Hillary and Monsanto's Aspartame

Submitted by SadInAmerica on Sat, 02/23/2008 - 12:05pm.

There is a chance - because of the election and the Clinton's connection to Monsanto - to finally break open into the sunlight what is happening to our food through corporate connections to government.  But in isolation from the context of Hillary and Monsanto, the story about Aspartame is horrifying but it remains only frightening, not the transformative moment it could be for this country.


Victoria Innes-Brown, M.A.did research for all of us and for all our children.


During the Clinton administration

In l996, FDA Commissioner Dr. David Kessler granted blanket approval of this neurotoxin to be used like sugar. ... On August 26, l996 (p 20-21) the Food Chemical News reported, "Gingrich told FDA in a July 26 letter that he would appreciate any information the agency could provide him on aspartame. Aspartame�commercially known as 'NutraSweet'�was recently approved for all food and beverages uses by the FDA." ... To this day (August 4, 2000) the FDA has refused to answer them ....


The connection to the Clntons?  

Monsanto owned Nutrasweet during the Clinton Administration.  

Drs. Louis Elsas of Emory University and William Pardridge of the UCLA Medical School charged that the diet food and drink industry has engaged in a whitewash' by rejecting health concerns, manipulating research studies and wining and dining scientific critics.

These and other researchers describe a world of subtle, high-stakes strategy in which the availability of corporate funds and the design of research protocols may have influenced the course of a multibillion-dollar industry and potentially affected the safety of millions of people.

Bill's FDA commissioner, David Kessler, not only didn't study Aspartame despite years of concerns about four kinds of seizures and other illnesses, but worked to keep Stevia, a natural sweetener, out of the US, despite

over 900 Stevia studies, none of which indicated any safety concerns regarding human health.


Because of the election and the focus on Hillary Clinton, because of intense concern about food after the largest meat recall in the history of the FDA, and now, with this astounding study of Aspartame by a mother who cared enough about her family to do research herself for 18 months,

this is a potentially explosive moment for our country.

There is a chance - because of the election and the Clinton's connection to Monsanto - to finally break open into the sunlight what is happening to our food through corporate connections to government.  But in isolation from the context of Hillary and Monsanto, the story about Aspartame is horrifying but it remains only frightening, not the transformative moment it could be for this country.

The American people need to know the history of how our farmers and our food have been so badly harmed, as well as the series of undemocratic things happening now to permanently game the system so there can be no viable resistance.


The context MUST be there and the time is RIGHT NOW.  The letters that follow give that context.

The first letter explains what the Clintons did and how deep their Monsanto connection is, and the second gives a view, through Ohio, of how Monsanto, works.  

Wrap the horrific Aspartame story in the two letters, and people will understand.  

This is not about Hillary only, or about Monsanto only,

but they tell the story of what is happening to us in simple and graphic terms.

The context to Aspartame and much else, follows:

An Open Letter to Hillary Clinton from Another Wellesley College Alumna

Dear Hillary,

By polling logic, I should be your supporter - Democrat, woman, white, liberal.  But this past summer I saw a News Hour show on farmers committing suicide in Maharastra, India, which affected me deeply.  I started learning what was happening to farmers and to food and how the Clintons are connected.

The News Hour piece said Monsanto, a US agricultural corporation, hired Bollywood actors to sell illiterate farmers Bt (genetically engineered) cotton seeds, promising they'd get rich from big yields.  The expensive seeds needed expensive fertilizer and pesticides (Monsanto's) and irrigation.  There is little to no irrigation there.  Crops failed.  Farmers had immense debt and couldn't collect seeds to try again because Monsanto seeds are"patented" as "intellectual property").  If they tried, Monsanto has a $10 million budget and 75 person staff to prosecute farmers.  http://www.grist.org/...

Since the late 1990s (as industrial agriculture took hold in India?), 166,000 Indian farmers have committed suicide and 8 million have left the land, and it has increased since 2002 to an average of 1 every 20 minutes (P.Sainath, The Hindu).  The reasons for suicides are always complex and Monsanto is not the only giant agribusiness now in India, but it is one of the largest, and the main one in Maharastra where the suicides are especially high.  Farmers in Europe, Asia, Africa, Indonesia, South America, Central America and here, have all protested Monsanto and genetic engineering.  

And who is Monsanto?  It is a US corporation which made Agent Orange, PCBs, nuclear weapons components, pesticides, ...  With that diverse background in death, it is now "doing" food.  en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monsanto

What does this have to do with you?

The Orwellian-named "Rural Americans for Hillary" were Monsanto's lobbyists.  My greater concern, though, is your former-employer, the Rose Law Firm, whose clients include Monsanto, world's largest GE (genetic engineering) corporation; Tyson, world's largest meat producer; Walmart, the world's largest retailer.  Rose is home to the industrialization of food.

