Tag Archives | Monsanto
It might be grandstanding by the Russians, but the issue of Roundup being carcinogenic is nonetheless alarming. From The Register:
Monsanto’s GM corn, the centre of a storm inspired by the now-notorious French “rat tumours” study, has been banned from Russia following a decision by consumer rights regulator Rospotrebnadzor.
The ban is more symbolic than anything else: Russia doesn’t allow its farmers to plant GM corn, and is a net exporter of grains.
According to TV-Novosti site RT, Rospotrebnadzor has asked Russia’s Institute of Nutrition to review the French study, which claimed that rats developed large tumours either when exposed to the “Roundup-resistant” crop or to concentrations of Roundup in their water as low as .1 parts per billion.
According to Bloomberg, Russia had already asked the European Commission to comment on the study.
The European Food Safety Authority expects to have a preliminary review of the study completed by next week…
[continues at The Register]
At prices this low, how could you expect the food not to be laced with insecticide? Russia Today reports:
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America’s largest bio-agriculture company and the biggest retailer in the country are joining forces. Walmart will soon be stocking their shelves with GMO corn made by Monsanto.
The retail giant says they won’t advertise which of their products are made with genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, which could become a big problem very soon. Zack Kaldveer explains in an editorial published by the California Progress Report this month that Walmart will soon sell a special factory-made corn manufactured by Monsanto, which while it will allow most of Americans more easy access to affordable food, will also fill them with unknown insecticides: the very GMO crop Walmart will be selling has been genetically engineered to include chemicals right inside the corn.
Voters in California will decide later this year if retailers on the West Coast will be legally bound to correctly label all foodstuffs sold in shopping centers that are made from genetically modified foods.
Tom Philpott brings the bad news to Mother Jones:
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The so-called “Big Six” agrichemical companies—Monsanto, Syngenta, Dow Agrosciences, BASF, Bayer, and Pioneer (DuPont)—are sitting pretty. Together, they control nearly 70 percent of the global pesticide market, and essentially the entire market for genetically modified seeds. Prices of the crops they focus on—corn, soy, cotton, etc.—are soaring, pushed up by severe drought in key growing regions. Higher crop prices typically translate to increased pesticide sales as farmers have more money to spend on agrichemicals and more incentive to maximize yield.
The companies operate globally—and have gained a stronghold in that emerging center of industrial agriculture, Brazil—but the biotech-friendly US is their profit center. They’ve got a big chunk of US agriculture pretty well sewn up—their GMO seeds dominate our corn, soy and cotton crops, which account for more than 53 percent of US farmland, and have won approval for GMO alfalfa (hay), which accounts for another 19 percent.
The Monsanto-funded StopCostlyFoodLabeling.com (featuring articles such as “How California’s GMO Labeling Law Could Limit Your Food Choices and Hurt the Poor”) provides a sample of what will be rolled out as Californians mull a referendum requiring the labeling of GMO foods. Via BlackListed News:
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In February, Vermont contemplated the Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act. The proposed bill prohibits GMO food producers from using keywords like “natural,” “naturally made,” “naturally grown,” and “all natural” to describe GMO ingredients and products. The National Conference of State Legislatures reported that nearly 20 states were considering similar programs. Public surveys show a whopping 90 percent of the U.S. in favor of such practices.
In theory, this should make California’s GMO labeling initiative, which would require all foods within the state made with GM ingredients to carry a label stating so, a shoo-in. But let’s not get so hasty.
Leaders in the disinformation campaign launched against the labeling initiative cry out that it would be—like the infamous Proposition 65, “The Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986”—a way for bounty-hunting trial lawyers to file suits against even natural food companies for supposedly selling products containing undisclosed GMOs.
Lucia Graves writes at the Huffington Post:
For 13 years Sofia Gatica has organized opposition to the aerial spraying of agrochemicals that threaten human health and the environment in Argentina — and for almost as long, she and her children have faced physical threats from anonymous agents.
Gatica, who lives in a working-class neighborhood of 6,000 in central Argentina surrounded by soy fields, began organizing against Monsanto after she noticed a disturbingly high rate of cancer and birth defects in her community. Her own 3-day-old daughter died of kidney failure in 1999, and a neighbor had a baby die of the same uncommon birth defect.
“I started seeing children with mouth covers, mothers with scarves wrapped around their heads to cover their baldness, due to chemotherapy,” she told Grist in an interview, explaining what inspired her to co-found Mothers of Ituzaingó. The efforts of those half-dozen mothers, who began going from door to door collecting information on health problems in their community, led to the first epidemiological study that showed cancer rates in Gatica’s hometown of Ituzaingó were 41 times the national average, with high rates of birth defects and infant mortality as well.Within a few years of the study’s publication, and as her advocacy work gave her a higher profile, Gatica began to receive death threats, culminating in an incident in late 2007…
The dangers of using bio-engineered seeds and chemical pesticides in agriculture have been warned against by activists for many years, but now many farmers and food companies are sounding the alarm too, calling for government intervention. From Reuters via Yahoo Finance:
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A coalition of more than 2,000 U.S. farmers and food companies said Wednesday it is taking legal action to force government regulators to analyze potential problems with proposed biotech crops and the weed-killing chemicals to be sprayed over them.
Dow AgroSciences, a unit of Dow Chemical, and Monsanto Co. are among several global chemical and seed companies racing to roll out combinations of genetically altered crops and new herbicides designed to work with the crops as a way to counter rapidly spreading herbicide-resistant weeds that are choking millions of acres of U.S. farmland.
Dow and Monsanto say the new chemical combinations and new crops that tolerate those chemicals are badly needed by corn, soybean and cotton farmers as weeds increasingly resist treatments of the most commonly used herbicide – glyphosate-based Roundup.
Alexis Baden-Mayer writes on the Organic Consumers Association:
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2,4-D and the dioxin pollution it creates are too dangerous to allow, period, but in the hands of bad actors like Monsanto and Dow Chemical the dangers increase exponentially. What’s the Environmental Protection Agency doing? Helping coverup the chemical companies’ crimes!
In February, Monsanto agreed to pay up to $93 million in a class-action lawsuit brought by the residents of Nitro, West Virginia, for dioxin exposure from accidents and pollution at an herbicide plant that operated in their town from 1929 to 2004.
That may seem like justice, but it is actually the result of Monsanto’s extraordinary efforts to hide the truth, evade criminal prosecution and avoid legal responsibility. A brief criminal fraud investigation conducted (and quickly aborted) by the EPA revealed that Monsanto used a disaster at their Nitro, WV, plant to manufacture “evidence” that dioxin exposure produced a skin condition called chloracne, but was not responsible for neurological health effects or cancers such as Non-Hodgkins lymphoma.