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AN OPEN LETTER TO HILLARY CLINTON FROM A WELLESLEY COLLEGE ALUMNA

By Linn Cohen-Cole  Posted by Carolyn Baker (about the submitter)     Permalink
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?).

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