Category Archives: Monsanto

Victory!! Monsanto’s DARK Act (Barely) Blocked By Senate

The efforts of millions of concerned citizens, numerous phone and email campaigns, dozens of online petitions, and trips to D.C. to lobby for our right to know were not in vain.

Leading the charge today, Senator Jeff Merkely demolished the pro-industry talking points that many of our senators lean on in order to further their agenda. The Senate blocked Senator Pat Robert’s cloture, 48-49, that would have allowed for the advancement of a bill to deny Americans the right to know what is in the food that lines our store shelves.

 

“Do not crush state’s rights, do not steal consumer’s right to know, and try to do it in the dark of night while the nation is distracted by major primaries. It is wrong on policy, it’s wrong on process, and it’s an injustice to every citizen in our nation,” proclaimed Senator Merkley.

 

While today is a huge victory for the safe food movement and consumers everywhere, a dark cloud does hang over the vote as nearly half of our senators voted in favor of the bill rather than against it. The required 60 votes needs to move the cloture forward did not happen, so despite a corrupt attempt by nearly half of the Senate body, the bill was blocked.

Nearly 100% of Americans are in favor of a mandatory, on-package labeling standard, yet our elected officials are far more concerned with campaign finance money they are receiving from biotech and big food corporations. According to the FEC website, this week alone hundreds of thousands of dollars have been pumped into senate re-election campaigns. GMO labeling is a right afforded to citizens in over 60 countries, including Russia and China. In fact, numerous countries are making moves to ban GMOs, while our government officials are making every nefarious stride to ban GMO labeling.

I must commend Sen. Jeff Merkley’s courageous speech on the Senate floor today. He is a beacon of hope in a cesspool of biotech-loving scum. Senator Merkley called out the sham proposals offered by his associates which include a 1-800 number, QR codes, and social media investigating in order to obtain information on the food that lines our shelves. Calling it a “house of mirrors”, Merkley implored his fellow senators to honor the ‘one second test’ demanded by 9 out of 10 Americans. This ‘test’ would simply require a symbol or a few words to be mandated on food packaging so the average consumer can quickly determine if an item contains GM ingredients.

Senator Merkley went on to question his fellow senators, “Why is this bill before us? I ask you, why a bill that say the interests of a few titans in crushing a state laboratory are more important than the views of 90% of Americans?”

We must flex our muscle and show our politicians, as well as unethical corporations, that we the people have the power. Remember how your senator voted in November. It is time to clean house and get rid of career politicians who cashed in their morals long ago. Continue to vote with your wallets. Clearly, this is where our strength lies. They can take away our rights, but they cannot force us to buy toxic, chemical-laden products. Vote wisely with your dollars. Do not support companies who pump millions into denying our right to know.

Pledge to join March Against Monsanto’s global action on May 21, 2016. Hundreds of cities all across the globe will march in solidarity in an effort to raise community awareness about Monsanto, their atrocious crimes against humanity, and the complicity of our elected officials. Find your local event here. For questions or to register a city not on our list, please email addmymarch@gmail.com.

This fight is far from over.

Shocking Charts Reveal Who Really Owns Monsanto Company

You can find out a lot of shocking things when you follow the money, as any good journalist would do.

Recently, the health website Natural Society did just that in regards to Monsanto and found some pretty shocking information on who really owns the company.

While CEO Hugh Grant and major shareholder Bill Gates get most of the scrutiny and negative attention, Natural Society found that the real owners of Monsanto stock are large institutions, with five of them holding the top spots.

 

monsanto shareholders

The top one is the Vanguard Group, Inc., with over $3 billion worth of stock, as shown in the chart below. 

ns mon

Among individuals, the top shareholder is actually William U. Parfet, a Michigan-based chairman of the board, CEO and president of MPI Research, Inc. which is an early stage drug development contract research laboratory, believe it or not.

He’s also on the board for a large medical services company called the Stryker Corporation, which raises the question: why is such a highly influential man within the drug and medical services industries the top shareholder for Monsanto?

For more on what all this could mean and to see the list of top individual shareholders, check out the original Natural Society article here.

Did you know that Monsanto is also considering a name change to escape the white hot spotlight cast on them by activists and movements like MAM? Read more in this article

 

Petition: Ban Toxic RoundUp on Federal Land – Save The Monarch Butterfly

America’s federal lands are some of the most pristine and beautiful parts of our country, yet the use of toxic herbicides on federal land by our own government is contributing to the steep decline in one of our nation’s most iconic species.

