above, for articles in
An Open Letter to Hillary Clinton
By polling logic, I should be your supporter -
Democrat, older woman, white, liberal. I was even in a dorm with you in college.
I have pulled for you for years. But something this past summer fundamentally
changed my responsibility to my children and grandchildren. In the time I have
left in my life to protect them and others, I need to speak out.
I saw a
News Hour piece on Maharastra, India, about farmers committing suicide.
Monsanto, a US agricultural giant, hired Bollywood actors for ads telling
illiterate farmers they could get rich (by their standards) from big yields with
Monsanto's Bt (genetically engineered) cotton seeds. The expensive seeds needed
expensive fertilizer and pesticides (Monsanto, again) and irrigation. There is
no irrigation there. Crops failed. Farmers had larger debt than they'd ever
And farmers couldn't collect seeds from their own fields to
try again (true since time immemorial). Monsanto "patents" their DNA-altered
seeds as "intellectual property." They have a $10 million budget and a staff of
75 devoted solely to prosecuting farmers. (SEE http://www.grist.org/comments/food/2008/01/17./). Since the late
1990s (about when industrial agriculture took hold in India),166,000 Indian
farmers have committed suicide and 8 million have left the land.
in Europe, Asia, Africa, Indonesia,South America, Central America and here, have
protested Monsanto and genetic engineering for years.
this have to do with you?
You have connections to Monsanto
through the Rose Law Firm where you worked and through Bill who hired Monsanto
people for central food-related roles. Your Orwellian-named "Rural Americans for
Hillary" was planned with Troutman Sanders, Monsanto's lobbyists.
engineering and industrialized food and animal production all come together at
the Rose Law Firm, which represents the world's largest GE corporation
(Monsanto), GE's most controversial project (DP&L's - now Monsanto's -
terminator genes), the world's largest meat producer (Tyson), the world's
largest retailer and a dominant food retailer (Walmart).
of Rose's legal representation of corporations which own controlling interests
in other corporations there and of corporate boards sharing members who are also
shareholders of each other's corporations there, is so thorough that it is hard
to capture. Jon Jacoby, senior executive of the Stephens Group - one of the
largest institutional shareholders of Tyson Foods, Walmart, DP&L - is also
Chairman of the Board of DP&L and arranged the Wal-Mart deal. Jackson
Stephens' Stephens Group staked Sam Walton and financed Tyson Foods. Monsanto
bought DP&L. All represented at Rose.
You didn't just work there,
you made friends. That shows in the flow of favors then and since. You were
invited onto Walmart's board, you were helped by a Tyson executive to make
commodity trades (3 days before Bill became governor), netting you $100,000,
Jackson Stephens strongly backed Bill for Governor, and then for President (donating $100,000).
and friends, in Clinton terms:
Bill's appointed friend Mike
Espy, Secretary of Agriculture, who immediately significantly weakened federal
chicken waste and contamination standards, opening the door to major expansion
of Tyson's chicken factory
farms. Espy resigned, indicted for accepting bribes, illegal contributions,
money laundering, illegal dispersal of USDA subsidies, .... Tyson Foods was the largest
what Bill did for Monsanto "genetic engineering" goes beyond inadequate concepts
of giving corporate friends influence: He unleashed genetic engineering into the
world. And then he helped close off people's escape from it.
engineering is many orders of magnitude different from "normal" (even polluting)
business in its potential biologic ramifications. The warning myth of Pandora'a
Box - letting irretrievable things rush out into nature - has become real. The
harrowing change to the world from nuclear fission and fusion is the closest
What did Bill do?
1. Bill's put
Monsanto people in at the FDA, as U.S. Agricultural Trade Representatives, on
International Biotechnology Consultive Forums, and more ... (http://www.commondreams.org/headlines/072600-03.htm
) or http://www.monitor.net/monitor/9904b/monsantofda.html or
2. Bill's FDA gave Monsanto permission to market rBGH (a GE bovine
growth hormone), the first genetically engineered product let loose on us (or
did tomatoes with fish DNA get there first?).
3. Despite reports of
bovine illness and death, Bill's FDA did not recall it or put warnings on it.
Even "a very angry, very vocal nationwide
consumer base" had no impact. "
4. Bill's FDA wouldn't even label
rBGH as "present" in milk.
5. When dairy farmers tried to label their own
milk rBGH-free so the public could choose, Bill's USDA threatened all dairies
that their products could be confiscated from stores. Michael Taylor, USFDA
Deputy Commissioner, was formerly Monsanto's counsel.
6. How were
consumers to protect their family, given Bill's FDA enforced public blindness,
except to buy only organic? But Bill's FDA tried to close off that last escape,
proposing to include in "organic" standards, "the dirty three" a : genetic
engineering of plants and animals, use of irradiation in food processing and use
of municipal sewage sludge as a fertilizer. (My emphasis.) The FDA backed down.
this gone through, Monsanto could have finally labeled rBGH milk ... as
"organic." And animal waste from factory farms, a pollution nightmare for Tyson
and others, could have been sold as fertilizer.
