facing unbelievable threats while corporate media is quick to stir hatred of immigrants as a diversion from the reality of who is really hurting them. These are not people who have the resources progressives do and they feel embattled.

If you missed the whole thing about NAIS, give them room to miss some things as well.

They certainly know what is happening on the ground out there which involves our food and they have been doing their damnedest to tell us the truth, even facing being sued by Monsanto for doing so, even fighting for their right to plant non-GE-seeds, and all the while US agriculture is collapsing out from under them. /...

So, by all means, let's get real, but let's get real not about number counts and possibilities of winning on some state but about what is actually going on in Pennsylvania and who needs our help - our farmers. And who helps us - our farmers.

Obama doesn't have to attack. He only needs to do what Hillary can't legitimately do - call up the farming groups in Pennsylvania, and hold a rally, and tell them he will stop NAIS nationally, and he will insist on honest labeling of all foods, including GE-crops and cloned meats - even ours

Hillary "bravely" pushes for "Country of Origin Labels - but we want to know what's "in" the damn food, including ours. Another sleight of hand, like crop-insurance, and one she often uses.

Obama should tell Pennsylvania farmers that he will review USDA statutes and laws that are crippling small farmers across the country and reshape them with the advice of family farmers, to help them survive, and not allow them to be discriminated against in competition with corporations.

He should tell them he knows they, in fact, have the most clean and safe conditions for raising animals in the country and that "Food Safety" needs to start with the inspectors at meat packing plants and with industrialized "confinement" facilities for animals.

There are 32,000 hogs a day slaughtered at the Smithfield Tar Heel plant in North Carolina and they want to speed the line up to 39,000 with no increase in the 5000 workers. It is the "fast kill line that leads to E-coli contamination of meat, as the viscera are cut in such a way that the contents spray on the meat, unavoidable at times with such haste." Stephen Bartlett, farmer.

Obama needs to say flat out he knows he doesn't look who the farmers might have expected as their friend, and that even his name is a little odd out in the country, but he intends to put American family farms back on their feet and make farming something they can hand down to their children and grandchildren again.

By the way, since Monsanto and friends moved into India in the last 1990s, 166,000 Indian farmers have committed suicide and 8 million have left the land. The suicides are continuing at the rate of 2 every hour. Farmers here would understand that - many killed themselves during the 1980s, their land bought up by corporate agriculture. Monsanto's impact around the world has been devastating and their control is increasingly rapidly, using bribery, corrupting of government, lawsuits against farmers, take over land grant colleges, misleading media, etc.


Hillary's corporate connection isn't just to any corporation. It is to perhaps the most
threatening corporation to all human beings and plants and animals on earth,

more so than nuclear power which is being somewhat monitored. No one is watching genetic engineering or controlling Monsanto's take-over of food sources around the world. I can't remember where I saw the figure but Monsanto and 3 -4 other corporations now supposedly controls 80% of all food sources in the world and it is privatizing water as well.

******This issue connects urban and rural areas of this country. Farmers and consumers. Hillary is in deep doo-doo because of Bill's actions during his administration with Monsanto and against farmers, and her silence and now Monsanto traveling with her but no one is noticing.********

No, forget that. Forget Hillary Clinton. Forget the election. Someone needs to save our farmers. Barack Obama ought to help because he ought to. If he starts in Pennsylvania, maybe we get to see Amish farmers getting their dairy herds back.


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tabatha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-06-08 03:05 PM
Response to Original message
1. Go for it Obama.
Pull out all the plugs on verifiable, non-hypocritical dirt on Clinton.
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FrenchieCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-06-08 03:07 PM
Response to Original message
2. Drip, drip, drip.......
I'm watching, reading and listening.

Thread bookmarked!

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Blue State Bandit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-06-08 03:36 PM
Response to Reply #2
10. More on the Clinton/Monsanto connection, and how it hurts American Farming. (updated)
Edited on Thu Mar-06-08 03:51 PM by ingin
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caligirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-06-08 03:39 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. excellent review of the politicians and $$ tied to Monsanto and gentically modified food.
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fed-up Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-06-08 04:25 PM
Response to Reply #12
24. INTERACTIVE MAP-revolving door and more-Monsanto & Gov't Agencies-and more
Edited on Thu Mar-06-08 04:29 PM by fed-up
Monsanto Company
This Monsanto Company relationship map is interactive. Click around to explore relations in the map.
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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-06-08 03:07 PM
Response to Original message
3. an opportunity in PA, thanks!
kicking and recommending.