Monarch-MilkweedMonarch butterflies are on the brink of extinction due to the overuse of herbicides like Monsanto’s Roundup that use the toxic chemical glyphosate. In just two decades of skyrocketing glyphosate use, monarch populations have plunged so low that we are in real danger of losing a true marvel of nature in our lifetimes: the annual monarch migration.

We must act now to urge the U.S. government to cease using glyphosate-containing herbicides, like Monsanto’s Roundup, that are completely destroying monarch habitat on federal land.

That’s why I started my own campaign on CREDOMobilize.com, which allows activists to start their own petitions. My petition, which is to Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, says the following:

The unchecked spraying of glyphosate, the main ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, has contributed to an alarming decline in the monarch butterfly population in just two decades. We urge you to ban the use of glyphosate and encourage the planting of milkweed and other native prairie plants on federal lands.

Tell the U.S. Departments of the Interior and Agriculture:
Ban glyphosate use on federal land now.
Click here to sign the petition.

Monarchs migrate every year from Canada to Mexico and back. In 1996, an estimated 1 billion monarch butterflies migrating to forests in central Mexico covered nearly 50 acres. But in 2013, they only covered the area about the size of a football field.

This dramatic decrease in monarch populations is due to the loss of their primary breeding habitat and food source: milkweed. 5cdcd28292b65af09f6465c03235d44fThese plants that are so crucial to the monarchs’ survival have been nearly eradicated on their migration path. It is estimated that as much as 165 million acres of habitat has been lost since the 1990s. Like many other plants, milkweed has been destroyed in great numbers in the Midwest due to the widespread use of glyphosate on corn and soy fields.

Recovering monarch butterflies before they vanish completely is an achievable goal, and one that future generations should expect of us. We must immediately take steps to stop this extinction by restricting the use of glyphosate and working to bring back milkweed before it’s too late.

Will you join me and add your name to my petition urging the U.S. Departments of the Interior and Agriculture to ban the use of toxic glyphosate herbicides on federal land?

Thank you for your support.
Rep. Chellie Pingree

Monsanto’s Contribution

On March 31, 2015, Monsanto announced that it would contribute $400,000 “to partner with and support the efforts of experts working to benefit monarch butterflies.”[1]Monsanto Announces Multi-Year Commitment to Help Monarch Butterflies Additionally…

Monsanto will match the initial $1.2 million pledge from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to the nfwf-logoNational Fish and Wildlife Foundation Monarch Butterfly Conservation Fund and provide $2.4 million additional funding to match commitments from federal agencies over the next three years. This support will be targeted to provide habitat restoration, education and outreach and milkweed seed and plant production.

The $3.6 million as matched funding it requires follow-through on pledges from the US Fish and Wildlife Service and future funding from other federal agencies — carrying through on their pledges for support. Considering how US Congress has balanced the budget in recent years, would you feel confident that these pledges now and in the future are followed through on? It will require the public to request and maintain vigilance over allocations now and in the next three years. At present $1.2 million is pledged by NFWF, there is no agency plan to pledge another $2.4 to find matching funds.

“Through its investment in the Monarch Butterfly Conservation Fund, Monsanto will provide resources that will enable tens of thousands of Americans to participate in efforts to preserve this amazing species for generations to come,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and chief executive officer of NFWF. “Our congressional charter directs us to build partnerships between the public and private sectors in order to increase funding available for on-the-ground conservation efforts. This partnership between Monsanto and NFWF continues our work of bringing all parties to the table to support vital wildlife conservation efforts.”[2]National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and Monsanto Announce Commitment to Help Monarch Butterflies

What About Federal Lands?

usda-featureAt present there are no provisions to prevent use of glyphosate on federal lands. Signing the petition would remove the threat not only on behalf of the monarch butterfly, but to protect all wildlife and humans from encountering glyphosate on federal lands. 

FWS – Save The Monarch 

Learn more about how to personally be involved in assisting the survival of Monarch Butterflies. The US Fish & Wildlife Service has a number of resources online at the Save The Monarch page.

 

Monarch Joint Venture

 

 

 

Monsanto Pesticide-Producing Soybean Will Be Exempt from EPA Limits

The Monsanto Company has two major types of genetically modified crops with two different aims: one is genetically engineered in a lab to withstand large doses of chemical herbicides while the second actually produces insect-killing Bt toxins within the plant.

The latter type of food is not as widespread, in large part because consumers simply are not comfortable with the fact that they would be ingesting a food that has been artificially altered to produce its own insect-killing toxin.

