News regarding the dangers of GMOs and biotech, and the advantages of organic sustainable agriculture.

U.S. EPA Ignores Glyphosate Cancer Link – Proposes Re-approval

Relying heavily on confidential industry research, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed to re-approve glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup. EPA’s conclusion that glyphosate poses no risks to humans contradicts a 2015 World Health Organization analysis of the leading independent research that determined glyphosate is a probable carcinogen. “American consumers have no reason to trust the EPA’s deeply flawed assessment of glyphosate’s safety,” said Nathan Donley, a senior scientist at the Center for Biological Diversity. “As with past EPA studies, the agency has relied heavily on confidential industry research that can’t be reviewed by independent scientists. This is an industry-friendly conclusion that’s simply not based on the best available science.” In addition to the WHO’s conclusion, other U.S. federal agencies have acknowledged evidence of glyphosate’s link to cancer. This includes the EPA’s Office of Research and Development and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Within the past nine months, two juries have ordered Monsanto/Bayer to pay multimillion-dollar awards to glyphosate users suffering from non-Hodgkin lymphoma, which independent research has linked to glyphosate. A third trial is currently underway, and lawsuits involving roughly 13,000 people have been filed against the company for failing to warn consumers of the pesticide’s cancer risks.

Monsanto Not Only Problem Facing Bayer: Investors Question Ethics in Selling Banned Pesticides in Brazil

Bayer CEO Werner Baumann recently lost a crucial confidence vote as investors questioned his handling of the $63 billion Monsanto deal and the wave of US lawsuits that followed. In what Bloomberg called "a stunning development for the German drugs and chemicals company", about 55 percent of shareholders voted against absolving Baumann and other managers of responsibility for their actions in the takeover last year. The vote threw Baumann's future into question and prompted an immediate supervisory board session. While much of the investor unrest undoubtedly focuses on financial liability, strong concerns are being raised about Bayer's ethics. At Bayer's annual general meeting, Christian Russau from the umbrella organization, the Critical Shareholders, made a speech in which he launched a scathing attack on the company for its "double standards". According to Russau, Bayer sells pesticides in Brazil that are banned in the EU. Russau said he feared that companies such as Bayer will continue to participate, perhaps more than ever, in the sale and distribution of highly toxic agrochemicals in Brazil. As a survival tactic in the face of Monsanto's multi-billion dollar acquisition, Bayer will go for growth at any price. Any poison which can be sold will be sold.

Study: Glyphosate Causes Multi-Generational Increases in Prostate, Ovarian and Kidney Disease

Washington State University (WSU) researchers have found a variety of diseases and other health problems in the second- and third-generation offspring of rats exposed to glyphosate, the world’s most used weed killer. In the first study of its kind, the researchers saw descendants of exposed rats developing prostate, kidney and ovarian diseases, obesity and birth abnormalities.

Links to Cancer Shown in US Federal Draft Report on Glyphosate Herbicide

A draft US federal report has confirmed links between glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup weedkiller, and some forms of cancer. The report could have a damaging impact on Bayer/Monsanto’s attempt to defend the large number of legal cases involving its weedkiller. On April 8, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), which is tied to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and is part of the US Department of Health and Human Services, released its long-awaited draft toxicological report on glyphosate. It had been delayed for over three years, allegedly thanks to the efforts of Monsanto and a group of high-ranking officials within the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The ATSDR documented a range of concerns about glyphosate. But most worryingly for Bayer/Monsanto, just like the World Health Organisation's cancer agency IARC, it identified evidence for a link between glyphosate and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Jury Slams Monsanto for Corporate Malfeasance in Roundup Cancer Trial, Awards $80 Million in Damages

Today, a second jury in less that 8 months found Bayer-Monsanto’s signature weedkiller Roundup responsible for causing cancer. The verdict in the case Hardeman v. Monsanto before a federal district court in San Francisco found exposure to glyphosate, the signature ingredient in Roundup, caused plaintiff Edward Hardeman’s non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Jurors awarded $80 million in damages to Hardeman. “Clearly, the testimony that informed the jury’s decision was Bayer-Monsanto hiding Roundup’s carcinogenic properties, manipulating the science and cozying-up with EPA so it would not have to warn consumers of its dangerous product,” said EWG President Ken Cook. “Bayer-Monsanto has known for decades the cancer-causing properties of Roundup and I applaud the jury for holding the company accountable for failing to warn consumers of the known danger. This verdict puts Bayer’s back firmly up against the wall as the cost of litigation mounts and its stock price gets pummeled once again,” said Cook.

