GMO Crops Have Become the Hot Potato of Maui Politics Under Pressure, A&B Attempts to Mislead Maui County Council and Public About Their Plans For Former Sugar Plantation Land


gmos-roundworms-found-to-be-resistant-to-bt-corn

In April at the Maui Energy Conference, Rick Volner, the general manager of diversified agriculture for Alexander & Baldwin, gave a presentation on how Maui’s thousands of acres of former sugar cane land could be utilized in the future.

“We have the significant opportunity to alter that landscape,” he said. “Our lands are uniquely positioned to succeed in diversified agriculture.”

Alluding to Gov. David Ige’s pledge to reach the state goal of food and fuel self-sufficiency, he added, “We think the central valley agricultural lands will play a significant role in that.”

Nowhere in that talk did Volner reveal that A&B’s “self-sufficiency” plans included covering Maui’s pesticide-laden central valley with hundreds of acres of Monsanto’s GMO Bt corn.

Community activists and earth protectors, alerted through social media (including this Maui Independent feature) that A&B was growing GMO corn, packed a September 5 Maui County Council hearing on A&B’s ag plans. Most public comment expressed strong opposition to growing GMO crops on the former sugar plantations.

Bt corn has generated controversy in the last few years, as it’s been implicated in the death of monarch butterflies,  has contaminated native corn species, is requiring more pesticides as insects develop resistance,  and may not be safe for human consumption.

During the meeting, where committee chair Yuki Lei Sugimura tried to suppress public comment on GMO crops, Volner stated his company is not working on or working with any tenants growing GMO food crops. He denied GMO crops were being grown for animal feed. They were only being grown for bio-energy he said.

When queried by Council member Elle Cochran about their GMO crop, Volner stated: “None of the GMO corn is for animal feed.”

This was very surprising news to earth activist Autumn Ness, who a week earlier, had been standing in a harvested field of GMO corn, and was told some of the crop was going to be shipped to Big Island Dairy, which had been growing their own GMO corn.

“We have confirmed that Big Island Dairy has received or will soon receive A&B’s corn,” says Ness, who is on the advisory board of the Hawai’i Center for Food Safety. “They (A&B) are actively looking for buyers.”

Attending an event hosted by Maui Chamber of Commerce and the Maui Farm Bureau, Ness was told by A&B rep Shiloh Stafford Jones that the company had harvested 140 acres of corn – 75% was Bt corn and 25% was conventional non-GMO corn.

“Dick Meyer and I went on their tour and we were standing in the middle of the field,” says Ness, “We watched the combine harvester cut the last few rows of corn and we were told that was their biggest harvest of 140 acres. The next step is to scale up to 500 acres.”

“When HC&S shut there was a collective hope they would continue on an agriculture path. The fear is they are more focused on real estate through land and water banking.”

Mark Sheehan, a leader in the SHAKA movement, concurs. “A&B’s farm plan looks like window dressings,” he says. “A&B is applying to be certified as a real estate investment trust. With 95% of its income coming from property, the company is not an agricultural enterprise. The bottom line is they are land banking and water banking, pretending to do ag while planning to get well compensated when the state agencies give them approvals for malls and subdivisions.”

“While they have declined to meet with the one successful biofuel company from Maui (Pacific Biofuels), they purport to have as many as 60 contenders to lease land, so that’s why they need tons of water.”

Sheehan feels that collective outrage over A&B hogging super-cheap public water while polluting land with GMO crops is having an impact. As The Maui Independent has reported, A&B pays a fraction of 1% of the market value price paid by small Maui farmers for public water, while using more than five times as much public water as everyone else on Maui put together.

“That impact will be more powerful when more people talk back to those Council members who can’t hear the public because they have earplugs supplied by their donors,” he says.

“Just as the Republican mayor and supposedly non-partisan Council votes as a block to promote all corporate/development interests, the ‘aina warriors need to build and maintain a force of protectors who will constantly show up, stand up, speak up to call our the sell out of what are public resources – air, water, soil. Because the pesticides used on crops, whether GMO or not, wind up in our soils, streams, ocean and air. We are having a huge impact and things will never roll back to the good old days of plantation haze.”

For the first time publicly we can report that Maui County Council member Alika Atay met with A&B’s Volner a few weeks before the contentious County meeting to present an extraordinary, innovative proposal that could potentially completely revolutionize agriculture on Maui.

Atay shared a vision based on the principles of permaculture and Native wisdom where 400-foot-wide food forests are divided with 400 foot wide open food crops, working down the mountain. This would include diversified trees, permanent trees, ulu, coconuts etc.

Atay suggested a technique of water utilization using the lay of the land. Referring to the hundreds of miles of roads that are adjacent to farmable lands he noted that 85% of rain catchment is possible with paving improvement of these roads.

“The blacktop can provide the rain to be aimed at the swale (low tract of land) and fill up the punawai (fresh water),” he said. “Rain catchment is anywhere from 20” to 90,” so water from East Maui is not needed as much. When it rains plenty you can pump it into the ditch.

“We can plant forests above and irrigate the fields below. You could literally make microbial spray solutions and spray from a truck along the roadside. Trucks can spray about 20 feet, imagine that for hundreds of miles.”

Atay told the A&B representatives that the greatest goal in life is to become a great ancestor. He told them that your predecessors of A&B have done a poor job. “You have the opportunity to become a great ancestor and to make great decisions for Maui County. You folks have opportunity.”

Just in that arena of food production alone, he said A&B has huge potential. “You will create jobs. You guys get the chance to do great things.”

“We cannot put all our eggs in one basket with tourism,” he emphasized. “As disasters occur the mentality is no-travel. What happens to our economy then? It’s dangerous to be solely dependent in one economy.”

“We need to be strong in diversified industries,” Atay concluded. “It’s a paradigm shift, it’s an entrepreneurial shift to empower. I call it an aloha paradigm shift with collaborative cooperatives.”

Maui’s grassroots organizer Mark Sheehan questions whether A&B will be willing to listen to Atay’s innovative ideas for Maui’s agricultural future.  “A&B has ignored input from local farmers and environmental groups for decades,” Sheehan says. “They have neither the knowledge to do better nor even an interest to do the right thing.

“With a climate catastrophe a week hitting somewhere, Maui needs to take control of its resources to assure food security for the future.  We can not waste a day as so much needs to be done to: decontaminate the land, assess best soils, regenerate the soils with proper mycorrhizae and minerals to allow farmers to grow nutrient dense food for local markets.  UH Maui College has been training a new generation of farmers, the Hawaii Farmers Union United has coordinated a network of farms, farmers and apprentices to extend that education. We should soon have a farm plan along with a tenet farmer lease-to-own arrangement to allow farm families to live where they are growing.”

“Nutrient recycling centers and food hubs need to be formed along with marketing channels. A Malama Wai plan should follow to outline the best use of the public trust waters. Such a plan will involve how to restore the EMI system, allowing greater allocation of water for East Maui stream dwellers and upcountry farmers.”

Autumn Ness too wonders why A&B is not focusing on growing food. “There’s a state wide goal to produce more food,” she says. “And there are plenty of crops like hemp or sunflowers, crops that are really hardy and don’t require a lot of labor. I can’t figure out why they would put their whole model in GMO corn. It doesn’t make any sense.”

 

http://mauiindependent.org/gmo-crops-become-hot-potato-maui-politics/

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Hawai’i’s Journey from Plantation Exploitation to Agro-Chemical Poisoning Exposed in Historic New Study “Hawai’i: GMO Ground Zero” offers critical analysis of agrochemical industry


A brilliant new doctoral thesis by Kauai native Andrea Brower reveals the first comprehensive analysis of how Hawai’i’s historically exploitative plantation system has morphed into the ecologically exploitative “agrochemical-seed-biotechnology industry’s occupation of Hawai’i.”

Brower’s 314 page doctoral thesis, titled, “Hawai’i: GMO Ground Zero,” contributes what she frames as a, “previously absent critical analysis of Monsanto, Dow, DuPont, Syngenta, and BASF’s occupation of Hawai’i. It details the political, social, historical, and geographical arrangements that give rise to the situation, with focus especially on matters of capital, expropriation of the commons, imperialism, and capitalist state functioning.”

A PhD graduate from the Department of Sociology at New Zealand’s University of Auckland, Brower has been active in alternative food and global social justice movements, and spent several years co-directing the non-profit Malama Kauai. Exposing how the State of Hawai’i has sold out to the biotech giants who preside over more than 1,000 GMO test farms across the Hawai’i, her damning indictment pays particular attention to the island of Kaua’i. “Hawai‘i,” Brower writes, “is placed at the epicenter of the agrochemical-seed-biotech oligopoly’s global chains of production.”

Brower explains: “The popular press, economic reports, and legal and state documents conclude simply that the industry operates in the islands because of good weather. This smooth narration obscures fundamental socio-political and historical context. Hawai’i’s place “within,” as a colony of, the United States, but isolated and sub-tropical, is core to agrochemical-seed-biotech companies’ decisions to locate in the islands.”

Describing how “Monsanto and gang’s operations have established in the tracts of Hawai’i’s plantation oligarchy past, directly inheriting infrastructures, institutions, and ideas,” she suggests, “truly alternative possibilities require contesting core conditions that continue to facilitate plantations, monoeconomies, oligarchies, and oligopolies.”

Detailing the industry’s environmental destruction in the islands she notes: “From a class-action lawsuit on Kaua’i, it was divulged that when general-use pesticides (GUP) are accounted for, at least 90 pesticide formulations with 63 different active ingredients were used by DuPont between 2007-2012, and that pesticides were applied 250-300 days per year, at an average of 10-16 applications per day (Jervis and Smith 2013).”

“Pesticides are often “stacked,” or mixed into cocktails with more harmful and almost entirely untested and unregulated synergistic effects (Vallianatos 2014). This usage of combinations of an “ever-changing kaleidoscope of pesticides,” as described by Sandra Steingraber, is of particular concern (2016, 2). For example, a recent review of the scientific literature indicated that the cumulative effects of individual non-carcinogenic chemicals “acting on different pathways, and a variety of related systems, organs, tissues and cells could plausibly conspire to produce carcinogenic synergies” (Goodson et al. 2015, S258).”

The resulting pesticide saturation has likely created major health issues she suggests. “Numerous local doctors have submitted official statements expressing concern that they may be witnessing effects of pesticide exposure in communities living near fields, potentially including higher than average rates of rare birth defects, miscarriages, unusual cancers, respiratory and hormonal problems, and recurring dermatitis and nose-bleeds (public testimony, Kaua’i Bill 2491).”

None of this could have happened without State collusion and corruption. “The dominant idea that transnational agribusiness which exports its wealth from the islands is the only economic form that can “feed our families” and offer realistic diversification to tourism assumes and obscures numerous forms of public subsidization, particular arrangements of resource control and power, and government facilitation of not only private sector profits, but product monopolies and corporate dominance.”

“For capitalist plantation agriculture to become the established norm in Hawai‘i and displace the sophisticated production systems that preceded it, it took both imperial nations enforcing their commercial demands on the islands and the backing of a local state.”

“Without favorable local land, water, forest, labor, infrastructure, tax, and trade policies, sugar could not have been competitive or profitable on the global market.”

“Similarly, contra the oft-repeated assertion that agrochemical industry contributions…are at no cost to the State” (Loudat and Kasturi 2013, 4), their operations are conditioned upon a range of public supports and subsidies, including policies that enable externalization of health and environmental costs onto the public. Much of this support is in the foundation of a plantation past, with sugar’s legacies continuing to facilitate the new agribusiness barons.”

“In addition to public land and water, agrochemical companies are directly subsidized through property tax breaks, high-technology tax credits, investment capital, and taxpayer loss of general excise tax revenue (Kanehe 2014; Hooser 2015b; Redfeather 2012). In 1999, the state began offering various incentives to “high-technology industries” through the passage of Act 178, followed by Act 221 in 2001 and Act 215 in 2004. Act 178 contained eight initiatives with tax credits being its hallmark; these sunset in 2010. According to an audit in 2012, these high technology tax credits cost the state an estimated total USD $1 billion in lost tax revenue since 1999 (Higa 2012).”

