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A brothel for agribusiness



Our federal regulatory agencies – designed to protect consumers, workers, and the environment from corporate profiteers – have instead become brothels on wheels, going to any length to accommodate profiteers.

One of the rolling accommodators is the U.S. agriculture department, which has been especially servile to Monsanto and other biotech giants involved in messing with the very DNA of our foods and feed crops. Monsanto makes a weedkiller called Roundup, but in addition to killing weeds, this toxic stuff also tends to kill the very crops that the weeds are crowding out.

Take alfalfa. Monsanto’s white-smock lab techs have genetically altered alfalfa seeds to produce plants that – guess what? – absorb heavy doses of Roundup without dying. This means more sales of Monsanto’s herbicide, while also creating a market for its “Roundup Ready” alfalfa seeds. Our ag department gave this Frankenseed its blessing two years ago without even doing an environmental impact assessment! The agency simply assumed that the enviro and economic impacts were not significant, essentially taking the word of the profiteer, Monsanto.

A watchdog group called the Center for Food Safety, however, was not so easy. It sued USDA for abrogating its regulatory responsibility – and a federal judge has now agreed. He said that USDA was “cavalier” in its quick OK, that it had not adequately considered the fact that the altered seed would contaminate organic alfalfa fields, and that the increased use of the herbicide would create superweeds. In a telling comment, the judge wrote: “One would expect that some federal agency is considering whether there is some risk to (genetically) engineering all of America’s crops…”

Yeah… one would expect. But our government has become an accommodator, not a regulator. To learn more, call the Center for Food Safety: 202-547-9359.

For more information on Jim Hightower’s work – and to subscribe to his award-winning monthly newsletter, The Hightower Lowdown, visit www.jimhightower.com. This column was distributed by minutemanmedia.org.

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