Government officials around the globe have been coerced, infiltrated, and paid off by the agricultural biotech giants.
In Indonesia, Monsanto gave bribes and questionable payments to at least 140 officials, attempting to get their genetically modified (GM) cotton approved.
 In India, one official tampered with the report on Bt cotton to increase the yield figures to favor Monsanto.
 In Mexico, a senior government official allegedly threatened a University of California professor, implying “We know where your children go to school,” trying to get him not to publish incriminating evidence that would delay GM approvals.
 While most industry manipulation and political collusion is more subtle, none was more significant than that found at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The result is humans as guinea pigs:
Since GM foods are not properly tested before they enter the market, consumers are the guinea pigs. But this doesn’t even qualify as an experiment. There are no controls and there’s no monitoring. Without post-marketing surveillance, the chances of tracing health problems to GM food are low. The incidence of a disease would have to increase dramatically before it was noticed, meaning that millions may have to get sick before a change is investigated. Tracking the impact of GM foods is even more difficult in North America, where the foods are not labeled. Regulators at Health Canada announced in 2002 that they would monitor Canadians for health problems from eating GM foods. A spokesperson said, “I think it’s just prudent and what the public expects, that we will keep a careful eye on the health of Canadians.” But according to CBC TV news, Health Canada “abandoned that research less than a year later saying it was ‘too difficult to put an effective surveillance system in place.'” The news anchor added, “So at this point, there is little research into the health effects of genetically modified food. So will we ever know for sure if it’s safe?”
We might better start finding out.
There’s much more in the article, all copiously documented at least with
citations, and often with links to the actual articles.
“This study was just routine,” said Russian biologist Alexey V. Surov, in what could end up as the understatement of this century. Surov and his colleagues set out to discover if Monsanto’s genetically modified (GM) soy, grown on 91% of US soybean fields, leads to problems in growth or reproduction. What he discovered may uproot a multi-billion dollar industry.
After feeding hamsters for two years over three generations, those on the GM diet, and especially the group on the maximum GM soy diet, showed devastating results. By the third generation, most GM soy-fed hamsters lost the ability to have babies. They also suffered slower growth, and a high mortality rate among the pups.
Not just a little higher: five times highher infant mortality.
Update 2012-08-30: old graph links decayed; replaced with other graphs of same data.
Almost as many obese as healthy weight adults in the U.S., and the rest are overweight. Something changed starting about 1980.
Data source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2005) Health, United States, 2005.
Graph source: Wikipedia Blue Cross Blue Shield, with this accompanying text:
While the percentage of the U.S. population considered overweight has been stable since 1960-62, the percentage considered obese has more than doubled.
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:
Many more details follow.
It’s going to take more than just a new president to break the grip of big agribusiness on government.
As FDR said:
I agree with you, I want to do it, now make me do it.