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 Articles regarding Monsanto, and other biotech industries
Texan for Gore
Posted: Dec 28 2011, 12:41 AM
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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/01/12/m...d_n_420365.html

Monsanto's GMO Corn Linked To Organ Failure, Study Reveals

Huffington Post Katherine Goldstein/Gazelle Emami First Posted: 03/18/10 06:12 AM

In a study released by the International Journal of Biological Sciences, analyzing the effects of genetically modified foods on mammalian health, researchers found that agricultural giant Monsanto's GM corn is linked to organ damage in rats.

According to the study, which was summarized by Rady Ananda at Food Freedom, "Three varieties of Monsanto's GM corn - Mon 863, insecticide-producing Mon 810, and Roundup® herbicide-absorbing NK 603 - were approved for consumption by US, European and several other national food safety authorities."

Monsanto gathered its own crude statistical data after conducting a 90-day study, even though chronic problems can rarely be found after 90 days, and concluded that the corn was safe for consumption. The stamp of approval may have been premature, however.

In the conclusion of the IJBS study, researchers wrote:

"Effects were mostly concentrated in kidney and liver function, the two major diet detoxification organs, but in detail differed with each GM type. In addition, some effects on heart, adrenal, spleen and blood cells were also frequently noted. As there normally exists sex differences in liver and kidney metabolism, the highly statistically significant disturbances in the function of these organs, seen between male and female rats, cannot be dismissed as biologically insignificant as has been proposed by others. We therefore conclude that our data strongly suggests that these GM maize varieties induce a state of hepatorenal toxicity....These substances have never before been an integral part of the human or animal diet and therefore their health consequences for those who consume them, especially over long time periods are currently unknown."

Monsanto has immediately responded to the study, stating that the research is "based on faulty analytical methods and reasoning and do not call into question the safety findings for these products."

The IJBS study's author Gilles-Eric Séralini responded to the Monsanto statement on the blog, Food Freedom, "Our study contradicts Monsanto conclusions because Monsanto systematically neglects significant health effects in mammals that are different in males and females eating GMOs, or not proportional to the dose. This is a very serious mistake, dramatic for public health. This is the major conclusion revealed by our work, the only careful reanalysis of Monsanto crude statistical data."
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Texan for Gore
Posted: Dec 28 2011, 11:15 AM
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It's good to see that some countries put safety above monied interest.

http://www.farmersguardian.com/home/latest...u/43842.article
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Texan for Gore
Posted: Jan 14 2012, 09:25 PM
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I am adding other articles about Monsanto here as I think this is an important topic and modified the thread title. Glad to see this issue is being covered at Current. :clap:

http://current.com/technology/93616003_org...yc.htm#93617625

Organic farmers' suit against Monsanto goes to hearing in NYC

http://current.com/community/93617414_brea...ia.htm#93617617

Breaking News: Monsanto To Face Biopiracy Charges In India

http://current.com/technology/93617228_dow...ll.htm#93617611

DOW And Monsanto in deadly race on the pesticide treadmill
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Texan for Gore
Posted: Jan 31 2012, 11:07 AM
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http://action.fooddemocracynow.org/sign/fa...VYLnbp&rd=1&t=8

On January 31, family farmers will take part in the first phase of a court case filed to protect farmers from genetic trespass by Monsanto’s GMO seed, which contaminates organic and non-GMO farmer’s crops and opens them up to abusive lawsuits. In the past two decades, Monsanto’s seed monopoly has grown so powerful that they control the genetics of nearly 90% of five major commodity crops including corn, soybeans, cotton, canola and sugar beets.

