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    Default Re: Monsanto And Its Lethally Toxic Trails

    Bayer to investigate French media claims that Monsanto compiled file of journalists, lawmakers to sway opinions on pesticides

    Patricia Weiss, Ludwig Burger Reuters
    Sun, 12 May 2019 10:27 UTC


    Bayer CEO, Werner Baumann has defended the multi-billion dollar deal, despite huge legal costs.

    Bayer said on Sunday it was hiring an external law firm to investigate French media complaints that Monsanto, the U.S. seed maker it took over last year, had compiled a file of influential personalities.

    The German life sciences and pharmaceuticals group said that, following an internal review, it understood that this initiative had raised concerns and criticism.

    "This is not the way Bayer seeks dialogue with society and stakeholders. We apologize for this behavior," Bayer said in a statement. It added, however, that there was no indication that compiling the lists was illegal.

    French prosecutors opened an inquiry on Friday after newspaper Le Monde filed a complaint alleging that Monsanto had compiled a file of 200 names, including journalists and lawmakers, in the hope of influencing their positions on pesticides.

    The French investigation is the latest fallout from Bayer's $63 billion takeover of Monsanto. It already faces potentially heavy costs from U.S. class-action lawsuits in which plaintiffs argue that its Roundup weedkiller causes cancer.

    Bayer shares have shed more than 40 percent since a first adverse U.S. judgment on Roundup last August, leaving the company with a market capitalization smaller than the price it paid for Monsanto.

    Shareholders delivered a rare rebuke to CEO Werner Baumann's management team at Bayer's annual general meeting last month, with a majority voting against ratifying the executive board's business conduct in 2018.

    Commenting on the French allegations, Bayer said its law firm would inform all of the individuals on the Monsanto list about the information collected about them. Bayer would also "fully support" the French prosecutor's investigation.

    Matthias Berninger, Bayer's new head of public and government affairs, would evaluate the matter internally and assess the behavior of people involved, both inside and outside the company.

    "Our highest priority is to create transparency," Bayer said, adding that the Monsanto manager responsible for the issue had left the company soon after the takeover.

    "Bayer stands for openness and fair dealings with all interest groups," it added.

    "We do not tolerate unethical behavior in our company. Of course, this also applies to data protection regulations in all jurisdictions in which we operate."

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    Default Re: Monsanto And Its Lethally Toxic Trails

    Monsanto’s “Rain of Death” on Canada’s Forests

    By Joyce Nelson Global Research
    May 16, 2019


    Featured image is from Maui Independent

    First Nations in Ontario have run out of patience. For 43 years, the forest industry has been conducting aerial spraying of glyphosate herbicide on Indigenous lands – a “rain of death” used in forest management practice that has slowly been killing off a wide range of animals, plants, fish and insects. First Nations have tried to stop this practice since the 1990s through a variety of measures including meetings with logging companies and government officials, protests and reports, but all to no avail. The “rain of death” keeps coming.

    Now, members of the Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) Elders of the North Shore of Lake Huron say they will be going to court to force the Canadian federal government to live up to Robinson Huron Treaty of 1850. That treaty guarantees First Nations in the area the right to hunt, fish, gather berries and use plant medicines in traditional territories. The TEK Elders say that by allowing the aerial spraying to continue, the Trudeau government is violating this treaty and the Constitution Act of 1982, which reaffirms those rights.

    “We’re done waiting,” Raymond Owl, one of the founding members of TEK, told the press in April. [1] Formed in 2014, the TEK Elders group is comprised of Elders from 21 bands in the area.

    Sue Chiblow, a Garden River First Nation Councillor assisting the TEK Elders, has stated:
    “We went to the Ministry of Natural Resources and they said ‘well no we just issued the license so that’s not our problem; it’s Health Canada’s problem’ … So we went to Health Canada and they said ‘we don’t actually do the spraying; we’re just saying that’s it’s ok and it’s up to the companies to use or not use it’.” [2]
    The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry recently provided a statement to APTN News which said in part:
    “Herbicide use is very limited in Ontario and they are only used when absolutely necessary – usually amounts to less than 0.2 per cent of Ontario’s forested area in any given year … Health Canada recently re-evaluated the use of glyphosate, finding no unacceptable risks to human health or the environment when used as directed.” [3]
    Health Canada is taking this stance even as Bayer-Monsanto has been losing court case after court case in the U.S. to juries awarding billions in damages to individuals harmed by the pesticide. Some 13,000 more cancer victims’ cases against Bayer-Monsanto await trial.

    The TEK Elders’ website (tekelders.weebly.com) states that “In Ontario, the forest management planning process begins with Crown approval for aerial spraying already in place.” There has never been any consultation with First Nations on this issue. As TEK Elder Raymond Owl has stated on the website,
    “The announcements for spraying are printed in local newspapers to say when and where – and that’s it. We are told by Health Canada that the chemicals are safe, not harmful to humans, yet we are witness to absolute destruction of natural habitat and ecosystems.”
    Creating a Monoculture
    The forest industry across Canada (and in parts of Oregon and Washington) has relied on aerial herbicide spraying for more than 40 years, in line with its practice of clear-cutting, followed by replanting for monocultures.

