Congressional Bribe-Taking be Good
for You and the Environment?
Crook Becomes Chair of House Resource Committee
Richard Pombo (R-CA) is the new chairman of the powerful House Resource
is a crook, and should have been thrown out of Congress in 1994
for taking bribes from Monsanto while considering a bill to label
milk and dairy products containing that pharmaceutical giant's genetically
engineered bovine growth hormone.
Pombo was a long-time member of the House Dairy, Livestock, and
Poultry Committee. In 1994, the approval process for Monsanto's
re-combinant bovine growth hormone (rbGH) became the greatest controversy
in FDA history.
that time, the Dairy Committee reviewed a proposed law that would
have required labels on milk, cheese, or ice cream products containing
that genetically engineered hormone. After all, Americans had a
right to know what they are eating...right? Wrong. The Dairy Committee
stalled the proposed bill until the 1994 elections. When the 1994
session of Congress expired, the bill died. The law was never voted
upon. That's how Congress works, folks. A congressman can introduce
a bill, and the bill can be sent to a committee, but behind the
scenes shenanigans work to deceive the true interests of the American
people. The biggest factor influencing members of Congress is the
began to investigate milk, milk hormones, and milk politics at about
that time. I researched PAC donations, and learned that Pombo had
accepted a total of $252,600 in PAC money in 1994. Remarkably, $84,385
was given to him from private companies and groups doing business
in agriculture. Talk about buying votes! Even more remarkable was
Pombo's relationship with Monsanto. I learned that this man had
the audacity to accept money directly from Monsanto while voting
on a bill that impacted Monsanto's future and the future of biotechnology.
I've called that PAC donation a bribe, and I continue to do so.
If Pombo is your California congressman, please let him know that
I am calling him a crook. He may sue me. Good. Then America can
learn that this man takes bribes.
behind-the-scenes political maneuvering and intrigue resulted in
Pombo's longshot award as committee chairman? There were other,
more qualified candidates. The Monsanto/Pombo connection should
make headline news, but today's Bush White House has become the
East Coast extension of Monsanto's St. Louis headquarters. For more
on the Monsanto connection to Washington read www.notmilk.com/pelican.html
Bribery is defined as the act or practice of giving or accepting
money or some other payment with the object of influencing the action
or judgment at a parliamentary hearing or other election. During
the 2000 election cycle, Pombo accepted over $450,000. The dairy
industry contributed $17,100, and groups with agriculture interests
"donated" more than double the 1994 amounts. Now, Pombo oversees
America's "resources." What does that mean for our environment?
is no environmentalist. As a congressman, he has sponsored legislation
to repeal pesticide legislation and has been an outspoken critic
of the endangered species act.
runs his family's Tracy, California beef and dairy factory farm.
Factory farms pollute waterways. Does the environment stand a chance?
Tip: Don't drink the water downstream of Pombo's farm.
has pledged to never accept a dollar of government subsidies for
his dairy operations. But my review of records kept by EWG.org
reveals that over the past six years the powerful Pombos of Tracy,
California have combined to collect more than $193,000 in wheat
and barley subsidies. Uncles and cousins, perhaps? Sixty-three percent
of those dollars were paid in 2001 (over $121,000).
Pombo family even received $5,677 worth of barley subsidies. Does
the average American eat even one cup of barley per year, or is
most of it brewed to manufacture beer? USDA pays the Pombos barley
House Resource Committee has jurisdiction over 700 million acres
of public lands, and will be sending bills to Congress affecting
energy development. Don't bet on windmill technology.
every human who occupies planet Earth, there shall be four tons
of carbon dioxide gas added to Earth's atmosphere. That will contribute
up to 24 billion tons this year alone. Carbon dioxide gases multiply
that "greenhouse effect" known as global warming. Global warming
is melting our polar ice caps, and has created the highest level
of carbon dioxide in 400,000+ years (according to ice core samples).
Four hundred nuclear reactors will create over 20 million pounds
of dangerous radioactive waste. Where do we safely dispose of that
which can kill for thousands of years? Pesticides and petrochemicals
poison our air, and delete the number of species of wildlife occupying
is what Earth Island Journal wrote about Pombo: "The Washington
Post reported that Rep. Richard Pombo's Regulatory Fairness and
Openness Act of 1999 was 'almost a word-for-word draft developed
by a coalition of pesticide manufacturers agricultural interests
and food processors.' The Post revealed that Jellinek, Schwartz
& Connolly Inc., the consulting firm that helped write the Pombo
bill, 'employs a number of former senior managers of the EPA,' including
five former officials involved in the regulation of pesticides and
our wetlands disappear and our streams become undrinkable, we need
honorable leaders willing to act morally and ethically to do what
is right. Sadly, the one individual wielding the power to change
things for the betterment of all, Richard Pombo, is not such a person.
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