As we reported last week, Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) introduced a bill that has been championed by the Monsantos of the world, not to mention the Big Food industry. The deceptively titled “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015” would preempt state efforts to pass mandatory GMO labeling laws with a completely voluntary standard. It would also block communities and states from banning the cultivation of GMO crops. Late last week, by a vote of 275 to 150, the DARK Act passed the House, and is now on it’s way to the Senate. While it still is unclear if the Senate will consider the DARK Act or take up a similar bill that is reportedly being written by Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND), any step forward for this bill is dangerous for the 93% of Americans who want to know what’s in their food.
The Washington, DC-based National Press Foundation announced that they're taking applications for an upcoming all-expenses-paid journalism conference called "Food, From Farm to Table." The conference promises to "take a holistic look at the issues: hunger, food waste, organic, GMOs, food science, feeding the world’s growing population, and more." That's cool, if you don't mind that one of its major sponsors is Monsanto, that the program includes a visit to the controversial agrobiotech company's research labs, or that this sounds a whole lot more like a press junket than a journalism conference.
Glyphosate Causes Cancer: EPA “Trade Secret” Sealed Files Reveal Cancer Link Known Back in the 1970s
In 2015, Dr. Anthony Samsel was interviewed by Tony Mitra, where he discussed certain documents he has in his possession from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that allegedly show Monsanto knew about research connecting glyphosate to cancer since the 1970s. Dr. Samsel states that the documents he received from the EPA are "trade secret" documents belonging to Monsanto. These documents allegedly are safety studies about glyphosate from the late 1970s to the early 1980s, and others beyond those dates. Monsanto allegedly asked the EPA to seal these documents as "trade secrets" so no one else could review the data from these studies. Dr. Samsel stated that he is still sifting through all the data from these sealed documents, and that he is about to write a paper on glyphosate and cancer. He states that these "trade secret" documents are documents that Monsanto had the EPA seal so that nobody could revisit the data. According to Samsel, these documents show: "unequivocally, that glyphosate causes cancer. Should it be on the market? No. Should it be in our food? No." He states that taking glyphosate off the market will not necessarily solve the problem if they substitute it with another herbicide. "No herbicide belongs in our food. Whether it is 2,4-D, Dicamba, Glufosinate.... there should be no herbicides in our food because it disrupts our bacterial homeostasis, and it disrupts our immune system. When we disrupt our bacteria and the microbiota within us, disease ensues. Disease begins with the destruction of our microbiome."
Will Foods Contaminated with Glyphosate have to Carry a Prop 65 Cancer Warning to be Sold in California?
In late March, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a division of the World Health Organization (WHO), determined that glyphosate—the active ingredient in Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup—is a Class 2 A “probable carcinogen.” This determination is nothing short of devastating to Monsanto and other chemical technology companies that rule our food supply, and recent “astroturf” attack on Dr. Oz reveals just how desperate they are to quell rising concerns. Not only is the IARC considered the global gold standard for carcinogenicity studies, it’s also one of the research agencies from which the California agency of environmental hazards gets its data to declare carcinogens under Prop 65. So, eventually, foods containing glyphosate will likely have to carry a Prop 65 cancer warning label to be sold in California.
On April 21, 2015 a class action lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles County, California against the Monsanto corporation. The suit alleges that Monsanto is guilty of false advertising by claiming that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, targets an enzyme only found in plants and not in humans or animals. Monsanto makes this claim to support the contention that glyphosate is harmless to humans. In the lawsuit, the argument is made that the targeted enzyme, EPSP synthase, is found in the microbiota which reside in our intestines and therefore this enzyme is found in humans and animals. It is further stated in the lawsuit that there are many human and animal health problems associated with the disruption of our intestinal microbes. Residents of California can become members of the class in this action.
Seeds represent the foundation of life. We depend on them for food, for medicine and for our very survival. In many ways, you can trace the underpinnings of any given culture through the heritage of their crops and seeds. It wasn’t long ago when seeds were mostly the concern of farmers who, as the Worldwatch Institute put it, “were the seed producers and the guardians of societies’ crop heritage." But this is no longer the case. Once considered to be the property of all, like water or even air, seeds have become largely privatized, such that only a handful of companies now control the global food supply. Ninety-three percent of seeds were lost from 1903 to 1993. Just four agrichemical companies own 43 percent of the world’s commercial seed supply. The Millennium Seed Bank Partnership estimates that 60,000 to 100,000 plant species are in danger of extinction.
For over three decades, Stephanie Seneff, PhD, has researched biology and technology, over the years publishing over 170 scholarly peer-reviewed articles. In recent years she has concentrated on the relationship between nutrition and health, tackling such topics as Alzheimer’s, autism, and cardiovascular diseases, as well as the impact of nutritional deficiencies and environmental toxins on human health. At a recent conference, in a special panel discussion about GMOs, she took the audience by surprise when she declared, “At today’s rate, by 2025, one in two children will be autistic.” She noted that the side effects of autism closely mimic those of glyphosate toxicity, and presented data showing a remarkably consistent correlation between the use of Roundup on crops (and the creation of Roundup-ready GMO crop seeds) with rising rates of autism. Children with autism have biomarkers indicative of excessive glyphosate, including zinc and iron deficiency, low serum sulfate, seizures, and mitochondrial disorder.
In a ruling lauded by Costa Rica’s anti-GMO activists, the country’s Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court struck down the government’s regulatory framework on genetically modified organisms, declaring the process of approval for GMO projects unconstitutional. In the court’s opinion, Chief Justice Gilbert Armijo Sancho wrote that the regulations violate the Costa Rican Constitution because the secrecy allowed to GMO companies in terms of the genetic information of their products violates the constitutional right to freedom of information. “This is an important precedent that shows the interests of companies linked to this type of activity – among them the multinational Monsanto which is seeking permits to plant corn – have benefited from the granting of permits in a manner that violates the fundamental rights of the population,” FECON said.
In a close vote, Guatemala's Congress rejects genetically modified seeds in country's agricultural development. The law would have authorized stricter property rights and risked monopolizing agricultural processes in the country by placing copyrights on agriculture for the next 25 years.
What if the very GM agricultural system that Monsanto claims will help to solve the problem of world hunger depends on a chemical that kills the very pollinator upon which approximately 70% of world's food supply now depends? A new study published in the Journal of Experimental Biology titled, "Effects of field-realistic doses of glyphosate on honeybee appetitive behavior," establishes a link between the world's most popular herbicide – aka Roundup – and the dramatic decline in honeybee populations in North American and Europe that lead to the coining of the term 'colony collapse disorder.'