In many cases farmers are forced to stop growing certain crops to avoid genetic contamination and potential lawsuits. Between 1997 and 2010, Monsanto admits to filing 144 lawsuits against America’s family farmers, while settling another 700 out of court for undisclosed amounts. Due to these aggressive lawsuits, Monsanto has created an atmosphere of fear in rural America and driven dozens of farmers into bankruptcy. Please join us in standing up for family farmers everywhere against Monsanto's abusive seed monopoly.
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Texan for Gore
Posted: Jan 31 2012, 11:16 AM
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Monsanto Declared Worst Company of 2011

http://naturalsociety.com/monsanto-declare...ompany-of-2011/

Biotech giant Monsanto has been declared the Worst Company of 2011 by NaturalSociety for threatening both human health and the environment. The leader in genetically modified seeds and crops, Monsanto is currently responsible for 90 percent of the genetically engineered seed on the United States market. Outside of GM seeds, Monsanto is also the creator of the best-selling herbicide Roundup, which has spawned over 120 million hectacres of herbicide-resistant superweeds while damaging much of the soil. Despite hard evidence warning against the amplified usage of genetically modified crops, biopesticides, and herbicides, Monsanto continues to disregard all warning signs.

In a powerful review of 19 studies analyzing the dangers of GMO crops such as corn and soybeans, researchers revealed some shocking information regarding the safety of these popular food staples. Researchers found that consumption of GMO corn or soybeans may lead to significant organ disruptions in rats and mice – particularly in the liver and kidneys. This is particularly concerning due to the fact that 93 percent of U.S. soybeans are known to be genetically modified. Ignoring this evidence, Monsanto continues to expand their genetic manipulation.

Monsanto’s Genetic Manipulation of Nature
Outside of genetically modifying crops, Monsanto has also created genetically modified crops containing Bt. Bt is a toxin incorporated in GMO crops that are intended to kill different insects, however Bt usage has subsequently spawned insect populations which are resistant to the biopesticide. After being exposed to Bt, many insect populations actually mutated to resist the biopesticide. So far at least 8 insect populations have developed resistance, with 2 populations resistant to Bt sprays and at least 6 species resistant to Bt crops as a whole. Farmers are therefore forced to use even more pesticides to combat the resistant bugs.

What is the answer to this problem, according to Monsanto? To further genetically modify the Bt crop to make it a super-pesticide, killing the resistant insects.

Tests, however, have concluded that further modified Bt toxin crop provided ‘little or no advantage’ in tackling the insects, despite extensive time and funding put into the research. It seems that Monsanto’s solution to everything is to further modify it into oblivion, even in the face of evidence proving this method to be highly inefficient. The research shows that this will undoubtedly lead to insects that are resistant to the most potent forms of Bt and other modified toxins, resulting in the use of even more excessive amounts of pesticides in order to combat pests.

Superweeds Infesting Over 120 Million Hectacres of Farmland
Thanks to Monsanto’s best-selling herbicide Roundup, farms across the world are experiencing the emergence of herbicide-resistant superweeds. The heavily resistant weeds have an immunity to glyphosate, an herbicide that Roundup contains. These resistant weeds currently cover over 4.5 million hectares in the United States alone, though experts estimate the world-wide land coverage to have reached at least 120 million hectares by 2010. The appearance of these superweeds is being increasingly documented in Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Europe and South Africa.

Of course, once again, the resistant weeds are so resistant to roundup that they require excessive amounts of herbicides. It is no surprise that the company is refusing to accept responsibility for the escalating cost of combating the weeds, stating that “Roundup agricultural warranties will not cover the failure to control glyphosate resistant weed populations.”

The World Says No to Monsanto
France, Hungary, and Peru are a few of the countries that have decided to take a stand against Monsanto. Hungary actually went as far as to destroy 1000 acres of maize found to have been grown with genetically modified seeds, according to Hungary deputy state secretary of the Ministry of Rural Development Lajos Bognar. Peru has also taken a stand for health freedom, passing a monumental 10 year ban on genetically modified foods. Amazingly, Peru’s Plenary Session of the Congress made the decision despite previous governmental pushes for GM legalization. The known and unknown dangers of GMO crops seem to supersede even executive-level governmental directives.

Anibal Huerta, President of Peru’s Agrarian Commission, said the ban was needed to prevent the ”danger that can arise from the use of biotechnology.”

