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


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 If you spot a typo, please email the error and the name of the article to Image credit:Wikimedia Commons/Claude Renault

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~}


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

Sources for this article include:


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.

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.


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

Worker spraying strawberry fields with pesticide
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.



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

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.


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 –…). 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”.


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.

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.”


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.

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.

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


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About the Author

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.


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.



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.


Millions of Bees Turning Up Dead Around GMO Corn Fields Soaked with Neonicotinoid Pesticides

Reblogged room



By David Gutierrez, Natural News, January 21, 2016

(NaturalNews) As the European Union considers whether to lift restrictions on three pesticides in the neonicotinoid family, it would do well to consider the phenomenon, known to Canadian beekeepers, in which bees start dying in droves shortly after corn planting season.

“Once the corn started to get planted our bees died by the millions,” said beekeeper Dave Schuit in summer 2013, as reported by Eat Local Grown.

That spring, Schuit lost 600 hives containing 37 million bees. The same year, Canadian farmer Gary Kenny said that eight of the 10 beehives that he kept on his property died shortly after his neighbors planted corn in their fields.

Genetically modified (GM) corn is widely planted in Canada, but because the bee deaths occurred just after planting, the corn plants are not likely to blame for this particular die-off. Instead, beekeepers believe the cause is that the corn seeds were pre-treated with neonicotinoids. Air seeding causes neonicotinoid dust to fly off the seeds and into the air, drifting across the landscape.

Numerous studies point finger at neonics

In one study, researchers from American Purdue University examined the bees that died or were dying as part of the spring 2013 die-off. “Bees exhibited neurotoxic symptoms, analysis of dead bees revealed traces of [the neonicotinoids] thiamethoxam/clothianidin in each case,” they wrote. “Seed treatments of field crops (primarily corn) are the only major source of these compounds.”

A local Pest Management Regulatory Agency investigation also pointed to the same cause, concluding that corn seeds treated with those neonicotinoids “contributed to the majority of bee mortalities.”

“The air seeders are the problem,” said Paul Wettlaufer, a local farmer and director of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture.

Neonicotinoids are “systemic pesticides.” They are applied to the seeds prior to planting, and then taken up into every tissue of the plant, including leaves, seeds, pollen, flowers and nectar. This makes them highly lethal not just to agricultural pests, but to all insects, and even birds that visit the plants for any reason.

“Large scale prophylaxic use [of neonicotinoids] in agriculture, their high persistence in soil and water, and their uptake by plants and translocation to flowers … put pollinator services at risk,” concluded one international research study.

Not only pollinators are threatened. Two major studies in 2015 found that the pesticides have widespread, dangerous effects on entire ecosystems. One, published in the journal Nature, found that neonicotinoid use was causing bird populations to crash. This is likely caused by both direct poisoning and by devastation of their invertebrate food sources.

Meanwhile, an analysis by the the Task Force on Systemic Pesticides, of 800 separate studies, concluded that even when used according to manufacturer guidelines, neonicotinoids wreak havoc on “non-target” species such as earthworms, insects, aquatic invertebrates and even lizards and fish. The pesticides are “likely to have a wide range of negative biological and ecological impacts,” the task force wrote.

The growing case for a ban

In 2013, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) placed a two-year ban on the use of three neonicotinoids, citing a likely risk to bees. The EFSA has now launched a new study to review that policy, with results expected in January 2017.

Yet the evidence for a ban on neonicotinoids is even stronger now than it was two years ago. Even the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been forced to admit that the chemicals devastate pollinators. The agency recently announced the findings of field trials, finding that even very low level use of neonicotinoids (25 parts per billion in plant pollen and nectar), caused measurable drops in populations of honeybee hives.

Researchers believe that neonicotinoids damage bee brains, specifically the ability to process information related to orientation and direction.

Sources for this article include:

Bernie Sanders Takes On Monsanto, Vows To Protect Organic Farming And Push For GMO Labeling

January 5, 2016 by Amanda Froelich

The biotech industries are “transforming our agricultural system in a bad way,” says Senator Sanders.

