Is Monsanto going down like Big Tobacco? FAKE SCIENCE about to be exposed on a global scale


Image: Is Monsanto going down like Big Tobacco? FAKE SCIENCE about to be exposed on a global scale

Monsanto is showing some clear signs that they’re getting nervous as their dishonest practices come significantly closer to being brought to light on a grand scale.

Last week, the peer-reviewed manuscripts of the pilot phase of a study known as the Global Glyphosate Study were revealed at a European Parliament press conference, and it’s all bad news for the maker of the world’s most popular glyphosate herbicide, Roundup.

In the short-term pilot study, glyphosate-based herbicides were shown to change some very important biological parameters in rats at exposure to the level set by the Environmental Protection agency as “safe” of 1.75 mg/kg per day. Some of the parameters that were altered relate to sexual development, the intestinal microbiome and genotoxicity. The papers will be published in the Environmental Health journal later this month.

One author of the report, Daniele Mandrioli, said that they found glyphosate in the gut bacteria of rats born to mothers who weren’t affected by it, something he believes is remarkable. He pointed out that gut microbiome disruptions have been linked to problems like diabetes, obesity, and immunological problems.

Another researcher, Professor Philip J. Landrigan, said that these findings should be investigated further in comprehensive long-term studies given their potential to impact a significant number of people around the world.

Monsanto goes on the attack

Monsanto reacted exactly how you’d expect them to react, by attacking the scientists and institutions involved in the study. The firm’s global strategy vice president, Scott Partridge, told The Guardian that The Ramazzini Institute is an “activist organization with an agenda that they have not disclosed.”

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It’s an unsubstantiated claim in any event, and it’s also worth noting that the Global Glyphosate Study was carried out by many other bodies in addition to The Ramazzini Institute, such as the Italian National Institute of Health, George Washington University, the Icahn School of Medicine at New York’s Mount Sinai, the University of Bologna, and the Genoa Hospital San Martino. Of course, they won’t be able to attack all of those institutes, so they decided to single one out.

In fact, The Ramazzini Institute is a well-respected institution manned by expert scientists for more than four decades. Their goal is to protect public health, and their activities relate to finding carcinogens and evaluating the safety and efficacy of drugs and ingredients. Their long-term studies have a lot of clout, with past research on benzene, vinyl chloride, and formaldehyde leading to changes in global regulations.

One thing that makes the Ramazzini studies so respected is the fact their design mirrors humans very closely. For example, they tend to follow rodents from prenatal life and observe them until their natural death; most labs “sacrifice” rats about two thirds of the way through their lifespan, which equates to around age 60 in humans. Many people develop cancers later in life, so other researchers miss those cancers that tend to show up in old age.

Glyphosate is everywhere

As the most common herbicide in the world, 18.9 billion pounds of glyphosate have been spread across the planet since 1974. Its use has risen 15-fold since the introduction of genetically modified crops, even though they were initially marketed as being able to reduce the need for herbicide. In the last two decades, the levels of glyphosate found in the human bloodstream have risen by more than 1,000 percent.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer classified the chemical as a “probable human carcinogen” in 2015; Monsanto is now trying to campaign against them and stop the American government from funding them. Now, it looks like the respected institutions involved in the latest study to expose the dangers of their products will also be targeted by their smear campaigns.

Read StopEatingPoison.com to stay informed.

Sources for this article include:

SustainablePulse.com

GlyphosateStudy.org

TheGuardian.com

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Regenerative Agriculture — The Next Big Thing


There is no doubt in my mind that GMOs and the toxic chemicals used along with them pose a serious threat to the environment and our health, yet government agencies turn a blind eye and refuse to act — and the reason is very clear: They are furthering the interests of the biotech giants.

It is well known that there is a revolving door between government agencies and biotech companies such as Monsanto. Consider the hypocrisy of the FDA. On paper, the U.S. may have the strictest food safety laws in the world governing new food additives, but this agency has repeatedly allowed GMOs and their accompanying pesticides such as Roundup to evade these laws.

In fact, the only legal basis for allowing GE foods to be marketed in the U.S. is the FDA’s claim that these foods are inherently safe, a claim which is patently ridiculous. Documents released as a result of a lawsuit against the FDA reveal that the agency’s own scientists warned their superiors about the detrimental risks of GE foods. But their warnings fell on deaf ears.

The influence of the biotech giants is not limited to the U.S. In a June 2017 article, GMWatch revealed that 26 of the 34 members of the National Advisory Committee on Agricultural Biotechnology of Argentina (CONABIA) are either employed by chemical technology companies or have major conflicts of interest.

You may be aware that Argentina is one of the countries where single-crop fields of GE cotton, corn and soy dominate the countryside. Argentina is also a country facing severe environmental destruction. Argentinians are plagued with health issues, including degenerative diseases and physical deformities. It would appear that the rapid expansion of GE crops and the subsequent decline in national health indicators are intrinsically linked.

Don’t Be Duped by Industry Shills!

Biotech companies’ outrageous attempts to push for their corporate interests extend far beyond the halls of government. In a further effort to hoodwink the public, Monsanto and its cohorts are now zealously spoon-feeding scientists, academics and journalists with questionable studies that depict them in a positive light.

By hiring “third-party experts,” biotech companies are able to take information of dubious validity and present it as independent and authoritative. It’s a shameful practice that is far more common than anyone would like to think. One notorious example of this is Henry Miller, who was thoroughly outed as a Monsanto shill during the 2012 Proposition 37 GMO labeling campaign in California.

Miller, falsely posing as a Stanford professor, promoted GE foods during this campaign. In 2015, he published a paper in Forbes Magazine attacking the findings of the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a branch of the World Health Organization, after it classified glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen. After it was revealed that Miller’s work was in fact ghostwritten by Monsanto, Forbes not only fired him, but also removed all of his work from its site.

Industry front groups also abound. The Genetic Literacy Project and the American Council for Science and Health are both Monsanto-funded. Even WebMD, a website that is often presented as a trustworthy source of “independent and objective” health information, is acting as a lackey for Monsanto by using its influence to promote corporate-backed health strategies and products, displaying advertisements and advertorials on Biotech’s behalf, furthering the biotech industry’s agenda — all for the sake of profit.

Monsanto has adopted underhanded tactics to peddle its toxic products, but the company is unable to hide the truth: Genetic engineering will, in no way, shape or form, make the world a better place. It will not solve world hunger. It will not increase farmers’ livelihoods. And it will most certainly not do any good for your health — and may in fact prove to be detrimental.

There’s No Better Time to Act Than NOW — Here’s What You Can Do

So now the question is: Will you continue supporting the corrupt, toxic and unsustainable food system that Monsanto and its industry shills and profit-hungry lackeys have painstakingly crafted? It is largely up to all of us, as consumers, to loosen and break Monsanto’s tight hold on our food supply. The good news is that the tide has been turned.