“For most of the years these subsidies were in place, the names of the companies receiving them were not made public or revealed to the legislature, unlike in other states where disclosure is mandated (Curtis 2014; Higa 2012). Thus, it is impossible to know which of the agrochemical companies received subsidies and to what extent. Virtually none of the tax claims were audited (Higa 2012).”

Equally as shocking she reports how the biotech companies avoid paying state General Excise tax. “Unlike other forms of agricultural production in the islands, the seed development conducted by agrochemical companies does not generate a product that is then sold so excludes payment of general excise taxes. These are lost public revenues that have occurred with the transition from agricultural production to seed-biotechnology research and development (Bynum 2013).”

“Similarly, companies take advantage of agricultural property tax and utility subsidies from counties through land use dedication policy designed to incentivize agricultural production.”

She goes on to expose how public educational institutions in Hawai’i serve the GMO industry. “Of additional significance in regards to public supports is the role of research institutions, and especially the (University of Hawai’i’s) College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, a public land grant institution. Instead of supporting local production and raising the percentage of homegrown food, CTAHR has increasingly devoted its resources to serving the interests of biotechnology.”

She references a 2015 Open Letter of Protest from more than 60 U.H. faculty claiming that the agriculture college has prioritized the interests of large out-of-state corporations over those of small local farmers. “At times, as many as 60 or 70 CTAHR faculty and staff have been working on biotech projects, despite the fact that, after the initial success of the Rainbow papaya, not one of CTAHR’s more than a dozen attempts to produce a commercially-viable genetically engineered plant species has proved successful… It is surely questionable whether, in terms of a land-grant institution’s mission, such corporations should be treated as members of “Hawai‘i’s food and agricultural system” at all.”

“Faculty within CTAHR who have been critical of the agrochemical industry or raised general questions about agricultural biotechnology have faced various forms of harassment, silencing, and restrictions of their research and academic freedom.”

CTAHR Professor Hector Valenzuela, who had developed a pioneering, long-term organic farming project, had his research shut down by the university, “around 1998, when Monsanto money began entering the equation.”

The State has also bowed down to the corporate giants by abdicating responsibility for monitoring the health of our citizens subject to pesticide exposure. “The State Department of Agriculture has granted exemptions to federal pesticide label requirements, including allowing pesticides to be used in higher wind speed conditions and increasing the frequency of allowable applications (HDOA 2015),” she points out.

“The ADC (Agribusiness Development Corporation) has facilitated exemption from compliance with Clean Water Act standards by “administratively extending” former sugar plantation’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit, which includes reporting and monitoring of pollutants in wastewater. An ADC memo recommended an exemption because the Clean Water Act criteria would “likely be extremely difficult to meet” as more stringent federal limits, including discharge limits for pesticides, are now in force (JFFG Draft 2016, 46-47).”

“When sugar and pineapple vacated the islands, the state did not require companies to clean-up pesticides or other contaminants. Likewise, as chemical companies drop leases on thousands of acres of public land, they are not responsible for soil remediation or for supplying tests to show that they have not left significant chemical contamination.”

Brower also notes: “The state has followed federal government in not requiring disclosure of the location of experimental biotechnology field trials, irrespective of their nature and legally and scientifically acknowledged potential impacts (Gibson 2014). In the words of Earthjustice attorney Paul Achitoff, the state merely acts as a “rubber stamp” regarding any federal decisions about GE crop trials (ibid, 242).

The biotech giants have done a brilliant job of conning people into believing they are saving the world through GMO seeds, and that they are caring stewards of Hawai’i’s land. Monsanto’s propaganda would have us believe: “We understand the responsibility we have to farm sustainably and to work collaboratively to promote a strong and successful Hawai’i agricultural industry.”

In harnessing public support for their actions, Brewer describes how the companies insidiously employ the language of non-exclusion as a propaganda tool. “These “together” count-as-one (Badiou 2005) operations especially employ the language of non-exclusion. The state’s hosting of an agricultural policy conference sponsored by Monsanto, Dow, and Coca-Cola is in support of “all agriculture,” a non-exclusion that necessarily excludes (NASDA 2015).”

“Everything must be “supported” because “we are in this together,” and only “together” are “win-win” arrangements possible (Save Kaua‘i Farms 2013; Kaua‘i Mayor Bernard Carvalho in Cocke 2013d). To object to some element in the counted one of “local agriculture” is to be an enemy of inclusion, coexistence, harmony, and collaboration. To raise the inexistent — the already excluded, the divisions, structural inequalities, and universals — is to betray “Island style…in this together” (Farmers & Friends 2014, n.p.).”

Opponents of GMO seed production are routinely demonized and marginalized. “While agrochemical-seed-biotech corporations and their local operations are continually formulated as simply necessary (or at minimum, inevitable), concerns about their environmental and health consequences are disparaged as having no basis in fact or science, driven instead by emotion, fear, and politics (Von Mogel 2013). In contrast, the industry claims to offer a “science-based perspective.”

“A broad and heterogenous range of concerns are lumped into a singular and monolithic “scourge of paranoia,” comprised of subjects that warrant the unsavory characterizations of hysterical, fanatical, Luddite, paranoid, delusional, and conspiracy theorist (Conrow 2014a and 2015a; Harmon 2014; Kamiya 2014; Kloor 2012).”

“Anecdotal evidence of harm is said to be nothing more than a “scare tactic,” while citizens are incapable of literacy beyond “selected beliefs as claimed in Google searches” (KauaiEclectic blog comments). Casting certain affairs into the realm of the “complicated,” lay voices are said to be ignorant and uneducated, and only those with
specialized “expertise” are assumed to possess valid knowledge.”

In exposing how Hawaii’s politicians collude with the agrochemical industry Brower describes how, “there is a relative normalization of what in other places would be considered too intimate a relationship between regulators and the regulated.

As a Hawai‘i Senator put it, it is an “open secret” that key power-holders within state government, including the chairs of committees that control a majority of legislation related to agriculture, have a close relationship with the agrochemical industry (Pala 2015). This includes many individual legislators receiving tens of thousands of dollars annually just in direct campaign contributions from the industry (Grube 2014).”

“Previous Governor Neil Abercrombie (2010-2014), who himself was a primary beneficiary of industry funds, summarized this close relationship well in his proclamation to the industry (at the 2011 Hawaii Crop Improvement Association conference): ‘I’m here lobbying you… You don’t have to lobby me. You don’t have to lobby Russell (Kokubun, Department of Agriculture Chair). You don’t have to lobby this administration!”

References:

Badiou, A. 2005. Being and Event. Translated by Oliver Feltham. London: Continuum

Bynum, T. 2013. “2491 A Chance to Control Destiny.” The Garden Island. 29 September. http://thegardenisland.com/news/opinion/guest/a-chance-to-control-destiny/article_1f3a3742-28d4-11e3-960c-0019bb2963f4.html.

Conrow, J. 2015a. “Christopher Pala’s Hit Piece.” KauaiEclectic Blog. 23 August. https://kauaieclectic.blogspot.com/2015/08/musings-christopher-palas-hit-piece.

Curtis, H. 2014. “Launching a High Technology Industry in Hawaii.” Ililani Media. 19 May. http://ililanimedia.blogspot.co.nz/2014/05/launching-high-technology-industryin.html.

Farmers & Friends. 2014. “Our Mission.” http://farmersandfriends.org/our-mission/.

Gibson, D. 2014. Remembering the “Big Five”: Hawai’i’s Constitutional Obligation to Regulate the Genetic Engineering Industry. Asian-Pacific Law & Policy Journal, 15(2): 213-283.

Goodson et al. 2015, S258.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26106142

Grube, N. 2014. “Will the GMO Debate Fuel Campaign Donations as Local Elections Heat Up?” Civil Beat. 28 April. http://www.civilbeat.com/2014/04/21924-will-the-gmodebate-fuel-campaign-donations-as-local-elections-heat-up/.

Harmon, A. 2014. “A Lonely Quest for Facts on Genetically Modified Crops.” The New York Times. 4 January. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/05/us/on-hawaii-a-lonelyquest-for-facts-about-gmos.html?pagewanted=3&_r=1.

Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA). 2015. “List of Active Special Local Need Registrations.” Posted 30 January. http://hdoa.hawaii.gov/pi/files/2013/01/Listof-Active-SLNs-By-SLN-Number-with-Labels_01302015.pdf.

Higa, M. 2012. Audit of the Department of Taxation’s Administrative Oversight of High-Technology Business Investment and Research Activities Tax Credits. Office of the Auditor, State of Hawaii, Report No. 12-05.

Hooser, G. 2015b. “Why I March For Aloha ‘Āina – Join Me Sunday August 9 on Oahu.” GaryHooser’s Blog. 8 https://garyhooser.wordpress.com/2015/08/08/why-i-march-for-aloha-aina-join-me-sunday-august-9-on-oahu/.

Jervis, G. and K. Smith. 2013. Presentation by plaintiffs’ attorneys in lawsuit by Waimea, Kaua’i residents against Pioneer, DuPont. 13 July.  http://vimeo.com/70580803.

Kamiya, J. 2014. “The Bleeding of Aloha: Ugliness of the Anti-GMO Movement in Hawaii.” HawaiiFarmersDaughter. 15 October 2014. https://hawaiifarmersdaughter.com/2014/10/15/the-bleeding-of-aloha-ugliness-of-the-anti-gmo-movement-in-hawaii/.

Kanehe, L. 2014. “Kū‘ē Mana Māhele: The Hawaiian Movement to Resist Biocolonialism.” In Goodyear-Ka‘ōpua, N., Hussey, I. and Wright, E. (Eds.) A Nation Rising: Hawaiian Movements for Life, Land, and Sovereignty. North Carolina: Duke University Press. 331-353.

Loudat, T. and Kasturi, P. 2013. Hawai‘i’s Seed Crop Industry: Current and Potential Economic and Fiscal Contributions, 2013 edition. http://www.hciaonline.com/hawaiisseed-crop-industry-current-and-potential-economic-and-fiscal-contributions/.

Pala, C. 2015. “Pesticides in Paradise: Hawaii’s Spike in Birth Defects Puts Focus on GM Crops.” The Guardian, 23 August. http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/aug/23/hawaii-birth-defects-pesticides-gmo.

Redfeather, N. 2012. GMOs in Hawai‘i – The Big Picture. In Black, C. (Ed.) Facing Hawaii’s Future. Koloa: Hawaii Seed. 25-27.

Save Kaua‘i Farms. 2013. “About.” http://savekauaifarms.com

Steingraber, S. 2016. Comment letter on draft report, Pesticide Use by Large Agribusiness on Kaua’i. 8 April 2016

Vallianatos, E. 2014. Poison Spring: The Secret History of Pollution and the EPA. New York: Bloomsbury Publishing.

Von Mogel, K. 2013. “Analysis of Kaua’i County Bill #2491.” Biology Fortified. 26 June.  http://www.biofortified.org/2013/06/analysis-of-kauai-bill-2491/.

 

http://mauiindependent.org/hawaiis-journey-plantation-exploitation-agro-chemical-poisoning-exposed-historic-new-study/

Robert Kennedy Jr. Leads Lawsuit To Sue Monsanto For Cancer-Causing Roundup Weed Killer


RFK JR lawsuit Monsanto

By On March 31, 2017

Roughly two years after the World Health Organization declared the active ingredient in Monsanto’s best selling Roundup weed killer to be a “probable human carcinogen,” the fallout continues for the controversial company.

According to a new report in the San Jose Mercury-News, 40 California residents are suing the chemical giant alleging that they developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma from the product.

