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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 23, 2009
1:45 PM

CONTACT: Friends of The Earth / Rainforst Action Network

Margaret Swink, Rainforest Action Network, 415-659-0541
Nick Berning, Friends of the Earth, 202-222-0748

Monsanto CEO Voted Country’s Biggest ‘Biofool’

WASHINGTON - April 23 - Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant has been named the country’s biggest “biofool” after online voting in an April Fools Day competition sponsored by Friends of the Earth and the Rainforest Action Network came to a close yesterday.

“It was a landslide. Nearly one third of all voters chose Grant,” said Kate McMahon of Friends of the Earth. “This result stresses the need for Monsanto to stop promoting biofuels in the face of overwhelming evidence that biofuels are bad for the environment and bad for people.”

The global biofuels rush has provided a lucrative new market for Monsanto’s genetically modified plants, a key ingredient of biofuel feedstocks such as soy and corn. Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, Grant has dismissed claims that biofuels are harmful for the environment and evidence that they are connected to global food price spikes and shortages.

“It’s clear that Grant has been fooled or thinks he can fool the rest of us. Biofuels cause environmental destruction in the U.S. and around the world,” said Rainforest Action Network’s Andrea Samulon. “Agriculture and land use change account for nearly a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions globally. Isn’t it foolish to promote something that is playing such a huge role in cooking our climate?”

Despite growing scientific evidence that they contribute to air pollution, deforestation and climate change, industrialized biofuels are being promoted by government and agribusiness as a “clean” solution to climate change and to our nation’s fossil fuel addiction. Replacing just 10 percent of world demand for diesel for road transport with biodiesel would require 75 percent of the world’s existing soy, oil palm and rapeseed crops. The ability to meet even the current levels of biofuel demand mandated by our government will require an increase in our use of genetically modified organisms, which pose significant risks to biodiversity and human health.

Vote results:
Biofool Nominee -- Percent of Vote
Hugh Grant, CEO, Monsanto -- 31%
Patricia Woertz, CEO, Archer Daniels Midland -- 20%
Linda Cook, Executive Director, Shell Oil -- 18%
Sen. John Thune (R-SD) -- 12%
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) -- 12%
Rep. Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin (D-SD) -- 7%

For more information on the nominees, please visit www.biofoolsday.org.

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Friends of the Earth (www.foe.org ) is the U.S. voice of the world’s largest grassroots environmental network, with member groups in 70 countries. Since 1969, Friends of the Earth has been at the forefront of high-profile efforts to create a more healthy, just world.

Rainforest Action Network campaigns to break North America’s oil and coal addictions, protect endangered forests and Indigenous rights, and stop destructive investments around the world through education, grassroots organizing, and nonviolent direct action. For more information, please visit: www.ran.org.

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