For that reason, most Bt toxin-producing GMO crops (mostly corn) are used as animal feed and in processed foods. But how much toxicity are you getting in foods produced with these crops?

bt soybean gmo

The Bt soybean is not commercially available in America as they haven’t been approved, but a recent ruling by the EPA has activists concerned about a possible high level of toxicity in these GMO plants.

The EPA has officially ruled that Monsanto’s Bt soybean will be exempt from any pre-established safety level of measurable Bt pesticide proteins.

From this article on Agri-Pulse.com:

EPA granted an exemption from the requirement to establish a maximum permissible level for residues of the Bt protein, Cry2Ab2, in or on soybean, according to the final rule written by EPA’s Jack Housenger, director of the Office of Pesticide Programs.

The final rule will be published in the Federal Register on Tuesday.

There are currently no Bt soybean varieties approved for commercial use in the U.S.

Monsanto and Dow AgroSciences both have Bt soybean varieties, which are primarily sold in South America. According to a Monsanto spokesperson, the federal register announcement is an experimental use permits the company is pursuing with the EPA.

Government collusion with and favoritism toward Monsanto are just two of the reasons why millions of protesters worldwide are expected to take to the streets on May 23, 2015. To find a list of marches near you check out the events link here.

Lawsuit Accuses Monsanto of Lying About Safety of Roundup

Carey Wedler
April 23, 2015

(ANTIMEDIA) Los Angeles, CA — A class action suit against the Monsanto corporation was filed in Los Angeles this week in the Superior Court of California, Los Angeles County. It accuses the company of false advertising for its implied claims that the herbicide, Roundup, is safe for humans. As the lawsuit details:

Defendant makes the claim that Roundup, the world’s most popular weedkiller, works by targeting an enzyme supposedly found only in plants, but not in people. And this is blatantly false.

The enzyme (EPSP synthase), the lawsuit claims, can be found in human gut bacteria. Though scientific studies say glyphosate is safe for humans because they do not have the enzyme, the plaintiffs allege that this is incorrect.

Glyphosate [the main ingredient in Roundup] works by inhibiting weeds from producing EPSP synthase—and once rendered unable to produce this enzyme—weeds cannot uptake minerals, nor can they make proteins from amino acids, and weeds then starve to death.

The lawsuit suggests that when people eat foods that have been sprayed with Roundup, this same, deathly mechanism goes to work on the EPSP synthase that plaintiffs say is found in the human gut:

The same chemistry that kills backyard weeds likewise kills gut bacteria, and this bacteria kill-off compromises our digestion, metabolism, and vital immune system functions.

The suit contends:

When we eat crops sprayed with glyphosate, we ingest glyphosate, and detectable quantities accumulate in our tissues…Glyphosate has been detected in urine, blood, even breast milk—and 75% of rainwater samples.

The lawsuit also alleges many adverse health effects of consuming glyphosate:

Because it kills off our gut bacteria, glyphosate is linked to stomach and bowel problems, indigestion, ulcers, colitis, gluten intolerance, insomnia, lethargy, depression, Crohn’s Disease, Celiac Disease, allergies, obesity, diabetes, infertility, liver disease, renal failure, autism, Alzheimer’s, endocrine disruption, and the W.H.O. recently announced it is ‘probably carcinogenic.’

The complaint further claims that dogs and cats carry the EPSP synthase enzyme, which puts them at risk for health issues related to ingestion of Roundup-coated products.

If the allegations of the suit are proven true, Monsanto has deceived consumers into believing Roundup cannot harm humans, thereby helping to create an epidemic of health issues. The United States government has also been complicit, passing laws to protect the corrupt mega-corporation and colluding with the Monsanto lobby. In 2013, the EPA raised the minimum amount of glyphosate that could be used on food crops.

Though Monsanto’s power is continually bolstered by the government, the company is losing ground and popularity. Growing numbers of countries are banning Monsanto products while a steady slew of bad press has made a significant dent in the company’s profits.

The lawsuit seeks to include anyone as a plaintiff who purchased Roundup or Roundup-related products during the last four years. It seeks unspecified damages and anticipates “thousands and thousands of class members.”


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Monsanto Hit with Class Action Lawsuit for False Advertising; Here’s How You Can Join

The negative press just keeps on coming for the Monsanto Company, as it was revealed earlier this week that the St. Louis-based GM seed giant is now facing a class action lawsuit in Los Angeles County.

