Over a decade ago, Scotts partnered with Monsanto to market a GM bentgrass resistant to glyphosate (Roundup). It was planted next to the Malheur National Forest in test plots ostensibly controlled by Oregon State University. Unbeknownst to most people, it was also planted all over the US—in California, Iowa, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and seventeen other states. It was supposed to be confined and controlled, but it very quickly escaped and spread out of the test plots in Oregon into Idaho, and crossbred with natural grasses to create new breeds that were also resistant to glyphosate. It clogged up irrigation ditches, threatening food crops and contaminating pasture-raised cattle with GMOs. In addition to the immediate threats to farmers and ranchers, grass seed—which is among Oregon’s top five commodities—is now under threat. Initially, Scotts-Monsanto tried to stop the spread and clean up the contamination. But it was unable to do so because the original bentgrass (and now the other grasses it cross-pollinated with) are glyphosate-resistant. More toxic herbicides have been brought in to try to keep irrigation ditches clear, and to stop the grasses from clogging and eventually killing waterways important to wildlife and humans.
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.
A $66 billion buyout by the German pharmaceutical giant Bayer could make it harder for consumers to avoid products from the biotech behemoth. The number of companies controlling our food supply is about to shrink even further now that Bayer has bought Monsanto for $66 billion in cash, creating the world’s largest seed and pesticide company. The new megacorporation will control 25% of the world’s seeds and pesticides. Along with two other proposed biotech mergers, three companies will soon control the lion’s share of the world’s agricultural services, from seed production, to the herbicide and pesticide sprays that go on them, to the biotechnology used to produce them all. Monsanto/Bayer, Dow/DuPont, and Syngenta/ChemChina will sell 59% of the world’s seeds and 64% of the world pesticides.
Farmers in Arkansas and Missouri have filed more than 100 complaints with state agriculture agencies over a toxic weed killer that is drifting from adjacent farms and damaging their crops. The herbicide is not only stunting the growth of soybeans – it's also being used illegally. As National Public Radio and The Wall Street Journal reported, farmers say the chemical, known as dicamba, is being illegally sprayed by neighboring farms growing genetically modified crops from seeds created and sold by Monsanto, known as Roundup Ready 2 Xtend.
Lawsuits are now beginning in the United States against Monsanto's herbicide Roundup, the number one herbicide in the world used in modern agriculture. The active ingredient glyphosate, found in most of our foods, has been linked to cancer by the World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). As reported by EcoWatch, four Nebraskan agricultural workers have now filed a lawsuit against Monsanto Co. alleging that Roundup gave them non-Hodgkin lymphoma after many years of exposure. The plaintiffs have also accused Monsanto of purposely misleading consumers about the safety of its agricultural product, which contains glyphosate as its main ingredient. The plaintiffs allege that Monsanto mislabeled the product in defiance of the “body of recognized scientific evidence linking the disease to exposure to Roundup.” Could this be the beginning of many more lawsuits? Glyphosate is used so heavily in the U.S. that it has been found in human breast milk, feeding tube liquids given to babies and children with cancer in hospitals, and 75% of the air and rain samples tested in the Mississippi delta region. In 2014, Tropical Traditions tested some of the USDA certified organic products they were selling, and found glyphosate residue in organic food as well. They have now begun testing all of their products for the presence of glyphosate.
Hidden within a large federal spending bill is a proposal for $3 million to go toward consumer education and outreach to “promote understanding and acceptance of agricultural biotechnology”—a campaign to be carried out jointly by the FDA and the USDA. In plain English, this proposal would spend taxpayer dollars on an effort to convince Americans that GMOs are just fine—perhaps even that they shouldn’t be labeled.
Mexico’s unique and treasured native corn varieties could be under threat as Monsanto, the world’s largest seed producer, vies to plant genetically modified (GMO) corn in the country. In August 2015, a Mexican judged overturned a September 2013 ban on GMO corn, thus opening more business opportunities for Monsanto and other agribusinesses pending favorable later court decisions. Monsanto even announced in October 2015 that it was seeking to double its sales in the country over the next five years. The GMO corn ban remains pending a ruling on the appeal, but a final decision could end up in Mexico’s supreme court.
For the past 35 years Monsanto has known of the link between glyphosate and cancer, but has systematically worked to cover it up through scientifically fraudulent methods in its safety testing research programme. This is the most significant conclusion to be drawn from a new research paper published in the Journal of Biological Physics and Chemistry and now available online. For the first time the authors, Dr. Anthony Samsel and Dr. Stephanie Seneff, present in tabulated form the data contained in secret Monsanto studies conducted in the period 1980 – 1990 which showed unequivocally that animals exposed to different quantities of glyphosate in their food supply developed tumorigenic growth in multiple organs.
In March 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which is the research arm of the World Health Organization (WHO), determined glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, to be a “probable carcinogen” (Class 2A). This determination was based on evidence showing the popular weed killer can cause non-Hodgkin lymphoma and lung cancer in humans, along with “convincing evidence” it can also cause cancer in animals. Monsanto has maintained that the classification as a carcinogen is wrong and continues to tout glyphosate (and Roundup) as one of the safest pesticides on the planet. However, they’ve now been slapped with a growing number of lawsuits alleging they long knew that Roundup’s glyphosate could harm human health. In fact, internal Monsanto documents reveal they knew over 30 years ago that glyphosate caused adenomas and carcinomas in the rats they studied – and that’s only the beginning of Monsanto’s trouble. As each day goes by, the GMO (genetically modified organism) cookie continues to crumble.
Personal injury law firms around the United States are lining up plaintiffs for what they say could be "mass tort" actions against agrichemical giant Monsanto Co that claim the company's Roundup herbicide has caused cancer in farm workers and others exposed to the chemical. The latest lawsuit was filed Wednesday in Delaware Superior Court by three law firms representing three plaintiffs. The lawsuit is similar to others filed last month in New York and California accusing Monsanto of long knowing that the main ingredient in Roundup, glyphosate, was hazardous to human health. Monsanto "led a prolonged campaign of misinformation to convince government agencies, farmers and the general population that Roundup was safe," the lawsuit states.