As consumers worldwide become increasingly aware of the problems linked to GE crops and the toxic chemicals and pesticides used on them, more and more people are proactively refusing to eat these foods. There’s also strong growth in the global organic and grass fed sectors. This just proves one thing: We can make a difference if we steadily work toward the same goal.

One of the best things you can do is to buy your foods from a local farmer who runs a small business and uses diverse methods that promote regenerative agriculture. You can also join a community supported agriculture (CSA) program, where you can buy a “share” of the vegetables produced by the farm, so that you get a regular supply of fresh food. I believe that joining a CSA is a powerful investment not only in your own health, but in that of your local community and economy as well.

In addition, you should also adopt preventive strategies that can help reduce the toxic chemical pollution that assaults your body. I recommend visiting these trustworthy sites for non-GMO food resources in your country:

Organic Food Directory (Australia) Eat Wild (Canada)
Organic Explorer (New Zealand) Eat Well Guide (United States and Canada)
Farm Match (United States) Local Harvest (United States)
Weston A. Price Foundation (United States) The Cornucopia Institute

Monsanto and its allies want you to think that they control everything, but they do not. It’s you, the masses, who hold the power in your hands. Let’s all work together to topple the biotech industry’s house of cards. Remember — it all starts with shopping smart and making the best food purchases for you and your family.

The Seeds Of Suicide: How Monsanto Destroys Farming (and the Lives of Farmers)


“Control the oil, and you control nations. Control the food, and you control the people.” — Henry Kissinger

Monsanto’s talk of ‘technology’ tries to hide its real objectives of control over seed through genetic engineering.

“Monsanto is an agricultural company. … We apply innovation and technology to help farmers around the world produce more while conserving more. … Producing more, Conserving more, Improving farmers lives.” — These are the promises Monsanto India’s website makes, alongside pictures of smiling, prosperous farmers from the state of Maharashtra. This is a desperate attempt by Monsanto and its PR machinery to delink the epidemic of farmers’ suicides in India arising from the company’s growing control over cotton seed supply — 95 per cent of India’s cotton seed is now controlled by Monsanto.

Seed is the first link in the food chain because seed is the source of life. When a corporation controls seed, it controls life, especially the life of farmers.

Monsanto’s concentrated control over the seed sector in India as well as across the world is very worrying. This is what connects farmers’ suicides in India to Monsanto vs. Percy Schmeiser in Canada, to Monsanto vs. Bowman in the US, and to farmers in Brazil suing Monsanto for $2.2 billion for unfair collection of royalty.

Through patents on seed, Monsanto has become the “Life Lord” of our planet, collecting rents for life’s renewal from farmers, the original breeders.

Patents on seed are illegitimate because putting a toxic gene into a plant cell is not “creating” or “inventing” a plant. These are seeds of deception — the deception that Monsanto is the creator of seeds and life; the deception that while Monsanto sues farmers and traps them in debt, it pretends to be working for farmers’ welfare, and the deception that GMOs feed the world. GMOs are failing to control pests and weeds, and have instead led to the emergence of superpests and superweeds.

Recommended reading: Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation by F. William Engdahl

Altered Genes, Twisted Truth

The entry of Monsanto in the Indian seed sector was made possible with a 1988 Seed Policy imposed by the World Bank, requiring the Government of India to deregulate the seed sector. Five things changed with Monsanto’s entry: First, Indian companies were locked into joint-ventures and licensing arrangements, and concentration over the seed sector increased. Second, seed which had been the farmers’ common resource became the “intellectual property” of Monsanto, for which it started collecting royalties, thus raising the costs of seed. Third, open pollinated cotton seeds were displaced by hybrids, including GMO hybrids. A renewable resource became a non-renewable, patented commodity. Fourth, cotton which had earlier been grown as a mixture with food crops now had to be grown as a monoculture, with higher vulnerability to pests, disease, drought and crop failure. Fifth, Monsanto started to subvert India’s regulatory processes and, in fact, started to use public resources to push its non-renewable hybrids and GMOs through so-called public-private partnerships (PPP).

In 1995, Monsanto introduced its Bt technology in India through a joint-venture with the Indian company Mahyco. In 1997-98, Monsanto started open field trials of its GMO Bt cotton illegally and announced that it would be selling the seeds commercially the following year. India has rules for regulating GMOs since 1989, under the Environment Protection Act. It is mandatory to get approval from the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee under the ministry of environment for GMO trials. The Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology sued Monsanto in the Supreme Court of India and Monsanto could not start the commercial sales of its Bt cotton seeds until 2002.
And, after the damning report of India’s parliamentary committee on Bt crops in August 2012, the panel of technical experts appointed by the Supreme Court recommended a 10-year moratorium on field trials of all GM food and termination of all ongoing trials of transgenic crops.

But it had changed Indian agriculture already.

Monsanto’s seed monopolies, the destruction of alternatives, the collection of superprofits in the form of royalties, and the increasing vulnerability of monocultures has created a context for debt, suicides and agrarian distress which is driving the farmers’ suicide epidemic in India. This systemic control has been intensified with Bt cotton. That is why most suicides are in the cotton belt.

An internal advisory by the agricultural ministry of India in 2012 had this to say to the cotton-growing states in India:

“Cotton farmers are in a deep crisis since shifting to Bt cotton. The spate of farmer suicides in 2011-12 has been particularly severe among Bt cotton farmers.”

The highest acreage of Bt cotton is in Maharashtra and this is also where the highest farmer suicides are. Suicides increased after Bt cotton was introduced — Monsanto’s royalty extraction, and the high costs of seed and chemicals have created a debt trap. According to Government of India data, nearly 75 per cent rural debt is due to purchase inputs. As Monsanto’s profits grow, farmers’ debt grows. It is in this systemic sense that Monsanto’s seeds are seeds of suicide.

The ultimate seed of suicide is Monsanto’s patented technology to create sterile seeds. Called “terminator technology” by the media, sterile seed technology is a type of Gene Use Restriction Technology, GRUT, in which seed produced by a crop will not grow — crops will not produce viable offspring seeds or will produce viable seeds with specific genes switched off. The Convention on Biological Diversity has banned its use, otherwise Monsanto would be collecting even higher profits from seed.

Monsanto’s talk of “technology” tries to hide its real objectives of ownership and control over seed where genetic engineering is just a means to control seed and the food system through patents and intellectual property rights.

“As part of the process, they portrayed the various concerns as merely the ignorant opinions of misinformed individuals – and derided them as not only unscientific, but anti-science. They then set to work to convince the public and government officials, through the dissemination of false information, that there was an overwhelming expert consensus, based on solid evidence, that GMOs were safe.” — Jane Goodall, Altered Genes, Twisted Truth

A Monsanto representative admitted that they were “the patient’s diagnostician, and physician all in one” in writing the patents on life-forms, from micro-organisms to plants, in the TRIPS (Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) agreement of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Stopping farmers from saving seeds and exercising their seed sovereignty was the main objective. Monsanto is now extending its patents to conventionally bred seed, as in the case of broccoli and capsicum, or the low gluten wheat it had pirated from India — which we challenged as a biopiracy case in the European Patent office.

