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Monsanto Is a Lobbying Powerhouse

Monsanto was not on mailing list used by U.S. Rep. Louise Slaughter to ask food businesses about their policies on antibiotics in food, presumably because the St. Louis company does not have anything to do with antibiotic use in meat and poultry.

But out of sheer curiosity, Food Safety News decided to pull Monsanto’s lobbying disclosure forms.

From an upper floor of a building just a couple blocks northeast of the White House, Monsanto runs a well-greased lobbying shop. At a cost of $1.21 million last quarter, the effort is not lacking in people power for its work in the nation’s capitol. In addition to seven registered staff lobbyists, Monsanto, on contract, is ready to deploy:

- Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, the nation’s top lobbying firm. It has a contact valued at $50,000 per quarter with Monsanto for the services of registered lobbyist Brian Pomper, a foreign trade expert.

- The Washington Tax Group LLC, with registered lobbyists Gregory Nickerson and Jan Fowler, is ready to help with the “simplified research and development tax credit” and issues related to international corporate tax reform.

- Crawford Quilty & Mauro Law Firm (based in Des Moines) brings registered lobbyists Jerry Crawford and Nick Mauro in to help with ag consolidation and competition, and to tend to issues involving Roundup Ready sugar beets and alfalfa.

- American Continental Group, with registered lobbyists Manus Cooney, Trista Roehl,and Karen Stone,  who help with the heavy lifting on the Hill over the America Invents Act implementation and Biotech crop competition.

- The Russell Group’s Randall Russell and Tyson Redpath are also up for a fight on biotech acceptance, and issues related to agriculture competition and appropriations.

All totaled, the contract help cost Monsanto $285,000 a quarter.  Like many corporations, Monsanto is not afraid to spend money to fill in for any inadequacies that may exist within its bullpen of staff lobbyists.   

Monsanto’s Washington D.C. office is headed by Mcihael Dykes, vice president of government affairs. He’s got a six-pack of registered staff lobbyists on call including Katherine Emerson, Jeremy Stump, Scott Kuschmider, James Travis, Michael Parrish and Michael Holland.


The Monsanto lobby does not want for things to do. It’s always working on the legal and regulatory environment that will keep its Roundup Ready products viable in the market.

Its lobbying crew was also working on anti-terrorism restrictions on chemical facilities, the American Invents Act, and regulatory reform. Its interests also run from biofuels to mineral licensing and royalty issues to tax and trade policies.

Monsanto, a global agricultural products company, generates endless controversy for its genetically engineered seeds.  It was in the news again Monday when a federal judge in New York dismissed a lawsuit against Monsanto brought by the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association.  The court said the organic interests has engaged in a “transparent effect to create a controversy where non exists.”

© Food Safety News
  • tony

    another reason is Monsanto does sell antibiotics for agriculture and has nothing to do with meat production. Get to know the facts before you write about them

  • Mark Shapiro

    Readers are strongly encouraged to visit the ‘Agent Orange Action Group’ at http://www.aoag.org to learn more about Monsanto Agent Orange. 4 Million Vietnamese were affected by Agent Orange and continue to suffer generation after generation. Thank You Monsanto!!

  • Hortense

    Memories are conveniently short, Mark Shapiro, aren’t they. You may recall Agent Orange was deployed as a weapon in Vietnam, not as a social or agricultural emollient. You may also recall it was the U.S. military who purchased the chemical and applied it — agriculturists had nothing to do with that, then or now. It’s just historical fact. Look it up and get it straight, ladies.

  • http://www.phfspec.com Peter Cocotas

    “Monsanto, a global agricultural products company, generates endless controversy for its genetically engineered seeds. It was in the news again Monday when a federal judge in New York dismissed a lawsuit against Monsanto brought by the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association. The court said the organic interests has engaged in a “transparent effect to create a controversy where non exists.”
    You have it backwards as the judge asserts. Monsanto isn’t creating controversy. The organic seed growers are.