Even before Senator Bernie Sanders decided to run for President of the United States, he was quite vocal about factory farming, big corporations, and the Biotech giants. In fact, as early as 1994, Sanders was fighting against companies such as Monsanto for using chemicals that impact human and animal health, reports Alt Health Works

Now a presidential candidate nominee, Sanders isn’t backing down from the biotech giants and is fighting harder than ever to protect peoples’ right to know what’s in their food.

Unlike Hillary Clinton, who is an avid supporter of genetically modified foods (GMOs), Bernie believes that the biotech industries are “transforming our agricultural system in a bad way.” He believes in mandatory GMO labeling (after all, he helped pass a mandatory GMO labeling law in Vermont) so consumers may be informed and make conscious choices.

Like activist and musician Neil Young, Sanders believes the GMO giants are trying to keep consumers in the dark about what they are eating (DARK Act), and supports family-owned and organic agriculture. 


Senator Sanders spoke about how to make sure our food is healthy and our farming is ethical during a private dinner event on December 27th.

In the video above, the presidential nominee states:

“The debate should be – how do we make sure that the food our kids are eating is healthy food. And having the courage to take on these huge food and biotech companies who are transforming our agricultural system in a bad way.” 

He also addressed the fossil fuel industry and said that it’s past due time we start shifting toward renewable and alternative energy. 

Before Sanders tackled the heavy topics in his speech, he transported the audience to his home state of Vermont. In the lush state, organic farmer’s markets and sustainable farming are becoming the norm; his vision is to lead an America where this is commonplace everywhere.

“We have hundreds of farmers markets (in Vermont), you’ll find people buying food, beef and poultry directly from farmers, and there’s a growing farm to school pipeline,” he says. “It’s something we’ve worked very hard on and I think all over this country people are concerned about the quality of food their kids are eating.”

Breaking: Monsanto Takes First Annual Loss In 6 Years, Lays Off 1,000 Employees

January 7, 2016 by True Activist

“Monsanto is facing the first drop in its annual earnings in six years as prices decline for its Roundup herbicide.”



Claire Bernish
January 6, 2016

(ANTIMEDIA) St. Louis, MO —Agrichemical behemoth Monsanto plans to cut an additional 1,000 jobs to compensate, in part, for a slump in sales of its genetically-engineered corn seeds. The seeds led to a first quarter loss of $253 million — which, on the whole, represents a 17% drop in revenue.

“Monsanto has struggled in recent quarters to deal with slumping corn prices in the U.S., which have reduced demand for its best-selling product: genetically-enhanced [read: modified] corn seeds,” reported ABC News“Farmers are shifting more acres to other crops after surpluses of corn and other crops, including wheat, have squashed commodity prices.”

In fact, Monsanto’s sales have fallen roughly 20% over the past year — perhaps indicative of the growing backlash against both its ubiquitous, genetically-modified crops, as well as the glyphosate-based Roundup required to treat them. These financial hits mean the mega-corporation has been forced to restructure at a cost of between $1.1 billion and $1.2 billion — and together with the previously announced layoff of 2,600 people, Monsanto will now be trimming a full 16% of its total staff.

As Bloomberg reported:

“Monsanto is facing the first drop in its annual earnings in six years as prices decline for its Roundup herbicide”and “lower crop prices curb farmers’ purchases of the newest genetically modified seeds.

“Monsanto’s sales of seeds and genetic licenses fell 14 percent in the first quarter. Revenue in the agricultural productivity unit, which primarily makes Roundup, tumbled 34 percent.

Monsanto appears to be in a bit of trouble, despite its CEO, Hugh Grant’s claims that  the restructuring has to do with meeting profit goals. European and North American farmers simply aren’t buying the chemically-dependent seeds, particularly since the World Health Organization categorized glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic” to humans — meaning it probably causes cancer.

In comparison to the same period last year, Monsanto’s revenue declined in every product category except GM soybeans.