France is the latest nation to say no to Monsanto’s GM corn maize, even in light of an overturned ban. It all began when France’s State Council overturned the ban on Monsanto’s GMO maize stating that it was not sufficiently justified. The organization then attempted to justify its decision by saying that the government did not give enough evidence to justify a ban. Under law, an EU country can only unilaterally ban a genetically modified strain if it can scientifically prove it is a risk to the health of humans, animals, or the integrity of the environment.

Even after the ban was overturned, it surfaced that French legislatures were planning to launch new restrictions regarding the use of Monsanto’s 810 maize on French soil. Even Nicolas Sarkozy, the current president of the French Republic, voiced his opposition to Monsanto’s GMO maize:

“The French government keeps and will keep its opposition against the cultivation of the Monsanto 810 maize on our soil,” Sarkozy said.

Worst Company of 2011
In nominating Monsanto the Worst Company of 2011 we are hoping to raise awareness over the threat that Monsanto poses to human health and the environment. Genetically modified organisms will only continue to threaten all living creatures if not stopped. It is through spreading the word that real change will come about, and declaring Monsanto the Worst Company of 2011 is a great way to highlight all of their reckless actions.
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Texan for Gore
Posted: Jan 31 2012, 11:21 AM
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OWS Stands With Farmers, Says Enough! to Monsanto

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/01/31-0

Movement is calling for protests to support 60 family farmers, small seed businesses, organizations challenging Monsanto's patents on genetically modified seed
- Common Dreams staff
The Occupy Wall Street movement has highlighted the tremendous corporate greed and power that has benefited the 1%.

One company helping the 1% is Monsanto. Food Democracy Now! writes that:

Monsanto’s seed monopoly has grown so powerful that they control the genetics of nearly 90% of five major commodity crops including corn, soybeans, cotton, canola and sugar beets.

Monsanto's genetically modified seed can contaminate non-gmo fields allowing the company to sue for seed theft. Food Democracy Now! continues:

In many cases farmers are forced to stop growing certain crops to avoid genetic contamination and potential lawsuits. Between 1997 and 2010, Monsanto admits to filing 144 lawsuits against America’s family farmers, while settling another 700 out of court for undisclosed amounts. Due to these aggressive lawsuits, Monsanto has created an atmosphere of fear in rural America and driven dozens of farmers into bankruptcy.

Today, the Occupy movement is seizing the moment to highlight this corporate power.

The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) writes:

On January 23, over 20,000 people poured into the streets of Berlin to say that they have had enough of industrial agriculture. The demands made in Germany can be heard all over the world starting with fair treatment of farmers and consumers, safe food, an end to food speculation and a respect for nature and the welfare of animals.

[Today], in New York City, the Occupy Wall Street movement is calling for protests to support 60 family farmers, small and family-owned seed businesses, and agricultural organizations that are challenging Monsanto's patents on genetically modified seed in federal court.

Like the Germans, it time for us to say, “We’ve had enough!” of Monsanto’s agriculture. From super weeds to pest resistance in corn, genetically modified seeds have failed. Now Monsanto is turning to even more dangerous products with new varieties that will only increase the amount of herbicides in the environment.

At the heart of industrial agriculture is a long running conflict between corporations and farmers on who will control food production. Occupy Wall Street has come out on the side of farmers and all who eat to say, “We’ve had enough!”

Writing on the Care2, Beth Buczynski adds this background:

On January 31st, family farmers from across the county will take part in the first phase of the OSGATA et al. v. Monsanto court case filed to protect farmers from genetic trespass by Monsanto’s genetically modified (GMO) seed, which can contaminate organic and non-GMO farmers’ crops and open them up to abusive lawsuits.

As a result of aggressive lawsuits against farmers with contaminated crops, Monsanto has created an atmosphere of fear in rural America and driven dozens of farmers into bankruptcy.

But farmers are fighting back! The Federal District Court judge has agreed to hear oral arguments in this landmark case to decide whether or not this case will move forward.

