Farmers and conservation groups filed a federal lawsuit on Friday challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s approval of Monsanto’s new “XtendiMax” pesticide. The approval, of the pesticide company’s latest version of the older weed-killer known as dicamba, permits it to be sprayed directly on Monsanto’s genetically engineered (GE), dicamba-resistant soybeans and cotton.
The decision greenlights a massive increase in use of the toxic pesticide, increasing risks to farmers, community health, and the environment. Because these same crops are also engineered to withstand applications of Monsanto’s Roundup, the overuse of that pesticide (containing the active ingredient glyphosate) will continue at current high levels.
Weedkillers containing both the controversial glyphosate and POE-tallowamine can no longer be sold in Malta, and their use will be completely banned come April.
The ban comes days afer the release of a study showing the glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup caused liver disease in rats. The findings are the first to show a causal link between its consumption at a real-world environmental dose and a serious condition.
The dose, given to rats as part of the study over two years, was thousands of times below what is allowed by regulators worldwide, but the animals ultimately suffered from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Portland, OR — Becoming the seventh city to sue Monsanto over contaminated waterways, Portland passed a resolution last week authorizing city attorney Tracy Reeve to take the biotech company to federal court over its decades-long dispersal of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). The city has spent more than $1 billion cleaning up PCB pollution in the Willamette River, and now it wants the agrochemical giant it deems responsible for the contamination to pay for the damages.
For decades, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), a highly toxic group of chemicals, were used to insulate electronics, as well as in paint, transformers, caulk, and other items. Between the 1930s and 1970s, Monsanto, which was the sole manufacturer of the chemical compound, produced more than 1 billion pounds of PCBs. Now they are dispersed throughout the environment, littering air supplies, rivers, waterways, and landfills.In a statement, city attorney Reeve said:
By Dr. Mercola
Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup, is an herbicide like no other, as more tons of it have been sprayed worldwide than any other herbicide before it.
Writing in Environmental Sciences Europe, scientists noted that in the U.S. and likely globally, “no pesticide has come remotely close to such intensive and widespread use.”1
“Glyphosate will likely remain the most widely applied pesticide worldwide for years to come,” they continued earlier this year, which is alarming as its environmental and public health risks become increasingly apparent.
Rats fed GM Bt corn MON810 for only 90 days suffered serious damage to the surface mucous membranes of the jejunum (part of the small intestine), according to a new study from Egypt.
Effect of genetically modified corn on the jejunal mucosa of adult male albino rat
Full Paper: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27769625
Authors: Ibrahim MA, Okasha EF.
Genetically modified (GM) plants expressing insecticidal traits offer a new strategy for crop protection. GM-corn contains Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) genes producing delta endotoxins in the whole plant. Diet can influence the characteristics of the gastrointestinal tract altering its function and structure. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of GM-corn on the histological structure of jejunal mucosa of adult male albino rat using different histological, immunohistochemical and morphometrical methods. Twenty adult male albino rats were divided into two equal groups; control and GM-corn fed group administered with 30% GM-corn for 90days. Specimens from the jejunum were processed for light and electron microscopy. Immunohistochemical study was carried out using antibody against proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA). Different morphometrical parameters were assessed. Specimens from GM-corn fed group showed different forms of structural changes. Focal destruction and loss of the villi leaving denuded mucosal surface alternating with stratified areas were observed, while some crypts appeared totally disrupted. Congested blood capillaries and focal infiltration with mononuclear cells were detected. Significant upregulation of PCNA expression, increase in number of goblet cells and a significant increase in both villous height and crypt depth were detected. Marked ultrastructural changes of some enterocytes with focal loss of the microvillous border were observed. Some enterocytes had vacuolated cytoplasm, swollen mitochondria with disrupted cristae and dilated rough endoplasmic reticulum (rER). Some cells had dark irregular nuclei with abnormally clumped chromatin. It could be concluded that consumption of GM-corn profoundly alters the jejunal histological structure.
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H/t reader squodgy:
“Geoffrey Smith. How he has carried out his one man campaign against Monsatan’s unsafe products is so admirable. He now has a growing army, of supporters, followers and qualifying scientists.
His organisation is called The Institute for Responsible Technology.”
Ignoring the legal requirement to examine threats to endangered species, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approved Wednesday the use of the dangerously toxic herbicide dicamba on crops genetically modified to tolerate the chemical.
Dicamba has been around for decades, but this new EPA decision allows the herbicide to be sprayed directly on genetically modified (GM) cotton and soybeans — opening the door for dicamba use to jump from less than 1 million pounds to more than 25 million annually on these two crops.
Glyphosate, the world’s most widely used herbicide linked to Monsanto’s Roundup Ready genetically engineered crops, has been found at alarming levels in a wide range of best-selling foods across the U.S., Food Democracy Now! and The Detox Project announced Monday.
The results published in this report are from the first independent glyphosate residue testing of popular American food products performed using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS), the regulatory recognized “gold standard” testing methods at an FDA registered laboratory.
These newest findings also come as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) postponed hearings last month, which were due to explore glyphosate’s link to cancer in humans. Last year, 17 leading global cancer experts from the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) sparked a firestorm when they classified glyphosate as a class 2A “probable human carcinogen”.
Food giant Nestlé announced Tuesday that they will grow their non-GMO range of products due to the growing demand from consumers, in a shock to the Biotech Industry in the U.S..