I have bookmarked this in my Obama file.
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Muttocracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-06-08 03:13 PM
Response to Original message
4. Anyone have statements on what NY farmers have to say?
I'd be interesting to hear their current assessment of her.
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DerekJ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-06-08 03:17 PM
Response to Original message
5. Can somebody summarize this darn long post for me!!!
Yes I am too damn lazy to read it all.
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caligirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-06-08 03:30 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. I briefly did in the very first paragraph. read that and realize Hillary
Edited on Thu Mar-06-08 03:31 PM by caligirl
talks about food of origin labels but not about labels telling you what is in your food, she can't or Monsanto would have to meet with her to stop it.They are exercising extreme control over privately owned herds of cattle because of FDA/USDA influence they gained through Bill Clinton She is in deep with Monsanto to the detriment of dairy farmers, the Amish farmers, our food supply and is aiding Monsanto in gaining even more control over our food,(genetically engineered seeds, cloned cattle) and no information for us to know what we are buying or eating any of this. No means to track back if our population gets ill or diseases start springing up as a result of Monsanto's actions. With Hillary food safety will take a back seat to what Monsanto and big AG corporations.

Otherwise book mark the diary and read sections, one a day.
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Blue State Bandit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-06-08 03:32 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. The highlights.
Covering up steroid use in the milk supply. Pushing GPS tracking of GM livestock of private farmers, increasing the overhead costs of raising animals and forcing private farmers out of business. Monsanto got his start under Bill Clinton, flurished under Bush, and hangs hopes on Hill Clinton.

Bad for PA farmers.
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caligirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-06-08 03:36 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. nice job.
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DerekJ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-06-08 03:45 PM
Response to Reply #5
15. Thanks for both posts. :)
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fed-up Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-06-08 04:01 PM
Response to Reply #5
20. Hilary is a whore for Monsanto at the expense of farmers/our right to know/choose WHAT we eat nt
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KittyWampus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-06-08 03:29 PM
Response to Original message
6. this is really dense. too dense for this forum. will read later
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caligirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-06-08 03:36 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. I found it easier to sit down for 15 minutes and slowly read through,
the diarist was asked to break it down to a series of diaries and I hope to see that. Our farmers have been fighting big AG and Monsanto to save their livelihoods,their cattle and farms, and our food safety. They have won one battle but are up against huge corporate interests. Hillary and Bill are deeply involved in this to our detriment and Pennsylvania farmers could use someone to stand up for them against this stuff. Mark Penn is the PR man for Monsanto, he runs her campaign.
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hedgehog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-06-08 03:41 PM
Response to Original message
13. I've posted this before , but
Barack Obama's Plan

Ensure Economic Opportunity For Family Farmers
Strong Safety Net for Family Farmers: Obama will fight for farm programs that provide family farmers with stability and predictability. Obama will implement a $250,000 payment limitation so that we help family farmers not large corporate agribusiness. Obama will close the loopholes that allow mega farms to get around the limits by subdividing their operations into multiple paper corporations.

Prevent Anticompetitive Behavior Against Family Farms: Obama is a strong supporter of a packer ban. When meatpackers own livestock they can manipulate prices and discriminate against independent farmers. Obama will strengthen anti-monopoly laws and strengthen producer protections to ensure independent farmers have fair access to markets, control over their production decisions, and transparency in prices.

Regulate CAFOs: Obama's Environmental Protection Agency will strictly regulate pollution from large CAFOs, with fines for those that violate tough standards. Obama also supports meaningful local control.

Establish Country of Origin Labeling: Obama supports immediate implementation of the Country of Origin Labeling law so that American producers can distinguish their products from imported ones.

Encourage Organic and Local Agriculture: Obama will help organic farmers afford to certify their crops and reform crop insurance to not penalize organic farmers. He also will promote regional food systems.

