US Food Companies Demand That EPA Take Action to Stop Spraying of Glyphosate on Foods Just Before Harvesting
A coalition of American food companies that oppose using glyphosate weed killer to dry out food crops prior to harvest plan to march on Washington DC to demand that the EPA take action. The food companies, including Stonyfield Organic, One Degree Organic Foods, Ben & Jerry’s, Grandy Oats Real Granolas, PCC Community Markets, Patagonia Provisions, Lundberg Family Farms, MegaFood, Mom’s Organic Market, and Clif Bar, will deliver a petition to the EPA that explains that the continued use of glyphosate as a pre-harvest drying agent is contaminating America’s food supply with a known cancer-causing chemical. [The EPA has known this for a long time, so the purpose of the march is to create publicity that will create public pressure to force the agency to do what it is supposed to do.] -GEG
Stonyfield Organic, One Degree Organic Foods, Ben & Jerry’s,
Grandy Oats Real Granolas, PCC Community Markets, Patagonia Provisions,
Lundberg Family Farms, MegaFood, and Mom’s Organic Market, and Clif Bar,
along with many members of the public, will join one another in
solidarity to hand-deliver a petition
to the EPA explaining, among other things, that the continued use of
glyphosate as a pre-harvest drying agent is massively contaminating
America’s food supply with a known cancer-causing chemical.
On May 23 at Freedom Plaza, located just around the corner from EPA
headquarters, these food companies and their allies in the fight for
health freedom will hold a rally with live music, speakers, and plenty
of free samples before marching over to hand-deliver their petition,
along with more than 80,000 public comments from members of the public
who also support the demands made in the petition.
Jury Returns an $80 Million Blowout Verdict Against Roundup Glyphosate Weed Killer, Owned by Bayer AG
Bayer AG bought Monsanto and the company has lost a second trial over claims that its Roundup weed killer causes cancer. Bayer has been ordered by a San Francisco jury to pay compensatory damages of $5.3 million and punitive damages of $75 million to Edwin Hardeman, 70, who was diagnosed with cancer after spraying the herbicide on his property for 26 years. The verdict follows a similar decision last August in which a former school groundskeeper was awarded $289 million after claiming that Roundup gave him non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Bayer, is facing more than 9000 similar lawsuits across the US.
Bayer AG has lost a second trial over claims that its Roundup weed killer causes cancer – and has been ordered by a San Fancisco jury to pay compensatory damages of $5.3 million and punitive damages of $75 million to a 70-year-old California man, Edwin Hardeman, who was diagnosed with cancer after spraying the herbicide on his property for decades.
The plaintiff’s attorneys said he developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after 26 years of regularly using Roundup to tackle weeds and poison oak, according to the Wall Street Journal. The active ingredient in Roundup and Ranger Pro is glyphosate, a herbicide.
Wednesday’s verdict follows a similar decision last August in which a former school groundskeeper was awarded $289 million after claiming that Roundup gave him non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
German Bayer AG acquired the Roundup brand of glyphosate weed killers in its $66 billion purchase of Monsanto in June of last year.
Responding to the verdict, Bayer said in a statement “We are disappointed with the jury’s decision, but this verdict does not change the weight of over four decades of extensive science and the conclusions of regulators worldwide that support the safety of our glyphosate-based herbicides and that they are not carcinogenic.”
“You can’t keep trying case after case after case and keep losing and
say, ‘We’re not going to settle,” said Thomas G. Rohback, a trial
lawyer at Axinn in New York quoted by Bloomberg, who adds that if Bayer continues to lose at trial, it “has to put the possibility of a settlement of these cases into the mix.“
Wednesday’s case is considered a “bellwether” trial for hundreds of other plaintiffs in the US with similar claims, which
means the verdict could affect future litigation and other cancer
patients and families. Monsanto, now owned by the German pharmaceutical
company Bayer, is facing more than 9,000 similar lawsuits across the US.