This article (Monsanto Cutting 1,000 Jobs as Chemical Giant Takes First Annual Loss in 6 Years) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Claire Bernish and


According to an article shared by Mr. M.D. with us here, there is a new study linking steady GMO consumption, and the pesticide Roundup, with genetic damage to livers and kidneys:

Study: Diet Full Of GMO Foods Deadly- Alters 4000 Genes In Liver And Kidney

This one says it all:

The new study is foreboding:

Published in the Environmental Health Journal,the new study suggests that even super low levels of Roundup exposure are deadly.

The study results showed that exposure to low-dose glyphosate concentrations, in an established laboratory animal toxicity model system, can result in liver and kidney damage, with potential significant health implications for people as well as our pets and wildlife populations.

The new study finds that even glyphosate (the main ingredient in Round-Up’s crop resistant formula) which is found in our water, can cause this damage alone–the study used a far lower level of glyphosate than is found in our drinking water, in fact America has the highest levels of glyphosate in our water than most of the world.  Many say the run off of Roundup which is sprayed along highways and can run into our ground water, hence our levels are higher than other countries that do not utilize the chemical as much as Americans. (It also is the grim reaper of monarch butterflies–81% decline in monarchs when it is sprayed in their habitats).

And they’re paying for it in Argentina:

Dr. Michael Antoniou, and his team from King’s College London, did the “follow-up” study to Dr. Seralini’s two year study on rats exposed to Roundup.  Although the new study by Antoniou was attacked and ad-hoc articles written to suppress by the biotech industry, like the Genetic Literacy Project,  the study has real results by real Scientists from a reputable College.

With both Seralini and Antoniou’s work we now have more evidence that Roundup causes damage to the liver and kidneys. Despite this, and the numerous other findings, such as the recent news from Argentinathat children are suffering from genetic damage at heavily sprayed GM soy sites in the country, there has been no international move to heavily examine Roundup, and hold Monsanto accountable for its poisoning of the people. (Boldface emphasis added)

This much is predictable: when a corrupt company like Mon(ster)santo/IG Farbensanto (or whatever you wish to call that hideous corporation) gets its hands on the food supply and lines the pockets of America’s bottomless supply of stupid and very corrupt politicians(see the current roster of Dummycrook and Republithug presidential candidates, or just look at Congress), then there’s bound to be long term trouble and repercussions.

Not the least of these, I suggest, is that when you buy off science itself, or actively seek to corrupt the scientific process itself by suppressing findings contrary to your own limited studies (designed only to reassure the corrupt politicians), that there will be a foreign  and domestic policy backlash; you cannot keep poisoning people – or getting said corrupt politicians to pass laws prohibitting you from growing a little garden – or poisoning people’s kids and afflicting them with liver disease, autism, or kidney disease, without there being a backlash. The article mentions Argentina, but we’ve all heard of the problems in India as well, and increasingly, this or that country in Europe is revolting against the easy breezy assurances of pro-GMO corporate science.

Now all this brings me to my high octane speculation of the day. Lately I’ve been watching – as regular readers here know – the messages and signals coming out of the United Kingdom, which in its quiet way is signaling, with growing frequency and intensity, its dissatisfaction with America’s calcified oligarchy. (Andf they, unlike us, did not have to do a major university study like Princeton’s to conclude that America is not a republic, it’s an oligarchy). Recall that op-ed piece just a couple of month’s ago in Britain’s Economist magazine; the “calcified” oligarchy isn’t my observation; it’s theirs. Then there was the BBC’s highly suggestive message-sending Worricker Trilogy. But if you’ve been watching the GMO issue, it’s been going on in Great Britian, though with predictably less fanfare than in North America. And every now and then, a prestigious British research institution or university – like King’s College, London (part of the University of London) – publishes a paper questioning GMO claims and safety. Indeed, this has been going on in Britain for some time: recall only the episode recounted by F. William Engdahl in his Seeds of Destruction that it took a personal phone call from President Clinton to Prime Minister Blair to get a certain study of GMO safety suppressed. (Yes, the GMO corruption goes that far folks.)

But nonetheless, such studies continue to be done in the UK, and every now and then we get to hear about them.

