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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'Monsanto' Category


26
Jul

Another Lawsuit Blames Monsanto for Crop Loss

(Beyond Pesticides, July 26, 2018) A legal complaint filed by a Kansas farmer claims industry giant, Monsanto, knew its new dicamba-formulated product would harm other crops, but marketed and sold it anyway, damaging thousands of acres of crops. The lawsuit, filed by 4-R Farms based in Corning Kansas, lost over 200 acres of soybeans. This is the latest in a string of lawsuits Monsanto is facing. Farmers in Arkansas, Missouri, and elsewhere have been hit with crop losses as a result of the dicamba damage. Advocates¬† and victims of damage argue that Monsanto places profits ahead of possible damage to crops when it markets seeds resistant to a powerful weedkiller before making a less volatile herbicide available. This, according to the lawsuit filed in court. The petition, filed last week, could be the catalyst for a class action lawsuit of Kansas farmers against Monsanto, which faces a growing docket of legal challenges. The lawsuit also names chemical company BASF as a co-defendant. BASF is facing its own¬†mounting pile¬†of lawsuits over dicamba. The lawsuit requests unspecified damages and a trial by a federal jury in Topeka. Monsanto marketed its new line of dicamba products, Xtend, to go hand in hand with […]

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19
Jul

Scotts-Monsanto Genetically Engineered Experimental Bentgrass Threatens Oregon Environment, Waterways, and Seed Industry

(Beyond Pesticides, July 19, 2018)¬†A variety of bentgrass, genetically engineered by Scotts Miracle-Gro and Monsanto to tolerate the glyphosate herbicide Roundup, escaped from an experimental field planting in Eastern Oregon 15 years ago, and continues to plague area farmers. Bentgrass is prized by those who maintain golf course greens because of its fine texture and habit of spreading in even, horizontal mats. But the genetically engineered (GE) version has become a giant annoyance for farmers and other growers who battle its spread through the irrigation systems of Malheur County in eastern Oregon. The escape of this GE version of Agrostis stolonifera is especially alarming in Oregon, the grass seed capital of the world. The GE grass showed up after crossing the Snake River from where it had been planted in seed fields in Idaho, despite the fact that the USDA had not approved its release into the seed market. By 2010, farmers and others found it spreading in mats across most of the irrigation canals and ditches that snake across Malheur County. It is now found in Jefferson County, Oregon, and Canyon County, Idaho, as well. The growth habit of the perennial grass is what greenskeepers love, but its persistent […]

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16
Jul

Federal Bill Benefits Monsanto/Bayer, Overriding Labeling of Roundup/Glyphosate as a Carcinogen under California Law

(Beyond Pesticides, July 16, 2018)¬† Legislative¬†Sneak Attacks Continue. Yet another bill has been introduced in Congress to remove accountability from Monsanto/Bayer for its glyphosate herbicide Roundup.™ The so-called ‚ÄúAccurate Labels Act‚ÄĚ (S.3019/H.R.6022) would repeal most, if not all, existing labeling and information disclosure laws adopted by state or local governments, including California‚Äôs Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act (Prop 65), which has been responsible for the removal of hundreds of dangerous toxic chemicals, including lead, cadmium, and mercury, from commercial and consumer products nationwide. California listed Roundup as a probable carcinogen in 2015, requiring a label warning in the state, and California‚Äôs Fifth District Court of Appeal upheld the decision in April of this year, rejecting Monsanto‚Äôs challenge to the listing. Tell your U.S. Senators and Representative to oppose S.3019/H.R.6022. California will not only move ahead with warning labels on products that contain glyphosate, but also, prohibit discharge of the pesticide into public waterways. Proposition 65 requires notification, primarily through labeling, of all chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm, and prohibits their discharge into the state‚Äôs drinking waters. As with previous sneak attacks, Monsanto‚Äôs fingerprints ‚ÄĒ if not its name ‚Äď are all over […]