    The purpose of the glyphosate and other herbicides is to wipe out the so-called “weed” species that start re-growing after clearcutting. Those species include aspen, alder, birch, oak, maple, willow and other broad-leaf plants and shrubs – all considered of less commercial value than needle-leaf softwoods like Lodgepole Pine and Douglas Fir.

    Forester and Forest Ecologist Herb Hammond told me by email,
    “the presence of dense ‘brush’ following logging is a sign of ecological degradation from logging, which is dominated by clearcutting. There is nothing natural about clearcutting,” he noted, but it is “the cheapest, fastest way to turn forests into money.”
    So after the clearcutting, “natural processes activate restoration procedures for soil and microclimate, resulting in high densities of herbaceous and woody vegetation other than coniferous trees.” These so-called “weed” species “are vital for biological diversity, building soil nutrient capital, slowing the spread of wildfire, and [they are] superior to conifers in sequestering and storing carbon – an important forest assist in this climate change world,” Hammond told me.

    The irony is that “conifers will emerge from under the other vegetation and will grow better over time than those trees where ‘competing vegetation’ was removed” by aerial spraying. But, noted Hammond, “people prescribing pesticides give little value to other life that depend upon the plants being sprayed, or the water, soil and air affected by pesticide treatments.”

    Also a BC Problem
    According to The Prince George Daily News,
    “timber companies are required by government legislation to eliminate the so-called weed trees in area they have logged or face penalties. A preferred way to accomplish this is to dump herbicide in massive doses on the land base. Manual, non-spray brushing could potentially create many more seasonal jobs in the forest. Yet that method is little utilized today.” [4]
    According to the NGO Stop The Spray BC, between 10,000 and 20,000 hectares of BC forests are sprayed with glyphosate and other herbicides every year, mostly in the Central Interior.
    “This vast conversion of our forests from bio-diverse stands with many broadleaf species to conifer monocultures is required by law, signed off on by Registered Professional Foresters, and is supported by the Association of British Columbia Professional Foresters.”
    Stop the Spray BC spokesman James Steidle states that wildlife are “incredibly dependent” on the broadleaf trees considered “weeds” by industry and government. And those same trees in a mixed forest are better at sequestering carbon and controlling wildfires. Steidle notes,
    “As our planet continues to warm, biodiversity fades and forest fires grow worse, does it make sense to keep eliminating the trees with the highest biodiversity values, lower probability of flammability, and best ability to sequester CO2 and reflect solar radiation from our forests? Obviously not.” [5]
    But timber companies and our provincial governments are actually spending millions every year to do precisely that.

    Quebec, however, is the exception. Chemical herbicides were banned on Crown forest lands in Quebec in 2001 – about 90% of the provincial forest land base. In 2008, the Quebec government reaffirmed its commitment to ecosystem-based management of public forests. [6]

    In March, the Prince George Citizen reported that B.C. MLA Mike Morris is working on a private members bill to ban the use of glyphosate on provincial forests. [7]

    Stopping the Rain of Death
    Clearly, the Traditional Ecological Knowledge Elders of Ontario have raised a huge issue with their pending lawsuit. SumOfUs is raising funding for their legal fees and helping to alert the wider community. The TEK Elders are also planning to contact the World Health Organization (WTO) for assistance. The WTO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer has already classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans”. [8]

    Information about the TEK Elders’ pending lawsuit also comes just days after the UN’s shocking biodiversity report, warning that one million species are at risk of extinction. That report was issued by the UN’s Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). UBC professor Kai Chan, one of the lead authors of the report, told the Toronto Star that “…the scale of change now requires us to pressure political systems and other institutions to overhaul national and global economies. ‘Nature isn’t broken. But you could say that our institutions are not fit for purpose,’ Chan says. ‘Really, what we need to do is fix them’.” [9]

    That comment may be applicable to Health Canada, which seems to have been captured by Bayer-Monsanto and the pesticide industry.

    The UN biodiversity report also specifically urged policy-makers “to recognize and respect Indigenous institutions, values, innovations, practices and knowledge, and to engage with and consider Indigenous communities, something they note is currently sorely lacking.” [10] The Traditional Ecological Knowledge Elders of Ontario know the brutal truth of this, and now they’re going to court. That seems to be the only way to stop the “rain of death”.
    Joyce Nelson is the author of seven books. She can be reached via www.joycenelson.ca

    Notes
    [1] Helen Morley, “TEK Elders will take government to court,” Mid North Monitor, April 4, 2019.

    [2] Quoted in Christopher Read, “Trappers in Robinson Huron treaty want aerial herbicide spraying to end,” APTN News, March 22, 2019.

    [3] Quoted in Ibid.

    [4] Peter Ewart, “Death from the sky in northern B.C.,” The Prince George Daily News, March 31, 2018.

    [6] Dave Mance III, “The Great Glyphosate Debate,” Northern Woodlands, Spring 2012.

    [7] Mark Nielsen, “Morris calling for ban on glyphosate in B.C. forests,” Prince George Citizen, March 7, 2019.

    [8] Read, op. cit.

    [9] Quoted in Kate Allen, “One million species face possibility of extinction, report warns,” Toronto Star, May 6, 2019.

