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Feb 4, 2008

OpEdNews

Original Content at 

http://tinyurl.com/2q8lqo

February 3, 2008

AN OPEN LETTER TO HILLARY CLINTON FROM A WELLESLEY COLLEGE ALUMNA

By Linn Cohen-Cole

Dear Hillary,

By polling logic, I should be your supporter - Democrat, older woman,
white, liberal. I was even in a dorm with you in college. I have
pulled for you for years. But something this past summer
fundamentally changed my responsibility to my children and
grandchildren. In the time I have left in my life to protect them and
others, I need to speak out.

I saw a News Hour piece on Maharastra, India, about farmers
committing suicide. Monsanto, a US agricultural giant, hired
Bollywood actors for ads telling illiterate farmers they could get
rich (by their standards) from big yields with Monsanto's Bt
(genetically engineered) cotton seeds. The expensive seeds needed
expensive fertilizer and pesticides (Monsanto, again) and irrigation.
There is no irrigation there. Crops failed. Farmers had larger debt
than they'd ever experienced

And farmers couldn't collect seeds from their own fields to try again
(true since time immemorial). Monsanto "patents" their DNA-altered
seeds as "intellectual property." They have a $10 million budget and
a staff of 75 devoted solely to prosecuting farmers.
http://www.grist.org/comments/food/2008/01/17./). 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.

Farmers in Europe, Asia, Africa, Indonesia,South America, Central
America and here, have protested Monsanto and genetic engineering for
years.

What does this have to do with you?

You have connections to Monsanto through the Rose Law Firm where you
worked and through Bill who hired Monsanto people for central food-
related roles. Your Orwellian-named "Rural Americans for Hillary" was
planned withTroutman Sanders, Monsanto's lobbyists.

Genetic engineering and industrialized food and animal production all
come together at the Rose Law Firm, which represents the world's
largest GE corporation (Monsanto), GE's most controversial project
(DP&L's - now Monsanto's - terminator genes), the world's largest
meat producer (Tyson), the world's largest retailer and a dominant
food retailer (Walmart).

The inbred-ness of Rose's legal representation of corporations which
own controlling interests in other corporations there and of
corporate boards sharing members who are also shareholders of each
other's corporations there, is so thorough that it is hard to
capture. Jon Jacoby, senior executive of the Stephens Group - one of
the largest institutional shareholders of Tyson Foods, Walmart, DP&L -
is also Chairman of the Board of DP&L and arranged the Wal-Mart
deal. Jackson Stephens' Stephens Group staked Sam Walton and financed
Tyson Foods. Monsanto bought DP&L. All represented at Rose.

You didn't just work there, you made friends. That shows in the flow
of favors then and since. You were invited onto Walmart's board, you
were helped by a Tyson executive to make commodity trades (3 days
before Bill became governor), netting you $100,000, Jackson Stephens
strongly backed Bill for Governor, and then for President (donating
$100,000).

Food and friends, in Clinton terms:

Bill's appointed friend Mike Espy, Secretary of Agriculture, who
immediately significantly weakened federal chicken waste and
contamination standards, opening the door to major expansion of
Tyson's chicken factory farms. Espy resigned, indicted for
accepting bribes, illegal contributions, money laundering, illegal
dispersal of USDA subsidies, .... Tyson Foods was the largest
corporate offender.


But what Bill did for Monsanto "genetic engineering" goes beyond
inadequate concepts of giving corporate friends influence: He
unleashed genetic engineering into the world. And then he helped
close off people's escape from it.

Genetic engineering is many orders of magnitude different
from "normal" (even polluting) business in its potential biologic
ramifications. The warning myth of Pandora'a Box - letting
irretrievable things rush out into nature - has become real. The
harrowing change to the world from nuclear fission and fusion is the
closest parallel.

What did Bill do?

1. Bill's put Monsanto people in at the FDA, as US Agricultural Trade
Representatives, on International Biotechnology Consultive Forums,
and more ... or http://www.monitor.net/monitor/9904b/monsantofda.html or http://www.mindfully.org/GE/Revolving-Door.htm

2. Bill's FDA gave Monsanto permission to market rBGH (a GE bovine
growth hormone), the first genetically engineered product let loose
on us (or did tomatoes with fish DNA get there first?).

