February 21, 2012

Corporate Liberals for Monsanto (the CSPI, et.al.)


Not that I have much use for petitions, other than as educational media. But this one, calling for the removal of Monsanto cadre Michael Taylor as government “food czar” (which the Food Control law empowers him to be), has a simple, benevolent demand. It fits the definition of a worthwhile “demand” on the system in that it would be easy for the system to comply, yet the system will refuse.
But this benign simplicity is far too much for our corporate liberal front groups. The so-called Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI – but they’re actually anti-science and most definitely against the public interest; but they certainly do support Centralism, so that part of their name is accurate) is leading the counterattack of a bunch of typical myopics, in the form of a pro-Taylor, pro-Monsanto and pro-GMO “Open Letter” asking MoveOn to back off. (To be sure, this petition is rather daring by MoveOn standards. So maybe some blowback from colleagues among that rancid system-liberal class might persuade them.) 
The CSPI has been notoriously soft on almost all of the most critical food issues. If you go to their website you’ll look in vain for much concern with workers, citizens, democracy, environmental destruction, CAFOs as pandemic vectors, animal cruelty. As for GMOs, they were pushing the “co-existence” scam even before Whole Foods took it up. One might think they’re just focusing on the nutrition issue, but no – they aggressively attack broad-based citizen activism, as we see here. They’re at best “useful idiots”, objective corporate front groups. More likely they intentionally chose this deal with the devil.
This is well-demonstrated at CSPI’s Biotechnology page, which is straight corporate propaganda.

That unique technique for manipulating hereditary traits can provide significant benefits, but also raises environmental, food safety, and societal concerns. Genetic engineering has the potential to decrease adverse environmental effects of conventional agriculture, increase yields for farmers (especially in developing countries), improve the nutritional quality and taste of crops, and contribute to sustainable agriculture.

These touted “benefits” have all been disproven, and are now flat out lies on the part of anyone who spews them, for example that GMOs increase yield (disproven by the Union of Concerned Scientists, among others). Meanwhile the brochure also expresses support for the continued enslavement of small farmers, especially in non-industrialized countries, to corporate commodity agriculture. You’d think the historical record would already have proven the evil of this, but that can’t stop our CSPI technocrats from continuing to call for what’s already been proven not to work, if the definition of “working” is the betterment of humanity and democracy.
As for the claim that doubling down on GMO monoculture, the ultimate oil-dependent and biologically vulnerable hothouse flower, makes for “sustainable agriculture”, the CSPI’s idiocy and malevolence speaks for itself.
Meanwhile, the CSPI is all about food labeling, so they must be for GMO labels, right? “Providing consumers with better label information”, as their Food Labeling page says?
On the contrary, few things could be more eloquent than the CSPI’s absolute silence on the GMO labeling efforts citizens are launching all over America. Just look over this list of “press releases and resources” going back to 2008. 
At best, CSPI is a statist “reform” organization. All its policy advocacy involves begging government for better top-down regulation. Corporatism as such, and corporate domination of our food, they take as normative. They just want it better regulated. They don’t call upon us to take back our food as democratic citizens and human beings. At most they make the meager suggestion that we be Better Consumers, to pay more attention to the nutrition labels on processed “food” in the big box aisle. The big box, and processed food in general, they represent as normative and desirable.
So it follows that whoever is in power, like this Taylor thug, they’ll look to as their Master and grovel before him, begging him for Kinder Gentler Tyranny. They’ll demonstrate their obedience and loyalty by attacking anyone who wants to abolish tyranny as such and create democracy.
This fundamental difference between the appeasement and collaboration mentality, vs. the human citizen mentality, is demonstrated in this amazing statement from the Open Letter:

Frankly, the petition represents the baldest sort of character assassination and plays right into the hands of those who are bent on convincing the public that all government officials are corrupt.

