A two-year-old Food and Drug Administration appointment is stirring up online protests once more.
In 2009, President Obama appointed Michael Taylor as a senior adviser for the FDA. Consumer groups protested the appointment because Taylor had formerly served as a vice president for Monsanto, the controversial agricultural multinational at the forefront of genetically modified food.
In recent days, a petition calling for the former Monsanto VP’s ouster is gaining steam.
“President Obama, I oppose your appointment of Michael Taylor,” the petition on Signon.org reads. “Taylor is the same person who was Food Safety Czar at the FDA when genetically modified organisms were allowed into the U.S. food supply without undergoing a single test to determine their safety or risks. This is a travesty.”
Over the weekend, the petition was signed by thousands of people. At this writing, it has around 60,000 signatures of its 75,000 goal.
Requests for comment from Monsanto and the FDA were not immediately returned.
Signees of the petition argue that Monsanto should not have influence at the FDA because it will hurt farmers and threaten plants and animals. They cite scientific research that has found genetically modified foods could be a cause for chronic illnesses or cancer in the U.S.