Here’s what we just learned about pesticides in our food
email from Friends of the Earth, 8/13/20
We just released a groundbreaking study about glyphosate, and the results are eye-opening. We found the toxic weed-killer glyphosate (aka Bayer Monsanto’s Roundup®) in every person we tested -- and our study showed that food is the primary way most of us are exposed to this toxic pesticide. But here’s the good news: we found that glyphosate levels dropped 70% after just six days on an organic diet! It’s clear: We urgently need to shift to a just, sustainable, organic food system for everyone.
Bayer Monsanto’s Roundup® is the most widely used pesticide in the world -- and it is downright dangerous to our health. From breakfast to dinner, it is likely that you eat glyphosate-contaminated food several times a day. In addition to cancer, glyphosate has been linked to kidney and liver disease, shortened pregnancy, hormone disruption, and other serious health problems.
Moreover, glyphosate is a key culprit in the massive decline of monarch butterflies and other pollinators over the past few decades. Today, 40% of all wild invertebrate pollinators are on the brink of extinction.
Glyphosate and other toxic pesticides are part of a “perfect storm”: A rapid decline in pollinators, a deliberate rollback of environmental protections designed to benefit Big Ag, a food system that is increasingly contaminated by harmful chemicals, and a global pandemic that disproportionately impacts communities of color and working class communities -- the same communities who are more likely to be exposed to pesticides. This disastrous combination sets us up for massive food security problems, escalating health impacts, and ecosystem collapse beyond anything we’ve seen before.
Our latest peer-reviewed study on glyphosate only adds to the overwhelming scientific consensus: With ecological methods of farming, like organic, we don’t need to rely on toxic pesticides and synthetic fertilizers to produce abundant and healthy food for everyone. That’s great news for people, pollinators, and all living things.
So far, juries in three trials have ordered the company to pay billions after concluding that the product did cause cancer.
A federal judge in California ruled on Monday that the state cannot put a cancer warning on the label of the popular herbicide Roundup, as The Associated Press reported.
The world’s most widely used weed killer has faced nearly 125,000 lawsuits by plaintiffs who claim their non-Hodgkins lymphoma and other forms of blood cancer were caused by repeated exposure to Monsanto’s signature product, which is now owned by the German chemical and pharmaceutical giant Bayer AG.
Since Bayer bought Monsanto, the spate of lawsuits and their legal fees have weighed on Bayer and made the company lose 40 percent of its value. To try to contain the damage, Bayer made a verbal agreement to settle 50,000 to 85,000 cases in May, awarding plaintiffs anywhere from a few thousand dollars to a few million, according to Fortune.
Those lawsuits have been aided by a 2015 finding by the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which said that glyphosate, the chemical in Roundup, is a probable human carcinogen.
Despite that categorization, U.S. District Judge William Shubb called California’s cancer warning misleading and said the state’s label is not backed up by regulatory findings, according to Reuters.
Regulators around the world have determined Roundup, or glyphosate, to be safe, even though the IARC labeled it a probable carcinogen. That includes the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Late last year, when a judge reduced an $80 million jury award, the EPA filed papers in court that fully and unequivocally supported Bayer’s claim that glyphosate does not cause cancer, as EcoWatch reported.
Since the EPA and its European counterparts have not found a connection between glyphosate and cancer, the judge said the state could not require the company to put a cancer warning on its label, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Shubb said the state, under Supreme Court rulings, cannot require a private company to change its label or say anything about its products unless the statement is “purely factual and non-controversial,” as the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
The ruling, which permanently bars California from affixing a cancer label to Roundup, is completely separate from the ongoing civil suits that claim glyphosate caused blood cancers, according to Reuters.
So far, juries in three trials have ordered the company to pay billions after concluding that the product did cause cancer. Plaintiffs alleged that Bayer manipulated studies and deceived the scientific community to make glyphosate seem safer than it actually is, according to Reuters.
Bayer has consistently denied those claims and has insisted that glyphosate does not cause cancer, and it got help on Monday when Shubb said, “the great weight of evidence indicates that glyphosate is not known to cause cancer,” as The Associated Press reported.