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08
Jun

Bayer Ditches Monsanto Name in Merger

(Beyond Pesticides, June 8, 2018)¬†In the wake of U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) approval of the buyout of Monsanto by Bayer, the new mega-corporation ‚ÄĒ now the world‚Äôs largest agrochemical and seed company ‚ÄĒ has announced that it will drop the ‚ÄúMonsanto‚ÄĚ name, possibly as soon as late summer, when the acquisition is expected to be completed. Bayer first needs to sell off $9 billion in assets to German chemical giant BASF in compliance with a DOJ antitrust agreement that will permit the merger. The union of these two corporations, which joins Bayer‚Äôs pesticide business with Monsanto‚Äôs genetically engineered (GE) seed operations, faced vigorous opposition from health and environment advocates both in the U.S. and abroad. Fortune magazine has pointed out that dropping a well-known name is unusual, but given that Monsanto is one of the world‚Äôs most-hated companies, perhaps the move is understandable. Ditching the ‚ÄúMonsanto‚ÄĚ moniker is reportedly one aspect of a coming Bayer campaign to regain public trust and make efforts to engage with critics, according to Bayer spokespeople. Liam Condon, president of Bayer‚Äôs Crop Science Division, has said, ‚ÄúJust changing the name doesn‚Äôt do so much ‚ÄĒ we‚Äôve got to explain to farmers and ultimately to […]

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09
May

Researchers Delve into Role of Gut Bacteria in Insect Resistance to Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, May 9, 2018) An insect‚Äôs gut microbiome plays an important role in conferring pesticide resistance, according to a new review published in the Annals of the Entomological Society of America. ‚ÄúWhether you‚Äôre looking at agricultural pests, household pests like cockroaches, or medical pests like disease-carrying mosquitoes, insects are great at adapting to whatever we throw at them, especially when it comes to different chemicals,‚ÄĚ said lead author Jose Pietri, Ph.D to Entomology Today. The review adds to the numerous ways pests can evade the effects of chemical agriculture, reinforcing calls from recent studies showing that the best method of addressing this issue is to simply stop using synthetic pesticides and employ alternative pest management practices. The authors identify two overarching methods through which microbes help confer resistance to toxic pesticides. The first involves the pest accepting a physiological trade-off, where a pest is able to better withstand an insecticide at the cost of losing its ability to regulate certain gut bacterium. For instance, diamondback moths resistant to fipronil and chlorpyrifos are found to contain higher levels of Lactobacillales, Pseudomonadales, and Xanthomonadales bacteria than non-resistant moths. While this trade-off affects the fitness of the organism, alterations of the bacterial […]

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07
May

Judge Rules Non-Profits Can Sue Monsanto for Misleading Safety Labeling of Popular Herbicide Roundup

(Beyond Pesticides, May 7, 2018)¬†Beyond Pesticides and The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) today responded to a federal judge‚Äôs ruling against Monsanto Co.‚Äôs motion to dismiss the groups‚Äô lawsuit, filed in April, 2017. The lawsuit challenged Monsanto‚Äôs safety claim on its Roundup (glyphosate) products as misleading and fraudulent. Monsanto displays a claim on its Roundup product label that states that the chemicals in the product ‚Äútargets an enzyme bound in plants but not in people or pets,‚ÄĚ when, in fact, the chemical adversely affects beneficial bacteria essential to the gut biome and normal body functions. Jay Feldman, executive director of Beyond Pesticides, the lead plaintiff in the case, said: ‚ÄúIn the face of EPA‚Äôs poor regulation of pesticides, misleading pesticide product labeling cannot be left unchecked. The court‚Äôs decision to allow our case to move forward, in denying Monsanto‚Äôs motion to dismiss, is critical to showing that the company is deceiving the public with a safety claim on its Roundup (glyphosate) label. Its advertising and labeling claim that Roundup ‚Äėtargets an enzyme found in plants but not in people or pets‚Äô is false, given the devastating harm that glyphosate has on beneficial bacteria in the gut biome. The disruption of the […]