You may say you left Rose long ago, but one never leaves such close connections behind.  To give an example of how things are entwined and friendly there: Jon Jacoby, senior at the Stephens Group - one of the largest shareholders of Tyson, Walmart, DP&L - is C.O.B. of DP&L, and arranged the Wal-Mart deal while Jackson Stephens' Stephens Group staked Walton, financed Tyson, and Monsanto bought DP&L, while Walmart's board invited you on, aTyson executive helped you do $1000,000 trade just before Bill' governorship, and Jackson Stephens backed Bill for Governor, then President (donating $100,000).  http://www.financialsense.com/...

(Tavis Smiley just had you on his show last night, the last night before Super Tuesday.  His major funder is Walmart.)

And Bill did some nice things for clients of Rose as well:

Tyson:  USDA immediately significantly weakened chicken waste and contamination standards, easing Tyson's poultry-factory expansion.  (www.financialsense.com/ editorials/engdahl/2006/0828.html).  His USDA head, Espy, was indicted for bribes, money laundering, and much more.  Tyson was the largest corporate offender.  http://www.engdahl.oilgeopolitics.ne...  


Monsanto people were put in charge of food, ... (http://www.commondreams.org/headlines/072600-03.htm) or http://www.monitor.net/... or http://www.mindfully.org/...
FDA okayed Monsanto's rBGH (bovine growth hormone), first GE-product ever approved.
Despite bovine illness/death, FDA didn't recall or warn.  
When dairymen labeled milk "rBGH-free," USDA  threatened confiscation.  
Organic food was the last way around unknown danger.  FDA tried to close that escape with new "organic" standards, to include: genetic engineering of plants/animals, food irradiation , sewage sludge fertilizer.  
USDA backed down from public response 20 times greater than to anything before.  

American food:  

Oils:  Indian sheep died eating from Bt cotton fields.  http://btcotton.blogspot.com/...  Our children eat Bt cottonseed oil in peanut butter, cookies.  

Grains:  49% of corn acreage planted in Bt corn in 2007.  www.ers.usda.gov/Data/BiotechCrops/adoption.htm   French study indicates it causes kidney and liver toxicity. http://www.organicconsumers.org/...  Monsanto controls US's two main crops, soy (90% GMO, 90% of traits "belong" to Monsanto) and corn, the largest crop (60% GMO, nearly 100% Monsanto "owned" traits).  http://www.organicconsumers.org/...

Meat:  Steroids bulk athletes, Monsanto steroids fatten animals, our fattening children eat steroid-laced meats.  FDA allowed "known TSE-positive (Transmissible spongiform encephalopathy Mad Cow Disease) material to be used in pet food, pig, chicken and fish feed."  Monsanto's GE-hormone increases risk sick cows are entering US food chain.  http://www.consumersunion.org/...

Poultry:  USDA weakened waste/contamination standards.  Waste from transnational poultry industry is now implicated as the source of bird flu.  http://www.globalresearch.ca/...  The poultry industry is using the crisis to push out small farmers.  http://www.ens-newswire.com/...  

Milk:  Scientific studies indicate Monsanto's rBGH increases risks of breast cancer by up to seven-fold, increases colon, prostate cancers risks.  Canada, 29 European nations, Norway, Switzerland, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa ban U.S. rBGH dairy products.  Bill's USFDA put no restrictions, warning labels, or any labels.   http://www.sustdev.org/...  

Monsanto makes moves to increase its control:

Monsanto's Terminator genes make plants sterile after one season, which would require farmers to repurchase.  But the genes pose an apocalyptic risk of breaking out into nature.  GE breakouts have contaminated maize http://www.slogefree.org/...
and weeds, already.  

Monsanto, meat-packers, and USDA  (http://www.farmandranchguide.com/articles/2006/01/30/ag_news/updates/upd...)
are pushing NAIS (National Animal Identification System), a corporate database tracking small farmers' livestock.  
http://goexcelglobal.he.net/...  .

Monsanto is also pushing state laws taking control from farmers, communities, over GE planting.   http://www.rense.com/...

"Genetic Engineering is often justified as a human technology, one that feeds more people with better food. Nothing could be further from the truth. With very few exceptions, the whole point of genetic engineering is to increase sales of chemicals and bio-engineered products to dependent farmers."  David Ehrenfield: Professor of Biology, Rutgers University  www.innvista.com/society/education/students/simpson.html

But Industrial Agriculture has given us:

Cattle living in filth, 12,000-year-old seed loss, poultry industry implicated in bird flu, Mad Cow disease, bee colony collapse, poisoned soil, depleted water, Superweeds (http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn1882-geneticallymodified-superweed...), lawsuits against farmers, loss of family farms throughout the world, ...  farmers committing suicide.  Industrial agriculture.  

