Every country has it's Biotech “Yes Men” and "Yes women". The most prominent in Germany for instance are Annette Schavan (she really is competent in taking the best from the worst) and Angela Merkel. Both are well known for their ability to choose the best from junk science in order to support biotech- and pesticide-industry in Germany and Europe.  Maybe one day one will say Merkel-Administration left behind nothing but contaminated land, junk scientists and junk burocrats. But now lets see what Bush-Administration left behind:
Biotech “Yes Men” on Obama’s team threaten to expand the use of dangerous genetically modified (GM) foods in our diets. Instead of giving us change and hope, they may prolong the hypnotic “group think” that has been institutionalized over three previous administrations—where critical analysis was abandoned in favor of irrational devotion to this risky new technology.
Clinton’s agriculture secretary Dan Glickman saw it first hand: “It was almost immoral to say that [biotechnology] wasn’t good, because it was going to solve the problems of the human race and feed the hungry and clothe the naked. . . . If you’re against it, you’re Luddites, you’re stupid. That, frankly, was the side our government was on. . . . You felt like you were almost an alien, disloyal, by trying to present an open-minded view”
When Glickman dared to question the lax regulations on GM food, he said he “got slapped around a little bit by not only the industry, but also some of the people even in the administration.”
By shutting open-minds
and slapping dissent, deceptive myths about genetically modified organisms
(GMOs) persist. The industry boasts that GMOs reduce herbicide use; USDA
show that the opposite is true. We hear that GMOs increase yield and farmer
profit; but USDA and independent studies show an average /reduction/ in
yield and no improved bottom line for farmers. George H. W. Bush
fast-tracked GMOs to increase US exports; now the government spends an
additional $3-$5 billion per year to prop up prices of the GM crops no
one wants. Advocates continue to repeat that GMOs are needed to feed the
world; now the prestigious International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge,
Science and Technology for Development http://www.agassessment.org/>
has joined a long list of experts who flatly reject GMOs as the answer
The sentence is complete fiction. At the time it was written, there was overwhelming consensus among the FDA’s own scientists that GM foods were substantially different, and could create unpredictable, unsafe, and hard-to-detect allergens, toxins, diseases, and nutritional problems. They had urged the political appointees in charge to require long-term safety studies, including human studies, to protect the public.
Their concerns stayed
hidden until 1999, when 44,000 pages of internal FDA memos and reports
were made public due to a lawsuit. According to public interest attorney
Steven Druker, the documents showed how their warnings and “references
to the unintended negative effects” of
genetic engineering “were progressively deleted from drafts of the policy statement,” in spite of scientists’ protests.
“What has happened
to the scientific elements of this document?” wrote FDA microbiologist
Louis Pribyl, after reviewing the latest rewrite of the policy. “It will
look like and probably be just a political document. . . . It reads very
pro-industry, especially in the area of unintended effects.”
At the highest level, the responsibility for this disregard of science and consumer safety lies with the first Bush White House, which had ordered the FDA to promote the biotechnology industry and get GM foods on the market quickly. To accomplish this White House directive, the FDA created a position for Michael Taylor. As the FDA’s new Deputy Commissioner of Policy, he oversaw the creation of GMO policy.
Taylor was formerly
the outside attorney for the biotech giant Monsanto, and later became their
vice president. He had also been the counsel for the International Food
Biotechnology Council (IFBC), for whom he drafted a model of government
policy designed to rush GMOs onto the market with no significant regulations.
The final FDA policy that he oversaw, which did not require any safety
tests or labeling, closely resembled the model he had drafted for the IFBC.
Michael Taylor is on the Obama transition team.
As more and more consumers here learn about the health risks of the drug, they shift their purchases to brands that voluntarily label their products as not using rbGH. Consumer rejection of rbGH hit a tipping point a couple of years ago, and since then it has been kicked out of milk from Wal-Mart, Starbucks, Kroger, Subway, and at least 40 of the top 100 dairies. In 2007, Monsanto desperately tried to reverse the trend by asking the FDA and FTC to make it illegal for dairies to label their products as free from rbGH. Both agencies flatly refused the company’s request.
But Monsanto turned to an ally, Dennis Wolff, the Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture. Wolff used his position to single-handedly declare rbGH-free labels illegal in his state. Such a policy would make it impossible for national dairy brands to declare their products rbGH-free, since they couldn’t change packaging just for Pennsylvania. Wolff’s audacious move so infuriated citizens around the nation, the outpouring caused the governor to step in and stop the prohibition before it took effect.
