Monsanto: The evil corporation in your refrigerator
Feb 4th 2010
When we consider the rogue's gallery of devilish, over-sized, greedy and disproportionately powerful corporations, we generally come up with outfits like Microsoft, Bechtel, AIG, Halliburton, Goldman-Sachs, Exxon-Mobil and the United States Senate.
Yet somehow, Monsanto, arguably the most devilish, over-sized, greedy and disproportionately powerful corporation in the world has been able to more or less skulk between the raindrops -- only a household name in households where documentaries like Food Inc. are regarded as light Friday evening entertainment.
...But for the most part, if you were to ask an average American for their list of sinister corporations, Monsanto probably wouldn't make the cut.
Founded by Missouri pharmacist John Francis Queeny in 1901, Monsanto is literally everywhere. Just about every non-organic food product available to consumers has some sort of connection with Monsanto.
Anyone who can read a label knows that corn, soy and cotton can be found in just about every American food product. Upwards of 90% of all corn, soybeans and cotton are grown from genetically engineered seeds, also known as genetically modified organisms (GMOs). These genetically enhanced products appear in around 70% of all American processed food products. And Monsanto controls 90% of all genetically engineered seeds. In other words, Monsanto controls -- and owns patents on -- most of the American food supply.
When you consider, as Walletpop originally reported, that one-in-four food labels is inaccurate, that the F.D.A.'s testing is weak at best, then how can we trust one corporation to have so much control over our produce? The answer is, we can't.
Recently, a study by the International Journal of Biological Sciences revealed that Monsanto's Mon 863, Mon 810, and Roundup herbicide-absorbing NK 603 in corn caused kidney and liver damage in laboratory rats.
Scientists also discovered damage to the heart, spleen, adrenal glands and even the blood of rats that consumed the mutant corn...
MORE ON FOOD CORRUPTION:
Tomato bribery probe just the beginning, prosecutors say
By P.J. Huffstutter
February 8, 2010
Amid concerns about corrupt practices in the food industry, nine people have pleaded guilty to charges including racketeering, money laundering and bid-rigging in a federal probe of SK Foods.
To his friends, Randall Lee Rahal was just a food salesman, someone who routinely left his home on Shadyside Road in Ramsey, N.J., to crisscross the country hawking California tomatoes.
The 61-year-old sold them pureed. He sold them crushed. He sold them roasted and mashed into paste. His clients were food manufacturers, supermarket chains and other commercial buyers who turned his products into soup, ketchup and salsa.
But in the eyes of the Justice Department, Rahal was Tomato Enemy No. 1 -- a produce scofflaw who allegedly peeled off $100 bills and carried cash-stuffed envelopes to bribe buyers from leading food companies in a decade-long racketeering scheme that may have led to higher prices for consumers at the grocery store.
In a series of court filings starting in 2008, federal prosecutors in Sacramento allege that Rahal, nine others and SK Foods of Monterey, Calif., used more than $330,000 in bribes from 1998 to 2008 to subvert competition and nail down deals to sell the company's tomato paste, peppers and other products to Kraft Foods Inc., Safeway Inc., Frito-Lay North America and B&G Foods, among others...