And with them, I wonder whether or not there are other messages being sent in the emerging world of GMO geopolitics, this time, not from New Delhi or Moscow or Buenos Aires, but from London. If so, you can’t blame them, for it only means that besides exporting war, America’s other major export in the past few decades has been poisonous foods. If the drones don’t get you, Mon(ster)santo will. And if so, then, if the scientific studies are any indicator in the UK, there is growing quiet opposition to the corruption of science, and the food supply. Prediction? We’ll really know the game is afoot when other agribusiness giants seek publicly to distance themselves from Mon(ster)santo specifically. Recall only that recent rejection by Syngenta of Mon(ster)santo’s takeover offer on the implied grounds that it(Syngenta) was dealing in good faith… followed by…well, silence… And in that silence, you could read the implication. And why was Mon(ster)santo seeking to do that? Well, one reason, you’ll recall, is that they wanted to move their corporate headquarters from St. Louis to London. And perhaps this King’s College study gives a bit of a glimmer as to why.

In the meantime, I very much doubt you’ll see IG Farbensanto’s products on the menu at the Palace.

See you on the flip side…

Profile photo of Joseph P. Farrell
Joseph P. Farrell has a doctorate in patristics from the University of Oxford, and pursues research in physics, alternative history and science, and “strange stuff”. His book The Giza DeathStar, for which the Giza Community is named, was published in the spring of 2002, and was his first venture into “alternative history and science”.

Monsanto to face ‘tribunal’ in The Hague for ‘damage to human health and environment’

© Mal Langsdon
A global group of professionals, scientists and environmentalists – the Monsanto Tribunal – are preparing a trial for the GMO seed giant in The Hague. They say the crowdfunded action, determined to charge Monsanto with “ecocide,” is more than a symbolic move.

READ MORE: Putin wants Russia to become world’s biggest exporter of Non-GMO food

The Monsanto Tribunal’s goal is to research and evaluate all of the allegations made against Monsanto in connection to all the damages its products have caused to human health and the environment. It is scheduled to be held at The Hague from October 12 to 16 in 2016. The trial will wrap up on next year’s World Food Day.

One of the main goals the broad group of signees [ABOUT US] wants the tribunal to achieve is establishing “ecocide” as a crime. “Recognizing ecocide as a crime is the only way to guarantee the right of humans to a healthy environment and the right of nature to be protected,” The International Monsanto Tribunal says on its website.

The Tribunal will look into a range of charges, including what it says are Monsanto’s crimes against nature and humanity.

“The Tribunal will rely on the ‘Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights’ adopted at the UN in 2011. It will also assess potential criminal liability on the basis of the Rome Statue that created the International Criminal Court in The Hague in 2002, and it will consider whether a reform of international criminal law is warranted to include crimes against the environment, or ecocide, as a prosecutable criminal offense, so that natural persons could incur criminal liability.”

Several bodies and groups are supporting the initiative, including the Organic Consumers Association (OCA), IFOAM International Organics, Navdanya, Regeneration International (RI), and Millions Against Monsanto, as well as dozens more farming and environmental groups.

The decision to proceed with the tribunal was announced by the groups shortly before the Sustainable Pulse report was published, which was part of the COP21 UN Conference on Climate Change that runs until December 11 in Paris.

“The time is long overdue for a global citizens’ tribunal to put Monsanto on trial for crimes against humanity and the environment. We are in Paris this month to address the most serious threat that humans have ever faced in our 100-200,000 year evolution—global warming and climate disruption,” the president of the Organic Consumers Association, Ronnie Cummins, said at the press conference.

Meanwhile, president of IFOAM and member of the RI Steering Committee Andre Leu accused Monsanto of ignoring the human and environmental damage created by its products. Leu added that the transnational is able to maintain its devastating practices “by lobbying regulatory agencies and governments, by resorting to lying and corruption, by financing fraudulent scientific studies, by pressuring independent scientists, and by manipulating the press and media.”

“Monsanto’s history reads like a text-book case of impunity, benefiting transnational corporations and their executives, whose activities contribute to climate and biosphere crises and threaten the safety of the planet,” Leu stressed.

The American-based company has enjoyed a good reputation in the US media and is known for its strong ties on Capitol Hill.

The Monsanto Tribunal argues that the company is responsible for the depletion of soil and water resources, species extinction, and declining biodiversity, as well as the displacement of millions of small farmers worldwide.

