Friday, April 1, 2011

U.S. Government and Monsanto Caught Emailing, Facebook Friendship Next?

"The recent approval of Monsanto's Roundup Ready alfalfa is one of most divisive controversies in American agriculture, but in 2003, it was simply the topic at hand in a string of emails between the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Monsanto. In the emails, federal regulators and Monsanto officials shared edits to a list of the USDA's questions about Monsanto's original petition to fully legalize the alfalfa. Later emails show a USDA regulator accepted Monsanto's help with drafting the initial environmental assessment (EA) of the alfalfa and planned to "cut and paste" parts of Monsanto's revised petition right into the government's assessment.

The emails were uncovered during a lawsuit filed by the Center for Food Safety (CFS) and concerned farmers that challenged the USDA's decision to approve Roundup Ready alfalfa in 2005. The CFS views the emails as prime evidence of 'collusion' between the biotech industry and public officials charged with regulating genetically engineered (GE) crops. It's unclear if such internal cooperation continues under the current administration, but regulators still openly rely on data and research provided by the biotech industry when approving GE technology."

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