Like I said, I've posted this before, but I'm a mother, I'm allowed to nag.
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caligirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-06-08 03:55 PM
Response to Reply #13
18. Obama is in a good position to take this on and meet with farmers
in Pa. to learn and discuss the harm brought upon them here.
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Armstead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-06-08 03:43 PM
Response to Original message
14. Your next assignment -- Look up Tyson Foods
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Shakespeare Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-06-08 03:45 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. Yup. I was wondering when somebody would mention that.
And that bit of history is tied much more to Hillary than to Bill.
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caligirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-06-08 04:10 PM
Response to Reply #14
21. Tyson Foods, Jackson Stephens and the toxic waste incenerator Bill allowed
in East Liverpool Ohio, its 1100 feet from an elementary school.

"That's always been his political operating procedure. Clinton made his deals early on with the titans of the state--Weyerhaeuser and Don Tyson at Tyson Foods.

Tyson runs these huge factory chicken-killing operations, and the effluent from these places runs right into the White River and some other major streams in northern Arkansas. So in that first term, Clinton tried to begin to apply the Clean Water Act to some of these operations--and Tyson joined forces with Weyerhaeuser for that second gubernatorial campaign in 1980.

I think Tyson was represented by the Rose Law Firm, and Hillary may have been the one to make the first peace offerings to Don Tyson--one of the most despicable humans ever to stalk the Southland. And Clinton then becomes their boy for the next 10 years when he's re-elected governor.

The other major figure lurking in the background of the Arkansas days is Jackson Stephens. Before the dot-com boom anyway, he was one of the wealthiest Americans, and was hidden away down there in Arkansas. He's like the Warren Buffett of the dog patch--a billionaire, a financial investment titan.

With Clinton's presidential campaign in the 1990s, they spent a lot of their funds early on and needed a huge loan. So who did they go to? Jackson Stephens. He almost single-handedly financed Clinton's campaign for the Democratic nomination in 1992.

So, of course, it comes as no surprise that within six months of being in office, Bill Clinton turns over his economic policies to the bond market--and starts recruiting Robert Rubin and all these other people from Wall Street.

Jackson Stephens,millionaire, the Rose Law Firm and Hillary, getting to the WH has a price.

WTI wanted to build America's largest toxic waste incinerator in East Liverpool, Ohio. The incinerator is located 1,100 feet from an elementary school.
WTI was owned by Jackson Stephens, who donated $200,000 to Bush #1 to help this project along.
There were problems and the project was not going to be approved during the Bush #1 administration.
When Bush's ratings tanked during his bid for re-election, Stephens donated $100,000 to Clinton #1 as well as extending a 2 million line of credit to the DLC when they were tapped out.
Bill Clinton won and with some serious monkey business (a Hillary crony) at the EPA, the permit was approved.
more down below....

President Clinton and Vice President Gore visited East Liverpool while campaigning for election in 1992; at that time, Mr. Clinton said that, if he were elected, WTI would never be allowed to operate. But the huge incinerator began burning hazardous waste in 1993.

Mr. Clinton has not returned to East Liverpool since he became President in 1992.

WTI failed part of its test burn in 1993, releasing four times more mercury than allowed. Children at the elementary school were tested for mercury in their urine prior to WTI operation and again six months after the facility started burning as part of a state health study. In the first test, 69 percent of the children tested negative; the follow-up test found that nearly the same number tested positive.

U.S. EPA's own risk assessment of the facility found at least 27 possible accident scenarios that could threaten the lives of the children in the nearby elementary school.
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-06-08 04:42 PM
Response to Reply #21
26. Obama camp was far too nice to Clinton in Ohio - they should have HOUNDED Clintons on WTI
and demand they add E Liverpool to their campaign trail or call them Chicken to face the people they screwed over.
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bigbrother05 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-06-08 03:50 PM
Response to Original message
17. K and r
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peoli Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-06-08 03:57 PM
Response to Original message
19. Monsanto is satan
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caligirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-06-08 04:13 PM
Response to Reply #19
22. some say Monsanto is worse than satan, so what does that say for Hillary and Bill? BadBAD.
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fed-up Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-06-08 04:13 PM
Response to Reply #19
23. Monsanto Company profile from PANNA (Pesticide Action Network North America)

PANNA Corporate Profile: Monsanto Company

November 2005

Monsanto at a Glance
Pesticides and Agricultural Biotechnology
A Wide Range of Impacts
In Focus: Patents on Life
Undue Influence
In Focus: The Revolving Door
Resources for Action

Monsanto is one of the world's leading pesticide manufacturers and is the global leader in agricultural biotechnology. Between 1996 and 1998, Monsanto followed a strategy of buying out and forming relationships with the majority of U.S. and international seed companies. As a result, the company acquired US$8 billion worth of seed and biotechnology companies globally. <1> By 2002, Monsanto seeds were planted on 91% of all land devoted to genetically engineered (GE) crops. <2> Many of these seeds were Roundup Ready (seeds genetically engineered for resistance to glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto's most popular herbicide, Roundup).