That all government officials are, not “corrupt” but pro-corporate and anti-democratic by their very nature, is a self-evident truth. But to the corporate flunkeys who signed this letter, to state such truth is “bald character assassination”.
Here we see an unbridgeable divide between those who would live as free, prosperous human beings and citizens of a community, and those who are dedicated to our terminal atomization and enslavement. There can be no compromise across such an infinite abyss. 
The letter is loaded with concern trolling. “Some of us” oppose this or that, are concerned about this or that. But the letter’s real message is that its signers oppose democracy and are concerned about citizen action. If they’re so upset about a picayune petition, imagine how they must get the vapors over anti-GMO direct action, or the Occupy movement, or any other real activism.
Monsanto has “some bad policies”? I challenge anyone to name a single good one. The fact is big corporations as such are evil, the corporate form as such is evil, the revolving door as such is evil. To stick up for them is to side against humanity and the earth, and to side with our enemies.
This is a lie:

It is far more relevant that in the Clinton Administration he headed the Food Safety and Inspection Service at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, where he stood up to the meat industry and fought for strict controls that help keep E. coli and other pathogens out of meat and poultry.

On the contrary, the Clinton administration sought to increase concentration in the meat industry. The HACCP has had that result. Since it hasn’t been revoked, and was instead extended to produce in the recently passed Food Control law, proves that such concentration and domination was its real intent. Corporate food outbreaks, meanwhile, have increased.
This is an Orwellian statement:

Since joining the Obama Administration, Taylor has been working extraordinarily hard to transform the FDA from a reactive agency that chases down foodborne‐illness outbreaks after people fall ill, to a proactive public‐health‐based agency focused on preventing foods from becoming contaminated in the first place.

What this really means is that the FDA will handle Big Corporate producers with kid gloves while aggressively “policing” (i.e., acting as a corporate goon against) small producers, for example real milk dairies. The Food Control law seeks to empower the FDA to escalate this war on the small producer.
We see here that part of the motivation is astroturfing for Obama:

While the Administration has not accomplished everything we food safety advocates would like to see done, Mike Taylor, along with President Obama, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, Under Secretary for Food Safety Elisabeth Hagen, and FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, have made great progress on food safety in a rather short period of time. They deserve the chance to keep on doing it, despite the conspiracy mongering to which Mr. Taylor is now being subjected.

Yes indeed, in just a few short years Obama and his thugs have accomplished more on behalf of GMOs, CAFOs, ethanol, Big Drug (as pusher of hormones and antibiotics), corporate concentration, and Big Ag monoculture as such, and against small farmers and the food relocalization movement, than George Bush did in 8 years. That’s an accomplishment indeed, and we see the record of what the criminal signers of this letter consider “accomplishments”.
(I’ll remind the reader, however, that the petition itself is to Obama. So to some extent this is a squabble among those who claim to consider Obama a decent citizen and Better Leader rather than what his entire record establishes him to be, a criminal against humanity.)
If this is shaping up to be a fight to the finish (and it is), I want to obliterate everything obscuring the line of fire. We have two trenches, and between them should be nothing but no-man’s-land. But front groups like the CSPI want to run interference, obstruct our shots, and help the corporate assassins fire from cover.
Nor am I much interested any longer in the difference between premeditated front groups and stupid liberal myopics who are “just” objectively pro-corporate tyranny. If anything the latter are even more destructive.
The petition points out that one constant throughout Taylor’s career has been his aggression against transparency and consumer information, one of the fundamental elements of democracy and true food safety. So he fits right in with the Obama administration’s vicious hostility toward transparency and whistleblowers. Meanwhile we see what kind of citizen information the CSPI and allied groups support, and what they really mean when they use the Orwellian term “food safety”. They, just as much as Monsanto, mean safety for corporate profits and state power. That’s what this ironically titled “open letter” is all about.