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24
Apr

Court Affirms Listing Glyphosate as Probable Carcinogen

(Beyond Pesticides, April, 24, 2018) On April 19, 2018, an Appellate Court in California sided with the State of California, affirming that Monsanto’s glyphosate can be listed as a probable carcinogen under the state’s Proposition 65 and rejecting Monsanto‚Äôs challenge to law. The state will not only move ahead with warning labels on products that contain glyphosate but also prohibit discharge of the pesticide into public waterways. Monsanto’s lawsuit challenged the 2015¬†decision by California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) to list glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s herbicide, Roundup, under California’s Proposition 65. Proposition 65 requires notification and labeling of all chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm, and prohibits their discharge into drinking waters of the state. In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of the World Health Organization (WHO) concluded that glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic.”¬† Under the Labor Code listing mechanism of Proposition 65, substances identified by IARC¬†must be listed¬†in the state of California as known to cause cancer. This listing requires warning labels on products and the listed substances are subject to limits on discharges into surface waters.¬†California added glyphosate to the list of cancer-causing chemicals in July […]

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04
Apr

State Proposes Rule to Restrict Sale of Dicamba and 2,4-D, Herbicides that Damage Crops

(Beyond Pesticides, April 4, 2018) In late March, the Missouri Department of Agriculture hosted a public hearing to discuss a proposed emergency rule restricting¬†the sale and use of the herbicides dicamba and 2,4-D ‚Äď which are known for their ability to drift off-site and damage sensitive crops. The emergency rule was introduced to prevent off-label use of specific dicamba or 2,4-D products. Thus far, dicamba is responsible for damaging approximately 325,000 acres of soybeans in the state last year. The proposed¬†rule¬†will stop sales of the herbicides dicamba and 2,4-D between April 15 and October 1 in Missouri. The department‚Äôs goal is to prevent off-label pesticides from drifting onto neighboring property and damaging other crops. According to the department, if it chooses to pursue an emergency rule, it could become effective as soon as April 1, 2018, and expire 180 days later. The rule also requires registrants to provide a sales record by April 30 for each pesticide sold between October 1 and April 15. A proposed rule will be filed at the same time as an emergency rule to initiate the formal rulemaking process. The draft rule language reads as follows: Pesticides that meet the conditions of this section are […]

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26
Mar

Action: Your State’s AG Needs to Join the Investigation of the Bayer-Monsanto Merger

(Beyond Pesticides, March 26, 2018)¬†Tell your state AG to¬†join the investigation of the merger of Bayer-Monsanto, the manufacturer of genetically engineered seeds tolerant of its herbicide glyphosate¬†(aka Roundup¬ģ), and Bayer, the manufacturer of neonicotinoid insecticides responsible for pollinator declines, including imidacloprid¬†and¬†clothianidin. The giant seed and pesticide company that would be created by this merger would be a disaster for pollinators, people, and the environment. Farmers overwhelmingly think this mega-merger is a bad idea ‚Äďa new survey¬†and¬†white paper¬†were released that demonstrate widespread opposition of farmers to this merger. According to the poll, which was conducted by a coalition of farm organizations, 93 percent of farmers surveyed oppose it. More than one million Americans have called on the Department of Justice to stop it. Investigations are ongoing in both the EU and the U.S. Your state attorney general could play a key role in this fight by joining the investigation. Tell your state AG to¬†join the investigation of the Bayer-Monsanto Merger! If this merger goes through, the new company would be the world‚Äôs largest vegetable seed company. It would control seeds for many of the crops we eat regularly ‚ÄĒ including broccoli, carrots, and onions. It would also be the largest manufacturer […]

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21
Mar

Study Shows Glyphosate Linked to Shorter Pregnancies

(Beyond Pesticides, March 21, 2018) According to a new study published this month in Environment Health, women with high levels of glyphosate in their bodies are more likely to have shorter pregnancies. Shorter pregnancies can lead to children with reduced learning and brain development. This is the first study to suggest that exposures to glyphosate can influence the long-term well-being of children. The study, Glyphosate exposure in pregnancy and shortened gestational length: a prospective Indiana birth cohort study, obtained both urine and drinking water samples from 71 women with pregnancies living in Central Indiana while they received routine prenatal care, and analysed the relationships of glyphosate levels in mother‚Äôs urine with fetal growth indicators and gestational length. The researchers found that more than 90 percent of pregnant women had detectable levels of glyphosate where¬†higher glyphosate levels were significantly correlated with shortened gestational lengths, even though the drinking water samples had little to no detectable levels of glyphosate. Women living in rural areas were found to have higher glyphosate levels. The authors note their study is significant because it is the first U.S. study designed specifically to measure prenatal glyphosate exposure in pregnant women to determine its association with adverse fetal […]

