Yesterday, Zerohedge published an article detailing the agribusiness giant Monsanto being caught red-handed colluding with the EPA regarding their weed-killer Roundup:
Finally, when all else fails, you call in those “special favors” in Washington D.C. that you’ve paid handsomely for over the years.
And that’s where Jess Rowland, the EPA’s Deputy Division Director for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention and chair of the Agency’s Cancer Assessment Review Committee, comes in to assure you that he’s fully exploiting his role as the “chair of the CARC” to kill any potentially damaging research…”if I can kill this I should get a medal.”
It’s not as if this is the first time Monsanto has used its political influence to skirt the law and market their dangerous products to consumers, not just in the U.S. but globally. They even admitted as much in 2005, when the company paid a fine for bribing an Indonesian official:
The US agrochemical giant Monsanto has agreed to pay a $1.5m (£799,000) fine for bribing an Indonesian official.
Monsanto admitted one of its employees paid the senior official two years ago in a bid to avoid environmental impact studies being conducted on its cotton.
The Roundup saga, which as Zerohedge noted has emails dating back to 2009, has been covered before. The Pesticide Action Network wrote an article back in 2011 accusing Monsanto of spending over $150 million to incentivize governments to ignore the dangers of its pesticides:
In some circles, it would be called a bribe, at best. Evidence revealed last week shows that Monsanto’s former Chief Financial Officer admitted that the agrichemical corporation planned to spend $150 million in cash and trade incentives in Latin America, North America and Europe to spur the uptake of the pesticide glyphosate, better known as RoundUp. $150 million is no small change — and surely that’s not all that’s been spent.
The news came to light last week as part of an investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Sadly, small farmers around the world know all too well the carrot and stick approaches that Monsanto and other pesticide giants use to lure farmers (and nations) toward industrial agriculture and onto the pesticide treadmill.
Natural Society published a long list of politicians Monsanto had contributed to over the years, primarily Republicans, in 2013. But their biggest campaign contributions went to Hillary Clinton’s Presidential campaign in 2016:
Jerry Crawford of the Crawford & Mauro Law Firm in Des Moines, Iowa, bundled $151,727 for the campaign over the quarter ending Dec. 31, FEC documents show. Crawford is senior adviser to Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and was the Midwest Co-Chair of the Hillary Clinton for President Campaign in 2007-08. His firm listed Monsanto as a client in the most recent quarter, reporting $60,000 in lobbying income from Monsanto. Monsanto is known as one of the nation’s most powerful corporations, and is currently engaged in a range of public policy debates over regulation of its genetically modified crops and top herbicide product, Roundup.
Another Monsanto lobbyist, Steve Elmendorf, bundled $20,295 in contributions for the Hillary for America organization during the quarter, FEC documents show. Elmendorf also does work for the Grocery Manufacturers Association, which has been battling against mandatory labeling laws for foods made with GMOs.
The total of all bundlers for Clinton campaign over the quarter was $716,981, according to the FEC documents.
But nothing sums up Monsanto lobbying quite like Shannon Watts. Remember her?
As this very website has covered in the past, she has tried to masquerade herself as a stay-at-home mom, when she was actually a high-powered lobbyist for many evil corporations, including Monsanto:
Gun control “stay-at-home mom” Shannon Watts is pictured above in beige, 4th from left. Take note, she used to go by the name Shannon Troughton, and was an executive/lobbyist at your favorite evil corporations like Monsanto, WellPoint Healthcare, and GE Healthcare. Not exactly your typical stay-at-home mom, right?
But even worse, the NPR, our “National Public Radio” that is supposed to remain unbiased politically (and which President Trump is trying to defund) published an article in June of 2016 titled “A Million Mom Army And A Billionaire Take On The NRA” which was full of inaccuracies on the background of Watts (or is it Troughton?):
Watts went online and started searching for some kind of group to join or to donate money to. “I thought surely there is a Mothers Against Drunk Driving for gun safety,” she says. “And I couldn’t find anything.”
Watts says she had never gotten involved in politics before, beyond making some political contributions over the years. But she made a Facebook page: “One Million Moms for Gun Control.”
As Freedom Outpost report in 2014, Watts is anything but inexperienced when it comes to government and politics:
PR Newswire reported in December 2008: “Shannon Troughton, most recently the Vice President of Corporate Communications for WellPoint, the country’s largest health insurer, announced today the launch of a new public relations agency, VoxPop Public Relations, LLC. ‘My goal has always been to start my own agency because I enjoy all aspects of helping companies increase their profile while protecting and enhancing their reputation,’ said Troughton, president of VoxPop Public Relations. ‘My experience in government affairs, agency and corporate public relations will be put to good use for my clients, which I hope will span a variety of industries.'”
Nowhere in the newswire report was the name Watts mentioned. Prior to founding her own agency, Ms. Troughton (mommy Watts) had been a heavy hitter at WellPoint health, GE healthcare, and even evil chemical giant Monsanto.
This is no average ordinary mother of five who just coincidentally freaked out over the Sandy Hook shootings.
Even The Washington Post, known to issue tepid retractions on their own, was forced to cover the equally tepid retraction NPR was forced to issue:
This report refers to Shannon Watts as one in a group of “regular people” who began advocating for stricter gun control measures in recent years. After the December 2012 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., she created the “One Million Moms for Gun Control” Facebook page. It later became “Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.” We should have noted that Watts has a background in corporate communications. From 1998 to mid-2012, she was a corporate communications executive or consultant at such companies as Monsanto and FleishmanHillard. Before that, Watts had what she says was a nonpolitical job as a public affairs officer in the Missouri state government.
Coming back around to Monsanto, we now see that Monsanto not only has the EPA in its back pocket, it also has legislators from both sides of the aisle, employs heavy-hitting lobbyists who go on to work in all sorts of evil functions, and a mainstream media (including government-funded NPR) which is complicit in masking the links to these firms wherever possible. It all brings us to the last sentence of Zerohedge’s article:
All of which begs the question of whether the D.C. swamp is just too large to be drained.
Obviously, the nation needs to at least try to drain the swamp. But, as the case of Monsanto has demonstrated, it won’t be as easy as just “pulling out the stopper” and watching the corrupt element wash away.