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The secret's out: Monsanto is Big Ag's top spender on lobbying, spending nearly $8.7 million annually on seed patents

Sunday, July 14, 2013 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Tags: Monsanto, seed patents, GMOs

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(NaturalNews) There is a reason why America's primary system of agriculture today centers around the cultivation of unsustainable genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) grown in a monoculture format and heavily sprayed with toxic pesticide chemicals. As revealed by the government transparency group OpenSecrets.org, this corporate system of industrial agriculture is dominated by Monsanto and other biotechnology interests, which collectively divests tens of millions of lobbying dollars every year to the federal government to ensure that GMOs are given agricultural preference.

The bought-and-paid-for political whores in Washington routinely accept cash payoffs in exchange for their loyalty to Big Ag interests, which include things like supporting pro-GMO "riders" attached to unrelated legislative bills, or opposing individual state bills that would require GMO labeling at the retail level. Monsanto lobbying funds are also used to sway the direction of the quinquennial Farm Bills, which for years have apportioned billions of dollars to subsidize GM commodity crops like corn, soy, and cotton at the expense of clean, organic crops.

"The industry's lobbying expenditures have steadily increased for the past decade and reached a record $34.6 million in 2009," explains a recent summary published by Steve Spires from the Center for Responsive Politics. "The top spender on lobbying that year was chemical giant Monsanto - the maker of Roundup pesticide - which spent nearly $8.7 million lobbying on issues like patent reform that affect its genetically modified seeds."

What this means is that Monsanto routinely donates tens of millions of dollars to corrupt politicians who, by accepting this blood money, quietly agree to support the multinational corporation's political and financial interests. In the U.S., this has meant more unlabeled GMOs, more environmental pollution, more damage to human health, and more expensive clean food, which is typically not subsidized and made artificially inexpensive using taxpayer dollars.

Monsanto has contributed more than $60 million since 1998 to congressional lobbying efforts

Throughout the past 15 years, Monsanto has contributed more than $60 million in lobbying money to dirty politicians to see its interests advanced, particularly in the American market, according to OpenSecrets.org. And the company's contributions have very gradually tapered since reaching a peak in 2008, a fact that illustrates how accommodative the Obama Administration has been in advancing Monsanto's agricultural takeover.

"After the election, and during Obama's term as president, people who had been working to label GMO food and warn the public of its huge dangers were shocked to the core," wrote investigative reporter Jon Rappoport in a 2012 article discussing the Obama Administration's blatant bait and switch on the issue of GMOs and GMO labeling.

"The new president filled key posts with Monsanto people, in federal agencies that wield tremendous force in food issues, the USDA and the FDA," he added, noting that Obama filled the key positions of USDA's Director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Deputy Commissioner of the FDA, Commissioner of the USDA, Agriculture Trade Representative, USDA Counsel, Secretary of State, and others with former Monsanto executives and lobbyists.

After making key inroads into the U.S. government via the Obama Administration, in other words, Monsanto has naturally had to spend an increasingly less amount of money on lobbying because the company now controls many of the key government positions responsible for forming and directing agricultural policy at the highest levels. So much for all those Obama promises about GMO transparency and labeling that were made back on the campaign trail - are any of his supporters even paying attention anymore?

American agriculture driven by big industry, not the people

Monsanto is hardly alone in its aggressive lobbying efforts. A laundry list of Big Ag companies is also guilty of engaging in unscrupulous and manipulative tactics to sway agricultural policy, and this list includes companies like Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), a major food processor; Syngenta AG, a major biotechnology company; CropLife America, a crop chemical trade association; and Dow Chemical, a leading crop chemical company.

Average people like you and me, however, are nowhere to be found on any of these lobbying contributor lists. And rightly so, as we are not greedy corporations seeking only to expand our bottom lines by making huge financial contributions to corrupt politicians. But the politicians who are supposed to be representing us against these corporate monoliths are no longer doing as, as they are too busy lining their pockets with corporate blood money.

These politicians really need to hear from us, and loudly. As a nation, we need real agricultural reform, and those who have sworn an oath to the people need to be held accountable for violating this oath by fighting against our interests.

You can contact your senators and representatives at the links below to demand that they pursue real agricultural reform and stop pandering to the interests of Big Ag and the biotech industry with their traitorous policy decisions:

Sources for this article include:







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