With Roundup On Rocks, Monsanto Hatches New Seeds; Dangerous New Plan

AP_16280743130279

By Whitney Webb for Mint Press News – So far, this year has not been very kind to Monsanto. First, collusion between Monsanto and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was revealed, whereby the company worked in tandem with the federal agency to discredit independent research conducted by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). The IARC, in 2015, found that glyphosate – the key ingredient in Monsanto’s best-known product, Roundup — most likely causes cancer, a reality that Monsanto had secretly known for decades. Furthermore, Monsanto’s own head toxicologist, Donna Farmer, admitted that he “cannot say that Roundup does not cause cancer” as “we [Monsanto] have not done the carcinogenicity studies with Roundup.” With their lobbyists now banned from the EU parliament amid the body’s deliberations over whether to ban glyphosate entirely, Monsanto seems to be betting on the chemical it hopes will solve its glyphosate troubles — a herbicide known as dicamba. While dicamba has existed for decades, Monsanto has been busy retooling the herbicide, hoping to use it to replace glyphosate – not in response to concerns about glyphosate’s dangerous effects on human health but in order to tackle the development of widespread resistance to glyphosate among weeds in the United States and elsewhere. Monsanto has aggressively marketed its genetically modified, dicamba-tolerant seeds along with its associated herbicide, hoping to capture half of the entire U.S. soybean market by 2019.

Monsanto Captured EPA (And Twisted Science) To Keep Glyphosate On Market

41_11_brown-grossman_01

By Valerie Brown and Elizabeth Grossman for In These Times – IN APRIL 2014, A SMALL GRASSROOTS GROUP CALLED MOMS ACROSS AMERICA announced that it had tested 10 breast milk samples for glyphosate, and found the chemical in three of them. Glyphosate is the world’s most widely used herbicide and the primary ingredient of Roundup. Although the levels of glyphosate found by Moms Across America were below the safety limits the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set for drinking water and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has set for food, the results caused a stir on social media. The Moms Across America testing was not part of any formal scientific study, but Monsanto—the owner of the Roundup trademark and the premier glyphosate manufacturer—jumped to defend its most profitable pesticide based on a new study that found no glyphosate in breast milk. But this research, purported to be “independent,” was actually backed by the corporation itself. “Anybody who finds out about this is not going to trust a chemical company over a mom, even if [that mom] is a stranger,” says Moms Across America founder Zen Honeycutt. “A mother’s only special interest is the well-being of her family and her community.” Honeycutt says she has been sharply criticized for the breast milk project because it was not a formal scientific study.

Monsanto Banned From Lobbying European Parliament

5734f752bcfff.image_

By Whitney Webb for Mint Press News – Monsanto, accustomed to lobbying its way to favorable treatment by governments the world over, pushed the EU Parliament too far. Banning lobbyists is a rare move, but one the EU turned to after Monsanto decided to play hardball and no-show a key regulatory hearing. Agrochemical giant Monsanto’s fight to renew the chemical license for its most popular herbicide, glyphosate (aka “Roundup”), was dealt a major blow this past Thursday when the European Parliament officially banned lobbyists representing the interests of the corporation. The move came after the controversial corporation and its lobbyists refused to attend a parliamentary hearing regarding allegations that Monsanto had sought to unduly influence studies examining glyphosate’s safety. As a result of the ban, Monsanto officials and those on the company’s payroll will be unable to meet with members of the EU Parliament (MEPs), attend parliamentary committee meetings, or use digital resources available in Brussels or Strasbourg. During fiscal year 2016, Monsanto spent between €300,000 to €400,000 (c. $354,000 to $471,000) on lobbying efforts at the EU Parliament. Given parliament’s looming decision regarding the renewal of glyphosate’s license, it is likely that such spending has been greater over the past year.

Activists Dump Ben And Jerry’s Ice Cream

1benandjerry

By Organic Consumers Association. FINLAND, Minn. – The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) held protests today against Ben & Jerry’s, a subsidiary of Unilever, in seven US cities, and Mexico City. US cities are: Austin, Texas; Burlington, Vt., Chicago; Los Angeles; Minneapolis; New York; and Washington, D.C. “Ben & Jerry’s charges a premium for its ice cream based on claims that its products are “natural” and “GMO-Free,” and that the company is committed to a program of “social responsibility,” which includes concern about environmental issues, global warming, fair labor practices, animal welfare, and economic success for all its partners, including dairy farmers,” said Ronnie Cummins, OCA’s international director. “Serving up ice cream made with milk from cows raised on GMO animal feed and contaminated with Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller violates all these promises.

Monsanto Papers And Weedkiller In Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream—What's The Connection?