    [10] Ibid.
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    Default Re: Monsanto And Its Lethally Toxic Trails

    New study links Roundup weed killer to liver damage

    Dennis Thompson UPI
    Fri, 24 May 2019 10:31 UTC


    © Bill Greenblatt/UPI

    Monsanto's parent company, Bayer, issued a statement noting that previous research required to bring the product to market has shown that glyphosate is safe.

    The popular weed killer Roundup might be linked to liver disease, a new study suggests.

    A group of patients suffering from liver disease had elevated urine levels of glyphosate, the primary weed-killing ingredient in Roundup, according to researchers at the University of California, San Diego.

    "We found those patients who had more severe disease had higher levels of [glyphosate] excretion, which means they had higher levels of exposure, presumably through their diet," said lead researcher Paul Mills. He is director of UCSD's Center of Excellence for Research and Training in Integrative Health.

    Until now, debate regarding the health effects of glyphosate has largely centered on fears that the chemical causes cancer.

    Earlier this month, a California jury awarded $2 Billion to a couple who said long-term exposure to Roundup caused them to develop the same type of cancer -- non-Hodgkin lymphoma -- four years apart.

    That happened days after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a draft conclusion that glyphosate poses "no risks to public health" and "is not likely to be carcinogenic for humans."

    Dr. Kenneth Spaeth is chief of occupational and environmental medicine at Northwell Health in Great Neck, N.Y. He said that the UCSD study findings regarding liver disease raise "a whole other area of potential reason to have concern about this product and its widespread use globally."

    Glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide in the United States, the researchers said. The weed killer was developed and patented by Monsanto in the 1970s, and accounts for about half of the company's annual revenue.

    Monsanto's parent company, Bayer, issued a statement noting that previous research required to bring the product to market has shown that glyphosate is safe.
    "All pesticides, including glyphosate, are tested for their potential to harm liver function in tests that rely on internationally accepted protocols and are conducted according to good laboratory practices," Bayer said.

    "All of this testing demonstrates that glyphosate does not harm liver function."
    Mills said he became interested in glyphosate's potential effects on the liver after studies showing that laboratory rats and mice fed the chemical tended to develop a form of fatty liver disease unrelated to alcohol consumption.

    To see whether the weed killer might be linked to similar disease in humans, Mills and his colleagues examined urine samples from 93 patients who were suspected of having fatty liver disease.

    Liver biopsies were taken to determine whether the patients had liver disease and the severity of their condition. Urine samples were taken to determine their exposure to glyphosate.

    Glyphosate residue was significantly higher in patients with liver disease than in those with a healthier liver, the investigators found. There also appeared to be a dose-dependent relationship -- the more glyphosate in the urine, the worse a person's liver health.

    In its statement, Bayer said:
    "While we are still examining this recently released study, the data indicates that the researchers failed to consider confounding factors including potential existing metabolic disorders in participants, which would make the results of the study unreliable."
    While the study could not prove cause and effect, the researchers said the findings remained significant even after accounting for age, race/ethnicity, body fat and diabetes status.

    Mills said, "Given there are these questions, I'd love for the EPA to say 'we're going to take another look at this.'"

    Glyphosate might harm the liver in a couple of ways, he suggested.

    The chemical might interfere with the liver's ability to process fats, causing them to accumulate in the organ. Or it might damage genes that regulate fat metabolism in the liver.

    Glyphosate is used to improve commercial crop yields by killing weeds that would choke the plants, so much of a person's exposure to the chemical is likely due to diet, Mills said.

    The best way to protect yourself would be to adopt an organic diet, eating only foods that have not been grown with herbicides or pesticides, he explained.

    Noting that his study was small, Mills hopes other researchers will follow up with larger-scale efforts to examine effects of glyphosate on the liver.

    "I'm hoping some other labs around the country that have either liver centers or other samples available will take a look at this also and see what kind of signal they find," he said. "That would help move us forward."

    The new study was published online recently in the journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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    Default Re: Monsanto And Its Lethally Toxic Trails

    Quote "All pesticides, including glyphosate, are tested for their potential to harm liver function in tests that rely on internationally accepted protocols and are conducted according to good laboratory practices," Bayer said.
    It's interesting that a representative allegedly called glyphosate a pesticide, I thought it was strictly classified as an herbicide? Of course in reality it is a pesticide but I didn't think Bayer(Monsanto) would acknowledge it.

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    Default Re: Monsanto And Its Lethally Toxic Trails

    Tell EPA they work for us, not Monsanto
    5/31/19
    Sign the petition from Pesticide Action Network:

    http://www.panna.org/take-action/tel...up-is-not-safe

    "Target: EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler
    Three consecutive juries have found Monsanto (now Bayer) guilty of knowingly exposing people to glyphosate, a probable human carcinogen and the active ingredient in their flagship herbicide, Roundup. Yet EPA is poised to reregister the chemical, dismissing science showing it can be harmful to human health.