That is why we have started Fibres of Freedom in the heart of Monsanto’s Bt cotton/suicide belt in Vidharba. We have created community seed banks with indigenous seeds and helped farmers go organic. No GMO seeds, no debt, no suicides.

The beauty of seed is that out of one you can get millions. The beauty of the pollinator is that it turns that one into millions. And that’s an economy of abundance. That’s an economy of sharing. To me that’s the real economics of growth — because life is growing. The economics and technology of hybridization, of genetic modification, is a deliberate creation of scarcity.

Genetic engineering has never been about saving the world, it’s about controlling the world.

Why GMOs are a death knell to biodiversity and farming

About the author:

Vandana Shiva is a philosopher, environmental activist, and eco feminist. Shiva, currently based in Delhi, has authored more than 20 books and over 500 papers in leading scientific and technical journals. She was trained as a physicist and received her Ph.D. in physics from the University of Western Ontario, Canada. She was awarded the Right Livelihood Award in 1993. She is also the founder of Navdanya.org, an organization dedicated to the conservation of biodiversity.

How Monsanto Genetically Modifies Our Food Compared To What Happens Naturally In Nature


Are you concerned about Genetically Modified Foods? Here’s (GMOs Revealed) a great documentary that addresses many of the questions and concerns most people have today. 

In March 2014, scientists from Indiana University announced that they had conducted research to examine the operations of the fruit fly genome “in greater detail than ever before possible” and had identified “thousands of new genes, transcripts and proteins.” Their results indicated that the fly’s genome is “far more complex than previously suspected and suggests that the same will be true of the genomes of other higher organisms.” Of the approximately 1,500 new genes that were discovered, 536 of them were found within areas that were previously assumed to be gene-free zones. Furthermore, when the flies were subjected to stresses, small changes in expression level at thousands of genes occurred, and four newly modelled genes were expressed altogether differently.

Why is this important? Because it reveals how little we know about this planet and the organisms dwelling on it, yet also how much we think we know. This kind of hubris is found within all areas of human knowledge, but particularly when it comes to science.

Another great example that I’ve used before is when the populace first realized that the Earth wasn’t flat. Another is a statement made by physicist Lord Kelvin, who stated in 1900 that “there is nothing new to be discovered in physics now. All that remains is more and more precise measurement.” This assertion was shattered only five years later when Einstein published his paper on special relativity.

When it comes to our genes, and the genes of other organisms, we really do know next to nothing. Unfortunately, proponents of the biotech industry (Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta, etc.) claim otherwise, and have developed multiple, flawed assumptions that undergird agricultural bioengineering.

The information presented in this article comes from a variety of different sources, but my primary sourceis Steven Druker, a public interest attorney and the Executive Director of the Alliance for Bio-Integrity. He initiated a lawsuit in 1998 that forced the U.S. Food and Drug (FDA) to release its files on genetically engineered foods, and recently published a book about it, which has received dozens of rave reviews from the world’s most accredited scientists in the field. I draw primarily from his book for this article.

“This incisive and insightful book is truly outstanding. Not only is it well reasoned and scientifically solid, it’s a pleasure to read – and a must-read. Through its masterful marshalling of facts, it dispels the cloud of disinformation that has misled people into believing that GE foods have been adequately tested and don’t entail abnormal risk.” 

– David Schubert, PhD, molecular biologist and Head of Cellular Neurobiology, Salk Institute for Biological Studies.

Natural Genetic Modification Versus Human Induced Genetic Modification

Biotech proponents have an unshakable faith in their GE crops, and these corporations also hold major sway over mainstream media outlets, and close relationships with government agencies like the FDA. Indeed, several high level industry employees have also held positions at these institutions. One example is the FDA Deputy Commissioner for Foods, Michael Taylor, who is also Monsanto’s former Vice President for Public Policy. While at the FDA, he was instrumental in getting approval for Monsanto’s genetically engineered bovine growth hormone.

Druker outlines in his book how the commercialization of genetically engineered foods was enabled by the fraudulent behaviour of these government agencies, and how this actually violates explicit mandates for federal food safety law. The evidence shows that the “FDA’s falsehoods have been abundantly supplemented with falsehoods disseminated by eminent scientists and scientific institutions, and the entire GE food venture.”

This is why it’s so amazing to see so many scientists within the field supporting the dissemination of truth, and bringing the falsehoods to light. So if you still think this type of thing is a conspiracy theory, we now have the documents as well as the science, which stands on its own, to show that something is terribly wrong here.

Joseph Cummins, Ph.D. and Professor Emeritus of Genetics at Western University in London, Ontario, believes that Druker’s book is a “landmark” and that “it should be required reading in every university biology course.” 

There are several presumptions on which the bioengineering venture was based, and one of them is that natural breeding is more random and unruly than bioengineering. The standard argument holds that genetic modification has been occurring for thousands of years, and what we do now is simply that process sped up and made better.

Key Presumptions on Which the Bioengineering Venture Was Based

Genetic engineering is based on the presumption that the genome is just a linear system, where the action of a single gene will not impact the action of other genes, or disrupt their normal function.

In 2007, the New York Times published an article outlining how “the presumption that genes operate independently has been institutionalized since 1976, when the first biotech company was founded. In fact, it is the economic and regulatory foundation on which the entire biotechnology industry is built.” 

Basically, genes are viewed as autonomous, adding to the whole without acting holistically because they don’t express their proteins in a closely coordinated matter. Another assumption used to justify genetic engineering is that genes aren’t organized in a specific way, that the sequence in which they occur is meaningless From this point of view, a gene would function normally if it were relocated to a different chromosome or came from a neighbouring gene. Quite a big assumption, don’t you think? Giorgio Bernardi, a biologist at the University of Rome III who specialized in the study of genome evolution, calls this perspective a “bean-bag view of the genome” because it regards the genes as “randomly distributed.”

Druker explains:

Together, these two assumptions supported the belief that a chunk of recombinant DNA could be put into a plan’s genome without inducing disturbance — because if the behavior of the native genes was largely uncoordinated and their arrangement was irrelevant, there would be no important patterns that could be perturbed by such insertions. Accordingly, they engendered confidence in the precision of genetic engineering, because they implied that the outcome of a gene insertion would be exactly what the bioengineers expected.

How could biotech proponents push the idea that the target organism would continue to function just as it had before, and that the change would be limited to the new trait endowed by the inserted gene? How can it simply be assumed that this would not alter any of the organism’s other qualities?

These presumptions still underly genetic engineering today. The example of the fly above serves well here. In the New York Times article cited earlier, the author noted that “genes appear to operate in a complex network,” and states that “evidence of a networked genome shatters the scientific basis for virtually every official risk assessment of today’s commercial biotech products, from genetically engineered crops to pharmaceuticals.”

