‘A Five-Alarm Threat to Our Food Supply’: Experts Describe Bayer-Monsanto Merger

By Katherine Paul, associate director of the Organic Consumers Association. Originally published at Alternet.

It’s been about a week since Monsanto and Bayer confirmed their intention to say “I do”—ample time for media, lawmakers, consumer and farmer advocacy groups, and of course the happy couple themselves, to weigh in on the pros and cons.

Reactions poured in from all the usual suspects.

Groups like the Farmers Union, Food & Water Watch, Friends of the Earth and others didn’t mince words when it came to condemning the deal. (Organic Consumers Association tagged it a “Marriage Made in Hell” back in May, pre-announcement, when the two mega-corporations were still doing their mating dance).

Predictably, the corporate heads of state last week promoted the proposed $66-billion deal as an altruistic plan to improve “the lives of growers and people around the world.” Last week, they told Senate Judiciary Committee members that the merger “is needed to meet a rising food demand.”

Is anyone out there still buying the line that Monsanto and Bayer are in the business of feeding the world? When the evidence says otherwise?

Even if that claim weren’t ludicrous, who thinks it’s a good idea to entrust the job of “feeding the world” to the likes of Bayer, a company that—as part of the I.G. Farben cartel in the 1940s—produced the poison gas for the Nazi concentration camps, and more recently sold HIV-infected drugs to parents of haemophiliacs in foreign countries, causing thousands of children to die of AIDS?

The sordid, unethical, greedy, monopolizing and downright criminal histories of both Monsanto and Bayer have been well documented. Does allowing them to merge into the world’s largest seed and pesticide company pose what two former Justice Department officials call “a five-alarm threat to our food supply and to farmers around the world?”

In a press release, Pesticide Action Network senior scientist Marcia Ishii-Eiteman said:

Just six corporations already dominate worldwide seed and pesticide markets. Additional consolidation will increase prices and further limit choices for farmers, while allowing Monsanto and friends to continue pushing a model of agriculture that has given us superweeds, superbugs and health-harming pesticides. Instead, we need to invest in agroecological, resilient and productive farming.

Without question, this deal, which strengthens the ties between Big Pharma, Big Food and Big Biotech, will hurt farmers and consumers—not to mention an ecosystem already on the brink.

But for those of us committed to ridding the world of toxic pesticides and hideous factory farms, to restoring biodiversity, to cleaning up our waterways, to revitalizing local economies, to helping small farmers thrive, to reclaiming and regenerating the world’s soils so they can do their job—produce nutrient-dense food while drawing down and sequestering carbon—the marriage of Bayer and Monsanto doesn’t change much.

As we wrote when the deal was announced, Monsanto will probably pack up its headquarters and head overseas. The much-maligned Monsanto name will be retired.

But a corporate criminal by any other name—or size—is still a corporate criminal.

Merger or no merger, our job remains the same: to expose the crimes and end the toxic tyranny of a failed agricultural experiment. #MillionsAgainstMonsanto will simply morph into #BillionsAgainstBayer.

Feed the world? Or feed the lobbyists?

Bayer and Monsanto had plenty of time to perfect their spin on the merger before the big announcement. Yet even some of the most conservative media outlets saw through it.

A Bloomberg headline read: “Heroin, Nazis, and Agent Orange: Inside the $66 Billion Merger of the Year.” From the article:

Two friends making dyes from coal-tar started Bayer in 1863, and it developed into a chemical and drug company famous for introducing heroin as a cough remedy in 1896, then aspirin in 1899. The company was a Nazi contractor during World War II and used forced labor. Today, the firm based in Leverkusen, Germany, makes drugs and has a crop science unit, which makes weed and bug killers. Its goal is to dominate the chemical and drug markets for people, plants and animals.

Monsanto, founded in 1901, originally made food additives like saccharin before expanding into industrial chemicals, pharmaceuticals and agriculture products. It’s famous for making some controversial and highly toxic chemicals like polychlorinated biphenyls, now banned and commonly known as PCBs, and the herbicide Agent Orange, which was used by the U.S. military in Vietnam. It commercialized Roundup herbicide in the 1970s and began developing genetically modified corn and soybean seeds in the 1980s. In 2000, a new Monsanto emerged from a series of corporate mergers.

A skeptical Wall Street Journal reporter suggested that the merger, one of three in the works in the ag industry, is a sign of trouble: “The dominance of genetically modified crops is under threat,” wrote Jacob Bunge on September 14. Bunge interviewed Ohio farmer Joe Logan who told him, “The price we are paying for biotech seed now, we’re not able to capture the returns.” This spring, Mr. Logan loaded up his planter with soybean seeds costing $85 a bag, nearly five times what he paid two decades ago. Next spring, he says, he plans to sow many of his corn and soybean fields with non-biotech seeds to save money.

