According to a just released study published in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers at the University of California, San Diego, confirmed that the amount of glyphosate in our bodies is 13 X more than it was before GMOs were introduced in the mid-90s. That is no surprise because most GMOs are engineered to be sprayed with Roundup. (Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Roundup.) Use of glyphosate has risen 15 X since the introduction of Monsanto’s Roundup Ready crops. Even tiny amounts are linked to serious disease and chronic health conditions in other research.
This is one of the best summary articles of how Monsanto was caught red-handed. Published Oct 24th in Der Spiegel, the widely read German news publication, the story adds explosive details of Monsanto’s deceit and deception just as the European Commission must decide about re-licensing of glyphosate. Permission to sell the chemical in the European Union expires on December 15th.
Monsanto’s lies began to unravel with the court-ordered release of internal emails and documents as part of an on-going class-action suit in California. The plaintiffs in that suit claim Monsanto’s Roundup has caused non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a form of lymph node cancer, in them or members of their family.
“The Monsanto Papers tell an alarming story of ghostwriting, scientific manipulation and the withholding of information,” says Michael Baum, a partner in the law firm of Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman, which is bringing one of the US class actions. According to Baum, Monsanto used the same strategies as the tobacco industry: “creating doubt, attacking people, doing ghostwriting.”
Europe Is Rejecting Monsanto’s Roundup
In Europe, Monsanto is being hammered as negative public opinion swells. On Monday, Oct 23rd, glyphosate critics (led by Greenpeace), handed the EU a petition signed by more than 1.3 million people calling for an outright ban. After the company shunned a parliamentary hearing into allegations that it unduly influenced studies into the safety of glyphosate, Monsanto lobbyists were completely banned from entering the European Parliament to meet with Members of Parliament (MEPs) or attend committee meetings. This was the first time MEPs used new rules to withdraw parliamentary access. MEPs subsequently voted on Tuesday, Oct 24th, in a non-binding resolution, to ban glyphosate (Roundup) starting with a complete ban on household use, a ban in use for farming when biological alternatives work well, and a full ban in five years. Although member states must vote, this was a huge blow that may threaten Monsanto’s pending merger with Bayer. On Wednesday, Oct 25th, the proposed 10-year re-license for glyphosate by EU member states failed to reach a majority and now forces the European Commission to consider a phase out or a shorter license.
Good news from India
Requests to commercially release a locally developed genetically modified mustard have been frozen amid stiff opposition from domestic activists and politicians.
The mustard variety would have been the first transgenic food crop allowed for commercial cultivation. But the environment ministry’s Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) has shelved approval despite a panel the ministry supervises giving the genetically modified mustard technical clearance last year.
This has been a banner week of news. And we are heartened by progress in Europe and India. But make no mistake. We are in a fight for the future of food and the health of people everywhere. Please share this newsletter, and if you have any questions, please contact us at info@ResponsibleTechnology.org.
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