The Journal of History     Summer 2008    TABLE OF CONTENTS

William Clinton and Monsanto - a Team for Mutual Profit

By Siv O'Neall
April 21, 2008

How did we come to this state of the world where we don't know what we eat or drink, where there is nothing but secrecy as far as what the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is plotting with the gigantic Monsanto corporation? Secrecy for the purpose of making Monsanto immune to legal suits, secrecy to make people unaware of what risks they are running when they drink rBGH milk, which is not labeled as coming from cows injected with the dangerous Bovine Growth Hormone. Yes, you read this right. U.S. dairy products are not even labeled as originating from rBGH milk. Incredible? Shocking? You bet.

There is no more any freedom to choose what we eat, what kind of seeds farmers sow, or even what cultures we are going to grow in our own fields. There is no more freedom. Individual freedom has been replaced by control. Giant corporations like Monsanto decide how we live and die. They put our health in danger and since the governments have sold out to them, are working hand in hand with them, there are no legal means of putting an end to this unethical and life-threatening control by Big Brother. Big Brother runs the world, Big Brother is going to drive the world into ever increasing poverty and starvation - under the pretense of solving the problems of world-wide hunger.

If Big Brother decides that you should grow corn to produce ethanol, so be it, but where goes the culture you used to grow to produce food and not fuel?

How did this whole sordid business start?

It was a clever plan by biotech companies to increase food production under the pretext of saving the world from hunger. In reality, it was intended to make biotech companies filthy rich, to own the world. Today it's the giant Monsanto corporation that controls 90 per cent of all the genetically engineered products world wide. Genetically Modified (GM) products are planted, sold and eaten all over the world, without, lots of the time, the public being aware of what they are consuming.

"The United States Government has been financing research on a genetic engineering technology which, when commercialized, will give its owners the power to control the food seed of entire nations or regions. The Government has been working quietly on this technology since 1983. Now, the little-known company that has been working in this genetic research with the Government's US Department of Agriculture-- Delta & Pine Land-- is about to become part of the world's largest supplier of patented genetically-modified seeds (GMO), Monsanto Corporation of St. Louis, Missouri." (William Engdahl)

"Bill[Clinton]'s FDA gave Monsanto permission to market rBGH [dairy products] in 1993 (a GE bovine growth hormone), the first genetically engineered product let loose on us (or did tomatoes with fish DNA get there first?)." (Linn Cohen-Cole)

The Rose Law Firm, the corporate law firm of which Hillary Clinton was a partner from 1977 is home to Industrial Agriculture and genetic engineering. [1]

Why is the public not informed?

In the U.S. dairy farmers for over a decade were not allowed to label their products as non rBGH, free from synthetic growth hormones. How come Monsanto can get away with their secrecy policy, with criminal acts such as banning the correct labeling of dairy products? Instead of being sued themselves for lack of transparency, Monsanto sued the farmers who labeled their milk non rBGH. Does that sound pretty much like the upside-down world to you? Yes, probably it does, because it is.

The truth behind this shocking state of things is the fact that Monsanto and the Food and Drug Administration have been working very close together ever since the Clinton era. Michael Taylor, formerly legal advisor to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (Deputy Commissioner for Policy at FDA (1991-94), had also previously worked as a lawyer for Monsanto. "One of Taylor's duties was to represent Monsanto's efforts to get its bovine growth hormone approved by the FDA." (Political Friendster) [2]

"[Michael Taylor was the] Attorney for Monsanto who rewrote the "regulations" for Genetically Modified foods. His brilliant addition is the "substantial equivalence" measure which says if the nutrition measures are the same … [as its conventional counterpart...]" (Political Friendster).

Since they were now declared to be "substantially equivalent," there was no more any need for proof as to their harmlessness for human consumption.[3]

The Clinton administration even attempted to alter the organic food standards to include genetically engineered foods, irradiated foods, and sewage sludge as fertilizer for organic crops.

Quote from ZMag (Cashing in on the organic market - by Signe Waller)

"Among the most egregious USDA proposals are ones that would allow genetically engineered and irradiated foods to carry the organic label. Other alarming features concern guidelines on the use of raw manure and toxic sludge. The proposed federal regulations would allow meat, eggs, dairy, and other animal products to be labeled "organic" even if the animals were kept in intensive confinement."