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23
Feb

Monsanto Loses Lawsuit to Stop Dicamba Ban in Arkansas

(Beyond Pesticides, February 23, 2018) Agrichemical corporation Monsanto has lost its bid to halt a statewide ban on the use of its specialty dicamba herbicide in Arkansas. Despite a lengthy process of evaluation and public comment that led to a prohibition on the use of drift-prone dicamba herbicides during the growing season on Arkansas farms, Monsanto made one last-ditch attempt to stop the law from going into effect by suing the entire state. With the industry‚Äôs loss, Arkansas is on track to implement the toughest restrictions against dicamba in the U.S. State Circuit Court Judge Chris Piazza dismissed the lawsuit last week based on a recent Arkansas Supreme Court ruling, which held that the state cannot be made a defendant in court. Monsanto’s lawsuit argued against the makeup of the state‚Äôs Plant Board, which voted to prohibit the company‚Äôs product last November. Monsanto also made claims that the state did not consider the economic damage a ban on the herbicide would cause, despite not seeking monetary restitution in court. Beyond Pesticides led a nationwide campaign to urge action by the Arkansas Plant Board to ban dicamba. Dicamba is an herbicide originally registered for use in 1967 to control broadleaf weeds. […]

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22
Dec

It is an honor to work with you, the members and network of Beyond Pesticides

Thank you for your support and collaboration. Onward in 2018! (Beyond Pesticides, December 22, 2017)¬†¬†We deeply appreciate your donation to our program in 2017 and it is easy to donate¬†HERE. Year in Review At Beyond Pesticides, we collaborate with organizations and advocate across the country to get our message out on the threat that pesticides pose to human health and the environment. We support local action to stop this threat. And, we assist communities nationwide with the adoption of organic management practices that are more effective and¬†protective than chemical-intensive practices. The partnerships that have been established are, at a more rapid pace, resulting in the adoption of land management practices that are supported by Beyond Pesticides‚Äô strategic vision for a world free of toxic pesticides. Information for Action Beyond Pesticides expanded its role in the forefront of pesticide and organic advocacy with our Action of Week ¬†and Q&A of the Week,¬†in addition to our Daily News, which identifies and delves into key science, policy, and actions that inform local action. The Summer issue of our journal, Pesticides and You, highlighted David Montgomery’s talk at Beyond Pesticides‚Äô National Forum on the importance of soil microbiota and gut microbiome to healthy ecosystems […]

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21
Dec

EPA Says Glyphosate ‚ÄúLikely Not Carcinogenic,‚ÄĚ Despite Scientific Findings to the Contrary

(Beyond Pesticides, December 21, 2017) On December 18, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) declared that glyphosate is likely not carcinogenic. Relatedly, after weeks of stalemate on a decision by European countries, the European Union (EU) voted, in late November, to extend the license for the herbicide for another five years, despite massive opposition in member countries. In the U.S., the Center for Biological Diversity charged that the EPA assessment relied heavily on industry studies to arrive it its conclusion, and ignored its own guidelines for assessing cancer risks. Senior scientist at the Center for Biological Diversity Nathan Donley said, ‚ÄúThe only way the EPA could conclude that glyphosate poses no significant risks to human health was to analyze industry studies and ignore its own guidelines when estimating cancer risk. . . . The EPA‚Äôs biased assessment falls short of the most basic standards of independent research and fails to give Americans an accurate picture of the risks posed by glyphosate use.‚ÄĚ Glyphosate is due for its EPA registration review in 2019, and opponents are concerned that the December 18 announcement portends likely re-registration ‚ÄĒ which advocates say is bad news for human health and the environment. As the chief […]

