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The Gates Foundation and Monsanto Working Hand-in-Hand

Gates Foundations = Monsanto now even more than ever. I should refine that statement. Gates Foundation = in favor of a pro-biotech, for-profit, unsustainable, scary, powerful approach to "feeding the world" (a.k.a. lining corporate pockets). And they have many ties to Monsanto including a brand new one. They just filled Rajiv Shah's old job with Sam Dryden. Dryden's resume is enough to make me throw up.

  • * 1973: Graduates from Emory with a BA 
  • * 1973: Analyst at US Dept of Commerce Dept of Economic Analysis 
  • * 1974-1980: Works at Union Carbide 
  • * 1980: "led the spin-out of Union Carbide's biotechnologies and related business operations and was subsequently co-founder, President and CEO of Agrigenetics Corporation" (a large seed company) 
  • * 1985: Agrigenetics is bought out (presumably by Dow AgroSciences). Dryden leaves after the sale. Dryden founds Big Stone Inc "a private venture investment and development company focused on the life sciences."

The firm participated in founding over a dozen companies in area such as biopesticides, novel nucleic acid-based therapeutics and diagnostic products, transgenic animals, fermentation based production of vitamins, pharmaceutical clinical trialing, environmental toxicological testing and bio therapeutics.

  •  * Somewhere in this timeline, Drysden served as the "non-executive chairman" of Celgro, Inc. - an "independent venture of Celgene Corporation, a company focused on the development of novel, single-isomer, agricultural chemical compounds." 
  • * From there, he went on to become CEO of Emergent Genetics, Inc. (a biotech seed company and the third largest cotton seed company in the U.S.) 
  • * 2005: Monsanto acquires most of Emergent Genetics (Syngenta buys the rest). Dryden goes to work at Monsanto. 
  • * June 2006: Dryden becomes Managing Director of Wolfensohn & Company, an investment and consulting company founded by a former World Bank president (James Wolfensohn). Drysden's focus is investing in alternative energies.

FYI, Union Carbide's famous disaster in Bhopal, India occurred on December 3, 1984 - four years after Dryden left the company. The plant, which manufactured the pesticide carbaryl (a.k.a. Sevin), was established in 1969, which means it was put into operation long before Dryden worked at Union Carbide and it was in operation during Dryden's entire time working there.

If that all ain't scary enough, read about what this guy does in his spare time:

In addition to his for-profit activities, Sam has extensive pro-bono involvement in efforts relating to food security and international economic development.  Currently he is an advisor to The World Bank regarding rural development strategy.  He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Global Crop Diversity Trust.  Sam serves on the Nation Academies Panel on Science and Technology for Global Sustainability.  In the past, he served on the Steering Committee for the Global Assessment on Agricultural Science and Technology, led by the World Bank.  He was a member of the Executive Council, as well as chair of the Private Sector Committee, of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research.  He has been as advisor to the Rockefeller, McKnight and Macarthur Foundations and a member of the Design Advisory Committee and Scientific Advisory Board of its African Agricultural Technology Foundation -- an organization created for the advancement of African food security.  In the mid-1980's, Sam chaired a Rockefeller Brothers Fund development initiative to benefit developing country food security.  He also served on the Board of the South/North Development Initiative -- a private Rockefeller Family foundation for alleviation of rural poverty in less developed countries through entrepreneurial development. He is a past member of the U.S. Government's Agricultural Sciences and Technology Review Board.

 Sam is a member of the Council of Foreign Relations and serves on its Advisory Committee on Intellectual Property and American Competitiveness.  In the past he served on its Study Group analyzing trade issues between the United States and Europe surrounding genetically modified foods.

Sustainability? Crop diversity? Food security? Are they joking? Also note that he's got some Green Revolution credentials in there with his work with CGIAR and the Rockefeller Foundation. Then there's his work with the World Bank and the Council on Foreign Relations. It's not terribly surprising that Gates picked him really. The Gates Foundation just formally joined CGIAR, and Sylvia Mathews Burwell (Dryden's new boss) is on the board of the Council on Foreign Relations.
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