If a company hides information that suggests its top money-making product is unsafe, keeps adverse findings from regulators, employs ghostwriters to gin up favorable scientific studies and media coverage, funds front groups in an attempt to discredit critics, fails to provide warnings to consumers, and, according to jurors who reviewed a mountain of evidence, is responsible for serious illnesses and death, how would you hold the people responsible to account? If the company were Monsanto, you couldn’t. Monsanto — once one of the marquee corporate names in St. Louis — is now gone, gobbled up in 2018 for a whopping $63 billion. Bayer AG paid a premium and Monsanto shareholders made a bundle, just as lawsuits alleging a link between Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma were beginning to heat up.
Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador quietly rocked the agribusiness world with his New Year’s Eve decree to phase out use of the herbicide glyphosate and the cultivation of genetically modified corn. His administration sent an even stronger aftershock two weeks later, clarifying that the government would also phase out GM corn imports in three years and the ban would include not just corn for human consumption but yellow corn destined primarily for livestock. Under NAFTA, the United States has seen a 400% increase in corn exports to Mexico, the vast majority genetically modified yellow dent corn. The bold policy moves fulfill a campaign promise by Mexico’s populist president, whose agricultural policies have begun to favor Mexican producers, particularly small-scale farmers, and protect consumers alarmed by the rise of obesity and chronic diseases associated with high-fat, high-sugar processed foods.
One of the world’s most widely used glyphosate-based herbicides, Roundup, can trigger loss of biodiversity, making ecosystems more vulnerable to pollution and climate change, say researchers from McGill University in Canada. The widespread use of Roundup on farms has sparked coancerns over potential health and environmental effects globally.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has continued its glyphosate cover-up by announcing Thursday that they have finished and published their regulatory review and found that glyphosate is ‘not a carcinogen’. In a statement released Thursday the agency said; “EPA has concluded that there are no risks of concern to human health when glyphosate is used according to the label and that it is not a carcinogen.”
A newly published study adds to the ever-growing pile of evidence in support of the cancer-causing potential of the weedkiller active ingredient glyphosate. Glyphosate herbicides like Roundup are used on over 85% of genetically modified crops. The new study shows that a very low concentration of glyphosate (in the parts per trillion range and thus environmentally relevant for everyone) can trigger breast cancer when combined with another risk factor. In the study, scientists exposed noncancerous human breast cells to glyphosate in vitro over a course of 21 days.
Washington State University researchers have found a variety of diseases and other health problems in the second- and third-generation offspring of rats exposed to glyphosate, the world’s most popular weed killer and main ingredient in Roundup herbicide. In the first study of its kind, the researchers saw descendants of exposed rats developing prostate, kidney and ovarian diseases, obesity and birth abnormalities. Michael Skinner, a Washington State University professor of biological sciences, and his colleagues exposed pregnant rats to the herbicide between their 8th and 14th days of gestation.
The German government announced Wednesday it had agreed on a plan to phase out the use of glyphosate—the key chemical in the weedkiller Roundup—with a total ban set to begin by the end of 2023. "Way to go, Germany!" tweeted the U.S.-based advocacy group Organic Consumers Association. Chancellor Angela Merkel's cabinet agreed to the plan Wednesday. The proposal, reported Bloomberg, also says that the "government intends to oppose any request for the E.U. to renew the license to produce the weedkiller, according to a release by the environment ministry."
The latest batch of documents reveal Monsanto’s efforts to defund IARC by writing letters on behalf of sitting members of Congress to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which oversees government funding to IARC. Monsanto’s PR teams at FTI Consulting also worked behind the scenes to draft language for legislation aimed at defunding IARC. The ghostwritten letters to NIH cite articles by Reuters reporter Kate Kelland, a key mouthpiece for Monsanto in its bid to discredit IARC. In 2017, Kelland wrote a story that parroted IARC talking points she received from Monsanto executive Sam Murphey. The talking points, given to Kelland with an exclusive quote from Monsanto’s Vice President Scott Partridge, fueled the impression that IARC deliberately ignored data that would have changed the glyphosate classification.
The Environmental Protection Agency is protecting Monsanto by refusing to approve warning labels for products that contain glyphosate. Although the Internation Agency for Research on Cancer has labeled glyphosate – the active ingredient in Monsanto’s weed killer Roundup – as a “probable carcinogen”, the EPA is adamant the research has failed to prove a significant public risk to human health. The EPA’s decision is in response to a court order obtained by Monsanto against the state of California.
Following the recent bans on the use of glyphosate-based herbicides by cities and institutions in the U.S., including Key West, Los Angeles, the University of California and Miami, Sustainable Pulse decided to research which countries around the world have banned or restricted the use of the world’s most used herbicide. This research has led to the discovery that there is a growing swell of government level support worldwide for bans on glyphosate-based herbicides for both health and environmental reasons. 17 countries have now banned or restricted the use of this carcinogenic herbicide.
After less than two full days of deliberations, a California jury ordered Monsanto to pay just over $2 billion in punitive and compensatory damages to a married couple who both developed non-Hodgkin lymphoma they say was caused by their many years of using Roundup products. In ordering punitive damages, the jury had to find that Monsanto “engaged in conduct with malice, oppression or fraud committed by one or more officers, directors or managing agents of Monsanto” who were acting on behalf of the company.
Around 500 protesters gathered outside the Bonn conference centre with placards mocking Bayer’s corporate motto “science for a better life” or calling to “stop glyphosate”, the Monsanto-made herbicide at the centre of the group’s woes. Inside, investors were fuming. “Bayer has choked on Monsanto,” said Ingo Speich of Deka bank. “The company risks being taken over and dismantled.” Mark Tuemmler of investors’ federation DSW said 2018 was “a nightmare for shareholders”.
Glyphosate, you’ve sprayed your last City of Sonoma leaf. That’s because the Sonoma City Council on April 1 voted unanimously to ban the use on city property of the synthetic herbicide glyphosate – a main ingredient in such weed-killing products as Roundup – that is becoming increasing associated with suspected links to cancer. The Council in December 2018 had already moved toward stricter limits on the herbicide, agreeing then to only consider its use as a “last resort” and directed city staff to return in 2019 with details on how much City of Sonoma maintenance crews spray so city officials could further mull an outright ban.
Vietnam has announced that it has banned the import of all glyphosate-based herbicides with immediate effect following the latest cancer trial verdict from San Francisco, in a move which has shaken Bayer’s Asian market for its top-selling product. Hoang Trung, Director of the Plant Protection Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, stated Saturday to Tuoi Tre newspaper that the import and trans-national trading of herbicides containing glyphosate would be banned immediately. Glyphosate herbicides are currently widely used in Vietnam.
EWG: Verdict In Roundup Trial Latest Blow To Bayer-Monsanto’s Claims Glyphosate Doesn’t Cause Cancer
SAN FRANCISCO – Today’s verdict in favor of a California man who said his cancer was caused by exposure to Bayer AG’s Roundup weedkiller is further evidence that glyphosate, the herbicide’s active ingredient, is carcinogenic to humans, said Environmental Working Group President Ken Cook. In the first phase of Edward Hardeman v. Monsanto Company, the jury sided with arguments and scientific evidence presented by the attorneys for Edward Hardeman that glyphosate was the cause of his non-Hodgkin lymphoma.