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caligirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-06-08 04:26 PM
Response to Reply #19
25. Monsanto:FDA regulation meant to promote rBGH milk resulted in antibiotic resistance

This week's New England Journal of Medicine (April 27, 2000, Vol. 342, No. 17) is more proof of biotechnology's failure.

I have written about this story many times, but publication in a peer-reviewed journal now confirms what I have been saying for many years. This message bears repeating.

In 1989, Monsanto was aware that cows in test herds treated with the genetically engineered bovine growth hormone developed sores and lesions on their udders that were collectively called mastitis. Milk from rbST-treated cows contained increased levels of pus, blood, and virulent bacteria.

In order to deal with the problem, Monsanto's top dairy scientist, Margaret Miller, left the firm and became FDA's Monsanto "plant." Once at FDA, Dr. Miller arbitrarily changed the existing antibiotic standard. She increased by 100 times the allowable level of antibiotics that farmers could put into milk.

The consequences of her action were that new strains of bacteria developed in dairy cows that were immune to existing antibiotics, which no longer worked when they were needed. People drank milk containing increased amounts of antibiotics and new species of bacteria with immunities to those antimicrobials.

The latest issue of the New England Journal of Medicine contains a study by Paul Fey, et al, confirming the emergence of a new strain of salmonella that was isolated from a 12-year-old boy who was admitted into a hospital with fever, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.

That salmonella strain is resistant to a new wonder drug, Ceftriaxone, which has also been used on dairy cows. We wonder why few scientists have previously noted why wonder drugs are no longer so wonderful.

Sophisticated methods of plasmid analysis were performed on the bacteria obtained from the child and from the cattle, and they were found to be indistinguishable. In addition to the resistance to Ceftriaxone, the bacteria had developed resistance to thirteen other antibiotics.

The study raises extreme health concerns, and provides evidence that disease is directly related to antibiotic-resistant strains of salmonella that have resulted from overdosed farm animals. Such errors do not develop in the natural scheme of things. This error is a direct result of Monsanto's genetically engineered bovine growth hormone.

How much more evidence must FDA and Congress examine before government regulators once again show concern for the health and safety of the American people?

Robert Cohen

Comment by PSRAST

Since more than ten 10 years, scientists have been increasingly concerned about the more and more rapid increase of strains resistant to antibiotics caused by use of antibiotic preparations.

Leading experts have emphasized that powerful measures are required to reduce the use of antibiotics. There are clear evidence linking antibiotics resistance in salmonella and other bacteria to the use of antibiotics in farm animals. In a situation, feared to cause the resurgence of intractable lethal infectious diseases, an FDA official, Margret Miller, has acted so as to further increase the risk of the emergence of dangerous bacteria all over the USA by allowing a considerable increase of antibiotics use on cows. The only obvious reason for such a decision appears to have been to promote the use of rBGH. This is further supported by the following background data (taken from the Ecologist, see ):

"Even FDA insiders have criticized the agency for its slack review of the drug, but the FDA has dismissed these concerns and fired at least one official who blew the whistle on the organisation's corrupt drug approval process. Veterinarian Dr. Richard Burroughs reviewed animal drug applications at the FDA's Center for Veterinary Sciences from 1979 until he was fired in 1989. In 1985, Burroughs headed the FDA's review of t rBGH and remained directly involved in the review process for almost five years. Burroughs wrote the original protocols for animal safety studies and reviewed the data that rBGH developers, including Monsanto, submitted as they carried out safety studies.

A 1991 article in Eating Well magazine quotes Burroughs describing a change in the FDA beginning in the mid-1980s. "There seemed to be a trend in the place toward approval at any price. It went from a university-like setting where there was independent scientific review to an atmosphere of "approve, approve, approve." This is the atmosphere in which the FDA carried out its review of rBGH. According to Burroughs, the FDA was totally unprepared to review rBGH, the first bioengineered animal drug to go through the FDA's approval process; rBGH was out of the scope of most FDA employees' knowledge. But rather than admit incompetence, the FDA "decided to cover up inappropriate studies and decisions," and agency officials "suppressed and manipulated data to cover up their own ignorance and incompetence?