  1. In this vein from today: Whitehouse refuses PEER FOIA request:


    Comment by tawal — February 21, 2012 @ 5:40 pm

    • That crystallizes perfectly what I wrote – Obama not just serving as Monsanto’s thug, but withholding the people’s information (the people’s property) in the process. Meanwhile the public’s information is freely exchanged between the government and the biotech rackets. But of course those who signed that “open letter” deny that this is evidence of the government’s corporatist thug nature and purpose.

      Obama hates transparency, as does the CSPI where it comes to GMOs.

      Comment by Russ — February 21, 2012 @ 6:32 pm

  2. Now that I think about it, and after reading your post, it seems to me that the simple formulation… “the people”, the way it is so VAGUE, so… anonymous, so undifferentiated, probably helps to secrete the paternalism that gives rise to the contempt you critique.
    Is Obama a thug, when that sign is probably still in front of the Smithsonian Zoo ? The one that makes a mockery of freedom the way our ancestors understood it. Food safety is ALSO about protecting us, not just about making filthy lucre, or exploiting “powerless” anonymi.
    When we get rid of.. “the people”, maybe we will make some progress in getting some PERSONAL AND INDIVIDUAL POWER back again…
    Re Toqueville… (But how will we do that ?? Since I fear that it is impossible, perhaps the best solution is to personally resolve not to pronounce/write the word, to the best of one’s INDIVIDUAL ability ?)
    I don’t believe that transparency is an absolute value either. To quote La Fontaine yet again… the better is the enemy of the good.
    That is where we are right now.
    Pretty funny.. our single minded obsession with transparency makes too many of us look like Don Quixote, (while entertaining the comfortable illusion that we are Hobbesian realists).
    I love “Don Quixote”. But… if I have to take on the windmills, at least let them have a little more consistency than the “transparency” one.
    There’s a whole world of windmills out there right now…
    That said, I wonder how the people working for Montasanto manage to look at themselves in the mirror in the morning without getting a queasy stomach ?
    They have probably rationalized their participation in our collective destruction…

    Comment by Debra — February 22, 2012 @ 8:13 am

  3. Not sure what Debra is quite meaning.

    I see no point whatsoever in trying to reform the system, other than as a method of showing the “people” (sorry Debra) that the elites in charge won’t even give them more than token, meaningless reforms.

    The only way forward to to disregard the system: grow your own food as a community. Engage in commerce “under the table.” Bypass the licensing requirements and barriers to any but the rich.

    Just do it, already.
    Let’s just do it.

    Comment by publius — February 22, 2012 @ 1:19 pm

    • Yes, we have no choice and should have no other ambition than to become fully democratic citizens of food, as in every other way. That means direct action on every front.

      Even the nutrition mission of an outfit like CSPI seeks to further entrench the opposite, consumerism waiting for dispensations to trickle down from the government. (As long as it doesn’t involve GMO research or labeling. There the CSPI closes ranks with the gangsters. Lies, obstruction, obscurantism, silence, tyranny.)

      Comment by Russ — February 22, 2012 @ 4:39 pm

    • “Not sure what Debra is quite meaning.”

      Even Debra is not sure about that, either. To Debra, language is a weapon used to confound and provoke for the sake of confounding and provoking. Debra believes in nothing except that words make people react, and Debra likes making people react to what Debra says. The internally inconsistent messaging of Debra’s comment above demonstrates this thesis quite clearly.

      That being said, to be fair, Debra sometimes has interesting and valid insights, but Debra prefers poking and prodding over a real conversation. It is so much more fun to occasionally SHOUT in emphasis of an IRRELEVANT point to see whether people react at the SUBSTANCE of what you present or the MANNER in which you present it.

      We are all but Debra’s test subjects, and there can be no empathy for test subjects..”We.” what a wonderfully VAGUE and anonymous word. But “I” is no less VAGUE and anonymous of a word to anybody but YOU, and who are you but an “I” that is not me? And how is the faceless “individual” of any more value than the a collection of such individuals, i.e., the “collective”? And how can one cling to the illusion of self-reliance when none of us is can do even a tiny fraction of what needs to be done to fill our lives with what we experience every day? Isn’t the very basis of modern society a division of labor that implicitly demands that nobody can be self-reliant? And yet Debra, a staunch defender of the status quo demands we focus on self-reliance that is unattainable in Debra’s paradigm? Sorry, not gonna do it.

