By John Deike, February 27, 2014. Source: EcoWatch
In recent years, Roundup was found to be even more toxic than it was when first approved for agricultural use, though that discovery has not led to any changes in regulation of the pesticide. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock
A new U.S. Geological Survey has concluded that pesticides can be found in, well, just about anything.
Roundup herbicide, Monsanto’s flagship weed killer, was present in 75 percent of air and rainfall test samples, according to the study, which focused on Mississippi’s highly fertile Delta agricultural region.
GreenMedInfo reports new research, soon to be published by Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry journal, discovered the traces over a 12-year span from 1995-2007.
In recent years, Roundup was found to be even more toxic than it was when first approved for agricultural use, though that discovery has not led to any changes in regulation of the pesticide. Moreover, Roundup’s overuse has enabled weeds and insects to build an immunity to its harsh toxins. Continue reading
February 27, 2014. Source: RT
A farmer tills a rice paddy field on the outskirts of Colombo, Sri Lanka (Reuters / Andrew Caballero-Reynolds)
A heretofore inexplicable fatal, chronic kidney disease that has affected poor farming regions around the globe may be linked to the use of biochemical giant Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide in areas with hard water, a new study has found.
The new study was published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.
Researchers suggest that Roundup, or glyphosate, becomes highly toxic to the kidney once mixed with“hard” water or metals like arsenic and cadmium that often exist naturally in the soil or are added via fertilizer. Hard water contains metals like calcium, magnesium, strontium, and iron, among others. On its own, glyphosate is toxic, but not detrimental enough to eradicate kidney tissue.
The glyphosate molecule was patented as a herbicide by Monsanto in the early 1970s. The company soon brought glyphosate to market under the name “Roundup,” which is now the most commonly used herbicide in the world. Continue reading
By Larissa Walker, January 29, 2014. Source: Center for Food Safety
Photo: Center for Food Safety
We hate to be the bearer of bad news, again, but the 2013-2014 overwintering population numbers for Monarch butterflies in Mexico were just released this morning, confirming our bleak predictions from a few months ago: the situation is worsening. Last year’s overwintering numbers were an all-time low, with monarchs occupying 1.19 hectares. The area occupied by monarchs this year is a frightening 0.67 hectares – a 44% decline in just the past year. So what does that number actually mean for the population size of monarchs? An average estimate of about 50 million butterflies per hectare would mean there are roughly 33.5 million monarchs – a huge drop from just one year ago. Another way to visualize this downward spiral is to look at the trend of declining overwintering numbers in Mexico throughout the past two decades:
These data points and trends, compiled by World Wildlife Fund Mexico, clearly illustrate North American Monarch butterfly populations are in serious trouble, and it’s only going to continue to get worse unless we make some big changes to our agricultural system. Continue reading
January 20, 2014. Source: Union of Concerned Scientists
Horseweeds. Photo: Union of Concerned Scientists
A policy brief by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), entitled “The Rise of Superweeds – and What to Do About It”, has raised the alarm on ‘superweeds’ resistant to glyphosate over-running 60 million acres across the United States. The UCS cites three reasons for the emergence of the weeds: year after year of huge monoculture farming on the same land; over-reliance on a single herbicide, namely, glyphosate; and the neglect of other weed control measures.
For almost two decades, farmers growing Monsanto’s Roundup Ready crops, genetically engineered (GE) to be resistant to glyphosate (sold as Roundup), have been spraying the herbicide with careless abandon. When resistant weeds emerged, they resorted to applying more and different herbicides. Overall pesticide use in the U.S. in 2012 was an estimated 404 million pounds greater than if Roundup Ready crops had not been planted. Meanwhile Monsanto and other pesticide and seed companies are offering the next generation of GE seeds resistant to two older but more toxic herbicides, dicamba and 2-4D. The brief warns that“the use of multiple herbicides would speed up the evolution of weeds that have multiple resistances— a nightmare scenario for farmers who rely primarily on herbicides.” Continue reading
Note: Global Justice Ecology Project collaborates with the Sojourner Truth show on KPFK each week for an Earth Minute on Tuesday and an EarthWatch segment on Thursday.
Note: Originating from a partnership which included Monsanto, South Carolina-based ArborGen intends to plant millions of genetically engineered eucalyptus trees across the US Southeast, for which they are currently awaiting approval from the US Department of Agriculture. Given the ecological and public health nightmare of GMO crops like Monsanto’s RoundUp-Ready line, it’s not hard to imagine the disasters that would ensue if native forests were allowed to be converted into heavily sprayed monoculture tree plantations.