As the San Francisco Chronicle reported, the lawyers for the plaintiffs in the jury trials that have awarded cancer patients over $200 million argued that the EPA’s insistence that Roundup does not cause cancer is spurious since there was evidence the company had unduly influenced the federal agency and had “ghost-written” purported research studies on the product’s safety.
In the case, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra proposed to reword the label warnings to include both the IARC and EPA findings and a reference to a website for further discussion, but the judge unequivocally rejected that compromise, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Becerra’s office said it would review the ruling and plan its next step.
Any product made with potato will be subject to added scrutiny before it can receive The Non-GMO Project’s verification stamp due to widespread prevalence of genetically engineered (GE) potato in the U.S. food supply
Is Capitalism Killing Us? By Paul Craig Roberts August 17, 2018
A strong case can be made that this is the situation we currently face.
Ecological economists, such as Herman E. Daly, stress that as the external costs of pollution and resource exhaustion are not included in Gross Domestic Product, we do not know whether an increase in GDP is a gain or a loss.
External costs are huge and growing larger. Historically, manufacturing and industrial corporations, corporate farming, city sewer systems, and other culprits have passed the costs of their activities onto the environment and third parties. Recently, there has been a spate of reports with many centering on Monsanto’s Roundup, whose principle ingredient, glyphosate, is believed to be a carcinogen.
A public health organization, the Environmental Working Group, recently reported that its tests found glyphosate in all but 2 of 45 children’s breakfast foods including granola, oats and snack bars made by Quaker, Kellogg and General Mills.
In Brazil tests have discovered that 83% of mothers’ breast milk contains glyphosate.
The Munich Environmental Institute reported that 14 of the most widely selling German beers contain glyphosate
Glyphosate has been found in Mexican farmers’ urine and in Mexican ground water.
Scientific American has reported that even Roundup’s “inert ingredients can kill human cells, particularly embryonic, placental and umbilical cord cells.”
A German toxicologist has accused the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment and the European Food Safety Authority of scientific fraud for accepting a Monsanto-led glyphosate Task Force conclusion that glyphosate is not a carcinogen.
Controversy about these findings comes from the fact that industry-funded scientists report no link between glyphosate and cancer, whereas independent scientists do. This is hardly surprising as an industry-funded scientist has no independence and is unlikely to conclude the opposite of what he is hired to conclude.
The point is that if glyphosate is carcinogenic, the cost of the lost lives and medical expenses are not borne by Monsanto/Bayer. If these costs were not external to Monsanto, that is, if the corporation had to bear these costs, the cost of the product would not be economical to use. Its advantages would be out-weighed by the costs.
It is very difficult to find the truth, because politicians and regulatory authorities are susceptible to bribes and to doing favors for their business friends. In Brazil, lawmakers are actually trying to deregulate pesticide use and to ban the sale of organic food in supermarkets.
In the case of glyphosate, the tide might be turning against Monsanto/Bayer. The California Supreme Court upheld the state’s authority to add the herbicide glyphosate to its Proposition 65 list of carcinogens.
Last week in San Francisco jurors awarded a former school groundkeeper $289 million in damages for cancer caused by Roundup. Little doubt that Monsanto will appeal and the case will be tied up in court until the groundkeeper is dead. But it is a precedent and indicates that jurors are beginning to distrust hired science. There are approximately 1,000 similar cases pending.
What is important to keep in mind is that if Roundup is a carcinogen, it is just one product of one company. This provides an idea of how extensive external costs can be. Indeed, glyphosate’s deletarious effects go far beyond those covered in this article.
GMO feeds are also taking a toll on livestock.
Now consider the adverse effects on air, water, and land resources of chemical agriculture. Florida is suffering algae blooms from chemical fertilizer runoff from farmland, and the sugar industry has done a good job of destroying Lake Okeechobee.
Fertilizer runoffs cause blue-green algae blooms that kill marine life and are hazzardous to humans. Currently the water in Florida’s St. Lucie River is 10 times too toxic to touch.
Red tides can occur naturally, but fertilizer runoffs fuel their growth and their persistance. Moreover, pollution’s contributions to higher temperatures also contribute to red tides, as does draining wetlands for real estate development, which results in water moving quickly without natural filtration.