Nasdaq took the merger announcement as an opportunity to highlight numbers published by OpenSecrets.org showing that Monsanto and Bayer are not only the two largest agrichemical corporations in the world, they’re also two of the biggest spenders when it comes to lobbying.

Together, according to OpenSecrets, Bayer and Monsanto have spent about $120 million on lobbying in the last decade. Monsanto’s spending has been largely focused on the agricultural industry, while Bayer has spent heavily in the pharmaceutical arena.

Both Monsanto and Bayer forked over millions to keep labels off of foods that contain GMOs, according to OpenSecrets:

A big issue for both companies has been labeling of genetically modified foods, which both companies oppose. That put them in support of the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act (H.R. 1599), which was signed into law this summer. The law permits corporations to identify products made with genetically modified organisms in ways that critics argue will be hard for consumers to interpret, while superseding state laws that are sometimes tougher, like the one in Vermont.

To be clear, the “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling” was just an intentionally misleading description of a bill intended to protect corporations from having to reveal the GMO ingredients in their products.

A Criminal by Any Other Name

Last week, the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague made a big announcement of its own. For the first time in history, the ICC will “prioritise crimes that result in the ‘destruction of the environment,’ ‘exploitation of natural resources’ and the ‘illegal dispossession’ of land,” according to a report in the Guardian.

The announcement came within the same two-week period as three new reports on the sad state of our ecosystem, all of which implicate industrial agriculture:

  • Researchers at the University of Virginia University of Virginia reported that widespread adoption of GMO crops has decreased the use of insecticides, but increased the use of weed-killing herbicides as weeds become more resistant, leading to “serious environmental damage.”

  • Mother Jones magazine reported that “A Massive Sinkhole Just Dumped Radioactive Waste Into Florida Water. The cause? A fertilizer company deep in the heart of phosphate country.”

  • NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said that when it comes to global warming, “even the records themselves are breaking records now” after reporting that Earth just experienced its hottest August on record. What’s that got to do with Bayer and Monsanto? Industrial, chemical, degenerative agriculture is the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. Organic regenerative agriculture, by contrast, holds the greatest promise for drawing down and sequestering excess carbon from the atmosphere.

Whether or not regulators approve the Bayer-Monsanto merger, these companies will continue their rampage against nature. Governments and courts have a lousy track record when it comes to holding these, and other, corporations accountable for the damage they’ve inflicted, over decades, on human health and the environment.

The ICC has signaled that this may change. In the meantime, frustrated with the lack of action and fed up with paying the price for making corporations like Bayer and Monsanto filthy rich, the grassroots are fighting back.

On October 15-16, a panel of distinguished international judges will hear testimony from 30 witnesses and scientific and legal experts from five continents who have been injured by Monsanto’s products. This grassroots-led international citizens’ tribunal and People’s Assembly (October 14-16) will culminate in November with the release of advisory opinions prepared by the judges. The tribunal’s work, which includes making the case for corporations to be prosecuted for ecocide, is made all the more relevant by the ICC’s announcement.

The International Monsanto Tribunal is named for Monsanto, the perfect poster child. But the advisory opinions, which will form the basis for future legal action, will be applicable to all agrichemical companies—including Bayer.

In the meantime, we encourage citizens around the world who cannot participate in the official tribunal and People’s Assembly, to show solidarity by organizing their own World Food Day “March Against Monsanto.”

Monsanto. Bayer. The name doesn’t matter, and though size does matter when it comes to throwing weight around, the crimes perpetrated by the companies remain the same. It’s time to stop them.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


      1. jsn

        This may be a duplicate, previous appears to be in the ether.

        I have a friend who has run an organic farm in the Rhine valley for the last eight years. With Roundup and fertilizers, Monsanto has a huge foot print there despite no GMOs.

        Interestingly, with the drought you mention, his yields have been relatively stable and his organic sale price has gone up slightly while his conventional neighbors are seeing weak yields and collapsing prices.

        He expects to see a lot of farming bankruptcies in the coming year.

        1. different clue

          Would your friend be wise to avoid the temptation to buy bankruptcy-prices farmland from his toxichemical neighbors as they go out of bussiness? Is their farmland so toxin-contaminated as to be un-remediatable at any profit-possible price?

          (On the other hand, if their land can be bio-remediated and chemo-decontaminated at a cost which makes sense, would their departure from farming create a vacuum for a whole movement-load of wannabe-organic farmers to buy that land at distressed prices, clean it up, and then begin organifarming on it?)