Nestlé stated Tuesday; “The company is broadening its product offerings to give consumers more options with no GMO ingredients and identifying these products with the SGS-verified “no GMO ingredients” claim.”
“Nestlé USA understands that consumers are seeking choice and many prefer to select products with no GMO ingredients,” they continued.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which is quietly starting to test certain foods for residues of a weed killing chemical linked to cancer, has found the residues in a variety of oat products, including plain and flavored oat cereals for babies.
Source: www.huffingtonpost.com By Carey Gillam
Data compiled by an FDA chemist and presented to other chemists at a meeting in Florida showed residues of the pesticide known as glyphosate in several types of infant oat cereal, including banana strawberry- and banana-flavored varieties. Glyphosate was also detected in “cinnamon spice” instant oatmeal; “maple brown sugar” instant oatmeal and “peach and cream” instant oatmeal products, as well as others. In the sample results shared, the levels ranged from nothing detected in several different organic oat products to 1.67 parts per million, according to the presentation.
In July 2016 the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin signed a law to ban the cultivation and breeding of genetically modified plants and animals (GMO), except in cases where they will be used in testing and scientific research. In fact, this law makes Russia the world’s largest GMO-free territory and offers a great platform for the development of organic agriculture.
Source: www.vz.ru By Elena Sharoykina
This decision made by the Russian government was also influenced by environmental organizations, farmers and other representatives of Russian society, concerned by the absence of reliable scientific studies on the long-term (‘long-term’ comes here with an emphasis) risks of GMO food to human health and the environment. The Kremlin has also apparently taken into consideration the interests of national food security, as the world market of genetically modified (GM) seeds is monopolized by transnational, mostly American, German and Swiss based companies.
Portuguese farmers are turning their backs on Monsanto’s genetically modified MON810, which is the only GM crop commercially grown in the European Union, according to the Portuguese government.
Official government data shows that Portuguese farmers have reduced the number of hectares under GM maize cultivation for the second year in a row. Portugal is one of only five countries in the European Union that commercially cultivates GM maize.
A new study published by a group of Brazilian researchers in the journal Phycologia shows that Monsanto’s most popular herbicide Roundup negatively affects life in freshwater ecosystems. More specifically, legal levels of Roundup, as well as those of its main ingredient glyphosphate, can alter and kill macroalgae (i.e. freshwater seaweed) by inhibiting photosynthesis.
The legal limits referenced in the study are those of Brazil, which are 0.28 mg l−1. Compare that to the US legal limit of 0.7 mg l−1. Macroalgae are extremely important in freshwater ecosystems as they function as primary producers, meaning they help form the bottom of the food chain on which other organisms depend. They also recycle nutrients and increase plankton populations, which are a main food source for many fish and other marine animals. Die-offs of macroalgae, regardless of the cause, reduce diversity and the populations of other animals in the ecosystem, which can put the entire ecosystem at risk of collapse if the die-off is sufficiently severe. The species of macroalgae used in the study, Nitella microcarpa, is found throughout the world, meaning that the implications of this study are global.
Freedom of Information documents obtained by the group U.S. Right to Know reveal that the FDA has confirmed the presence of glyphosate contamination in honey being sold on U.S. store shelves.
Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Roundup, the world’s top selling herbicide. Roundup’s explosive commercial success has been largely driven by the use of crops genetically engineered to withstand direct application of the herbicide. In 2015, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) declared the chemical a probable human carcinogen.
The documents show that every honey sample tested by the FDA contained glyphosate residue, in some cases at levels twice those allowed in the European Union (EU).
After months of haggling, the Bayer-Monsanto consolidation will finally be coming to fruition. Yes, our worst fears are coming true: Monsanto will become an even larger, more powerful force in the world. Germany’s Bayer cinched the deal by increasing their offer by another billion dollars. With an offer of $66 billion, and a commitment to take over the company’s current debts, Monsanto will soon be a part of the most frightening pharmaceutical-agricultural conglomerate in the world.
CNN Money has declared that the Bayer-Monsanto merger is “the year’s biggest takeover,” though it is surely far from something worth celebrating. Many feel that Bayer is the real winner here; the company is strongest in Europe and Asia, and will reap the benefits of Monsanto’s hefty presence in North America. Bayer will also get all of Monsanto’s experience in agrichemicals and GMO seeds. There is still a chance that this deal will not go through. If, by some miracle, Bayer is unable to acquire Monsanto, farmers and consumers across the world will breathe a sigh of relief.
Italy— Italy just put massive restrictions on the use of Monsanto’s probably carcinogenic herbicide, RoundUp, just as studies suggesting it is more toxic than previously assumed come under public scrutiny.
Italy’s Ministry of Health has banned the spraying of the main ingredient in RoundUp — glyphosate — in many public places that affect ‘vulnerable groups,’ including courtyards, gardens, roadways, sports fields, recreational areas, playgrounds, green areas outside of school buildings, and additional green spaces.
In a transaction that will allow Bayer to command more than a quarter of the combined world market for seeds and pesticides, not to mention is set to be the biggest M&A deal for 2016, Reuters reported that Bayer has won over Monsanto’s management with a $128 per-share cash offer to acquire the global seed market leader, in a deal worth $66 billion.
Bayer has signed a deal that includes a fee of $2 billion should the transaction fail to get regulatory clearance as planned, the Reuters source said. The deal is expected to close by the end of 2017, the source told Reuters on Wednesday.