    Sign our petition today, and we’ll be sure your voice is heard before the comment period closes on July 5."
    Each breath a gift...
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    Default Re: Monsanto And Its Lethally Toxic Trails

    EPA takes Monsanto’s side on glyphosate
    From: Pesticide Action Network
    5/30/19
    http://www.panna.org/blog/epa-takes-...dup-in-trouble
    "The pesticide world has been abuzz with the outcome of the third glyphosate trial. Earlier this month, Bayer (Monsanto) was found liable for Alva and Alberta Pilliod’s non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and was ordered to pay over $2 billion total in damages.

    In light of the World Health Organization's determination in 2015 that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s flagship herbicide Roundup, is a 'probable human carcinogen,' more than 10,000 individuals who have been exposed to the herbicide and suffered from cancer are in the process of suing the chemical giant, recently acquired by Bayer.

    You’d think this precedent-setting verdict, the third consecutive against Bayer, would put the gears in motion for EPA to deregister glyphosate. But disturbingly, the agency plans to keep the chemical on the market.

    Seriously EPA?
    Internal memos show that this administration went as far as to reassure Monsanto that they “have their back” when it comes to pesticides like Roundup.

    We’ve already seen this EPA getting cozy with industry executives. Consider the chlorpyrifos fiasco — former Administrator Scott Pruitt decided not to ban the neurotoxic pesticide after meeting with Dow Chemical (chlorpyrifos’ manufacturer) executives.

    But this is a new low. Ignoring the recommendations of the World Health Organization, and dismissing concerns from members of EPA’s own Scientific Advisory Panel over the hazards of glyphosate is a blatant disregard for sound science and public health.

    Glyphosate has to go
    Glyphosate is used on more than 100 crops, including corn, soy, cotton, canola and sugar beets. Use has skyrocketed over the past decade as “Roundup Ready” crops that are genetically engineered to tolerate application of the herbicide have become standard in industrial agriculture systems.

    While dangers are highest for pesticide applicators, farmworkers and rural communities exposed during spraying, residues of the chemical have been found in numerous food and drink products as well.

    The U.S. Geological Survey found glyphosate in nearly all water and air samples taken in recent testing, and a recent study found the chemical in the bodies of pregnant women. In addition to its link to cancer, studies have also linked glyphosate to birth defects, liver damage, and hormone disruption.

    Given the widespread exposure to this chemical that science has shown can harm human health, EPA must revise the recommendation that glyphosate be re-registered without restrictions. It’s time to invest in effective systems of farming and weed control that don’t rely on chemicals that put our health at risk.

    Sign on to PAN’s petition today, telling EPA it’s time to put public health and the environment above the interests of corporations like Monsanto (Bayer)."
    http://www.panna.org/take-action/tel...s-not-monsanto

    I didn't realize until I went to the EPA website at:
    https://www.epa.gov/ingredients-used...cts/glyphosate
    ...that the EPA only posted its redetermination that glysophate is safe (in spite of recent reports to the contrary) in April 2019. From their website: "Glyphosate is a widely used herbicide that controls broadleaf weeds and grasses. It has been registered as a pesticide in the U.S. since 1974. Since glyphosate’s first registration, EPA has reviewed and reassessed its safety and uses, including undergoing registration review, a program that re-evaluates each registered pesticide on a 15-year cycle.

    In April 2019, EPA released the Glyphosate Proposed Interim Decision for public comment. As part of this action, EPA continues to find that there are no risks to public health when glyphosate is used in accordance with its current label and that glyphosate is not a carcinogen. EPA is proposing management measures to help farmers target pesticide sprays on intended pests, protect pollinators, and reduce the problem of weeds becoming resistant to glyphosate."
    "EPA scientists performed an independent evaluation of available data for glyphosate and found:

    No risk to human health from current uses of glyphosate. Glyphosate products can be safely used by following label directions. There are no risks to children or adults from currently registered uses.

    No indication that children are more sensitive to glyphosate. After evaluating numerous studies from a variety of sources, the Agency found no indication that children are more sensitive to glyphosate from in utero or post-natal exposure. As part of the human health risk assessment, the Agency evaluated all populations, including infants, children and women of child-bearing age, and found no risks of concern from ingesting food with glyphosate residues. EPA also found no risks of concern for children entering or playing on residential areas treated with glyphosate.

    No evidence that glyphosate causes cancer. The Agency concluded that glyphosate is not likely to be carcinogenic to humans. EPA considered a significantly more extensive and relevant dataset than the International Agency on the Research for Cancer (IARC). EPA’s database includes studies submitted to support registration of glyphosate and studies EPA identified in the open literature.

    EPA’s cancer classification is consistent with other international expert panels and regulatory authorities, including the Canadian Pest Management Regulatory Agency, Australian Pesticide and Veterinary Medicines Authority, European Food Safety Authority, European Chemicals Agency, German Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, New Zealand Environmental Protection Authority, and the Food Safety Commission of Japan."
    Each breath a gift...
    _____________

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    Default Re: Monsanto And Its Lethally Toxic Trails

    Court Docs: Monsanto Paid Chemical Industry Front Group to Claim Cancer-Causing Weedkiller ‘Safe’ and Attack Its Critics

    By Bill Walker Global Research
    June 03, 2019
    EWG 29 May 2019



    Monsanto paid a shadowy chemical industry front group to help push back against the mounting scientific evidence that the company’s signature Roundup weedkiller causes cancer, court documents reveal.
    “If a company like [Monsanto] won’t support us, then who will?” the head of the American Council on Science and Health wrote to a Monsanto scientist in 2015. A day later came the reply: “[T]he answer is yes…. [D]efinitely count us in!!”
    Emails between Monsanto and the American Council on Science and Health, or ACSH, and related internal Monsanto emails were first made public during the trial last July of a lawsuit by a former California school groundskeeper who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma after using Roundup. The jury awarded Dewayne “Lee” Johnson $289 million in punitive and compensatory damages, later reduced by the judge to $78 million.