Comment from Linn Cohen-Cole (via

"Had the FDA not refused to comply, rBGH-containing milk and irradiated food could have been labeled "organic" and drug, chemical, vaccine and antibiotic-containing animal waste from factory farms, a pollution nightmare for Tyson [Foods - poultry corporation] and others, could have been sold as "organic" fertilizer."

Monsanto's attack on no-BGH labels - March 12, 2008

"Monsanto, the maker of recombinant bovine growth hormone (scientific name, recombinant bovine somatotropin or rBST; trade name, Posilac), is embarked on a national state-by-state campaign to get legislatures to rule that food products cannot be labeled that they are rBGH-free or rBST-free. In his weekend column, The Feed, Andrew Martin details how Monsanto has organized its very own "grass-roots" group, Afact, to campaign on the company's behalf. As Martin puts it, "consumer demand for more natural products…has certainly interfered with Monsanto's business plan for Posilac." As I discuss in my book, Safe Food, Monsanto's aggressive stance (in this and so many other issues that concern its products) has elicited much suspicion of its motives and of genetically modified foods in general. In 1994, Monsanto worked hard to convince the FDA that GM foods did not have to be labeled as such. Now, this company has only itself to blame for consumer resistance to its products." (Marion Nestle)

From Food Democracy:

"In 2006, the FDA announced that cloned meat and dairy products are safe for human consumption, and [the food may be marketed] without any label identifying how it was made."

It's the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Department of Agriculture (USDA) that are the lunch ladies who won't share the recipe. Fortunately, the recipe isn't too difficult to find:

One part cloned meat: Last month, the California legislature passed the first law mandating labels that disclose cloned meat or dairy products. The bill is now marinating on Governor Schwarzenegger's desk. As for the rest of us, we may be stuck eating Dolly. In 2006, the FDA announced that cloned meat and dairy products are safe for human consumption, and may market the food without any label identifying how it was made.

One part genetically modified (GM) food: Just because your box of cornflakes is void of a GM notice doesn't mean it's not a frankenfood. The FDA refuses to label food that has been genetically modified, so consumers have no clue when they're ingesting something that's been altered. What's more, the FDA may not even know which food contains GM ingredients; the agency only requires companies developing GM food to voluntarily submit to an evaluation process. (my emphasis)

FDA scientists went to Congress to report that the results of the studies on rBGH milk had been altered to fit in with Monsanto's claims. They were fired.

BGH Manufacturer Acting Like a Bully
Bovine Growth Hormone (BGH) manufacturer Monsanto, continues to use fear and intimidation tactics to push its product on the U.S. market. The biotech company has been rallying "pro-market" forces within the federal government and using them to trash existing laws that would benefit those fighting the industrial use of BGH.

BGH is a bio-engineered additive injected into dairy cows in order to stimulate their milk production. One year after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave Monsanto permission to market BGH, its use continues despite nationwide reports of the hormone causing illness and death in cows injected with it. Most befuddling, the FDA is allowing Monsanto to go on producing BGH and wield influence over federal regulations regardless of a very angry, very vocal nationwide consumer base that has repeatedly come out against the use of such chemicals.

The latest victory for the biotech company occurred when US agriculture officials warned all dairy companies labeling their products "BGH Free" that they could have their products confiscated from store shelves. FDA officials maintain such labels give these companies "an unfair market advantage." Threats such as this have caused many dairies, and dependent companies such as Ben & Jerry's of Vermont, to remove the "safe" labels from their products.

Interesting side note: USFDA Deputy Commissioner, Michael Taylor, a proponent of BGH, was formerly counsel to Monsanto and other biotech firms. (Humane Farming Association)

Quotes from Linn Cohen-Cole (via

"Grains: Forty-nine percent of U.S. corn acreage was planted in Bt corn in 2007. A French study proved Monsanto's Bt corn (Genetically Engineered) causes kidney and liver toxicity. Soft drinks and candy have highly concentrated Bt corn, in the form of high-fructose Bt corn syrup. The U.S. food system depends most on two crops, soy (90 per cent GMO, 90 per cent of traits owned by Monsanto) and corn, the largest crop (60 per cent GMO, nearly 100 per cent Monsanto traits). "Essentially our entire food supply is genetically modified, to the benefit of one company."