Burroughs himself was faced with corporate representatives who wanted the agency to ease strict safety testing protocols, and he saw corporations drop sick cows from rBGH test trials and manipulate data in other ways to make health and safety problems disappear. According to Burroughs, the raw, untouched data stashed away behind the agency's doors and protected as trade secrets would show otherwise.

Burroughs challenged the agency's lenience and its changing role from guardian of public health to protector of corporate profits. He criticized the FDA and its handling of rBGH in statements to Congressional investigators, in testimony to state legislatures, and to the press. Inside the FDA, he rejected a number of corporate-sponsored safety studies as insufficient and was prevented by his superiors from investigating data submitted by industry revealing possible health problems caused by rBGH. Though Burroughs had a record at the FDA showing eight straight years of good performance, he began receiving poor performance reports, for which he claims he was set up. Finally, in November 1989, he was fired for "incompetence"

Not only did the FDA fail to act upon evidence that rBGH was not safe, the agency actually promoted the Monsanto corporation's product before and after the drug's approval. In doing so, the FDA took on the impossible double role of regulator and promoter of bioengineered foods. Dr. Michael Hansen of Consumers Union notes that the FDA acted as an rBGH advocate by issuing news releases promoting rBGH, making public statements praising the drug, and writing promotional pieces about rBGH in the agency's publication, FDA Consumer.

This dual role also manifested itself in other ways. In an apparent attempt to quell public controversy over rBGH, for example, two FDA researchers published industry and "independent" data in the journal Science in 1990 to show that rBGH was safe for consumers)' Gerald Guest, the director for FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine told Science, "We'd like to get our side of the story out, to show why we're comfortable with the safety. We'd like for people to know that ifs a thoughtful process. and we want it to be open and credible

Guest was apparently doing a lot of wishful thinking. Professor Samuel Epstein criticized the FDA for acting "as a booster or advocate for an animal drug that hasn't yet been approved." Epstein and others faulted the FDA for including only pieces of unpublished studies about rBGH in the Science article, but not making the full studies available for independent review.

The FDA's pro-rBGH activities make more sense in light of conflicts of interest between the FDA and the Monsanto corporation." Michael R. Taylor, the FDA's deputy commissioner for policy, wrote the FDA's rBGH labelling guidelines. The guidelines, announced in February 1994, virtually prohibited dairy corporations from making any real distinction between products produced with and without rBGH." To keep rBGH-milk from being "stigmatized" in the marketplace, the FDA announced that labels on non-rBGH products must state that there is no difference between rBGH and the naturally occurring hormone. In March 1994,

Taylor was publicly exposed as a former lawyer for the Monsanto corporation for seven years. While working for Monsanto, Taylor had prepared a memo for the company as to whether or not it would be constitutional for states to erect labelling laws concerning rBGH dairy products. In other words. Taylor helped Monsanto figure out whether or not the corporation could sue states or companies that wanted to tell the public that their products were free of Monsanto's drug.

Taylor wasn't the only FDA official involved in rBGI-1 policy who had worked for Monsanto. Margaret Miller, deputy director of the FDA's Office of New Animal Drugs was a former Monsanto research scientist who had worked on Monsanto's rBGH safety studies up until 1989. Suzanne Sechen was a primary reviewer for rBGH in the Office of New Animal Drugs between 1988 and 1990. Before coming to the FDA. she had done research for several Monsanto-funded rBGH studies as a graduate student at Cornell University. Her professor was one of Monsanto's university consultants and a known rBGH promoter."

This evidence of a failure of FDA to fulfill its duty to guard public health is in the same vein as its development of the lenient regulations making it possible to approve improperly tested GE foods. FDA did so in spite of warnings from its own experts as has recently been discovered in a lawsuit, see "FDA records support the lawsuit challenging its policy".

It is the regulations created by FDA that paved the way for the world-wide avalanche of GE foods.
Jaan Suurkula M.D.