The news carries special significance because of the timing: recently it was ruled that California can place a cancer warning on Roundup. Unfortunately for these California residents, the warning came a little too late.

Kennedy Jr. Leads Lawsuit Against Monsanto

Robert Kennedy, Jr., the environmental lawyer recently known for questioning the safety of vaccines and their additives, announced the lawsuit at the Revolution for Truth (vaccine-focused) rally in Washington, D.C. on March 31.

According to the Mercury-News report, the complaint was filed in Alameda County Superior Court and seeks compensatory and punitive damages from the defendants, Monsanto Co. and Willbur Ellis LLC, for wrongful death and personal injuries resulting from exposure to the weed killer.

The suit alleges that false data was produced by Monsanto attacking legitimate research which showed the danger of glyphosate. According to a news release from Baum Hedlund (part of the firm involved in the lawsuit), over 700 individual claims have been filed against Monsanto throughout the United States.

A former senior EPA employee worked with the company to suppress further reviews of the potentially damaging effects of glyphosate, recent court documents in the cancer label related lawsuit revealed. Monsanto argues that the weed killer is safe, but mounting evidence suggests that the company has colluded with the EPA for years to suppress independent research.

“Monsanto’s newly released documents expose a culture corrupt enough to shock the company’s most jaded critics,”  said Kennedy, Jr., in a statement from the firm according to the Mercury-News report.“Those papers show sociopathic company officials ghostwriting scientific studies to conceal Roundup’s risks from Monsanto’s regulators and customers, including food consumers, farmers and the public. One wonders about the perverse morality that incentivizes executives to lie so easily and to put profits before human life. All humanity will benefit when a jury sees this scheme and gives this behemoth a new set of incentives.”

For more info on the lawsuit, check out the full article by clicking on this link.

 

http://www.march-against-monsanto.com/breaking-robert-kennedy-jr-40-california-residents-sue-monsanto-saying-companys-weed-killer-caused-cancer/

International tribunal finds Monsanto guilty of crimes against humanity


by

International tribunal finds Monsanto guilty of crimes against humanity

by Vicki Batts, published on Natural News, on May 05, 2017

monsanto guilty

(Natural News) Is Monsanto, the corporate scourge of the Earth, finally going to pay for its crimes? If the International Monsanto Tribunal has any say in the matter, the answer to that question appears to be an emphatic “Yes.” The tribunal, based in Hague, Netherlands, describes itself as “an international civil society initiative to hold Monsanto accountable for human rights violations, for crimes against humanity, and for ecocide.”

Five internationally acclaimed judges heard the testimonies of 30 witnesses and experts from five continents, and their goal was to deliver their legal opinion on the deplorable actions, environmental and health damages perpetrated by Monsanto.

And after much deliberation, the tribunal has finally come to a conclusion: Monsanto is guilty on all three counts. The judges who preside over the initiative have declared that the biotech behemoth’s activities do not just adversely affect the world’s access to food, but also negatively affect the human right to health — and that the company is also guilty of “perverting scientific freedom.”

As reported by ANH USA:

The tribunal stated that the company’s seed empire adversely affects the world’s access tofood, and that by manufacturing and distributing substances such as PCBs(polychlorinated biphenyls) and glyphosate, Monsanto has infringed on our right to high standards of health. Additionally, the tribunal found that Monsanto perverts scientific freedom by practicing forms of intimidation, pressuring governments, and discrediting legitimate scientific research that supports public health and environmental protection.

As the tribunal explains, Monsanto has been profiting from their creation of destructive and harmful compounds since the early 20th century. These toxic products, like PCBs, Agent Orange, Lasso and Roundup, have created untold damage to the environment and made thousands upon thousands of people sick. In addition to spreading poisonous chemicals around the globe, Monsanto also advocates and promotes deleterious and unsustainable farming practices that contribute to the following problems: Soil degradation, depletion of water resources, species extinction, reduced biodiversity and the displacement of small farms. On top of all that, Monsanto’s business of seed patenting threatens food freedom and sovereignty.

You’d think that alone would be enough to bring the corporate giant to its knees, but as we all know, Monsanto’s controversies don’t end with their actions that have destroyed the environment and wreaked havoc on the food supply. And as critics point out, the biotech company has spent enormous amounts of money to defend itself against lawsuits brought by their victims but legal action has not yet inspired the company to change their ways.

Monsanto is also guilty of lobbying governments and regulatory agencies to keep their products on the market, and to keep scrutinizing eyes at bay. The company has even colluded with US government agencies to keep the toxic nature of their products hidden. Their strategy to stay afloat seems to be one of concealment; in addition to lobbying, the company has also reportedly funded fraudulent studies on product safety and has coerced independent scientists and manipulated the media into standing behind their wrongdoings.

One way or another, it seems that Monsanto’s judgment day is coming. In addition to the tribunal, lawsuits against the corporation for their lies — particularly regarding the glyphosate-cancer connection — continue to pile up.

While the ruling from the International Monsanto Tribunal is not legally binding, there is hope that their verdict will inspire other governments and agencies to get on board. The fact that an international body has found Monsanto guilty of crimes against humanity, violations of human rights and for ecocide is a tremendous step forward towards the goal of ending the corporation’s reign of terror. Whether or not further action will be taken remains to be seen, but it seems that the global condemnation of Monsanto is well underway.

Sources:

ANH-USA.org

ANH-USA.org

Monsanto-Tribunal.org

http://i-uv.com/international-tribunal-finds-monsanto-guilty-of-crimes-against-humanity/

Geoengineering Watch Global Alert News, March 18, 2017 ( Dane Wigington GeoengineeringWatch.org )


http://GeoengineeringWatch.org
TO READ OR POST COMMENTS ON THIS VIDEO, PLEASE GO DIRECTLY TO THE ARTICLE http://www.geoengineeringwatch.org/ge…
The power structure’s all out assault on countless fronts continues to accelerate. Recent studies state that fully half the adults in America are chronically ill. US invasions of foreign nations continue unabated with troops now being sent into Syria. The US Navy is planning to dump 20,000 tons of heavy metals and explosives into our oceans. The Trump administration is attempting to dismantle any and all forms of environmental protection and monitoring, this is exactly what the geoengineers want. A recent report discloses that the oil industry is benefiting from 5.3 trillion in subsidies annually. The oceans are absorbing so much Co2 that the acidification of the seas is unparalleled over at least the last 300 million years. Massive marine ecosystem collapse is occurring all over the globe. If the oceans die, we die. NBC has just published the following headline, “Climate Engineering: Scary idea should be tried out” (as if the weather warfare assault has not already been going on for over 70 years.  Where is Mr. Trump? He has just made his 9th trip to one of his golf courses since taking office.
Many are beginning to awaken to the peril that is surrounding us from all sides. This being said, the pace of the wake-up must increase if we are to have any chance altering our trajectory before total societal collapse commences. The threats we face are existential, all are needed in the critical effort to sound the alarm. We will sink or swim together.
https://www.facebook.com/dane.wigingt…

A Fireside Chat, Lance White and Aug Tellez, Secret Space Program, Superwarrior, The Unveiling **IMPORTANT**


Note: From recent observations and conclusions formed therein, imo Aug has been handed the torch to release core truths about the nature of reality in this Earthly realm. Using heart-space resonance and discernment will guide you on the Hero’s journey to home-base. Much love and gratitude to ALL, In-joy {~A~} 

Guest Category:

Cosmology
History
Military
UFOs
Physics & Metaphysics
Access Consciousness
Psychic & Intuitive
Technology
Theory & Conspiracy
Guest Occupation:
Author, Researcher, Traveler, Healer, Ex-Operative

Guest Biography:

Aug Tellez is one of many who were participants in “underground” secret programs…

“I was shown many things by those who work behind the scenes. The Unveiling is a series of events brought about by the necessity and capacity of the human race and this civilization to come to the awareness of the true nature of the corruption of power as well as the reality of the soul.

Many people are here to help perform this task; they are ex-operatives, researchers, healers, travelers, scientists, and so on. I am here to assist in informing the public of “The Unveiling”. I was cloned and utilized as part of a secret underground breakaway military operation. This is an entire breakaway civilization that uses very advanced technology to dominate the world. This isn’t to say that there are no groups of military operating for the benefit of humanity.

I believe we have come to this age in civilization because of an increase in human awareness as well as various factions working in their own ways towards the preservation and protection of the Human race. I was part of a genetic engineering program that sought to combine various elements of DNA from various sources in order to create a more easily controlled yet powerful and defined person. This involved chemicals, advanced scalar wave technology, ritual trauma and programming/mind-control, and many other aspects of conditioning, training, secret operations, physical enhancements, cognitive enhancements, virtual reality, off-world operations, temporal manipulation, spiritual and etheric training, conditioning or programming.

This is just the beginning; these operations span this civilization and involve advanced technology that goes far beyond what is released publicly.”

https://augtellez.wordpress.com
http://theunveilingofthehiddenknowled…
https://thesoulunveiling.wordpress.com/
http://omnipulse.wordpress.com/

http://bbsradio.com/podcast/fireside-…

All images found on the internet. Video is for research purposes.

MONSANTO LOSES GMO PERMIT IN MEXICO – JUDGE SIDES WITH THE BEES


A number of countries around the world have now completely banned GM food and the pesticides that go with them, or have severe restrictions against them.

This comes after the world has experienced a massive resistance against Monsanto and other biotech giants that manufacture GMOs and pesticides.

It’s (the resistance) also a result of numerous studies that have emerged showing the environmental and health dangers that are associated with pesticides, as well as health dangers that could be associated with GMOs.

The latest country to make headlines with regards to banning Monsanto products is Mexico, as a group of beekeepers was successful in stopping Monsanto from the planting of soybeans that are genetically modified to resist their Round-up herbicide.

MONSANTO LOSES MEXICAN PERMIT

Monsanto had received a permit to plant its seeds on over 250,000 hectares of land, which equates to approximately 620,000 acres. That’s a lot of land, and they managed to get the permit despite thousands of citizens, beekeepers, Greenpeace, Mayan farmers, The National Institute of Ecology and other major environmental groups protesting against it.

According to The Guardian:

“A district judge in the state of Yucatán last month overturned a permit issued to Monsanto by Mexico’s agriculture ministry, Sagarpa, and environmental protection agency, Semarnat, in June 2012 that allowed commercial planting of Round-up ready Soybeans. In withdrawing the permit, the judge was convinced by the scientific evidence presented about the threats posed by GM soy crops to honey production in the Yucatán peninsula, which includes Campeche, Quintana Roo and Yucatán states. Co-existence between honey production and GM soybeans is not possible, the judge ruled.” 

Mexico is the fourth largest honey producer and fifth largest honey exporter in the world.

THESE PESTICIDES ARE KILLING BEES AND FARMERS ARE UNABLE TO EXPORT POLLEN FROM GMO CROPS

Be colonies are declining very fast, threatening food security all over the world, and as the guardian reports:

“GM crops could devastate the important European export market for Mexican beekeepers, where the sale of honey containing pollen derived from GM crops has been restricted since a landmark decision in 2001 by the European Court of Justice.”

Here is more on a study that found GM pollen destined for Europe after this ruling, and according to local farmers, threatens the honey industry.

Below is a summary of the problem (apart from massive bee declines):

“David Roubik, senior staff scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, and his colleagues developed the ability to identify pollen grains in honey in Panama and in Mexico during the 1980s and 1990s when they studied the effects of the arrival of Africanized bees on native bees. “Nobody else can do this kind of work in the ‘big field’ environment and be confident that what they are seeing are soybean pollen grains,” said Roubik. They found that six honey samples from nine hives in the Campeche region contained soy pollen in addition to pollen from many wild plant species. The pollen came from crops near the bee colonies in several small apiaries. Due to strict European regulations, rural farmers in the Mexican Yucatan face significant price cuts or outright rejection of their honey when their product contains pollen from GMO crops that are not for human consumption. The regional agricultural authorities, furthermore, seemed unaware that bees visited flowering soybeans to collect nectar and pollen” 

THERE ARE MULTIPLE CONCERNS HERE, AND ONE OF THEM HAS TO DO WITH THE CROPS THAT HAVE BEEN GENETICALLY MANIPULATED TO RESIST MONSANTO PESTICIDES. WHY? BECAUSE THESE PESTICIDES ARE VERY HARMFUL TO HUMAN AND ANIMAL HEALTH.