Molecular geneticist Michael Antoniou, who testified at New Zealand’s Royal Commission in 2001, notes that agricultural bioengineering “was based on the understanding of genetics we had 15 years ago, about genes being isolated little units that work independently of each other.” He also presented evidence showing that genes actually “work as an integrated whole of families.”

Despite the grave possibility that these presumptions are indeed wrong, they still form the backbone of genetic engineering today.

Antoniou himself was even selected to represent multiple nongovernmental organizations to present precaution reasons to the UK’s GM Review Panel, and a plethora of studies that clearly justify it. Despite his presentation, and many others’, the 11 other scientists on the panel, who were biotech proponents, dismissed these studies and continued to argue that it makes absolutely no difference how genes are arranged.

How can a scientist make such a statement?

What do we have as a result? As Druker says:

Such disregard, denial, or avoidance in regard to the evidence was essential for maintaining faith in the venture, because its predictability and safety have always relied on the genome being largely disjointed; and the more the genome instead appears to function as a tightly coordinated system, the more potentially disruptive and unpredictable are the interventions of the bioengineers.

Geneticist, activist, and environmentalist David Suzuki weighed in on this very subject a few years ago in an interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC):

By slipping it into our food without our knowledge, without any indication that there are genetically modified organisms in our food, we are now unwittingly part of a massive experiment. . . . Essentially, the FDA has said that genetically modified organisms, or food, are basically not much different from regular food, and so they’ll be treated in the same way. The problem is this: Geneticists follow the inheritance of genes, in what we call a vertical fashion . . . [but] what biotechnology allows us to do is to take this organism, and move it, what we call horizontally, into a totally unrelated species. Now, David Suzuki doesn’t normally mate with a carrot plant and exchange genes. What biotechnology allows us to do is to switch genes from one to the other, without regard for the biological constraints. . . . It’s very very bad science. We assume that the principals governing the inheritance of genes vertically applies when you move genes laterally or horizontally. There’s absolutely no reason to make that conclusion.

More Differences

This is a common argument made by GE-food proponents, and commonly used whenever an expert brings up a challenge to the technology’s safety. For example, David Schubert, PhD, a molecular biologist and the Head of Cellular Neurobiology at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, commented in Nature Biotechnology that there was mounting evidence that the insertion of even one gene into a cell’s DNA alters the expression patters of genes throughout the entire cell. He said facts like this one, among many others, “cast doubt on the soundness of agricultural bioengineering — and entail the conclusion that it ‘is not a safe option.’ “

Predictably, when a professor and a laboratory director of one of the world’s most prestigious scientific institutions makes a comment like this, there’s going to be a response. This time it came in the form of a letter, published by 18 biologists at respected universities and institutions, stating that Dr. Schubert failed to properly consider “the genetic realities.” The main reality he allegedly failed to recognize is that the natural method of plant breeding is inherently more random than bioengineering.

A portion of the letter reads as following:

We do not take issue with Schubert’s basic contention that unintended genetic and metabolic events can take place. The reality is that ‘unintentional consequences’ are much more likely to occur in nature than in biotechnology because nature relies on the unintentional consequences of blind random genetic mutation and rearrangement to produce adaptive phenotypic results, whereas GM technology employs precise, specific, and rationally designed genetic modification toward a specific engineering goal.

In his book, Steven Druker offers the following counterargument: “This letter thus reveals how strongly the GE food venture relies on the presumption that the natural process driving biological development are intrinsically more disorderly and risk-bearing than the genetic interventions instigated by the human mind. And it confirms that this belief forms the ideological bedrock on which the venture rests.”

In fact, a report published in 2004 by the National Academy of Sciences couldn’t uphold “even the more modest notion that bioengineering and natural breeding pose the same risks.” The panel that produced the report ranked various modes of plant breeding in terms of their disposition to produce unintended effects. They were forced to acknowledge that bioengineering produces far greater effects than pollen-based sexual reproduction. Despite this fact, they still insisted that this does not mean a difference in risks.

Druker says in response:

Thus, there’s no rational way to reconcile the fact that natural breeding is less disruptive and more predictable than bioengineering with the claim that it poses equal or greater risk, which is why the admission in the 2004 report is a rarity — and why biotech proponents almost always ignore or deny that fact and instead assert that natural breeding is more disorderly and unpredictable.

Randomness

According to the biotech industry, natural plant breeding could actually result in crops that are dangerous to human consumption, which is why we should be grateful for genetic engineering. For example, in the same NAS report mentioned above, they portrayed what are known as “jumping genes” as more randomly mobile and threatening, but failed to recognize, as Druker points out, that although these entities do not pose risks within natural pollen based breeding, when bioengineering is employed they do because that process alone “tends to stir them up and get them jumping.”

When it comes to sexual reproduction, it’s yet another area where biotech proponents state that it’s a random phenomenon, despite the fact that we now know that it’s not random, and that there are multiple factors that can and do influence the genetics of life.   Genetic engineering, be it human induced or naturally occurring, requires a genetic “rearragnement,”  a recombination of DNA. The difference between the artificial way and the natural way is that the natural way does not disrupt the entire organism, as was discussed a little earlier in the article and touched upon in the Suzuki quote above.

As Druker explains:

This natural form of recombination occurs during the formation of gametes (the sperm and egg cells). It includes a step called crossover in which two partner chromosomes break at corresponding points and then exchange complementary sections of DNA; and every time a gamete is produced, every set of paired chromosomes engages in it. In this way, all the chromosomes end up with genes from both parents instead of from only one. However, all the genes are preserved, as is the sequences in which they’re positioned. The only changes are in the relationships between aleles. . . . So this natural recombination augments diversity while maintaining stability. And without it, except for the occasional favorable mutation, the composition of chromosomes would stay the same from generation to generation, and genetic diversity would grow at far too sluggish a pace.

He goes on to mention how natural recombination preserves the order of the genes, and is predictable in the way it cuts DNA. The entire process displays a great deal of order.

Despite this fact, scientists who support GE state, as in, for example, the 2004 NAS report, that “genetic engineering methods are considered by some to be more precise than conventional breeding methods because only known and precisely characterized genes are transferred.” They use the idea that the randomness and unpredictability of natural engineering make bioengineering safer.

Yet, as Druker so brilliantly captures:

This misleading tactic fixates on the predictability of the plant’s specific agronomic traits; and it portrays traditional breeding as less predictable than bioengineering because undesired attributes are often transferred along with the one that is desired. However, those who employ this ploy don’t acknowledge that if both parents are safe to eat, the unwanted traits hardly ever pose risk to human health. Rather, they’re undesirable for reasons irrelevant to risk (such as aesthetic appearance or seed size), and breeders must then perform back-crossing to eliminate them while retaining the trait they want. However,  although the inclusion of unwanted traits entails more work, it does not increase attendant risks. Therefore, while breeders can’t fully predict what traits will appear, they can confidently predict that the resulting plant will be safe to eat.

This is why the GE stance on natural modification is so flawed and misleading.

