by Dave Murphy, President | Food Democracy Action!
As Food Democracy Now! has previously reported, presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has some deep and troubling ties to Monsanto and the biotech industry. After digging further, we’ve found more alarming Monsanto connections between Hillary Clinton and how she used her position as head of the State Department to promote GMOs around the world and even abused her authority by having State Department officials threaten leaders of other nations for not wanting to approve GMO crops for sale in their country.
This is an outrage and something we must all consider, since right now a team of Monsanto lobbyists are already raising money for Hillary’s presidential campaign to put her back in the White House. What do you think they really want in return for raising all this money for her to become President?
Now is the time for Hillary to take a stand or lose the moral mandate to be President. Bernie Sanders has taken a strong stance in supporting mandatory GMO labeling, why won’t Hillary?
On top of this, in 2014, Hillary Clinton received a $325,000 “speaking fee” for giving the keynote address to the BIO International Convention in San Diego, California to coach industry lobbyists on how to overcome consumer fears over GMOs.
Clinton’s advice to the Monsanto biotech crowd in San Diego was so cringe-worthy that it earned her the nickname the “Bride of Frankenfood” among Iowa progressives and rural activists.
“A large faction of women voiced strong support for Mrs. Clinton’s candidacy until the GMO issue came up, prompting them to switch allegiances to Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont, a liberal stalwart challenging her for the Democratic nomination.
“I was surprised, because these women were really pushing for Hillary until they found out about the Monsanto connection, and then they dropped her like a hot potato,” said James Berge, Democratic Party chairman for Worth County, Iowa.”
Rather than lecture the audience on the need for transparency and improved safety assessments, Clinton coached the audience of biotech devotees to develop “a better vocabulary” to change negative public perception about GMO agriculture:
“‘Genetically modified’ sounds Frankenstein-ish. ‘Drought-resistant’ sounds like something you’d want,” said Clinton. “Be more careful so you don’t raise that red flag immediately.”
Really Hillary? Why not be HONEST and ask the biotech industry to support mandatory GMO labeling since polls regularly show that more than 90% of the American public supports GMO labeling?
How Hillary’s State Department Became the Global-Marketing Arm of Monsanto
With no pledge to support mandatory GMO labeling from Hillary Clinton, right now all we have to assume for Hillary’s opinion on GMO labeling is her track record as Secretary of State and from the few reports out there, it doesn’t look good.
For example, on May 14, 2013, the New York Daily News reported that State Department officials under Hillary Clinton were actively using taxpayer money to promote Monsanto’s controversial GMO seeds around the world.
Even worse, a batch of diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks showed that officials in Clinton’s State Department were actually intervening at Monsanto’s request to undermine legislation that might restrict sales of genetically engineered seeds.
Under Hillary, the U.S. State Department was so gung-ho to promote GMOs that Mother Jones writer Tom Philpott called it:
“the de facto global-marketing arm of the ag-biotech industry, complete with figures as high-ranking as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton mouthing industry talking points as if they were gospel.”
According to multiple reports, it looks like the Clinton State Department may have really operated as Monsanto’s Foreign Ambassador Around the Globe.
Under Hillary Clinton the U.S. State Department promoted GMOs and Monsanto’s GMO Agenda around the globe by:
- Directing embassies to “troubleshoot problematic legislation” that “might hinder biotech crop development”.
- Encouraging “the development and commercialization of ag-biotech products”.
- Producing pamphlets to promote biotech crops.
- Sending pro-GMO DVDs to high school students in Hong Kong.
- Flew foreign officials and media from 17 countries to the United States to promote GMO agriculture.
It doesn’t stop there and we may never know the depths to which State Department officials under Hillary’s direct command actually sank to promote Monsanto and GMOs in foreign countries.
According to one released cable from 2009, the embassy in Spain sought “high-level U.S. government intervention” at the “urgent request” of Monsanto to combat biotech crop “opponents”. That’s right, under Hillary’s direction as Secretary of State, officials in the Clinton State Department targeted the actions of foreign activists at the request of Monsanto. And in at least 3 instances, the Clinton State Department fought national GMO labeling laws in Malaysia, Vietnam and Hong Kong.
If we really want to have a government that represents the will of the people, it’s time that our elected officials divorce themselves from being handmaidens to the ambitions of corporate lobbyists.
These are the tough questions that the mainstream media should be asking about, but they have either been bought or bullied into silence but for us, that’s just not acceptable.
We know from following this issue closely, that Hillary’s challenger Bernie Sanders has not been shy about supporting GMO labeling and he actively supports the GMO labeling bill that passed in his state of Vermont, so it’s time that Hillary get on record about where she stands.
The problem is, the more we look, the more troubling information we find.
Regretfully, this is not the end of the story about Hillary’s close relationship with promoting Monsanto’s agenda around the world. We can’t afford to have another candidate in the White House that intentionally puts Monsanto’s profits over the rights of the American public.
TLB recommends you to Food Democracy Action for more information and action you can take against Monsanto.
1. “Exclusive Video: How Obama Won the Iowa Caucus and What Hillary and Bernie Can Learn From Him”, Ecowatch, January 27, 2016.
2. “Hillary’s agribusiness ties gave rise to the nickname in Iowa: ‘Bride of Frankenfood’: ‘Bride of Frankenfood’ losing crucial liberal activist support to Bernie Sanders, Washington Times, May 17, 2015
3 “Hillary’s Pick for Her Political Fixer in Iowa Is a Classic Illustration of America’s Political Corporate Insider Problem: Monsanto-linked Jerry Crawford doesn’t inspire much hope.”, Alternet, March 9, 2015
4. “Hillary Clinton is Just Plain Wrong on GMOs”, Organic Consumers Association, August 28, 2014
5. “Hillary’s agribusiness ties give rise to nickname in Iowa: ‘Bride of Frankenfood’: ‘Bride of Frankenfood’ losing crucial liberal activist support to Bernie Sanders, Washington Times, May 17, 2015
6. “Hillary Clinton is Just Plain Wrong on GMOs”, Organic Consumers Association, August 28, 2014
7. “Hillary vs. Bernie on Frankenfood”, Judy Frankel, Huffington Post, June 23, 2015
8. “Here are all the six-figure speaking fees that Hillary Clinton received after leaving the State Department” Business Insider News, May 20, 2015
9. “U.S. taxpayer money used to help promote Monsanto GMO products overseas, documents reveal”, New York Daily News, May 14, 2013
10. Taxpayer Dollars Are Helping Monsanto Sell Seeds Abroad, Tom Philpott, Mother Jones, May 18, 2013
P.S. This is the 3rd article, in what is now a 5 part series in which we will be examining close financial ties to agribusiness and its corrosive impact on family farmers and our food supply. Please forward this story to 3 friends who care about these issues. We can’t afford to have another candidate in the White House that intentionally puts Monsanto’s profits over the rights of the American public.