| I saw a great blurb on Grist recently about the revolving door between industry and government, describing the new position of the previous (Bush era) USDA Deputy Secretary Chuck Connor. He went from president of the Corn Refiners Association ("a front group for Archer Daniels Midland, and the force behind those putrid high-fructose corn syrup ads") to the USDA and now to a top post at the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives (a group that isn't as nice as its name makes it sound.
Here are some more examples of this revolving door:
Terry Medley, former administrator of the Animal and Plant Inspection Service of the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, chairman and vice-chairman of the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Biotechnology Council and former member of the FDA's food advisory committee, is now Director of Regulatory and External Affairs of Dupont Corp.'s Agricultural Enterprises.
Margaret Miller, deputy director of the FDA's Office of New Animal Drugs, had worked for Monsanto as a research scientist.
Michael A. Friedman, M.D. a former commissioner of the FDA Dept. of Health and Human Services is now vice-president for clinical affairs at GD Searle & Co. a pharmaceutical division of Monsanto Corporation.
And lastly Michael R. Taylor, FDA's deputy commissioner for policy, wrote the FDA's rBGH (Monsanto's genetically engineered cattle drug) labeling guidelines, which prohibited dairy corporations from making distinctions between products made with or without rBGHs, had been a lawyer for the Monsanto Corporation. (source)
For Taylor, the door might swing around once again. In fact, Taylor is the poster child for the revolving door! (If you keep a copy of Food Politics next to your bed like I do, check out page 101.) Now rumor has it that the White House may appoint him to a food safety post (czar?). Let's hope they have the good judgment not to, after Obama has pledged to keep lobbyists out of the administration. Taylor might not be a lobbyist at the moment, but he's certainly got a taint on him all the same.