Monsanto’s Roundup is on the brink of being banished from the European Union. Will we follow suit in the United States?
European Union member states nixed an extension of the use of glyphosate, the herbicide found in Monsanto’s Roundup. After failing to win support for renewal of the license for glyphosate for up to 15 years, the EU executive asked for a 12-18 month extension to continue studying the effects of the weed killer, which comprises about a third of Monsanto’s business. Unless the members change their minds by June 30, and it looks highly unlikely that they will, products containing the herbicide will be removed from European shelves.
Score one for the health of Europe.
It’s interesting to note that The United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization, in conjunction with the World Health Organization (WHO), released a joint summary stating that glyphosate “was unlikely to pose a carcinogenic risk to humans from exposure through the diet.” That didn’t go down well, particularly since a report issued by WHO’s cancer agency, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), in March of 2015, concluded that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup probably causes cancer. The report also stated there was “limited evidence” that the herbicide was a carcinogen that could possibly result in non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Flash back to the United States in early 1980s. Studies conducted in the late 1970s and early 80s by outside contractors commissioned by Monsanto found that glyphosate caused adenomas and carcinomas in test rats, with the highest incidence of tumor growth in the pituitary gland, the second highest in the mammary glands of female rats and the third highest in testicles of male rats. The study results were similar to one done by Dr.Gilles-Éric Séralini. The Séralini results were retracted due to the influence exerted by Monsanto. In other words, Monsanto has known for over three decades that glyphosate is a carcinogen.
Glyphosate accumulates in mammals, particularly in bone. It rips apart amino acids, which are the building blocks of life. It also destroys beneficial bacteria in the gut, inhibiting the immune system.
The presence of glyphosate led to the development of Roundup-Ready seeds that have been genetically modified to resist the chemical. The weeds die, but the crops don’t. We’ve all heard the argument that GMOs are necessary in order to meet the rising demand for food in the world. However, the Corn Comparison Report, which compared GMO and non-GMO corn, found that GMO corn is nearly devoid of any nutritional value.
• Organic corn has 14 ppm of manganese. GMO corn has only 2 ppm.
• Real corn has 7 times more manganese!
• Organic corn has 6130 ppm of calcium. GMO is stripped down to 14 ppm.
• Real corn has 437 times more calcium!
• Organic corn has 113 ppm of magnesium. GMO corn is vacant, with only 2 ppm.
• Real corn has 56 times more magnesium!
Not only that, the selling point used by Monsanto and biotech proponents that GMOs lead to higher crop yields has proven to be false. In a paper funded by the US Department of Agriculture, between 1990 and 2010 researchers at the University of Wisconsin compared yields of a variety of hybrid corn crops, some of which were GMO and some of which were not. The findings showed that while some GMO crops produced a small gain, others actually produced lower yields than their non-GMO counterparts.
Additionally, it has been found that chemical farming inhibits the ability of soil to retain water, thereby requiring more irrigation of crops. With the effects of climate change impacting the water supply, this is a real concern.
Glyphosate is an antibiotic and, just like antibiotics that we take for a disease, a resistance can be built up over time. That is exactly what is happening now. Farmers are finding so-called super-weeds that require chemicals that are even more toxic to be sprayed on the crops that wind up on your table.
And finally, a recent report found that 100 percent of California wines in the Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino wine growing regions have some level of glyphosate in them -even the organic wines. That is because the glyphosate migrates into the water supply and is also present in fertilizer from animals that have been fed GMO grain. So even those farmers who use organic and biodynamic farming techniques are finding their products affected by the widespread use of Roundup. Add to that, wine growers from conventional vineyards are finding that vines on family farms that once produced for 100 years are now only producing for 10-12 years when chemical farming is used.
It will be instructive to see what happens in the EU come June 30. Will Monsanto once again manage to coerce the member states into accepting another 15 years of poison, or will they stand up and say no to Monsanto? And what will we here in the States do? Will we continue to let a mega-corporation steal our health, deplete our soil and use our precious and dwindling supply of water to enrich itself? Or will we stand up and demand that we will at least have GMO labeling on our food, or better yet, tell Monsanto Hell No To GMO and their lousy weed killer Roundup”?