    The internal Monsanto/ACSH emails reappeared as evidence in the most recent lawsuit to go before a court, brought by a California couple who were both diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma after decades of using the herbicide. In May, the jury ordered Bayer-Monsanto to pay Alva and Alberta Pilliod more than $2 billion in damages.

    It was the third verdict in less than a year in which juries found that glyphosate, the key ingredient in Roundup, causes cancer and that Monsanto covered up evidence of its health risk for decades. Last year, Bayer bought Monsanto for $63 billion and is now facing tens of thousands of similar lawsuits.

    The emails – here and here – show that in February 2015, Monsanto was working with ACSH to prepare for the expected fallout from a pending report on the safety of glyphosate by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, or IARC. The following month the IARC, part of the World Health Organization, would release a report that classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans.”

    Anticipating the report, Gilbert Ross, then the acting head of ACSH, asked Monsanto for support, “particularly if ACSH’s commentary is needed to critique an adverse outcome.”

    On Feb. 26, Dr. Daniel Goldstein, the head of medical sciences and outreach at Monsanto, wrote to several colleagues, urging them to support continued payment to ACSH for its work.

    Later that day, after his colleagues expressed reservations, Goldstein wrote:

    But on March 16, just days before the IARC’s report, the ACSH’s Ross wrote to Goldstein complaining the group has still not received payment for its work on glyphosate:

    Goldstein replied “count us in!!,” and Ross wrote back: “Great news, thanks Dan.”

    From the emails, it is unclear how much Monsanto paid ACSH to defend the company and its weedkiller. But since the IARC report, ACSH has posted dozens of blogs or releases attacking scientists or organizations that have raised concerns about the health risks of glyphosate exposure. ACSH officials have also been quoted in news media reports, accusing EWG – “an alarmist group” – and other glyphosate critics of scare tactics.

    According to ACSH’s website, the group is a “consumer advocacy organization” that does “not represent any industry.” But in 2013 Mother Jones reported that an internal ACSH document showed the organization received more than $390,000 in that year from corporations and large private foundations, including $30,000 from Bayer Cropscience, $22,5000 from the Chinese-owned pesticide and seed company Syngenta, and $30,000 from chemical giant 3M, among many others.

    The ACSH document also lists Monsanto among “potential sources of support from previous donors.” As the recently released emails show, that potential was soon realized.

    *
    Bill Walker is Vice President and Editor-in-Chief of EWG.
    All images in this article are from EWG
    The original source of this article is EWG
    Copyright © Bill Walker, EWG, 2019

    Related:
    Monsanto Accused of Hiring Army of Trolls to Silence Online Dissent – Court Papers
    Last edited by Hervé; 3rd June 2019 at 18:15.
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    Default Re: Monsanto And Its Lethally Toxic Trails

    From Glyphosate to Front Groups: Fraud, Deception and Toxic Tactics

    By Colin Todhunter Global Research
    June 05, 2019


    Environmentalist Dr Rosemary Mason has just written to the Editor-in-Chief of the British Medical Journal and the British Medical Association Council Chairman, Chaand Nagpaul.

    Her purpose is to not only draw attention to the impact of biocides, not least that of glyphosate, on health and the environment but also to bring attention to the corruption that allows this to continue.

    Along with her letter, she enclosed a 13-page document. Readers can access the fully referenced document here: European Chemicals Agency classifies glyphosate as a substance that causes serious eye damage. It is worth reading in full to appreciate the conflicts of interest and the corruption that has led to the rise in certain illnesses and the destruction of the natural environment.

