A California jury recently found Monsanto liable for a groundskeeper’s cancer, ordering the company to pay out $289 million. It was the first lawsuit that went to trial alleging that Roundup and other glyphosate-based weed-killers cause cancer. Other research shows that cancer may only be the tip of the iceberg in describing the toll this chemical is taking on our health. There have been hundreds of lawsuits filed against Monsanto alleging that glyphosate, the active ingredient in the Roundup herbicide, causes cancer, and now finally the courts are taking the claims seriously as a federal judge recently ruled that these cases can proceed to trial. The World Health Organization has labeled glyphosate a “probable carcinogen” and yet the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says it isn’t—although we shouldn’t be surprised, given the crony ties that have been exposed between top EPA officials and the biotech industry. The EPA can’t be counted on to protect our health. How is this chemical possibly in the market? Tell the EPA to ban glyphosate!
The Environmental Protection Agency is seeking public input on the health impacts of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide. But despite mounting evidence, the EPA continues to ignore glyphosate’s hazards, and it looks like Monsanto’s under-the-table influence may be a reason why. Monsanto has launched a campaign to pressure the EPA into declaring glyphosate safe. It is terrified of losing the profits from selling this ubiquitous herbicide. The use of glyphosate on U.S. farmland has exploded in recent years. A recent study found that Americans’ exposure to the pesticide has increased fivefold since it was first introduced more than 20 years ago.
Recently we reported that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a draft report on the carcinogenic potential of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide. This was in advance of a meeting in which a panel of scientists would discuss the available data on glyphosate and its potential to cause cancer—but that meeting never happened. It was postponed, ostensibly because the agency was seeking additional experts so there could be a more “robust review of the data.” The biotech industry is going all out to stop this review. CropLife America, the trade group for the nation’s largest biotech and pesticide manufacturers, strenuously objected to the government reviewing the cancer data, telling the EPA that there is no need to discuss the issue at all! Outrageously, CropLife also called for the removal of any scientist from the panel who has “publicly expressed an opinion regarding the carcinogenicity of glyphosate.” The trade group kindly offered the names of scientists who should be removed from the reviewing panel to restore “impartiality.”
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently released a draft report finding that glyphosate—the active ingredient in Monsanto’s popular Roundup weed killer—is not likely to cause cancer in humans. This finding is preliminary, to be followed by the agency’s final review of glyphosate, which has been delayed until spring of 2017. The EPA decided to address the potential cancer-causing effects of glyphosate after the United Nations’ International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) announced last year that the chemical was a “probable carcinogen.” An “independent” panel of scientists will review the EPA’s report this month. But as our readers know, Monsanto and other biotech giants have so deeply corrupted the science of this issue that finding independent scientists would be a very tough challenge.
Most people think that manufacturers must prove chemicals safe before they put them on the market. They’re wrong. Instead, federal law presumes that most chemicals are safe until proven toxic.
The results of government testing of our foods for pesticide residues may not be quite what we expected. Every year the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) targets certain food materials which they consider high risks, collects samples from warehouses and storage facilities, and tests them for a wide array of pesticides they deem likely to be present. These Pesticide Data Program (PDP) reports are one of many taxpayer funded activities designed to fulfill the agency's congressional goals and mandates. The latest published report from December 2014 reveals that the world's most widely-used herbicide, glyphosate, was not even tested. Neither were wheat products grown in the U.S. With all the glyphosate studies showing microbiome impacts and chelation of toxic minerals (aluminum), why no sampling of glyphosate? Is cost really so prohibitive with our federal budget, while we see escalating chronic health problems? Or, are the chemical companies behind the most popular herbicide in the world putting pressure on the federal government not to do anything that would put a dent in the sale of their products?
Dr. Oz caused a lot of controversy last week when he aired a show titled: New GMO Pesticide Doctors Are Warning Against. The show was highlighting the recent USDA approval of Dow Chemical's herbicide "Enlist," which is expected to gain the approval of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This EPA approval would clear the path for the herbicide to begin being used on America's farmlands and crops. Dr. Oz apparently feels so strongly about this topic, and how toxic and dangerous this new herbicide is, that he reportedly did something he has never done before on his show: he encouraged his viewers and followers to take political action to try to stop the approval of this product from being used on food. He started a petition to President Obama on Whitehouse.gov, and by the end of the week it was well on its way to the required 100,000 signatures. The controversial herbicide by Dow contains 2,4-D, a highly powerful and toxic component that supporters of GMO crops now say is necessary due to the fact that super weeds have become resistant to Monsanto's Roundup containing glyphosate. If approved, it will enter the food supply and bring in potentially billions of dollars to Dow Chemical. So I asked Health Impact News investigative reporter John P. Thomas to research 2,4-D and write a report, as well as to educate us a bit about the approval process with the EPA to get new chemicals approved for use in the marketplace. What you will learn about 2,4-D, which is about to be approved to be sprayed on crops all throughout the U.S., will indeed shock you.
In what could easily be classified as one of the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) worst decisions yet, a final rule released by the EPA earlier this month creates an exemption for residue tolerance levels of genetically modified (GM) Bt toxin in GM soy foods and feed. Essentially, the Agency has approved unlimited residues of GM Bt toxin in your food!
Chemicals are used to produce 96% of manufactured consumer goods. Many of them are toxic. In 1976 Congress passed the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to regulate the introduction of new or already existing chemicals. Under the TSCA the government must, for the most part, prove that a chemical is unsafe before it can be removed from market, instead of requiring manufacturers to prove that their chemicals are safe in the first place. A recently introduced piece of legislation hopes to plug the holes in the thirty-seven year old TSCA, one of the few pieces of legislation that has never been amended. Toxic chemicals can be found in a tremendous number of everyday products from BPA in food containers to flame retardants on our furniture, which can spread to the dust on the floor that children can ingest when playing. Flame retardant chemicals have been linked to lower IQ and the development of diabetes. Toxic chemicals can cause a number of health problems, and exposure to chemicals in the womb can have long-lasting affects on the child’s life. This bill will go a long way toward getting rid of, or at least identifying, the toxic chemicals that citizens may be encountering on a daily basis.
In obedience to a demand from Monsanto, the US EPA is proposing to hike the allowed residue limits -- yet again -- of the herbicide glyphosate in various food and feed crops.