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The Revolving Door

      US Government Workers & University  Researchers      
        Go Biotech. . . .   
. . . and Back Again.
A Question of Ethics 

Also see:
When Advocates Become Regulators: 
President Bush has installed more than 100 top officials who were once lobbyists, attorneys or spokespeople for the industries they oversee
ANNE C MULKERN / Denver Post 23may04

last revised on 7jan2008

Deputy U.S. secretary of state, Robert Zoellick resigned and said he will take a job with Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., the world's biggest securities firm by market value. Zoellick, 52, has been a pivotal part of the administration, first as U.S. trade representative in Bush's first term and more recently as a top diplomat guiding U.S. policy toward China and in trouble spots such as Sudan. His departure deprives the administration of a key policy maker on China, one of the U.S.'s most important relationships. Rice almost entirely handed the China portfolio to Zoellick, who coordinated a strategic dialogue designed to strengthen relations between the two nations. During the Clinton administration, Zoellick was a senior international adviser for Goldman, Sachs & Co. and served as executive vice president at Washington-based Fannie Mae, the nation's largest mortgage finance company. Zoellick joins a list of former government officials to join Goldman that includes the late Henry Fowler, U.S. Treasury Secretary under President Lyndon Johnson, and current Vice Chairman Robert Hormats, 63, an assistant U.S. secretary of state from 1981 to 1982. Among the firm's senior advisers are three former European Union antitrust commissioners, Mario Monti, 63, Peter Sutherland, 60, and Karel van Miert, 64. The revolving door also goes the other way. Outgoing Chief Executive Officer Henry Paulson, 60, was last month nominated by President George W. Bush to become Treasury Secretary, becoming the fourth CEO in a row to accept a federal post, according to the firm's records. Ex-leaders Robert Rubin and Stephen Friedman served as White House appointees, while Jon Corzine was elected to the Senate before becoming the governor of New Jersey. Zoellick Leaving State Department, to Join Goldman - Bloomberg 19jun2006       More on Zoellick

USDA secretary Ann Veneman is a former director of Calgene (swallowed by Monsanto and now part of Pharmacia), the biotech company that heralded the world's first genetically altered food, the Flavr Savr tomato. Before becoming USDA secretary, Veneman, an attorney, was appointed by California Governor Pete Wilson as the secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). 

source: Globalization and GMOs  - TOM HAYDEN / The Nation 5jun03
also see: Ann Veneman Named USDA Secretary The Agribusiness Examiner 21dec00

Allen Johnson is the Chief Agricultural Negotiator at the USTR, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative http://www.ustr.gov. He negotiates all agriculture trade agreements and policies on behalf of the U.S. government, in venues like the WTO, NAFTA, FTAA. Prior to joining the USTR, Ambassador Johnson served as the President, and before that, as the Executive Vice President, of the National Oilseed Processors Association, NOPA. To find out about NOPA, you can go to their web page at http://www.nopa.org. NOPA has only 13 "regular members," some of which are Archer Daniels Midland, Bunge North America, Cargill, and Perdue. Among the 20 "associate members," are ConAgra, Procter & Gamble, Purina, Tyson Foods and Unilever. Virtually every major grain trading transnational is represented, as are some of the biggest and most important food processing and factory farming corporations in the world. Current trade policies are devastating family farm agriculture inside the U.S. and abroad, and proposed policies currently being negotiated in the WTO, FTAA and elsewhere look to be even worse. The Revolving Door: Industry and the U.S. Government in Agricultural Trade Negotiations - Food First/Institute for Food and Development Policy 6dec02

Rufus Yerxa, Monsanto's chief counsel, has been appointed as the US deputy to the WTO. He "has Geneva experience as the US ambassador to Gatt, the WTO's predecessor, where he had a reputation for charming opponents. Yerxa has been international counsel to Monsanto, the bio-technology group. Just the man Supachai will need should the US ever bleat to the WTO about EU restrictions on genetically modified food." - Trading Places Financial Times (UK) 20aug02