Dennis Wolff, according
to unbossed.com <http://www.unbossed.com/index.php?itemid=2409>, is
being considered for Obama’s
did not ultimately ban rbGH-free labels, they did decide to require companies
who use the labels to also include a disclaimer sentence on the package,
stating that the according to the FDA there is no difference between milk
from cows treated with rbGH and those not treated. In reality, this sentence
contradicts the FDA’s own scientists. (Is this sounding all too familiar?)
Even according to Monsanto’s own studies, milk from treated cows has more
pus, antibiotics, bovine growth hormone, and IGF-1. Blatantly ignoring
the data, a top FDA bureaucrat wrote a “white paper” urging companies that
labeled products as rbGH-free to also use that disclaimer on their packaging.
bureaucrat was Michael Taylor.
For several years, politicians around the US were offering money and tax-breaks to bring biotech companies into their city or state. But according to Joseph Cortright <http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Asian_Economy/FG31Dk01.html>, an Oregon economist who co-wrote a 2004 report on this trend, “This notion that you lure biotech to your community to save its economy is laughable. This is a bad-idea virus that has swept through governors, mayors and economic development officials.” He said http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/2004-08-18-biotech-grant_x.htm> it “remains a money-losing, niche industry.”
One politician who caught a bad case of the bad-idea virus was Tom Vilsack, Iowa’s governor from 1998-2006. He was co-creator and chair of the Governors’ Biotechnology Partnership in 2000 and in 2001 the Biotech Industry Organization named him BIO Governor of the Year.
Tom Vilsack was considered a front runner for Obama’s USDA secretary. Perhaps the outcry prompted by Vilsack’s biotech connections was the reason for his name being withdrawn.
I don’t know Barack Obama’s position on GMOs. According to a November 23rd Des Moines Register article, Obama, like Bush, may be Ag biotech ally <http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20081123/BUSINESS01/811230309/1029/BUSINESS>, there are clues that he has not been able to see past the biotech lobbyist’s full court spin.
- His top scientific advisers during the campaign included Sharon Long, a former board member of the biotech giant Monsanto Co., and Harold Varmus, a Nobel laureate who co-chaired a key study of genetically engineered crops by the National Academy of Sciences back in 2000.
- [Obama] said biotech crops “have provided enormous benefits” to farmers and expressed confidence “that we can continue to modify plants safely.”
On the other hand,
Obama may have a sense how pathetic US GMO regulations are, since he indicated
that he wants “stringent tests for environmental and health effects” and
“stronger regulatory oversight guided by the best available scientific
advice.” There is, however, one unambiguous and clear promise that separates
Obama from his Bush and Clinton predecessors. President* *Obama will require
mandatory labeling of GMOs. Favored by 9 out of 10 Americans, labeling
is long overdue and is certainly cause for celebration. 
The first is extinctions.
Species that have died out, including the subset resulting from Bush’s
environmental policies, will forever deprive our evolving biosphere of
their contribution. The second is genetically modified organisms (GMOs)—animals,
plants, bacteria, and viruses, who’s DNA have been mixed and mangled by
insertions from foreign species. Once released into the ecosystem, by intention
or accident, the genetic
pollution self-propagates. No recall by the Obama administration can clean up Mexico’s indigenous corn varieties, now contaminated by our genetically modified (GM) corn. No executive order can remove or even identify the wild mustard plants now carrying altered genes bestowed on it by the pollen from its cousin, GM canola.
Although the government is supposed to make sure that these trials won’t contaminate the surrounding environment, a 2005 report by the USDA Office of Inspector General harshly condemned the USDA’s abominable oversight. “Current regulations, policies, and procedures,” said the report, “do not go far enough to ensure the safe introduction of agricultural biotechnology.” The agency’s weaknesses “increase the risk that regulated genetically engineered organisms will inadvertently persist in the environment.”
But George Bush’s
pro-biotech response was to /further weaken/ the agency’s GMO oversight—and
he’s trying to do it quickly, before Obama steps in. The proposed ruling
<http://www.aphis.usda.gov/brs/fedregister/BRS_20081009.pdf> makes gene
escape more likely, even from GM crops designed to produce pharmaceutical
drugs and industrial chemicals. 
to content page of Science Review Letters
The complete edition of "science review letters" published in supplemrnt of online-magazine "Natural Science"
Follow us in social Networks:
Beecolonies | Natural Apitherapy Council
Api / Science Review Letters
Centre for Ecological Apiculture / Apitherapy
Centre for Social Medicine / Apitherapy
Zentrum fuer wesensgemaesse Bienenhaltung