Flickr/ Mike Mozart

By Katherine Paul for Organic Consumers Association – Not long after the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) announced that Ben & Jerry’s ice cream tested positive for glyphosate, the key ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller, another story broke—one that validates the importance of finding glyphosate, even at low doses, in any food. According to internal Monsanto documents (and as reported by GM Watch, Sustainable Pulse and other news outlets), Monsanto forced the retraction of a critical long-term study, first published in 2012, showing that very low doses of Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide—lower than those detected in Ben & Jerry’s ice cream—caused serious liver and kidney damage in rats. (We also tested four organic brands—Alden’s, Julies, Three Twins and Whole Foods 365 Organic. All tested clean, except the 365 store brand, which had a trace of AMPA, a glyphosate metabolite). Shortly before the study was retracted, the editor of the journal that originally published the study, began working for Monsanto, under a consulting contract. (The study, led by G.E. Séralini, was republished in 2014, by the Environmental Sciences Europe).

Newly Released “Monsanto Papers” Add To Questions Of Regulatory Collusion

597fc93021000025a7fc9877

By Carey Gillam for The Huffington Post – Four months after the publication of a batch of internal Monsanto Co. documents stirred international controversy, a new trove of company records was released early Tuesday, providing fresh fuel for a heated global debate over whether or not the agricultural chemical giant suppressed information about the potential dangers of its Roundup herbicide and relied on U.S. regulators for help. More than 75 documents, including intriguing text messages and discussions about payments to scientists, were posted for public viewing early Tuesday morning by attorneys who are suing Monsanto on behalf of people alleging Roundup caused them or their family members to become ill with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a type of blood cancer. The attorneys posted the documents, which total more than 700 pages, on the websitefor the law firm Baum Hedlund Aristei Goldman, one of many firms representing thousands of plaintiffs who are pursuing claims against Monsanto. More than 100 of those lawsuits have been consolidated in multidistrict litigation in federal court in San Francisco, while other similar lawsuits are pending in state courts in Missouri, Delaware, Arizona and elsewhere.

4 Signs We’re Winning The Battle Against Monsanto

For NationofChange.org

By Katherine Paul for Nation of Change – Next month will mark one year since Congress obliterated Vermont’s GMO labeling law and replaced it with its own faux-labeling measure. The DARK Act was an outright attack on consumer and states’ rights. Still, then-President Obama refused to veto it. We lost the right to labels on GMO foods. But we never lost our determination to expose Monsanto’s corrupt manipulation of government agencies, or the truth about just how harmful Roundup herbicide is to humans and the environment. Fast forward to today. Monsanto is facing down scores of lawsuits by people, or their families, who were diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma after being exposed to Roundup. Those lawsuits have led to revelations about possible collusion between Monsanto employees and former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials to bury evidence of Roundup’s carcinogenicity. Meanwhile the EPA, perhaps fearing consumer backlash, refuses to rule on whether to renew the license for glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup), even though we’re now nearly two years past the deadline.

Monsanto’s Mess–Four Signs Consumers Are Winning

A sign at Wednesday morning's rally in front of the U.S. Capitol building. (Photo: Occupy Monsanto/@gmo917/Twitter)

By Katherine Paul for Organic Consumers Association – Next month will mark one year since Congress obliterated Vermont’s GMO labeling law and replaced it with its own faux-labeling measure. The DARK Act was an outright attack on consumer and states’ rights. Still, then-President Obama refused to veto it. We lost the right to labels on GMO foods. But we never lost our determination to expose Monsanto’s corrupt manipulation of government agencies, or the truth about just how harmful Roundup herbicide is to humans and the environment. Fast forward to today. Monsanto is facing down scores of lawsuits by people, or their families, who were diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma after being exposed to Roundup. Those lawsuits have led to revelations about possible collusion between Monsanto employees and former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials to bury evidence of Roundup’s carcinogenicity. Meanwhile the EPA, perhaps fearing consumer backlash, refuses to rule on whether to renew the license for glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup), even though we’re now nearly two years past the deadline.

Monsanto’s Activities Have Negative Impact On Basic Human Rights

Screenshot 2017-04-20 at 11.06.51 AM

By Staff of Monsanto Tribunal – The judges conclude that Monsanto has engaged in practices which have negatively impacted the right to a healthy environment, the right to food and the right to health. On top of that Monsanto’s conduct is negatively affecting the right to freedom indispensable for scientific research. The judges also conclude that despite the development of many instruments to protect the environment, a gap remains between commitments and the reality of environmental protection. International law should be improved for better protection of the environment and include the crime of ecocide. The Tribunal concludes that if such a crime of Ecocide were recognized in international criminal law, the activities of Monsanto could possibly constitute a crime of ecocide. In the third part of the advisory opinion, the Tribunal focusses on the widening gap between international human rights law and corporate accountability. It calls for the need to assert the primacy of international human and environmental rights law. A set of legal rules is in place to protect investors rights in the frame of the World Trade Organization and in bilateral investment treaties and in clauses in free-trade agreements.

