Yesterday the Food and Drug Administration announced a proposed delay in the implementation of the final rule entitled, “Substances Prohibited from Use in Animal Food or Feed” or more commonly referred to as the 2008  BSE final rule. BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy), otherwise known as mad cow disease, is a fatal disease that causes progressive neurological degeneration in cattle. Similar to BSE, variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) is a fatal, neurodegenerative disease, transmitted to human beings who eat the brain or spinal cord of infected carcassesis.

The final rule, which would have gone into effect on April 27, 2009, is proposed to be delayed 60 days to June 26, 2009. A group of meat packers and others involved in the slaughter of cattle have asked for the delay with some help from the U.S. Congress. 

The use of cattle parts in cattle feed has not been allowed since 1997 in the United States and the enhanced FDA rule would prohibit using cattle parts in all animal feed.

“This is because in Canada and Europe, and elsewhere, they found there would be cross contamination in feed for poultry…that found its way into cattle feed, and as a result BSE was able to amplify “explained R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard. Read the rest of this entry »

monsanto-lobbbying-2008

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Lobbying Expenditures: $8,831,120

Monsanto CEO Letter to Annual Shareholders

“…In describing our financial results for fiscal 2008, it is very gratifying to repeat a message you have heard for what is now the past five fiscal years: We achieved new records in net sales and net income. …Along the way in 2008, we made several acquisitions that bolster our business across our key crops and complement the organic growth we continue to enjoy. We also garnered meaningful share gains in the United States and Argentina. And we obtained a number of key regulatory approvals for our game-changing technologies that will support our long-term growth. It is against this backdrop that we made the confident yet carefully considered commitment to more than double our 2007 gross profit by 2012 — raised from our previous forecasts…” Hugh Grant, Monsanto President and CEO

In keeping with its commitment to deliver innovations for agriculture, Monsanto Company announced on March 9 that it has completed regulatory submissions in the U.S. and Canada for the world’s first biotech drought-tolerant corn product developed together with Germany-based BASF. The company applied for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) approval of its drought-tolerant corn product following its submission to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last December.

Monsanto invests more than $2.6 million per day on leading agricultural research.

Money talks.

Sources:
http://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/clientsum.phplname=Monsanto+Co&year=2008
http://www.monsanto.com/investors/financial_reports/annual_report/2008/letter_to_shareholders.asp

http://news.moneycentral.msn.com/ticker/article.aspx?Feed=PR&Date=20090309&ID=9678216&Symbol=MON


HR 875, also being referred to as “Monsanto’s Dream Bill,  is a bill before the House that is says it will “protect the public health by preventing food-borne illness, ensuring the safety of food, improving research on contaminants leading to food-borne illness, and improving security of food from intentional contamination, and for other purposes.”  Sounds good at first glance but this bill is about more than protecting our food supply, it’s about controlling it.

Believe it or not, Monsanto wants one of their own employees, Mr. Michael Taylor, to be named as Food Safety Tsar in a proposed new Food Safety Administration. (http://www.lavidalocavore.org/showDiary.do?diaryId=1234). This is the man who forced genetically engineered rBGH on us (unlabeled, and without warning) when he was placed over “food safety” in the 90s. HR 875 would give him immense power over what is done on every single farm in the country.

This bill would make it a crime to run seed banks. It would also mandate 24 hour GPS tracking of farm animals and impose industrial standards upon small, private farmers.

Monsanto is already in the business of genetically modifying seeds so that they cannot reproduce. (See Monsanto, the bad seed). Monsanto already controls a huge percentage of the (genetically modified) food production for the entire world.

For more information on HR 875 go to:
http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h111-875

While reading through the bill, keep in mind, Rep Rosa Delauro (who introduced this bill) is married to Stanley Greenberg, President of Greenberg-Quinlan Research, Inc., a public issues research and polling firm. “Greenberg has worked with corporate clients including BP, Boeing, Monsanto, Comverse, and United HealthCare.” (http://www.greenbergresearch.com/index.php?ID=403).  A little conflict of interest?

Take one minute and voice your concerns! Go to:
http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h111-875 and click on “Ways To Take Action.”
You can also call, email, fax your representatives! Contact your members at 202-224-3121 and ask them to oppose HR 875 and S 425. While you are at it ask them if they personally have read the legislation and what their position is? Let them know you’re holding them accountable.

Starting Sunday, Russia, the top market for US chicken exports, will be banning imports from at least 19 US poultry plants. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin announced the bans in an interview with CNN, citing what he said were ignored warnings about inspections.

“The inspection showed that many companies had not taken measures to remove flaws revealed during previous checks,” Russia’s agricultural regulator said in a news release.

The Russian Government also said the US uses too many antibiotics in chicken-rearing, and cited cases of salmonella found in recent imports.

Russia has imposed several temporary bans on pork and poultry from various US producers in recent years.