As water conditions deteriorated and algae blooms proliferated, Florida’s response was to cutback its water monitoring program
When we consider these extensive external costs of corporate farming, clearly the values attributed to sugar and farm products in the Gross Domestic Product are excessive. The prices paid by consumers are much too low and the profits enjoyed by corporate agriculture are far too high, because they do not include the costs of the massive marine deaths, the lost tourist business, and the human illnesses caused by the algae tides that depend on chemical fertilizer runoff.
In this article I have barely scratched the surface of the problem of external costs. Michigan has learned that its tap water is not safe. Chemicals used for decades on military bases and in the manufacture of thousands of consumer items are in the water supply.
As an exercise, pick any business and think about the external costs of that business. Take, for example, the US corporations that offshored Americans’ jobs to Asia. The corporations’ profits rose, but the federal, state, and local tax bases declined. The payroll tax base for Social Security and Medicaid declined, putting these important foundations of US social and political stability into danger. The tax base for school teachers’ and other government employees’ pensions declined. If the corporations that moved the jobs abroad had to absorb these costs, they would have no profits. In other words, a few people gained by shoving enormous costs on everyone else.
Or consider something simple like a pet store. All the pet store owners and customers who sold and purchased colorful 18 to 24 inch pythons, boa constrictors, and anacondas gave no thought to the massive size these snakes would be, and neither did the regulatory agencies that permitted their import. Faced with a creature capable of devouring the family pet and children and suffocating the life out of large strong adults, the snakes were dumped into the Everglades where they have devastated the natural fauna and now are too numerous to be controlled. The external costs easily exceed many times the total price of all such snakes sold by pet stores.
Ecological economists stress that capitalism works in an “empty economy,” where the pressure of humans on natural resources is slight. But capitalism doesn’t work in a “full economy” where natural resources are on the point of exhaustion. The external costs associated with economic growth as measured by GDP can be more costly than the value of the output.
A strong case can be made that this is the situation we currently face. The disappearance of species, the appearance of toxins in food, beverages, water, mothers’ breast milk, air, land, desperate attempts to secure energy from fracking which destroys groundwater and causes earthquakes, and so forth are signs of a hard-pressed planet. When we get right down to it, all of the profits that capitalism has generated over the centuries are probably due to capitalists not having to cover the full cost of their production. They passed the cost on to the environment and to third parties and pocketed the savings as profit.
Update: Herman Daly notes that last year the British medical journal, Lancet, estimated the annual cost of pollution was about 6 % of the global economy whereas the annual global economic growth rate was about 2 percent, with the difference being about a 4% annual decline in wellbeing, not a 2 percent rise. In other words, we could already be in the situation where economic growth is uneconomical.
Monsanto’s Court Ruling Marks a Turning Point for Cancer-Causing WeedKiller What started as a $289 million fine just had an even bigger financial effect on pharmaceutical and life sciences company Bayer. It’s now down $14 billion.
On Friday, a state court in San Francisco, California, ruled that Monsanto — an agritech company Bayer acquired in June — owed California school groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson $289 million in damages. The reason: the company’s weedkillers Roundup and Ranger Pro gave him terminal cancer and weren’t adequately labeled to detail those risks.
Monsanto announced plans to appeal the court’s decision, but that couldn’t stop Bayer’s shares from plunging 12 percent on Monday, the equivalent of roughly $14 billion in value.
However, in December 2017, a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) analysis of numerous studies led to the conclusion that glyphosate is not likely to be carcinogenic to humans — the data suggested the relationship wasn’t there (of course, the $120 million Monsanto and Bayer spent on U.S. government lobbying in the decade prior to that decision could have had some influence on it).
If each of those existing lawsuits returns the same verdict as Johnson’s, Bayer could owe a whopping $1.45 trillion in damages — more than enough to bankrupt a company with a market cap around $104 billion.
Thousands of people across the U.S. have filed lawsuits alleging that Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, which contains the active ingredient glyphosate, caused them to develop cancer
DUPONT’S MUSEUM OF DISASTROUS CHEMISTRY CONTINUES TO SPREAD ITS POISON The Intercept, July 7 2018
COVERED WITH STORAGE tanks, smoke stacks, and holding pools, the old Chambers Works manufacturing site in southern New Jersey is an eyesore. From the bridge crossing the Delaware River, the industrial zone looks like a burnt patch, a brown splotch in the otherwise green of the river’s eastern shore. But the real problem with Chambers Works isn’t as visible.
