Worst Company EVER: Biotech Giant Monsanto is Under Attack, Obama and the FDA are Under the Gun

 

CREDO Action - Dump Michael Taylor

Via CREDO Action website

By Allison Hibbs

Monsanto, the multinational agricultural biotechnology corporation long reviled by organic farmers, environmentalists and conscientious foodies worldwide, has drawn more than the usual amount of rancor in recent months. While assailants are hoping the media blitzkrieg will prove as damaging to the company as they claim that its bioengineering and genetic modification practices are to the planet, that hope may prove optimistic in light of its cozy relationship with the United States federal government. Efforts to diminish that relationship have led to the recent circulation of more than one petition calling for the dismissal of FDA Food Safety Czar, Michael Taylor, a former top Monsanto executive.

One reason for the recent outrage is a perceived “crusade” by the FDA against small raw milk dairy farmers, many of whom are Amish, even as they overlook repeated violations by larger, industrial producers. CREDO, a publication of Working Assets, began a campaign in late January to educate and motivate consumers to sign a pledge beseeching President Obama to expel Taylor from the administration.

"While factory farm operators are getting away with serious food safety violations, raw milk dairy farmers and distributors across the country have been subjected to armed raids and hauled away in handcuffs."

CREDO Action

CREDO believes that the FDA’s efforts would be better spent enforcing food safety regulations at the largest industrial producers, where it claims that “antibiotic resistance has run amuck,” rather than focusing so much of the administration’s efforts on sting operations to arrest small dairy farmers.

"Incredibly, Michael Taylor and FDA inspectors have not arrested or fined the Iowa agribusinessman -- Jack DeCoster -- who was wholly responsible for the more than 500 million eggs that were recalled in 2010 salmonella-tainted egg recall. 3Though this industrial agribusinessman endangered the health of millions, Michael Taylor thinks Amish farmers producing fresh milk are more deserving targets of his FDA enforcement raids with guns drawn."

CREDO Action

 

The petition had garnered 151,160 signatures as of SuperBowl Sunday, 75 percent of its 200,000 goal.

SignOn.org Petition: Tell Obama to Cease FDA Ties to Monsanto

Another petition circulating on Twitter and Facebook had reached a total of 220,000 signatures by game time, far surpassing its original goal of 75,000. Written and circulated by Frederick Ravid, this petition includes a longer letter to the president, expressing opposition to the his administration’s appointment of Taylor three years ago.

“Taylor is the same person who as a high-ranking official at the FDA in the 1990s promoted allowing genetically modified organisms into the U.S. food supply without undergoing a single test to determine their safety or risks,” reads the letter. “This is a travesty.” Pointing out that Taylor was in charge of policy regarding the widely-opposed bovine growth hormone and that he fought against the requirement for disclosures on milk from cows that had been treated with the hormone, Ravid goes on to decry Monsanto as a company directly threatening the health and well-being of US citizens.

Reinforcing these concerns are WikiLeaks documents that surfaced last year implicating the Bush administration in questionable tactics used against countries in Europe to impel them to purchase Monsanto GMO products that they were resisting. Other documents imply that the US government considered putting pressure on the Pope to come out in favor of GMO foods. If any such actions were taken, they have proven largely unsuccessful and Monsanto has been repeatedly thwarted in France, Germany and the UK.

 

Additionally, lawsuits have been brought against the biotech giant by India and Canada for biopiracy and biocontamination, respectively; and a group of 270,000 American organic farmers are also suing the company for biocontamination. Ironically, the move is intended to protect these farmers against possible patent-infringement lawsuits brought by Monsanto over GMO seeds that have migrated to – and compromised – their lands.

For all of these reasons (and more), Monsanto has been voted Worst Company of 2011 by Natural Society, and the public seems increasingly to agree. As the acrimony grows, it is beginning to look like the corporation’s PR department has some serious damage control to do if it hopes to retain any influence over government activity.  It is, after all, an election year and Obama may not have the luxury of ignoring so many voters crying “Why, O, why?”