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16
Nov

Over One million People Ask Government to Block Bayer-Monsanto Merger

(Beyond Pesticides, November 16, 2017) With a petition signed by over one million people, farming, consumer, and environmental groups called on the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) this week to block the proposed merger of Bayer (BAYN) and Monsanto (MON). The signatures were delivered as two new reports reveal devastating impacts that will be caused by the merger on consumers and farmers, including higher food prices, less innovation, limited seed choices, and escalating dependency of toxic chemical inputs in food production. ¬†On Tuesday November 14, 2017, Friends of the Earth, SumOfUs and the Open Markets Institute released an analysis, ‚ÄúBayer-Monsanto Merger: Big Data, Big Agriculture, Big Problems,‚ÄĚ which ¬†explores the implications of a combined biotechnology, chemical, and seed platform owned by Bayer and Monsanto and how it may impact competition and farmer choice. The release of the analysis coincided with a hearing on technology in agriculture and data-driven farming in the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, & Transportation. Consumer Federation of America also released a report, ‚ÄúMega-Mergers in the U.S. Seed and Agrochemical Sector the Political Economy of Tight Oligopolies on Steroids and the Squeeze on Farmers and Consumers.‚ÄĚ The report uses the concept of a ‚Äútight oligopoly on […]

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14
Nov

EU Fails to Approve Continuing Glyphosate Use

(Beyond Pesticides,¬†November 14, 2017) The European Commission has again been unable to come to a consensus over renewing approval for Monsanto‚Äôs popular herbicide,¬† glyphosate.¬† Member states voted last week, but failed to approve, continued use even after months of deliberation over the controversial herbicide. Glyphosate (Roundup) is also up for review in the U.S., but many expect the herbicide to be reregistered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), despite health concerns. The proposal to renew the European Union (EU) license for glyphosate for another five years failed to a reach a qualified majority, meaning a decision has again been postponed, according to reports.¬†The current license is due to expire on December 15, 2017, but there is an 18-month grace period. Fourteen countries voted in favor of the renewal, nine¬†against, while five, including Germany, abstained from voting. According to reports, a qualified majority¬†requires that 55 percent of EU countries vote in favor and that the proposal is supported by countries representing at least 65 percent¬†of the total EU population. France, which voted against the proposal, said it would only support a renewal for three-year phase-out. The proposal could now be referred to an appeals committee, or¬†alternatively, the Commission could draw […]

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08
Nov

Monsanto Pulls New Seed Treatment Product after Complaints of Skin Irritation, Blames Users

(Beyond Pesticides, November, 8, 2017) Farmers who purchased and handled Monsanto‚Äôs new treated seed product, NemaStrike, for nematode or roundworm control (nematicide) have been reporting skin irritation, including rashes that occurred after use. Now the seed giant is pausing a full rollout of the product, while blaming farmers for not using gloves and other protective equipment to handle the treated seeds. This is another blunder from Monsanto and the latest incident highlighting the deficiencies in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency‚Äôs (EPA) pesticide registration process in light of the millions of acres of crop damage from Monsanto products green-lighted by EPA. While touting that NemaStrike went through three years of extensive field trials and ‚Äúextensive evaluations‚ÄĚ by EPA, Monsanto stated in a bulletin to its customers on its website that it will pause commercialization of the product in light of reports of skin irritation from users. These adverse reactions to the product are being blamed on the failure of users to wear gloves and other protective equipment when handling the treated seeds. This is not the first time that Monsanto has tried to shift responsibility for the toxic effect of its products to users. Last year, Monsanto blamed farmers for drift […]

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30
Oct

Deadline Today: Stop Monsanto from Poisoning Farms and Communities

(Beyond Pesticides, October 30, 2017)¬†Tell the Arkansas State Plant Board to stand up to Monsanto, and protect farmers by banning dicamba‚Äôs use in Arkansas agriculture. Comment period closes today, Monday, October 30, 2017, at 4:30pm (Eastern Time). Your comments are needed to stop the disaster in Arkansas being created by Monsanto‚Äôs new genetically engineered (GE) cropping system, which relies on the toxic pesticide dicamba. If Arkansas bans dicamba, other states should and will follow ‚ÄĒgiven the chemical industry‚Äôs takeover of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which is allowing this extremely hazardous pesticide use. This is a problem that has regional and national implications, given the breakdown of the EPA and its pesticide program. We cannot let this failure of protection stand in Arkansas or anywhere in the country. Promoted by Monsanto as a way to address rampant Roundup (glyphosate) resistance, Monsanto‚Äôs new GE soybeans are now able to withstand both glyphosate and dicamba, an older herbicide with a range of documented health effects ‚ÄĒfrom neurotoxicity to reproductive problems. Dicamba is also highly volatile and, as a result, has drifted across crop fields throughout the region, damaging high value fruit tree and organic operations. The Arkansas State Plant Board is […]