Bees and farmers, dead.  They are our canaries in the mine.

You and Food Safety:

Your proposed "Department of Food Safety" centralizes control over food, but into whose hands, HIllary?  You talk tough on labeling ... "foreign" food, but Bill degraded US food and prevented even minimally sane labeling.  You never objected.

Monsanto uses child labor in India, http://www.indiaresource.org/...  You take Monsanto donations.  
Blacks, our poorest group, have to eat Monsanto's steroid/hormone/antibiotic-filled GE food.  You take Monsanto donations.  
Latinos' central food is corn; its GE version is toxic to the kidney and liver, and has contaminated normal corn in Mexico.  You take Monsanto donations.

Who are you with?  

National Black Farmers Association, boycotting Monsanto?  Babies drinking rBGH milk?  Women fearing breast cancer?  Suffering animals?  Children eating Bt-corn in processed food, soft drinks, and candy?  Despairing farmers?

Or Monsanto?

I am a person before I am a woman.  Your gender is irrelevant.  Given deadly threats to my grandchildren's future by your corporate connections (Edwards was right), I don't believe your talk of "caring" about women/children/health/food.

I will vote for someone committed to small farmers - our ONLY real food safety.  Your friends, though, are the heart of an international industrial agricultural nightmare.

Linn Cohen-Cole

Disclaimer:  I am not a scientist.  I have read for months on this subject, and know that genetic engineering is many orders of magnitude different from "normal" business in its potential biologic ramifications, makes real the warning of Pandora'a Box  - letting irretrievable things rush out into nature.  Only the stark change to the world from nuclear fission and fusion offers a harrowing enough parallel.   I am including only a tiny portion of the horrifying things I have learned.  I am expressing my opinion as person and may be wrong.  Perhaps things are swell out there and rBGH is fabulous and TSE-laced feed is great, and genetic engineering is the best thing since manna.  But I am scared for my family and I have not only a right to say so but an obligation to do so.  I am angry that Monsanto was allowed the influence it had and has done the things it definitely seems to have.  I am disgusted by industrialization of every tender and beautiful part of our world and hope, for all our children's sake, we are not too late to pull back.

P.S.  Since posting my original letter, I have learned that your connection with Monsanto is more intimate than I knew, more on-going, and more central.  Your long-time adviser, including for PR, and your chief campaign strategest, is Mark Penn, who works for Burson-Marsteller - Monsanto's PR firm - which represents some of the worst corporations in existence - including Blackwater. http://www.sourcewatch.org/...

Industrial agriculture is a major contributor to global warming.

POOR OHIO:  A Second Open Letter to Hillary Clinton About Her Monsanto Connections

Dear Hillary,

This is my second letter to you. http://www.uncommonthought.com/... I am writing again because I feel badly for you that you seem not understand what is wrong.

You are going into Ohio soon. The issue is that you don't travel alone.

Your and Bill's history with Monsanto is going with you. http://www.fortruth.org/ Your campaign strategist, Mark Penn, goes as well, putting Monsanto by your side. http://www.sourcewatch.org/...

What does Ohio have to do with you and Monsanto?

Did you know that dairy farmers there had the battle of their lives to prevent the banning of rBGH labels on their dairy products? http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/...

Let me put that into plain English.

Monsanto tried (and may try again) to make sure dairy farmers in Ohio, and across the country - http://nonais.org/... have no "real" freedom of speech. What simple thing are Ohio farmers denied saying? "We don't put GE crap in our cows."

Dairy farmers want to tell that truth, consumers want it. You'd think that'd be simple. Yet, farmers - the only ones telling the public the truth - are doing so in the absence of governmental help and, in fact, up against it, as it favors Monsanto. http://www.organicconsumers.org/...

Your friend.

Monsanto, the agribusiness/pharmaceutical giant who made Agent Orange, PCBs, pesticides, nuclear weapons components, and Aspartame - killing or sickening things - now handles food - genetically engineering hormones, making steroids, patenting GE seeds of every kind, cloning animals, blocking "free speech" and fair competition (or it looks like that to me, when someone can't say what's good about their product), suing farmers, ...

You care about Ohio's health, Hillary?

One of Ohio's consumer advocates, who is supposed protect their well-being, used to work where? Guess. And the issue that consumer advocate considers bad idea for consumers? Labels on its milk. http://www.columbusdispatch.com/...

Yet, Monsanto's bovine growth hormone, the thing farmers wish to say they don't use, puts (and has put for years) Ohio citizens at greater risk for breast (7 times greater), colon and prostate cancer http://www.sustdev.org/...

Where is your support for farmers or consumers?

And what else is Monsanto doing in Ohio?