Occupy Wall Street Food Justice, Occupy Big Food and Food Democracy Now! will assemble in solidarity with farmers on the front lines of the struggle against corporate domination of our food system.
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earthmother
Posted: Jan 31 2012, 03:28 PM
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I know we had a thread on this elsewhere, but I might as well bring it back into play here with these articles TfG has posted. I know some here said that it shouldn't matter that Obama was appointing anyone from Monsanto to the FDA. The argument was that the best, most qualified people with the most knowledge should be put in such positions. At the time, I backed down from my opposition of the appointments and admitted that yes, until the person is guilty of something at the FDA, the appointment is acceptable. But ya know what? I'm coming back around to my original position.

Anyone who was high up in Monsanto obviously drinks Monsanto's Kool-Aid (and what a vile mix that is). They have to be on board with genetically altered seed, herbicides, the company's policy of squashing small farmers, etc. Monsanto has a long history of pushing products on American farmers and consumers that are questionable at best, and harmful at worst.

Doesn't it stand to reason that a person who was high up in Monsanto's chain of command goes along with genetically-altered seed, harmful pesticides and herbicides, and the company's policy of rolling over small farmers? I don't think it would be possible to argue otherwise. And given that . . . well, I guess people here won't allow me to call it a fact . . . but given that very logical assumption . . . isn't such a person NOT someone we want high up in the agency that oversees the safety of our food, drugs, and chemicals? Unless the person left Monsanto because of objections to the company's policies, that person is NOT someone I want at the FDA.

You can argue that it's not right, not fair, not reasonable all you want. A person who believes that chemicals that initially promote the ability to grow mass quantities of food for the big farming industry but that ultimately wreak havoc on the ecosystem and health of humans, animals, insects, and plants is not a wise choice, IMO, for having any influence on the FDA.
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Texan for Gore
Posted: Jan 31 2012, 10:18 PM
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I wholeheartedly agree with everything you said, EM. And to be fair, I think the placing of someone who used to work for a given special interest industry - such as biotech, health insurance, big pharma or big oil to an administration position has been common practice for a good while now, at the expense of the American people as well as the same thing going on in other countries.. That's what I mean by not wanting someone in office who is going to continue the status quo. And the more I read, the more I learn, and there's a lot of frightening stuff out there - not to sound alarmist - but it's amazing how things going on with Monsanto are the same kinds of things that go on in the oil and gas industry, and others.

I encourage people to read up on the history of Monsanto, how they are gaining more and more control over the food industry. And today, I read an article at DU about this:

"Water industry, World Bank pilot new scheme to drive public water into private hands"

http://www.democraticunderground.com/101611134

I mean, it seems like all these different corporations want to control things that we depend on to survive and are taking away the livelihood of so many. It's something to think about.

Anyway, Obama is only one in all of this. Many in our system are responsible for allowing these kind of travesties to happen. But I certainly expected Obama to be different, hence all my past complaints.

A lot of these issues are too important to look at it from a partisan standpoint, though I know we are in better hands with a democrat in office. It's just that both sides are making these kinds of appointments and allowing big corporations to get away with so much and at our expense. When does it end?
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ReElectAlGore2016
Posted: Jan 31 2012, 10:20 PM
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Remember the on going fuss some people made about vaccinations being bad for people, and using data that was proven 100 times over on a quack doctor (Wakefield) who was proven to be a quack so many times, yet people stopped getting all vaccinations because of fear of what Wakefield was saying(even though it was proven false).

It has now brought back diseases eradicated for decades worldwide, and led to many people dying and children too because of fraudelent data.(let alone putting all other kids and pregnant women in danger too).

Whenever having conversations like this, it makes me wonder-
Why are cigarettes legal and even in existence? Known killing machines, that are even worse for 2nd and 3rd hand smoke being bad, yet people complain about rights being abused
for rules saying one can't smoke??? (let alone cell phones, the same).

Why the disconnect?
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Texan for Gore
Posted: Jan 31 2012, 10:25 PM
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http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/blogpo..._washingtonpost

Posted at 11:27 AM ET, 01/30/2012
Monsanto petition tells Obama: ‘Cease FDA ties to Monsanto’
By Elizabeth Flock

A two-year-old Food and Drug Administration appointment is stirring up online protests once more.