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18
Oct

Monsanto Banned from Lobbying European Parliament

(Beyond Pesticides, October 18, 2017)¬†Effective immediately, the European Parliament has banned Monsanto lobbyists, excluding the chemical company from access to committee meetings and digital resources, as well as no longer permitting Monsanto lobbyists to meet with any Member of the European Parliament (MEP). This limit to its influence is a serious blow to Monsanto‚Äôs advocacy campaign to promote the safety of its weedkiller glyphosate, (Roundup). The decision to ban came amid mounting public pressure to deny European Union re-licensing of glyphosate, one of the world‚Äôs most widely used herbicides. (See glyphosate listing in Beyond Pesticides‚Äô Pesticides Gateway,¬†the active ingredient in Monsanto‚Äôs Roundup herbicide.) Glyphosate is classified as ‚Äúprobably carcinogenic to humans‚ÄĚ by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Monsanto, the world‚Äôs largest GE-seed and seventh-largest pesticide company, is eager to suppress IARC’s ranking. In fact, before being banned, the European Parliament had questioned Monsanto’s funding of counter-studies in order to discredit independent scientists working to limit the public‚Äôs exposure to toxic chemicals. In a related development, independent scientists sent a letter to the scientific journal¬†Critical Reviews in Toxicology, calling for the retraction of a 2016 paper that refuted glyphosate‚Äôs cancer¬†risks after it was learned that […]

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17
Oct

Scientists Urge Retraction of Journal Article on Glyphosate’s Safety, Surreptitiously Written by Monsanto

(Beyond Pesticides, October 17, 2017) In a letter to the scientific journal Critical Reviews in Toxicology, scientists called for the retraction of a 2016 paper that refuted glyphosate‚Äôs cancer risks after it was learned that the paper was secretly edited and funded by Monsanto, manufacturer of glyphosate. The paper in question, ‚ÄúAn Independent Review of the Carcinogenic Potential of Glyphosate,‚ÄĚ is a review of the 2015 decision by an expert Working Group of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) to designate glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto‚Äôs flagship product, Roundup, as ‚Äúprobably carcinogenic to humans‚ÄĚ (Group 2A). However, a new report this summer discovered conflict of interests not revealed at publication. Contrary to the journal‚Äôs conflict-of-interest disclosure statement, Monsanto directly paid at least two of the scientists who authored the paper, and a Monsanto employee substantially edited and reviewed the article prior to publication, in clear contradiction to the disclosure statement. The retraction-request letter highlights a range of failures involved in the published review: Failure to disclose that at least two panelists who authored the review worked as consultants for, and were directly paid by, Monsanto for their work on the paper. Failure to disclose that at least […]

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15
Aug

Beyond Pesticides Journal Articles Link Pesticides to Soil Microbiota and Gut Microbiome Poisoning and Resulting Diseases

(Beyond Pesticides, August 15, 2017)¬†With increasing scientific understanding about the importance of beneficial bacteria in soil and the human body ‚ÄĒmicrobiota in the soil and microbiome in the human gut, the summer 2017 issue of Beyond Pesticides‚Äô journal, Pesticides and You, publishes two critical articles to advance the importance of community discussion and action on organic and sustainable practices. The lead article, Sustaining Life: From Soil Microbiota to Gut Microbiome by professor of geomorphology (University of Washington) and author David Montgomery, PhD, contains excerpts from Dr. Montgomery‚Äôs talk to Beyond Pesticides‚Äô 35th National Pesticide Forum, documenting the importance of soil microbiota to healthy soil, resilient plants, and sustainability. His piece explains the essentiality of bacteria in the human gut to a healthy life, with profound implications for both agriculture and medicine. Dr. Montgomery points to a ‚Äúbonafide scientific revolution‚ÄĚ in recognizing the failure to nurture the ecosystem in nature and the human body and the associated adverse health effects resulting from pesticide use ‚Äď21st century diseases, including asthma, autism, bacterial vaginosis, cardiovascular disease, cancer, Crohn‚Äôs disease, depression, inflammatory bowel disease, leaky gut syndrome, multiple sclerosis, obesity, Type 1 and 2 diabetes, and Parkinson‚Äôs. Also in the Journal, Monsanto‚Äôs Roundup (Glyphosate) […]