RoundUp Weed Killer Found in 19 Out of 20 Leading Beer and Wine Brands in the US
RoundUp, the pesticide that contains the controversial ingredient glyphosate rhat has been linked to cancer, was detected in 19 out of 20 leading alcoholic beverages that were tested. The beer brands included Coors Light, Miller Lite, Budweiser, Corona, Heineken, Guinness, Stella Artois, New Belgium, Sierra Nevada and Samuel Adams, and the wine brands were Beringer, Sutter Home, Barefoot, Inkarri and Frey Vineyards. The levels detected were below limits set by the Environmental Protection Agency, but critics still believe it is harmful. Bayer, which now owns RoundUp manufacturer Monsanto, is currently facing some 9,300 lawsuits alleging that its popular glyphosate-based weed killer RoundUp.
A study by research group US PIRG tested five wines and 15 beers for glyphosate
brands included Coors Light, Miller Lite, Budweiser, Corona, Heineken,
Guinness, Stella Artois, New Belgium, Sierra Nevada and Samuel Adams
Wine brands were Beringer, Sutter Home, Barefoot, Inkarri and Frey Vineyards
The herbicide used in Roundup was detected in 19 of the 20 beverages tested
Glyphosate, the world’s most common herbicide, is suspected of causing cancer
All of the glyphosate levels were well below limits imposed by the EPA
of a controversial weed killer have been detected in a number of the
world’s leading beer and wine brands, a new report claims.
a study by public-interest advocacy group US PIRG that tested five
wines and 15 beers, including organic ones, the chemical glyphosate was
found in all but one of the beverages sampled.
– the most common herbicide in the world and an ingredient in the weed
killer Roundup – is a probable human carcinogen, according to the
International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the World Health
The report acknowledged
that the levels detected were below limits set by the Environmental
Protection Agency, but PIRG the results warrant some degree of public
‘The levels of glyphosate we
found are not necessarily dangerous, but are still concerning given the
potential health risks,’ PIRG told USA TODAY
following the release of the study, which looked at popular brands
including Coors Light, Miller Lite, Budweiser, Corona, Heineken and
California Man Accepts $78 Million Award in RoundUp Glyphosate Weed Killer Lawsuit
Dewayne Johnson, who has been diagnosed with a case of terminal non-Hodgkin lymphoma, has agreed to accept a $78 million settlement after a judge slashed the jury’s original award of $289 million. The poison-producing company says it plans to appeal, and claims that Johnson developed cancer before using Roundup. Lawyers for Johnson claim that Monsanto was aware of the medical risks posed by its glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup, but covered it up through a campaign of misinformation and attacks on studies that proclaimed the dangers. Johnson’s case was the first to directly connect Roundup with deadly cancer. Bayer, which acquired Roundup earlier this year, faces about 8,000 more lawsuits.
A case that raised questions about what the maker of Roundup knew about the dangers of its popular Roundup product has turned a new page. Dewayne “Lee” Johnson has agreed to accept a $78 million settlement after a judge upheld the jury’s original ruling but slashed the civil case’s $289 million award.
Johnson’s case was the first to directly connect Roundup with deadly cancer. Bayer, which acquired Roundup earlier this year, faces about 8,000 more lawsuits, according to Reuters.
The company says it plans to appeal.
In August, Judge Suzanne Bolanos lowered the punitive damages from $250 million to $39 million, the same amount awarded for compensatory damages. Bolanos gave Johnson and his attorneys until Dec. 7 to either accept the new amount or ask for a new trial, a call they answered this week. At the time, Bolanos said she was considering eliminating the entire $250 million in punitive damages because she said there was no compelling evidence that Monsanto ignored evidence that Roundup caused cancer. In the end, Bolanos decided to honor the jury’s ruling and instead lowered the amount of punitive damages.
It was an outcome DeWayne Johnson’s family wasn’t sure he would see in person.
Lawyers for Johnson focused their efforts on proving Monsanto suppressed evidence that its Roundup herbicide has cancer-causing properties. Opening statements began in San Francisco on July 9.
Johnson’s attorney said Monsanto took away his client’s freedom to choose, reported KGO. “If you don’t give someone a choice and somebody gets hurt or, God forbid, gets cancer, then I personally believe and I think you will as well that you should be responsible for the consequences of that,” attorney Brent Wisner said.
