Mitt Romney Is All In For Monsanto
The turn of the last century ushered in an era of U.S. dominance in manufacturing. The resultant new economy forced agriculture to industrialize as well, and this is what gave us Monsanto.
The infamous Monsanto Company started out as an industrial chemical company in 1901. Up until the 1940s, Monsanto made chemicals such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), in addition to plastics and synthetic fabrics.
In the 1960s, Monsanto established its agricultural division, which the company has since adopted as its main business model.
The company has always prided itself on "having friends in high places" - especially when it comes to business executives-turned-politicians. From 1977 to 1985, Mitt Romney was involved with the company via Bain & Company. Romney represented Monsanto so well during the first slew of Monsanto controversies that in fact, the origins of the firm Bain Capital can be traced to Monsanto.
The Vietnam War was the catalyst for Monsanto's poor reputation. The company supplied a herbicide known as Agent Orange to the U.S. military for use in the war. This chemical has since been linked to cancer outbreaks among Vietnamese and American soldiers, and the use of Agent Orange has been crowned "the largest chemical warfare operation in history."
In addition, Monsanto, which is based out of St. Louis, has been linked to chemical dumping incidents as recently as 2002. There have been documented cases of chemical disposal in rivers in Missouri and Alabama. Ten years ago, a Mother Jones article described fish "spurting blood and shedding skin within 10 seconds of a PCB dump."
In the aftermath of these tragedies, Romney was charged with guiding the company out of lawsuits with Congress. Romney proved to be a critical asset to Monsanto, and Bain & Company was forced to create Bain Capital for Mitt Romney in order to keep him with the firm. At Bain Capital, Romney held the title of both president and CEO.
For decades now, the corporate agricultural monopoly has been concealing its fraudulent practices with the help of other key lawmakers. Monsanto affiliates include congressional men and women on both sides of the political spectrum, including Lidia Watrud, Roger Beachy and Hilary Clinton.
Not only has Romney done his part to protect Monsanto in the past, but he has also hinted at his plans to help the company in the future. His Agricultural Advisory Committee is comprised mostly of Monsanto lobbyists and partners.
Even worse, Romney is in favor putting the "Monsanto rider" provision in the 2012 Farm Bill. The Farm Bill, which has been put on ice in the House until after the election, has been a hotly debated partisan bill which for many months now. The "Monsanto rider" provision of the bill would prevent the USDA from blocking "unsafe or untested products, forbid outside studies of Monsanto products’ safety, and exempt itself from environmental law."
This past summer, the worst drought in recent memory hit the great plains area, which among other things has caused a spike in food prices. WIth no end to the drought in sight, climate change on the horizon and continued pollution threats to our fresh water, do we really want a president who supports the interests of a company that doesn't give a damn about the environment?
Mitt Romney can't be trusted to protect our natural resources and lead this country toward a sustainable future. He will be a puppet for Monsanto, like other lawmakers before him.
Reach Contributor Alexis Miller here.