          1. jsn

            It took him about 5 years to convert all the land he took over from his father to organic. What he started from was essentially sand. Now its an 8 inch layer of rich brown, worm intensive living matter that’s become a regional attraction for the poorly managed wild boar population: he’s fenced them out recently.

            The neighbors have essentially the same conditions he had a decade ago and the trend is the opposite of hopeful at the moment: huge producers are picking up and consolidating the farms, much as happened in the US in the 60s and 70s. These industrial interests are strictly short term bottom line “farmers” and unlikely to stray from the (oil) fertilize and (oil) poison conventions.

            Smaller farmers who thought he was crazy ten years ago are starting to pay attention.

            1. different clue

              I would expect the organic farming he is practicing and that the smaller farmer onlookers are re-thinking afresh will cost more to do. If so, one hopes that his (and someday those other farmers’) customers understand the need to pay higher prices to cover his higher costs plus the decent living he deserves to make.

  1. Carla

    “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act (H.R. 1599), which was signed into law this summer” — often and more accurately called the DARK Act (for Deny Americans the Right to Know).

    “Progressive” Senator Sherrod Brown was among our many fearless leaders who voted to deny Americans the right to know.

    1. Vatch

      HR 1599 was the bill in the House, but what actually became law was a Senate bill, S 764. Here’s the roll call vote on HR 1599:


      Here’s the roll call vote in the Senate on S 764:


      Here’s the House roll call vote on S 764:


      And here’s the web information about S 764, misleadingly named “A bill to reauthorize and amend the National Sea Grant College Program Act, and for other purposes”:


    2. different clue

      Senator Brown represents Farm Country among other parts of Ohio. Farmers are not a constituency he will especially and uniquely ignore. And from what I gather, the vast majority of Mainstream Farm Country Farmers beLEEEEEEVE in the PROmise of GMOs. AND Roundup.

      Acres USA-style Bio-Eco Farming is still a very “parallel-universe” type of farming to the Middle Mainstream. Acres USA-the-monthly magazine itself has a subscription of only about 12,000 people.
      Organic Farming is more mainstream than that. At least the Mainstream Majority farmers have heard about organic farming . . . “stupid hippies”. If we want Brown or any other farm state or semi-farm-state Senator to vote for Genuine Right To Know . . . we will have to do our part to achieve a successful
      turning-against-GMOs by a commanding plurality of mainstream farmers themselves FIRST. When many farmers come to see Bayer-MonSyngenta as The Enemy . . . . and come to see GMOs as an Enemy Conspiracy technology, THEN those farmers will turn to their Senators for protection aGAINST the Lords of FrankenFood and their GMOs.

      So what can we do on the Marketfield of Economic Combat, where every dollar is a bullet, to degrade and attrit the place of GMOs in the Mainstream Marketplace . . . and to grow and enrich and empower and embiggen the CounterMainstream Parallel Marketplace where “FrankenFree” means good bussiness and Big Money for the farmers who can truthfully claim it? And grow that Parallel Markeplace so big that the newly vast number of farmers who choose to play in that space can exert real pressure on their Senator to make him/her decide that voting for Real Right To Know is in herm’s own political career survival interest?

      ” I felt the heat. And then I saw the light.” And right now, it is Big GMO and all the Mister Farmers who believe in it who can make Senator Brown feel the heat.

    1. TedWa

      And the damage done is generational and affected children much the way thalidomide did in the 50’s. Monsanto was supposed to have paid the Vietnamese for the harm they caused and never did.

      Their solution for treating those with Vitamin A deficiencies was not biodiversity in showing farmers how to plant foods rich in Vit A, but in creating golden rice that is supposed to be rich in Vit A but the vitamin does not, by many accounts, get absorbed into the body. A female adult would have to eat 16 pounds of rice a day to get any benefit from it. No, their goal is a mono-agriculture world they can control.
      Feed the world? There’s already enough food for everyone 1.5 times over. The reason for starvation is a lack of money and Monsanto/Bayer are not planning anything to fix that – they’re not in the charity business. I’m reminded about reading about bees the size of people in the bible. When you try to fix something that isn’t broken the consequences will be backlash by Mother Nature.

  2. tegnost

    From the perspective of “agricultural” (more like chemical?) behemoths like bayer and monsanto, feeding the world is a business plan not an altruistic objective. Lacks diversity, IMO, a giant monoculture.