3. Despite reports of bovine illness and death, Bill's FDA did not
recall it or put warnings on it. Even "a very angry, very vocal
nationwide consumer base" had no impact. "


4. Bill's FDA wouldn't even label rBGH as "present" in milk.

5. When dairy farmers tried to label their own milk rBGH-free so the
public could choose, Bill's USDA threatened all dairies that their
products could be confiscated from stores. Michael Taylor, USFDA
Deputy Commissioner, was formerly Monsanto's counsel.

6. How were consumers to protect their family, given Bill's FDA
enforced public blindness, except to buy only organic? But Bill's FDA
tried to close off that last escape, proposing to include
in "organic" standards, "the dirty three" a : genetic engineering of
plants and animals, use of irradiation in food processing and use of
municipal sewage sludge as a fertilizer. (My emphasis.) The FDA
backed down.


Had this gone through, Monsanto could have finally labeled rBGH
milk ... as "organic." And animal waste from factory farms, a
pollution nightmare for Tyson and others, could have been sold as
fertilizer.

USDA head Dan Glickman: "This is probably the largest public response
to an [Agriculture Department] rule in modern history." In fact the
response was 20 times greater than anything ever before proposed by
the USDA
.


Personally, I resent years of effort to protect my children and now
grandchildren, from that crap.

Politically, Bill sided against small farmers and against the
public's right to know, and with Monsanto.

A snap shot of our food:

Oils: Sheep died in India after feeding on Bt cotton fields.
We feed our children Bt cotton, as
cottonseed oil in peanut butter and cookies.

Grains: 49% of US corn acreage was planted in Bt corn in 2007. A
French study proved Monsanto's GMO corn causes kidney and liver
toxicity.


Soft drinks and candy have highly concentrated Bt corn, in the form
of high fructose Bt corn syrup. The US food system depends most on
two crops, soy (90% GMO, 90% of traits owned by Monsanto) and corn,
the largest crop (60% GMO, nearly 100% Monsanto traits). "[E]
ssentially our entire food supply is genetically modified, to the
benefit of one company." The Grocery Manufacturers of America in 2000
estimated that 70 percent of US food contains GM traits.

Meat: Steroids bulk up atheletes. Monsanto steroids bulk up animals -
more weight, more profit. We feed our children steroids in meats. Is
this why our children are fattening, like Hansel and Gretel?

Poultry: Bill's USDA weakened chicken waste and contamination
standards and attempted to allow sewage sludge as fertilize crops. I
will say more about disease from industrialized poultry farms waste,
at the end of this letter.

Milk: Over 30 scientific publications have shown increased levels of
IGF-1 in milk with rBGH increases risks of breast cancer by up to
seven-fold, also increasing colon and prostate cancers risks. Canada,
29 European nations, Norway, Switzerland, Japan, New Zealand,
Australia, and South Africa ban U.S. rBGH dairy products. Bill's
USFDA put no restrictions, no warning labels (not allowing labels at
all). (My emphasis.)


American children eat that food and drink that milk, Hillary.
Coincidentally, American children are increasingly fat and sick.

Here, Bill ignored pleas for labeling. Abroad, Bill ignored intense
international objections over the same issue - unlabeled US food
exports - badly straining trading relations. Monsanto's "good ole
boy," he betrayed American families at the deepest levels
conceivable - their family's health and their democratic right to
know. He betrayed our rural life and American family farmers -
backing corporation deceit and control, over honesty and clean
farming.

But, HIllary, it is one thing to not label a regular ole food product
to sell it, and quite another to sell a suspected-dangerous food
product (rBGH), but Bill's administration didn't label (or stop) a
well-known, terrifying threat - Mad Cow Disease.

Bill's FDA's August, 1997 regulation permitted "known TSE-positive
[Transmissible spongiform encephalopathy] material to be used in pet
food, pig, chicken and fish feed," only requiring the label to
read "Do not feed to cattle and other ruminants" in the US.

