Nowadays, most people like to blame outgoing U.S. President George Bush for the ills of the country. In fact, much of Bush's policy originated under former president Bill Clinton. A case in point is genetically-modified, or GM, food.
Under Clinton, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) staffers and executives like Michael R. Taylor, who also worked with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, were responsible for abandoning the precautionary principle in favor of indirect but obvious corporate sponsorship.
Taylor, who is currently a senior fellow and director of the Resources for the Future (RFF) Center for Risk Management, served in the FDA from 1981 to 1994, first as a staff lawyer and executive assistant to the FDA Commissioner, then as Deputy Commissioner for FDA policy. From 1994 to 1996, he was Administrator of the U. S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service, going from there directly to Monsanto as vice president for Public Policy.
In fact, Taylor's whole career reflects episodic bungee-jumping from government to private sector employment with none other than top biotech firms like Monsanto, and then back again.
Through a revolving door of insider political appointments and manipulation, Monsanto successfully created for itself a favorable FDA ruling which allows Monsanto and others to introduce genetically modified food into our supermarkets without safety testing or even labeling. For example, Taylor, at the time a lawyer working for Monsanto, was hired by the FDA to re-write the new GMO regulations as, "substantially equivalent", eliminating safety testing or even labeling. Other Monsanto insiders playing in the game were Donald Rumsfeld, Clarence Thomas, Margaret Miller and Susan Sashan. (link)
This clear conflict of interest is what led to todays failed FDA and USDA, at least in terms of their stated mandate to protect the food safety of the American public. This is nowhere more evident than as relates to the issue of GM food, which in 2001 was banned or restricted for use in such nations as Algeria, Egypt, Zambia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, China, Japan, the Philippines, Norway, Austria, Germany, The UK, most of Central America, Spain, Italy, Greece, France, Luxembourg, Portugal, Brazil, Paraguay, Saudi Arabia, Australia, New Zealand and 14 South Pacific nations.
Some nations, facing starvation, have lifted their bans. Others, like Zambia, remain adamant. Honduras, facing crop failures, has lifted its ban on GM corn. The rest of Central America remains committed, largely because of indigenous strains of native maize which have been successfully grown for four centuries and are readily contaminated by GM corn. And this is the crux of the GM issue; that even countries which abstain are likely to find their native crops contaminated by GM breeds from thousands of miles away.
Why fight GM? Because genetically modified crops are, literally, "Frankenfood", linked to such problems as allergies, asthma, genetic damage and even cancer. GM foods are suspected by many, including England's Prince Charles, of being the precursor of an environmental disaster the likes of which humanity has never seen. Cautious scientists agree that GM foods may be causing unknown and inestimable harm to both living and future generations of humanity. In fact, we haven't been eating GM food long enough to know the final consequences, though one effect is already emerging. As an independent study from Austria shows, GM harms fertility in mice.
This 20-week study, based on long-term feeding regimens containing only a third of GM corn, showed "statistically significant" drops in reproductive capacity in the third and fourth generations, and the mice born were noticeably smaller.
The study, conducted by Dr. Jurgen Zentek, professor of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Vienna, should alarm those whose diets contain large amounts of GM food, as is clearly the case in the U.S. These foods, laden with pesticides and devoid of the micronutrients needed for good health, are a conspiracy theorist's bread and butter, suggesting that New World Order (NWO) plans to scale back population are in fact part of a greater agenda that aims to place control of all food in the hands of a few, multinational agribusiness giants like Monsanto, Cargill, ADM and Bunge, and the control of nations in the hands of a few elite.
Monsanto et al, who up to now have either conducted all the existing research on GM foods, or paid research institutions to do so - provided they deliver results in GM's favor - insist that GM crops will rescue the world from hunger. This finding has not been borne out by independent research, but perhaps they will be able to if there are less people to feed because GM food causes sterility.
As Dr. Jan van Aken, a GM expert with Greenpeace notes:
"If this is not reason enough to close down the whole biotech industry once and for all, I am not sure what kind of disaster we are waiting for."
Monsanto has not commented on this latest study, and CropGen, the mouthpiece for the biotech industry, says GM crops will benefit mankind now and in the future - and posts a half page of citations to prove it.
To paraphrase Shakespeare, methinks they do protest too much. Moreover, if the science behind GM can't stand on its own merits (which are, so far, either unproven or actually negative), it should be allowed to fail. My unborn grandchildren agree.
- Organic Agriculture CAN Feed the World
- GM Crops, Pesticides, and the Poor
- USDA Suspends Pesticide Reporting to Benefit Monsanto
- GM Seeds, a Rape Disguised as a Courtship
- Biotech Companies Try to Hijack Agreement on GM Contamination
- Bush Aid Package Pushing GMOs
- Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation (Part I)
- Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation (Part II)
- Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation (Part III)