Farmers in certain countries have been taking these developments very hard. In India, an alarming wave of suicides tied to Monsanto’s practices has been registered among farmers.

Instead of traditional crops, farmers have been forced to grow GM cotton, which is more expensive and requires additional maintenance. In the last 20 years, this trend has driven some 290,000 farmers to commit suicide due to bankruptcy, according to India’s national crimes bureau records.

READ MORE: GMO that kills: GM-cotton problems drive Indian farmers to suicide

Subjecting Monsanto to real legal consequences will be a challenge, though, as the corporation has never lost a case.

The company is notorious for routinely suing farmers, which has earned it the reputation of a legal bully in the eyes of critics. According to Food Democracy Now, the GMO corporation has filed 145 lawsuits since 1997, because farmers had reused their seeds in a manner inconsistent with Monsanto policies. This even includes cases where the farmers themselves had sued Monsanto for the inadvertent cross-pollination of their organic crops with GMO seeds.

One lawsuit representing 300,000 farmers was thrown out of court – for the mere reason that the farmers had already been sued by Monsanto. According to Food Democracy Now, the judge called the farmers’ case “unsubstantiated.”

Untold damage has also been caused to the ecosphere by the dying-off of 970 million Monarch butterflies since 1990. The herbicides Monsanto sells eradicate a range of the prolific pollinators’ natural food sources. The statistic was released by the US Fish and Wildlife Service in February.

READ MORE: Monsanto monarch massacre: 970 million butterflies killed since 1990

People demonstrated in over 400 major cities across the world in May to tell the GMO giant they do not want its produce in their food. It was the third global March Against Monsanto (MAM).

They Truly Are Poisoning Paradise by Gary Hooser

Our community cannot rely on “good neighbors” to protect our health and environment. Government intervention is needed now.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced recently its intent to ban chlorpyrifos, a Restricted Use Pesticide, stating that it “ … could not conclude that the risk from aggregate exposure to chlorpyrifos meets the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) safety standard.” The report further states there is “potential for risks in small watersheds with high concentrations of farming where chlorpyrifos may be widely used.”

Numerous studies indicate children exposed to chlorpyrifos have lower IQs and poorer working memory which impacts learning, reading comprehension and the ability to pay attention. Columbia University reported “Even low to moderate levels of exposure to the insecticide chlorpyrifos during pregnancy may lead to long-term, potentially irreversible changes in the brain structure of the child … ”

So, the EPA has announced its intent to ban chlorpyrifos — yet its use will likely continue into the foreseeable future. Why?

Dow AgroScience, the largest supplier of chlorpyrifos in Hawaii, has no intention of stopping its use and will be fighting the EPA every step of the way.

This of course, is to be expected. The industry playbook originally written by Big Tobacco and adopted by the agrochemical industry starts with one primary strategy — obfuscate and delay.

First, it will claim the EPA is just wrong and that chlorpyrifos is safe. Then, it will claim that even if chlorpyrifos were dangerous, it’s only a little bit dangerous, and if people would just follow the label, all would be OK.

Along the way they will generate a media narrative that the EPA is bowing to political pressure from activists who do not understand science. They will tell us in so many words to suck it up, and that pesticides are a part of everyday life. In the end, they will demand more studies, then claim the resulting additional study outcomes are flawed.

To be clear, these corporations are not “good neighbors” and no amount of money thrown at agricultural scholarships can change this. To the contrary, their mission is dominated by the pursuit of corporate profits, with the protection of health, the environment and workers — always taking a back seat.

A genuine good neighbor, one who cared about how its actions might impact the health of children who live and play on the same street, would err on the side of caution and stop using chlorpyrifos now, and not wait for the EPA’s final directive banning it.

According to the state Department of Agriculture, 7,282 pounds of chlorpyrifos were sold in Hawaii during 2014.

A 2013 air sampling report by the state and Kauai County showed, “Five pesticides (including chlorpyrifos) were detected in the indoor and outdoor passive air samples and the high volume outdoor air samples collected at Waimea Canyon Middle School.”

