Monday, 2 November 2009

In 2007 Monsanto spent US$4M+ on lobbying, in 2008 it spent US$8M+, while in 2009....

Graph U.S. Agricultural sector lobbying expenditure 2009

Monsanto & Co. continues to expand its dominance of the world seed and genetically modified food additive markets with certain of its corporate expenses rising each year this century.

In 2006 this biotech multinational spent over US$3 million on lobbying governments and government agencies. By 2008 it was spending over US$8 million. In 2009 so far Monsanto & Co has spent over US$6 million on similar activities.

It is only one of 342 agricultural sector lobbyists in the United States listed by Open Secrets but is by far the biggest spender this year.

The U.S. agricultural lobby sector in 2009 is worth $25,721,913, has made over $2 million in campaign contributions for the American 2010 election cycle to date and Monsanto is in the top five donation contributors.

In February of this year Monsanto approached the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) seeking a ruling that stearidonic (SDA) omega-3 soybean oil was generally recognised as safe.

Monsanto intends to market SDA soybean oil as a food ingredient in the United States in a variety of food products including baked goods and baking mixes, breakfast cereals and grains, cheeses, dairy product analogs, fats and oils, fish products, frozen dairy desserts and mixes, grain products and pastas, gravies and sauces, meat products, milk products, nuts and nut products, poultry products, processed fruit juices, processed vegetable products, puddings and fillings, snack foods, soft candy, and soups and soup mixes. SDA soybean oil will be added to foods at levels that provide 375 mg SDA/serving.

Now it is reported that Monsanto is positioning itself to release soy-based GMO omega-3 oil on the market sometime after 2010 and according to a Monsanto media release the FDA has announced this month that genetically modified omega-3 oil is safe to use (however the FDA makes it plain that it has solely relied on Monsanto's own assessment).

Are we getting close to quod erat demonstrandum?

* This post is part of North Coast Voices' effort to keep Monsanto's blog monitor (affectionately known as Mr. Monsanto) in long-term employment.

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