Jun 29

Over $30M spent last year on lobbying to keep GMOs hidden in foods (Natural News, June 27, 2013):

Guess who spends the most money lobbying on agricultural lobbying? If you answered, “Monsanto,” you’re correct. Most of their efforts, of course, are focused on lobbying for GMOs — to keep them legal and keep them hidden in foods.

Do you know how much money Monsanto spent on lobbying in 2012?

The answer is nearly $6 million!

And in a close second, the American Farm Bureau spent $5.7 million on lobbying in 2012.

Continue reading »

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Apr 02

See also:

Monsanto in the White House Garden: One Recess Appointment That’s Toxic (Buzzflash):

And I thought Monsanto had it good in the Bush Administration. But it turns out that Big Ag is never lonely, no matter who’s in control.

Not only has Obama already installed Roger Beachy, a former Monsanto big wig, in charge of policy at the USDA, but CropLife is an equal opportunity corrupter that is hedging its bets in the coming election. In fact, 66 percent of the campaign funds they’ve donated in this election season so far went to Democrats, an increase of about 10 percent over 2008.

Furthermore, Siddiqui gave the maximum individual donation to Barack Obama’s presidential campaign in 2008, though not until it was kind of obvious who was going to win. Not that things would be any different if he hadn’t, though. CropLife President Jay Vroom gave the maximum amount to Republican presidential candidate John McCain around that same time in the campaign.

Obama Gives ‘Pesticide Lobbyist’ Post as Chief Agricultural Negotiator (Huffington Post)

The following article is highly recommended!


“Washington lobbyists haven’t funded my campaign, they won’t run my White House, and they will not drown out the voices of working Americans when I am president”.
– Barack Obama

change-we-can-believe-in

Today, President Obama announced that he will recess appoint Islam A. Siddiqui to the position of Chief Agricultural Negotiator, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.

Siddiqui is a pesticide lobbyist and Vice President for Science and Regulatory Affairs at CropLife America, an agribusiness lobbying group that represents Monsanto.

Following is a letter sent by 98 organizations to U.S. Senators in opposition to Siddiqui’s appointment, and a fact sheet about him.

Dear Senator:

The following 98 organizations are writing you to express our opposition to the nomination of Islam Siddiqui as Chief Agriculture Negotiator at the office of the United States Trade Representative.  Our organizations- representing family farmers, farmworkers, fishers and sustainable agriculture, environmental, consumer, anti-hunger and other advocacy groups-urge you to reject Dr. Siddiqui’s appointment when it comes up for a floor vote, despite the Senate Finance Committee’s favorable report of his nomination on December 23, 2009.

Siddiqui’s record at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and his role as a former registered lobbyist for CropLife America (whose members include Monsanto, Syngenta, DuPont and Dow), has revealed him to consistently favor agribusinesses’ interests over the interests of consumers, the environment and public health (see attached fact sheet). We believe Siddiqui’s nomination severely weakens the Obama Administration’s credibility in promoting healthier and more sustainable local food systems here at home. His appointment would also send an unfortunate signal to the rest of the world that the United States plans to continue down the failed path of high-input and energy-intensive industrial agriculture by promoting toxic pesticides, inappropriate seed biotechnologies and unfair trade agreements on nations that do not want and can least afford them. Continue reading »

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Apr 02

“Washington lobbyists haven’t funded my campaign, they won’t run my White House, and they will not drown out the voices of working Americans when I am president”.
– Barack Obama


Confident after his success with health insurance reform, President Obama exerted his executive power on Saturday by making fifteen appointments during the Senate’s recess. Among the appointments was Islam Siddiqui, who will now be serving as the Chief Agricultural Negotiator in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (I’ve written here about what that job entails).

Siddiqui had been working since 2001 as a lobbyist and then later as vice president of science and regulatory affairs at CropLife America, a lobbying organization for the pesticide and biotech industries. CropLife famously sent Michelle Obama a letter trying to convince her to use pesticides on her organic garden on the White House lawn. But while that move pushed the group into the media spotlight, behind the scenes the group in which Siddiqui has had a strong hand in leading has been lobbying to weaken regulations on biotechnology, pesticides and other agriculture chemicals both in the US and abroad, including securing exemption for American farmers in a worldwide ban of the ozone-depleting chemical methyl bromide in 2006, taking part in secret discussions with the Environmental Protection Agency to be allowed to test pesticides on children, and Siddiqui personally chided the European Union for “denying food to starving people” for using the precautionary principle in the case of GMOs. Continue reading »

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