According to this article from Nancy Swanson, the suit alleges Monsanto has used deception in promoting the active ingredient in its flagship Roundup weedkiller.

monsanto hit with class action lawsuit

Monsanto’s advertising of Roundup is being called into question.

Roundup was recently declared as a probably carcinogen by the World Health Organization, but the company has long denied such studies and continually insists that their product is safe.

In this case, the class action lawsuit takes aim at those claims. It alleges that Monsanto is guilty of false advertising over claims that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, targets an enzyme only found in plants and not in humans or animals.

The suit alleges that the claim is being made in order to support Monsanto’s contention that glyphosate is not harmful to humans; recent studies strongly contradict this however. 

Attorney T. Matthew Phillips had this to say in Swanson’s article:

We are not trying to prove that Roundup is harmful or carcinogenic, we are merely pointing out that Monsanto is lying about the enzymes that Roundup targets. Roundup kills the weeds in your backyard and the weeds in your stomach.”

The suit also includes the following:

Because it kills off our gut bacteria, glyphosate is linked to stomach and bowel problems, indigestion, ulcers, colitis, gluten intolerance, sleeplessness, lethargy, depression, Crohn’s Disease, Celiac Disease, allergies, obesity, diabetes, infertility, liver disease, renal failure, autism, Alzheimer’s, endocrine disruption, and the W.H.O. recently announced glyphosate is ‘probably carcinogenic’.”

It also notes that the enzyme targeted by glyphosate, EPSP synthase, is found in the microbiota in human intestines and therefore is actually found in both humans and animals after all.

For more info and to join the class action suit, you can click on this link.

Monsanto Levies Charges of “Junk Science” Against Top World Health Experts, EWG Calls for a Retraction

Monsanto has worked hard (and spent an absurd amount of money on PR) to defend its company’s image, but a spate of negative press in recent weeks is really starting to take its toll on the company.

Of course, it’s well deserved: the main ingredient company’s flagship Roundup weedkiller product was just declared a probable carcinogen by a panel of 17 of the top cancer experts according to the World Health Organization.

Monsanto has long painted its opponents as being “anti-science” in their attacks on their chemicals and GMOs, but now Monsanto’s CEO Hugh Grant has taken it upon himself to challenge some of the world’s top scientific experts on cancer over the report, which could be highly damaging to his company’s bottom line.

It’s unfortunate that junk science and this kind of mischief can create so much confusion for consumers,” Grant said recently.

The company is calling on the WHO to retract its report.

who monsanto report

 

In response the Environmental Working Group is calling on Monsanto to retract its remarks.

Mr. Grant and Monsanto should immediately retract these ridiculous comments and instead turn their attention to the potential risks their product poses to customers, farm workers and the millions of others who are exposed to glyphosate,” said Ken Cook, president and co-founder of EWG.

A good start would be to fund an independent testing program for glyphosate in air in the Midwest – including towns and cities – during the Roundup saturation-spray season. We’d be happy to help the company design and execute a plan to expand on the US Geological Survey work that found its weed-killer everywhere – air, water, even rainfall – in the areas where it is heavily used.”

Monsanto also has a long history of causing devastation in several American towns due to the effects of its chemicals (see the pictures here), as pointed out by the EWG in their press release.

Considering the history of the company for causing health and environmental devastation, it’s no wonder that people are skeptical of Mr. Grant’s remarks and motives.

While the WHO is currently standing by its report, this story will remain one to watch considering that Monsanto has had science retracted in the past.

One prime example to note is the case of French scientist Gilles-Éric Séralini, whose experiment showing tumors in lab rats was retracted by the journal Food and Toxciology but only after a former Monsanto employee was appointed to the journal’s editorial board.

The study was later republished in another peer reviewed journal, casting more suspicion over the health effects of Monsanto’s GMOs. Stay tuned, folks.

Monsanto Chief Makes a Surprising Admission In New Interview

The backlash against genetically modified food, which was introduced without much fanfare and without the general public having much of a say, has reached a fever pitch in this new information age.

Sales of GMO-free and organic products are skyrocketing and more and more farms are being converted to organic as companies scramble to meet consumer demand.

Much of this change has happened as people have discovered how their food is really made; in the case of Americans that process often begins with genetically modified seeds in a laboratory.

Around 20 years ago Monsanto introduced genetically modified food, and how they responded to public concerns was the source of a question asked by the UK’s newspaper The Independent in a recent interview.

