“If you control the oil, you control the country; if you control the food, you control the population.” ~ Henry Kissinger
Monsanto is the most powerful corporation in the world. Its top executives are paid out at several million dollars a year and currently their stock is soaring. Members of Monsanto’s team have long been interspersed with members of the US government and this is why our democracy over our own food has been so hard-fought.
Hugh Grant — Scottish-born President and CEO of Monsanto
- According to Reuters, Mr Grant received $11,568,700 for FY 2010 basic compensation.
- Grant maintains that GMO foods are not substantively different from conventional foods and should not be treated as nutritionally different. Mr Grant, if your products are so special that farmers must pay a premium for your patented genes, why won’t you label them?
- Proudly points out that Monsanto’s profits in domestic and global markets are soaring, but has yet to acknowledge the human and environmental impacts of his Company’s products.
Michael R. Taylor — Deputy Commissioner for Foods at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
- In the 1980s, Taylor practiced law at King & Spalding, Monsanto’s former law firm. He successfully figured out a legal way the FDA could approve Monsanto’s artificial growth hormone rBGH.
- Worked for the FDA in the 1980s, from 1991-1994, and was appointed to his current position by the Obama administration in 2009.
- There has recently been a campaign urging the Obama administration to cease ties with Monsanto.
Clarence Thomas — Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court
- Worked as an attorney for Monsanto from 1976 to 1979.
- Despite what may be seen as a conflict of interest, Justice Thomas sat on the Supreme Court on the case JEM Ag Supply, Inc. v. Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc., in which Monsanto was positioned to gain patenting enforcement rights on genes. He wrote the majority opinion that, “Newly developed plant breeds are patentable under the general utility patent laws of the United States.” This helped lay the groundwork that saving patented seeds would be illegal without the payment of royalties.
- Under the premise that Monsanto’s genes are intellectual property, the Company sued Canadian farmer Percy Schmeiser in 2004, alleging his crop contained their patented genetics. Schmeiser maintained that he was no customer of Monsanto, and their genes had contaminated his crops in the form of pollen drifting from a nearby field.
Brett D. Begemann — Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer at Monsanto
- Served as Vice President of Pharmacia Corporation from 1999-2001 and Director at Eastman Chemical Co. since February of 2011.
- Responsible for redesigning Monsanto’s business models in specific countries to optimize cash-generating capabilities of the chemistry business and the growth potential of seeds and traits.
- According to Reuters, Mr Begemann received $5,680,080 for FY 2010 basic compensation.