A study is published in the US National Library of Medicine and in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology shows how several recent studies illustrate glyphosate’s potential to be an endocrine disruptor. Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that can interfere with the hormone system in mammals. These disruptors can cause developmental disorders, birth defects and cancer tumors.

A group of scientists put together a comprehensive review of existing data that shows how European regulators have known that Monsanto’s glyphosate causes a number of birth malformations since at least 2002. Regulators misled the public about glyphosate’s safety, and in Germany the Federal Office for Consumer Protection and Food Safety told the European Commission that there was no evidence to suggest that glyphosate causes birth defects.

A new study out of Germany concludes that Glyphosate residue could reach humans and animals through feed and can be excreted in urine. It outlines how presence of glyphosate in urine and its accumulation in animal tissues is alarming even at low concentrations.

It’s also been linked to Alzheimers, Parkinsons Disease and Autism.

A recent study conducted by researchers from RMIT university, published in the journalEnvironmental Research found that an organic diet for just one week significantly reduced pesticide (commonly used in conventional food production) exposure in adults.

Thirteen participants were randomly selected to consume a diet consisting of at least 80% organic or conventional food for precisely 7 days, afterwards crossing over to the alternative diet from which they started. Urinary levels were used for analysis. The study found that urinary dialkylphosphates (DAPs) measurements were 89% lower when they ate an organic diet for seven days compared to a conventional diet for the same amount of time.

“A lot of these agents were initially developed as nerve gases for chemical warfare, so we do know that they have toxic effects on the nervous system at high doses. Conventional food production commonly uses organophosphate pesticides, which are neurotoxins that act on the nervous system of humans by blocking an important enzyme. Recent studies have raised concerns for health effects of these chemicals even at relatively low levels. This study is an important first step in expanding our understanding about the impact of an organic diet”  Dr. Liza Oates

The list goes on and on, but bottom line is that there is a tremendous amount of evidence, and it’s great to see countries like Mexico take more steps towards a completely GMO/Pesticide free environment.

http://embols.com/2016/09/04/monsanto-loses-gmo-permit-in-mexico-judge-sides-with-the-bees-2/

Monsanto Losing Millions As Farmers In India Rebel, Plant Indigenous Seed


cotton-2

By Christina Sarich

India — Monsanto is losing millions on failed GM cotton. The company illegally pushed a form of Bt cotton into India and Africa more than a decade ago, but farmers are now pushing back by planting their own indigenous seed.

Monsanto is accused of writing laws and then breaking them to enter the market in India, but after more than 300,000 farmer deaths between 1995 and 2013, many of them attributed to Monsanto, the company is finally paying for their misdeeds. The corporation’s greed is linked to farmer suicides throughout Maharashtra, considered the ‘Cotton Belt’ in India.

The Indian government is now actively promoting the use of indigenous seed, and has called Monsanto out for profiteering illegally on Bt cotton seed.

Monsanto has already lost nearly $75 million in royalties this year (5 billion rupees) due to the change in seed choice by farmers. Sales in India have fallen by 15 percent, and though this is a relatively small market share, it is still making a huge impact on the company’s bottom line.

This could be the end of Monsanto, altogether, in India. Keshav Raj Kranthi, head of India’s Central Institute for Cotton Research said:

“Just wait for the crucial three to four years to see a complete, natural turnaround. By then most farmers will give up Bt cotton and go for the indigenous variety.”

Notably, Burkina Fasso in West Africa also recently rejected Monsanto’s Bt cotton seed after finding the seed produced a poor quality cotton that fetched low prices for the farmers who bothered to grow it.

While Monsanto argues that its genetically modified seed is better, many studies state that their comparisons were not looking at hybridized and indigenous seed (not GM seeds) that give better crop quality and higher yields.

Bt cotton is genetically modified seed which contains Bacillus thuringiensis, a bacterium that produces toxins harmful to a variety of insects, including, supposedly, bollworms that attack cotton; however, like weeds that have become impervious to RoundUp, many organisms become even stronger when introduced to genetic mutations of Mother Nature’s perfection. Monsanto even admits that insect resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis is ‘natural’ and ‘to be expected’.

Indeed, the indigenous varieties of cotton have fared better against the bollworm, whitefly, drought, and other dangers that cotton farmers face.

Monsanto (doing business in India as Mahyco Monsanto Business Limited) has even threatened to pull out of India completely, calling the bluff of a government who threatened to lower their royalties; but the government was undeterred, cut their seed royalties by 74 percent, and capped seed prices.

This will bring much relief to cotton farmers in India, but with 96 percent of India’s cotton crop being developed with Monsanto’s Bt cotton, it could take generations to recapture the indigenous crop completely, while bankrupting the corrupt Monsanto simultaneously.

As Sanjeev Kumar Balyan, India’s Junior Agricultural Minister has said of Monsanto, “The greed has to end.”


This article (Monsanto Losing Millions as Farmers in India Rebel, Plant Indigenous Seed) via NB is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Christina Sarich and UndergroundReporter.org. If you spot a typo, please email the error and the name of the article to undergroundreporter2016@gmail.com. Image credit:Wikimedia Commons/Claude Renault

https://cultureofawareness.com/2016/08/06/monsanto-losing-millions-as-farmers-in-india-rebel-plant-indigenous-seed/

Monsanto’s Seed Imperialism Halted In Canada Thanks To Massive Protests


Note: Oddly enough the WordPress program wouldn’t allow me to preview this post to check for unwanted text or advertisements, which seems to be a growing issue with posts that target our battle against the system of domination and control. Interesting…Blessings, {~A~}

by ETHAN A. HUFF

monsantos-seed-imperialism-halted-in-canadaGrassroots activism against transgenic encroachment has paid off in Canada, where licenses for genetically modified (GM) alfalfa have been put on hold, according to new reports. Massive protests in Montreal, Levis, Quebec City, Toronto and as many as 35 other towns and cities across Canada caused U.S.-based Monsanto and Forage Genetics International, the company responsible for creating GM alfalfa using Monsanto’s technology, to have the issuance of their growing licenses delayed in accordance with the will of the people.

The Montreal Gazette explains that, besides widespread farmer resistance to the crop — which is completely unnecessary, as natural alfalfa already grows heartily and steadily without the need for pesticides — tens of thousands of Canadians have repeatedly expressed their disapproval of it. Even Quebec’s union of agricultural producers, known as the Union des producteurs agricoles (UPA) of Quebec, has expressed strong disapproval of the crop.

“The UPA isn’t against genetically modified seeds in general, but we voted unanimously — for two years in a row — that commercialization of GM alfalfa should be prohibited,” stated Marcel Groleau, a UPA member and farmer who, along with his brother, raises 100 dairy cows in Quebec. Like many other farmers throughout the region, Groleau is concerned that GM alfalfa will contaminate conventional and organic alfalfa, as alfalfa is a perennial crop pollinated by bees that spreads easily.

“Organic farms are very much against it, because GM alfalfa might spread, and it’s a perennial, too,” admitted Victor Lefebvre, director of Quebec-based Pickseed, a company that had planned to sell GM alfalfa.

Organic dairy, meat to be forever lost as a result of GM alfalfa

Dairy and livestock farmers in particular rely on alfalfa to feed their animals year-round. In fact, it is probably the most important staple crop currently grown in Quebec, which is why many farmers are speaking their mind about this potentially irreversible change to the agricultural process. Canada’s organic market has tripled since 2006, topping $3.7 billion annually, but this entire market is threatened with elimination by GM alfalfa.

“We’ve developed this niche here. That’s why the issue is more important here than in other provinces,” explained Groleau to The Montreal Gazette. “Organic farmers will suffer significant commercial losses because GM contamination means they won’t comply with Canadian Organic Standards.”

As you may recall, Australian wheat and oat farmer Steve Marsh had his organic farm contaminated by nearby GM canola crops, the contaminated pollen of which blew over onto his land. Marsh lost his organic certification as a result and is now in the process of suing the farmer responsible for the contamination, which led to major financial losses.

Preventing GM cross-contamination is impossible, experts agree

Industry officials have repeatedly tried to coddle regulatory bodies into approving the crop on the basis that a mitigatory plan can be put in place to prevent cross-contamination. But those in the organic industry, not to mention the millions of consumers that rely on organic food for health and sustenance, recognize this as an empty lobbying ploy that simply won’t work.

“The industry is pretending it can stop GM alfalfa from contaminating our fields but that’s pure fiction,” stated Gilbert Halde, President of the Union of Organic Milk Producers of Quebec, last year at a protest. “GM alfalfa cannot be contained by any type of ‘plan.’ Will the bees read the industry’s plan?”

Groleau agrees, having told reporters that, no matter what Monsanto says, GM alfalfa will spread if it is eventually planted commercially. Canada has already suffered the consequences of GM flax, which spread to non-GM fields back in 2009, causing millions of dollars in losses for both farmers and taxpayers.

“What I’ve heard from specialists is that it will spread because of bees and water,” opined Groleau. “Also, in Quebec, we have small farms, which means you can’t easily isolate one farm from another. It would be almost impossible to prevent any cross-contamination and cross-pollination.”

For more information and breaking news on GMOs, visit GMOs.NaturalNews.com.

Sources for this article include:

http://www.montrealgazette.com

http://www.naturalnews.com

http://www.naturalnews.com

http://www.reuters.com

http://www.cban.ca

http://science.naturalnews.com

Source:

http://www.realfarmacy.com/monsantos-seed-imperialism-halted-in-canada-thanks-to-massive-protests/

Nine Out of 10 Americans Tested Positive for Monsanto’s Cancer-Linked Weedkiller Glyphosate


A probable human carcinogen is found in far too many foods.

March Against Monsanto, Akron, Ohio
Photo Credit: bill baker/Flickr CC

 

If you participated in the glyphosate test project launched last year by the Detox Project (formerly Feed The World) and Organic Consumers Association, you probably failed.

A staggering 93 percent of Americans tested positive for glyphosate, according to the test results, announced on May 25.

What makes that figure even more alarming is that many of you who sent in urine samples for testing probably eat more organic than non-organic food. Which suggests that either your organic food has been contaminated and/or you’re being exposed to glyphosate via unknown sources.

Worse yet? Children had the highest levels.

The testing, carried out by a laboratory at UC San Francisco, was the first-ever comprehensive and validated LC/MS/MS testing project to be carried out across America. According to the results, people who live in the west and mid-west tested higher than those living in other regions of the country.

It’s way past time for the world to wake up and smell the poison.

Even before glyphosate, the most-used herbicide in the world, was labeled a ‘probable human carcinogen’ by the World Health Organization’s cancer agency IARC in 2015, the chemical, prevalent in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, was under fire from scientists who say the chemical makes us sick. Internal documents reveal that Monsanto has known this all along.

Despite the warnings, in 2012, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, under pressure from Monsanto, raised the allowed limits for glyphosate residue on fruits and vegetables. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, claiming pesticide residues are “safe,” doesn’t test for glyphosate residue on food.

Only recently has the U.S. Food & Drug Administration said it will begin testing human food for glyphosate. The FDA is a bit late to the testing party. Independent testing has already found glyphosate in many foods. It’s also been found in breast milk.

The endocrine-disrupting (and more) chemical is even in your beer.

Fortunately, there are glimmers of hope that at least some parts of the world are waking up to the obvious dangers associated with poisoning our food, our ecosystem and ourselves. The European Commission has so far rejected Monsanto’s bid to renew its licensing of glyphosate in the EU.