"Genetically Engineered Food - Safety Problems"
Published by PSRAST
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fed-up Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-06-08 04:44 PM
Response to Original message
27. sourcewatch-Burson-Marsteller-Mark Penn, Worldwide CEO (the sleaziest of the sleazes)
Edited on Thu Mar-06-08 04:46 PM by fed-up

This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch, sponsored by the American Legacy Foundation. Join our team of citizen journalists researching and exposing tobacco industry secrets.
Burson-Marsteller is the world's fifth largest PR company (Source: Council of PR Firms, 2002) and part of the WPP Group. According to a 2004 profile in The Hill, a Washington, DC newspaper, "This multinational PR behemoth has an active public-affairs practice led by Richard Mintz, who ran the media shop at the Department of Transportation during the Clinton administration. He also served as staff director for Hillary Clinton during the 1992 campaign. B-M has won awards recently for its work for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and the "No on Proposition 54" campaign in California. Its public-affairs practice is bolstered by its affiliation with Direct Impact (grassroots marketing) and BKSH & Associates (lobbying)." <1>


Hillary Clinton

In May, 2007, the Nation magazine ran an article about the relationship between Burson-Marsteller's top executive world-wide, Mark Penn, and Hillary Clinton. "As Hillary Clinton charges toward the Democratic nomination for President, her campaign has a coterie of influential advisers. ... But perhaps the most important figure in the campaign is her pollster and chief strategist, Mark Penn, a combative workaholic. ... Yet Penn is no ordinary pollster. Beyond his connections to the Clintons, he not only polls for America's biggest companies but also runs one of the world's premier PR agencies ." <2>

European women for front groups
In January 2004, the Observer (UK) reported that European Women for HPV Testing was a front group being run by B-M campaign for the US biotechnology company Digene. The Observer reported that some of the celebrities cited as endorsing the campaign on the groups website were not aware of the links of the group with Digene. <16>
Following the article B-M the list of celebrity names on the website was substituted with a message that those previously listed were being "re-contacted to confirm their continued support". B-M also sent a letter to The Observer claiming the articles was 'seriously defamatory'. <17> However, six weeks later B-M confirmed that no legal action would be taken. <18>
Carmelo Ruiz, in his article available in a link below, mentions many ventures B-M has spearheaded for clients in the past. They created a citizen group named the Coalition for Clean and Renewable Energy to create a positive image for the James Bay 2 hydroelectric dam project in Canada. They were hired by Philip Morris and then created the National Smokers Alliance to combat oncoming smoking restrictions. They infiltrated activist groups opposing the use of rBGH in dairy cows when hired by Eli Lilly and Nutra-Sweet, a subsidiary of Monsanto, to promote the benefits of the hormone. They were hired by A.H. Robbins after their Dalkon Shield IUD failed, damaging thousands of women. They also employed the talents of Otto Reich, former ambassador to Venezuela and head of Reagan's State Department's Office of Public Diplomacy (OPD) which was responsible for spreading disinformation about the Sandinistas in Nicaragua and blocked critical coverage of the Contras. The GAO found their activities to be illegal and Congress shut the office down in 1987.

Blackwater USA
Burson-Marsteller has been hired by the two firms representing PMC Blackwater USA, McDermott Will & Emery and Crowell & Moring, to help with the account. <19>
According to PRWeek, Burson subsidiary, BKSH & Associates, was hired through an internal connection at Blackwater to help with Erik Prince's October 2, 2007 testimony to Congress and that this "temporary engagement has ended". <3>
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anigbrowl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-06-08 04:49 PM
Response to Original message
28. This is why Oabam won in Iowa
He spent a lot for time listening to farmers. He was mocked as an out-of-touch liberal for his comments about people who didn't know anything about Iowa's agricultural sector. But Iowans understood exactly what he was talking about.
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caligirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-06-08 05:06 PM
Response to Original message
29. An Open Letter to Hillary Clinton from Another Wellesley Alumna
by Scaredhuman
Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 11:53:51 AM PST

The production of industrialized food uses a huge amount of oil for gigantic housing of animals indoors, for chemical fertilizer, pesticides, and running mechanized equipment. The international transport of food is vast and uses more oil. And then there are the huge monocropped fields, the clear cutting for them, the industrial production methods for the food "products" themselves .... The link to climate, if the other issues are not enough reason to act, is immense.

And yet Industrial Agriculture, despite its large and increasing role, has never been included as one of the major contributors to climate change.

