Deal will damage academic integrity / Ann Clark on GM
2.GENETICALLY ENGINEERED CROPS - A "SPECTACULAR FAILURE"? with DR. E. ANN CLARK
1.Deal will damage academic integrity
James Abourezk and William Du Bois
Sioux Falls Argus Leader, May 17 2009
(James Abourezk is a former U.S. senator who practices law in Sioux Falls. William Du Bois is a former assistant professor at South Dakota State University and currently is an assistant professor at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall.)
We were shocked awake on a recent Sunday morning by the Argus Leader's headline: "SDSU'S cozy deal questioned." The article referred to the president of one of our finest universities - South Dakota State University - being paid almost $400,000 a year by Monsanto Chemical Co. for sitting on its board of directors. This is in addition to the $300,000 the people of South Dakota are paying him for being SDSU's president. According to the article, the South Dakota Board of Regents approved of the arrangement.
There comes a time when "enough is enough," and this, we believe, is the time. If the state Board of Regents cannot see the damage that will be done to academic freedom and to the integrity of the faculty and students at SDSU, then it is past time for the state Legislature to step up and to do something dramatic to restore trust and integrity to our public officials.
With Monsanto pouring money into the university, what is to be said about the integrity of the research that is produced by the faculty who undertake research about Monsanto's money-making products?
Monsanto does not pour money into grants and paychecks just for the blackness of the eyes of those on the receiving end. The corporation wants something for its money, and, if enough money is spread around, it most likely will get what it wants.
That might be good for Monsanto, but is it good for the public interest? Hardly. Studies show industry-sponsored research reaches quite different conclusions than independent research. Monsanto is a chemical company well known for trying to get around environmental restrictions.
And what better way to deceive a vulnerable public than to be able to cite research by a distinguished university such as SDSU?
This most recent problem of the lack of ethics goes beyond this particular "cozy" deal, however. The glaring conflict of interest inherent in this kind of arrangement rests on top of a long line of cozy deals between big corporations and South Dakota's public officials.
Recently, during an environmental hearing on the proposed refinery in Union County, the state Board of Minerals and Environment and members of the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources sat down to dinner with executives of Hyperion Corp. The act was so brazen that they supped together during a break in the hearing where the two state agencies were to pass on Hyperion's air and water quality.
2.GENETICALLY ENGINEERED CROPS - A "SPECTACULAR FAILURE"?
with DR. E. ANN CLARK
Deconstructing Dinner, May 14 2009
On our April 9 episode <http://www.cjly.net/deconstructingdinner/040909.htm>, Deconstructing Dinner examined the precarious state of the University of Guelph's organic agriculture program. As was learned, the University had chosen to cut the program along with others displaying low enrollment. The program now sits in limbo. The episode explored the key decision makers at the University in an effort to determine why the lion's share of research funding at the school is directed towards the genetic engineering of lifeforms and the corporate control of seeds instead of towards organic research. As a coordinator of the organic agriculture major, Dr. E. Ann Clark's work within the Department of Plant Agriculture has provided her with an ideal vantage point from which to critically analyze the outcomes of the genetic engineering of the food supply also underway at the university.
On May 10, Deconstructing Dinner recorded Ann speaking at an event hosted by the Kootenay Local Agricultural Society. Ann's talk dealt with the topic of genetically engineered food, and she sought to demonstrate the "spectacular failures" of these technologies, which are now pervasive throughout the North American food supply.
Topics Covered on the Show:
*The May 14, 2009 joint statement from wheat producers supporting commercialization of GM wheat
*The questionable groups communicating to Canadian wheat farmers
*The formalization of Dow's NAFTA challenge against the Canadian Government
Challenging the genetically engineered *promises of "higher yields", "reduced biocide use", "feeding the world", "saving the soil", "farmers would make more money"
*Misleading promises of Bt Corn
*Seemingly manipulated research findings of consumer preferernces of GM vs. conventional corn
*The disinformation communicated by Canada's largest agricultural publication, The Western Producer
Dr. E. Ann Clark, Associate Professor, Department of Plant Agriculture, University of Guelph (Guelph, ON) - Ann received a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences and a Masters of Science in Agronomy both from the University of California at Davis. Ann later went on to earn a Ph.D. in Crop Production and Physiology from Iowa State University. Her specific research interests are in organic and pasture production systems, and in risk assessment in genetically modified crops. She has authored 14 books or book chapters, 25 refereed journal publications, given 51 presentations at conferences and symposia, and 150 extension and technical papers or presentations. She currently teaches or team teaches 7 undergraduate courses, and together with Paul Voroney in Land Resource Science, coordinates the Major in Organic Agriculture at Guelph.
Web Link: www.cjly.net/deconstructingdinner/051409.htm