Glyphosate is also up for renewal in the U.S. The EPA, amid controversy and under pressure, is stalling.

What progress has been made so far, in exposing the dangers of Roundup and glyphosate and taking steps to ban it, have resulted from people power. In October, we’ll take that people power to the next level, when we expose Monsanto’s crimes at the Monsanto Tribunal, a citizen’s tribunal that will be held October 15-16 in The Hague, Netherlands.

http://www.alternet.org/food/nine-out-10-americans-tested-positive-glyphosate

Jury Orders Monsanto to Pay $46.5 Million – PCB lawsuit


Jury Orders Monsanto to Pay $46.5 Million – PCB lawsuit

The 10-2 verdict in St. Louis Circuit Court ended a nearly-monthlong trial in one of a string of suits — some won by the defendants and some pending.

This case, which went on trial April 28, involved just three of nearly 100 plaintiffs claiming that exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, caused non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Some died and their claims were made by surviving relatives.

The lawsuit claims Monsanto knew about the dangers decades ago but falsely told the public the compounds were safe, and continued selling it into the 1970s. Rivers, streams and some food humans consume still contain some levels of PCBs.

“This is the future,” said plaintiffs’ lawyer Steven Kherkher, of Houston. “People don’t know that PCBs cause cancer and that Monsanto has been suppressing it.”

Monsanto issued a statement saying, “We have deep sympathy for the plaintiffs but we are disappointed by the jury’s decision and plan to immediately appeal today’s ruling.”

It continues: “Previous juries in four straight similar trials rejected similar claims by attorneys that those plaintiffs contracted non-Hodgkin lymphoma as a result of eating food containing PCBs. The evidence simply does not support today’s verdict, including the fact that scientists say more than 90 percent of non-Hodgkin lymphoma cases have no known cause.”

The plaintiffs in this trial are from Alaska, Michigan and Oklahoma. Only three among the larger group are from Missouri, including one from St. Louis.

th_tnMonsanto was the primary U.S. manufacturer of PCBs from 1935 until 1977, two years before Congress banned production, according to the suit. PCBs were used in numerous products, including industrial equipment, food packaging and paint.

The old Monsanto Chemical Co. that made PCBs no longer exists. But Creve Coeur-based Monsanto, which now engineers agricultural seeds and makes herbicides, is handling PCB claims. The other defendants are Solutia, spun off by old Monsanto in 1997; Pharmacia, which absorbed part of the old Monsanto; and Pfizer, which merged with Pharmacia in 2003.

Juror Nathan Nevius, 25, a waiter, said after the verdict, “All of us could pretty much agree that Monsanto was negligent.”

Another juror, Ashley Enochs, 24, said, “I think it goes to show that large companies can put stuff out there that’s harmful and they can do it for along time but that justice is going to be served whether it’s a year after the products are put out, or in this case, 80 years.”

Last month, a Los Angeles jury rejected claims against Monsanto over non-Hodgkin lymphoma. In July, a St. Louis County jury found Monsanto was not liable in deaths and illnesses suffered by people who were exposed.

The city of Spokane, Wash., filed a similar lawsuit last year, and in January, Seattle sued Monsanto over costs of PCB cleanup. Those cases are pending.


Source(s):

stltoday.com

ecowatch.com

http://www.healthfreedoms.org/jury-orders-monsanto-to-pay-46-5-million-pcb-lawsuit/

How Much Roundup Are You Eating? And six more disgusting facts about this popular weed killer.


sprayingcrops-1100
Worker spraying strawberry fields with pesticide
PHOTOGRAPH BY PAUL GREBLIUNAS/GETTY
By Leah Zerbe June 19, 2015

Pesky weeds popping up in your yard? Here’s what to not reach for—Roundup. While the active ingredient in the popular weed killer, glyphosate, has been marketed as safe and even “biodegradable,” the science is pouring in, and the results are gross.

1. You’re Probably Eating Roundup In “Excessive” Levels
The majority of Roundup dumped onto American land each year isn’t in yards—it’s on food crops. The most popular genetically engineered (GE) crops planted on millions of U.S. acres each year are designed to withstand heavy dousing of glyphosate. Chemical companies are making a killing on this, since they produce both the unnatural GE seed and the chemical that needs to be used on those seeds. But Roundup is a systemic chemical, meaning Roundup is taken up inside of the plants that we—and farm animals—eat. In fact, Norwegian scientists studying U.S. soy found “excessive” levels of glyphosate inside of the food crop. Don’t eat tofu? Doesn’t matter: GE corn and soy fall under dozens of different ingredient names in most processed foods.

2. Roundup Doubles Your Risk Of Lymphoma
A major new review of 44 scientific studies found that glysphosate exposure doubles farmers’ risk of developing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The study authors theorize that Roundup disrupts the normal functioning of white blood cells, throwing your immune system into a sickened, dysfunctional state.

3. It’s Raining Roundup
Each year, nonorganic farmers dump millions of pounds of Roundup on food crops. The levels are so excessive, that the federal scientists recently detected the weed killer in the air and rain. Veteran pesticide-exposure scientist Warren Porter, PhD, professor of environmental toxicology and zoology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, crunched the numbers and found the data collected by the United States Geological Survey scientists reveal exposure to Roundup could potentially alter your hormones, leading to obesity, heart problems, and diabetes.

4. Roundup Is Annihilating Monarch Butterflies
Researchers at Iowa State University found that the heavy use of glyphosate has resulted in an 81 percent decrease in the monarch butterfly population. Traditionally, milkweed—the plants monarchs need to reproduce and survive as a species (not butterfly bush)—would rebound after farmers used cultivation to kill weeds, but chemical interventions wipe the plant out. Organic agriculture bans the use of chemical pesticides, so every dollar you shift to organic helps save their foodstuff and more monarch butterflies.

5. Roundup Flat-Out Kills Human Cells
In 2009, French researchers published a scientific paper in the journal Chemical Research in Toxicology showing that low levels of four glyphosate formulations used in Roundup—levels far below what’s allowed in agriculture; levels on par with what’s in our food—all kill human umbilical, embryonic, and placental cells within 24 hours.

6. Roundup Is Killing Your Gut
Glyphosate isn’t just an herbicide; it’s registered as an antimicrobial agent in the U.S., too, thanks to its ability to wipe out a wide variety of pathogenic organisms. The problem is harmful pathogens like Clostridium botulinum, Salmonella, and E. coli are able to survive in the gut, but the “good guys” in your digestive tract, protective microorganisms, bacillus and lactobacillus, for instance, are killed off. This could set your digestive tract up for a nightmarish situation, including “leaky gut,” where the protective gut lining is compromised, allowing bacteria and toxins to escape into your bloodstream. (Check out these other nine weird things killing your gut.)

7. Roundup Doesn’t Work
The kicker? Roundup is not working! Genetically engineering crop seeds to live through herbicide sprayings that would normally kill the crop is a failed technology and a losing battle. Just as overusing antibiotics led to hard-to-kill, antibiotic-resistant supergerms, abusing Roundup has fueled the emergence of nearly impossible-to-kill superweeds.

When GE technology was first introduced, chemical companies touted it as a way toreduce chemical use on food crops. But Professor Chuck Benbrook, PhD, a research professor at Washington State University, recently found that between 1996 and 2011, GMO technology actually increased herbicide use by 527 million pounds—that’s an 11 percent bump. And for every pound less of insecticide used, farmers used four pounds more of herbicides.

Because glyphosate-resistant GE crops are failing miserably, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)—right now—is considering the approval of an even nastier GE seed designed to survive dousing of glyphosate and the highly toxic, older 2,4-D weed killer. This is called “stacking,” and it’s expected to dramatically increase the amount of 2,4-D used on our food. In fact, approving crops genetically engineered to survive repeated dousings of 2,4-D will likely quadruple pesticide use, according to Dave Mortensen, PhD, weed scientist at Penn State University. That’s bad news, considering 2,4-D has been linked to hypothyroidism, suppressed immune function, Parkinson’s disease, and cancer, among other ills.

We Got This!
So how can we get Roundup out of the air, soil, and our bodies? There’s only one way: Buy organic food. In doing so, you’re sending farmers a clear message.

 

http://www.rodalesorganiclife.com/food/how-much-roundup-are-you-eating

 

 

Hungarians Just Destroyed All Monsanto GMO Corn Fields


Hungary has taken a bold stand against biotech giant Monsanto and genetic modification by destroying 1000’s of acres of corn found to have been grown with genetically modified seeds, according to Hungary deputy state secretary of the Ministry of Rural Development Lajos Bognar.

Unlike many European Union countries, Hungary is a nation where genetically modified (GM) seeds are banned. In a similar stance against GM ingredients, Peru has also passed a 10 year ban on GM foods.

“Almost 1000 acres of maize found to have been planted with genetically modified seeds have been destroyed throughout Hungary, deputy state secretary of the Ministry of Rural Development Lajos Bognar said.

The GMO corn has been ploughed under, said Lajos Bognar, but pollen has not spread, he added.

Unlike several other EU members, GMO seeds are banned in Hungary. The inspections will continue despite the fact that traders are obliged to make sure that their products are GMO free, Bognar said.

During the invesigation, controllers have found Monsanto products among the seeds planted.

The free movement of goods within the EU means that authorities will not investigate how the seeds arrived in Hungary, but they will check where the goods can be found, Bognar said. Regional public radio reported that the two biggest international seed producing companies are affected in the matter and GMO seeds could have been sown on up to the thousands of hectares in the country.

“Most of the local farmers have complained since they just discovered they were using GMO seeds.” said globalresearch.ca

As of May 2015, Hungary had not responded to the new EU legislation making GMOs legal in all countries unless they specifically opt out. Germany looks like they may opt out. Scotland has opted out within the UK.

GMO seeds are not considered worrisome and dangerous simply because they are modified, but it is that they are modified to handle massive doses of glyphosate (Roundup), and not die.  They are made to take baths in the chemical herbicide that is so dangerous for human consumption, and it is the fear that the buildup of glyphosate within crops is a potential cause for the recent rapid increase in autism, cancers, and other long-term developing illnesses.  The company Monsanto has been so aggressive legally to cover up any public ill, believed to be hushing farmers, buying off segments of the government and paying off scientists in the U.S. that it is hard for anyone to know what logistical data has been soured, and what truths to believe.  It has become easier for countries like Hungary to plow under the crop than to try to disseminate between what is fact and what is farse with Monsanto’s disastrous reputation and communication failures.

 

There is also the factor that when Monsanto seeds are found to be present on land, they fight for ownership of those seeds, and consider them as patent infringement, theft, or whatever you want to call it.  Rather than fight the giant in court every time their seeds blow into a field, it’s easier to wipe them off the map.

SourceSource2

http://www.offgridquest.com/news/hungarians-just-destroyed-all-monsanto-g

Dramatic Turn in Brussels Glyphosate Battle


2564490Since the unexpected refusal last month of three EU member states to go along with the decision of the EU Health and Food Safety Commissioner and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to re-approve the world’s most widely used weed killing chemical, Glyphosate, dramatic and encouraging developments suggest that for the first time the power of GMO agrochemical giants like Monsanto and Syngenta, Dow and DuPont, BASF, Bayer could undergo a devastating defeat. Were this to happen, it could well be the death knell for the misbegotten Rockefeller Foundation Genetic Manipulation project that has destroyed much of Western farmland and poisoned hundreds of millions of GMO fed farm animals and humans.

On March 4, Europe’s Health and Food Safety Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis indicated that his directorate, DG SANTE, is exploring the possibility of full transparency for industry studies on pesticides.

As we described in a previous writing, the EU Commission had recommended approval of another 15-year license for the controversial glyphosate based on the suspicious determination by the EU’s corrupt EFSA that there was no reason to believe glyphosate is a carcinogen. That determination, not backed up by open disclosure of the relevant health and safety studies EFSA claimed to rely on, went totally against the 2015 determination by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) that glyphosate, the weed-killer used in most every GMO plant worldwide and most other crops and even home gardens as well, was a “probable carcinogen.”