In 2013-2014, state stream water testing found chlorpyrifos in the Kekaha Ditch on Kauai and in Hawaii County streams. The amounts found were small. But as noted in reports such as Columbia University’s cited above, study after study showed chronic long-term exposure to even very small amounts is harmful, especially to a developing fetus and the neurological systems of young children.

The state of Hawaii can and should ban the use of chlorpyrifos today. The Department of Agriculture can do this via rule-making, the Legislature can do it via law, and the governor can accomplish this via executive order.

The EPA says it is unable to confirm chlorpyrifos’ safety and that our drinking water may be at risk. Our government can stop this harm from occurring now. Why wait?

The above blog piece was first published in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser on Sunday December 27, 2015


ICYMI: Mark Ruffalo became a consumer champion just after Monsanto CEO blatantly lied on the air this month. “Hugh Grant must be made to feel uncomfortable for what he allows his company to do in the world. That is why I told him what I did and why I am sharing it with you.” #stopmonsanto #food #ag #GMOs #chemicals #labelGMOs #righttoknow #GMfood

Congress Keeps Anti-GMO Labeling Rider Out of Spending Bill Center for Food Safety | December 16, 2015 10:59 am

Center for Food Safety today praised Congress for not including a policy rider in the must-pass federal omnibus spending bill that would have blocked states from implementing mandatory genetically engineered (GE) food labeling laws. Three states—Connecticut, Maine and Vermont—have passed such laws, with Vermont’s slated be to be the first to go into effect in July 2016. All three democratically passed laws would have been nullified, while any future state GE labeling legislation would have been preempted. More than 30 states have introduced bills to labeling GE foods in just the past few years.

“We are very pleased that Congress has apparently decided not to undermine Americans’ right to know about the food they purchase and feed their families,” said Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of Center for Food Safety. “Adding a rider to the budget bill that would nullify state laws requiring labeling and even forbidden federal agencies from mandating labeling would have been profoundly undemocratic and nothing short of legislative malfeasance. We will remain vigilant over the coming days and into the next legislative session to ensure our right to know is protected.”

The omnibus spending bill does include language previously agreed to by the Senate Appropriations Committee requiring that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) develop guidelines for mandatory labeling of GE salmon and prevent its sale until such labeling is in effect.

In July, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1599, dubbed by opponents the “Denying Americans the Right to Know (DARK) Act,” which preempts state and local authority to label and regulate GE foods. Instead, the bill sought to codify a voluntary labeling system approach, block FDA from ever implementing mandatory GE food labeling and allow food companies to continue to make misleading “natural” claims for foods that contain GE ingredients. The Senate chose not to take up that bill, despite heavy pressure from the food and biotechnology industries.

Anti-labeling interests then began pushing for the inclusion of the preemption rider in the must pass spending bill. Numerous Senators vocally opposed the inclusion of the preemption rider, successfully keeping it out of the bill. In particular, Senators Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Markey (D-Mass.), Sanders (D-Vt.), Leahy (D-Vt.), Reed (D-R.I.), Heinrich (D-N.M.), Warren (D-Mass.), Tester (D-Mont.), Merkley (D-Ore.), Boxer (D-Calif.) and Booker (D-N.J.) led a Dear Colleague letter opposing the rider. Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairperson Mikulski (D-Md.) also worked to keep the rider out.

“In the absence of federal leadership, states have led the way by passing legislation intended to prevent consumer deception and give consumers the right to know,” said Kimbrell. “We thank those Members of Congress, as well as the thousands of Americans who contacted their Senators recently, for preventing this grossly unethical rider from seeing daylight.”

By an overwhelming margin, American voters say consumers should have the right to know if their food is genetically modified, with 89 percent in support of mandatory GE labeling, according to a new national poll. Nearly the same number of consumers would like to see the labels in an easy to read format.

Center for Food Safety supports bipartisan legislation introduced by Sen. Boxer and Rep. DeFazio called the Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act, which would require that food manufacturers label foods that contain genetically modified ingredients. This common sense bill would guarantee all Americans the right to know what is in their foods while respecting the need by companies for a uniform, federal standard.

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