There are many controversial issues that political candidates build their platforms on, and public health and the environment are certainly hot topics. Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) is the first federal legislator and presidential candidate to call for a ban on Roundup weedkiller and we’re thrilled that she’s bringing this important topic to the forefront of political debate.
Financial Contributions and Political Support
It’s no secret that mega corporations give financial contributions to political candidates and officials, not to mention lobbyists. In fact, Monsanto’s website even admits:
“Monsanto is committed to participating constructively and transparently in the political process, as such participation is essential to the Company’s long-term success. Our approach on corporate political contributions is driven by the significant impact that public policy decisions can have on our business and on the interests of our stakeholders.”
Fortunately, these political contributions are open to the public to view, so here are some numbers to think about:
Paid to the House of Representatives in 2013
Total paid by Monsanto to Democrats: $72,000
Total paid by Monsanto to Republicans: $190,500
Paid to Senate in 2013
Total paid by Monsanto to Democrats: $37,500
Total paid by Monsanto to Republicans: $85,000
Contributions to Federal Candidates, 2018 cycle
Total Contributions from this PAC to federal candidates: $315,000 (33% to Democrats, 67% to Republicans)
House: Total to Democrats: $92,500; Total to Republicans: $193,500
Senate: Total to Democrats: $23,500; Total to Republicans: $41,500
When you consider the bills and political decisions that involve adding a warning label to the products, banning glyphosate, use on city property, and more, Monsanto’s contributions are having an impact on government regulations and thereby public health and safety.
This is precisely why it’s so refreshing to hear that Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is standing up against Bayer (who acquired Monsanto in 2018) by stating on Twitter, “I’ve said it before, I’ll keep saying it: Ban roundup! It’s long past time we stopped relying on corrupt corporations with a profit incentive to fund science telling us their chemicals are ‘safe.’ Victims shouldn’t have to go to trial to get the truth.”
Between the two recent California trials that found in favor of the plaintiffs who were diagnosed with cancer due to use of Roundup, new studies that found that Roundup causes a 40% increased risk of cancer, and LA County’s recent ban of Roundup on county property, hopefully more politicians will listen to researchers and their constituents and ban Roundup.