“I don’t think it’s a surprise that after 20 years, Monsanto has known about the cancer-causing properties of this chemical and has tried to stop the public from knowing it,” said attorney Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
Monsanto argued that Johnson developed cancer before using Roundup. “The scientific evidence is overwhelming that Glyphosate-based products do not cause cancer and did not cause Mr. Johnson’s cancer,” said defense attorney George Lombardi. “The single most relevant study — best study, study of human beings who, like Mr. Johnson, are licensed pesticide applicators — concluded glyphosate is not associated with Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Mr. Johnson’s cancer.”
Weeding out the truth
DeWayne Johnson, 46, worked as a groundskeeper for the Benicia Unified School District in California from 2012 to 2015. In that role, he sprayed Roundup herbicides on school properties. Johnson was healthy when he started the job, but in August 2014, he received a diagnosis of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL).
By January 2018, Johnson’s body was 80 percent covered in lesions, according to the deposition of his physician; he is often unable to speak or leave his bed, despite a new treatment he started in January. At the time, his doctors thoughts he might only have months to live.
Johnson’s lawsuit alleged that Monsanto’s product caused his cancer, and that Monsanto was aware of the medical risks posed by its glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup, but covered it up through a campaign of misinformation and attacks on studies that proclaimed the dangers.
RoundUp Glyphosate Weed Killer May Produce a Bacteria-Killing Antibiotic Effect in the Human Gut
Farmers in the US, UK and Canada are spraying herbicides to desiccate crops which kills the plants and uniformly dries them out, making them easier to cut and harvest. Glyphosate, also known as RoundUp, is the most common desiccant. In 1974, global use of glyphosate was 3,200 tons per year. It is expected to reach 1 million tons per year by 2020. A 2015 study by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency found glyphosate in 30% of 3,200 food products. Similar studies have found glyphosate exceeding maximum residue limits (or MRLs) in Cheerios, beer, and wine.
Evidence shows that glyphosate is very toxic, and court documents suggest Monsanto covered up the harmful health effects of the poison on humans, especially links to cancer. Desiccants kill more than plants. Herbicides like glyphosate also kill bacteria, and can act like “antibiotics.” Human gut bacteria are sensitive to antibiotics, which is why we should avoid eating herbicides. When microbes are disturbed, diseases like obesity, Alzheimer’s, or celiac disease can result.
Neither the EPA nor Health Canada consider herbicides as antibiotics. This means that their safety assessments do not consider effects on human gut microbes. Plus, there is other stuff in herbicides, including petroleum byproducts, neurotoxins, and endocrine disruptors, that are dangerous for both animals and microbes. Choose organic instead.
Driving down a grid road in central Saskatchewan, a machine that looks like a giant insect approaches me in a cloud of dust. The cab, hanging 8 feet above the road, is suspended by tires at least 6 feet tall, with wing-like appendages folded along each side. Should I drive around it or under it?
It is harvest season, and the high-clearance sprayer is on its way to desiccate a field. Desiccation may be the most widespread farming practice you’ve never heard of. Farmers desiccate by applying herbicide to their crops; this kills all the plants at the same time, making them uniformly dry and easier to cut. In essence, desiccation speeds up plant aging. Before desiccation, crops would have to dry out naturally at the end of the season. Today, there are examples of desiccation being applied to every type of conventional crop in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom.1 Chances are that most of what you ate today was harvested using a desiccant, but you’d never know.
Mike Shewchuk jumps down from his swather as I pull into his farmyard. He is a young farmer whose blond brush cut and a robust stride would have not been out of place 50 years ago. Along with his dad, uncles, and brother, he farms 15,000 acres an hour outside of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. They recently received a century farm award, for having continuously farmed the land since the early 1900s.
He is in the middle of a cut, and asks if I would mind riding with him as we talk. I climb up beside him on a small fold-down seat.