"Bush Picks Industry Insiders to Fill Environmental Posts." - New York Times bluntly phrased headline. The Times seems upset about, among other things, the selections of Linda Fisher, head of government affairs for Monsanto, as deputy administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency; J. Steven Griles, a former coal and oil company executive and lobbyist for the mining industry, as deputy interior secretary; William Geary Myers III, lobbyist for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, as the chief lawyer for the Interior Department; and James Connaughton, a lawyer with a firm that advises companies and trade groups, as chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. - Wall Street Journal 15may01

Linda J. Fisher...  Vice President of Government and Public Affairs for Monsanto Corporation, a leading developer of biotech foods, has been nominated for the second-ranking job at the Environmental Protection Agency. Fisher, who worked as Assistant Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Pollution Prevention, Pesticides, and Toxic Substances for 10 years before heading Monsanto's Washington lobbying office, was nominated for the post of deputy administrator. She also served on a U.S. Agriculture Department advisory committee on biotech foods.  One of the major issues currently before the EPA is a request from Aventis SA to approve a genetically- modified corn known as StarLink for human consumption. StarLink, a variety altered to repel pests, was barred from human food in 1998 due to concerns that it might trigger allergic reactions in some people. - Reuters 1may01

Ex-USDA Chief Dan Glickman, joined Akin, Gump, Strauss Hauer & Feld, one of the major lobbying and law firms in Washington. He will advise clients on food and food safety, health, biotechnology and international trade. The firm has a total lobbying income of $11,800,000. They invest in technologies such as agbiotech, typically giving between $50,000 and $250,000. Their list of clients is a who's-who of agbiotech, bankers, cigarettes, construction, communication, food, fossil fuels, media, pharmaceuticals, rightwing organizations, and sweat shops. In March 1995, Glickman succeeded Mike Espy as USDA secretary, who resigned at the end of 1994 because of an investigation into charges he accepted favors from agribusiness companies and used his travel privileges improperly. Glickman's confirmation was held up for three months while investigators reviewed his credit card expenses, District parking tickets and overdrafts at the now-defunct House Bank. Previously, he was a former House member from Wichita, Kan. - Senate Confirms Ex-Rep. Glickman as Agriculture Chief Guy - Washington Post 31mar95 During his term, he was a staunch advocate and promoter of the use of genetic engineering in agriculture. His stance on the labelling of GMOs was firm. In spite of hundreds of thousands of consumer comments stating that GMOs should be labeled, he bowed to the interests of the agbiotech industry, and made labelling voluntary--which means not it won't be done. Glickman's of Strauss, a long-time personal friend of Dwayne O. Andreas former CEO and Board Chairman of Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) and current ADM board member, makes Glickman's new role with Akin, Gump, Strauss Hauer & Feld one of curiosity and might even suggest the answers to certain unanswered questions surrounding the ADM price fixing scandal and the negotiations surrounding the debarement issue. - Dan Glickman: Life After USDA Joins ADM Friendly Law Firm - Agribusiness Examiner 23feb01

David W. Beier . . .former head of Government Affairs for Genentech, Inc., now chief domestic policy advisor to Al Gore, Vice-President of the United States.

Susan A. Ferenc, DVM, Ph.D. . . served as a risk scientist for USDA's Office of Risk Assessment and Cost Benefit Analysis from 1996 to 1998, an expert in biological, health and environmental risk assessment has been named Vice President, Scientific and Regulatory Policy at the Grocery Manufacturers of America. At GMA, she will develop and coordinate implementation of scientific and regulatory programs in areas including nutrition and labeling, food safety, biotechnology, functional foods, pesticides and international regulation of food.

Michael A. Friedman, M.D. . . former acting commissioner of the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Department of Health and Human Services . . .now senior vice-president for clinical affairs at G. D. Searle & Co., a pharmaceutical division of Monsanto Corporation.

Linda J. Fisher . . .former Assistant Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Pollution Prevention, Pesticides, and Toxic Substances, now Vice President of Government and Public Affairs for Monsanto Corporation.