Monsanto Tribunal Judges Slam Monsanto Over Violation Of Human Rights

International_Monsanto_Tribunal-644x363

By Staff of Sustainable Pulse – Today the five international judges for the Monsanto Tribunal presented their legal opinion, which include key conclusions, both on the conduct of Monsanto and on the need for important changes to international laws governing multinational corporations. The judges conclude that Monsanto has engaged in practices that have impinged on the basic human right to a healthy environment, the right to food and the right to health. Additionally, Monsanto’s conduct has a negative impact on the right of scientists to freely conduct indispensable research. The judges also conclude that despite the development of regulations intended to protect the environment, a gap remains between commitments and the reality of environmental protection. International law should now precisely and clearly assert the protection of the environment and establish the crime of ecocide. The Tribunal concludes that if ecocide were formally recognized as a crime in international criminal law, the activities of Monsanto could possibly constitute a crime of ecocide. In the third part of the advisory opinion, the Tribunal focuses on the widening gap between international human rights law and corporate accountability.

Non-Profits Sue Monsanto Over Misleading Labeling Of Popular Herbicide Roundup

Flickr/ Mike Mozart

By Katherine Paul for Organic Consumers Association – Washington, DC- Two nonprofit organizations filed a lawsuit against Monsanto for misleading the public by labeling its popular weedkiller Roundup as “target[ing] an enzyme found in plants but not in people or pets.” This lawsuit claims this statement is false, deceptive, and misleading, because the enzyme targeted by glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, is, in fact, found in people and pets. Beyond Pesticides and Organic Consumers Association (OCA), through their attorneys, Richman Law Group, filed jointly on behalf of the general public in Washington D.C. under the District of Columbia’s Consumer Protection Procedures Act. “The unequivocal nature of Monsanto’s label claim on Roundup belies the complexity of human biology and the impact this highly toxic chemical has on the functioning of the human gut bacteria, essential to our health,” said Jay Feldman, executive director of Beyond Pesticides. “With this claim, Monsanto is falsely telling the public that its product cannot hurt them,” he said. “Corporations must be held to a high standard when it comes to the information they include on product labels, especially when it comes to the issue of safety,” said Ronnie Cummins…

Congress Must Investigate Collusion Between Monsanto and the EPA, Now

Getty Images

By Katherine Paul for Organic Consumers Association – I have cancer, and I don’t want these serious issues in HED [EPA’s Health Effects Division] to go unaddressed before I go to my grave. I have done my duty.” It’s been four years since Marion Copley, a 30-year EPA toxicologist, wrote those words to her then-colleague, Jess Rowland, accusing him of conniving with Monsanto to bury the agency’s own hard scientific evidence that it is “essentially certain” that glyphosate, the key ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller, causes cancer. Copley has since died. But her letter suggesting that EPA officials colluded with Monsanto to hide the truth about Monsanto’s flagship weedkiller has been given new life.

EPA Official Bragged About Hiding Monsanto’s Cancerous Truth

ModernFarmer.com

By Ronnie Cummins for Organic Consumers Organization – We’re calling on Congress to launch an official investigation into how EPA officials colluded with Monsanto. Can you help us raise $200,000 by midnight, March 31 to meet our quarterly online fundraising goal. You can donate online, by mail or by phone, details here. According to the New York Times, newly unsealed court documents reveal that former EPA official Jess Rowland let Monsanto ghostwriters write the toxicology reports that would form the basis for a government investigation into whether or not Roundup causes cancer. “If I can kill this I should get a medal,” Rowland reportedly told a Monsanto executive, who shared the comment in an email.

Monsanto Isn’t Feeding The World—It’s Killing Our Children

image

By Katherine Paul for AlterNet -Two new reports published in recent weeks add to the already large and convincing body of evidence, accumulated over more than half a century, that agricultural pesticides and other toxic chemicals are poisoning us. Both reports issue scathing indictments of U.S. and global regulatory systems that collude with chemical companies to hide the truth from the public, while they fill their coffers with ill-gotten profits. According to the World Health Organization, whose report focused on a range of environmental risks, the cost of a polluted environment adds up to the deaths of 1.7 million children every year.

Emails Show Monsanto Helped Write Cancer Studies On Roundup

Roundup herbicide produced by Monsanto. (photo: Charles Platiau)

By Allen Cone for United Press International – Monsanto ghostwrote studies on the herbicide Roundup for the Environmental Protection Agency, documents unsealed in a federal court case seem to show. Farmers and others are suing chemical company Monsanto, alleging that the company failed to warn them that its glyphosate-based week killer can cause non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. In company emails made public Tuesday in federal court in San Francisco, Monsanto executives discuss ghostwriting research papers on Roundup, the company’s best-selling product, that would be signed by scientists. Two papers on Roundup were eventually published, one in 2000 and one in 2013.