EFSA, basing its view on a report by Germany’s Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), which in turn was given it by Monsanto and other agrochemical industry groups, said it is unlikely to pose a cancer risk. IARC used only data that was in the public domain, but the corrupt German BfR based its report on secret industry studies that it refused to release to IARC or to the public.

Currently the Monsanto and other agribusiness industry studies submitted to support regulatory authorizations of pesticides are kept secret under commercial confidentiality agreements with regulators. Now Andriukaitis, clearly feeling the pressure, has said that this needs to change. He stated, “We are ready to assess the legal environment,” as there are certain legal protections on industry data. But, he added, “It’s absolutely crystal clear, we need to change today’s situation. We see different options, but at the moment, yes, the idea is to change the rules, especially keeping in mind the overriding public interest.”

On initially announcing his plans to approve re-licensing of glyphosate based on the fraudulent November, 2015 EFSA determination claiming that it was no carcinogen, EU Commissioner Andriukaitis received an open letter of protest from 96 prominent scientists, including most of the scientists of the WHO’s 2015 IARC study. The letter declared that the basis of EFSA’s research was “not credible because it is not supported by the evidence. Accordingly, we urge you and the European Commission to disregard the flawed EFSA finding.” Among other “flaws” they argued, EFSA chose to completely dismiss seven positive animal studies showing an increase in cancerous tumors.

Not only did that letter of scientists seem to have encouraged a moral rethink by Commissioner Andriukaitis. He has also received a staggering 1.5 million signed petitions from citizens and organizations across the European Union demanding a ban on further use of the highly toxic glyphosate. The totalitarian, usually arrogant EU Commission is answerable to no citizens as would be normal national politicians who can be kicked out by their voters. It’s known as the “democratic deficit” in official parlance. Brussels is an anti-democratic construction. That makes the rethink even more interesting, unless it is yet another deception by the influential agribusiness lobby.

It’s the glyphosate, stupid!

The true secret of the toxic danger of GMO crops in the animal and human food chain is gradually coming to light. It is becoming clearer that perhaps as much or even more a toxic danger for human and animal consumption of GMO corn, soy products and other GMO varieties, are the chemicals the GMO seeds are by contract agreement necessarily mated with. No farmer anywhere in the world is allowed to buy Monsanto GMO “Roundup Ready” seeds without at the same time signing a binding contract to annually buy and use Monsanto glyphosate-based Roundup weed killer. In fact, the only trait that Monsanto Roundup Ready corn or soybeans are genetically modified for is to resist the toxic killing effect of Roundup while every living biological matter around not “glyphosate resistant” is killed.

Until a recent study by the courageous group of scientists under Professor Giles-Eric Seralini at France’s Caen University, few independent scientific long-term rat studies of Roundup or glyphosate were done. Monsanto and other GMO companies refused to disclose the adjuvant chemicals paired with Roundup or other herbicides claiming “business secrets.”

Since the WHO’s March 2015 IARC determination that glyphosate, alone and in combination with adjuvant toxic chemicals was a probable human carcinogen, the dam of secrecy around glyphosate has burst. To parody the line of then Presidential candidate Bill Clinton in a debate with opponent George H.W. Bush in the 1992 election race, “It’s the glyphosate, stupid!”

Now the veil of EU secrecy surrounding studies of agriculture herbicides and pesticides is beginning to crack. The public demand for full disclosure is spreading. On March 16, three European Parliament members formally demanded, under EU rules, in a Freedom of Information request to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), full disclosure of the secret Biotech industry studies that EFSA used in their controversial risk assessment on glyphosate.

The European Parliamentarians’ letter to Bernhard Url the head of EFSA is worth quoting in part:

Under the right of access to documents in the EU treaties, as enshrined in Regulation 1049/2001 and in the Aarhus Regulation, I am requesting documents which contain the following information:

There is an alarming scientific controversy between the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer of the World Health Organization (IARC) with regard to the carcinogenicity of glyphosate. In March 2015, IARC concluded that glyphosate is a probable human carcinogen (category 2A) . However, later that same year, in November 2015, EFSA concluded that glyphosate is “unlikely to pose a carcinogenic hazard to humans and the evidence does not support classification with regard to its carcinogenic potential.”

Proper classification of glyphosate is crucial because it potentially affects public health and entails important regulatory consequences. It is therefore vital to investigate why there are contradictory results in the EFSA and IARC assessments. To date EFSA has explained that its “evaluation considered a large body of evidence, including a number of studies not assessed by the IARC which is one of the reasons for reaching different conclusions” (EFSA news story, 12 November 2015 – http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal…). This means that the EFSA peer review is based on unpublished studies whose findings cannot yet be verified and subjected to independent scrutiny.

The need to achieve clarity in this regard is both urgent and evident. Glyphosate is used in around 750 pesticides commercialized by 91 companies across the globe. According to data published by IARC, glyphosate is registered in “over 130 countries as of 2010 and is probably the most heavily used herbicide in the world.”

By April 8 according to EU treaties and law, EFSA must reply. If they continue to stonewall, the controversy will now escalate in a major dimension. The GMO glyphosate genie is long out of the bottle.

Independent scientific test of glyphosate

Regardless of what reply the notoriously corrupt pro-GMO industry-influenced EFSA gives on April 8, the opposition to renewing the EU license for glyphosate grows daily. Beginning in May this year, Italy’s independent Ramazzini Institute in Bologna, Italy will begin preparing a long-term self-funded research study into the effects of glyphosate on rats and on modelling effects on the embryo of pregnant women. Dr Fiorella Belpoggi, director of the Institute’s Cesare Maltoni Cancer Research Centre, which will carry out the study, said: “To settle disputes between IARC and EFSA, what we need is the results of independent research such as we are proposing to carry out. Meanwhile, the precautionary principle stands.” The institute issued a statement that, “In view of the uncertainty, one simply must apply the precautionary principle and strictly limit exposure to this substance so that we don’t damage our health.” Their study will begin in 2017 once all preparations are ready.

The Ramazzini Institute has been concerned with glyphosate effects for four years. They announced that scientists all over the world helped draw up a protocol which will enable one single experiment (thus minimizing the numbers of rats involved) to evaluate and identify the risks associated with glyphosate at doses comparable with what is currently allowed in humans both in the USA and in Europe.

Notably, a recent German study revealed alarming concentrations of glyphosate in a majority of the population there. An alarming three-quarters of the German population have been contaminated by glyphosate according to a study done by the Heinrich Böll Foundation. The report analyzed glyphosate residue in urine and it concluded that, “75% of the target group displayed levels that were five times higher than the legal limit of drinking water. A third of the population even showed levels that were between ten and 42 times higher than what is normally permissible.”

All in all this is adding up to a refreshing popular revolt against the GMO death industry. Hooray for those of us who wish to live. The “killer Queens” of Monsanto, BASF, Syngenta and co. are in their greatest battle for survival on this one. Glyphosate may turn out to be the Achilles heel that kills GMO once and for all. That would be nice.

F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.
http://journal-neo.org/2016/04/15/dramatic-turn-in-brussels-glyphosate-battle/

 

150 European Parliament Members to Test Urine for Glyphosate


By Lorraine Chow

Roughly 150 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) are taking a urine test today and tomorrow to see if glyphosate—the cancer-linked weedkiller—is in their system.

glyphosateeurope
Glyphosate being applied to a field in North Yorkshire, England. In Europe, there has been growing controversy over the substance. Photo credit: Flickr

According to The Guardian, the move comes ahead of a symbolic vote on glyphosate’s prohibition in the European Union this Wednesday.

The European Commission is proposing to grant the herbicide a new 15-year lease when it ends in June. However, in March, several EU member states, including France, Sweden, Italy and the Netherlands, led a very public rebellion over the relicensing, citing its purported health risks. The actually vote to re-approve glyphosate has now been postponed to at least mid-May.

Coupled with that, a new Yougov poll found that two-thirds of Europeans support a ban on glyphosate.

“A prohibition on the herbicide ingredient was backed by three quarters of Italians, 70 percent of Germans, 60 percent of French and 56 percent of Britons, in a survey of more than 7,000 people across the EU’s five biggest states,” The Guardian wrote.

Green Party MEP Bart Staes told The Guardian “this poll clearly shows that the European public does not want … the authorization of glyphosate, and certainly not until June 2031.”

Glyphosate has garnered a great deal of backlash in Europe ever since the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified the ingredient as a possible carcinogen last year.

The European Green party will vote on a resolution objecting to the commission’s plans to reapprove the substance in Europe on April 13. “The finding that glyphosate is probably carcinogenic to humans by the WHO should be leading to a global moratorium on its use,” the Greens said.

A number of studies have detected glyphosate—the “most widely applied pesticide worldwide”—in our immediate surroundings and even in human bodies. A 2013 Friends of the Earth Europe study reported people in 18 European countries have traces of glyphosate in their urine.

This past February, a German study found that 14 of the most popular brands of German beer tested positive for glyphosate, which inspired the MEPs to organize the urine sampling.

David Zaruk, a Brussels-based environmental health risk research analyst who runs the blog The Risk-Monger, questioned in a post if the MEPs are testing their urine as “a clever stunt” before their symbolic vote on Wednesday.

Zaruk published his email correspondence with Staes, asking him if tax dollars were paying for the tests. He also shared with Staes this meme floating on the Internet about wine’s hyped up glyphosate risks compared to ethanol.

Here’s an excerpt of Zaruk’s email to Staes:

Are you also aware that the trace levels of glyphosate are so low as to be insignificant, and the fact that it is being expelled in urine is actually good news (as opposed to cocaine and alcohol). Ok, I suppose you really don’t care about facts … maybe your voters will!

Kind regards and good luck frightening Europe for petty reasons while choking agriculture.

In response, Staes wrote back to Zaruk saying that the MEPs are paying for the urine tests out of their own pocket and added:

As a MEP I am for the last 17 years very active to fight for another kind of agriculture. For me and the Greens, glyphosate is the very incarnation of “modern agriculture,” a model that is not sustainable at all:

1. It stands for reckless monoculture: a non-selective herbicide—a broad band killer which kills all plants, algae, bacteria and fungi—is used to deal with a few pests, thereby creating massive effects on non-target organisms and biodiversity,

2. It is strongly linked to GMOs (56% of global use is for glyphosate resistant crops)—killing everything but the genetically engineered crop,

3. It stands for economic gains at all costs:

• it has replaced traditional agricultural practices such as tilling because spraying glyphosate is cheaper (“chemical plough”)

• it is used not only to kill unwanted weed, but also the crop itself prior to harvest to accelerate ripening and facilitate harvest (“desiccation”).

So what I do is far from a political gimmick.

Zaruk also responded to each of Staes’ points in his blog post.

In recent news, France banned glyphosate mixed with the additive tallow amine due to its perceived risks to human health citing results from a November report from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

Even though EFSA rejected the IARC’s classification of glyphosate as a possible carcinogen and said it was “unlikely” to pose a public health risk, the EFSA admitted that it only examined glyphosate alone, not glyphosate formulations.

The adverse health effects of the herbicide, therefore, could be related to reactions with “other constituents or ‘co-formulants,’” the EFSA report said.

Tallow amine is one of the additives in Monsanto’s widely popular Roundup and aids in its effectiveness.

Monsanto, which has long maintained the safety of their flagship product, confirmed to Reuters they are one of the companies affected by the French ban, adding that the debate over glyphosate is “political.”

http://ecowatch.com/2016/04/11/meps-test-urine-glyphosate/

 

Voting with your dollars: Monsanto’s profits drop 25%


The biotech giant Monsanto just released quarterly earnings statements noting that their profit has fallen by 25 percent compared to the previous year. In the last year alone, the overall value of Monsanto stock has seen a similar downward spiral, falling by nearly 30 percent since the end of Q1 2015.