Druker goes on:

Although it describes the sexual reproduction of food-yielding plants as a messy and risky affair that involves the transfer of “thousands of unknown genes with unknown function,” we actually know quite a lot about those genes. And what we know is far more important than what we don’t know. We know that they’re all where they’re supposed to be, and that they’re arranged in an orderly fashion. And we know that during the essential process in which some of them are traded between partnered chromosomes in order to promote the diversity that strengthens the species, their orderly arrangement is marvelously maintained. Most important, we know that their functions mesh to form an exquisitely efficient system that generates and sustains a plant that regularly provides us with wholesome food.

This sharply contrasts with genetic engineering.

As you can see, comparing natural modification to biotech modification is not an easy process, and this isn’t even the tip of the iceberg. Research shows that it’s not natural modification that’s more random and risky, but biotech genetic modification:

The inserted cassettes are haphazardly wedged into the cell’s DNA, they create unpredictable disruptions at the site of insertion, the overall process induces hundreds of mutations throughout the DNA molecule, the activity of the inserted cassettes can create multiple imbalances, and the resultant plant cannot be deemed safe without undergoing a battery of rigorous tests that has yet to be applied to any engineered crop.

 

Hundreds of Scientists Tell The World That The GMO Cancer Link Is Real


Anytime a peer-reviewed publication reveals something startling that could literally shut down an entire industry, it seems to be retracted. This is a big problem, and perhaps the biggest when it comes to medical science, with multiple doctors, professors and scientists coming forward in abundance to stress the fact that more than half of all the published research out there could be false. This is why we see so much independent peer reviewed research completely contradict that which is put out by government health authorities.

“The medical profession is being bought by the pharmaceutical industry, not only in terms of the practice of medicine, but also in terms of teaching and research. The academic institutions of this country are allowing themselves to be the paid agents of the pharmaceutical industry. I think it’s disgraceful.”

– Arnold Seymour Relman (1923-2014), Harvard professor of medicine and former Editor-in-Chief of The New England Medical Journal  (source)

“Peer Reviewed:” Science Losing Credibility As Large Amounts Of Research Shown To Be False is an article that provides more examples when it comes to the truth about peer-reviewed research. That doesn’t mean it’s not legit, obviously a lot of it is. It’s no different with food science. Big food corporations have been putting out information that completely contradict a lot of other science that’s been published.

Here’s a great quote from the CDC Spider (CDC Scientists Preserving Integrity, Diligence and Ethics in Research). More than a dozen scientists came together a couple of years ago emphasizing the manipulation in the industry, although you probably never heard about it. It’s a problem in all areas of science.

“We are a group of scientists at CDC that are very concerned about the current state of ethics at our agency. It appears that our mission is being influenced and shaped by outside parties and rogue interests. It seems that our mission and Congressional intent for our agency is being circumvented by some of our leaders. What concerns us most, is that it is becoming the norm and not the rare exception. Some senior management officials at CDC are clearly aware and even condone these behaviours. Others see it and turn the other way. Some staff are intimidated and pressed to do things they know are not right. We have witnesses across the agency that witness this unacceptable behaviour. It occurs at all levels and in all of our respective units.”

You can read the rest of the letter here addressed to Carmen S. Villar, the Chief of Staff of the CDC at the time.

There are loads of examples; the approval of high fructose corn syrup (sugar), processed meats, and packaging that is full of hormone disrupting chemicals. Artificial sweeteners being another. These, and more, are linked to a variety of diseases and surrounded in controversy for the simple reason that the science speaks for itself, and the science used by the big food corporations and their close relationship with government is precisely why they are so commonly used. We’ve been made to think that these things are ok, when in reality, a large portion of the academic, health and science community continue to do their best to emphasize that they’re not.

It is, however, proving to be more difficult in learning of this information as big corporations and their close relationship with government and mainstream media makes sure we don’t come across this type of information. In fact, when questioning certain things, they make you feel like you are stupid to do so. We never hear of the narratives the corporate world does not want us to know, we have to dig for it, and that’s because they have tremendous amounts of power and influence to sway the public perception when it comes to certain developments, like Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).

One thing that makes this even more evident is the relationships that big corporations, like Monsanto, have with the US government.

GMOs have come under scrutiny, but no matter who creates awareness of this and provides ample evidence of it, there is always a harsh reaction assuming that their questions and concerns are illegitimate. It’s similar to vaccine safety, and all of the science that’s emerged over the years showing cause for concern, the mainstream still makes those who question vaccine safety feel inferior and out of place for even asking questions.

It’s not right, and the day science stops asking questions is the day we’ve drifted far from real science.

There are countless examples of concerns raised with genetically modified organisms, and why they should not be deemed completely safe for human consumption.  The common narrative is that the overall scientific consensus/majority agree that GMOs are safe, but this simply isn’t true. There are hundreds of scientists sharing their concerns, and it just seems as though all we see are GMO safety campaigns and efforts constantly sharing the idea and overall consensus that they are safe, but that doesn’t seem to be true..

If they were safe, there wouldn’t be so many concerns. Let’s take a look at one study that caused a lot of controversy, the Séralini study.

The Séralini Study

In November 2012, the Journal of Food and Chemical Toxicology published a paper titled Long Term Toxicity of Roundup Herbicide and a Roundup-Tolerant genetically modified maize by Gilles-Eric Séralini and his team of researchers at France’s Caen University (source). It was a very significant study that made a lot of noise worldwide, the first of its kind under controlled conditions that examined the possible effects of a GMO maize diet treated with Monsanto’s Roundup Herbicide.

There are no long term studies examining GMOs, Séralini’s study is the first and only of its kind.

In the study, 100 female and 100 male rats were used . In both sets, some rats were fed NK603, some the GM maize sprayed with Roundup, and the third group was given drinking water with the lowest permissible limit of Roundup. A fourth, control group was fed a standard diet of the closest variety of non-GM maize.

According to the peer-reviewed paper published in Food and Chemical Toxicology, a journal from the reputed Elsevier stable, rats that fed on NK603 or given water containing Roundup died much earlier than the rats in the control group and developed hormonal and sex-related effects. Females developed significant mammary tumours, pituitary and kidney problems, while males died mostly from severe kidney failure. Up to 50 per cent of the male rats and 70 per cent of females died prematurely, compared with only 30 per cent and 20 per cent in the control group.

This would, and should, basically mark the end of GMOs, along with all of the other studies that have raised other concerns and have seen strong correlations between GMOs and multiple diseases.  Here is one of multiple examples.

 There is great news to report however, as this major GMO study has now been republished following its controversial retraction (under strong commercial pressure), with even more up to date information and a response to previous criticisms. You can read more about that here.

The study was then re-published by Environmental Sciences Europe. (source)

After the study was retracted, there were more than a hundred notable scientists who came forward to oppose the retraction, calling it an industry retraction. We’ll touch more on that below.

Again, as illustrated above, manipulation of science isn’t new. Just take a look at the recent resignation of the CDC director, as well as the 16 scientists from the CDC who came forward saying that the corporate and political influence of science has gotten out of hand.