USDA head Dan Glickman:
"This is probably the largest public response to an rule in modern history." In
fact the response was 20 times
greater than anything ever before proposed by the USDA.
I resent years of effort to protect my children and now grandchildren, from that
Politically, Bill sided against small farmers and against the
public's right to know, and with Monsanto.
A snap shot of our
Oils: Sheep died in India after feeding on Bt cotton
fields. We feed our children Bt cotton, as cottonseed oil in peanut butter
Grains: 49% of US corn acreage was planted in Bt corn in
2007. A French study proved Monsanto's GMO corn causes kidney and liver toxicity.
drinks and candy have highly concentrated Bt corn, in the form of high fructose
Bt corn syrup. The US food system depends most on two crops, soy (90% GMO, 90%
of traits owned by Monsanto) and corn, the largest crop (60% GMO, nearly 100%
Monsanto traits). " Essentially our entire food supply is genetically modified,
to the benefit of one company." The Grocery Manufacturers of America in 2000
estimated that 70
percent of US food contains GM traits.
Meat: Steroids bulk up
atheletes. Monsanto steroids bulk up animals - more weight, more profit. We feed
our children steroids in meats. Is this why our children are fattening, like
Hansel and Gretel?
Poultry: Bill's USDA weakened chicken waste and
contamination standards and attempted to allow sewage sludge as fertilize crops.
I will say more about disease from industrialized poultry farms waste, at the
end of this letter.
Milk: Over 30 scientific publications have shown
increased levels of IGF-1 in milk with rBGH increases risks of breast cancer by
up to seven-fold, also increasing colon and prostate cancers risks. Canada, 29
European nations, Norway, Switzerland, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, and South
Africa ban U.S. rBGH dairy products. Bill's USFDA put no restrictions, no warning labels (not
allowing labels at all). (My emphasis.)
children eat that food and drink that milk, Hillary. Coincidentally, American
children are increasingly fat and sick.
Here, Bill ignored pleas for
labeling. Abroad, Bill ignored intense international objections over the same
issue - unlabeled U.S. food exports - badly straining trading relations.
Monsanto's "good ole boy," he betrayed American families at the deepest levels
conceivable - their family's health and their democratic right to
betrayed our rural life and American family farmers - backing corporation deceit
and control, over honesty and clean farming.
But, HIllary, it is one
thing to not label a regular ole food product to sell it, and quite another to
sell a suspected-dangerous food product (rBGH), but Bill's administration didn't
label (or stop) a well-known, terrifying threat - Mad Cow Disease.
FDA's August, 1997 regulation permitted "known TSE-positive material to be used
in pet food, pig, chicken and fish feed," only requiring the label to read "Do
not feed to cattle and other ruminants" in the U.S.
Monsanto added to
the problem. "There is evidence that rbST use [Monsanto's GE bovine growth
hormone] reduces the useful lifespan of a dairy cow. ... Given that the
incubation period for BSE is at least three to five years and perhaps longer,
rbST-treated cows could harbor "hidden" BSE. That is, they might be infected but
still asymptomatic when sent to slaughter." (My emphasis.) http://www.consumersunion.org/food/bgh-codex.htm
Bill let TSE into our entire food chain. And who owned the feed and
slaughter and genetic engineering corporations whch benefitted?
tell me, Hillary, what he could possibly have gotten in friendship or favors,
that could ever justify his exposing millions of people to this?
genetic engineering itself, Bill did something to the whole world, which tried
to object. Words are inadequate to express how astoundingly immoral, beyond
human bounds and conceit and power, that was.
"Even for the biggest
"winners," it is like winning at poker on the Titanic." Jerry Mander: Facing the Rising Tide.
He had no
right. Do you hear that?
Bill had sex from Monica Lewinsky. That's "dinky immoral." That's
chicken feed immoral - excuse the Tyson pun, excuse the TSE-laced pun. Bill let
genetic engineering lose on NATURE itself.
"Our way of life is likely to
be more fundamentally transformed in the next several decades than in the
previous one thousand years...Tens of thousands of novel transgenic bacteria,
viruses, plants and animals could be released into the Earth's ecosystems...Some
of those releases, however, could wreak havoc with the planet's biospheres."
Jeremy Rifkin, Biotech Century
did this to us, like it was some nothing and he, some big dumb ass Southern boy,
just smiling and getting in good with the Big Boys, thinking about as much about
the consequences of something this immense and about us human beings out here,
as he thought about you, when he was unfaithful with Monica. Just one big fool
getting off on the power and used to getting away with things.
Terminator genes, developed by DP&L, a Rose Firm client, prevent
seeds from "working" after only one season. Farmers "must" repurchase (patents
and suing not certain enough control, it seems). Those "killing" genes pose the
apocalyptic risk of breaking out into nature. Natural seeds could fail, too.
Nature could fail.
GMO fields are already contaminating normal species Berkeley
Professor of Microbiology, Ignacio Chapela, wrote an open letter, warning the
Mexican government about just this breaking out phenomenon happening in maize
And it has already happened with
weeds - pesticide resistant GMO seeds break lose and weeds become pesticide-resistant Superweeds.