* Scaredhuman's diary :: ::

An Open Letter to Hillary Clinton from Another Wellesley College Alumna

Dear Hillary,

By polling logic, I should be your supporter - Democrat, woman, white, liberal. But this past summer I saw a News Hour show on farmers committing suicide in Maharastra, India, which affected me deeply. I started learning what was happening to farmers and to food and how the Clintons are connected.

The News Hour piece said Monsanto, a US agricultural corporation, hired Bollywood actors to sell illiterate farmers Bt (genetically engineered) cotton seeds, promising they'd get rich from big yields. The expensive seeds needed expensive fertilizer and pesticides (Monsanto's) and irrigation. There is little to no irrigation there. Crops failed. Farmers had immense debt and couldn't collect seeds to try again because Monsanto seeds are"patented" as "intellectual property"). If they tried, Monsanto has a $10 million budget and 75 person staff to prosecute farmers. /...

Since the late 1990s (as industrial agriculture took hold in India?), 166,000 Indian farmers have committed suicide and 8 million have left the land, and it has increased since 2002 to an average of 1 every 20 minutes (P.Sainath, The Hindu). The reasons for suicides are always complex and Monsanto is not the only giant agribusiness now in India, but it is one of the largest, and the main one in Maharastra where the suicides are especially high. Farmers in Europe, Asia, Africa, Indonesia, South America, Central America and here, have all protested Monsanto and genetic engineering.

And who is Monsanto? It is a US corporation which made Agent Orange, PCBs, nuclear weapons components, pesticides, ... With that diverse background in death, it is now "doing" food.

What does this have to do with you?

The Orwellian-named "Rural Americans for Hillary" were Monsanto's lobbyists. My greater concern, though, is your former-employer, the Rose Law Firm, whose clients include Monsanto, world's largest GE (genetic engineering) corporation; Tyson, world's largest meat producer; Walmart, the world's largest retailer. Rose is home to the industrialization of food.

You may say you left Rose long ago, but one never leaves such close connections behind. To give an example of how things are entwined and friendly there: Jon Jacoby, senior at the Stephens Group - one of the largest shareholders of Tyson, Walmart, DP&L - is C.O.B. of DP&L, and arranged the Wal-Mart deal while Jackson Stephens' Stephens Group staked Walton, financed Tyson, and Monsanto bought DP&L, while Walmart's board invited you on, aTyson executive helped you do $1000,000 trade just before Bill' governorship, and Jackson Stephens backed Bill for Governor, then President (donating $100,000). /...

(Tavis Smiley just had you on his show last night, the last night before Super Tuesday. His major funder is Walmart.)

And Bill did some nice things for clients of Rose as well:

Tyson: USDA immediately significantly weakened chicken waste and contamination standards, easing Tyson's poultry-factory expansion. ( / editorials/engdahl/2006/0828.html). His USDA head, Espy, was indicted for bribes, money laundering, and much more. Tyson was the largest corporate offender. ...


1. Monsanto people were put in charge of food, ... ( ) or /... or /...

2. FDA okayed Monsanto's rBGH (bovine growth hormone), first GE-product ever approved.

3. Despite bovine illness/death, FDA didn't recall or warn. /...

4. When dairymen labeled milk "rBGH-free," USDA threatened confiscation.

5. Organic food was the last way around unknown danger. FDA tried to close that escape with new "organic" standards, to include: genetic engineering of plants/animals, food irradiation , sewage sludge fertilizer. /...

USDA backed down from public response 20 times greater than to anything before. /...

American food:

Oils: Indian sheep died eating from Bt cotton fields. /... Our children eat Bt cottonseed oil in peanut butter, cookies.

Grains: 49% of corn acreage planted in Bt corn in 2007. French study indicates it causes kidney and liver toxicity. /... Monsanto controls US's two main crops, soy (90% GMO, 90% of traits "belong" to Monsanto) and corn, the largest crop (60% GMO, nearly 100% Monsanto "owned" traits). /...

Meat: Steroids bulk athletes, Monsanto steroids fatten animals, our fattening children eat steroid-laced meats. FDA allowed "known TSE-positive (Transmissible spongiform encephalopathy Mad Cow Disease) material to be used in pet food, pig, chicken and fish feed." Monsanto's GE-hormone increases risk sick cows are entering US food chain. /...