Since 1892, when DuPont chose this site to house its smokeless gunpowder operations, Chambers Works has been ground zero for some of the world’s most environmentally devastating commercial enterprises. Now mostly abandoned, the roughly 2-square-mile area could serve as a museum of disastrous chemistry. Leaded gasoline; cancer-causing dyes; Kevlar, a synthetic fiber found to cause cancer in rats; Freon, a refrigerant that ate a hole in the ozone layer; neoprene, the production of which gives off a carcinogenic gas; refined uranium for atomic weapons; and PFOA, which now pollutes drinking water around the plant — and around the planet — are among the 1,200 chemical products DuPont made and stored at what was its largest manufacturing complex.
The biotech industry and its supporters have promoted GMO Golden Rice for decades as an urgently needed solution to vitamin A deficiency
But, in a surprising twist, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has concluded its consultation process on Golden Rice by informing its current developers, the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), that Golden Rice does not meet the nutritional requirements to make a health claim.
Monsanto invests over $100 million to change the DNA of every plant we use for food Monsanto, ‘the most hated corporation in America,’ plans to take the science of genetic manipulation to a whole new level. According to a March 27 article in Business Insider, the agrichemical giant has joined forces with Pairwise Plants – a California start-up company helmed by a pair of Harvard scientists – and plans to invest a whopping $100 million in a form of gene-editing technology.
While the new technology, known as CRISPR, is being hailed by some as a way to correct genetic diseases, many natural health advocates question its safety – and whether our food is an appropriate target for gene-editing.
Three days after the collaboration was announced, a published study showing that CRISPR induced unexpected mutations in mice was retracted. The timing is highly suspicious, to say the least – especially in light of Monsanto’s long and disgraceful history of suppressing damaging research.
Monsanto: CRISPR-made produce to hit grocery store shelves within 10 years
The gene-editing tool CRISPR (an acronym for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) allows scientists to manipulate DNA to produce traits such as flavor, longer shelf life, convenient sizing or tolerance to drought and disease.
In other words, unlike traditional GMO methods – which add genes from another organism – gene-editing changes (or deletes) existing genes.
Monsanto plans to “gene-edit” corn, soy, wheat, cotton and canola – major crops used in an extensive variety of foods. (Of course, they will then have exclusive rights to the “edited” crops).
Email from TexPIRG, 2/5/18
Arkansas bans dicamba pesticide despite Monsanto lawsuit
Arkansas state legislators have voted to ban sprayings of dicamba -- a weed killer manufactured primarily by Monsanto
These are the most strict state limits for dicamba-based herbicides since dicamba was linked to millions of acres of crop damage in the United States last year. However, Monsanto has already sued to keep Arkansas from implementing this ban.
Why does this matter? This weed killer is volatile -- it vaporizes into the air and can drift to other fields as long as 72 hours after it's originally sprayed. This not only risks damage to crops, but it also risks the health of the surrounding communities.
For Snubbing Glyphosate Hearing, EU Parliament Bans Monsanto Lobbyists "Those who escape democratic accountability must be excluded from access to lobbying."
by Jon Queally, staff writer, Common Dreams, 10/2/17
Monsanto lobbyists were officially barred by the European Parliament on Thursday after refusing requests to participate in hearings about the U.S. corporation's efforts to influence regulations of its controversial glyphosate within the 28-nation bloc.
The ban was announced by the parliament's presidential council under rules designed to combat misbehavior by those lobbying the EU's lawmaking body. It is the first time, the Guardian notes, that "MEPs have used new rules to withdraw parliamentary access
for firms that ignore a summons to attend parliamentary inquiries or hearings."
Slavehood 2017 By Peter Koenig [an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a former World Bank staff and worked extensively around the world in the fields of environment and water resources. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America.] May 04, 2017 "Information Clearing House"
When in the 18th and 19th Century African slaves did not ‘behave’, they were cruelly beaten sometimes to death as a deterrent for others. They were deprived of food for their families. Their women were raped. They were traded to even harsher white masters. Their lives were worth only what their labor could produce. They were treated as subjects, devoid of human warmth.