  • jspiers

    I wonder how much the corporate trolls on here get payed by Monsanto and such? Or maybe these individuals are really too dumb to recognize that when a company creates a biological poison under contract from the government – and then years later wants to use part of it on crops – that both are culpable? Maybe they really are too dumb to recognize that when Monsanto is bankrupting farmers that try to protect the genetic purity of their crops from Monsanto’s free-flying GMO pollen that it is not the farmers causing the problem? (I’m not sure what Tony is beefing about… it seems to me that he repeated the second part of the first sentence and then accused the author of not knowing his facts? I guess that happens when one is hurriedly putting out as much ambiguity and corporate sponsored swill as possible in as short an amount of time as possible.) What do you think, ladies?

  • Steve

    It’s not surprising that Judges hold personal beliefs, but they still have to follow the law. In this case her declaratory decision against the organic farmers contains a number of legal errors — and there are plenty of grounds for appeal. This case isn’t over by a longshot.
    Meanwhile we get to see the effects of Monsanto’s Half a Billion$$$ Lobbying expenditures in just the last decade. We live in a bleak time when self-serving Corporations occupying the halls of power are not deemed controversial — but those who point out the corruption are…

  • federal microbiologist

    Actually, one of the reasons Monsanto maintains a large lobbying staff is because of its protracted, very expensive legal battle with DuPont and its ‘Pioneer Hi-Bred’ subsidiary. Lawsuits over patent infringments for GMO seeds are routinely traded back and forth between these two agrichemical giants.
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/10/19/us-dupont-monsanto-idUSTRE79H7YD20111019
    The expense associated with this litigation – which in many ways is a reflection of the saturation of the US seed market by these two companies – is one of the major reasons why DuPont CEO Ellen Kullman and Exec VP James Borel are mounting a major lobbying effort to persuade third-world countries to embrace GMO seeds, all in the name of increasing ‘food security’ and ‘sustainability’.
    The idea is that third-world countries represent a (possibly lucrative) emerging market, a market that (so far) is blessedly free of competition from the hated Monsanto.
    http://www.multivu.com/mnr/52517-dupont-pioneer-hi-bred-world-food-prize-announcement
    Of course, along with nobly offering to provide the ‘food security’ that comes with the embrace of GMO seeds, DuPont / Pioneer Hi-Bred also want third world governments to put in place the complex legal framework necessary to enforce various laws surrounding the sale and use of GMO seeds.
    So that, if Fatorma Sesay in Burkina Faso is interested in planting Pioneer Hi-Bred GMO corn / maize, he understands that he is obliged to purchase new seed stock every season. Thus, if he tries to use the previous season’s corn crop as a source of seed to plant this season’s corn, he is in violation of his purchase agreement and subject to legal action.
    Whether third world governments will agree to implement such a legal framework – and then observe it – remains to be seen. After all, China can’t / won’t control more than a tiny fraction of the IP violations against Western corporations that take place within its borders. Will Niger, or Tanzania, or Malawi do any better with Pioneer Hi-Bred varieties ? The question remains open….

  • Dovey

    Great b—-fest! And in the meantime traditionalists can continue to plant any damned seed they want. No one is stopping them from being as backward or as progressive as they choose. There certainly is a lot of uninformed whining from onlookers, though. These armchair experts ought to get outside and plant a bunch of old-fashioned low-yielding stuff that’s readily devoured by bugs and fungi in order to see for themselves just how easy farming is.

  • food for all

    It is not backward and it is not about being easy. It is about what is viable, healthy and sustainable.
    Currently there are no GM crops that can increase yield. Yield is a multigenic character and productivity is dependent on the interaction between the plant and the environment. The fait accompli attitute towards GM crops is deleterious. Given the potential to negatively impact the environment and human health GM crops are definitely not the answer for our food security.
    The only 2 kinds of GM crops that are currently being pushed are the pest resistant verities and the Herbicide tolerant ones. Both of them are not for yield increase and the experience with Bt cotton, the only GM crop commercially cultivated in the country, shows that it also does not deliver on the promise of reduction of pesticide usage.
    Global level studies like the UN initiated IAASTD, indicate that GM crops are not the answer for future food security. What is needed is agriculture that is socially and ecologically sustainable.–Avik Roy