Carol Tucker Foreman. . .  former Monsanto lobbyist was appointed by to serve as U.S. "Consumer Advocate" on U.S. Biotech Consultative Forum Delegation. Ignoring the unanimous recommendation of many consumer and agriculture groups concerned about biotechnology, the White House, with input from the U.S. State Department, recently appointed its own "consumer advocate" to the global Biotech Consultative Forum which was formed to head off any foreign anti-biotech concerns.
        "I'd say that the massive PR counter assault against biotech activists has just scored its most important victory with this appointment of one of them as our consumer activist," charged John Stauber, PR Watch Managing Editor in reacting to the appointment of Carol Tucker Foreman of the now very dubious "Consumer Federation of America" (CFA) to serve on the panel.
        Although a number of groups had forwarded the name of Dr. Michael Hansen of Consumer Union's Consumer Policy Institute, Dr. Hansen, who has testified before Congress and many other bodies exposing false claims made by the Monsanto Corporation pertaining to the company's manufacture of recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone and other products, was passed over in favor of Foreman, a recent former lobbyist for Monsanto.

L. Val Giddings . . . went from being a biotechnology regulator and (biosafety) negotiator at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA/APHIS) to being the vice president for food and agriculture at the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO). BIO is a trade association representing over 900 organizations and corporations. It is the premier biotech representation. Giddings, who had been a member of the U.S. delegation at the first meeting of the Open Ended Ad Hoc Working Group on a Biosafety Protocol, attended the second meeting on the protocol as the representative of BIO.

Marcia Hale . . . former assistant to the President of the United States and director for intergovernmental affairs, now Director of International Government Affairs for Monsanto Corporation to coordinate public affairs and corporate strategy in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Michael (Mickey) Kantor. . . former United States Trade Representative, the Secretary of Commerce for the United States, has been made a member of the board of directors of Monsanto Corporation, a leading transnational biotechnology firm.
        The appointment was confirmed by a staff member of Mr. Kantor's Washington, DC law firm. Mr. Kantor joins others in the US who recently changed job assignments from service in government to positions in the biotechnology industry.

Josh King . . . former director of production for White House events, now director of global communication in the Washington, D.C. office of Monsanto Corporation.

Terry Medley . . . former administrator of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the United States Department of Agriculture, former chair and vice-chair of the United States Department of Agriculture Biotechnology Council, former member of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) food advisory committee, and now Director of Regulatory and External Affairs of Dupont Corporation's Agricultural Enterprise.

Margaret Miller . . . former chemical laboratory supervisor for Monsanto, working on rBGH safety studies until 1989. . . now Deputy Director of Human Food Safety and Consultative Services, New Animal Drug Evaluation Office, Center for Veterinary Medicine in the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). [2,3]

Dr. Michael Phillips . .  a scientist with the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), was working on a crucial study of how regulators would oversee the hundreds of new organisms industry is creating. He abruptly left NAS for a "key role in representing the agbiotech industry on domestic policy and international trade issues" at Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), the primary biotech trade association representing more than 900 biotech organizations. NAS officials were informed a few days before Phillips' departure, and would not have let him work on the project had they known. It was a breach of their conflict of interest rules. Biotech thrives despite many similar elucidations.

William D. Ruckelshaus . . . former chief administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), now (and for the past 12 years) a member of the board of directors of Monsanto Corporation.

Dr. Peter Seeburg . . . The biotech industry started with a lack of integrity when Peter Seeburg, one of the world's most eminent molecular biologists studying human growth hormone at UC San Francisco, left the university to join Genentech, the founding company of the biotech industry. Along with Seeburg went genetic material he had stolen from UCSF on New Year's Eve 1978. Soon afterwards, Genentech announced their miraculous discovery. You guessed it, human growth hormone!

