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

Missouri Farmer Who Ran Largest Organic Food Fraud Scheme in U.S. History Takes Own Life Instead of Reporting to Prison

Last month (August, 2019), U.S. District Judge C.J. Williams sentenced Missouri farmer Randy Constant to 10 years in prison in what is reportedly the largest organic food fraud scheme in U.S. history. Judge Williams gave shorter prison terms to three Overton, Nebraska, farmers whom Constant recruited to join the scheme. According to the Associated Press: "The farmers reaped more than $120 million in proceeds from sales of the tainted grain. The scheme may have involved up to 7 percent of organic corn grown in the U.S. in 2016 and 8 percent of the organic soybeans, prosecutors said. 'Thousands upon thousands of consumers paid for products they did not get and paid for products they did not want,' Williams said. 'This has caused incalculable damage to the confidence the American public has in organic products.' Williams said the scam harmed other organic farmers who were playing by the rules but could not compete with the low prices offered by Constant’s Iowa-based grain brokerage, and middlemen who unknowingly purchased and marketed tainted organic grain." Randy Constant reportedly never showed up to serve his prison term, but committed suicide instead.

RoundUp Herbicide Glyphosate Linked to Increased Rates of Colorectal Cancer in Young Adults

Colorectal cancer has increased by 51% in Americans under age 50 since the mid-1990s, and researchers suggest that “early life exposures…may be contributing to the rise” in that age group. A leading hypothesis is that gut dysbiosis is playing an active part—perhaps by disrupting young people’s immune response and triggering overactivation of cell signaling proteins in the colon. Some researchers have even posited a “bidirectional self-feeding relationship” between the gut microbiome and colorectal cancer, with gut dysbiosis contributing to colorectal cancer growth and progression, and tumor growth in turn disturbing the gut microbiome. Autism investigators have been at the forefront of research on the gut microbiome. They point to environmental toxins and antibiotic use as two influences that can shift the gut’s microbial composition in an unfavorable direction. Scientists attribute up to 85% of colorectal cancers to environmental and microbial factors. Glyphosate (the leading ingredient of Roundup) is both an herbicide and a patented antimicrobial. Could the upward trend in glyphosate usage that began roughly three decades ago have something to do, therefore, with the skyrocketing incidence of colorectal cancer in young people? Although recent court cases linking Roundup to cancer have focused mostly on other types of cancer such as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, the evidence that glyphosate wreaks havoc with gut bacteria has led many researchers to suspect that the answer is yes.

Home Depot and Lowes sued for Continuing to Sell Toxic Roundup Containing Glyphosate

Pesticide and pharmaceutical giant Bayer is facing approximately 18,400 U.S. lawsuits from individuals alleging that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup herbicide, caused them to develop cancer. The retail giants Home Depot and Lowe’s are also being hit by glyphosate’s health risks, as two proposed class-action lawsuits have been filed over the companies’ lack of warnings to their customers. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) determined that glyphosate is a "probable carcinogen" in 2015. In August 2018, jurors ruled Monsanto (which was taken over by Bayer in June 2018) must pay $289 million in damages to DeWayne “Lee” Johnson, a former school groundskeeper who claimed the company’s herbicide Roundup caused his terminal cancer. The award was later slashed to $78 million, but it signaled the beginning of a running trend in Roundup cancer lawsuits. The next two verdicts also sided with the plaintiffs, including a $2 billion payout in the third case, which was later slashed to $20 million, from $75 million in punitive damages. Whether or not retailers can be held liable for not warning consumers about this probable carcinogen may soon be determined by the upcoming class-action suits. Plaintiff James Weeks filed two proposed class-action lawsuits against Home Depot and Lowes, alleging that the retail outlets did not do their duty to warn consumers about cancer and exposure risks when using glyphosate-based products.

New Monsanto Papers Reveal that Congress Relied Upon ‘Ghostwriting’ Documents Used by Regulators for Years

The U.S. law firm of Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman added 100+ new documents to the Monsanto Papers on Thursday. The new Monsanto Papers documents are available for review via the Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman website. Prior to, during, and after the first three Monsanto Roundup trials, Baum Hedlund worked to declassify and publish internal Monsanto documents pursuant to the protective orders entered in the cases. The latest batch of Monsanto Papers documents were de-designated on March 1 and July 22. Among other things, the Monsanto Papers show: Monsanto purposefully ghostwrote articles that regulators have been relying on for years. Monsanto orchestrated attacks against the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and its members for concluding glyphosate is a probable human carcinogen. Monsanto hid its own consultant’s conclusions that Roundup causes DNA damage. Monsanto hid data showing Roundup penetrates skin at greater rates than reported to regulators. Monsanto influenced EPA officials to arrive at pro-Roundup conclusions.

