Bush Names Monsanto Executive for Senior EPA Job (GMO food related)greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
Ken, I didn't know where something related to GMO foods should go. Sorry, move it if you like. I guess it could be considered political too. If that gets it shot down, so be it!
Here's a snippet:
Bush Names Monsanto Executive for Senior EPA Job
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An executive with Monsanto Co, a leading developer of biotech foods, has been nominated for the second-ranking job at the Environmental Protection Agency (news - web sites), the White House said on Tuesday.
Linda Fisher, who worked for the EPA for 10 years before heading Monsanto's Washington lobbying office, was nominated for the post of deputy administrator. Fisher also served on a U.S. Agriculture Department advisory committee on biotech foods.
One of the major issues currently before the EPA is a request from Aventis SA to approve a genetically- modified corn known as StarLink for human consumption. StarLink, a variety altered to repel pests, was barred from human food in 1998 due to concerns that it might trigger allergic reactions in some people."
There's more at: LINK
Appears to be a case of setting the fox in charge of the hen house. My personal opinion.
-- Joy F [in So. Wisconsin] (CatFlunky@excite.com), May 03, 2001
Very interesting Joy. As the far right watches for the black helicopters, the guys that want to take over the seed source for the whole world are now going to have a part in protecting the environment??? "And the band played on".
-- diane (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 04, 2001.
what, WHat? WHAT!!!
How typical... So I guess its a sure thing they will win their lawsuits against our farmers here in this country, now, too....
Sorry guys... Can't express the anger... where's my gun???!!!
-- Sue Diederich (email@example.com), May 04, 2001.
Hey "other Joy" catching up on posts, this one really scary! Still learning about genetically modified seed, but common sense says this is one hot potatoe to deal with! Monsanto scares the"@#$%" out of me they are so powerful! Thanks for the post, Joy
-- Joy (JNews firstname.lastname@example.org), May 04, 2001.
This is so outrageous!! Within a few years, we won't be able to grow anything as organic seeds get mutated with this garbage. What will this do to the animals (not to mention humans) who consume this feed? Thanks Joy for the information. How upsetting!
-- Mary in East Tn (email@example.com), May 06, 2001.
Interesting how people jump to conclusions!
I speak as someone who worked for Monsanto for a while and was involved in precision agriculture. I also speak as someone who raises organic eggs and drinks organic whole milk! grows vegetables in the summer and will spray roundup around my fences because I hate to use the weed wacker near a wire fence. I know the risks and the benefits of using chemical and organic means to raise food for my family.
The claims of what impact GMOs have on the environment and on others needs to be backed up with real science. I believe that Christy Todd Whitman and the folks at the EPA have this in mind and the Bush administration are hiring the best people for the job. I have no problem in appointments of people who are emminently qualified to fill positions that require some specific knowledge.
I am prepared to give them the opportunity to show strong leadership when it comes to the Aventis starlink deal. I believe that the starlink debaucle was a result of the previous administrations ineptitude. Aventis was keen to get a product to market and the EPA should have been more diligient in demanding more testing.
I believe that GMOs do have a roll to play in reducing the amount of chemicals that we use to raise crops. I do not think that they are the answer to everything but have a place.
In a recent Frontline story on PBS they were emphasising how little the American consumer knows about the food that they eat. They probably would be surprised to know how much chemicals are used to get the shiny apples they like to buy in the supermarket. They would be surprised to know how much different an organic egg tastes to one from the store.
The kind of consumer reacion that has come from Europe is interesting, they have much more of a feel for the aethetics of food and thus are more emotional about where it comes from. My mother lives in Venice and goes daily to the market to buy fresh vegetables and meat. They do not eat much beef (not because of Mad Cow Disease) but because of the high price!
I hope that the current administration evaluates each application with the same amount of scrutiny and we the consumers will benefit from what science has to offer. If the best person comes from a life Science company then so be it!
-- John Mansel-Pleydell (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 07, 2001.
I have read your post several times and must admit I must be a bit dense because I still am not quite sure what your point was. Are you applauding President Bush's choice??? Declaring the american consumer undiscrimating therefore unable to make an educated decision regarding GMO foods? I sir have read most everything that I can get my hands on in the mainstream press, farm papers and on the internet regarding the GMOs, Monsanto and their subsidiaries. I find nothing to make me think that Mansanto has anyone's interest at heart except making money, no matter what the cost to the environment or to people like me, who save seed and wish to preserve a way of life that is fast becoming extinct and unavailable to most people.
