Who is Michael Taylor, really? Monsanto, the FDA and a history of evil
“...[A]ll knowledgeable observers understand that technological advance and population aging are inexorable and costly and that sustained control of health care costs is possible only by denying some beneficial care to some people.”
Who wrote that?
His name is Henry J. Aaron, and he wrote that in a Jan. 23, 2000, opinion piece for the Washington Post.
Aaron appears to be making the case that serious healthcare experts believe that rationing care to some Americans is the only way to save this nation’s healthcare system.
This Brookings Institution scholar made a similar argument nine years later, in 2009, in a paper where he argued that it has become “necessary to develop protocols that enable providers to identify in advance patients in whom expected benefits of treatment are lower than costs [and] to design incentives that encourage providers to act on those protocols.”
Why does his opinion matter?
Because in November 2011, President Barack Obama nominated him to be on the Social Security Advisory Board , a panel which, critics say, could serve in a rationing role under Obamacare regulations down the road by recommending cuts to Social Security benefits, as a way to control the budget.
In short, Obama has oft-denied critics’ claims that his healthcare reform law would ever lead to rationing of care, but he nevertheless nominated someone who has argued for rationing his entire professional career to be on a panel that could play a role in that very thing.
Enter Michael Taylor. Who is he?
“The person who may be responsible for more food-related illness and death than anyone in history has just been made the US food safety czar,” writes foremost healthy food consumer advocate Jeffrey Smith over at the Huffington Post.
Here’s his story.
Some time ago, scientists at the Food and Drug Administration were asked to give their feedback on what was to become “the most radical and potentially dangerous change in our food supply,” writes Smith – the introduction of genetically modified foods. Despite what consumers are told today by Big Agriculture and government agencies – that GM foods are safe and good for you – once-secret documents now indicate that the experts at FDA were extremely concerned.
In memo after memo, these experts “described toxins, new diseases, nutritional deficiencies, and hard-to-detect allergens,” Smith said. They were unyielding in their belief that this radical technology carried “serious health hazards” and called for careful, lengthy research that would include human trials before any genetically modified organisms (GMOs) could safely be released into the food supply.
The fix was in; however, science – and scientists – would be discounted.
Healthcare problems grew after GM foods introduced
That’s because the biotech industry pushing GMOs managed to have one of their own placed in a position of prominence within the FDA, “and he wasn’t going to be swayed by feeble arguments related to food safety,” Smith wrote. Rather, “he was going to do what corporations had done for decades to get past these types of pesky concerns. He was going to lie.”
Nearly 20 years ago, when the FDA was putting together GMO policy, agency scientists were certain that gene-sliced foods were greatly different, which could, in turn, lead to “different risks” than those posed by conventional foods.
Nevertheless, official FDA policy would declare exactly the opposite, claiming the agency “knew nothing of significant differences, and declared GMOs substantially equivalent,” says Smith.
The fiction then became the narrative: GM foods would not only be permitted on the market, but they would be introduced with no required safety studies whatsoever. The determination that GM foods were safe was placed entirely in the hands of the biotech giants producing them – “companies like Monsanto, which told us that PCBs, DDT, and Agent Orange were safe,” Smith wrote.
So by 1996, GM foods were showing up on plates in American homes. And over the next nine years, multiple, chronic illnesses in the U.S. nearly doubled, from seven percent to 13 percent, while allergy-related E.R. visits did actually double between 1997 and 2002. Food allergies, especially among kids, skyrocketed as well, Smith says, adding that the country “witnessed a dramatic rise in asthma, autism, obesity, diabetes, digestive disorders, and certain cancers.”
Research and scientists catching on to dangers of GM foods
“In January of this year, Dr. P. M. Bhargava, one of the world’s top biologists, told me that after reviewing 600 scientific journals, he concluded that the GM foods in the US are largely responsible for the increase in many serious diseases,” said Smith.
Bhargava isn’t alone. In May of this year, the Academy of Environmental Medicine also concluded that studies in animals have shown that there is at least a causal relationship between GM foods and infertility, faster aging, poor insulin regulation, changes to major organs and the gastrointestinal system, immune problems (asthma, allergies and inflammation).
And in July, a report by eight renowned international experts concluded that weak, superficial evaluations of GMOs by regulators and biotech companies alike “systematically overlook the side effects” and greatly underestimate “the initial signs of diseases like cancer and diseases of the hormonal, immune, nervous and reproductive systems, among others.”
“If GMOs are indeed responsible for massive sickness and death,” writes Smith, “then the individual who oversaw the FDA policy that facilitated their introduction holds a uniquely infamous role in human history.”
That person, he says, is Taylor.
Taylor needs to go
“He had been Monsanto’s attorney before becoming policy chief at the FDA,” Smith continues. “Soon after, he became Monsanto’s vice president and chief lobbyist.”
Adds Marion Nestle at Food Politics, Taylor has been with “Monsanto, FDA, USDA, Monsanto, private sector, university, FDA” and is “a classic example of the ‘revolving door.’”
In recent months, the outcry from both advocacy groups and a growing number of Americans regarding GM foods has grown to a fever pitch. Unfortunately, last week Senate Passed Monsanto Protection Act Granting Monsanto Power Over US Govt. If not vetoed by President Obama, the Monsanto Protection Act would force the USDA to allow continued planting of any GMO crop under court review, essentially giving backdoor approval for any new genetically engineered crops that could be potentially harmful to human health or the environment.
This ushers in an entirely new era of activism. Monsanto has decided to push the envelope in a way that is unprecedented, fighting the US federal courts. I expectd to see almost immediate legal action taken that will certainly hit the headlines, leading to even more people to become aware of what’s really going on.
As far as Taylor is concerned, there is a growing Internet petition effort to have him fired from the FDA for his role in circumventing the normative food testing and screening process, to have GM foods placed on the U.S. market.
One small step in the right direction.