One of my favorite go-to writers is Food and Ag columnist Tom Philpott of Mother Jones. In my index of great sources, Philpott is top tier – absolutely A list – along with a handful of others. As to be expected, this post doesn’t disappoint.
The controversy started during last fall’s highly contested battle over a ballot initiative that would have required labeling genetically modified food in California. The prestigious dieticians’ group was incorrectly listed by the official state voters’ guide as one of the scientific organizations that had “concluded biotech foods are safe.” Actually, the AND had taken no position on the issue, but it promised to come out with a position paper on it. (The ballot initiative ultimately failed.)
As part of the process of generating a position paper, the group appointed seven members to what it called the Advanced Technologies in Food Production working group. That’s when things got hairy. Two of the members, it turned out, had ties to Monsanto. One was a “dietitian who operates a farm in Maryland, [who] won a $5,000 prize from Monsanto and is a test farmer for the company,” the Times reports. The other serves as senior vice president of the International Food Information Council, a group whose funders read like a roster of Big Ag and junk-food corporations, ranging from Monsanto, Bayer Cropscience, and Cargill to Coca Cola, Red Bull, Pepsi, and Dr. Pepper Snapple Group. Several of the International Food Information Council’s donor companies also contributed heavily to the $45.6 million effort to defeat California’s GMO ballot initiative.
One panel member, Carole Bartolotto, a dietician for Kaiser Permanante, had the temerity to point out her colleagues’ potential conflicts of interest to the academy’s leadership. The result? Bartolotto found herself purged from the committee, while the two Monsanto-connected panel members maintained their positions. Read full article.
It appears that Monsanto has an endless supply of hooks, capable of snaring and controlling any group, any committee, any branch of government, any regulation that they need. ~JuleeK@Sleuth4Health