Bayer Loses Billions as 2nd Jury Determines RoundUp Weed Killer Causes Cancer

Bayer AG has suffered its second major legal defeat after purchasing Monsanto Co. and inheriting its controversial herbicide, RoundUp, the world's most popular weedkiller. The active ingredient in RoundUp, glyphosate, has been linked to cancer and other health problems, while Bayer and Monsanto, along with the U.S. EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) have denied any links. Earlier this week, a second jury in California has determined that a man who sprayed RoundUp on his property for decades is responsible for his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. This recent defeat in court now opens up the door to another 11,200 cases pending against Bayer for harm allegedly caused by glyphosate. Settling these cases could cost Bayer billions more. Meanwhile, the evidence for harm caused by glyphosate continues to pile up. A study just published in The BMJ links pesticides and herbicides, including the widely used glyphosate, during prenatal and infant exposure to an increased rate of autism. The study was conducted in the Central Valley of California, home to the world's largest agricultural area.

We Can No Longer Rely on USDA Organic Standards

The USDA’s organics program has been taken over by corporate interests; it’s time to fight back. Consumers looking for clean, healthy food have for years turned to foods with the USDA’s organic seal. This seal is understood to mean that the food has been grown in accordance with organic principles—most importantly, that the farming practices promote healthy soil, which in turn produces healthy food. Unfortunately, corporate influence has infected the USDA’s organic program to such an extent that it can be difficult to trust the organic seal. Concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) have taken over organic eggs and dairy. According to organic standards, livestock are supposed to have access to the outdoors, fresh air, and sunlight. But these provisions have been interpreted in such a way as to allow CAFOs to confine animals to barns but add “porches”—a roof built over a concrete floor with screens as walls—and still label their livestock as “organic.” This allows CAFOs to continue to raise millions of chickens or livestock on the cheap in cramped, squalid conditions but charge the organic premium. The USDA estimates that half of all organic eggs come from CAFOs.

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As Federal Government Refuses to Ban Glyphosate Local Municipalities are Taking Action to Protect Citizens

Our federal health and environmental agencies, like the EPA, have failed to protect the environment from glyphosate pollution. The result is many humans are contaminated with glyphosate. Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup's active ingredient is glyphosate with added chemicals to enhance its ability to penetrate plant tissue. These added chemicals are also toxic, creating a synergistic load beyond glyphosate’s toxicity. Despite Monsanto’s assertions the Roundup is bound by topsoil and does not threaten groundwater, independent scientific research has discovered it seeps into groundwater and nearby waterways. Its penetrating capacity has also been discovered to penetrate animal and human cells. Some municipalities have recently responded to glyphosate’s water pollution by banning the use of herbicides containing glyphosate.

Judge in Monsanto Roundup Trial is Already Hindering Testimony

A high-stakes federal trial kicked off in California involving a man diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma who is seeking compensation from Monsanto/Bayer because, he claims, its weedkiller Roundup caused his cancer. Even before the trial started, the judge’s behaviour was already making waves, prompting Robert Howard to write [an] article, warning that Judge Vincent Chhabria was “already hindering testimony”. Howard was one of the jurors who back in August of last year, at the culmination of the first case brought against Monsanto – a state rather than a federal case – ordered the company to pay $289 million in damages for having acted with “malice” in hiding the dangers of Roundup. Howard, however, probably never guessed the degree to which Judge Chhabria would hinder testimony once the actual trial got underway, leading to the Guardian headline Monsanto: judge threatens to 'shut down' cancer patient's lawyer.