October 10, 2009
As I write this I am in Washington, DC, for the International Vaccine Conference, and I just did a 12-hour amazing tour of the Capitol that I will describe later, along with pictures that I will post on Facebook. So politics and patriotism is fresh in my mind.
When President Obama took office, many Americans welcomed what was supposed to be an era of much needed change not only for the economy but also for the food industry and U.S. health care system.
Time magazine put it quite well when they described current farm policy as "a welfare program for the megafarms that use the most fuel, water and pesticides; emit the most greenhouse gases; grow the most fattening crops; hire the most illegals; and depopulate rural America."
And as has been recently disclosed by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), between 2003 and 2006, millionaire farmers received $49 million in crop subsidies, even though they earned more than the $2.5 million cutoff for such subsidies. In a speech given at the end of 2008, President Obama stated that this was a prime example of the kind of waste he intends to end when he takes office.
Meanwhile, American medical care is the most expensive in the world. The United States spends more than twice as much on each person for health care as most other industrialized countries. And yet it has fallen to last place among those countries in preventing avoidable deaths through use of timely and effective medical care.
That the system is fatally flawed and in need of a radical overhaul is self-evident.
In fact, according to a 2008 report published in the New England Journal of Medicine, 90 percent of Americans believe our medical system should be “completely rebuilt” or that “fundamental changes” are required.
And many are looking toward the Obama Administration to carry out these fundamental changes -- changes that appear, on the surface at least, to be in the works.
But while health care reform is finally on the table, and an organic farm has, for the first time, been planted on the White House lawn, there are an unsettling number of foxes being appointed to guard the U.S. health care and food industry hen houses … foxes that have entirely too many connections to Monsanto, the chemical manufacturer turned agricultural giant that is slowly gaining control over the world’s population, one seed at a time.
The New Secretary of Agriculture is a Fan of Factory Farms, GM Crops and More
Former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack is now the Secretary of Agriculture, an appointment that took place despite massive public outcry. What was needed for an effective Secretary of Agriculture was someone who would develop and implement a plan that promotes family-scale farming and a safe and nutritious food system with a sustainable and organic vision.
What we got was yet another politician who’s already made room in his bed for the industry lobby. As the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) points out:
Vilsack has been a strong supporter of genetically engineered crops, including bio-pharmaceutical corn.
- The biggest biotechnology industry group, the Biotechnology Industry Organization, named Vilsack Governor of the Year. He was also the founder and former chair of the Governor’s Biotechnology Partnership.
When Vilsack created the Iowa Values Fund, his first poster child of economic development potential was Trans Ova and their pursuit of cloning dairy cows.
The undemocratic and highly unpopular 2005 seed pre-emption bill was Vilsack’s brainchild. The law strips local government’s right to regulated genetically engineered seed (including where GE can be grown, maintaining GE-free buffers or banning pharma corn locally)
Vilsack is an ardent supporter of corn and soy-based biofuels, which use as much or more fossil fuel energy to produce them as they generate, while driving up world food prices and literally starving the poor.
Overall, Vilsack’s record is one of aiding and abetting Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) or factory farms and promoting animal cloning.
The New Senior Advisor for the FDA is a Former Monsanto VP!
Michael Taylor, a former vice president of public policy and chief lobbyist at Monsanto Company, is the new senior advisor for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Who is Michael Taylor? He is the person who “oversaw the creation of GMO policy,” according to Jeffrey Smith, the leading spokesperson on the dangers of GM foods. Smith continues:
“If GMOs are indeed responsible for massive sickness and death, then the individual who oversaw the FDA policy that facilitated their introduction holds a uniquely infamous role in human history. That person is Michael Taylor. He had been Monsanto's attorney before becoming policy chief at the FDA. Soon after, he became Monsanto's vice president and chief lobbyist.”
The FDA policy being referred to is the 1992 GMO policy, which stated:
"The agency is not aware of any information showing that foods derived by these new methods [genetic engineering] differ from other foods in any meaningful or uniform way."
In reality, there was major concern among FDA scientists that GM foods were in fact different than natural foods, and that their creation could prompt unknown and unpredictable health problems.