Today we have become all slaves; slaves to the powers of mafia bankster of finance; slaves to the western lie-propaganda; to the lobbies and their giant all dominating corporations – to the war-industry, because we happily believe what we are told about ever-increasing terrorism that needs to be fought with eternal wars; slaves to the environment-destructive hydrocarbon industry; to the pharma-industry; to the Monsanto-ized agroindustry; to senseless consumerism – and foremost – and summing it all up: to greed, endless greed that drives endless growth, nurturing endless competition fomenting adversity, destroying solidarity, instead of amical cooperation for a harmonious human cohabitation.
As people of western nations, we are enslaved to an all-engulfing neoliberal fascism – to a predatory economy. Corporate lie propaganda drip-feds our brains. We haven’t even noticed it. We are enslaved to so-called ‘leaders’, put in office by obscure foreign masters of deceit – the ever-stronger corporate controlled propaganda machine – the six all controlling Zion-Anglo media, whom we believe whatever lie they vomit – because it is more comfortable to believe a lie than to confront the truth – that’s self-imposed slavehood.
That’s how far we have gone. Because we are clearly on an almost irreversible downward track – sliding and running towards our own demise – into darkness – the darkness of chaos and bloody wars, endless wars against self-invented terrorism; wars that keeps our western economy running – and our armchair politics alive. Wars that kill and slaughter millions and millions – but all in ‘far-away’ lands. We are told we are protected. Our police and military watch over us. The new gods – money and military.
Although ‘pride’ was never an appropriate term to integrate our soul and minds, as we the western powers – have for centuries enslaved, raped, exploited and slaughtered the indigenous people, those who have for millennia, for history of mankind survived and passed on our human genes from one murderous civilization to another, always in the hope that the new one would see the light.
We can only hope that the patience of these native people, the survivors, our saviors – will prevail, that before we disappear in darkness, in the void of a manmade blackhole, we will awake, open our eyes and seek the light – become finally human, the term we have fraudulently applied to ourselves – the western civilization.
Independent thinking has become a crime, as it impedes the advancement of slavehood. Education is designed to kill individual thinking and the wide range of inventiveness – because it’s dangerous – for those who enslave and control us. ‘New-speak’ education has to make us thinking what the system wants us to think. That’s what western education has become in the last 50 years – a farce to keep us as non-thinking idiots.
Idiots are easily enslaved and exploited and sent to wars – to steal foreign resources to satisfy the greed of a few. We love to be cannon fodder, as we were told – enslaved – to believe that good patriots love to die for their country. We are blinded and avoid seeing that we are dying fighting to satisfy puppet leaders’ greed for power and money – whose power is nothing more than that allowed them by the Masters who control the world and who pull the strings on their marionettes.
New UN report blames pesticides for food insecurity The United Nations says it's time to overturn the myth that pesticides can feed the world and come up with better, safer ways of producing our food.
Pesticide being sprayed on field, betraying human rights
The UN takes a strong stance against the use of industrial agrochemicals, saying that they are not necessary for feeding the world. Continuing to use pesticides at the rate that the world currently does is, in fact, a betrayal of basic human rights because it can have “very detrimental consequences on the enjoyment of the right to food.”
It's Time To Put Food Policy Back On The Table, One that benefits farmers, and not Monsanto By Jim Hightower / AlterNet February 14, 2017
During the farm crisis of the 1980s, an Iowa farmer asked if I knew the difference between a family farmer and a pigeon. When I said no, he delighted in explaining: "A pigeon can still make a deposit on a new John Deere."
That's funny—except, it really wasn't. Worse, the bitter reality of the tractor joke is still true: The farm crisis has not gone away, though hundreds of thousands of farm families have. The economic devastation in farm country continues unabated as agribusiness profiteers, Wall Street speculators, urban sprawlers and corrupted political elites squeeze the life out of farmers and rural America.
In the past three years, farm income has declined steadily, plummeting 12 percent in just the last year. But these crucial-but-endangered food producers were totally disappeared by the political cognoscenti.