I would think that, if you were wanting scientific evidence regarding the lack of safety, it would not be very hard to find. I would like to see some REAL scientific evidence that they are safe before they are loosed on the world.
-- diane (email@example.com), May 07, 2001.
Would you be so kind as to elaborate on this statement?
"I believe that GMOs do have a roll to play in reducing the amount of chemicals that we use to raise crops. "
Thank you very much,
-- Earthmama (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 07, 2001.
John M-P, I am in agreement with Diane, in that I'm not clear on your point or points. But I will attempt to address your paragraphs.
The claims of what impact GMOs have on the environment and on others needs to be backed up with real science. I believe that Christy Todd Whitman and the folks at the EPA have this in mind and the Bush administration are hiring the best people for the job. On the contrary, GMO's need to have solid scientific proof that they will not cause harm to anything else in the environment, whether that be heirloom or hybrid seed, humans, or butterflies. Are you old enough to remember DDT, which was deemed safe, and what it did to the environment? It's a banned chemical now in this country. The damage is being repaired, but it still persists in the environment. The entire history of human intervention is permeated with incidents of "Oops, we didn't know that would happen!" As far as Whitman and Bush, I'm not sure they're even playing in the same stadium. She keeps making statements that have to be retracted because Bush contradicts her. IMO, it's a odd relationship.
"I am prepared to give them the opportunity to show strong leadership when it comes to the Aventis starlink deal. I believe that the starlink debaucle was a result of the previous administrations ineptitude. Aventis was keen to get a product to market and the EPA should have been more diligient in demanding more testing." What about those of us who are NOT prepared to give them that opportunity? And it's my understanding that no one is yet certain HOW the Starlink corn got mixed with corn for human consumption. This debacle shows that it is quite difficult to keep differing crops apart, especially in huge agri-business production. Human error happens all the time. Our food is too important -- as in, we can't live with out it -- to be casually risked.
"I believe that GMOs do have a roll to play in reducing the amount of chemicals that we use to raise crops. I do not think that they are the answer to everything but have a place." You might be interested in reading an article by Donella Meadows in the Sept. 2000 issue of Organic Gardening. It is about the claims that the world cannot be fed using organically-raised, non-GMO food (i.e., that chemicals and GMO's are necessary to feed us all), with which she disagreed. The article outlines how it would be feasible in all ways, including economically. And when it is possible to do that, WHY would anyone want to use chemicals or GMO's? Of course, the companies that produce them want them to go on being used, whether we need them or not, and many of us believe, whether they harm us or not.
"In a recent Frontline story on PBS they were emphasising how little the American consumer knows about the food that they eat. They probably would be surprised to know how much chemicals are used to get the shiny apples they like to buy in the supermarket. They would be surprised to know how much different an organic egg tastes to one from the store." The people on this forum are very aware of the amount of chemicals used to grow "conventional" fruits and vegetables, and the differences in taste of an organically-raised, genuinely "farm-fresh" egg. It is a constantly mentioned reality and a major reason that folks here grow/raise their own food. So what are you getting at? That may be a true statement of the majority of American consumers, but more are becoming aware all the time. Many have become PAINFULLY aware, due to developing chemical sensitivities and food allergies. Lots of them here!
The bottom line, for me and many others like me, is that we want to control what we consume. We do not want our choices taken away from us, and we want to be ABLE to obtain unadulterated foods. Whether we are right or wrong about the impact of GMO's, why should ANYONE else be allowed to take our choices from us?
-- Joy F [in So. Wisconsin] (CatFlunky@excite.com), May 07, 2001.
More stuff to look at:
http://www.purefood.org/monlink.html Especially this next link, which is truly mind-boggling, the In the Spotlight article
Another one of the little guy fighting the giants:
And of course, you can go look at Monsanto's web site:
-- Joy F [in So. Wisconsin] (CatFlunky@excite.com), May 08, 2001.
Thanks for the great links, Joy, and here's a couple more about a study showing how fields of Roundup Ready Soybeans actually require MORE herbicide!!
If you were astute enough to realize it was a no-brainer this would happen, and still support GEO technology because you think it will result in less PESTICIDE usage, perhaps you don't mind that our fellow humans would be eating food grown with the pesticide already ingtegrated into the plant. For my part, I will fight like hell to be rid of it.
