Dark History of Dupont
Have you heard the difference between rain forest and a jungle? Well rain forest has a PR while a jungle is just a jungle. That’s the difference between Monsanto and DuPont where DuPont is the rain forest. DuPont is an American chemical company and the world’s third largest producer of chemicals, agrochemicals, polymers, safety materials, electronics and genetically modified seeds. DuPont has its facilities in 70 different counties. After ExxonMobil and Dow, DuPont is the third largest producer of chemicals in the United States.
DuPont was established in 1802 by Eleuthere Irenee Du Pont. Eleuthere Irenee Du Pont ran away from the French revolution and few years after founded DuPont in US by the money he brought from gunpowder machinery from France. By 1811 DuPont was the largest supplier of gunpowder for US military and positioned itself as being the largest supplier of gunpowder during the U.S. Civil War. From 1902 to 1912 DuPont expanded quickly into production of smokeless powder and dynamite. During WW1 40% of explosive used by world powers was supplied by DuPont. Along the way DuPont purchased smaller chemical companies but in 1902 the government took DuPont to court and declared that it was a monopoly that DuPont was dominating the explosive business. Based on the court ruling DuPont had to create both Atlas Powder Company and Hercules Powder Company. DuPont also founded the first two industrial laboratories and improved its military Rifle. In 1914 DuPont invested and got largely involved in automobile industry. From 1920 to 1935 DuPont discovered the first synthetic rubber, nylon, Teflon and polyester.
During WW2 from 1941 to 1945 DuPont was the largest producer of war supplies. DuPont also played an important role in Manhattan Project and production of the first atomic bomb during WW2 that was dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. During the same war DuPont produced 4.5 billion pounds of explosive for military. However the horrors of war made DuPont huge profit. From 1950s to 1970s DuPont came up with developing new raw materials like Dacron, Mylar, Lycra, Corfarm and Corian. In 1981 DuPont got into a bidding war with Seagram Company who owned some shares in Conoco to purchase Conoco Inc. Conoco was a major American oil & gas producer and acquisition of Conoco made DuPont one of the top ten US producers of oil and gas. In 1999 DuPont sold its shares to Philips Petroleum Company.
In 1999 DuPont became the largest seed company and producer of hybrid seeds that is used for production ofgenetically modified corn and soy. DuPont is among the four top biotech companies that produce 100% of genetically modified seeds and 60% of world pesticides. The other three biotech companies are Monsanto, Syngenta and Bayer. These top biotech companies are also the largest producers of pesticides in the world. The farmers get subsidy to produce soybeans and corn from the government. Most of these genetically modified cornand soy is used to feed the livestock to fatten them up. 60% of genetically modified corn and 47% of genetically modified soybeans produced in US are fed to livestock.
DuPont pays millions of dollars to food lobbyist to defend its policies; last year DuPont spent $4.8 million for lobbying. However most of these food lobbyists who aggressively peruse the policies of DuPont & Monsanto have worked or are working for the government. In 2007 presidential campaign Obama mentioned that the department of agriculture wasn’t department of agribusiness and promised to put people’s need ahead of financial interests. However some officials in charge of USDA or FDA have been defending, lobbying or working for biotech companies like Monsanto and DuPont:
– Tom Vilsack: Former pro-biotechnology governor of Iowa that was assigned as USDA secretary.
– Roger Beachy: Former director of Monsanto who is now director of USDA
– Elena Kagan: Took Monsanto’s side against organic farmers in Roundup Ready Alfalfa case and is now nominated to Supreme Court
– Rajiv Shah: Former director of pro-biotech Gates Foundation who served as USDA secretary
– Linda Strachan: Monsanto’s and DuPont’s representative who is assistant secretary for Department of Agriculture and EPA
– Islam Siddiqui: Former DuPont and Monsanto VP who is now the representative of agriculture negotiator for US trade
– Ramona Romero: Corporate console to DuPont that now is nominated as General Counsel for USDA In 2002 based on the Institute of Political Economy Research DuPont was marked the number one among 100 of contributors to air pollution in the US.
Over the last decade DuPont has been involved in polluting the environment, air and water. In 2002 the residents of Wood County in West Virginia were informed by the spokesman of West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection that their air was contaminated by DuPont’s plant producing toxic chemical called C8 (PFOA). In 2011 researchers found out that there is a correlation betweenhigh blood pressure in pregnant women and C8. This high blood pressure epidemic is usually combined with protein leakage into urine that can cause pre-eclampsia that can threaten the health and life of both mother and baby.
Mid-Ohio valley residents’ water was also contaminated with C8 as a result of nearby DuPont’s plant. Medical studies show that three out of four residents’ of Mid-Ohio Valley have signs of pregnancy induced hypertension and pre-eclampsia due to high exposure to C8. Teflon cookware and other nonstick products are made from PFOA or C8. Although DuPont insist that exposures to C8 chemical known as PFOA doesn’t cause any health issues, studies show that exposure to C8 by consuming food in Teflon cookware that contain C8 over a period of time can cause immune system disorder, thyroid, liver problems and higher cholesterol rate in children.
In 2005 Glenn Evers, the former top DuPont scientist revealed that at least by 1981 DuPont was aware of the health side effects of using paper chemical coating used for food packaging. This dangerous chemical is like C8 that accumulates in people over time and has adverse side effects. In 2006 officials of the United Steelworkers revealed a report that showed DuPont’s safety program called STOP is based on the idea that all injuries are caused by workers. However Mike Wright head of Health Safety and Environmental Department reveals that the last 20 year of investigation shows the root of many catastrophic incidents in DuPont has been related to unsafe hazards, conditions, workplace and failure to file industrial accidents report to OSHA. Based on Ken Test head of USW DuPont Council many of DuPont workers and retirees suffer from being exposed to dangerous toxic substances and chemicals. DuPont and Monsanto are both doing a very good job deceiving the public opinion and covering up their lies, crimes and misdeeds and so far they have been contaminating our environment, air and water with their dangerous chemicals and substances.
Although DuPont and Monsanto agreed to work with each other on sharing their biotechnology on production of genetically modified seeds and crops, Monsanto is now suing DuPont for violation of license agreement between the two companies in 2002. At the same time DuPont is suing Monsanto for its monopoly and restricted agriculture policies that engage no competitors and illegally holding to the details of federal patent about Roundup Ready. DuPont created its own genetically modified soy bean product called Optimum GAT that was meant to compete with Monsanto’s Roundup Ready GM soy product. However the Optimum GAT failed to perform and DuPont added Monsanto’s Roundup into its own existing Optimum GAT. So Monsanto is taking DuPont to court for failing to establish license agreement between the two. However if Monsanto’s patent is enforceable and deemed void anyone could start using Roundup Ready which would be a huge victory for food freedom.
Jeffrey M. Smith: The GMO Threat (One hour long – HD video) http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=oPvkZv5MfRw
*Editing Note: Dow Chemical is another biotech company not listed in this article!