This disregard for farmers and food policy is not only irresponsible, but also politically inexplicable when you consider that food is far more than economics to people. Purchasing food has become a political act that takes into account cultural, ethical, environmental, and community values. This was confirmed last March in a national survey published by Consumer Reports showing that huge percentages of shoppers consider production issues important
Unfortunately, no matter what We the People want, most of the political class willingly surrenders farmers, and food itself, to industrial agribusiness. That would be that ... except for one thing: You! Far from surrendering to the "inevitability" of a corporatized food future, the great majority of Americans continue to push forward with the alternative future of a local, sustainable, humane -- and tasty -- food system that benefits all.
The ongoing battle for our food future pits the agri-industrial model of huge-scale, corporate-run operations against the agri-cultural model of sustainable, community-based family farming. The big money is with the global goliaths of corporate ag, but the grip the giants once had on the marketplace has been slipping as consumers and farmers (especially younger producers) are making clear that they prefer non-industrial food. One measure of this is the contrasting fortunes of biotech vs. organic production.
The promised "miracle" of genetically altered crops, introduced in 1994 by Monsanto, turns out to have been ephemeral. The prices of corporate-altered seeds have skyrocketed, yields from those seeds have not met expectations, planting GMO crops has forced farmers to buy more pesticides, and consumers overwhelmingly oppose GMO Frankenfoods. Thus, fewer farmers are using the biotech industry's product: US farmers cut their plantings of GMO crops by 5.4 million acres in 2015, and sales of GMO seeds fell by $400 million.
Not only does consumer demand for organically produced food keep going up, but such major producers as General Mills and Kellogg are switching to greater use of organic ingredients. As of last June, the number of America's certified organic farms was 14,979 (up by more than 6 percent from a year earlier), and sales of organic products zoomed up by 11 percent to $43.3 billion in 2015, about four times more than the growth in conventional food sales. This rise would have gone even higher, but the demand for organic is now outstripping the supply! Consumers clearly want to buy more, thus creating good opportunities for new organic farmers -- and a bright future for agri-culture.
Monsanto Files Lawsuit to Stop California From Listing Glyphosate as Known Carcinogen By Lorraine Chow - January 23, 2016
Last September, California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) issued plans to add glyphosate to the state’s list of chemicals known to cause cancer, making it the first state in the country to do so. The state agency’s decision came after the International Agency for Research on Cancer’s (IARC), the World Health Organization’s cancer research arm, infamously declared that glyphosate was a “possible carcinogen” in March 2015.
The agribusiness giant has also demanded a retraction of the IARC’s report.
Monsanto Was Put on Trial for Ecocide at the Hague: Here's What Happened By Ronnie Cummins / AlterNet October 28, 2016
Monsanto has earned the dubious distinction of being the most hated corporation on Earth."Today we are in the midst of a battleground for two very different approaches to agriculture. One is the agro-ecological approach based on the use of open-source traditional seeds based on biodiversity and living in harmony with nature.
"The other is the mechanistic world of an industrial system based on monocultures, one-way extraction and the use of pesticides, poisons and GMOs, where chemical cartels compete to take over our agriculture and food systems, destroying our ecosystems along the way.” —Brochure for the People’s Assembly, The Hague, Oct. 14, 2016, “Seeds of Freedom—Navdanya”
On October 14-16, over 1,000 activists, journalists and witnesses from around the world gathered in The Hague, Netherlands, headquarters of the International Court of Justice, to put Monsanto on trial for crimes against humanity and nature (also called “ecocide”).
Before a distinguished international panel of judges, 30 witnesses, including farmers, consumers, scientists, indigenous people and former governmental officials from Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe, North and South America, delivered detailed and shocking testimony on how Monsanto and its agribusiness accomplices have poisoned the environment and devastated public health. [I watched some of the proceedings live and found that the witnesses were too unemotional and too detailed, using lots of scientific lingo without explaining]
Victims and witnesses described how, over the past 50 years, Monsanto has duped, assaulted, injured and killed farmers, farmworkers, rural villagers and urban consumers with its reckless use of toxic chemicals and pesticides (PCBs, DDT, Agent Orange, Dioxin, Roundup, 2,4D), and genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The insidious political clout and growing control over the world’s seeds and food by Monsanto and a new global agribusiness cartel constitute a serious, indeed catastrophic, threat to our health as well as to the health of our soils, watersheds, oceans, wetlands, forests and climate.