Further quotes from Proliberty:

"Cohen-Cole explained that she saw a News Hour piece on Maharastra, India, about farmers committing suicide because Monsanto had used Bollywood [India's equivalent to "Hollywood"] actors to "sell" illiterate farmers on the idea they could get rich from the big yields that come with planting Monsanto's Bt (genetically engineered, or "GE") cotton seeds. "The expensive seeds needed expensive fertilizer and pesticides (Monsanto, again), and irrigation. There is no irrigation there. Crops failed. Farmers had larger debts than they'd ever experienced," Cohen-Cole explained.

"The farmers could not collect seeds from their own fields to try again the following season because Monsanto "patents" its DNA-altered seeds and the company has a $10 million budget to prosecute patent-violating farmers. According to Cohen-Cole, "Since the late 1990s (about when industrial agriculture took hold in India), 166,000 Indian farmers have committed suicide and 8 million have left the land." "

See also 'The Suicide Economy Of Corporate Globalisation' By Vandana Shiva

The Indian peasantry, the largest body of surviving small farmers in the world, today faces a crisis of extinction.

Two thirds of India makes its living from the land. The earth is the most generous employer in this country of a billion, that has farmed this land for more than 5000 years.

However, as farming is delinked from the earth, the soil, the biodiversity, and the climate, and linked to global corporations and global markets, and the generosity of the earth is replaced by the greed of corporations, the viability of small farmers and small farms is destroyed. Farmers suicides are the most tragic and dramatic symptom of the crisis of survival faced by Indian peasants.

Cows treated with the Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH)

The bovine growth hormone is designed to boost growth rates and increase body mass and the quantity of milk they produce. More meat, more milk, more money for Monsanto. However, problems surfaced with rBGH milk and also grave problems concerning the animals treated with the growth hormone.

In the documentary I refer to in my recent essay 'The World According to Monsanto - A documentary that Americans won't ever see'[4] Marie-Monique Robin shows us the unnaturally and painfully enlarged udders of cows treated with rBGH.

Editor's note: You can also see this in the 23rd edition of this publication, the one devoted to animals.

During the Clinton administration Monsanto employees were appointed to run the FDA. They of course approved their own product, the first genetically engineered product ever approved.

This was in spite of the fact that severe health problems in the cows had been found, resulting from the growth hormone injections. Cows were getting sick and some were dying. There was also found to be pus in the rBGH milk. Other countries were banning U.S. dairy products and in 1996 there was a press conference of scientists who indicated a possible link to breast and colon cancer in humans and rBGH dairy products.

Excerpt from the press conference of scientists - National Press Club Washington D.C., January 23, 1996

"rBGH poses an even greater risk to human health than ever considered," warned Samuel Epstein M.D., Professor of Environmental Medicine at the University of Illinois School of Public Health and Chairman of the Cancer Prevention Coalition, author of the new report. "The FDA and Monsanto have a lot to answer for. Given the cancer risks, and other health concerns, why is rBGH milk still on the market?"" [5]

The Story Behind the Rush To Bring rBGH to Market

"Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone: Alarming Tests, Unfounded Approval revisits Rural Vermont's 1991 report on animal health in the Monsanto/University of Vermont (UVM) test herd, and traces what has been learned as a result of the initial report. Our 1991 report exposed many animal health problems, including an alarming number of dead and severely deformed calves." [6]

The continued role of the biotech industry in today's politics

"Mark Penn, CEO of Burson-Masteller [one of the largest PR companies in the world, also representing Blackwater, Exxon Mobil, Dow ...] has been Hillary Clinton's long-term advisor, and until very recently, her campaign strategist. The Clinton campaign paid Burson-Masteller over $10 million for their services. The people replacing Penn (who is not necessarily gone) are also associated with the biotech industry. (Linn Cohen-Cole)

"Instead of information, we have laws banning labeling, farmers sued for being "misleading" in saying honestly that they do not use rBGH (or BST), farmers making raw milk (just plain ole [old] milk) facing jail, and then we have the incredible reality that a citizens' petition to the FDA in 2007 reported that 30 scientific journals showed an up to 7 times increased risk of breast cancer from rBGH milk (also increased risk of colon, lung and prostate cancer)." (Linn Cohen-Cole)

Instead of science, we have public relations

More from Linn Cohen-Cole:

"rBGH is a genetically engineered product and genetic engineering itself is sorely untested. And the tests - those that are independent of the biotech industry itself - coming back are beyond worrisome. A French study of Monsanto's genetically engineered corn last year showed it caused kidney and liver toxicity. That is the main crop in the US. Scientists are now saying it may cause diabetes.