Activists in Germany protest a court decision to ban a type of genetically modified maize. (Nigel Treblin - AFP/GETTY IMAGES) In 2009, President Obama appointed Michael Taylor as a senior adviser for the FDA. Consumer groups protested the appointment because Taylor had formerly served as a vice president for Monsanto, the controversial agricultural multinational at the forefront of genetically modified food.

In recent days, a petition calling for the former Monsanto VP’s ouster is gaining steam.

“President Obama, I oppose your appointment of Michael Taylor,” the petition on Signon.org reads. “Taylor is the same person who was Food Safety Czar at the FDA when genetically modified organisms were allowed into the U.S. food supply without undergoing a single test to determine their safety or risks. This is a travesty.”

Over the weekend, the petition was signed by thousands of people. At this writing, it has around 60,000 signatures of its 75,000 goal.

Requests for comment from Monsanto and the FDA were not immediately returned.

Signees of the petition argue that Monsanto should not have influence at the FDA because it will hurt farmers and threaten plants and animals. They cite scientific research that has found genetically modified foods could be a cause for chronic illnesses or cancer in the U.S.

The petition was launched by Frederick Ravid, a financial analyst in Atlanta who also has a blog devoted to spirituality.

The petition calls Taylor’s appointment an example of a “fox watching the hen house.”

Taylor’s position, which is currently deputy commissioner for foods at the FDA, includes ensuring that food labels contain clear and accurate information, overseeing strategy for food safety and planning new food safety legislation. He is the first individual to hold the position.

Before he joined the FDA, Taylor was the vice president for Public Policy at Monsanto from 1998 to 2001. He has since worked for the FDA in a number of capacities, most recently returning to the administration as senior adviser to the commissioner in July 2009.

Taylor is quoted on the FDA Web site as saying he looked forward to “working in new ways ... to tackle the important challenges – and the unprecedented opportunities – we currently face.”

When Taylor’s appointment was announced, it was criticized by consumers and consumer advocates across the U.S. One such critical consumer advocate, Jeffrey Smith, who campaigns against genetically modified foods, wrote on his blog at the time: “The person who may be responsible for more food-related illness and death than anyone in history has just been made the US food safety czar. This is no joke.”

Smith cited as problematic Taylor’s prior involvement in overseeing the policy of Monsanto’s genetically engineered bovine growth hormone (rbGH/rbST). Milk from injected cows has been a controversial topic, Smith points out, with many medical organizations and hospitals speaking out against it.

Monsanto has been the focus of dozens of protests for a number of its policies over the years, including this TED talk from an 11-year-old:

On Monday, Monsanto announced that it was giving up plans to sell its insect-resistant maize in France, Farmers Weekly reports. The move was seen as another major blow for genetically modified food in Europe, where resistance has been fierce, with six EU countries banning the cultivation of genetically modified maize.
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earthmother
Posted: Jan 31 2012, 10:52 PM
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QUOTE (ReElectAlGore2016 @ Feb 1 2012, 03:20 AM)
Remember the on going fuss some people made about vaccinations being bad for people, and using data that was proven 100 times over on a quack doctor (Wakefield) who was proven to be a quack so many times, yet people stopped getting all vaccinations because of fear of what Wakefield was saying(even though it was proven false).

This is not some quack thing, Clay. Monsanto's products (and other corporations' as well) have already harmed wildlife and insect populations with their pesticides and herbicides, and there is evidence that these substances also harm humans, as do so-called Frankenfoods. Have we forgotten Rachel Carson already?

I remember a few years back when both bee and butterfly populations were decimated in many countries and the suspected culprit was genetically-modified crops. And there's no question that mass use of pesticides and herbicides is bad for the environment, insects, animals, and humans. This is fact, not fiction.