Last quarter, net income was $1.06 billion, or $2.41 per share, compared to $1.42 billion, or $2.92 per share, in the same period a year ago.

Total sales for the agricultural behemoth have plummetted by double digits in the last year as well.

While Monsanto blames this downward trend on farmers cutting back on spending while being squeezed by plummeting commodity prices, they fail to mention that this trend is only within the biotech realm.

As GMO sales decrease, an almost directly proportional increase can be seen in non-GMO and organics. What’s more is the fact that the increase in organic and non-GMO sales owe absolutely nothing to the government. As the FDA greases the skids for their corporate masters, they do nothing but inhibit the growth of companies who ethically compete with them.

One example can be seen in initiatives to label GMO. In spite of a massive outpouring of support in favor of labeling GMO products, state and federal government continue to deny it. However, because of consumer demand, companies have taken it upon themselves to begin labeling their own products. Private third-party groups have also risen to the task and have created their own lists of non-GMO foods.

As more people become informed about the environmental and health effects of various aspects of the chemical-industrial farming complex, they are spending their money on alternatives. The subsequent increase in demand for organic and non-GMO has driven down costs thereby increasing availability.

Less than a decade ago, the only place to find organics was at specialty stores. However, organics now even have a presence at convenience stores.

It cannot be emphasized enough, that this massive shift in the food paradigm is due to consumer demand, i.e., voting with your dollars — not government intervention. Sadly and expectedly, the federal government is little more than a revolving door for industry insiders who use their elected and unelected authority to grant themselves special privileges to weed out their competition.

This year, for the first time, the FDA has been forced to begin testing certain food products for the presence of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Round-Up. This move by the FDA was not based on the interest of the public, but only because private companies had been exposing dangerous levels of this herbicide in everything from baby formula to beer.

The FDA’s failure to test for glyphosate was among the things the agency was criticized for in a 2014 audit by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). While stopping short of demanding that the FDA conduct glyphosate testing, the GAO said the agency should, at the very least, publicly disclose that it does not do so.

“Maybe we shamed them into it,” John Neumann, a spokesman for the GAO, told Civil Eats. The FDA is facing a follow-up evaluation from GAO in June this year.

While it once may have seemed that Monsanto was this cancer spreading across the globe in their attempt to control the world’s food supply, this image seems far less likely now as more consumers wake up to the dangers of funding such unsustainable practices.

However, although the organic industry is still growing at double-digit rates approaching $37 billion annually, we cannot let down our guard. Rest assured that the biotech insiders within the marble halls of D.C. are pining away at this very moment thinking of ways to eliminate their sustainable adversaries using government legislation.

http://www.sott.net/article/316133-Voting-with-your-dollars-Monsantos-profits-drop-25

City of Portland to Sue Monsanto for Contaminating Waterways


PORTLAND, Ore. — The city of Portland unanimously passed a resolution authorizing City Attorney Tracy Reeve to sue the Monsanto Company for contaminating Portland waterways with PCBs.

PCBs are cancer causing chemicals that last for many decades in the environment.

Reeve says the city has already spent a significant amount of public money to clean up the PCB contamination in the Willamette River and Columbia Slough and will continue to do so. It has known for years of the contamination.

“In our case there are PCBs widely distributed throughout Portland Harbor and that’s one of the main reasons it was listed as a superfund site back in December of 2000,” said Travis Williams, executive director of Willamette Riverkeeper.

According to the city attorney, Monsanto was the sole U.S. manufacturer of PCBs and manufactured over 1 billion pounds of PCBs between the 1930s and the 1970s, when Congress banned PCBs. Reeve says Monsanto’s own documents show the company continued to sell PCBs long after it knew of the dangers they presented to human health and the environment.

“Monsanto was the only manufacturer of PCB’s in the United States from 1939 until PCBs were banned in the late 70’s,” said Reeve. “During that time there’s documentary evidence that Monsanto knew that PCBs were dangerous to the environment, that they migrated from waterways to fish, from fish to birds and also to people and they, nonetheless, continued to manufacture and distribute PCBs.”

Portland will join six other West Coast cities, including Seattle and Spokane, that have already filed federal lawsuits against Monsanto.

Monsanto released the following statement:

We are reviewing the lawsuit and its allegations. However, Monsanto is not responsible for the costs alleged in this matter. Monsanto today, and for the last decade, has been focused solely on agriculture, but we share a name with a company that dates back to 1901.

 

https://www.organicconsumers.org/news/city-portland-sue-monsanto-contaminating-waterways

Government Study Backs Pesticide Rules That Lawmakers Keep Rejecting


Hawaii should dramatically improve its regulation of pesticide use and study its impacts — something the Legislature has repeatedly refused to do — according to a draft version of a report commissioned by the state and Kauai County.

It calls for buffer zones around areas where large amounts of restricted-use pesticides are applied, and requirements that GMO seed companies disclose after the fact what restricted-use pesticides they used, how much, and where.

The study found no statistically significant evidence that pesticide use by large agricultural companies has harmed Kauai’s environment or the health of residents, but says serious data gaps hindered the analysis.

The state Department of Agriculture and the Kauai County Council commissioned the $100,000 report in December 2014 in response to public concerns about the environmental and health impacts of pesticide use by seed companies such as Syngenta and DuPont Pioneer.

Civil Beat obtained a draft version of the report that’s expected to be published Thursday on the project’s website. The study is the product of more than 2,000 hours of research by a diverse group of eight stakeholders led by Peter Adler of consulting firm Accord3.0.

View of fields near Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc. for Anita's story. 13 jan 2015. photograph Cory lum/Civil Beat

The group included organic farmer Louisa Wooton; Sarah Styan, a senior research manager at DuPont Pioneer; and Gerardo Rojas Garcia, a site manager at another seed company on Kauai, Dow AgroSciences.

The draft report calls upon Gov. David Ige to champion pesticide issues and says the Legislature should “undertake a major update of Hawaii’s pesticide laws and regulation.”

That includes requiring mandatory disclosure of restricted-use-pesticide applications by all large users and implementing a buffer zone policy. Both are policy initiatives consistently pushed by advocacy groups like the Center for Food Safety but rejected by the Legislature as recently as this year.

In a phone interview Wednesday, Center for Food Safety Hawaii’s executive director, Ashley Lukens, said the report’s recommendations are reasonable and reflect the policies that the nonprofit organization has been pursuing for years.

She wasn’t fazed by the fact that the group couldn’t find evidence linking the seed companies’ pesticide use to negative health impacts.

“Of course they’re unable to find evidence that definitely links the pesticide use of these companies to adverse health impacts, because they’re not collecting the pesticide use data or health data, so how could they ever generate those conclusions?” Lukens said.

The report also recommended that seed companies “provide greater public access to their field base maps and the geographic coordinates and identifiers of their pesticide application data in a manner that doesn’t compromise business practices or security.”

“The capability exists to determine how much pesticide application activity occurs at a particular location and at a given time; however it is not currently being done,” the report says. “This information is essential to performing future environmental and health impact studies.”

It’s unclear how open seed companies would be to providing that information. Bennette Misalucha, executive director of the local seed industry’s trade group, issued the following statement through a spokesman in response to a Civil Beat inquiry Wednesday:

“The Hawaii Crop Improvement Association thanks the Joint Fact Finding Group for its long months of work. We anticipate that the group’s report will confirm that the industry has been responsible in its use of agricultural products. It would be irresponsible for us to comment on a draft document that is subject to change. Once a final document is officially released, we will be able to respond.”

The draft report’s recommendations include:

• The state should establish new standards of pesticide safety that consider Hawaii’s unique environment and take into account the impacts of chronic exposure.

• The Department of Agriculture should implement a pilot program to monitor pesticide drift and improve current protocols for responding to incidents of pesticide exposure.

• The department should also add a user fee to pesticide sales to fund pesticide monitoring initiatives; add more pesticide inspectors to tackle the agency’s backlog; require that field workers undergo mandatory medical checks for pesticide toxicity; and create an annual monitoring program for bees and honey.

• The Department of Health should implement continuous water monitoring and air, soil and dust sampling programs. The agency should also complete all missing years of data on cancer and birth defects, and start including zip codes in its data collection.

• The Department of Education should pursue an air monitoring program at Kauai schools and offer voluntary blood and urine tests.

• The Department of Land and Natural Resources should start a pilot program to test for pesticides in wildlife and test surface waters in wetland habitats and bird sanctuaries.

• The Office of Hawaiian Affairs should annually monitor the presence of pesticides in salts collected by Native Hawaiian practitioners.

The version of the report expected Thursday may differ slightly in its conclusions and recommendations.

In addition to Garcia, Styan and Wooton, the study group members include Adam Asquith, who holds a doctorate in entomology and works at the University of Hawaii Sea Grant College Program; Lee Evslin, a semi-retired physician; Kathleen West-Hurd, an expert in planning and land use; retired surgeon Douglas Wilmore; and Kawika Winter, director of the Limahuli Garden and Preserve.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story incorrectly said that Roy Yamakawa, retired county administrator for the University of Hawaii’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, was one of the authors. Although he was initially a member of the Joint Fact Finding group, he resigned Jan. 3.

In a phone interview earlier this week, Adler said the report reflects “general concurrence” among the group but that individual members may have their own reservations and will be able to note them in the appendix of the final report. The group will hold an informational briefing April 4, and accept public comments until April 8.

“We’re interested in factual additions or factual corrections,” Adler said. “I know everyone has a lot of passion around these issues. (We’re) really trying to get at data and evidence.”

Read the report published Thursday below and send comments to jffcomments@gmail.com:

 

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About the Author

http://www.civilbeat.com/2016/03/government-study-backs-pesticide-rules-that-lawmakers-keep-rejecting/

Ed Note: One glaring omission from the draft report’s recommendations is collecting data from local health clinics. In 2014 I attended an anti-GMO rally on Kauai where one of the speakers was a nurse from a west-side clinic, where Dow, Syngenta and Monsanto were heavily spraying pesticides. I was shocked at the feedback she gave the audience, on the sheer number of health problems and birth defects associated with pesticide use. There are diseases emerging which have no treatment protocols or medicines that work, health care professionals dealing with pesticide exposure are desperate to find treatable solutions that work for patients experiencing a wide variety of ailments and symptoms.

So to say that the data is hard to collect is PURE BS, doctors and nurses on Kauia’s westside are begging authority’s to look at their data.

