Monday, April 20, 2009

US Government Busts Monsanto for Bribery

Posted on February 15, 2009 by vegancowprotect

According to online news bribery and corruption allegations involving Turkish officials and Monsanto were settled today with a US$300,000 payment.

Furthermore the US Government will once again monitor Monsanto’s dealings. The Government ordered monitoring of Monsanto’s external dealings after a previous conviction for bribery in 2005.

This follows closely in the wake of the announcement by the industry front Biotechnology Industry Organisation (BIO), on Wednesday,of their latest clean up plans to introduce third-party auditing “to help agricultural players around the world feel confident that biotech crops are subject to stringent safety standards.”
According to Carey Gillam, REUTERS, Kansas City, Missouri, agro-chemical giants Monsanto and DuPont endorsed this plan.

Forbes Insider Trading reported on 17 July that Monsanto’s top executives had begun selling off their Monsanto shares. This was followed on 24 July 2007 by an announcement that 4 key Monsanto patents asserted against farmers were rejected by the Patent Office.

The new PR policy is in reality directly aimed at assuring ordinary shareholders that “We will walk out of this as clean as a whistle.”
Monsanto has consistently shown disrespect for biosafety rules and a persistent reluctance to reveal information on the safety aspects of its products.It has a record of systematically bribing government officials to ignore safety regulations.

In 2005, Monsanto bribed Indonesian officials to disregard safety regulations and was caught smuggling South African grown GM Bollgard cotton seed into Indonesia. The GM seed was disguised in crates labled “Rice”. Monsanto was fined US$1 million for a US$50,000 bribe to a top Indonesian official after the CEO of Monsanto ordered it to be disguised as a “consultancy fee”. At the time South Africa was a signatory to the Cartagena Protocol which requires exports of GM seed to be properly labled. Heading this operation was Monsanto’s Asia and Pacific CEO, Hugh Grant. At the same time was member of a British Government sponsored advisory committee. The International Advisory Board, was set up by Scottish Enterprise to advise businesses on how to expand overseas.

In the same year, 2005, Monsanto joined the South African Department of Agriculture in opposing a High Court application by Biowatch for information on safety aspects of GM crops. Monsanto claimed that they were protecting “confidential business information“. The Court ruled that access to this information was in the public interest and was a necessary part of the proper administration of the GMO Act.

In Europe Monsanto, supported by European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), kept the study from public scrutiny once again under a false claim of confidential business information until a German Court Order forced Monsanto to release the full report.

The EFSA has more recently been criticised by the medical and veterinary professions for downplaying the role of Monsanto’s patented anti-biotic resistant marker gene npt11. This antibiotic is water soluble and is therefore used extensively in aquaculture,quail, pigeon, rabbit, chick, piglet and calve rearing industries. Monsanto have been using this gene in a number of products including the highly controversial GM potato. Anti-biotic marker genes were supposed to be phased out in terms of European Union Directive 2001/18EC and Revising Directive 90/220/CEE.
The controversy about the GM Potato started in Egypt when researchers (Toxins Volume 6, Issue 6, 1998. Pages: 219-233) found that GM potatoes caused cancerous damage to part of the small intestine in rats.

More recently Monsanto was ordered to remove false claims on the safety testing of GM foods in South Africa. In this cvase Monsanto claimed to conduct it’s business according to a strict Code of Ethics. It can be deduced from their actions that they conduct their business according to the philosophy that

Crime Pays.

Bribes, corruption and relatively insignificant fines are small change for Monsanto compared to the huge prize of monopoly position in countries with large agricultural sectors. And once GM crops are planted in a country, any contamination of non-GM crops means Monsanto can also claim royalties from these farmers.

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One Response to “US Government Busts Monsanto for Bribery”

Ingrid Blank, on March 3rd, 2009 at 11:13 pm Said: South Africa is the only country on the African continent that grows its staple food (white maize) in genetically modified form. Our government has been and keeps force-feeding its citizens with Monsanto maize without our knowledge and above all CONSENT, which constitutes a gross violation of our constitutional rights, notably our right to bodily integrity and , given the fact that no human safety study with GMOs has ever been conducted establishing their safety for human consumption, effectively turns its citizens into human guinea pigs in violation of the Nuremberg Code and Helsinki Declaration. South Africa also has about 5 million allegedly HIV positive people, which have two common denominators: a) the majority of them is poor and black b) the consumption of Monsanto’s genetically modified maize, containing antibiotic-resistant marker genes and CaMV (cauliflower mosaic virus) as a viral promoter, which is closely related to the Hepatitis B and HIV virus! . The immense health hazards of the cauliflower mosaic virus have been amply documented in scientific literature It has also been established that “horizontal transfer of the CaMV promoter not only contributes to the known instability of transgenic lines (30), but has the potential to reactivate dormant viruses or creating new viruses in all species to which it is transferred, particularly in view of the modularity and interchangeability of promoter elements (8). In this regard, the close relationship of CaMV to hepadnaviruses such as the human hepatitis B is especially relevant. In addition, because the CaMV promoter is promiscuous in function (see above), it has the possibility of promoting inappropriate over-expression of genes in all species to which it happens to be transferred. One consequence of such inappropriate over-expression of genes may be cancer. Furthermore, the recently published peer-reviewed Italian government study strengthened my suspicion that genetic engineering and notably the consumption of Monsanto maize (SA’s staple food) and NOT HIV is the direct cause of the immunodeficiency acquired by millions of poor and black people, consequently poisoned to death by ARVs such as AZT, a known DNA-chain terminator, and Nevirapine given to pregnant women and newborns. GM maize disturbs immune system of young and old mice “The total number of white blood cells in the small intestine, spleen and blood were not different. However, there were significant differences in the percentages of T and B cells, and of CD4+, CD8+, gdT+, and mbT+ subpopulations in both weaning and old mice that were GM-fed for 30 and 90 days respectively compared with controls. These changes appeared in the gut, spleen and blood, and were accompanied by increase in blood cytokines IL-6, IL-13, IL-12p70, and MIP-1b, all involved in allergic and inflammatory responses. These changes were not detected in the mice fed the commercial non-GM pellet diet.” The above revelations bode the urgent question and call for an investigation to what all these allegedly HIV-positive people are actually reacting - HIV or Monsanto’s toxic maize depleting their CD4+ cells! Ingrid Blank/South Africa

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