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Public Research Private Gain

Public Research Private Gain

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, Food & Water Watch's new report, Public Research, Private Gain: Corporate Influence Over University Agricultural Research, outlines how corporate influence compromises the mission of land-grant universities and provides a history of the land-grant university system including how, as public funding has stalled in recent decades, these universities have turned to agribusiness to fill the void, compromising the public mission of the institutions.

The report outlines the millions of dollars that land-grant universities and professors have received from corporate funders and gives examples of the unencumbered access and influence corporations such as Walmart, Monsanto, Cargill, Tyson, Coca-Cola and McDonald’s have received in return. To conclude, the report make several recommendations for ways public agricultural research should be reoriented to serve the common good, including a call for more transparency and using the Farm Bill to direct research funding toward more practical solutions to the day-to-day problems facing farmers.
, Food & Water Watch's new report, Public Research, Private Gain: Corporate Influence Over University Agricultural Research, outlines how corporate influence compromises the mission of land-grant universities and provides a history of the land-grant university system including how, as public funding has stalled in recent decades, these universities have turned to agribusiness to fill the void, compromising the public mission of the institutions.

The report outlines the millions of dollars that land-grant universities and professors have received from corporate funders and gives examples of the unencumbered access and influence corporations such as Walmart, Monsanto, Cargill, Tyson, Coca-Cola and McDonald’s have received in return. To conclude, the report make several recommendations for ways public agricultural research should be reoriented to serve the common good, including a call for more transparency and using the Farm Bill to direct research funding toward more practical solutions to the day-to-day problems facing farmers.

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Food and Water Watch on Apr 25, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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03/23/2014

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CORPORATE INFLUENCE OVER UNIVERSITY AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH
 
Food & Water Watch works to ensure the food, water and fish weconsume is safe, accessible and sustainable. So we can all enjoyand trust in what we eat and drink, we help people take charge ofwhere their food comes from, keep clean, affordable, public tapwater flowing freely to our homes, protect the environmentalquality of oceans, force government to do its job protectingcitizens, and educate about the importance of keeping sharedresources under public control.
Food & Water Watch
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www.foodandwaterwatch.orgCopyright © April 2012 by Food & Water Watch.
 
All rights reserved.
 
This report can be viewed or downloaded at
www.foodandwaterwatch.org.California Office
25 Stillman Street, Suite 200San Francisco, CA 94107tel: (415) 293-9900fax: (415) 293-8394
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fwwatch.org 
 
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Since their creation in 1862, land-grant universitieshave revolutionized American agriculture.
esepublic institutions delivered better seeds, newplant varieties and advanced tools to farmers whodeployed scientific breakthroughs to increase agri-cultural productivity.
ey pioneered vitally impor-tant research on environmental stewardship, such assoil conservation. Land-grant universities partneredwith farmers in research efforts, advancing rurallivelihoods and improving the safety and abundanceof food for consumers.
ese innovations were spurred almost entirely withpublic investments from state and federal govern-ments. Starting in the 1980s, however, federal policiesincluding the Bayh-Dole Act of 1982 began encour-aging land-grant schools to partner with the privatesector on agricultural research. A key goal was todevelop agricultural products such as seeds, whichwere sold to farmers under an increasingly aggressivepatent regime.
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By 2010, private donations provided nearly a quarterof the funding for agricultural research at land-grantuniversities.
is funding steers land-grant researchtoward the goals of industry. It also discouragesindependent research that might be critical of theindustrial model of agriculture and diverts publicresearch capacity away from important issues suchas rural economies, environmental quality and thepublic health implications of agriculture.Private-sector funding not only corrupts the publicresearch mission of land-grant universities, but alsodistorts the science that is supposed to help farmersimprove their practices and livelihoods. Industry-funded academic research routinely produces favor-able results for industry sponsors. Because policy-makers and regulators frequently voice their need forgood science in decision-making, industry-fundedacademic research influences the rules that governtheir business operations.Congress should restore the public agriculturalresearch mission at land-grant schools.
e Farm Billcan reinvigorate investment in agricultural researchand fund research projects that promote the publicinterest. Reprioritizing research at land-grant univer-sities may not remedy all of the problems in the foodsystem, but it could play a vital role in developingthe science and solutions needed to create a viablealternative to our industrialized, consolidated foodsystem.
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