‘humanity vs. the machine’
One piece of good news is that a California judge recently issued her final ruling that requires Monsanto to label Roundup as a ‘possible carcinogen’, although what the label will say hasn’t been determined yet. We can only hope other states follow the state’s example, but boy, howdy, do Monsanto flacks work against any labeling laws. And almost always…win. From sustainablepulse.com, March 11:
“Judge Kapetan formalized her ruling against Monsanto on Friday, which will allow California to proceed with the process of listing glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, as a chemical “known to the state to cause cancer” in accordance with the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, better known as Proposition 65.
In January of 2016, Monsanto filed a lawsuit against the State of California Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) over the agency’s notice of intent to list glyphosate as a Prop 65 chemical.”
Monsanto attorneys in law suit: “It’s unconstitutional!”
Sustainable Pulse also has the story of UN two experts, the Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Hilal Elver, and the Special Rapporteur on Toxics, Baskut Tuncak, calling for a global treaty to phase out the use of agricultural pesticides, and turn instead to sustainable agroecology, although of course, organic farming isn’t ‘new’, and has proven far more likely to high yields, without depleting soil organisms, and using far less water. But still:
“The Special Rapporteur on Food highlights developments in agroecology, which replaces chemicals with biology, saying its approaches are capable of delivering sufficient yields to feed and nourish the entire world population, without undermining the rights of future generations to adequate food and health. And the Special Rapporteur on Toxics points to examples of where safer alternatives to hazardous pesticides and other toxic chemicals were developed and adopted only after strong regulatory pressures by States on industry.”
The sole class of pesticides that were mentioned in the piece were neonicotinoids, but the full report might list others. Another source had noted that “The report said: “Chronic exposure to pesticides has been linked to cancer, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, hormone disruption, developmental disorders and sterility.”
But it may arguably have been neonicotinoids that led to another piece of potentially helpful news ‘1st bee species officially placed on endangered species list’, March 22, at RT.
“The rusty patched bumble bee has been given the dubious honor of being the first bee to make the endangered species list. The bee, which was once a prominent feature of the Midwest, has lost 90 percent of its population, giving many cause for concern.
The rusty patched bumble bee on Tuesday became the first bee in the continental US to be placed on the endangered species list by the Department of the Interior. The bee was initially proposed for the list in September 2016 after it was determined that in the past 20 years, the rusty patched bumble bee’s population has decreased over 90 percent due to disease, pesticide, climate change and habitat loss, Reuters reported.”
The decision is being contested, and more lobbyists will join in, but for now, it’s a good thing.
‘A ghost in the making’ (vimeo), at rustypatched.com
From nationofchange.org March 23: ‘Monsanto faces hundreds of new cancer lawsuits as debate over glyphosate rages on’; The biotech giant refutes the classification and insists that glyphosate is safe and does not cause cancer.
“Los Angeles-based law firm Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman filed lawsuits last week on behalf of 136 plaintiffs from across the country who allege that exposure to Monsanto’s glyphosate-based weedkiller Roundup caused them to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Three bundled complaints were filed last week in St. Louis County Circuit Court.”
The firm is R.F. Kennedy, Jr’s.
‘Monsanto Manufactured Scientific Studies And Then Used Those Studies To Influence EPA, Other Regulators’, Ed Mierzwinski Consumer Program Director, U.S. PIRG, March 15, via HuffPo
“Newly-accessible court papers allege that agrichemical giant Monsanto manufactured scientific studies affirming the safety of their star product, the hugely-popular weedkiller Roundup, and paid scientists to publish them. In February 2015, Monsanto executive William “Bill” Heydens emailed his staff instructions to ghostwrite portions of a scientific study on the safety of Roundup, and that he would tell scientists to, quote: “just sign their names” to the study. According to this same email, Heydens knew that ghostwriting the study would work: he said that Monsanto had already ghostwritten a study on Roundup in the year 2000.
In the 2015 emails, Bill Heydens and his employees scramble to prepare for an international review of glyphosate by the the cancer arm of the World Health Organization. The emails reveal that some Monsanto employees were apprehensive about “noise” coming from independent scientific studies―studies that indicated Roundup is carcinogenic. In the emails, executives weigh the cost of paying independent experts to create studies ($250,000) versus the free option of “ghost-writing” studies.”
Well, not a shock, but jeezum crow; I just ran into: ‘USDA Drops Plan to Test for Monsanto Weed Killer in Food’. Mar. 23, 2017, ecowatch.com
“The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has quietly dropped a plan to start testing food for residues of glyphosate, the world’s most widely used weed killer and key ingredient in Monsanto’s branded Roundup herbicides.
The agency spent the last year coordinating with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in preparation to start testing samples of corn syrup for glyphosate residues on April 1, according to internal agency documents obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests. Documents show that at least since January 2016 into January of this year, the glyphosate testing plan was moving forward. But when asked about the plan this week, a USDA spokesman said no glyphosate residue testing would be done at all by USDA this year.” [snip]
“FDA Tests Remain in Limbo” (file under: small wonder…)
We’ll turn to Colin Todhunter’s twitter account for more; he spends time between the UK and India, and is one of the keenest critics of agribusiness products.
The essay was from 2015, but key to understanding the US-backed coup; a snippet, but you’ll likely want to read it all:
“Reforms mandated by the EU-backed loan include agricultural deregulation that is intended to benefit foreign agribusiness corporations. Natural resource and land policy shifts are intended to facilitate the foreign corporate takeover of enormous tracts of land. (From 2016, foreign private investors will no longer be prohibited from buying land.) Moreover, the EU Association Agreement [wd here: you remember, the one that Victor Yanukovytch had refused to sign and was driven out?] includes a clause requiring both parties to cooperate to extend the use of biotechnology, including GMOs.
In other words, events in Ukraine are helping (and were designed to help) the likes of Monsanto to gain a firm hold over the country’s agriculture.
Frederic Mousseau, Policy Director of the Oakland Institute last year stated that the World Bank and IMF are intent on opening up foreign markets to Western corporations and that the high stakes around control of Ukraine’s vast agricultural sector, the world’s third largest exporter of corn and fifth largest exporter of wheat, constitute an oft-overlooked critical factor. He added that in recent years, foreign corporations have acquired more than 1.6 million hectares of Ukrainian land.”
(The correct link to his Tweeted Sweat Shops essay above)
Jan 17: and we still haven’t heard if the merger will happen; I’m betting YES. If it’s stopped, it will be the EC’s doing. Herr Trump already met w/ the CEOs months ago. Jobs! Jobs! High-tech Jobs! It’s hard to see his DOJ anti-trust division blocking it, but then the EC had extended the use of glyphosate until the end of 2017 in January, and will be taking comments and ‘studying’ the issue.
Not quite on topic, but still us entwined with thug Hindu Modi:
Is there still an EPA?