Monsanto added to the problem. "There is evidence that rbST use
[Monsanto's GE bovine growth hormone] reduces the useful lifespan of
a dairy cow. ... Given that the incubation period for BSE is at least
three to five years and perhaps longer, rbST-treated cows could
harbor "hidden" BSE. That is, they might be infected but still
asymptomatic when sent to slaughter." (My emphasis.)
http://www.consumersunion.org/food/bgh-codex.htm

Bill let TSE into our entire food chain. And who owned the feed and
slaughter and genetic engineering corporations whch benefitted?

Please, tell me, Hillary, what he could possibly have gotten in
friendship or favors, that could ever justify his exposing millions
of people to this?

With genetic engineering itself, Bill did something to the whole
world, which tried to object. Words are inadequate to express how
astoundingly immoral, beyond human bounds and conceit and power, that
was.

"Even for the biggest "winners," it is like winning at poker on the
Titanic." Jerry Mander: Facing the Rising Tide

He had no right.

Do you hear that?

Bill had sex from Monica Lewinsky. That's "dinky immoral." That's
chicken feed immoral - excuse the Tyson pun, excuse the TSE-laced
pun. Bill let genetic engineering lose on NATURE itself.

"Our way of life is likely to be more fundamentally transformed in
the next several decades than in the previous one thousand years...Tens
of thousands of novel transgenic bacteria, viruses, plants and
animals could be released into the Earth's ecosystems...Some of those
releases, however, could wreak havoc with the planet's biospheres."
Jeremy Rifkin, Biotech Century

Bill did this to us, like it was some nothing and he, some big dumb
ass Southern boy, just smiling and getting in good with the Big Boys,
thinking about as much about the consequences of something this
immense and about us human beings out here, as he thought about you,
when he was unfaithful with Monica. Just one big fool getting off on
the power and used to getting away with things.

Terminator genes, developed by DP&L, a Rose Firm client, prevent
seeds from "working" after only one season. Farmers "must" repurchase
(patents and suing not certain enough control, it seems).
Those "killing" genes pose the apocalyptic risk of breaking out into
nature. Natural seeds could fail, too. Nature could fail.

Far-fetched?

GMO fields are already contaminating normal species
Berkeley Professor of Microbiology, Ignacio Chapela, wrote an open letter,
warning the Mexican government about just this breaking out
phenomenon happening in maize

And it has already happened with weeds - pesticide resistant GMO
seeds break lose and weeds become pesticide-resistant Superweeds.


But Bill's USDA spokesman, Willard Phelps said the USDA wanted the
technology to be 'widely licensed and made expeditiously available to
many seed companies.'

"Genetic Engineering is often justified as a human technology, one
that feeds more people with better food. Nothing could be further
from the truth. With very few exceptions, the whole point of genetic
engineering is to increase sales of chemicals and bio-engineered
products to dependent farmers." David Ehrenfield: Professor of
Biology, Rutgers University

Hillary, one third of the world's bee colonies have collapsed. Gone.
Farmers in India are killing themselves. Farmers and bees. Since
organic farmers in India are fine and organic farmers report no
colony collapse, what does these farming catatrophes say
about "industrial agriculture"?

Mad Cow Disease is another direct result of industrial agriculture.
And now ....... transnational poultry factories are implicated as the source of
bird flu. ... Small scale poultry farms and wild birds seem not to be
the problem [just as small farmers are not the issue in Mad Cow
Disease], and yet "initiatives are multiplying to ban outdoor
poultry, squeeze out small producers and restock farms with
genetically modified chickens. ... http://www.ens-
newswire.com/ens/feb2006/2006-02-27-01.asp "Of the few outbreaks that
did occur in [Laos], more than 90% broke out in commercial poultry
operations, not free-ranging flocks
."

Monsanto (and others) is currently working with the USDA
to force small farmers to tag every animal with a global tracking
device (NAIS - National Animal Identification System). Allegedly
related to food safety, Monsanto and others would be creating a vast
corporate digital library on every move of small farmers's livestock.

But small farmers do not create the contaminated environments, do not
supply the feed, do not grind up diseased animals into feed (how Mad
Cow began) and then sell it. In fact, their farming methods, free
range and small scale, are significantly healthier and safer for
animals and food than the massive concentration of animals by
corporate industrial agriculture.

Monsanto is also aggressively pushing for state laws to limit
farmers' right to choose what to plant and the public's right exclude
GE plants from their communities.