    By way of a brief summary, the key points raised by Dr Mason and her claims include the following:
    • The European Chemicals Agency classifies glyphosate as a substance that causes serious eye damage. There has been a massive increase in the use of glyphosate in recent years. An increase in cataracts has been verified by epidemiological studies in England and by a 2016 WHO report.
    • There are shockingly high levels of weed killer in UK breakfast cereals. After testing these cereals at the Health Research Institute in Iowa, Dr Fagan, director of the centre, said: “These results are consistently concerning. The levels consumed in a single daily helping of any one of these cereals, even the one with the lowest level of contamination, is sufficient to put the person’s glyphosate levels above the levels that cause fatty liver disease in rats (and likely in people).”
    • The amount of glyphosate in tap water in South Wales has increased tenfold in a very short period.
    • Glyphosate is largely responsible for the destruction of biodiversity and an increase in the prevalence of many serious health conditions.
    • There are massive conflicts of interest throughout various agencies in the EU that ensure harmful agrochemicals like glyphosate come to market and remain there.
    • In fact, a global industry has emerged to give ‘advice’ on biocides regulation. This results in regulatory bodies effectively working to further the commercial interests of the pesticide industry.
    • The European Food Safety Authority sanctioned increased maximum pesticide residue levels (MRL) at the request of industry (Monsanto in this case, to 100 times the previously authorised MRL).
    • The Washington-based International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) is used by corporate backers to counter public health policies. Its members have occupied key positions on EU and UN regulatory panels. It is, however, an industry lobby group that masquerades as a scientific health charity. The ILSI describes its mission as “pursuing objectivity, clarity and reproducibility” to “benefit the public good”. But researchers from the University of Cambridge, Bocconi University in Milan, and the US Right to Know campaign assessed over 17,000 pages of documents under US freedom of information laws to present evidence of influence peddling.
    • ILSI Vice-President, Prof Alan Boobis, is currently the Chairman of the UK Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment (CoT) (2015-2021). He was directly responsible for authorising chemicals such as glyphosate, chlorothalonil, clothianidin and chlorpyrifos that are destroying human health and creating a crisis in biodiversity. His group and others have authorised glyphosate repeatedly. He and David Coggon, the previous Chairman of CoT (2008-2015), were appointed as experts on Science Advice for Policy by European Academies (SAPEA), a group allied with the agrochemical industry and is fighting for higher pesticide exposure.
    • Jean-Claude Juncker the President of the European Commission who, against a petition from more than 1.5 million European citizens, re-authorised glyphosate in December 2017 for a further five years. He set up the Science Advisory Mechanism, aiming to put industry-friendly personnel on various committees.
    There are many more claims presented by Rosemary Mason in her report. But the take-home point is that the reality of the agrochemical industry is masked by well-funded public relations machinery (which includes bodies like the UK’s Science Media Centre). The industry also subverts official agencies and regulatory bodies and supports prolific lobby organisations and (‘public scientists’) which masquerade as objective institutions.

    When such organisations or figures are exposed, they frequently cry foul and attempt to portray any exposure of their lack of integrity as constituting an attack on science itself; no doubt many readers will be familiar with the ‘anti-science’ epithet.

    The industry resorts to such measures as it knows its products are harmful and cannot stand up to proper public scrutiny. And under a system of sustainable agroecology that can produce plentiful, nutritious food, it also knows its markets would disappear.

    Motivated by fraud and fear of the truth emerging, it therefore tries to persuade politicians and the public that the world would starve without it and its products. It co-opts agencies and officials by various means and embeds itself within the policy agenda, both nationally and internationally.

    And now, with increasingly saturated markets in the West, from Africa to India the industry seeks to colonise new regions and countries where it attempts to roll out its business model. Whether, say, through trade agreements, the WTO or strings-attached loans, this again involves capturing the policy ground and then trapping farmers on a financially lucrative chemical (-GMO)-treadmill, regardless of the consequences for farmers’ livelihoods, food, public health and the environment.

    *
    Colin Todhunter is a frequent contributor to Global Research and Asia-Pacific Research.
    The original source of this article is Global Research
    Copyright © Colin Todhunter, Global Research, 2019


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    Default Re: Monsanto And Its Lethally Toxic Trails

    Brazil’s toxic pesticides ‘affecting people all over the world’ through agricultural exports

    RT
    Published time: 30 Jul, 2019 05:08
    Edited time: 30 Jul, 2019 08:54
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    © Global Look / Florian Kopp

    Brazil’s embrace of highly toxic pesticides – the government has approved 262 so far this year and loosened regulations on what is considered “extremely toxic” – is affecting people far outside its borders, an expert tells RT.

    EU-banned pesticide[s are] being manufactured in the EU, and then coming back to citizens in the EU, in the food we eat,” environmental journalist and founding member of the Green Economic Institute think tank Oliver Tickell told RT, explaining that as one of the largest soy exporters in the world, Brazil supplies a significant quantity of the feed that cattle and other livestock worldwide consume. European consumers tucking into a juicy steak have no idea that the creature they’re eating might have been nourished on soy sprayed with highly toxic pesticides.

    This is not just a problem for Brazil and Brazilian people and people exposed in the countryside to these pesticides and consumers and farmers,” Tickell warned. “It is actually affecting people all over the world through Brazil’s agricultural exports.”
    ANVISA, the Brazilian public health regulatory agency, relaxed pesticide regulations last week so that only those chemicals with lethal potential can be classified as “extremely toxic,” triggering a massive backlash from environmental groups, human rights organizations, and food safety advocates. The fervently pro-business government of President Jair Bolsonaro has already approved 262 pesticides this year, 82 of which are classed as “extremely toxic,” as he follows through on campaign promises to demolish environmental regulations and open up protected rainforest lands to mining and agriculture.

    Dozens of pesticides banned or strictly regulated in the EU, including paraquat and chlorpyrifos, were already permitted for use in Brazil before Bolsonaro took power, and the country uses approximately 400,000 tons of pesticides per year, according to Human Rights Watch. While Agriculture Minister Tereza Cristina has flatly denied Brazil uses any more pesticides than any other country, attributing such allegations to “data manipulation” and accusing critics of “terrorism,” EcoWatch claims the country consumes more pesticides per capita than any other nation.

