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By Frederick Ravid (Contact)

To be delivered to: President Barack Obama

President Obama, I oppose your appointment of Michael Taylor, a former VP and lobbyist for Monsanto, the widely criticized genetically modified (GM) food multinational, as senior advisor to the commissioner at the FDA. Taylor is the same person who as a high-ranking official at the FDA in the 1990s promoted allowing genetically modified organisms into the U.S. food supply without undergoing a single test to determine their safety or risks. This is a travesty.Taylor was in charge of policy for Monsanto’s now-discredited GM bovine growth hormone (rBGH), which is opposed by many medical and hospital organizations. It was Michael Taylor who pursued a policy that milk from rBGH-treated cows should not be labeled with disclosures. Michael Taylor and Monsanto do not belong in our government.

President Obama, Monsanto has been seen as a foe to family-based agriculture, the backbone of America, by introducing dangerous changes to plants and animals and by using strong-arm legal tactics against farmers for decades. Naturally occurring plant and animal species are permanently threatened by the introduction of DNA and hormonal modification, Monsanto’s core businesses.

FDA scientists once regarded genetic modification of the food supply as the single most radical and potentially dangerous threat to public health in history. As early as the 1991, a body of scientific research began to form which now includes articles in over 600 journals. As a whole, these offer scientific evidence that GM foods, hormones, and related pesticides are the root cause for the increase of many serious diseases in the U.S. Since GM foods were introduced, diagnosis of multiple chronic illnesses in the U.S. has skyrocketed. These illnesses include changes in major organs and in hormonal, immune, digestive, and reproductive systems. These modifications to foods and food production may also be contributors to colon, breast, lymphatic, and prostate cancers.

Experts are discouraged that regulators and GM companies systematically overlook potential side effects of GM. Monsanto’s objective to use biotechnology to change the world’s food supply is the opposite policy direction your administration should pursue. Your legacy of supporting Monsanto to have free rein in U.S. food policy is a nightmare scenario that is against the interest of all Americans and world citizens.

President Obama has appointed former Monsanto VP and lobbyist Michael Taylor to become senior advisor to the FDA’s commissioner. This unthinkable linkage between food safety and corporate interests that have little regard for the public health must be stopped. This example of a “fox watching the henhouse” is inexcusable. President Obama must reverse this unimaginably dangerous policy and isolate the FDA from corporate influence.

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