Poultry: USDA weakened waste/contamination standards. Waste from transnational poultry industry is now implicated as the source of bird flu. /... The poultry industry is using the crisis to push out small farmers. /...

Milk: Scientific studies indicate Monsanto's rBGH increases risks of breast cancer by up to seven-fold, increases colon, prostate cancers risks. Canada, 29 European nations, Norway, Switzerland, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa ban U.S. rBGH dairy products. Bill's USFDA put no restrictions, warning labels, or any labels. /...

Monsanto makes moves to increase its control:

Monsanto's Terminator genes make plants sterile after one season, which would require farmers to repurchase. But the genes pose an apocalyptic risk of breaking out into nature. GE breakouts have contaminated maize /...
and weeds, already. /...

Monsanto, meat-packers, and USDA ( )
are pushing NAIS (National Animal Identification System), a corporate database tracking small farmers' livestock. /... .

Monsanto is also pushing state laws taking control from farmers, communities, over GE planting. /...

"Genetic Engineering is often justified as a human technology, one that feeds more people with better food. Nothing could be further from the truth. With very few exceptions, the whole point of genetic engineering is to increase sales of chemicals and bio-engineered products to dependent farmers." David Ehrenfield: Professor of Biology, Rutgers University

But Industrial Agriculture has given us:

Cattle living in filth, 12,000-year-old seed loss, poultry industry implicated in bird flu, Mad Cow disease, bee colony collapse, poisoned soil, depleted water, Superweeds ( ), lawsuits against farmers, loss of family farms throughout the world, ... farmers committing suicide. Industrial agriculture.

Bees and farmers, dead. They are our canaries in the mine.

You and Food Safety:

Your proposed "Department of Food Safety" centralizes control over food, but into whose hands, HIllary? You talk tough on labeling ... "foreign" food, but Bill degraded US food and prevented even minimally sane labeling. You never objected.

Monsanto uses child labor in India, /... You take Monsanto donations.
Blacks, our poorest group, have to eat Monsanto's steroid/hormone/antibiotic-filled GE food. You take Monsanto donations.
Latinos' central food is corn; its GE version is toxic to the kidney and liver, and has contaminated normal corn in Mexico. You take Monsanto donations.

Who are you with? National Black Farmers Association, boycotting Monsanto? Babies drinking rBGH milk? Women fearing breast cancer? Suffering animals? Children eating Bt-corn in processed food, soft drinks, and candy? Despairing farmers?

Or Monsanto?

I am a person before I am a woman. Your gender is irrelevant. Given deadly threats to my grandchildren's future by your corporate connections (Edwards was right), I don't believe your talk of "caring" about women/children/health/food.

I will vote for someone committed to small farmers - our ONLY real food safety. Your friends, though, are the heart of an international industrial agricultural nightmare.

Linn Cohen-Cole

Disclaimer. I am not a scientist. I have read for months on this subject, and know that genetic
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caligirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-06-08 05:47 PM
Response to Original message
30. Penn helped in re-electing Bill in 1996, hillary in 2000, in 2001 he trashed Al Gore
It seems to me that the depth of hostility to Penn also illustrates something else -- the depth of Bill and Hillary Clinton's personal and professional allegiance to Mark Penn. He masterminded their re-election campaign in 1996, he was put in charge of steering Hillary Clinton into a New York Senate seat in 2000, they stood by him during 2001 when he was trashing Al Gore and economic populism to everyone who could hear, eagerly snapped him up to be the maestro of the 2008 election, and even though everyone on earth -- including her own staff and supporters -- wants her to ditch this guy, she won't do it. Because Penn's style of political skittishness is, fundamentally, what she and her husband think the lessons of the past few decades support. The strength of Barack Obama's campaign has forced her to shift to the left, but you can always tell that her campaign's at its most comfortable attacking from the right -- altering photographs of Obama, calling diplomacy "naive," getting "tough" on Iran, warning that terrorists will devour your children unless you elect the longest-serving Washington hack available, singing John McCain's praises, etc.

The people working for Clinton who don't like Penn, don't like the idea of a Penn-run campaign, and don't like the idea of a Penn-run administration, all have a simple option available to them -- stop working to elect Mark Penn's candidate.
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caligirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-06-08 08:28 PM
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31. Kicking for the evening crowd.
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