"But banning labeling of rBGh is not just keeping a label off something. Because the thing being kept unlabeled is genetically engineering itself, which is potentially dangerous. By not labeling it, millions of people are being exposed to a vast human experiment without being able to escape being part of it. The Nuremburg Code said that to have human experiments, one must have "informed consent." We have neither information nor consent. And where people have found their own information, there is actual resistance of which Monsanto is aware. So, this is an enforced experiment in which we are all trapped. This isn't just some restraint of trade issue or even, much more seriously, a freedom of speech issue. These are crimes against humanity."

Pennsylvania Bans rBGH-Free Labels on Dairy Products - December 13, 2007 (Dr Emily A Kane)

"Apparently, Governor Rendell has decided to step back and reconsider the state's new ban on the voluntary labeling of BGH free milk. The implementation of the regulations (originally scheduled for January 1) has been delayed at least a month for the Governor's review."

In fact, what happened in Pennsylvania was just Governor Rendell temporarily taking off the table the legal problem of labeling or no labeling, very likely to void the politically charged issue of any significance, at least before the primaries in that state. We yet have to see if the ban will be reinstated after the election, or even after the primaries.

There are today numerous states that allow the labeling of GMO products, but the fight is continuing on the part of the public who demand transparency and on the part of Monsanto who insists on secrecy and on a continuation of the "substantial equivalence" policy to free them of all responsibility of labeling their genetically engineered products.


Genetically modified seeds and products are threatening the world's ecosystems, the health of the entire population of the planet and the lives and livelihoods of thousands and thousands of small farmers, not just in India but in the U.S. and all over the world.

It is generally not known to the American public how their food is controlled by Monsanto, the biotech company that produces 90 per cent of the world's genetically modified seeds. Monsanto is responsible for the production and sale of not just genetically engineered foods, but lethal products such as Agent Orange, PCBs (a dioxin-like compound, highly toxic and cancerous)[7], pesticides and herbicides, such as the world's most sold and most dangerous agricultural herbicide, Round-Up.

The general secrecy in matters of GMOs has been made possible through the close links between Monsanto and the governments, which began with Bill Clinton's policy of appointing Monsanto employees to run the FDA. Of course they declared their own products legal and harmless through multiple twisted policies. The United States Department of Agriculture has also turned a deaf ear on public demands for information and labeling of products.

Once again, people don't matter, only the big corporations and their profits matter. The Corporatocracy that runs the planet is doing their very best to destroy the land that our forefathers cultivated with sweat and age-old organic methods. But the outcome was a healthy life for their families and the great pleasure in seeing their land produce healthy food.




[1] In 1991, 2008 Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton took home over $200,000 from her Senior Partner position in the Rose Law firm.

[2] [Michael Taylor], Monsanto attorney at Burson Marsteller who rewrote the food laws for "substantial equivalence" policy at USDA, now at PEW Biotech group.

[3] "...In March 1994, [Michael] Taylor was publicly exposed as a former lawyer for the Monsanto corporation for seven years..."

In addition, he served as Administrator of the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service from 1994 to 1996. RFF's (Resources for the Future, Washington think tank) Director of Risk, Resource, and Environmental Management is Michael R. Taylor, Monsanto's former vice-president for public policy who was at the centre of a major controversy over conflicts of interest in relation to Monsanto's genetically engineered drug rBGH

[4] 'The World According to Monsanto - A documentary that Americans won't ever see

[5] New Study Warns of Breast and Colon Cancer Risks from rBGH Milk - Press Release, Press Conference, National Press Club Washington D.C., January 23, 1996

[6] Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone: Amarming Tests, Unfounded Approval - The Story Behind the Rush to Bring rBGH to market (ANDREW CHRISTIANSEN / Rural Vermont Jul95)

[7] The use of PCBs is banned in most countries today, but George W. Bush has recently ended a 25-year-old ban on the sale of land polluted with PCBs. The sale of PCBs is still banned.

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Siv O'Neall is an Axis of Logic columnist, based in France. She can be reached at

Read the Biography and Additional Articles by Axis Columnist, Siv O'Neall.


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