I live in New Jersey, the Garden State. One thin row of houses separates me from hundreds of acres of farms, farms that regularly spray huge quantities of pesticides and herbicides. This is still a somewhat rural area, and many people still have wells. One by one, people's wells are being shut down because the agricultural chemicals are leaching into the ground water. Right next door to my house there was a commercial rose grower until eight years ago. The rose farm moved and the township bought up the property to use as a baseball field. Can I tell you how many times they've had to strip another layer of soil and bring in new topsoil because when the soil was tested it was full of lead and arsenic (things you don't really want blowing around in the dust where children are playing). Lead and arsenic are both by-products of chemicals that are used in growing roses because they are so prone to insects and diseases (which is why I don't grow roses anymore, as much as I love them).

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004, every time I turned around another woman (in our very small town of 2,500 people) was being diagnosed also. The oncologist one of my friends went to in a nearby town was investigating this abnormal cluster of breast-cancer cases (there was also an abnormally high rate of stomach cancer in our town at the time). He believed that it had to do with our proximity to farms using all these chemicals. I'm not sure if a real causal relationship was ever established, but it does make you wonder.

We can't afford to ignore the damage caused by agricultural chemicals and genetically-modified foods. Our health and the health of the planet are at stake. We don't want another Silent Spring.
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Texan for Gore
Posted: Jan 31 2012, 11:03 PM
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That's terrible, EM. While it's hard to know how much impact those pesticides are having, it certainly is suspect. And cancer is one of those things that they say GMO's and these pesticides can cause. I was just watching this video and it's disturbing, to say the least and something to think about. Btw, if you use twitter and do a search on Monsanto, the tweets are burning up with info. on Monsanto, I guess particularly today since the farmers' case against them.

http://www.axiomatica.org/myvideos/video/130
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JamesAquila
Posted: Feb 1 2012, 12:14 PM
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Something in the above article jumped out at me:

QUOTE
Before he joined the FDA, Taylor was the vice president for Public Policy at Monsanto from 1998 to 2001.


So all this controversy is about someone who worked for Monsanto for 3 years over a decade ago.

A quick Google search found that over the past 20 years Mr. Taylor has spent more time working for the FDA and USDA than he has for Monsanto.

And before rejoining the FDA in 2009, he was not working for Monsanto but was a Research Professor of Health Policy at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services as well as a Senior Fellow at Resources for the Future, a non-profit organization that is researching ways to fight famine in Africa and contributed to the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to fight global warming.

This is the same kind of demonization of an individual using half truths, selected facts and guilt by association tactics that is employed by FAUX news and the right wing. It is despicable and those on the left who have engaged in it should be ashamed of themselves. They shown that they are no better the likes of Rush, O'Reilly and Hannity.
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Wayne in WA State
Posted: Feb 1 2012, 01:24 PM
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I have concerns about pesticides but the the scare over vaccines was indeed deliberate fraud that frightened millions and raises everyone's risk by reducing the overall vaccination rate.

from the British Medical Journal

http://www.bmj.com/content/342/bmj.c7452

As a parent of an autistic child I am particularly outraged by this vaccine scare mongering.
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Texan for Gore
Posted: Feb 1 2012, 01:46 PM
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Please, spare us the talking points, James. What is shameful is those that will defend our politicians at all costs, regardless of their actions or who they appoint to positions that are SUPPOSED to look out for the best interest of the people - NOT the corporations.

Michael Taylor started his early years as an attorney for King & Spalding, who represented Monsanto. This was in the 80's. In 1991, he went to the FDA as Deputy Commission of Policy. He then went to the USDA as Administrator of Food Safety and Inspection Service. He then had another stint at King & Spalding, then went to Monsanto as their VP of Public Policy.

Sure, he's been a professor and has done some research at George Washington University before returning to the FDA in 2009. I hadn't heard of his work as Senior Fellow at Resources for the Future, but as far as helping to fight famine in Africa, why don't you do some reseach on the Green Revolution in Africa, which mentions the use of pesticides and its correlations of higher cancer rates there. So, GMOs are once again at work. Preventing famine is a good thing, but causing other serious health problems is not.

I've seen nothing to indicate that Michael Taylor's motives have been altruistic. It's simply naive or delusional to think that his bouncing back and forth from King & Spalding to the FDA & USDA to Monsanto and back again to the FDA is not the equivalent of the fox watching the hen house.
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