Animal Protection > ALF Foes

Government Agents in My Living Room
Robert Cohen

Did you ever have government anti-terrorism agents investigating you in your own home? I did, and the experience is not pleasant, but I've survived to tell the tale. If ever that should happen to you, do as I did. Bake some fresh brownies (no, not those kind, Alice B. Tolkas!) Serve fresh juice and tea, and smile a lot.

I am on the government's terrorist list, and I've got the evidence to prove it.

They were courteous enough to call first. That way, I had all of the necessary time to burn the evidence. That which did not burn, flushed down the toilet. That which did not flush was taken to a safe house. Then came the knock at my door. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) investigated me for bio-terrorism.

Two special agents from the Inspector General's office to my New Jersey home. Two of my daughters were very upset and had trouble sleeping the night before. A third daughter thought the entire incident to be goofy, and surprised the agent by appearing with her camera.

I felt that witnesses were essential, so I invited Karen Mahaboir, a reporter with the Bergen Record, Northern New Jersey's largest newspaper, to sit in on the meeting. I also invited my dad.

During the interrogation, my daughter Lizzy snapped a photograph of special agent William Squires. Lizzy captured a tiny piece of my profile in the far left of the photo. The reporter is sitting on my couch.

Unfortunately, Lizzy did not get a full photo of Agent Irena Tutco. Agent Tutco was by far the prettier of the two investigators.

Agent Squires was not happy that his likeness was captured on film. He was also not happy that a member of the press was present, and commented that this had never happened to him before. I replied that this was a new experience for me too--the first time that I was being investigated for terrorism. The reporter was allowed to remain, and she took very good notes.

I was informed that a complaint had been filed against me. I asked for a copy of that complaint, but my request was turned down. The Sixth Amendment of the Bill of Rights in America's Constitution guarantees that a citizen has the unalienable right to know his accuser, but that right seems not to be applicable during "payback time."

I told agents Squires and Tutco that my first book "MILK-The Deadly Poison" incriminated Monsanto, the company that now sells the genetically engineered bovine growth hormone. I gave them each a copy of a recent column that I wrote about George Bush's "Monsanto" cabinet. Their boss, USDA Secretary Ann Veneman, once worked closely with Monsanto. So, too, did Attorney General John Ashcroft and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas once served as Monsanto's attorney. Could I survive such a power play?  I asked Special Agent Squire if it was against the law for one to say that he or she would bring Mad Cow Disease or Foot and Mouth Disease from England to America. I was informed that an individual could be charged with a crime if his or her action satisfied four criteria:

1) made the threat 2) intended to carry out the threat 3) be aware that such a threat was a violation of the law (I asked Agent Squire what law prevented someone from making such a threat, but he was unable to cite a statute) 4) acted upon that threat.

I then asked them to immediately arrest me, hoping that the publicity would help to sell my new book. At least they had a sense of humor and laughed. They declined to do so, but they are continuously monitoring my daily column. Do they record my telephone conversations? That's only something they and George Bush would know for sure.

What will it take for agents to investigate FDA? What will it take to review the key study leading to approval of Monsanto's genetically engineered bovine growth hormone? FDA refuses to release that study, despite the fact that Inspector General Richard Kusserow promised in 1992 that the study would be released in its entirety.

The study was authored by Richard, Odaglia, and Deslex. Most people who know the issues recognize that study as one lasting for 90 days on 360 laboratory rats.

In fact, the study lasted for 180 days. FDA approved the hormone for America's food supply because they found no biological effects on lab animals.

After day 90, every animal treated with Monsanto's hormone got cancer.

If you eat pizza or ice cream, you ingest that same hormone.

Investigate that, agents Squires and Tutco!


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