Along with being a key player in the initial pushing of GM foods onto Americans’ plates (without any required safety studies), Taylor also oversaw the policy regarding Monsanto’s genetically engineered bovine growth hormone (rbGH/rbST).
This growth hormone, which has been banned in Canada, Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand because of cancer risks and other health concerns, was approved in the United States while Taylor was in charge at the FDA. Smith writes:
“Taylor also determined that milk from injected cows did not require any special labeling. And as a gift to his future employer Monsanto, he wrote a white paper suggesting that if companies ever had the audacity to label their products as not using rbGH, they should also include a disclaimer stating that according to the FDA, there is no difference between milk from treated and untreated cows.”
Taylor’s white paper, which again was untrue as even FDA scientists acknowledged differences in the rbGH milk, allowed Monsanto to sue dairies that labeled their products rbGH-free.Dennis Wolff, Another Monsanto “Yes Man,” May be the Next Under-Secretary of Agriculture for Food Safety
In another ironic turn of events, it’s rumored that Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff may be appointed the new Under-Secretary of Agriculture for Food Safety -- the top food safety post at the USDA.
Wolff declared that labeling products rbGH-free was against the law, and ordered all such labels to be removed from Pennsylvania. Fortunately, due to consumer demand, Pennsylvania's Governor Ed Rendell stepped in and stopped the ban on rbGH-free labels (although he did require such claims to include Taylor’s FDA disclaimer that there is no difference between milk from treated and untreated cows).
As Jeffrey Smith explains:
Not only did Dennis Wolff attempt to ban rbGH-free labels, but OCA points out that he has “also worked to deprive communities the right to ban toxic sewage sludge, factory farms, and GMOs.”
“Rumor has it that the reason why Pennsylvania's governor is supporting Wolff's appointment is to get him out of the state -- after he "screwed up so badly" with the rbGH decision. Oh great, governor. Thanks.”
Monsanto’s Long-Reaching Grasp on the U.S. Government
Clearly, Monsanto -- the world leader in genetic modification of seeds -- has worked its way into varying high-level positions in the U.S. government. There are other less noticeable connections too, such as Sharon Long, a former member of Monsanto’s board of directors who was part of Obama’s scientific advisory team during the election/campaign.
Monsanto is a very dark cloud hanging over the future of health and food safety in the United States. This powerful entity has already managed so many reprehensible acts it boggles the mind, including:
- Leading the world into a new age of potentially hazardous genetic modification of seeds.
- Patenting not only their own GMO seeds, but also a huge number of crop seeds, patenting life forms for the first time -- without a vote of the people or Congress.
- Not allowing farmers to save their seeds to replant the next year -- a practice that has been done for generations. Instead, they aggressively seek out and sue farmers they suspect of doing so.
- Suing farmers who have not been able to prevent the inevitable drift of Monsanto’s GE pollen or seed onto their land for patent infringement!
- Producing two of the most toxic substances ever known -- polychlorinated biphenyls, known as PCBs, and dioxin (Agent Orange).
Perhaps their biggest assault to your food supply already is what’s known as terminator technology. These are seeds that have been genetically modified to “self-destruct.” In other words, the seeds (and the forthcoming crops) are sterile, which means farmers must buy them again each year.
The implications that terminator seeds could have on the world’s food supply are disastrous: the traits from genetically engineered crops can get passed on to other crops. Once the terminator seeds are released into a region, the trait of seed sterility could be passed to other non-genetically-engineered crops, making most or all of the seeds in the region sterile.
If allowed to continue, every farmer in the world could come to rely on Monsanto for their seed supply!So What Can You Do?
The first step you have already done, and that is to get informed. You can continue to spread the word further by sharing this article with your friends and family.
Next, hit Monsanto and industrial agriculture where it counts ... their bottom line. By boycotting all GM foods and instead supporting organic (and local) farmers who do not use Monsanto’s GM seeds, you are using your wallet to make your opinions known.
This means abstaining from virtually all processed food products (most are loaded with GM ingredients) and sticking to fresh, locally grown, organic foodstuffs instead.
You can join the fight to truly revamp the FDA as well, by signing this petition from the American Association for Health Freedom (AAHF). AAHF is leading a campaign to reform the FDA, and your help is urgently needed, as a large number of signatures are required to compel Congressional Action.