      Comment by Tao Jonesing — February 22, 2012 @ 11:56 pm

      • There’s a universe of difference between individuality, which as a rule can flourish only as part of a community, and bourgeois individualism which is designed to dissolve all communities.

        Meanwhile community self-reliance (not, of course, meant to be a literal term), the only kind possible, and the sham “rugged individualism” which never existed anywhere but in corporate propaganda, are antonyms. The latter invariably indicates total abject reliance and dependence on coercive hierarchies, and especially the total parasitism of criminals on the worker/citizen host. (Of course one will also learn nothing about biotech corporate welfare and the fraudulence of “intellectual property” from CSPI’s biotechnology page, in addition to all the other lies and cover-ups there.)

        there can be no empathy for test subjects

        That’s relevant toward a post I started working on yesterday. I’ll probably finish it this morning.

        Comment by Russ — February 23, 2012 @ 1:17 am

  4. How ironic that a “system” which blathers on about tolerance… and empathy too, while we’re at it manages to be so intolerant.
    Wow, Tao… you sound SO DIFFERENT OVER HERE than how you sound over at Toby’s place.
    Me too, come to think of it.
    Could Russ have something to do with that ??
    (Over on my loony forum I wrote a post today about the feminization of our world, along the lines of the increasing intolerance towards virility in men, so.. I will turn my cheek at your pokes, in good spirit, Tao. Is Russ a renegade cowboy ? (no, no, not a rugged individualist…)
    Internet is a failure at creating relation in spite of the best intentions in the world.
    I get the feeling after some time now that the blogs are the ultimate symptom of the.. LIBERAL system.
    A bunch of.. me’s ? in an anonymous, disincarnated world.

    Comment by Debra — February 23, 2012 @ 5:12 pm

    • Criticism does not equal intolerance, Debra. Neither does disagreement. Besides, I’m playing your game and giving you what you want, responding to your provocation (albeit not in precisely the way you’d like). And you know you turn the other cheek because you love it. I mean, here you are, a man commenting hiding behind a female name and pretending your “feelings” are hurt even as you ramble on about “feminization,” as if that had anything to do with my criticism of your transparent tactics. Good times.

      And I am no different on Toby’s forum except in my decision to not respond to your provocation there.

      Comment by Tao Jonesing — February 24, 2012 @ 12:02 am

  5. Many years ago, I realized that there are those among us who presume upon everyone else’s good manners to restrain us from responding appropriately to their insults and jibes. They, of course, are not restrained by the same good manners. But they inevitably try to use our good manners as a shield after they’ve used them as a sword. I simply don’t accept the legitimacy of this tactic, and I don’t mind being called rude by people with no manners. Sociopaths, the lot of them.

    Comment by Tao Jonesing — February 24, 2012 @ 12:58 am

  6. […] direct contradiction of its name, its alleged principles, and its advocacy at every other point, has been implicitly pro-GMO (no doubt only cowardice keeps it from making its support explicit; but it does regurgitate […]

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  7. […] able to get decent regulations in place and get them enforced.   (This also sheds some light on Taylor’s liberal fan club in general.)   It’s typical of reform-corporatists to seek further concentration as the solution to […]

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  8. […] CSPI’s professed “concern for consumers,” they have been silent on GMO labeling and have defended the government’s revolving door policy that allowed Michael Taylor to hop from […]

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  9. […] CSPI’s professed “concern for consumers,” they have been silent on GMO labeling and have defended the government’s revolving door policy that allowed Michael Taylor to hop from […]

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  10. CSPI is funded by Zionist Jews and run by a Zionist Jew (Mike Jacobson).

    Comment by dcinfowarrior — September 17, 2015 @ 4:20 pm

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