The Whipping Boy: Obama Takes Previous President’s Scrutiny In Stride

Written by: Alexis Poole

Recently, President Obama appeared on ABC World News with Diane Sawyer and responded to scrutiny by Newt Gingrich, calling him “the most effective [food stamp] president.” Rather than debase himself to name-calling and slander, Obama chose to focus on the issues at hand, saying that he’s leaving it up to Americans to decide “who reflects the sort of core values that helped create this country–the values of hard work, responsibility, but also looking out for one another–and who is tapping into some of our worst instincts.”

With such diplomatic answers, Sawyer leans and implies, “Watching the debates?”

Obama shook his head saying, “You know, I don’t watch the debates, I gotta say. Now I read the reports, and what I get a sense of is that whoever wins the Republican primaries is going to be a standard bearer for the vision of the country that I don’t think reflects who we are.”

By not watching the debate, Obama focuses on the facts that have culminated to our country’s current state, rather than view sensationalized debates that have been watered down to slanderous disrespect and a riddling off of certain keywords and phrases used to illicit a positive response from would-be constituents. Hopefully, his charts and graphs are better than what we’ve been subjected to.

Chart of many mistakes

Given the mistakes, could you trust this author's credibility?

Separating the Jelly Beans Fact From Fiction

As we move from reading our news in papers onto reading primarily on the Internet, we must take into consideration the time lost in heavy research and who stands to gain from our inability or sheer lack of inclination to fact check all we come across through fast channels like Twitter and Facebook. Election time always brings out the emotional side in us all, tugging at purse strings and heart strings like a puppeteer. However, as American citizens, it is our duty to choose a worthy candidate through means of logic. And that’s where this chart falls flat, at the peril of MrConservative.com.

Since when does 8.5 percent minus 7.8 percent equal a difference of 9 percent?

When graphs like this one are presented, it’s our duty to use all the skills that our educated selves can conjure up and look at everything from an OBJECTIVE perspective. It also helps if we can add and subtract, unlike the odd math in row 2: Unemployment Rate.

First of all, subtracting percentages is simple enough. In the case of row 2, where the difference between 8.5 and 7.8 is somehow bigger than either initial number, the chart creator’s credibility comes into play. One could suggest that the percentages in row 2 should have been number of people in the millions, where a difference between them could very well be 9%–but since Mr. Conservative can’t edit his own work, his credibility is shot, as should anyone’s trust in him.

Secondly, in order for a chart to be accurate, it must compare separate and equal entities. If the chart presented the responses of a number of people who favored one jellybean flavor over another, we should all be able to agree that no matter how many different flavors presented, we’d still be talking about jellybeans.

According to the above chart, the ‘Inauguration Day’ column stands for, and could have been more accurately titled, ‘Pre-Obama’. Two presidential terms’ worth of George Bush, Jr equals the figures in the first column, whereas the middle column ‘Today’ combines the figures of both Bush terms and Obama’s singular term. To be completely fair, a graph would have to compare presidents’ contributions singularly and side-by-side; For example…We would ONLY have 14 million people on SNAP benefits (food stamps) if it wasn’t for Bush’s initial “contribution” of 32 million. While the numbers have indeed risen in almost every category, Obama’s “contributions” to these issues are far less than what he was presented with when he took office. Our deficit would only be $4.6 trillion if it wasn’t for Bush’s “contribution” of $10.6 trillion.

Instead of focusing on the differences however, we should be wondering how we incurred a deficit (of any size) to begin with. We all pay our taxes every year, we all get taxes taken out of our checks, some more than others. What is any elected official doing with our tax dollars? We need to be objective and prioritize our expectations. We know we elect human beings for president. Can we expect one human being (a president) or one group of human beings (an Administration) to clean up two terms’ worth of declining numbers AND make every American prosperous and happy? AND IN ONE TERM, no less?! We know the presidents we elect are human. We hope whoever holds the next term is HUMANE as well. Compared to Bush Jr. and the wildcard Mitt Romney, Obama might be the most humane of all…that is, unless we turn a little more attention to Ron Paul.