USDA spokesman, Willard Phelps said the USDA wanted the technology to be `widely licensed and
made expeditiously available to many seed companies.'
Engineering is often justified as a human technology, one that feeds more people
with better food. Nothing could be further from the truth. With very few
exceptions, the whole point of genetic engineering is to increase sales of
chemicals and bio-engineered products to dependent farmers." David Ehrenfield: Professor of Biology, Rutgers
Hillary, one third of the world's bee colonies
have collapsed. Gone. Farmers in India are killing themselves. Farmers and bees.
Since organic farmers in India are fine and organic farmers report no colony
collapse, what does these farming catatrophes say about "industrial
Mad Cow Disease is another direct result of industrial
agriculture. And now ... transnational poultry factories are implicated as the
source of bird flu. ... Small scale poultry farms and wild birds seem not to be
the problem [just as small farmers are not the issue in Mad Cow Disease], and
yet "initiatives are multiplying to ban outdoor poultry, squeeze out small
producers and restock farms with genetically modified chickens. ... http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/feb2006/2006-02-27-01.asp "Of the few outbreaks that did occur in
, more than 90%
broke out in commercial poultryoperations, not free-ranging flocks."
Monsanto (and others) is currently working with the USDA to
force small farmers to tag every animal with a global tracking device (NAIS -
National Animal Identification System). Allegedly related to food safety,
Monsanto and others would be creating a vast corporate digital
library on every move of small farmers's livestock.
farmers do not create the contaminated environments, do not supply the feed, do
not grind up diseased animals into feed (how Mad Cow began) and then sell it. In
fact, their farming methods, free range and small scale, are significantly
healthier and safer for animals and food than the massive concentration of
animals by corporate industrial agriculture.
Monsanto is also
aggressively pushing for state laws to limit farmers' right to choose what to
plant and the
public's right exclude GE plants from their communities.
bloated by steroids, lapse and loss of 10,000 year old normal seeds, immense
pollution from factory farms, deadly-disease-ridden feed, world-wide bee colony
collapse, poisoned soil and depleted water supplies, Superweeds, lawsuits against farmers, loss of family farms, and
... India farmers killing themselves in what may be the largest mass suicide in
recorded human history (on average ... one farmers' suicide every 30 minutes
since 2002 - The Hindu 1.30.08) - that is industrial agriculture.
and Tyson are two of the largest industrial agricultural corporations in the
world. Industrial agriculture is represented by your Rose Law Firm.
claim to care about food safety is terrifying double-speak given what Bill did
and who you take donations from. Your idea of a Department of Food Safety would
centralize control of food - in whose corporate connected hands? You talk tough
about labeling food - ah, but "foreign" food - a sleight of hand tricking a
public desperate for safe U.S. food. You talk about food safety but Bill
degraded food in every imaginable way and prevented minimally sane
I am a person before I am a woman. Your gender means nothing.
It is a media distraction. Your policies on health and food and women and
children, are meaningless in the face of connections that have threatened those
groups profoundly, connections you have never denounced.
Monsanto uses child labor in India, primarily very young girls,
exposing them to a lethal pesticide 13-14 hours a day, for pennies in pay. But
you take donations from their lobbyists. You say you care about black people but
as the poorest people in this country, they are least able to buy organic and
are forced to eat the contaminated foods Bill let into our food system. The
National Black Farmers Association has a boycott out on all Monsanto products.
Do you eat organic?
So, who are you with,
hapless black consumers and black farmers, or Monsanto? Mothers left to give
their children rBGH milk, or Monsanto? Women exposed to 7 times greater risk of
breast cancer, or Monsanto? Desperate farmers in India and young children forced
into child labor in cottonseed factories there, or Monsanto? Animals suffering
from lives in filthy cages and disgusting feedlots, shot up with steroids and
hormones and antibiotics, or Monsanto? Our children who eat candy with high
fructose Bt corn syrup associated with kidney and liver toxicity, or Monsanto?
Edwards was right about your corporate connections. I just didn't understand
until I saw that PBS show and read about Monsanto, how personally affected my
children and grandchildren, and all people around the world, have been.
will not vote for you. I will vote for someone who will commit themselves to
work on behalf of small farmers and real food and decent treatment of animals
and to end this industrialized agricultural nightmare that is taking us off a
I am not a scientist. I have read
for months on this subject, and am including only a tiny portion of the
horrifying things I have learned. I am expressing my opinion as a person and may
be wrong. Perhaps things are swell out there and rBGH is fabulous and
TSE-laced feed is great, and genetic engineering is the best thing since manna.
But I am scared for my family and I have not only a right to say so but an
obligation to do so. I am angry that Monsanto was allowed the influence it had,
and has done the things it definitely seems to have. I am disgusted by
industrialization of every tender and beautiful part of our world and hope, for
all our children's sake, we are not too late to pull back.
essay is herein reprinted with the author's permission.
Posted March 17,
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