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11
Aug

Monsanto Papers Redux: More on Industry Suppression and Regulatory Collusion

(Beyond Pesticides, August 11, 2017)¬†On August 1, a second round of internal Monsanto documents became public, stirring up additional questions and speculation about Monsanto‚Äôs potential malfeasance ‚ÄĒ i.e., its efforts to hide information about impacts of its popular glyphosate-based herbicide, Roundup. This follows on the heels of the March 2017 unsealing, by federal judge Vince Chhabria, of internal Monsanto documents ‚ÄĒ the ‚ÄúMonsanto Papers‚ÄĚ ‚ÄĒ that evidenced questionable research practices by the company, inappropriate ties to a top EPA official, and possible ‚Äúghostwriting‚ÄĚ of purportedly ‚Äúindependent‚ÄĚ research studies. This latest release, of more than 700 documents, came courtesy of Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman, one of many law firms representing thousands of families who claim that exposure to Roundup caused non-Hodgkins lymphoma (NHL), a blood cancer, in their loved ones. Such litigation has been triggered, in part, by the 2015 finding of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (a branch of the U.N.‚Äôs World Health Organization) that glyphosate is ‚Äúprobably carcinogenic to humans.‚ÄĚ The plaintiffs allege that the combination of glyphosate and surfactants used in Monsanto‚Äôs Roundup products is even more toxic than glyphosate alone, and that Monsanto has sought to cover up that information. Monsanto has continued to […]

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01
Aug

Government and Chemical Industry Collusion Going Back Decades Showcased in ‚ÄúPoison Papers‚ÄĚ

(Beyond Pesticides, August 1, 2017) A collection of long archived documents dating back to the 1920s were released last week showcasing the efforts of the chemical industry and the federal government to conceal from the public the real dangers associated with the use and manufacture of chemical products. The¬†Bioscience Resource Project¬†and the¬†Center for Media and Democracy¬†released more than 200,000 pages of these documents now accessible on the ‚ÄúPoison Papers‚ÄĚ website. First reported in The Intercept, the project, ‚ÄúPoison Papers,‚ÄĚ makes publicly available documents obtained through legal discovery in lawsuits against Dow, Monsanto, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Forest Service, the Air Force, and pulp and paper companies, among others. Activist Carol Van Strum stored much of these documents in her rural Oregon barn. Ms. Van Strum’s activism on pesticides and other toxic chemicals began in the mid-1970s, when she and her neighbors in Oregon filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Forest Service to stop the spraying of 2,4,5-T, a dangerously toxic herbicide that made up one-half of the¬†ingredients in the deadly Agent Orange¬†(the other ingredient was the still widely used herbicide 2,4-D). The spraying directly doused her four children, who developed headaches, nosebleeds, and bloody diarrhea. Miscarriages […]

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21
Jul

Sustained Glyphosate Use Reveals Risks to Soil and Environmental Health

(Beyond Pesticides, July 21, 2017) A March 2017 review of studies on the agricultural use of glyphosate (the active ingredient in ‚ÄúRoundup‚ÄĚ and other formulated herbicides) points to widespread persistence in soils subject to long-term, intensive glyphosate use, and myriad resulting concerns about impacts on soil and environmental health. The review, by Robert J. Kremer, PhD, of the University of Missouri School of Natural Resources, cites concerns that include: reduction of nutrient availability for plants and organisms; disruption to organism diversity, especially in the areas around plant roots; reductions of beneficial soil bacteria; increases in plant root pathogens; disturbed earthworm activity; reduced nitrogen fixing at plant roots; and compromised growth and reproduction in some soil and aquatic organisms. Globally, glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide compound: in 2017, worldwide use is estimated to be approximately 1.35 million metric tons. Use in the U.S. has risen dramatically ‚ÄĒ from 2.72‚Äď3.62 million kg in 1987 to approximately 108 million kg in 2014, and 15-fold since 1996, when genetically engineered (GE) glyphosate-tolerant crops were introduced. Use has grown for a number of reasons, including more-intensive use as resistance to the herbicide grows. Researchers have found that, after years of consistent application to […]

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