White House refuses to reveal ties with Monsanto

Posted Feb 23, 2012 by Anne Sewell
Requests have been made under the Freedom of Information Act for President Obama to disclose discussions with Montanto-supporting lobbyists. Requests have been denied.
Monsanto's describes its "Roundup Ready Canola technology" as being able to provide farmers with in-the-seed tolerance to Roundup herbicides.
File photo courtesy Monsanto
Public Employees for Environment Responsibility (PEER), a US-based non-profit group demands that the White House comply with a request for information that could link the Obama administration with lobbyists who are involved with the Monsanto corporation.
Monsanto is an agricultural biotech company which is endeavouring to take over the world food supply with its genetically modified seeds and its herbicides.
Many farmers have been sued by the biotech giant for alleged “patent-infringement” caused by pollen from Monsanto’s GMO plants blowing over on to their fields and contaminating their crops. Many have lost the fight and also their farmlands to Monsanto.
Keith Weller
But 30 000 organic farmers across America are currently involved in a class-action suit to sue Monsanto to stop its war against independent growers, saying that they are not guilty of patent-infringement, but that Monsanto is guilty for contaminating their organic crops.
As the class-action suit grows, PEER suspects that the White House refuses to comply with the FOIA request because Monsanto possibly has some very powerful friends on Pennsylvania Avenue.
"We suspect the reason an industry lobbyist so cavalierly shared strategy is that the White House is part of that strategy," PEER staff counsel Kathryn Douglass tells the Truthout website. "The White House's legal posture is as credible as claiming Coca Cola's secret formula was 'inadvertently' left in a duffel bag at the bus station."
A former attorney for the US Department of Agriculture and lobbyist for Monsanto, Michael Taylor has been appointed to a federal role as Deputy Commissioner for foods at the FDA (United States Food and Drug Administration). Following this the FDA has refused consumer protection groups’ requests to label GMO products.
PEER earlier fought a battle to keep genetically engineered crops from being planted in wildlife refuges and won.