Michael Taylor . . . former legal advisor to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA)'s Bureau of Medical Devices and Bureau of Foods, later executive assistant to the Commissioner of the FDA, where he wrote the rBGH labelling guidelines that prohibit the dairy industry from stating that their products either contain or are free from rBGH. Even worse than that, the FDA ruled that the labels of non-rBGH products must state that there is no difference between rBGH and the natural hormone. And wasn't the only ex-Monsanto employee-turned FDA official involved in rBGH policy. (See Margaret Miller, Suzanne Sechen) . . . Still later he was a partner at the law firm of King & Spaulding where he supervised a nine-lawyer group whose clients included Monsanto Agricultural Company. He was instrumental in advising Monsanto in their legal power to sue states or companies that alerted the public that their products were rBGH-free. . . .Still later he was Deputy Commissioner for Policy at the United States Food and Drug Administration, and now again with the law firm of King & Spaulding. (...one gets dizzy following all this action) [2,3]

Suzanne Sechen . . . was a primary reviewer for rBGH in the Office of New Animal Drugs between 1988 and 1990. Before coming to the FDA, she had done research for several Monsanto-funded rBGH studies as a graduate student at Cornell University. Her professor was one of Monsanto's university consultants and a known rBGH promoter. Remarkably. the GAO determined in a 1994 investigation that these officials' former association with the Monsanto corporation did not pose a conflict of interest. But for those concerned about the health and environmental hazards of genetic engineering, the revolving door between the biotechnology industry and federal regulating agencies is a serious cause for concern." [1,2,3]

Lidia Watrud . . . former microbial biotechnology researcher at Monsanto Corporation in St. Louis, Missouri, now with the United States Environmental Protection Agency Environmental Effects Laboratory, Western Ecology Division.

Clayton K. Yeutter . . . former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, former U.S. Trade Representative (who led the U.S. team in negotiating the U.S. Canada Free Trade Agreement and helped launch the Uruguay Round of the GATT negotiations), now a member of the board of directors of Mycogen Corporation, whose majority owner is Dow AgroSciences, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company.

Larry Zeph . . . former biologist in the Office of Prevention, Pesticides, and Toxic Substances, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, . . . now Regulatory Science Manager at Pioneer Hi-Bred International.

William D. Ruckelshaus. . . former chief administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency, now (and for the last 12 years) a member of the board of directors of Monsanto

David W. Beler . . . former head of Government Affairs for Genentech, Inc., and now chief domestic policy advisor to Al Gore; Linda J. Fisher, former Assistant Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Pollution Prevention, Pesticides, and Toxic Substances, and now Vice President of Government and Public Affairs for Monsanto.

[1] http://www.psrast.org/ecologmons.htm

[2] Margaret Miller, Michael Taylor, and Suzanne Sechen (an FDA "primary reviewer for all rbST and other dairy drug production applications") were the subjects of a U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) investigation in 1994 for their role in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's approval of Posilac, Monsanto Corporation's formulation of recombinant bovine growth hormone (rbST or rBGH). The GAO Office found "no conflicting financial interests with respect to the drug's approval" and only "one minor deviation from now superseded FDA regulations". (Quotations are from the 1994 GAO report). --- "When people are trying to kill you and when they attack because they hate freedom, other disputes from Frankenfood to bananas and even important issues like the environment suddenly look a bit different." - Condoleezza Rice, George Bush's national security adviser. 

[3] Edmonds Institute http://www.edmonds-institute.org/door.html

WASHINGTON -- The Food and Drug Administration named two new division directors.
           Effective today, [7 Jan 2008] Stephen F. Sundlof will move from director of the FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine to director of the FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. He has been the veterinary medicine division director for more than a decade.
           Mr. Sundlof succeeds Robert Brackett, who left the agency in November to join the Grocery Manufacturers Association, a Washington trade group.
           Bernadette Dunham, deputy director of the Center for Veterinary Medicine, succeeds Mr. Sundlof as division director, also effective today.
           Mr. Sundlof and Ms. Dunham will report to FDA Commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach.

source: Names New Division Directors - Wall Street Journal 7jan2008 p.B8 7jan2008

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