Revolving doors

Resignation of EFSA chairperson vindicates EP efforts to tackle conflicts of interest at EU agencies

EU Commission shortlists ex-Monsanto employee for EFSA Management Board

March 8, 2012

The European Commission has recommended that one of Europe’s chief food lobbyists – who is also a former Monsanto employee – sits on the management board of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

A (former) Monsanto Minister of Agriculture in Romania

February 22, 2012

The new Romanian government received on 9 February 2012, a vote of confidence in parliament, paving the way for its official inauguration. But with the new Minister of Agriculture, Stelian Fuia, the question of conflict of interest arises...

Conflicts of interest: Ombudsman says EFSA has “failed”

December 8, 2011

The European Ombudsman has sided with NGOs favouring transparency in the case of a conflict of interest. He asks the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to admit that it has failed to respect the rules of procedure and failed in the evaluation of the breadth of the conflict of interest.

New WikiLeaks Cables Show US Diplomats Promote Genetically Engineered Crops Worldwide

August 29, 2011

Dozens of United States diplomatic cables released in the latest WikiLeaks dump on Wednesday reveal new details of the US effort to push foreign governments to approve genetically engineered (GE) crops and promote the worldwide interests of agribusiness giants like Monsanto and DuPont.

Response to CEO report on EFSA conflicts of interest, from Steve Pagani of the EFSA
EFSA stands by the impartiality of the advice delivered, in particular through the selection process of its scientific experts, its comprehensive and rigorous policy on Declarations of Interests and through the collegial decision-making of the experts on the ANS Panel.

USDA moves to let Monsanto perform its own environmental impact studies on GMOs
Last August, Federal Judge Jeffrey White issued a stinging rebuke to the USDA for its process on approving new genetically modified seeds. He ruled that the agency’s practice of "deregulating" novel seed varieties without first performing an environmental impact study violated the National Environmental Policy Act.

Monsanto cash helped fund bill to stifle whistleblowers in Iowa by Tom Laskawy
Speaking of Monsanto, it turns out they are playing a role in Iowa’s proposed anti-whistleblower bill — a bill focused primarily on agriculture. Should the bill pass, it will become illegal to produce undercover videos at various types of agricultural facilities (as well as to get a job at a facility with the express intent of producing a video).

Conflicts of interest rife with Europe’s pesticide and food safety regulators
Some of Europe’s pesticide and food safety regulators have serious conflicts of interest and are too close to the industry they are supposed to police, according to a new report released today.[1]

Wikileaks – GM Food: Romania, Trojan horse for USA in Europe
According to Wikileaks, one of the toughest diplomatic battles fought in Bucharest involved a problem in which the United States and the European Union have very different positions: genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The US tried to use Romania as a wedge to relax the European policies regarding the use of biotechnology in agriculture. Romanian politicians played a duplicitous role.

EFSA management board accused of conflicts of interest
Brussels, 23 February 2011 – Four board members at the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) have close links with the food industry, creating a potential conflict of interests, according to new research by Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) published today [1] .

The best influence money can buy - Monsanto among the 10 Worst Corporate Lobbyists

Saving the world: Monsanto

Why lobby the government when you can be part of it? Former Monsanto vice-president Michael Taylor is now a senior adviser to the US Food and Drug Administration – going from a corporation that aggressively promotes its genetically modified crops to a body that advises on food safety.

More GM trickery from EFSA

The new EFSA Guidance on the environmental risk assessment of GM crops (1) has been subjected to careful scrutiny by Testbiotech — and Christoph Then, the author of the report, has warned that EFSA is still maintaining its strategy of "softening the burden of regulation" for the GM industry.

Leaked Cable Shows U.S. Pushing Biotech in Europe
A leaked cable shows Senators Grassley and Thune pushing genetically engineered foods in Europe in a meeting with Spanish officials.

Wikileaks Document Pushes Genetically Modified Food for African Countries
EINNEWS, December 1---Buried deep in the Wikileaks files is the U.S. government’s objective to steer many African countries toward the use of genetically modified agriculture.

