FDA

Former Monsanto Lawyer Hired by FDA as Key Advisor

Thursday, November 19, 2009 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer
Tags: Monsanto, FDA, health news

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(NaturalNews) A former lobbyist and Monsanto employee who is credited with playing an instrumental role in introducing genetically modified milk and known carcinogens into the U.S. Food supply has been hired as a key advisor for the FDA.

Michael Taylor has been hired to advise Margaret Hamburg, the FDA's commissioner of food and drugs. In his new position, Taylor will also work with the FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, the Center for Veterinary Medicine, the Office of Regulatory Affairs, Congress and the White House.

Taylor's FDA career began in 1976, when he served as an attorney for the agency. From 1981 to 1991, Taylor functioned as a private attorney and lobbyist. During this time period, he wrote numerous articles criticizing the 1958 Delaney Clause, which prohibited known carcinogens from being introduced into the food supply. A number of chemical and pesticide companies had long been critical of the law, including agrochemical and genetic engineering giant Monsanto Corporation. Taylor rejoined the FDA from 1991 to 1994, serving as deputy commissioner for policy.

At this time, Taylor remained an outspoken opponent of the Delaney Clause. The law was repealed in 1996. He is also widely viewed as instrumental in securing agency approval for Monsanto's recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH), an artificial hormone that is used to increase milk production in cattle. After leaving the FDA, Taylor served as Monsanto's vice president for public policy from 1998 to 2000.

Taylor's long history of close ties with Monsanto led to a Government Accountability Office investigation into whether the rBGH approval process had been influenced by conflicts of interest.

"The FDA allowed corporate influence to run rampant in its approval" of rBGH, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders said.

Taylor also played a key role in the FDA decision to treat genetically modified organisms as "substantially equivalent" to unmodified organisms, thus bypassing the need for safety studies or labeling or those ingredients.

Sources for this story include: www.bizjournals.com; www.prisonplanet.com.

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