Take action today by signing Global Justice Ecology Project and the Campaign to STOP Genetically Engineered Trees’ petition calling for a ban on the release of all genetically engineered trees into the environment here: http://globaljusticeecology.org/petition.php
-The GJEP Team
June 17, 2013. Source: Friends of the Earth International
A farmer sprays the weed killer glyphosate across his cornfield in Auburn, Ill. Photo: Seth Perlman/AP
Friends of the Earth International today urged governments around the world to limit the use of the weed killer glyphosate, after laboratory test results released last week showed that people across 18 European countries have traces of the weed killer in their bodies.
The unprecedented tests carried out by Friends of the Earth Europe revealed that 44% of samples from 182 volunteers in 18 European countries contained traces of the herbicide.
Glyphosate is one of the most widely-used weed killers in the world, used by farmers, local government and gardeners, and is sprayed extensively on genetically modified (GM) crops.
In the United States and Latin America, farmers are using increased amounts of pesticides -including glyphosate- due largely to the heavy adoption of genetically modified crops. Continue reading
Note: Monsanto and Dow are bad enough on their own. Now they are combining powers to produce a plant that can resist corn root worm and the pesticide-resistant “super weeds” that Monsanto is responsible for in the first place. Solve a problem created by applying too much of one chemical by applying too much of another chemical. This thought process is otherwise know as insanity; doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
-The GJEP Team
By Georgina Gustin, April 11, 2013. Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Photo: Seth Perlman/AP
The world’s biggest seed company and the country’s biggest chemical company announced Thursday a cross-licensing deal intended to bring next-generation seeds and chemical mixes to farmers combating increasingly stubborn weeds and insects in the field.
Creve Coeur-based Monsanto Co. and Dow Agrosciences, a subsidiary of Dow Chemical Co., said Thursday that Monsanto will allow Dow to use a corn technology Monsanto is developing to kill corn rootworm, a major agricultural pest. In exchange, Dow will give Monsanto access to its new Enlist brand corn technology, which enables crops to survive applications of the chemical 2,4-D.
The deal is the latest move in an emerging pattern that has seen major rivals in agricultural biotechnology license technologies to one another. The existing SmartStax corn product, for example, already contains eight biotechnology traits developed by Dow, Monsanto and Bayer CropScience.
By Lina Kahn, March 15, 2013. Source: Salon
Photo: AP/Seth Perlman
Last November, the U.S. Department of Justice quietly closed a three-year antitrust investigation into Monsanto, the biotech giant whose genetic traits are embedded in over 90 percent of America’s soybean crop and more than 80 percent of corn. Despite a splash of press coverage when the investigation was initially announced, its termination went mostly unreported. The DOJ released no written public statement. Only a brief press release from Monsanto conveyed the news.
The lack of attention belies the significance of the decision, both for food consumers around the world and for U.S. businesses. Experts who have examined Monsanto’s conduct say the Justice Department’s decision not to act all but officially establishes the firm’s sovereignty over the U.S. seed industry. Many of them also say the decision ratifies aggressive practices Monsanto used to entrench its dominance and deter competition. This includes highly restrictive contractual agreements that excluded rivals, alongside a multibillion-dollar spree to buy up seed companies.
When the administration first launched its investigation, many antitrust and agriculture experts believed it was still possible to imagine an industry characterized by greater competition in the marketplace and greater diversity in seeds. That future may now be foreclosed.
Note: The following video just came to the attention of Global Justice Ecology Project. The images in this video confirm that Monsanto is run by individuals determined to perpetuate death and destruction across the planet, who celebrate their products as “killing machines.” Agriculture should be about sustaining life, not waging a full-scare war on plants and animals to increase the efficiency of industrial farming systems.
-The GJEP Team
By Gretchen Goetz, September 20, 2012. Source: Food Safety News
Photo: Food Safety News
New research out of France has linked both an herbicide and a genetically modified corn to organ damage, tumors and early death among rats, prompting a call for greater regulation of GM foods among sustainable agriculture advocates.
The study – published Wednesday in Food and Chemical Toxicology – found that rats who were exposed to Roundup, a weed killing herbicide, and rats who were fed Roundup-resistant corn developed mammary tumors, kidney and liver damage and died earlier than those in the control group.
According to the authors, this is the first study to examine the long-term effects of genetically modified Roundup Ready corn, or NK603, which is produced by biotech corporation Monsanto and has been approved for use in both the European Union and the United States.
Previous studies have examined the effects of NK603 on animals over the course of 90 days, while this study looked at a two-year period.
“There were no adverse effects in a 90-day feeding study on rats with NK603 maize grain…” says the EFSA GMO Panel in its scientific opinion on the corn. “The EFSA GMO Panel is of the opinion that maize NK603 is as safe as conventional maize. Maize NK603 and derived products are unlikely to have any adverse effect on human and animal health in the context of the intended uses.”
The French study, however, found a series of adverse health effects in rats fed with the corn.