SuperBowl and Monsanto and You

Dr. Weeks Comment:   This man Robert Cohen – the not-milkman – kept carcinogenic bovine growth hormone out of Canada.  At the time, he was unable to keep it out of the USA and your body.  But he tried.  Here is more to his amazing story set in the context of Superbowl sunday.


Super Bowl #52 (LII)
“The measure of who we are is what we do with what we have.”
– Vince Lombardi
There’s a football game today.
I’ve lived through all of the Super Bowls but best remember
#3 in which Joe Namath led the New York Jets to an upset
win over the Baltimore Colts. That year the Jets were a 17
point underdog and I bet one of my closest friends, Kenny
Richieri, $10 on the winner plus $1 per point on the game’s
outcome. I won the bet.
That summer, Kenny was driving a car on the West Side
Highway and a girl I enjoyed a close relationship with,
Chris Brown, died in the back seat of that car in an accident
caused by Ken’s carelessness. Years later, Ken became
the Chief Counsel of the New York Times.
In 1994, I called Kenny and begged him to print the secret
study (which someone at the FDA had courageously given
to me at great risk to himself) that I had in my possession
(authored by French scientists, Richard, Odaglia, and Deslex)
in which every one of 300 lab animals treated with Monsanto’s
GMO bovine growth hormone died from cancer. Now that the
statute of limitations has passed, I feel safe in admitting that
I shared that study with ‘Health-Canada’ regulators who
became so alarmed… that Monsanto’s application to approve
that same GMO hormone north of the border was denied.
After I made my offer, Kenny prohibited the Times from
printing the study after Monsanto threatened the newspaper
with litigation. His response to me will never be forgotten.
“Robert, I’ve got children now.” At the time, my own
children were 11, 9, and 6. I was facing 15 years of
jail and a $10 million fine at the time If I released
the study (After President Clinton issued Public
Law #104-273 to scare me off the scene). Monsanto
along with Dow and DuPont had promised to spend
$1 billion over the next ten years to promote GMOs.
Simultaneously, my own budget was a fraction of that.

Kenny and I were going to change the world. In
high school, we were just two of many who were
against the ongoing war in Vietnam.


This time of year reminds me of the Jets dramatic
win and my winning that bet against my friend.
In simpler times, we would listen to records of
The Byrds and Zappa. Ah, memories…Two years
after my favorite football game, Daniel Ellsberg
would bring the Pentagon Papers (which gave the
reasons why we should not be in Vietnam) to a
newspaper with courage. Two decades later,
the Times refused to print something with even
greater importance.


Was there a political connection to this all? Donald
Rumsfeld was president of Searle, the company which
performed that research in France for Monsanto.
His company was later sold to Monsanto and
Rumsfeld would earn $12 million. Rumsfeld would
go on to become the Secretary of “Offense” under
POTUS George Bush. Monsanto’s attorney, Clarence
Thomas would become a Supreme Court justice.
Today Super Bowl LII (52) will be played in an insulated
football stadium in Minnesota which has a dome, while
outdoor temperatures of negative 5 degrees will chill fans
waiting an hour or more in lines to gain security clearance.
How were they able to re-create a microcosm of modern-day
America which debates top secret FISA memos and Russian
collusion as hell freezes over?
“There are times when we are powerless to prevent injustice,
but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.”
– Elie Wiesel
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Robert Cohen

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