Finally, you can voice your opinion directly to the Obama Administration. Simply use this form from the Organic Consumers Association to send a message to President Obama, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius (oversees FDA) demanding Michael Taylor's resignation, and letting them know you oppose Dennis Wolff's appointment.
Zero tolerance for GM foods in Europe
Corporate agriculture industry plans "organic" genetically engineered crops to fight climate change
Food: Is Monsanto the answer or the problem?
Britain: Children Reaching Age 3 Without Being Able to Say a Word
Aspartame: Sweet Misery A Poisoned World
The Use of Nanomaterials in Food and the Dangers Posed to the Human Body
Chief Scientist Says GM and Nanotechnology Should Be Part of Modern Agriculture
Suppressed Study Found Genetically Modified Corn Killed Ladybugs
Three Approved Genetically-Modified Foods Linked to Organ Damage
British Government: The Public Must Accept Genetically-Modified Food
Getting Real About the High Price of Cheap Food
We don't have the luxury of philosophizing about food. With the exhaustion of the soil, the impact of global warming and the inevitably rising price of oil — which will affect everything from fertilizer to supermarket electricity bills — our industrial style of food production will end sooner or later. As the developing world grows richer, hundreds of millions of people will want to shift to the same calorie-heavy, protein-rich diet that has made Americans so unhealthy — demand for meat and poultry worldwide is set to rise 25% by 2015 — but the earth can no longer deliver. Unless Americans radically rethink the way they grow and consume food, they face a future of eroded farmland, hollowed-out countryside, scarier germs, higher health costs — and bland taste. Sustainable food has an élitist reputation, but each of us depends on the soil, animals and plants — and as every farmer knows, if you don't take care of your land, it can't take care of you.
‘Grey goo’ food laced with nanoparticles could swamp Britain
Bayer to pay Arkansas, Mississippi farmers $1.5M over GM crop contamination
Ecologist warns on foreign genetically-modified seeds in China
Five-year ban on GM foods proposed in Bulgaria
India puts on hold first GM food crop on safety grounds
Alarm raised over banned GM crop contamination in Thailand
Bill Gates sets eye on 'next green revolution'
Bill Gates reveals love of GMOs, appoints Monsanto veteran to Gates Foundation
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation - Agricultural Development
Bill Gates Backs Genetically Modified Food Research (Video)
Bill Gates funding genetic experimentation of agricultural crops
Private, Public Companies Advance GE Wheat Technology
The Evils of Monsanto
Agent Orange Victims Aren't Enough for Monsanto; Now GM Food
Federal Regulators Launch Probe of Big Agriculture
Obama Gives Key Agriculture Post to Monsanto Man
93% of Soybeans, 80% of Corn in the U.S. Grow From Seeds Genetically Modified By Monsanto
Weeds Are Now Resisting Monsanto Weed Killer, Spurring Crisis in American Agriculture
Killing The Food Supply: The Dangers of Genetically Modified Food
Monsanto: The world’s poster child for corporate manipulation and deceit
Genetically Modified Canola ‘Escapes’ Farm Fields
Genetically engineered salmon under FDA consideration
GM Rice in China's Grain Reserves Could Spread into Other Places
Half of US sugar supply affected by ban on illegal GMO plant
GMO Crop Sabotage on the Rise: French citizens destroy trial vineyard
Gates Foundation Invests in Monsanto
‘Frankensalmon’ ruled safe to eat: Fast-growing GM fish approved by scientists
Blackwater's Black Ops: Blackwater sought to become the “intel arm” of Monsanto
First GMO Pig Made for Human Consumption
Hazards of GM Food: Female Sex Organs Affected by GMO Soybeans
Bt Toxin From Genetically Modified Corn Found in U.S. Streams
Updated 10/8/10 (Newest Additions at End of List)
Scientists Under Attack: Genetic Engineering in the Magnetic Field of Money is a 60 minute, award winning film by Bertram Verhaag about GMOs and the need for the independence of science. Nearly 95% of genetic engineering research is paid for and controlled by international corporations such as Monsanto. This film exposes how these globalist companies manipulate scientific research to hide the dangers of genetically altered plants and animals.