“Monsanto should not have to vouchsafe the safety of biotech food. Our interest is in selling as much of it as possible. Assuring its safety is the F.D.A.’s job”
- Philip Angell, Monsanto’s director of corporate communications. “Playing God in the Garden” New York Times Magazine, October 25, 1998.
Excerpts, Common Dreams – “The fight to label genetically modified (gmo) foods is now on in Hawaii and Connecticut signaling that, despite big agriculture’s defeat of California’s Proposition 37 in November, proponents of seed and food sovereignty refuse to back down.
On Thursday, the group GMO Free CT held a press conference at the state’s legislative office to launch a new anti-GMO initiative calling on the Connecticut Legislature to support and pass a bill to label genetically engineered food in the state, the New Haven Register reports.
Calling the use of GMOs in food “a very large, uncontrolled experiment with human health,” William Duesing, Executive Director of the Connecticut branch of the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA), spoke before the group. “The vast amount of GMO crops are designed as sales tools for specific herbicides. The majority of those sales tools are for Roundup (which) kills most green plants that haven’t been engineered to resist it,” he said.
Food activists in Hawaii won a partial victory this week when the House Committee on Agriculture passed a measure to require labeling on genetically modified food.
Originally, House Bill 174 required any food product that is produced or sold in Hawaii to have a label saying it contains or was made using genetically engineered materials, but Thursday’s committee hearing amended the requirements so it only applies to produce imported from outside Hawaii, Associated Press reports.
Despite this provision, Hawaii is a ripe battleground for new legislation. According to the anti-GMO organization Hawai’i Seed, “Hawai‘i is the genetic engineering experimental capital of the world,” with thousands of acres of arable farmland being used to test seed crops for agriculture giants, including Monsanto.” Full Article on Common Dreams
In 2012, Monsanto spent $4.2 million financing “No On 37″, a group supported by other GMO food manufacturers like DuPont, Dow, and Bayer. “No On 37″ opposed California proposition 37, which would require labels on most genetically modified food products.
Public Relations & Lobbying
2012 Monsanto Lobbying Data:
|Lobbying Firm||Amount Reported||Issue|
|Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld||$100,000||Issues relating to international trade agreements; introduction of client’s international activities; issues relating to funding of the U.S.-Brazil Framework on cotton; issues relating to Farmer Assurance Provision in Agriculture appropriations bill (H.R. 5973)|
|American Continental Group||$150,000||America Invents Act implementation.|
|Arent Fox||$10,000||Importation of agricultural biotechnology products|
|Crawford & Mauro Law Firm||$75,000||Agriculture consolidation and competition.|
|Monsanto Company||$2,930,000||Biotech Regulations; Plant Protection Act; Roundup Ready Alfalfa; Roundup Ready Sugarbeets, H.R. 872: Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2011 S. 473: Continuing Chemical Facilities Antiterrorism Security Act of 2011 H.R. 901: Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Security Authorization Act of 2011 Pesticide Registration Improvement Act, Implementation of the America Invents Act, Title II. Energy Security Through Increased Production of Biofuels, Subtitle A. Renewable Fuel Standard, Phosphate Mining, Issues related to the extension and expansion of alternative simplified research and development tax credit (H.R. 942) Issues relating to international corporate tax reform issues (S. 727) S. 1577: Greater Research Opportunities with Tax Help Act Tax Reform Act of 2011, Foreign Agriculture Biotechnology Laws, Regulations, and Trade, House and Senate FY 2013 Agriculture, Rural Development, FDA Appropriations Bills|
|Nobel Strategies||$60,000||Biotech Regulations Roundup Ready Alfalfa Roundup Ready Sugarbeets|
|The Russell Group||$160,000||Biotech Acceptance; Agriculture, Competition, and Related Issues; Advocacy for Plant Protection Act concerns; FY 2013 Agriculture Appropriations Act; Work relating to seed trade issues with South America.|
|The Washington Tax Group||$90,000||Issues related to extension and expansion of alternative simplified research and development tax credit (H.R. 942, S. 1577); issues relating to international corporate tax reform (S. 727, S. 2091).|
The company spent over $6.3 million in direct lobbying in 2011 and is on pace to break that number with over $1.4 million in direct lobbying in the first 3 months of 2012. The corporation focused on Roundup Ready Sugarbeats and Roundup Ready Alfalfa.
12 of its 21 (57%) lobbyists are revolving door or have worked for government at some point in their career, including Stanley Abramson who worked for the EPA, Jeremy Stump and Randall Russell who worked for the Dept of Agriculture.
Center for Consumer Freedom
- ~GMO alert: top 10 genetically modified foods to avoid eating~ (jericho777.wordpress.com)
- Just Say NO to GMOs (survivalsherpa.wordpress.com)
- Conneticut and Hawaii Take Up GMO Labeling Fight (commondreams.org)
- ~GMO labeling bill killed by state Senate – but the fight has just begun~ (jericho777.wordpress.com)
- Bharti Walmart Spreads GMO Monsanto India (augadha.wordpress.com)