Plants affected include at least two owned by Tyson (the nation’s largest chicken producer), two from Sanderson Farms Inc. (the nation’s fourth largest chicken producer), a Jennie-O Turkey plant owned by Hormel Foods Inc., and other companies not named at this time. Read the rest of this entry »

Palin on food democracy

August 29, 2008

“The landscape is littered with the bodies of those who have crossed Sarah,” pollster Dave Dittman told the Weekly Standard’s Fred Barnes.

When the Alaska Creamery Board recommended closing Matanuska Maid Dairy, an unprofitable state-owned business, Palin objected, citing concern for the impact on dairy farmers and the fact that the dairy had just received $600,000 in state money. When Palin learned that only the Board of Agriculture and Conservation could appoint Creamery Board members, she simply replaced the entire membership of the Board of Agriculture and Conservation. The new board, led by businesswoman Kristan Cole, reversed the decision to close the dairy. The new board approved milk price increases offered by the dairy in an attempt to control fiscal losses, even though milk from Washington was already offered in Alaskan stores at lower prices. In the end, the dairy was forced to close, and the state tried to sell the assets to pay off its debts but received no bids.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarah_Palin
http://aprn.org/2007/08/29/governor-pushing-for-matanuska-maid-privatization-before-december/

Iowa has awarded a state grant to help pave a road to a proposed Monsanto Co. seed corn plant near Independence. The grant, approved by the Iowa Transportation Commission, is for $280,000.

St. Louis-based Monsanto plans to spend more than $90 million on the plant at a 150-acre site. The company says it would employ 47 people and offer about 700 seasonal jobs at the plant, set for completion in 2010.

The facility is a part of more than $230 million in investment by Monsanto in Iowa. Monsanto operates two other seed corn production facilities in Iowa.

In May, Monsanto received tax benefits of up to $7.5 million from the Iowa Department of Economic Development.

In June Monsanto gave Iowa $1 million to assist in flood relief.

Perhaps Iowa should change it’s name to Monsantowa.

See also: The World According to Monsanto

Sources: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25704935/, http://webstar.postbulletin.com/agrinews/292317371642538.bsp, http://www.soyatech.com/news_story.php?id=7648

A week ago, South Korea’s president said the country would resume full imports of American beef. Now, he says he won’t allow any beef from cattle more than 30 months old. The backpedaling came as tens of thousands took to the streets in public protest.

 Chung Woon-chun told reporters at a press conference that until the two sides reach an understanding on the age limit of cattle, South Korea will not post the revised sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) standards that were agreed on April 18. The move effectively maintains the ban on U.S. beef that has been in place since early October.  Read the rest of this entry »

Harvest of disgrace

May 30, 2008

If you measure the success of a pressure group by its ability to cram lousy policy through Congress, you might imagine that Big Oil or Wall Street would top the league: they are the lobbies most berated on the campaign trail. You would be wrong. If there were any doubt, the past few days should have confirmed that America’s farmers are the capital’s handout kings.

Consider their latest masterpiece, the 2007 farm bill that Congress this week delivered, several months late, to George Bush. Congress and the farmers have conspired to make an already unjust agricultural policy—a system that has subsidised the “farming” activities of such paupers as David Letterman and David Rockefeller—even worse. Through a complicated and overlapping system of government-sponsored insurance, counter-cyclical assistance, disaster aid and legacy payments tied to nothing, the five-year, $307 billion bill lavishes cash on wealthy farm households, the main restriction on collecting it being a means test that applies to couples making more than $1.5m a year. And even that can be avoided by employing a reasonably competent accountant. Read the rest of the article, and insightful comments, in The Economist

The Bush administration has slipped a controversial ingredient into the $770 million aid package it recently proposed to ease the world food crisis, adding language that would promote the use of genetically modified crops in food-deprived countries.

The value of genetically modified, or bio-engineered, food is an intensely disputed issue in the U.S. and in Europe, where many countries have banned foods made from genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.

Proponents say that GMO crops can result in higher yields from plants that are hardier in harsh climates, like those found in hungry African nations.

Opponents of GMO crops say they can cause unforeseen medical problems. They also contend that the administration’s plan is aimed at helping American agribusinesses.

President George Bush proposed the food package two weeks ago as aid groups and the UN World Food Program pressed Western governments to provide additional funds to bridge the gap caused by rising food prices. The aid must win congressional approval. Read the rest of this entry »

With food prices rising and economic troubles dominating the U.S. presidential race, White House candidates are focusing attention on the issue of poverty.

Republican John McCain spent last week touring “forgotten places in America” to highlight his commitment to helping the poor.

Sen. Hillary Clinton promised earlier this month to create a “poverty czar” as president while Illinois Sen. Barack Obama called last weekend for rich nations to increase their food aid dramatically.

There are an estimated 36.5 million poor people in the United States, one of the richest countries in the world. The Institute for Research on Poverty, citing census data from 2006, says that is 12.3 percent of the U.S. population. Read the rest of this entry »