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    Default Re: Monsanto And Its Lethally Toxic Trails

    Study finds 90% of families have glyphosate in bodies with significantly higher levels found in children

    Center for Environmental Health
    Wed, 24 Jul 2019 00:01 UTC


    Results released as Trump's EPA poised to approve the continued use of glyphosate in the U.S. for 15 more years
    A new study by Center for Environmental Health (CEH) found over 90% of families tested had glyphosate in their bodies. The study sought to determine whether children are more exposed to Monsanto's toxic weed killer than their parents. The results were unequivocal. Nine of the twelve parent-child pairs tested (in one family both parents and two children participated), the child had higher concentrations of glyphosate in their body than their parent. Six children had twice the amount than their parents and one had nearly a hundred times more. The families tested lived in a variety of states from across the country. CEH's findings corroborate other recent studies that found glyphosate in the bodies of 70 to 93% of those tested.
    "Our findings are particularly alarming for children, whose bodies are still developing," said Caroline Cox, CEH's Senior Scientist.

    "A toxic weed killer known to cause cancer has no business in our bodies or our food. Human health and the health of our children should outweigh the chemical industry's right to profit. These results warrant immediate, long-term, independent follow-up studies with increased sample sizes."
    Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Bayer/Monsanto's Roundup, is the most widely used herbicide in history. 2.4 billion pounds have been sprayed on American farmland in the last decade. The World Health Organization has classified it as a "probable human carcinogen." California's environmental protection agency listed glyphosate as a chemical known to cause cancer. Recent research has found it can increase the risk of some cancers by more than 40 percent, disrupt hormones,damage human cells, genes, and cause birth defects.

    Bayer/Monsanto has also recently suffered three landmark legal defeats in which jury's ruled plaintiffs had contracted non-Hodgkin lymphoma in part because of exposure to its glyphosate-based Roundup. The company has been forced to pay plaintiffs approximately $2.4 billion in damages. More than 13,000 similar cases against the company currently await trial.

    The increasing use of the weed killer allows for numerous routes of human exposure, including food and proximity to farms that use it on corn, soybeans, oats, and hundreds of other crops. Children are more exposed to pesticides than adults, and Roundup is increasingly sprayed around homes, schools, and parks, found in popular children's cereals, and the vast majority of oat-based items on public school menus.
    "Exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) like glyphosate can have lifelong and even transgenerational health impacts," said Alexis Luckey, Executive Director, Toxic Free North Carolina.

    "These hormone disruptors can cause even more harm
    at low doses. So, there's no assurance that any level of glyphosate exposure is safe. This study highlights the need to protect children and families by promoting organic alternatives to this toxic weed killer that are less harmful to human health and the environment."
    Nonetheless, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is poised to approve the continued widespread use of glyphosate in the U.S. for another 15 years. EPA's evaluation process has been widely condemned, favoring Monsanto-funded studies over independent, peer-reviewed research linking glyphosate exposure to cancer and failure to follow proper protocol. Nearly 150,000 public comments have already been submitted urging the agency to ban its use, with just over a month before the deadline to weigh-in comes.
    "Trump's EPA has ignored a growing body of science and recent jury rulings that contradicts Monsanto's internal studies," said Cox.

    "We urge EPA to put the health of the American people, especially children and the farmers and farmworkers who use this toxic weed killer regularly, ahead of chemical industry profits and end its use for good."

    Cities counties across the U.S. and a growing number of countries are taking a different approach than Trump's EPA by restricting or banning the use of glyphosate. And increasing numbers of U.S. schools are buying more organic food and ending the use of Roundup on school grounds.

    Consumers can reduce glyphosate exposure by purchasing organic food whenever available and affordable. Each of those dollars spent supports more organic farms, none of which use glyphosate. Work with local elected officials to enact organic policies that end the use of glyphosate and other toxic pesticides like it. Use organic/eco-friendly pest management in your yard and garden. If you work with glyphosate herbicides, wash your hands often; after work, remove your shoes before entering your home, wash (including your hair) with soap and shampoo immediately, and change into clean clothes as soon as possible.


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    Default Re: Monsanto And Its Lethally Toxic Trails

    Glyphosate Should be Phased Out Worldwide. Devastating Health Impacts

    Far-reaching Statement of the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics

    By GMWatch 31 July 2019
    Global Research, August 02, 2019



    The International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO), the only global organisation representing obstetricians and gynaecologists, wants glyphosate phased out worldwide.

    A statement published by the Federation’s Reproductive and Developmental Environmental Health Committee says:
    “Over the past fifteen years, an expanding body of evidence has implicated the role of environmental exposures on health.

    “Whether scientists are reviewing increased rates of cancer, neurodevelopmental disorders, pregnancy outcomes, or birth defects, there is evidence to support the effect of chemical exposures on health. Chemicals in pregnant women can cross the placenta and, as with methyl mercury, can accumulate in the fetus and have long lasting sequelae.

