The Phaserl


Why is the University of Illinois Receiving $1 Million from Monsanto?

by Christina Sarich, Natural Society:

Monsanto likes to say that those of us against GMOs don’t use ‘real’ science to support claims that genetically modified crops are unsafe, but what about dirty money that infiltrates universities which supposedly do ‘good’ science on GM crops, soil, and the chemicals which are used to grow them?

A recent New York Times article exposed some of Monsanto’s infiltration into the world of ‘science,’ but a deeper inquiry into the emails coming forward through this article and from U.S. Right to Know public disclosure efforts shows a broader and more troubling picture of influence the agricultural sciences are under.

At just a tip of the glyphosate iceberg there is a professor emeritus at the University of Illinois, Bruce Chassy, who in an August 29, 2011 email to Eric Sachs of Monsanto. He reportedly suggests that the Ag industry trade group CropLife, of which Monsanto and other biotech companies are members, pay his way to do a speaking engagement on the other side of the world.

In a separate email, Monsanto’s Sachs also suggests to Chassy that he participate in an American Medical Association meeting to try to dissuade the AMA from supporting mandatory labeling of GE foods. This is just one of the intriguing relationships between scientists and Biotech that are coming to light.

Then there’s Agrochemical company Dow’s reminder to David Shaw, a Mississippi State University weed scientist, that the company has been very generous to the University. Shaw was urged to submit comments to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to approve Dow’s Enlist soybeans, and provides three pages of helpful suggestions about topics and arguments.

The Enlist crops are resistant to glyphosate and 2,4-D herbicides, and are the industry’s response to the epidemic of glyphosate-resistant weeds caused by the first generation of glyphosate-resistant crops. Shaw even drafted his comments and submitted them back to Dow before sending them forward. Where is the scientific integrity in that?

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