For farmers who buy GE seeds, Monsanto uses Pinkerton agents to go onto their property to check the farmer hasn't collected GE seeds - Monsanto's patented "intellectual property." Monsanto uses other means as well, to check up on farmers. http://www.patentprofits.com/...

For those who collect their own seeds (since time immemorial) for free, Monsanto wants an Ohio law to require:

seed cleaners to keep detailed records on every seed cleaning transaction, to document the name of the farmer, seed variety names and whether or not the seed is protected by patents or breeders' rights. "In essence, the bill discriminates against farmers who are lawfully saving and re-planting open-pollinated seed varieties," asserts RAFI (Rural Advancement Foundation International)'s Shand.


Monsanto (and USDA and big meat packers) is seeking something similar with animals - NAIS (the National Animal Identification System), tagging of every single farm animal in the US with a global tracking system, to be fed into a "corporate" data base.

Businesses normally oppose regulations. Monsanto is seeking that land on small farmers.  They saving normal seeds and raising animals, overwhelmingly burdensome and intrusive. And Monsanto learns exactly what normal seeds or animals still exist and who owns them.

How are you protecting farmers from this crushing?

In the Farm Bill, you support Credit & Crop Insurance, calling on your colleagues to:

address the serious lack of credit opportunities that is making it almost impossible in some cases for coming generations to make a career in agriculture.


It sounds so good until one learns that:

the U.S. Department of Agriculture has struck an unusual arrangement with agribusiness giant Monsanto Co. that gives farmers in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Minnesota a break on federal crop insurance premiums if they plant Monsanto-brand seed corn this spring.


You and the USDA use their need for crop insurance to help Monsanto trap farmers into a difficult-to-escape system of GE seed patents and intellectual property laws. If you were truly helping them, you'd be shouting from the rooftops that farmers must have free-and-clear access to government crop insurance, and the USDA must stop making sweetheart deals with Monsanto or other corporations.

In Ohio, people are now watching:

America's Heartland, a new national public television series about American agriculture, and Ohio Farm and Country, an Ohio Farm Bureau produced television show, are now on the air.


The show is funded by Monsanto and the American Farm Bureau, with support from soy, corn, cotton and grain associations, all crops Monsanto primarily owns. www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_3323.cfm http://www.organicconsumers.org/...

Corporate programs on their own area of activity are commercials and Ohio public television does its public a serious disservice in allowing material that should be labeled honestly as "public relations."

Monsanto won't allow information on its own products, demands detail on farmers' holdings, and is putting out commercials as information about "farming."

Monsanto plays with information depending on what it wants.

You say you care about education.  Yet, real Information is what education is about.

Are you aware Monsanto is moving to control the land grant colleges and what is taught there? http://prorev.com/...

This is corporation education http://www.politicalfriendster.com/... id=3462&name=Donald-Danforth-Plant-Science-Center for GE food which is proving to be dangerous http://www.organicconsumers.org/... Many people fear and hate it. http://www.organicconsumers.org/... Even were it wonderful, it shifts ownership of seeds from Ohio's farmers to corporations.

You want Ohio's support?  "Get real." Get rid of Monsanto. Denounce what it and Bill did.

People in Ohio and elsewhere need to hear you say:

I will help get this and other corporations off your farmers' backs and work for a government to help you compete fairly against Monsanto, not one that takes sides with them against you.

I am sorry for the degrading of and non-labeling of food through Bill and Monsanto's involvement. I will get ALL food labeled clearly, not just with country of origin labels, but with what is "in" US and foreign food: genetically engineered food or not, pesticides or not, antibiotics or not, hormones or not.

I will not let the USDA dump degraded foods onto nutrition programs and schools anymore. I will make sure known-Mad Cow related material is ABSOLUTELY "banned" from ALL food - stopping its inclusion in pet food, fish feed, chicken feed, pig feed - not just cattle feed. And I will not allow it to be sent overseas to other countries as "food aid."

I will work to stop the industrialization of animals - including bees - and the torturous conditions they live in. I will stop food scares, here or around the world, from being used to crush small farmers who are not responsible for Mad Cow and Bird Flu and bee colony collapse, which are connected to the industrialization of land, plants and animals by giant agricultural corporations.

You should also apologize for what Bill's NAFTA and multinational corporations did to Ohio.

That's real, Hillary. Ohio people are not fools.

Around the country we ALL are sick of the slick laws, government lies, and an insane corporate drive for profit, threatening our lives. Devote yourself to reversing what Bill and Monsanto did to our food and to farmers around the world.  

Being President doesn't matter. Power doesn't matter. Saving a world for Chelsea does.

Linn Cohen-Cole

by ScaredHuman - February 21, 2008 - posted at www.dailykos.com
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Submitted by SadInAmerica on Sat, 02/23/2008 - 12:05pm.