It’s all there for us to see, and when discussing science, fraud is rarely brought up and needs to be factored into the equation as one of multiple reasons why GMOs, and other substances, are highly questionable.

Another concerning fact about this study is that, if we look at urine samples, most of us are urinating out Glyphosate. We are eating these GMOs, combined with numerous numbers of pesticides within our blood stream.

There are countless amounts of harmful substances that can lead to cancer, this could be one of many factors in that equation and to help explain why cancer rates keep rising.

Hundreds of Notable Scientists Came Forward To Oppose The Retraction

Despite the fact that the news of the retraction and slandering of the study hit almost every single mainstream media news outlet, shaping the mass perception of it, a number of scientists, who I believe are in the majority, have supported Séralini’s work.

Professor Séralini was also honoured with the 2015 Whistleblower Award by the Federation of German Scientists and the German Section

“Prof Séralini received the award in recognition of his research demonstrating the toxic effects of Roundup herbicide on rats when administered at a low environmentally relevant dose over a long-term period. After the research was published, Prof Séralini was attacked in what the VDW and IALANA call “a vehement campaign by ‘interested circles’ from the chemical industry” as well as from the UK Science Media Centre. This smear campaign led to the retraction of his team’s paper by the first journal that published it. But Prof Séralini and his team fought back, countering the scientific arguments raised against their research and republishing their paper in another journal.”

Again, many international scientists and experts have expressed support for Séralini’s study and for open scientific debate based on the peer-reviewed publication system, but you won’t see a debate, because there is no sound argument from the opposing side.

A statement opposing the attacks, “Science et conscience”, signed by 140 French scientists, was published in the newspaper Le Monde.

“Such attacks on scientists who highlight risks of GM plants are normal. It’s always the same industry-linked GM proponents who immediately try to defame the critical studies and their authors in a concerted campaign. This is about money.” – Dr Angelika Hilbeck, a biologist at the ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology), who said in a media interview that she takes Séralini’s findings “seriously”. Hilbeck was subjected to attacks similar to those leveled at Séralini after her team published research showing that GM maize harmed beneficial insects. (Battaglia D. Kritische Gentech-Forschung: “Hier geht es um viel Geld” [Crucial GM research: “This is about large sums of money”]. Tages Woche. 2 November 2012. http://www.gmwatch.org/latest-listing/51-2012/14451)

Hundreds of scientists and academics from around the world signed an open letter that supports Séralini’s research and sheds light on the way in which the GM approval process is rigged, which is backed up by the suppression of independent scientists working in the public interest. The letter states that an “honest, rational or scientific debate” is being made impossible.

Below are links to individual letters from 160 scientists, which were sent to the journal that published the original paper. These letters have been made public by Séralini’s research institute CRIIGEN:

Monsanto’s Secret Documents Show Massive Attack on Séralini’s Study

When the original study was retracted , it was done so by the journal’s editor, A. Wallace Hayes. It was also coincidentally done after the appointment of a former Monsanto scientist, Richard E. Goodman, to the editorial board. Again the study was republished with all the criticisms addressed, but this only happened after the studies reputation was damaged due to the corporation, Monsanto.

Fast forward a few years later and secret internal Monsanto documents were released in 2017 by legal firms in the United States. In these documents, it was quite clear how Monsanto pressured Wallace Hayes, Editor of Food and Chemical Toxicology, to retract the study.

You can access those documents here.

 

10 Things You Need To Know About The Séralini Study

1. Most criticisms of Séralini’s study wrongly assume it was a badly designed cancer study. It wasn’t. It was a chronic toxicity study – and a well-designed and well-conducted one.

2. Séralini’s study is the only long-term study on the commercialized GM maize NK603 and the pesticide (Roundup) it is designed to be grown with. See here: Why is this study important?

3. Séralini used the same strain of rat (Sprague-Dawley, SD) that Monsanto used in its 90-day studies on GM foods and its long-term studies on glyphosate, the chemical ingredient of Roundup, conducted for regulatory approval.

4. The SD rat is about as prone to tumours as humans are. As with humans, the SD rat’s tendency of cancer increases with age.

5. Compared with industry tests on GM foods, Séralini’s study analyzed the same number of rats but over a longer period (two years instead of 90 days), measured more effects more often, and was uniquely able to distinguish the effects of the GM food from the pesticide it is grown with.

6. If we argue that Séralini’s study does not prove that the GM food tested is dangerous, then we must also accept that industry studies on GM foods cannot prove they are safe.

7. Séralini’s study showed that 90-day tests commonly done on GM foods are not long enough to see long-term effects like cancer, organ damage, and premature death. The first tumours only appeared 4-7 months into the study.

8. Séralini’s study showed that industry and regulators are wrong to dismiss toxic effects seen in 90-day studies on GM foods as “not biologically meaningful”. Signs of toxicity found in Monsanto’s 90-day studies were found to develop into organ damage, cancer, and premature death in Séralini’s two-year study.

9. Long-term tests on GM foods are not required by regulators anywhere in the world.

10. GM foods have been found to have toxic effects on laboratory and farm animals in a number of studies.

Concluding Comments & Book Recommendation

Ask yourself: why are dozens upon dozens of countries across the world completely banning the import or growth of genetically modified foods in their countries? Several of them have already cited numerous environmental and human health concerns, and others have simply stated that they’d like to do more research.

Again, the corporate and political influence is huge. What we have here is fraud, not science, and clearly, the “majority,” as mainstream media would have you believe, and have most academics believe, are not “pro” GMO.

Another great example regarding the politicization of this issue comes from Wikileak documents, showing that the United States was threatening other countries to accept them.

Read more about it from The WikiLeaks Files: The World According To U.S. Empire

In 1996, Steven M. Druker did something very few Americans were doing then — learn the facts about the massive venture to restructure the genetic core of the world’s food supply. The problem of unawareness still exists today, but it’s getting much better thanks to activists like Druker.

Druker, being a public interest attorney and the Executive Director of the Alliance For Bio-Integrity, initiated a lawsuit in 1998 that forced the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to divulge its files on genetically engineered foods.

He’s recently published a book on the lawsuit (2015). In the book, Druker provides details of his experience, and he’s also released the documents on his website showing the significant hazards of genetically engineering foods and the flaws that the FDA made in its policy.

It’s called Altered Genes, Twisted Truth: How the Venture to Genetically Engineer Our Food Has Subverted Science, Corrupted Government, and Systematically Deceived the Public.

The book has some very impressive reviews. For example, David Schubert, Ph.D., molecular biologist and Head of Cellular Neurobiology at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies said that this “incisive and insightful book is truly outstanding. Not only is it well-reasoned and scientifically solid, it’s a pleasure to read – and a must-read.”

Stephen Naylor, Ph.D., CEO and Chariman of Mai Health Inc., an individual who spent 10 years as a Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and Pharmacology and the Mayo Clinic stated that Druker’s “meticulously documented, well crafted, and spell binding narrative should serve as a clarion call to all of us.” 