    “The… statement regarding glyphosate reflects a review of literature and a Precautionary Principle. This principle implies that there is a social responsibility to protect the public from exposure to harm, when scientific investigation has found a plausible risk. These protections can be relaxed only if further scientific findings emerge that provide sound evidence that no harm will result. In some legal systems, such as the Law in the European Union, the application of the precautionary principle has been made a statutory requirement in some areas of law.”
    Background
    Glyphosate was patented in 1961 and is the most widely used herbicide worldwide. Six billion kilograms have been released globally in the last decade. It is applied in conjunction with other chemicals to enhance effectiveness. It has been used in weed control, control of marijuana and coca crops, and on GM herbicide-tolerant crops. Glyphosate exposure can be direct because of application or indirect because of persistence in the food chain. It is found in food products and in water supplies because of runoff from agricultural use.

    Global research is under way to understand the potential impact on human health. In 1985, glyphosate was categorized as a Class C carcinogen by the Environmental Protection Agency. Class C states there is suggestive evidence of causing cancer. In 1991 the EPA changed the classification to E, evidence of non-carcinogenicity in humans.

    In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified it (2A) as probably carcinogenic to humans. IARC has a scientific review process that focuses on independence, access to data, and transparency with participation by IARC scientific committee and observation but not participation of many groups (industry and non-industry). IARC looked at animal research, DNA damage, and cancer.

    In 2015, the European Food Safety Authority released a report that concluded glyphosate was unlikely to pose a carcinogenic hazard to humans and they proposed a new safety measure that will tighten the control of glyphosate residues in food. The most recent meta-analysis, published in 2019, states that there is a compelling link between non-Hodgkins lymphoma and glyphosate.

    Also in 2015, in recognition of the need for a global federation to address the threat of toxic environmental chemicals to human reproductive and developmental health on the global stage, FIGO adopted its opinion, Reproductive Health Impacts of Exposure to Toxic Environmental Chemicals.

    When this opinion on environmental exposures was released at the FIGO World Congress of 2015, FIGO also established a global Working Group on the topic of Reproductive and Developmental Environmental Health (RDEH). This working group set a global agenda on the impact of toxic exposures on women’s health. Due to the importance of this issue and the recognised impact on the health and well-being of women and newborn children worldwide, in 2018 the working group was designated a formal FIGO Committee.

    Glyphosate will be up for renewal in 2022 in the European Union; and a panel of member states will review assessment. France has committed to stopping glyphosate use and is seeking safer alternatives. In 2019, HEAL, the Health and Environment Alliance, cited new studies that documented transgenerational effects of glyphosate and stated that if a pesticide shows harm that occurs generations down the line, it offers an opportunity for the European Commission to take precautionary measures to protect health. 1.3 million citizens signed an initiative to ban glyphosate.

    FIGO, which for over 65 years has collaborated with the world’s top health bodies, including working in official relations with the World Health Organization and in a consultative role with the UN, points out an inherent problem with the production of many types of chemicals: that they are released into the environment and with current policy it is up to the public, scientists working for the public interest and physicians to prove harm before chemicals are removed from the market. FIGO says,
    “Contrast this approach with the pharmaceutical industry, where they [industry] must prove safety before use by the public.”
    FIGO adds,
    “Our priorities should be in establishing safety, now and across generations, prior to exposure to chemical products.”
    FIGO invokes the precautionary principle, as noted by the Wingspread Conference:
    “When an activity raises threats of harm to human health or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically.”
    In conclusion, FIGO says,
    “Global health should be our guiding light. We recommend that glyphosate exposure to populations should end with a full global phase out.”
    *
    The original source of this article is GMWatch
    Copyright © GMWatch, GMWatch, 2019
    Featured image is from the author

    Related:
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    Default Re: Monsanto And Its Lethally Toxic Trails

    Report: Monsanto paid Google to bury unfavorable news

    Dan Robitzski Futurism
    Thu, 08 Aug 2019 00:01 UTC


    © Monsanto/Victor Tangermann

    Monsanto, the agrochemical company that's attained notoriety for its agricultural pesticides and genetically modified organisms, reportedly worked overtime to discredit investigative journalists criticizing the company — and even paid the search giant Google to suppress the findings.

    Carey Gillam, a journalist with Reuters, was reporting on the health effects of Monsanto's products a few years back. As part of a massive damage-control campaign, the company worked to discredit her work as much as possible, according to an investigation by The Guardian. Perhaps most troubling: the company reportedly paid Google to promote search results that questioned Gillam's findings — a disturbing look into how readily the flow of online information can be manipulated.

    Coordinated Effort
    As Gillam prepared to publish her 2017 book, "Whitewash: The Story of a Weed Killer, Cancer, and the Corruption of Science," Monsanto went into overdrive, The Guardian reports. The company assembled a spreadsheet of 23 specific steps it would take to downplay Gillam's key finding while promoting content claiming its chemicals were actually safe.

    The spreadsheet shows how Monsanto planned to launch a new website full of their talking points and pay to make sure it popped up when people googled Gillam's name.

    "I've always known that Monsanto didn't like my work... and worked to pressure editors and silence me," Gillam told the Guardian. "But I never imagined a multi-billion dollar company would actually spend so much time and energy and personnel on me. It's astonishing."


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