-- Earthmama (email@example.com), May 08, 2001.
whoops, forgot the link:
-- Earthmama (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 08, 2001.
So John, have you been working for Monsanto in the P-R department? Sounds like it. I have to agree with all of the above posts, except yours, of course. And regarding the Aventis Starlink problem, it does not surprise me that you would be anxious for a swift resolution that would leave your company in a better position by wiping out the competition. Will you be so anxious to see a resolution when people start having real problems with Roundup Ready soybeans and other Monsanto mutilations?
-- Laura Jensen (email@example.com), May 08, 2001.
Monsanto manufactures bgh bovine growth hormone .I wonder if other employees of mansanto are drinking organic milk while they have encourage BGH use on our nations milk supply.I bet that most of these chemical pushers don't get high on their own supply.I thing the owners of these companys and their higher paid employees feed their families organic food cause they are aware of what they are pushing on the general public is unsafe
-- SM Steve (A12goat@cs.com), May 08, 2001.
VERY good point, Steve! I missed that connection!
-- Joy F [in So. Wisconsin] (CatFlunky@excite.com), May 08, 2001.
The Monsanto executives were probably former tobacco companies execs who told the public that smoking was not harmful to their health. Duh!
-- Judy Murray (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 09, 2001.
Now... purely in interest of fairness.... Linda Fisher is immanently qualified to work for the EPA. They are little more than lobbiests within the government anyway! John sounds a lot like a person on the BHM forum.
She is more qualified than most anyone for her new position. After all... how many realize what it takes to be a lobbyist?? To know and have a working relationship with one or more highly placed Senators, you are qualified. It doesn't matter how one acquires these relationships.... (I won't go there, but you know where I was headed!)
As for GMO and chemicals in the food, every time humanity has tried to play God, they've gotten kicked in their collective a**es. I don't like using, contacting or being anywhere near most synthetic chemicals, let alone eating them!!
Somewhere somplace (can't remember where) there was a quote from a supposed prominent scientist to the effect that they never realized this stuff would cross pollinate with other crops. Never thought it would be an issue. Cracker Jacks is still giving out college degrees, I see!!! (A plant will not produce any pollen?????? Wouldn't that be about the only way it could not 'polllinate' something???)
Someday, people will wake up and realize that nothing in this world happens by accident.......
Until then, we totally and completely at the mercy of those who already know this.
-- Sue Diederich (email@example.com), May 09, 2001.
HA HA you guys are so funny.
I get my milk from an organic dairy farm and there are no hormones BGH or otherwise.
I do not work for Monsanto any more, nor am I an agronomist any more. Reason -- I don't like chemicals. I got the job because I needed the money. We worked in precision agriculture using GPS to gather data on corn production. It was interesting and it paid the bills. I am not beholden to them and all your snide remarks just show your ignorance about the real world.
But in some industries there is a need to find alternatives to the current methods of pest control. Case in point is the Cotton Industry where the use of chemicals is amazingly high. The use of BT cotton has lessened the impact on the environment and made cotton still viable for farmers to grow.
I will agree that Roundup Ready Soybeans are just a way of selling more Roundup. In fact I would go as far as to say that it was a pretty slick company that turned a product that was showing signs of herbicide resistance (in Australia) and found a way to put the resistance gene into a crop and sell the crop. What's wrong with making money? You talk like that is a crime. That is capitalism my friend!
Earthmama - Roundup is still safer that a lot of the alternatives.They are going to keep growing beans they may as well use the safest ones.
I state again I do not like chemicals. I worked with them as an agronomist for many years.
My central point and that was the purpose of the post in the first place is that it makes a lot of sense to have chosen someone with knowledge of an industry to work in a government job that requires some knowledge.
I think that the past administration did the whole country a disservice by appointing political hacks to important positions.They had no qualifications just happened to be owed a favor by some democrat somewhere.
In the original post it is assumed that because the appointee has worked for Monsanto that "the fox is in charge of the henhouse" I would contend that unlike the previous administration, the buck stops with President Bush. We will have no problems with "the definition of is" we will have decisions based on science and common sense.
I know that Clinton spoiled the henhouse by raping all the chickens but there's a new farmer in town and he is different! he puts America before himself.
some of you guys have far too much time on your hands
I'm off to spray some roundup and plant some BT corn it beats trying to get through to the idealogues on this list.
-- John Mansel-Pleydell (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 16, 2001.