Swathers are giant lawn mowers farmers use to cut crops. The cut plants are left to dry on the ground before combining. It can be tricky knowing when to cut. If you start too early, you’ll get too many green seeds. Depending on the crop, that might lead to early germination (wheat) or self-combustion (canola). But if you wait too long, you may be scraping your seeds off the ground after the snow melts.
I doubt that I’ll be able to tell which fields had been desiccated. But the shriveled, brown peas are in stark relief to the green fields around it.
Swathing is quickly going out of fashion, as most farmers desiccate to ripen their crops. One of the big agro-chemical companies even has a marketing campaign with the hashtag #sellyourswather, encouraging farmers to desiccate and ditch swathing altogether. I asked Mike why he hadn’t sold his swather yet.
He laughs. “We’re not desiccating canola, and canola is paying the bills right now.”
For many farmers, that is changing. Until recently, farmers did not desiccate canola because it “shattered” the seedpods, shedding the seeds in soil. But breeders have been busy: In 2017, five new varieties of shatter-resistant canola were released in Canada. That will make desiccation viable for Canada’s second-most common crop, and accelerate a trend that began around 10 years ago, when desiccation started to become popular.
Not coincidentally, it was also around then that herbicide use spiked. When you sit down to eat dinner today, there will probably be desiccant in your food.
There are thousands of ways to kill a weed. You can starve it, bleach it, mess with its proteins. You can feed it fake hormones. You can force it to make acid so that it disintegrates from within. There are more than 400 licensed weed killers, or herbicides, in Ontario alone. And we love to use them. Canadians used more than 58,000 tons in 2014, compared with only 21,000 tons in 1994. Our landscape, and our crops, have never been so saturated.
Our thirst for herbicides is partly due to GMOs like RoundupReady corn, soy, and canola. These herbicide-tolerant crops came on the market in the late 1990s, and changed the farming landscape by making it possible to control weeds by using herbicides on crops still in the field.
Herbicide resistance explains part of the increase in herbicide use around the world over the past decades. If you blast a weed with herbicide, eventually its cells become resistant. Farmers are left with fields of weeds they can’t kill. This is what happens in people, with antibiotic resistant bugs. Faced with resistant weeds, farmers double down, spraying even more and using multiple herbicides. But desiccation accounts for a significant part of the growth in herbicide use. It’s impossible to say precisely how much, because stats are tracked for herbicide use by crop—not by usage type.
In theory, anything that kills a plant can desiccate a crop, but farmers can only use herbicides that are licensed as desiccants. In practice, there are only a few that are regularly used.
Glyphosate is increasingly used as, or with, desiccants. It’s sold under the trade name RoundUp, and is the most commonly used herbicide in the world, as well as the most commonly used desiccant. In 1974, global use of glyphosate was 3,200 tons per year. It is expected to reach 1 million tons per year by 2020.1 In the U.S., the rate of growth has been accelerating. Between 1995 and 2004, glyphosate use grew by 356 percent. Between 2005 and 2014, it grew by 637 percent.2
Glyphosate works by interrupting protein synthesis in plants, rendering them unable to photosynthesize. It is also considered relatively safe for humans. But in 2015 the World Health Organization (WHO) declared it a possible carcinogen, on the basis of an independent survey of the scientific literature. Outrage from governments and industry around the world fueled a reanalysis by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and WHO, which concluded in 2016 that it was “unlikely to pose a carcinogenic risk to humans through diet.”
Industry, and farmers, breathed a sigh of relief. The reports analyzed, however, did not consider the increase in exposure to glyphosate via desiccation. This practice has dramatically increased the dissemination of glyphosate into the environment, and into us.
There have been no explicit tests of the effect of desiccation on our microbiome.
I asked Sheri Roberts, a crop specialist with Agriculture and Agrifood Canada in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, whether she thought desiccation was safe. She was reluctant to make the call, but said she wished it was not so commonly used. “The timing’s really tight,” she said. “If you don’t get it just right, that herbicide ends up in the grain.” If farmers apply a non-contact herbicide (like glyphosate) too early, it will be taken up by the growing plant and end up inside the seed. Non-contact herbicides are taken up by the living plant and incorporated into still growing tissues, while contact herbicides kill the tissues they touch.