Monsanto’s chemical- and fossil fuel-intensive GMO crops (corn, soy, cotton, canola, sugar beets, eggplant, potatoes, alfalfa, and others) and the toxic pesticides used to grow them are now polluting 400 million acres in 28 nations, comprising almost 10 percent of the world’s croplands. As a result, GMO ingredients and pesticide residues now contaminate much, if not most, of the world’s (non-organic) processed foods, animal feed, meat, dairy and poultry. Meanwhile GMO soya and chemical-intensive palm oil plantations, commodities utilized for junk food, animal feed, cosmetics and biofuels, are the primary driving forces of the tropical deforestation that threatens to smother the literal lungs of the planet, as well as most of the planet’s biodiversity.
From Sri Lanka, India, Argentina, Bangladesh, China, the Philippines, Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil, Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, Nigeria, Uganda, South Africa and dozens of other nations, including the industrialized nations of the North, the same tragic, brutal, criminal, narrative emerged: Monsanto, aided and abetted by its shareholders and business allies, has deliberately poisoned people, communities and the environment in order to maximize profits. Meanwhile, indentured scientists, politicians and mass media—Monsanto’s minions—have 'e little or nothing to stop this mass homicide and ecocide.
In addition, Monsanto has routinely carried out acts of biopiracy—robbing indigenous communities and traditional farmers of their knowledge, plants, and seeds and then patenting these life forms as their corporate “intellectual property.”
Overturning or simply ignoring national laws, common law, farmer and consumer rights, and international trade and environmental norms, Monsanto and the other, now merging, chemical-biotech giants (Dow, Dupont, Syngenta, ChinaChem, Bayer, BASF) have essentially organized themselves into a powerful and monopolistic global cartel.
By destroying the health and livelihoods of millions of people, Monsanto has earned the dubious distinction of being the most hated corporation on Earth. No wonder the Biotech Bully of St. Louis is trying to change its name and bury the historical record of 115 years of crime and mayhem by merging with the giant chemical, biotech and pharmaceutical giant, Bayer.
Monsanto refused to appear and testify at the Tribunal, despite being served with a citizens’ subpoena in St. Louis. But on December 10, the Tribunal judges plan to issue legal advisory opinions based upon international law, including the category of human rights violations that fall under the category of “ecocide.”
Millions Against Monsanto: Six Questions by the Organic Consumers Association.
With 21,000 employees in 66 countries and $15 billion in revenue, Monsanto is a biotech industry heavyweight. The St. Louis, Mo.-based monopolizer of seeds is the poster child for an industry that is the source of at least one-third of global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, and is largely responsible for the depletion of soil, water and biodiversity.
Not to mention the company’s marginalization—and sometimes terrorization—of millions of small farmers.
Since the early 20th century, Monsanto has marketed highly toxic products that have contaminated the environment and permanently sickened or killed thousands of people around the world.
10/15/16 email from email@example.com:
Newsletter Monsanto Tribunal - The Monsanto Tribunal has started!
We are experiencing something very special here today. Representatives from movements all over the world have travelled to The Hague for the Monsanto Tribunal and the parallel People’s Assembly. On this World Food Day we will conquer language and culture barriers to strengthen the world food movement. You are supporting this and you are part of it. This is great! We all need this movement to put an end to the era of unpunished poisoning and exploitation of the earth as soon as possible.
Please follow us online and watch the livestream (just click on your preferred language, followed by "prev") from the Tribunal. [no sound]
Legal Levels of Roundup Pose Risks for Stream Algae Even though glyphosate is used to control weeds in agricultural fields, the world's most commonly used weedkiller has also been detected in streams, rivers and other aquatic systems worldwide due to runoff.
As we learn more and more about the potential environmental risks of glyphosate runoff, in Brazil—where almost 188,000 tons of glyphosate was sold in 2013 alone—new research published in the peer-reviewed journal Phycologia found that all-important macroalgae is sensitive to glyphosate exposure, even at legal levels. According to the study, the herbicide can alter the photosynthesis, chlorophyll levels and respiration of these key freshwater organisms.
Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org, Colby Glass, MLIS, PhDc, Professor Emeritus