Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The more things "change"...

It looks like lobbyists for biotech companies like Monsanto are going to be pleased with Obama's stint in the White House. According to Grist, members of Obama's Energy and Natural Resources transition team include Michael R. Taylor, who has spent the last 30 years alternating between working of Monsanto and the FDA and USDA. Taylor was purportedly one of the people responsible for ushering in rGBH. To be precise, in 1991 the FDA created the position of Deputy Commissioner for Policy for him (the Grist article mentions it was 1994, but it was, in fact, 1991), which left him with a significant amount of control over government regulation of GMOs. After his stint with the FDA, Taylor went back to Monsanto to serve as its vice-president for public policy. See this Sourcewatch article for references and further information. DailyKos has an article on Taylor and his Monsanto/FDA dance, as well.

So, what else? David J. Hayes is listed as the ''member of the Obama-Biden Transition Project's Agency Review Working Group responsible for overseeing review of the energy and natural resources agencies". His bio has this long list of the environmentally-friendly sounding positions he's held, including an on-again / off-again stint as a partner at Latham & Watkins, a HUGE law firm that defended Monsanto in an Agent Orange case brought against the company by Vietnamese plaintiffs and that's represented Monsanto in other cases. Another Latham & Watkins partner, John Manthei "has represented the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industries as counsel in nearly every major FDA legislative initiative" since 2000.

This is just the tip of how sketchy it all gets. TruthOut has a great article on all of the former lobbyists involved in Obama's new transition team, for those who are curious.


Annelies said...

I'm from the Netherlands and I'm aware of what's going on in the world. I knew right away, when I learned, thet the PR-man of Obama was a Monsanto-man, that this was going the wrong way. And even worse, when Hillary Clinton is becoming the chief of Forain Affairs.
This is the closing part of the New World Order. The revolving doors proofs it.
The world is going down; but be honest, y've never had a change.
We'll fight in Europe against the NWO, the Bush-family; they pull the strings.

M said...

It's not so much his PR man as his team of advisors and such who will help him slide everything out of eight years of Republican rule (or rubber-stamping, depending on whose view you're getting). I don't think that he's breaking from the norm by letting industry insiders and lobbyists shape his decision-making process in the White House.

Unfortunately, many people aren't aware that this is politics -- this is the way things work. The fact that he's recycling former Clinton staff and keeping some of Bush's people just this big "change" that the Obama camp keeps talking about was just a word used to win a campaign. The most change that will happen is that Obama may be able to undo some of the worst damage Bush has done (and is doing now up until he leaves office). This might give the illusion of change, when in fact, it'll just be bringing things back to what they were like before Bush got his fingers in the cookie jar.