A Monsanto executive told The New York Times that the safety of genetically engineered foods was the government’s problem, not the company’s:
“Monsanto should not have to vouchsafe the safety of biotech food,” said Phil Angell, Monsanto’s director of corporate communications. “Our interest is in selling as much of it as possible. Assuring its safety is the FDA’s job.”
As Angell implies, Monsanto’s interest in selling as much genetically engineered food as possible is in direct conflict with the government’s responsibility for food safety.
The most telling evidence that Monsanto’s strategy has been an overwhelming succes is the number of former Monsanto employees who have been given jobs in the FDA and other regulatory agencies that monitor Monsanto’s products.
Margaret Miller is just one example. While working as a Monsanto researcher, she contributed to a scientific report for the FDA on Monsanto’s genetically engineered bovine growth hormone. Shortly before the report was submitted, Miller left Monsanto to work at the FDA, where her first job was to review the same report! Assisting Miller was another former Monsanto researcher, Susan Sechen.
Needless to say, the FDA accepted Monsanto’s findings, which became the basis for its approval of Monsanto’s genetically engineered bovine growth hormone and its decision not to require labels on milk produced through the use of the artificial hormone.
The FDA official who made the decision not to label Monsanto’s milk was Michael Taylor, who had worked as a lawyer for Monsanto. Today, Michael Taylor is in the Obama Administration, in charge of food safety.