Monsanto among the worst corporate lobbyists
New Internationalist, Issue 439
Saving the world: Monsanto
Why lobby the government when you can be part of it? Former Monsanto vice-president Michael Taylor is now a senior adviser to the US Food and Drug Administration going from a corporation that aggressively promotes its genetically modified crops to a body that advises on food safety.
The Obama administration is littered with former Monsanto employees who are now in positions of power. Islam Siddiqui, vice-president of Monsanto-funded lobby group CropLife is now a negotiator for the US Trade Representative on agriculture. Roger Beachy, a former director of a Monsanto-funded plant science centre has become the director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture.1
Regardless of these insiders, biotech giant Monsanto still feels the need to be heard, investing more than $6.5 million on lobbying the US administration in 2010.2
At the UN climate talks in Copenhagen in 2009, Monsanto lobbyists promoted GM crops as a solution to climate change, earning themselves the dubious distinction of the Angry Mermaid Award.3 Monsanto argues that GM crops, such as Round-up Ready soy, minimize the loss of CO2 from the soil conveniently ignoring the impacts on water, soil and the climate of their chemical-dependent growing methods. Chemicals which Monsanto also conveniently manufactures.
The biotech company is pushing the case for its crops being grown with ‘no till’ farming methods which don’t disturb carbon in the soil. Thus it can hope to pocket carbon credits and further its ongoing campaign to make its products an indispensable part of saving the world.4
Monsanto is also an active member of the Roundtable on Responsible Soy which is pushing its own ‘sustainability’ agenda in the EU which includes allowing GM soy to be used for biofuels.
Take it further: www.gmwatch.eu www.responsibletechnology.org
READ about the other nine offenders at http://www.newint.org/features/2011/01/01/10-worst-corporate-lobbyists/