 Be Sure to check it out, below is an interview with Druker.

 

Monsanto Uses Codex to Hide GMOs from Consumers


This article was originally published by The National Health Federation (NHF).

“Dishonest” and “disgraceful” – Monsanto attempts to gain backdoor entry for GE foods

At the recent Codex meeting in Berlin, there was an attempt to define genetically engineered (GE) food ingredients as ‘biofortified’ and therefore mislead consumers. This contravened the original Codex mandate for defining biofortification. That definition is based on improving the nutritional quality of food crops through conventional plant breeding (not genetic engineering) with the aim of making the nutrients bioavailable after digestion. The attempt was thwarted thanks to various interventions, not least by the National Health Federation (NHF), a prominent health-freedom international non-governmental organization and the only health-freedom INGO represented at Codex. But the battle is far from over.

The Codex Alimentarius Commission’s Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses (CCNFSDU) convened in Berlin during early December and drafts provisions on nutritional aspects for all foods. It also develops international guidelines and standards for foods for special dietary uses that will be used to facilitate standardized world trade.

Based upon previous meetings, the initial intention of the Committee was to craft a definition for biofortification that could then be used uniformly around the World. Biofortification originally referred to increasing certain vitamin and mineral content of basic food crops by way of cross-breeding, not genetic engineering, for example by increasing the vitamin or ironcontent of sweet potatoes so that malnourished populations would receive better nutrition.

However, according to president of the NHF, Scott Tips, Monsanto wants to redefine the definition to include GE ‘biofortified’ foods and it has seemingly influenced Codex delegates in that direction. Tips says, “I am sure that Monsanto would be thrilled to be able to market its synthetic products under a name that began with the word ‘bio’.”

This year’s CCNFSDU meeting witnessed a lively debate about biofortification. At the 2016 CCNFSDU meeting, chairwoman Pia Noble (married to a former Bayer executive) had opined that the definition should be as broad as possible and that recombinant technology should be included. By the 2017 meeting, the proposed definition had morphed to include GE foods.

Deceptive marketing par excellence

The EU has raised a valid objection that “biofortification” would cause confusion in many European countries due to the widespread use of the word “bio” being synonymous with “organic.” Countries within the EU have been very vocal and support this position, arguing that the definition needs to be restrictive, not broad.

Including GE foods within any definition of biofortification risks consumer confusion as to whether they are purchasing organic products or something else entirely. “Monsanto seeks to cash in on the organic market with the loaded word ‘bio’,” argues Scott Tips.

At the Codex meeting in Berlin, Tips addressed the 300 delegates in the room. “Although NHF was an early supporter of biofortification, we have since come to see that the concept is in the process of being hijacked and converted from something good into something bad,” explained Tips.

He added that if Codex is to allow any method of production and any source to be part of the biofortification definition, it would be engaging in marketing deception of the worst sort.

As Steven Druker has shown in his book Altered Genes, Twisted Truths, GE foods should not even be on the commercial market, given the deceptions and bypassing of procedures that put them there in the first place. But now that they are on the market, most consumers want GE foods labelled. In the United States alone, some 90% of consumers want such labelling. The definition being proposed seeks to disguise GE foods under the term “biofortification.”

“That is dishonest. It is disgraceful, and for all of those sincerely concerned with the credibility and transparency of Codex, you should absolutely and positively oppose this definition,” says Tips.

The NHF feels that this is simply a strategy to gain a backdoor entry into countries for GE foods that are unneeded and unwanted. In his address to the assembled delegates, Tips added, “It is a very sad state of affairs where we have come to the point where we must manipulate our natural foods to provide better nutrition all because we have engaged in very poor agricultural practices that have seen a 50% decline in the vitamins and minerals in our foods over the last 50 years. We will not remedy poor nutrition by engaging in deceptive marketing practices and sleight of hand with this definition.”

The delegates to various Codex committees tend to be national regulatory bureaucrats and representatives from large corporations, including agritech giants like Monsanto. These interests have undue influence within Codex. Over the years, although heavily outnumbered at meetings, Scott Tips and his colleagues at the NHF have been tireless in their efforts to roll back undue corporate influence at Codex. Thanks to NHF and others urging the committee to adopt a clear, non-misleading definition that excluded GE foods, no final decision was taken on the definition of biofortification.

It is now left to the committee to resolve the matter at next year’s meeting or even the one thereafter.

The National Health Federation

The National Health Federation is the only health-freedom organization accredited by the Codex Alimentarius Commission to participate at all Codex meetings. It actively shapes global policies for food, beverages, and nutritional supplements.

Codex

The Codex Alimentarius Commission is run by the Food and Agricultural Organization and the World Health Organization. Its some 27 committees establish uniform food-safety standards and guidelines for its member countries and promote the unhindered international flow of food goods and nutritional supplements. Learn more about the Codex on GreenMedInfo.com’s page related to the topic.

New bill would allow farmers to sue Monsanto if GMO crops invade their property


Small farm owners in Oregon have been in a deadlock against the GMO giant Monsanto over legislation concerning their crops.

In the past Monsanto have been able to spread their GMO pesticides wherever they liked, putting non-GMO farmers at risk of selling contaminated produce which would compromise their livelihoods.

GMO’s are also the cause of certain super-powered weeds that take over crops, which the farmers are unable to successfully get under control due to their unnatural strength and resilience.

On the whole, Monsanto have made business for regular farmers particularly tough in recent years, but it might all be about to change.

A bill is under consideration which, if passed, would put into practice the following paragraph (the bill) “Allows cause of action against patent holder for genetically engineered organism present on land without permission of owner or lawful occupant.”

Meaning Monsanto would have no right to carry on their dirty work where they are clearly not wanted by the farmers.

The House Bill 2739 could put an end to the bulling farmers have faced in the past when Monsanto seeds ended up where they shouldn’t have been. Farmers in have been threatened with having their farming license revoked due to unwanted GMO particles.

Oregon are also considering another House Bill this year which concerns GMO farming. Bill 2469 if passed, will allow local governments to restrict the use of GMO’s where they see fit.

Monsanto made illegal push for cotton seeds


The US-based agri major Monsanto has been accused of adopting an illegal route to push for its genetically engineered Roundup Ready cotton seeds in five states to create an artificial demand for its proprietary pesticide and eventually for its gen-next GM cotton seeds.

The allegations were made by the RSS-backed Swadeshi Jagran Manch, which claims to have found evidence after suspected samples were tested positive in the Central Institute of Control Research, Nagpur – an institution under the Indian Council of Agriculture Research.

The saffron camp claimed that Monsanto released the Roundup Ready Flex (RRF) cotton seeds into lakhs of acres in Gujarat, Odisha, Maharashtra, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh after transferring the RRF trait into several local varieties. The cotton plants which have the RRF traits would not be killed by Roundup herbicide – which would kill all the other weeds in the field.