A 2015 study by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency found glyphosate in 30 percent of 3,200 food products.3 Similar studies have found glyphosate exceeding maximum residue limits (or MRLs) in Cheerios, beer, and wine.4,5 MRLs are the allowable concentration of herbicides on food crops. Health Canada and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) come up with MRLs by feeding rats or dogs herbicide until an effect is observed. The figures are important for trade: If countries have different MRLs, shipments can be rejected. In 2011, the European Union rejected a shipment of Canadian lentils because MRLs were 40 times the EU limit. Alternatively, countries can use MRLs to negotiate a lower price, or raise their MRLs in response to industry pressure.
According to the EPA, between 1993 and 2015, glyphosate MRLs increased by 100 percent to 1,000 percent in the U.S., depending on the crop. Desiccation has changed the game: Because we are using more herbicides, herbicide residues and MRLs have also gone up. Countries can use MRLs as a bartering tool to negotiate lower prices, and will raise their MRLs in response to pressure. Monsanto and other manufacturers of glyphosate have requested increases in MRLs, and been granted many of them.2
Monsanto Slammed with $289 Million Verdict in Historic ‘RoundUp’ Cancer Lawsuit
San Francisco: Monsanto was handed a stunning jury verdict of $289-million in a lawsuit by Dewayne Johnson, who is suffering from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and says Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller gave him terminal cancer. Naturally, Monsanto will appeal the verdict, but this could become a precedent-setting case leading to further attempts to make Monsanto accountable for the illnesses caused by its products. There are an estimated 2,000 more cases like this in state courts and hundreds more in federal courts. -GEG
Summary by JW Williams
A San Francisco Jury awarded $289-million in damages to a former school groundskeeper, Dewayne Johnson, who said Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller gave him terminal cancer. Mr. Johnson applied the pesticide up to 30 times per year, and now suffers from non-Hodgkins lymphoma. As much as 80% of his body is covered with lesions. Monsanto says it will appeal the verdict. Monsanto is a subsidiary of Germany’s Bayer AG, which bought the agrochemical company in June for $66-billion.
Johnson’s case was the first to be heard, with 2,000 similar cases pending in Missouri, Delaware, and California courts. There are hundreds of more cases waiting to be heard in federal court pending a ruling to determine if there is sufficient evidence for a jury to hear the cases.
Monsanto says the EPA, the US National Health Institute, and health regulatory authorities around the world have declared their products to be safe. However, documents uncovered last year led to questions about Monsanto’s efforts to influence the news media, to rig scientific research, and to hide data that revealed serious health hazards of their flagship product, RoundUp pesticide.
Israel Is Carrying Out Warfare Against Gaza by Spraying Crops with Harmful Chemicals
Israel has been spraying Palestinian crops in Gaza with herbicides to damage the vegetation since 2014. Officially, the crop dusting is only done on the Israeli side of the border fence, but Palestinian farmers and the Red Cross testified that the damage can be seen deep inside Palestine. Glyphosate is the main herbicide that is used, and can stay in the soil for months or even years, and may have negative health consequences for people who consume contaminated crops and/or inhale the herbicide. Israel claims that clearing the brush near the border is necessary for security purposes.
The purpose of herbicides is to enable farmers to grow produce, but Israel is quietly using them to do just the opposite in the Strip — in the name of security.
Photographs of military armored vehicles uprooting and crushing trees and vegetation within the Gaza Strip are not foreign to Israelis, but what is less widely known is that since 2014 Palestinian fields are also being razed through the use of herbicides sprayed from the air — as first publicized by the website 972. Officially, the spraying is only done on the Israeli side of the fence, but as Palestinian farmers on the other side, along with the Red Cross, have testified, the resulting damage can be seen deep inside Palestinian territory.