USDA Forces Whole Foods to Accept Monsanto. Does this make whole foods just another grocery store?



n the wake of a 12-year battle to keep Monsanto’s Genetically Engineered (GE) crops from contaminating the nation’s 25,000 organic farms and ranches, America’s organic consumers and producers are facing betrayal.
A self-appointed cabal of the Organic Elite, spearheaded by Whole Foods Market, Organic Valley, and Stonyfield Farm, has decided it’s time to surrender to Monsanto. Top executives from these companies have publicly admitted that they no longer oppose the mass commercialization of GE crops, such as Monsanto’s controversial Roundup Ready alfalfa, and are prepared to sit down and cut a deal for “coexistence” with Monsanto and USDA biotech cheerleader Tom Vilsack.
In a cleverly worded, but profoundly misleading email sent to its customers last week, Whole Foods Market, while proclaiming their support for organics and “seed purity,” gave the green light to USDA bureaucrats to approve the “conditional deregulation” of Monsanto’s genetically engineered, herbicide-resistant alfalfa.
Beyond the regulatory euphemism of “conditional deregulation,” this means that WFM and their colleagues are willing to go along with the massive planting of a chemical and energy-intensive GE perennial crop, alfalfa; guaranteed to spread its mutant genes and seeds across the nation; guaranteed to contaminate the alfalfa fed to organic animals; guaranteed to lead to massive poisoning of farm workers and destruction of the essential soil food web by the toxic herbicide, Roundup; and guaranteed to produce Roundup-resistant superweeds that will require even more deadly herbicides such as 2,4 D to be sprayed on millions of acres of alfalfa across the U.S.
In exchange for allowing Monsanto’s premeditated pollution of the alfalfa gene pool, WFM wants “compensation.” In exchange for a new assault on farmworkers and rural communities (a recent large-scale Swedish study found that spraying Roundup doubles farm workers’ and rural residents’ risk of getting cancer), WFM expects the pro-biotech USDA to begin to regulate rather than cheerlead for Monsanto. In payment for a new broad spectrum attack on the soil’s crucial ability to provide nutrition for food crops and to sequester dangerous greenhouse gases (recent studies show that Roundup devastates essential soil microorganisms that provide plant nutrition and sequester climate-destabilizing greenhouse gases), WFM wants the Biotech Bully of St. Louis to agree to pay “compensation” (i.e. hush money) to farmers “for any losses related to the contamination of his crop.”
In its email of Jan. 21, 2011 WFM calls for “public oversight by the USDA rather than reliance on the biotechnology industry,” even though WFM knows full well that federal regulations on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) do not require pre-market safety testing, nor labeling; and that even federal judges have repeatedly ruled that so-called government “oversight” of Frankencrops such as Monsanto’s sugar beets and alfalfa is basically a farce. At the end of its email, WFM admits that its surrender to Monsanto is permanent: “The policy set for GE alfalfa will most likely guide policies for other GE crops as well  True coexistence is a must.”
Why Is Organic Inc. Surrendering?
According to informed sources, the CEOs of WFM and Stonyfield are personal friends of former Iowa governor, now USDA Secretary, Tom Vilsack, and in fact made financial contributions to Vilsack’s previous electoral campaigns. Vilsack was hailed as “Governor of the Year” in 2001 by the Biotechnology Industry Organization, and traveled in a Monsanto corporate jet on the campaign trail. Perhaps even more fundamental to Organic Inc.’s abject surrender is the fact that the organic elite has become more and more isolated from the concerns and passions of organic consumers and locavores. The Organic Inc. CEOs are tired of activist pressure, boycotts, and petitions. Several of them have told me this to my face. They apparently believe that the battle against GMOs has been lost, and that it’s time to reach for the consolation prize.  The consolation prize they seek is a so-called “coexistence” between the biotech Behemoth and the organic community that will lull the public to sleep and greenwash the unpleasant fact that Monsanto’s unlabeled and unregulated genetically engineered crops are now spreading their toxic genes on 1/3 of U.S. (and 1/10 of global) crop land.
WFM and most of the largest organic companies have deliberately separated themselves from anti-GMO efforts and cut off all funding to campaigns working to label or ban GMOs. The so-called Non-GMO Project, funded by Whole Foods and giant wholesaler United Natural Foods (UNFI) is basically a greenwashing effort (although the 100% organic companies involved in this project seem to be operating in good faith) to show that certified organic foods are basically free from GMOs (we already know this since GMOs are banned in organic production), while failing to focus on so-called “natural” foods, which constitute most of WFM and UNFI’s sales and are routinely contaminated with GMOs.
From theip “business as usual” perspective, successful lawsuits against GMOs filed by public interest groups such as the Center for Food Safety; or noisy attacks on Monsanto by groups like the Organic Consumers Association, create bad publicity, rattle their big customers such as Wal-Mart, Target, Kroger, Costco, Supervalu, Publix and Safeway; and remind consumers that organic crops and foods such as corn, soybeans, and canola are slowly but surely becoming contaminated by Monsanto’s GMOs.
Whole Food’s Dirty Little Secret: Most of the So-Called “Natural” Processed Foods and Animal Products They Sell Are Contaminated with GMOs
The main reason, however, why Whole Foods is pleading for coexistence with Monsanto, Dow, Bayer, Syngenta, BASF and the rest of the biotech bullies, is that they desperately want the controversy surrounding genetically engineered foods and crops to go away. Why? Because they know, just as we do, that 2/3 of WFM’s $9 billion annual sales is derived from so-called “natural” processed foods and animal products that are contaminated with GMOs. We and our allies have tested their so-called “natural” products (no doubt WFM’s lab has too) containing non-organic corn and soy, and guess what: they’re all contaminated with GMOs, in contrast to their certified organic products, which are basically free of GMOs, or else contain barely detectable trace amounts.
Approximately 2/3 of the products sold by Whole Foods Market and their main distributor, United Natural Foods (UNFI) are not certified organic, but rather are conventional (chemical-intensive and GMO-tainted) foods and products disguised as “natural.”
Unprecedented wholesale and retail control of the organic marketplace by UNFI and Whole Foods, employing a business model of selling twice as much so-called “natural” food as certified organic food, coupled with the takeover of many organic companies by multinational food corporations such as Dean Foods, threatens the growth of the organic movement.
Covering Up GMO Contamination: Perpetrating “Natural” Fraud
Many well-meaning consumers are confused about the difference between conventional products marketed as “natural,” and those nutritionally/environmentally superior and climate-friendly products that are “certified organic.”
Retail stores like WFM and wholesale distributors like UNFI have failed to educate their customers about the qualitative difference between natural and certified organic, conveniently glossing over the fact that nearly all of the processed “natural” foods and products they sell contain GMOs, or else come from a “natural” supply chain where animals are force-fed GMO grains in factory farms or Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs).
A troubling trend in organics today is the calculated shift on the part of certain large formerly organic brands from certified organic ingredients and products to so-called “natural” ingredients. With the exception of the “grass-fed and grass-finished” meat sector, most “natural” meat, dairy, and eggs are coming from animals reared on GMO grains and drugs, and confined, entirely, or for a good portion of their lives, in CAFOs.
Whole Foods and UNFI are maximizing their profits by selling quasi-natural products at premium organic prices. Organic consumers are increasingly left without certified organic choices while genuine organic farmers and ranchers continue to lose market share to “natural” imposters. It’s no wonder that less than 1% of American farmland is certified organic, while well-intentioned but misled consumers have boosted organic and “natural” purchases to $80 billion annually-approximately 12% of all grocery store sales.
The Solution: Truth-in-Labeling Will Enable Consumers to Drive So-Called “Natural” GMO and CAFO-Tainted Foods Off the Market
There can be no such thing as “coexistence” with a reckless industry that undermines public health, destroys biodiversity, damages the environment, tortures and poisons animals, destabilizes the climate, and economically devastates the world’s 1.5 billion seed-saving small farmers.  There is no such thing as coexistence between GMOs and organics in the European Union. Why? Because in the EU there are almost no GMO crops under cultivation, nor GM consumer food products on supermarket shelves. And why is this? Because under EU law, all foods containing GMOs or GMO ingredients must be labeled. Consumers have the freedom to choose or not to choose GMOs; while farmers, food processors, and retailers have (at least legally) the right to lace foods with GMOs, as long as they are safety-tested and labeled. Of course the EU food industry understands that consumers, for the most part, do not want to purchase or consume GE foods. European farmers and food companies, even junk food purveyors like McDonald’s and Wal-Mart, understand quite well the concept expressed by a Monsanto executive when GMOs first came on the market: “If you put a label on genetically engineered food you might as well put a skull and crossbones on it.”
The biotech industry and Organic Inc. are supremely conscious of the fact that North American consumers, like their European counterparts, are wary and suspicious of GMO foods. Even without a PhD, consumers understand you don’t want your food safety or environmental sustainability decisions to be made by out-of-control chemical companies like Monsanto, Dow, or Dupont – the same people who brought you toxic pesticides, Agent Orange, PCBs, and now global warming. Industry leaders are acutely aware of the fact that every single industry or government poll over the last 16 years has shown that 85-95% of American consumers want mandatory labels on GMO foods. Why? So that we can avoid buying them. GMO foods have absolutely no benefits for consumers or the environment, only hazards. This is why Monsanto and their friends in the Bush, Clinton, and Obama administrations have prevented consumer GMO truth-in-labeling laws from getting a public discussion in Congress.
Although Congressman Dennis Kucinich (Democrat, Ohio) recently introduced a bill in Congress calling for mandatory labeling and safety testing for GMOs, don’t hold your breath for Congress to take a stand for truth-in-labeling and consumers’ right to know what’s in their food. Especially since the 2010 Supreme Court decision in the so-called “Citizens United” case gave big corporations and billionaires the right to spend unlimited amounts of money (and remain anonymous, as they do so) to buy media coverage and elections, our chances of passing federal GMO labeling laws against the wishes of Monsanto and Food Inc. are all but non-existent. Perfectly dramatizing the “Revolving Door” between Monsanto and the Federal Government, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, formerly chief counsel for Monsanto, delivered one of the decisive votes in the Citizens United case, in effect giving Monsanto and other biotech bullies the right to buy the votes it needs in the U.S. Congress.
With big money controlling Congress and the media, we have little choice but to shift our focus and go local. We’ve got to concentrate our forces where our leverage and power lie, in the marketplace, at the retail level; pressuring retail food stores to voluntarily label their products; while on the legislative front we must organize a broad coalition to pass mandatory GMO (and CAFO) labeling laws, at the city, county, and state levels.
The Organic Consumers Association, joined by our consumer, farmer, environmental, and labor allies, has just launched a nationwide Truth-in-Labeling campaign to stop Monsanto and the Biotech Bullies from force-feeding unlabeled GMOs to animals and humans.
Utilizing scientific data, legal precedent, and consumer power the OCA and our local coalitions will educate and mobilize at the grassroots level to pressure giant supermarket chains (Wal-Mart, Kroger, Costco, Safeway, Supervalu, and Publix) and natural food retailers such as Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s to voluntarily implement “truth-in-labeling” practices for GMOs and CAFO products; while simultaneously organizing a critical mass to pass mandatory local and state truth-in-labeling ordinances – similar to labeling laws already in effect for country of origin, irradiated food, allergens, and carcinogens.
To pressure Whole Foods Market and the nation’s largest supermarket chains to voluntarily adopt truth-in-labeling practices sign here, and circulate these petitions widely. Power to the People! Not the Corporations!
My Question to you: Does this make Whole foods just another grocery store now? Your Thoughts
By Why Don’t You Try This News
03 February 16

VIDEO: HBO Series Highlights Problems with Genetically Modified Crops


Link courtesy of Karen, mahalo!

Christina Sarich
by Christina Sarich
Posted on February 9, 2016
GM mono-cropping could cause worldwide crop failure

VICE’s entire third season of its HBO show is now available online for free! The May 2015 episode focuses entirely on genetically modified crops.

In the video, host Isobel Yeung traces GM ‘super-crops’ from the headquarters of American agribusiness titan Monsanto to the soy fields of Paraguay. She also visits the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, which is financed by Bill Gates and the biotech industry. Seeds are stored there in case of widespread crop disasters.article-vice-monsanto

The video shows how far we’ve strayed from our millennia-old traditions of saving seed for genetic diversity. Now a few multinational corporations are trying to patent all of Mother Nature in order to control the world’s food supply.

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Widespread mono-cropping of trans-gene GM crops (owned by Monsanto, Syngenta, etc.) is a disaster waiting to happen. As experts in the film point out, if the same gene is used almost worldwide to modify crops, the failure of those crops would not be short-term or small. It would be long-term and global. A single disease could wipe out every strain of corn, soy or other crop that was created using trans-gene technology. Also, if non-GM crops have been contaminated by these same modified genes, the entire food chain could suffer a catastrophe.

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This HBO series episode highlights the country of Paraguay. Since becoming a Monsanto-reliant farming country, Paraguay has had to increase imports by as much as 300 percent. Making the entire economy depend on patented seeds has made Paraguay destitute. This is the likely outcome for every country that relies on GM crops.

The images in this video are undeniable proof of what genetic engineering has done to our planet. Take the time to watch it, even if in part, if you can.

WATCH VIDEO

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