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

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.

Most Beers and Wines Tested are Contaminated with Glyphosate

Most of us take it for granted that the food and drinks we buy from the store are not putting our health at risk. However, new research from public health groups and scientists from the past several years indicates that food and drinks are contaminated with glyphosate, the main ingredient in the weed killer Roundup. This is a potential health problem because in 2015 the World Health Organization found that glyphosate is a probable carcinogen, and in 2017, the state of California agreed. To explore how much Roundup we’re drinking, U.S. PIRG tested beer and wine for glyphosate/Roundup. As we’ve confirmed in this study, Roundup is found in beer and wine (including organic).

100 Percent of Oat Products Tested Positive for Weedkiller Glyphosate

Oat-based foods, such as oatmeal, cereals and bread, are considered by many to be a healthy dietary addition, but if you eat such foods know that you’re probably getting herbicide residues along with them. In testing done by Friends of the Earth (FOE), 100 percent of oat cereal samples tested positive for residues of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup herbicide.

Brucella Infection Outbreak Blamed on Raw Milk Producers Turns out to be Caused by Brucella Vaccine in Commercial Dairies

Recent headlines about a Brucella outbreak in 19 states blamed raw milk dairies. But one raw milk dairy in Pennsylvania has sent out an email update to its customers explaining that the Brucella outbreak is actually "an antibiotic resistant, modified live strain of Brucella that veterinarians give to cows as a vaccination." The farm in this brucellosis case was not even licensed or permitted for raw milk sales. Raw milk producers that are allowed to produce raw milk legally in some states (many states do not allow it all), must pass much more stringent sanitary inspections than even commercial dairies. As we have reported for many years here at Health Impact News, conscientious dairy farmers who choose to market a high-end product directly to the consumer are a threat to the subsidized commercial dairy industry. These brave farmers have endured a lot of persecution from government regulatory bodies who try to shut them down, and deny consumers access to a healthier, and safer, dairy product. Here is the letter from Pennsylvania farmer Edwin Shank setting the record straight on this most recent attack against raw milk dairy farmers.

America’s Fraudulent Organics Industry: 40% of All Organic Food Tested Positive for Prohibited Pesticides

A Missouri farmer has been charged with ripping off food companies and consumers by falsely marketing more than $140 million worth of corn, soybeans, and wheat as organic. Observers have called the scale of this fraud “jaw dropping” and likely the largest case of its kind involving US farmers. The level of deception in the organic industry has reached epidemic proportions: a USDA study found that 40% of all organic food sold in the US tested positive for prohibited pesticides. This is an outrage, but the USDA shows no signs of deviating from business as usual.