FDA Found Glyphosate Weedkiller in All Foods Tested, Monsanto Prepares for Trial in June
Internal emails from the FDA show that their chemist, Richard Thompson, found glyphosate weed killer, a “probable carcinogen”, in every food sample that he tested, except broccoli. Separately, another FDA chemist, Narong Chamkasem, found that corn contained 6.5 ppm glyphosate, while the legal limit is 5 ppm. Instead of reporting this to the EPA, an FDA supervisor made an excuse that it was not an “official sample.” A trial is set for June 18 in San Francisco pitting more than 300 farmers, landscapers and gardeners against Monsanto, the maker of Roundup, claiming that exposure to glyphosate in the product caused non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
US government scientists have detected a weedkiller linked to cancer in an array of commonly consumed foods, emails obtained through a freedom of information request show.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been testing food samples for residues of glyphosate, the active ingredient in hundreds of widely used herbicide products, for two years, but has not yet released any official results.
But the internal documents obtained by the Guardian show the FDA has had trouble finding any food that does not carry traces of the pesticide.
“I have brought wheat crackers, granola cereal and corn meal from home and there’s a fair amount in all of them,” FDA chemist Richard Thompson wrote to colleagues in an email last year regarding glyphosate. Thompson, who is based in an FDA regional laboratory in Arkansas, wrote that broccoli was the only food he had “on hand” that he found to be glyphosate-free.
That internal FDA email, dated January 2017, is part of a string of FDA communications that detail agency efforts to ascertain how much of the popular weedkiller is showing up in American food. The tests mark the agency’s first-ever such examination.
“People care about what contaminants are in their food. If there is scientific information about these residues in the food, the FDA should release it,” said Tracey Woodruff, a professor in the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine. “It helps people make informed decisions. Taxpayers paid for the government to do this work, they should get to see the information.”
The FDA is charged with annually testing food samples for pesticide residues to monitor for illegally high residue levels. The fact that the agency only recently started testing for glyphosate, a chemical that has been used for over 40 years in food production, has led to criticism from consumer groups and the Government Accountability Office (GAO). Calls for testing grew after the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen in 2015.
Glyphosate is best known as the main ingredient in Monsanto Co’s Roundup brand. More than 200m pounds are used annually by US farmers on their fields. The weedkiller is sprayed directly over some crops, including corn, soybeans, wheat and oats. Many farmers also use it on fields before the growing season, including spinach growers and almond producers.
Thompson’s detection of glyphosate was made as he was validating his analytical methods, meaning those residues will probably not be included in any official report.
Separately, FDA chemist Narong Chamkasem found “over-the-tolerance” levels of glyphosate in corn, detected at 6.5 parts per million, an FDA email states. The legal limit is 5.0 ppm. An illegal level would normally be reported to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), but an FDA supervisor wrote to an EPA official that the corn was not considered an “official sample”.
When asked about the emails and the agency’s testing, an FDA spokesman said only that the FDA had not found any illegal levels in corn, soy, milk or eggs, the four commodities it considers part of its glyphosate “special assignment”. He did not address the unofficial findings revealed in the emails.
The FDA’s official findings should be released later this year or early in 2019 as part of its 2016 annual residue report. The reports typically are released two to two and a half years after the data is collected.
Along with glyphosate, the agency has been trying to measure residues of the herbicides 2,4-D and dicamba because of projected increased use of these weedkillers on new genetically engineered crops. The FDA spokesman said that the agency has “expanded capacity” for testing foods for those herbicides this year.
Other findings detailed in the FDA documents show that in 2016 Chamkasem found glyphosate in numerous samples of honey. Chamkasem also found glyphosate in oatmeal products. The FDA temporarily suspended testing after those findings, and Chamkasem’s lab was “reassigned to other programs”, the FDA documents show. The FDA has said those tests were not part of its official glyphosate residue assignment.
Pesticide exposure through diet is considered a potential health risk. Regulators, Monsanto and agrochemical industry interests say pesticide residues in food are not harmful if they are under legal limits. But many scientists dispute that, saying prolonged dietary exposure to combinations of pesticides can be harmful.
Toxicologist Linda Birnbaum, who is director of the US National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), said that current regulatory analysis of pesticide dangers does not account for low levels of dietary exposures.