The company responded with “hubris” and “naivety” in those days, their CEO Hugh Grant said in the interview.

hugh collage

 

In other words, Monsanto used a “great or foolish amount of pride or confidence (the Webster’s definition of hubris)” when they introduced the seeds to the U.S. market, one whose food consumers essentially had no say in whether they wanted them or not due to a lack of labeling. 

Now it’s 2015 and consumers are still kept in the dark about GMOs, with no mandatory labels for the foods, a right afforded to citizens in over 60 countries.

And despite the growing suspicion of GMOs, the Biotech industry still relies on its own flawed science while ignoring independent studies showing their products cause harm.

Mr. Grant also reiterated another myth: that GMOs are needed to “feed the world,” which was debunked yet again by another new report released a few days ago.

While Grant’s honesty appears to be somewhat refreshing on the surface in admitting the “hubris” that led to the growth these foods that offer no benefits and plenty of risks to the consumer, it’s time we expand the conversation toward discussing the true “hubris” that’s still in play here: Monsanto’s continued insistence of forcing unlabeled GMOs on an unwilling populace.

That would be a true revelation.

Monsanto Chief Makes a Surprising Admission In New Interview

The backlash against genetically modified food, which was introduced without much fanfare and without the general public having much of a say, has reached a fever pitch in this new information age.

Sales of GMO-free and organic products are skyrocketing and more and more farms are being converted to organic as companies scramble to meet consumer demand.

Much of this change has happened as people have discovered how their food is really made; in the case of Americans that process often begins with genetically modified seeds in a laboratory.

Around 20 years ago Monsanto introduced genetically modified food, and how they responded to public concerns was the source of a question asked by the UK’s newspaper The Independent in a recent interview.

The company responded with “hubris” and “naivety” in those days, their CEO Hugh Grant said in the interview.

hugh collage

 

In other words, Monsanto used a “great or foolish amount of pride or confidence (the Webster’s definition of hubris)” when they introduced the seeds to the U.S. market, one whose food consumers essentially had no say in whether they wanted them or not due to a lack of labeling. 

Now it’s 2015 and consumers are still kept in the dark about GMOs, with no mandatory labels for the foods, a right afforded to citizens in over 60 countries.

And despite the growing suspicion of GMOs, the Biotech industry still relies on its own flawed science while ignoring independent studies showing their products cause harm.

Mr. Grant also reiterated another myth: that GMOs are needed to “feed the world,” which was debunked yet again by another new report released a few days ago.

While Grant’s honesty appears to be somewhat refreshing on the surface in admitting the “hubris” that led to the growth these foods that offer no benefits and plenty of risks to the consumer, it’s time we expand the conversation toward discussing the true “hubris” that’s still in play here: Monsanto’s continued insistence of forcing unlabeled GMOs on an unwilling populace.

That would be a true revelation.

Report: Monsanto Released Toxic Chemicals Hundreds of Times Without Giving Proper Notifications

The Monsanto Company is once again dealing with negative publicity after it was announced that they have been fined by the EPA and the U.S. Department of Justice for the release of toxic cheicals into the environment without prior warning.

The incidents occurred at the company’s Soda Springs, Idaho facilities according to the Associated Press and resulted in a $600,000 fine (a paltry sum considering Monsanto’s vast profits).

Officials said that hazardous chemicals that can pose “serious health risks” were released during between 2006 and 2009 as hydogen cyanide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and mercury were all given off.

According to the letter of the law companies are required to report such releases immediately.

“Each of these chemicals are hazardous and can pose serious health risks to workers and the community if mishandled or released in an uncontrolled manner,” federal officials said in a statement.

The Soda Springs facilities are operated by P4 Production LLC, a wholly owned Monsanto subsidiary. The company said it reconciled differences with the EPA, some as early as 2009, and received the EPA’s violation notice in May 2011.

monsanto fined in idaho

The Soda Springs plant in Idaho. Via Wikimedia.

“The protection of our employees, public health and the environment is always our No. 1 priority,” said Roger Gibson, P4’s vice president of operations. “As a long-time neighbor within the Soda Springs community, we care deeply about public health and the quality of our air, land and water, and we are committed to complying fully and transparently with all applicable laws and regulations.”

The company mines phosphate ore in southeastern Idaho which is then refined to make products including aviation fluids, herbicides and fire retardants, the AP report said.

Monsanto has also been in the news this week over a report that glyphosate is a likely carcinogen, but dodged a bullet when a lawsuit against it by the city of San Diego was ignored by the mainstream media.