During his 2008 campaign for president, Barack Obama transmitted signals that he understood the GMO issue. On the campaign trail, Obama was literally credited as saying: "Let folks know when their food is genetically modified, because Americans have a right to know what they're buying."
Since the days of his campaign we can see a very different relationship that Obama has not only with the issues surrounding GMO's, but also his ties to the company Monsanto. The new president filled key posts with Monsanto people in federal agencies that wield tremendous force in food issues, like the USDA and the FDA:
- The director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Roger Beachy, former director of the Monsanto Danforth Center.
- The Deputy Commissioner of the FDA, Michael Taylor, former vice-president for public policy for Monsanto. Taylor had worked on the front lines getting approval for Monsanto's genetically engineered bovine growth hormone.
- Commissioner of the USDA, Iowa governor, Tom Vilsack. Vilsack was responsible for setting up a national group, the Governors' Biotechnology Partnership, and had been given a 'Governor of the Year' Award by the Biotechnology Industry Organization, whose members include Monsanto.
- Agriculture Trade Representative, who would push GMOs for export, Islam Siddiqui, a former Monsanto lobbyist.
- Counsel for the USDA, Ramona Romero, former corporate counsel for another biotech giant, DuPont.
- Head of the USAID, Rajiv Shah, worked in key positions for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a major funder of GMO agriculture research. Obama's secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, previously worked for the Rose law firm, counsel to Monsanto.
- Obama nominated Elena Kagan to the US Supreme Court. Kagan, as federal solicitor general, argued for Monsanto in the Monsanto v. Geertson seed case before the Supreme Court.
Also, lets take a look at all of the GMO crops that have walked through the open door of the Obama presidency:
- Monsanto GMO sugar beets.
- Monsanto's GMO sweet corn.
- Syngenta GMO corn for ethanol.
- Syngenta GMO stacked corn.
- ATryn, an anti-clotting agent from the milk of transgenic goats.
This makes Barack Obama the most GMO-dedicated politician in America. Obama didn’t just change his mind, he appointed all the right people, and now all those people are working in order to support the GMO growth and distribution all over the country and abroad.