Cattle bloated by steroids, lapse and loss of 10,000 year old normal
seeds, immense pollution from factory farms, deadly-disease-ridden
feed, world-wide bee colony collapse, poisoned soil and depleted
water supplies, Superweeds,
lawsuits against farmers, loss of
family farms, and ... India farmers killing themselves in what may be
the largest mass suicide in recorded human history (on average ...
one farmers' suicide every 30 minutes since 2002 - The Hindu
1.30.08) - that is industrial agriculture.

Monsanto and Tyson are two of the largest industrial agricultural
corporations in the world. Industrial agriculture is represented by
your Rose Law Firm.

Your claim to care about food safety is terrifying double-speak given
what Bill did and who you take donations from. Your idea of a
Department of Food Safety would centralize control of food - in whose
corporate connected hands? You talk tough about labeling food - ah,
but "foreign" food - a sleight of hand tricking a public desperate
for safe US food. You talk about food safety but Bill degraded food
in every imaginable way and prevented minimally sane labeling.

I am a person before I am a woman. Your gender means nothing. It is a
media distraction. Your policies on health and food and women and
children, are meaningless in the face of connections that have
threatened those groups profoundly, connections you have never
denounced.

Monsanto uses child labor in India, primarily very young girls,
exposing them to a lethal pesticide 13-14 hours a day, for pennies in
pay. But you take donations from their lobbyists. You say you care
about black people but as the poorest people in this country, they
are least able to buy organic and are forced to eat the contaminated
foods Bill let into our food system. The National Black Farmers
Association has a boycott out on all Monsanto products.

Do you eat organic?

So, who are you with, hapless black consumers and black farmers, or
Monsanto? Mothers left to give their children rBGH milk, or Monsanto?
Women exposed to 7 times greater risk of breast cancer, or Monsanto?
Desperate farmers in India and young children forced into child labor
in cottonseed factories there, or Monsanto? Animals suffering from
lives in filthy cages and disgusting feedlots, shot up with steroids
and hormones and antibiotics, or Monsanto? Our children who eat candy
with high fructose Bt corn syrup associated with kidney and liver
toxicity, or Monsanto?

Edwards was right about your corporate connections. I just didn't
understand until I saw that PBS show and read about Monsanto, how
personally affected my children and grandchildren, and all people
around the world, have been.

I will not vote for you. I will vote for someone who will commit
themselves to work on behalf of small farmers and real food and
decent treatment of animals and to end this industrialized
agricultural nightmare that is taking us off a cliff.

Linn Cohen-Cole
Atlanta

Disclaimer. I am not a scientist. I have read for months on this
subject, and am including only a tiny portion of the horrifying
things I have learned. I am expressing my opinion as person and may
be wrong. Perhaps things are swell out there and rBGH is fabulous and
TSE-laced feed is great, and genetic engineering is the best thing
since manna. But I am scared for my family and I have not only a
right to say so but an obligation to do so. I am angry that Monsanto
was allowed the influence it had and has done the things it
definitely seems to have. I am disgusted by industrialization of
every tender and beautiful part of our world and hope, for all our
children's sake, we are not too late to pull back.


Visibility: Everyone
Posted: Monday February 4, 2008, 9:04 pm
Tags: clinton [add/edit tags]

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Brenda R. (6)
Monday April 7, 2008, 12:02 pm
I have to say I am trully pissed off. I wouldn't vote for her even to safe my right leg. This is just horrible and evil, all in the name of control and greed.

W Robert P. (0)
Tuesday January 5, 2010, 2:03 pm
Thank you for making this letter available. Unfortunately, Obama is continuing the same evil agenda you were hoping to avoid by not voting for H. Clinton. It looks like if the world is going to be saved it won't be because of the power grabbing politicians because they don't work for us but for the New World Order.

Spamm H. (0)
Wednesday October 13, 2010, 4:35 pm
I am a conservative, and so I typically oppose Hillary. this just reinforces my convictions. thank you for doing all this research and presenting it here.
http://www.jwh018free.com

Sue Croteau (0)
Monday January 28, 2013, 8:35 pm
Traitors of their own country and people for the sake of money, Rome fell, so will they.

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