Conspiracy Nation -- Vol. 7 Num. 07

("Quid coniuratio est?")


Way back around late March of 1994, Sherman Skolnick of the Citizens' Committee to Clean Up the Courts warned about the dangers of Bovine Growth Hormone (BGH), and gave background on FDA big-shot Mike Taylor. Once again, the "seer of Oglesby Avenue" has proved to be remarkably prescient. I often find, months later, that Skolnick has indeed been "ahead of the parade." Of course, as with anyone, I have at times disagreed with him. Still it's worth pointing out to naysayers that, here again, our man Skolnick has been right on target.

This morning (01/24/96), on CBS This Morning, host Paula Zahn talked with a Dr. Samuel Epstein of the University of Illinois. Epstein was emphatic in his warnings about drinking milk treated with BGH. He says that there are significant risks of colon cancer attached to drinking BGH milk. What's more, says Dr. Epstein, "We think it plays a significant role in breast cancer."

Epstein also raised conflict of interest concerns when he pointed out that Mike Taylor of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was counsel for Monsanto Chemical before his move to FDA. Monsanto Chemical manufactures BGH and they sought and won rapid FDA approval for their product.

The conflict of interest concerns are reminiscent of similar questions of this type originating with that smiling bunch of yuppies in the Clinton entourage... for example the Robert Rubin - Goldman Sachs - Mexican peso bailout nexus and the Ron Brown - $700,000 payoff - Vietnam trade normalization link.

So too with Mike Taylor: according to Skolnick and easily verifiable, "The head of the Food and Drug Administration has been David Kessler, carried over from the Bush administration. His chief deputy is Mike Taylor, a cousin of Al Gore's wife, Tipper. Taylor was previously chief outside counsel for Monsanto."

Although Dr. Stephen Sundlof of the FDA counters that FDA does not agree with what Dr. Epstein is saying, Epstein insists that BGH milk "is very different from the natural product." What's more, it is dangerous to drink.

Even hard-nosed Paula Zahn could not hide her shock behind the normal "mask of professionalism." She worriedly asked, "What should we do? Stop drinking milk?" All that Dr. Epstein could answer was that the public must insist that BGH milk is so labeled so that consumers can at least choose for themselves whether they will drink that or the non-treated milk.

Yet consumers and sympathetic farmers were loudly demanding just that very thing, back when BGH milk was first hitting the stores. In fact, to my recollection, some farmers were even beginning to label their own milk as "non BGH" -- but the FDA stopped them!

So what do we have to do? Which of the smiling boys do we have to make a "campaign contribution" to just so our children can drink milk that won't put them at risk of developing cancer?

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Aperi os tuum muto, et causis omnium filiorum qui pertranseunt. Aperi os tuum, decerne quod justum est, et judica inopem et pauperem. -- Liber Proverbiorum XXXI: 8-9