The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently approved the sale
of Monsanto’s GE corn, MON 87460, but reports are surfacing showing the world’s largest seed company has strong connections deep within the federal government.
Wikileaks cables released in early 2011 show the seed giant has been influencing international decisions, including having American diplomats create a “target retaliation list” as far back as 2007 against countries such as France who had wanted a ban on Monsanto’s GE corn.
“Country team Paris recommends that we calibrate a target retaliation list that causes some pain across the EU since this is a collective responsibility, but that also focuses in part on the worst culprits,” wrote Craig Stapleton, the U.S. ambassador to France, according to the Guardian
Stapleton, a business partner with former president George W. Bush, added, “The list should be measured rather than vicious and must be sustainable over the long term, since we should not expect an early victory. Moving to retaliation will make clear that the current path has real costs to EU interests and could help strengthen European pro-biotech voices.”
states there is mounting evidence which links Monsanto’s MON 87460 corn to organ damage and environmental devastation.
In addition to Stapleton’s influencing attempts on foreign governments, diplomats also targeted Catholic leaders initially opposed to GM foods. Another Wikileaks cable from the US embassy in the Vatican stated, “Opportunities exist to press the issue with the Vatican, and in turn to influence a wide segment of the population in Europe and the developing world,” the Guardian reports.
Monsanto’s sway in the federal government also extends into the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), dating back at least a decade. Margaret Miller, a former Monsanto employee who did research on the company’s Posilac (rBGH), a synthetic bovine growth hormone, landed a job with the FDA where she was able to review her own research, Organic Consumers
Michael Taylor, a Monsanto lawyer, was hired by the FDA to a position overseeing the rBGH approval process.
The Ottawa-based NGO Action Group on Erosion, Technology and Conservation (ETC Group) released a report in December showing mega corporations and the U.S. military are forging relationships to control
the green economy’s biomass movement.
During the third quarter of 2011, Monsanto spent $2 million in its lobbying efforts with the U.S. government, an almost 18 percent increase over lobby spending during the previous quarter.