Source:deccanherald.com

Smoking Gun on EPA’s Secret Collaboration With Monsanto


Help Support Organics and the Battle Against GMOs

GMO proponents claim that genetic engineering is “safe and beneficial,” and that it advances the agricultural industry. They also say that GMOs, or genetically “engineered” (GE) foods, help ensure the global food supply and sustainability. But is there any truth to these claims? I believe not. For years, I’ve stated the belief that GMOs pose one of the greatest threats to life on the planet. Genetic engineering is NOT the safe and beneficial technology that it is touted to be.

The FDA cleared the way for GE (Genetically Engineered) Atlantic salmon to be farmed for human consumption. Thanks to added language in the federal spending bill, the product will require special labeling so at least consumers will have the ability to identify the GE salmon in stores. However, it’s imperative ALL GE foods be labeled, which is currently still being denied.

The FDA is threatening the existence of our food supply. We have to start taking action now. I urge you to share this article with friends and family. If we act together, we can make a difference and put an end to the absurdity. Thankfully, we have organizations like the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) to fight back against these corporate giants. So please, fight for your right to know what’s in your food and help support the GMO labeling movement by making a donation today.

Donations TRIPLE-Matched During GMO Awareness Week

I have found very few organizations that are as effective and efficient as OCA. It’s a public interest organization dedicated to promoting health and sustainability. OCA and I thank you for everything you’ve done to further this cause, and hope you stick with us as we move forward. I strongly encourage you to give OCA your financial support, because we are making a huge difference.

Food companies have to start being honest and truthful in telling us what’s in our food, and we will not quit until they do. We can’t do it alone, however. We need your help, and this week, you can seriously maximize the impact of your generosity, because I will match each and every dollar you donate to the OCA with $3, up to $250,000.

Source:mercola.com

EPA Official Accused of Helping Monsanto `Kill’ Cancer Study.


  • Monsanto is fighting suits claiming it hid Roundup health risk
  • ‘I should get a medal,’ regulator allegedly bragged to company

The Environmental Protection Agency official who was in charge of evaluating the cancer risk of Monsanto Co.’s Roundup allegedly bragged to a company executive that he deserved a medal if he could kill another agency’s investigation into the herbicide’s key chemical.

The boast was made during an April 2015 phone conversation, according to farmers and others who say they’ve been sickened by the weed killer. After leaving his job as a manager in the EPA’s pesticide division last year, Jess Rowland has become a central figure in more than 20 lawsuits in the U.S. accusing the company of failing to warn consumers and regulators of the risk that its glyphosate-based herbicide can cause non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

“If I can kill this I should get a medal,” Rowland told a Monsanto regulatory affairs manager who recounted the conversation in an email to his colleagues, according to a court filing made public Tuesday. The company was seeking Rowland’s help stopping an investigation of glyphosate by a separate office, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, that is part of the U.S. Health and Human Service Department, according to the filing.

A federal judge overseeing the glyphosate litigation in San Francisco said last month he’s inclined to order Rowland to submit to questioning by lawyers for the plaintiffs, who contend he had a “highly suspicious” relationship with Monsanto. Rowland oversaw a committee that found insufficient evidence to conclude glyphosate causes cancer and quit last year shortly after his report was leaked to the press.

Monsanto Statement

Monsanto vice president of global strategy Scott Partridge said in a phone interview that it would be “remarkable” if Monsanto could manipulate the EPA under the Obama administration. The unsealed emails represent “a natural flow of information” between the company and the EPA, Partridge said. “It’s not an effort to manipulate the system.”

Asked about emails specifically describing Monsanto working with Rowland to kill the glyphosate investigation by the toxic substances agency, Partridge said he would review the messages and respond at a later date.

The company also issued a statement defending its use of glyphosate.

“The allegation that glyphosate can cause cancer in humans is inconsistent with decades of comprehensive safety reviews by the leading regulatory authorities around the world,’ Monsanto said.

The company on March 10 lost a court bid to keep glyphosate off California’s public list of cancer-causing chemicals. A state judge rejected Monsanto’s arguments that the chemical shouldn’t be added to a list created by a voter-approved ballot initiative that requires explicit warnings for consumer products containing substances that may cause cancer or birth defects.

Rowland’s Communications

The plaintiffs’ lawyers say Rowland’s communications with Monsanto employees show the regulator who was supposed to be policing the company was actually working on its behalf.

After the phone conversation with Rowland, the Monsanto head of U.S. regulatory affairs, Dan Jenkins, cautioned his colleagues not to “get your hopes up,” according to an email cited in the court filing.

“I doubt EPA and Jess can kill this,” Jenkins wrote. He may have spoken too soon. Another internal Monsanto memorandum unsealed on Tuesday said the ATSDR, as the federal toxics agency is known, “agreed, for now, to take direction from EPA.”

“While Monsanto cannot speak for EPA, our understanding of this comment is that EPA was concerned about ATSDR starting a duplicative safety analysis of glyphosate without realizing that EPA was already far along in its own comprehensive safety analysis,” Monsanto spokeswoman Christi Dixon said in an email.

The ATSDR announced in the Federal Register in February 2015 that it planned to publish a toxicological profile of glyphosate by October that year. It never did. The agency’s press office didn’t respond to multiple phone messages seeking comment. EPA representatives also didn’t immediately respond to phone messages seeking comment.

Plaintiffs’ lawyers said in another filing made public Tuesday that Monsanto’s toxicology manager and his boss, Bill Heydens, were ghost writers for two of the reports, including one from 2000, that Rowland’s committee relied on in part to reach its conclusion that glyphosate shouldn’t be classified as carcinogenic.

The EPA “may be unaware of Monsanto’s deceptive authorship practice,” the lawyers said.

Among the documents unsealed was a February 2015 internal email exchange at the company about how to contain costs for a research paper. The plaintiff lawyers cited it to support their claim that the EPA report is unreliable, unlike a report by an international agency that classified glyphosate as a probable carcinogen.

“A less expensive/more palatable approach” is to rely on experts only for some areas of contention, while “we ghost-write the Exposure Tox & Genetox sections,” Heydens wrote to a colleague.

The names of outside scientists could be listed on the publication, “but we would be keeping the cost down by us doing the writing and they would just edit & sign their names so to speak,” according to the email, which goes on to say that’s how Monsanto handled the 2000 study.

Monsanto said the ghost writing allegations are false, and in a blog post Tuesday accused the plaintiffs’ lawyers of taking an email comment out of context to mischaracterize the role of a company scientist.

The contributions by Heydens to the 2000 paper were fully disclosed in the report’s acknowledgments section and his own reference to ghost writing in the 2015 email was an overstatement for the “minor editorial contributions” he made, the company said.

“It was things like editing relatively minor things, editing for formatting, just for clarity, really just for overall readability to make it easier for people to read in a more organized fashion,” Heydens said in sworn testimony in the San Francisco litigation, according to the company.

The case is In re: Roundup Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2741, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).

Source:www.bloomberg.com

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