Testbiotech reveals conflicts of interest at the European Food Safety Authority EFSA
*Call for independent risk research

EU food safety chief forced to quit GM lobby role
Questions raised over why European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) chair Diana Banati failed to make clear her connections to International Life Science Institute (ILSI), which advises biotech giants like Monsanto, Bayer and BASF

Food authority chief resigns industry position
Diana Banati, the chair of the management board of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), who earlier this month found herself at the centre of a controversy over alleged potential conflicts of interest – has resigned from the European board of directors of the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI)

USDA violates environmental laws and regulations in attempt to circumvent recent federal court order making the planting illegal
On September 1, 2010, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced that it was in the process of issuing permits to authorize the planting of genetically engineered (GE) sugar beet seedlings this Fall, without performing any review of the crops’ environmental impacts.

UK & US gov’t scientists parrot Monsanto’s talking points
The U.S. isn’t the only country whose public research institutions have been bought by corporations pushing the agricultural biotechnology industry’s wares and research agenda.

Why Is the Obama Administration Parroting Monsanto Talking Points?
Something’s very wrong when the chief scientist at the USDA says we’ll have to start farming parks, forests and golf courses if we don’t switch to biotech.

Scientist leading GM crop test defends links to US biotech giant Monsanto
Research professor Jonathan Jones says his verdict on a potato trial in Norfolk will not be influenced by his past commercial ties to Monsanto Anti-GM campaigners say a trial to genetically protect potatoes against blight is a waste of taxpayers’ money because a naturally produced strain already gives immunity.

UK : Environment secretary Caroline Spelman backs GM crops
In her first interview in charge of Defra, Caroline Spelman committed coalition to becoming most pro-GM government yet

State Regulatory Agencies and Monsanto’s Management – Playing a Game of Musical Chairs
Monsanto’s strategy of establishing a network of influence inside administrations – illustrated by the case of Michael Taylor

The authorisation for the marketing of GMOs: a process closely managed by Monsanto
How Monsanto “inspired” the regulations for the marketing of GMOs.
How the principle of substantial equivalence came to be accepted despite a raft of proof to the contrary
How the decision to market GMOs in the US was fiercely contested by FDA scientists.

Scientific Committees Infiltrated
Experts Close to Monsanto on the Scientific Committees of National and International Organisations

An other revolving door : Beachy joining Obama administration
President Barack Obama has appointed Dr. Roger Beachy, an ex vice president of Monsanto, founding president of the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis, to serve as the first director of a new federal agriculture agency.

Questions for a Trade Official
When Islam Siddiqui appears for his Senate confirmation, possibly as early as next week, it will be time for some tough questions.

Leading European Food Safety Authority Staff Member Moves into Industry
Munich/ Parma - A leading staff member of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has quit to work in industry. Suzy Renckens, scientific coordinator of the GMO panel, officially represented Syngenta in an expert hearing at EU level in 2008.

Obama’s “Agribusiness as Usual” Problem
Biotech- and Industry-Friendly Ag Appointments have Farm, Hunger and Enviro Groups Lining Up in Protest

India : How Bt brinjal was cleared
Anti-GM groups say expert panel acted under pressure

Head of department moves from European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to biotech company within two months
Munich / Parma - The former head of the GMO-panel at the European Food Safety Authority EFSA, Suzy Renckens, has moved directly into the genetic engineering industry without any objections or restrictions being imposed by the authority

European commission gives green light to genetically modified potatoes
Brussels, March 2 - A decision announced today by Europe’s new health and consumer commissioner, John Dalli, to give the go ahead for genetically modified potatoes to be grown in Europe, has been condemned by Friends of the Earth Europe.

France blasts GM crop approvals
PARIS - Europe’s food safety agency [EFSA] has used partial evidence to approve genetically modified crops, including a GM potato developed by BASF, and should overhaul its methods, a French environment minister said.

Advantage GM in Europe
BRUSSELS, May 18, 2010 (IPS) - Leading biotechnology companies have been granted privileged access to the European Union’s policy makers as part of their efforts to speed up the approval of new genetically modified (GM) crops.

US Solicitor General Elena Kagan Went to Bat for Monsanto
Urge Obama to Withdraw Kagan’s Supreme Court Nomination

Advantage GM in Europe
BRUSSELS, May 18, 2010 (IPS) - Leading biotechnology companies have been granted privileged access to the European Union’s policy makers as part of their efforts to speed up the approval of new genetically modified (GM) crops.