Cancer Victims Suing Monsanto Over Glyphosate in Roundup Now Include Children

A 12-year-old boy suffering from cancer is among the newest plaintiffs taking on Monsanto and its German owner Bayer AG in growing litigation over the safety of Roundup herbicides and Monsanto’s handling of scientific concerns about the products. Lawyers for Jake Bellah were in court Monday in Lake County Superior Court in Lakeport, California arguing that Bellah’s young age and diagnosis of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) qualified him for “trial preference,” or a speedy trial. Lawyers representing Bellah said the child was exposed to Monsanto’s glyphosate-based herbicide products repeatedly over many years as he played in his family’s yard and around their garden area where his father frequently sprayed the chemicals. Bellah developed B-cell lymphoma and has been hospitalized and treated with chemotherapy and is currently in remission, according to Pedram Esfandiary, one of the family’s attorneys.

Florida Governor Signs Bill to Legalize Growing Food on Your Own Property

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed SB 82, legislation protecting the right of all Floridians to grow vegetables and fruit on their own property. For one Miami-area couple, this represents the end of a years-long struggle that started when their town ordered them to dig up the garden they had been growing for 17 years. Starting July 1, any local ordinance that expressly limits or prohibits growing vegetables on one’s own property will be “void and unenforceable.” In 2013, the Institute for Justice (IJ) filed a lawsuit on behalf of Hermine Ricketts and Tom Carroll seeking to strike down the Village of Miami Shores’ prohibition on front yard gardens as an unconstitutional violation of property rights.

Pennsylvania Amish Farmer Takes on USDA to Preserve Traditional Ways and Private Food Club

Miller's Organic Farm is our century-old Amish family farm in Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania - serving its Private Member Association. The farm raises its animals and other pure foods the way nature intended and we are proud to be entirely chemical, cruelty and GMO-free. The animals are born and raised without antibiotics or hormones and they spend their entire lives naturally and stress-free out on pasture. All of the farm’s food is traceable, pure and grown on nutrient dense soil, under traditional time-honored methods. The farm is now under attack by the USDA who is suing the farm to comply with USDA laws, concerning the way the farm animals are processed and how our food is labeled. The farm and its members believe that we have the right of free assembly and the right to choose how our food is processed and consumed without the USDA dictating to the farm.

Study: United States Uses 100 Pesticides and Herbicides Banned in Other Countries

Many pesticides still widely used in the USA, at the level of tens to hundreds of millions of pounds annually, have been banned or are being phased out in the EU, China and Brazil. Of the pesticides banned in at least two of these nations, many have been implicated in acute pesticide poisonings in the USA and some are further restricted by individual states. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) has all but abandoned its use of non-voluntary cancellations in recent years, making pesticide cancellation in the USA largely an exercise that requires consent by the regulated industry.

New Tests Confirm Children’s Foods Made from Oats are ALL Contaminated with Cancer-Causing Glyphosate

A new report released this week (June, 2019) by The Environmental Working Group (EWG) confirms previous reports that America's breakfast cereals, consumed primarily by children, are contaminated with the toxic herbicide, glyphosate. Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Monsanto's RoundUp, and has been linked to cancer. Juries in recent court cases have awarded billions of dollars in damages to cancer victims who were exposed to glyphosate. This most recent report published by Olga Naidenko, Ph.D., senior science advisor, and Alexis Temkin, Ph.D., Toxicologist, at EWG, tested 21 oat-based cereal and snack products, and found all of them had high levels of the toxic glyphosate. EWG is asking the public to sign a petition to have the major food companies remove glyphosate from their products. While this is a noble venture, it is impossible for any company producing products from American grains to remove glyphosate from their products. Companies producing these products do not have a choice to remove glyphosate from their products. It is impossible. Petitioning them to do so will not accomplish anything, because they are powerless to change this.

Study: 99% of Canadian Honey Analyzed Contaminated with Herbicide Glyphosate

A recent study published in the journal Food Additives & Contaminants analyzed 200 random samples of honey in Canada. The study was conducted by the Agri-Food Laboratories, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Their analysis found that almost 99% of the honey samples analyzed were contaminated with the herbicide glyphosate, the active ingredient in RoundUp that has been linked to cancer. "Two hundred randomly chosen honey samples, which were submitted to our laboratory for other testing, were analysed using the online SPE-LCMS/MS method to obtain information regarding baseline levels of glyphosate, its main degradation product AMPA, and the other acidic herbicide, glufosinate. Glyphosate was detected in almost all honey samples analysed with 197 out of 200 samples (98.5%) having residues..."