Originally published September 14 2015
Democrats and Republicans are both in bed with Monsanto
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) In the 1990s, during the administration of President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore, agribusiness giant and GMO king Monsanto had good friends in the White House.
As noted in the September 2015 issue of Harper's Magazine, the love shown to Monsanto by the Clinton Administration was consistent with the White House's corporate-friendly approach to issues concerning the environment.
For example, the magazine noted, when the French government hesitated in permitting genetically modified corn into the country over concerns of consumer safety and threats to non-GMO crops, President Clinton, along with his Secretary of State, National Security Advisor and assorted U.S. senators, all took up Monsanto's cause. Eventually, the French government agreed when Gore himself telephoned the French prime minister in a bid to lobby on Monsanto's behalf.
Also, the magazine noted:
Washington's revolving door whirled many Clinton Administration officials onto the Monsanto payroll, while the president's committee of science and technology advisers included Virginia Weldon, the corporation's senior vice president for public policy.
In those days, the magazine reported, glyphosate – the primary ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup herbicide – was the company's primary moneymaker. And though it was opposed from the outset by a number of environmental organizations, the Clinton Administration doubled down on Monsanto.
Al Gore – convenient environmentalistThis included Gore, of course, whose book, Earth in the Balance, published in 1992 – the year he and Clinton were first elected – seemed to position him as the new administration's biggest environmental champion.
But it was not to be. Though Gore and, to a lesser extent, Clinton, continued to champion such causes on the surface, their legislative and executive efforts told a much different story, namely, that corporations like Monsanto, which kept up steady streams of "campaign contributions," were where their allegiances really were.
This included the formation, in 1997, of the Biodiversity and Ecosystems Panel, which was established by Clinton's circle of scientific advisors. The primary issue at the time of formation was the study of invasive species of weeds; the panel was chaired by a man named Peter Raven.
Raven, a botanist, was listed by the White House as director of the Missouri Botanical Garden, based in St. Louis and not far from the HQ of Monsanto. Under his directorship, the garden's growth exploded, owed in large part to the beneficence of none other than Monsanto which, at the time, was in the process of a major PR campaign to change its reputation as a chemical company and maker of Agent Orange into a more eco-friendly entity.
Enter invasive species: Raven's panel recommended aggressive action, and that got immediate traction within the Clinton Administration.
"The invasion of noxious weeds has created a level of destruction to America's environment and economy that is matched only by the damage caused by floods, earthquakes, wildfire, hurricanes, and mudslides," cried Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt when the report was released.
Both parties are guiltyWithin the year, Clinton signed Executive Order 13112, creating the National Invasive Species Council "to prevent the introduction of invasive species and provide for their control and to minimize the economic, ecological, and human health impacts that invasive species cause."
One of the founding members of the council's advisory committee was Nelroy E. Jackson, who just happened to be the product-development manager and weed scientist for Monsanto, and who had helped to develop Roundup formulations specifically for "habitat-restoration markets" — that is, for exterminating invasive species.
The incestuous relationship between the Democrats and Monsanto stretches into the Obama Administration as well, to include Hillary Clinton and other government officials, as noted by Blacklisted News.
But Republicans are just as compromised, the site notes.
That would include U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo, who introduced legislation in Congress to block all state-sponsored efforts to require GMO labeling of foods.
And, as you can see from the list of bill sponsors, both Democrats and Republicans support it.
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