Monsanto Data Shows It Colluded with the EPA And Media To Hide The Truth about Its Products
San Francisco: A lawsuit, with more than a hundred plaintiffs against Monsanto’s glyphosate herbicide, is the source of data that proves the company colluded with the EPA and media outlets to conceal the fact that its best-selling product was never tested to see if it causes cancer. There are more than 1,100 plaintiffs in other states also bringing suits against Monsanto. In preparation for having to abandon glyphosate in the wake of these discoveries, the company is re-focusing its marketing efforts on a newly-approved genetically engineered corn. –GEG
The EPA Colluded With Monsanto To Hide Roundup Weed Killer’s Link To Cancer
Court documents reveal deep roots of corruption and collusion between Monsanto and the EPA. The EPA declared that Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer was safe without conducting tests on it. It relied solely on Monsanto research. Monsanto’s lead toxicologist, in her deposition to the court, admitted that the company did not run studies to see if there is a link to cancer. The EPA’s Jesse Rowland of the agency’s Cancer Assessment Review Committee even tried to kill cancer research conducted by the World Health Organization that indicated Roundup was carcinogenic. -GEG
If we had a dime for every kooky, left-wing theory we’ve heard alleging some vast corporate conspiracy to exploit the treasures of the earth, destroy the environment and poison people with unknown carcinogens all while buying off politicians to cover their tracks, we would be rich. The problem, of course, is that sometimes the kooky conspiracy theories prove to be completely accurate.
Lets take the case of the $60 billion ag-chemicals powerhouse, Monsanto, and their controversial herbicide, Roundup as an example. For those who aren’t familiar, Roundup Ready is Monsanto’s blockbuster weedkiller, credited with transforming U.S. agriculture, with a majority of farm production now using genetically modified seeds resistant to the chemical.
For years the company has assured farmers that their weed killing product was absolutely safe to use. As proof, Monsanto touted the approval of the chemical by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
That said, newly unsealed court documents released earlier today seemingly reveal a startling effort on the part of both Monsanto and the EPA to work in concert to kill and/or discredit independent, albeit inconvenient, cancer research conducted by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)….more on this later.
But, before we get into the competing studies, here is a brief look at the ‘extensive’ work that Monsanto and the EPA did prior to originally declaring Roundup safe for use (hint: not much). As the excerpt below reveals, the EPA effectively declared Roundup safe for use without even conducting tests on the actual formulation, but instead relying on industry research on just one of the product’s active ingredients.
“EPA’s minimal standards do not require human health data submissions related to the formulated product – here, Roundup. Instead, EPA regulations require only studies and data that relate to the active ingredient, which in the case of Roundup is glyphosate. As a result, the body of scientific literature EPA has reviewed is not only primarily provided by the industry, but it also only considers one part of the chemical ingredients that make up Roundup.”
Meanwhile, if that’s not enough for you, Donna Farmer, Monsanto’s lead toxicologist, even admitted in her deposition that she “cannot say that Roundup does not cause cancer” because “[w]e [Monsanto] have not done the carcinogenicity studies with Roundup.”
Monsanto Cancer Lawsuits Focus On EPA Official’s “Suspicious” Role
A retired EPA official is at the center of more than 20 lawsuits that allege Monsanto failed to warn of cancer risks from glyphosate, the key ingredient in its Roundup weed killer. Jess Rowland, a former EPA deputy division director, is accused of helping Monsanto by publishing a report advising that there was not enough evidence to link glyphosate to cancer, which preempted further research. The EPA is trying to stop his deposition in March. -GEG
A manager who left the agency’s pesticide division last year has become a central figure in more than 20 lawsuits in the U.S. accusing the company of failing to warn consumers and regulators of the risk that its glyphosate-based herbicide can cause non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
A federal judge said Monday that he’s inclined to order the retired official, Jess Rowland, to submit to questioning by lawyers for the plaintiffs, who contend he had a “highly suspicious” relationship with Monsanto. Rowland chaired a committee that found insufficient evidence to conclude glyphosate is carcinogenic and left his job just days after his report was leaked to the press in May.