  3. sharonsj

    It isn’t only GMOs. I no longer eat seafood (radioactive, polluted with toxins and oil, or farm-raised and bacteria-laden). Learn to buy locally, in season, and then learn about food preservation. Canning is simple, so is freezing and drying.

  4. Felix_47

    All interesting comments but the drop in pesticide use is a pretty good thing that has come out of Roundup. The human animal is a pest as well. And Roundup and GMO have dramatically decreased fuel requirements and plowing and erosion and a variety of other problems. In fact I wonder if we enjoy less CO2 emmissions as a consequence of more efficient farming due to GMO and Roundup. The author is rather breathless over this issue but would it not be a better thing for her to focus on something that really, really matters…..like the birth rate in the drought afflicted Mideast and sub Saharan Africa, or the failure of the wealthy worldwide to pay their fair share of taxes, or the hijacking of worldwide political systems, or the MIC in the US? Really, I see Roundup and GMO as incredibly valuable progress. The rest is hysteria. The merger is probably because they have run out of ideas and trhe CEOs want to cash out. That is an issue that needs to be addressed. The merger is a sign of corrupt government and tax policy and a failure of corporate governance mediated by our wing tipped ivy league lawyers of K street and their brother politicians.

    1. tegnost

      roundup is an herbicide. And your global supply chain eats up a lot of petrol. You’re kind of breathless yourself. Points for using “hysteria”. While your opinion is gmo’s/roundup are progress, it’s just your opinion, and as we can see that you don’t know that roundup is an herbicide, maybe your opinion is not all that?

    2. TedWa

      And as the bugs and weeds become superbugs and superweeds (weeds so strong that they actually shred up farming equipment tires) the solution Monsanto recommends is to use more and more of their herbicides. What happens when these superbugs become super-superbugs, use more of their “miracle” herbicides? And then what? Nature always prevails no matter what we throw at it. The best we can do is work with mother nature as she’s calling the shots that have made our world habitable.

    3. Nobody (the outcast)

      Biocides and chemical fertilizers destroy soil life. This has many negative effects including creating dependence on the chemicals, decreased pest resistance, nutritionally poorer food, and increased CO2 in the atmosphere. There is no long-term benefit to using them; it is all detriment. It is completely backwards from how nature works and continual use of these farming methods is leading to a disaster.

      We have been on a downward sickening spiral since Von Liebig figured out how to dissolve rock and make salt-based “fertilizers.” Mimicking nature is the only viable way to produce what we need from the land and maintain the viability of ecosystemic services upon which we are all dependent. What you see as progress is actually a dangerous regression. GMO and Roundup is completely unnecessary if we mimic nature in our cultivation practices instead of destroying it. It’s all about creating a problem and selling a “solution,” except the “solution” is anything but.

    4. different clue

      Millions of words have been written on this subject. Some of them have beet written at Acres USA, which is worth subscribing to. If they ever solve their crashed computer micro-site problem and put a few articles back up on the web, those articles would be worth reading too. Many of the books on the subject available from the Acres USA Bookstore are worth reading too.

      Also, a site called Amazing Carbon is worth reading.

      About Roundup itself ( and generic brands of Glyphosate), here is some interesting material about Roundup Toxicity in food itself because of the broad mass use of Roundup to kill harvest-targetted wheat and other things so they all die and dry at exactly the same time and can be more conveniently harvested. Since this comment section chokes on more than one or two links per comment, I can only offer one or two. More can be findable using the search-phrase ” roundup dessicant wheat”. Here are a couple links.
      Here is a link from Syngenta saying their formulation of glyphosate makes a better pre-harvest timing-uniformity killant/dessicant than Monsanto’s roundup does.

      For the “other side of the story”, here is Snopes with what may be an accurate rebuttal of Glyphosate-in-the-food-supply concerns. May or may not be. People may want to work out on it.

    5. zapster

      Offset, of course, by the rising tide of gastrointestinal diseases, allergies to GMO varieties, and the effects of glyphosate in all of our food, not to mention sick farmhands. The latest is now adding dioxins to the glyphosate to get the superweeds. That stuff remains in food after processing, y’know.

  5. JimTan

    I agree with Jacob Bunge’s quote that “The dominance of genetically modified crops is under threat”. Monsnato is currently facing an existential threat linked to its genetically modified crops and Round-Up Herbicide. I’m pretty sure this is the driving force behind their desire to merge with Bayer. Monsanto is the worlds largest produces of genetically modified seeds. Almost all of these seeds have a single genetic modification which is resistance to their Roundup Herbicide (also known as Glyphosate). This modification allows farmers to spray entire fields with Roundup Herbicide, killing everything except the Roundup Resistant crops. Its much cheaper and more efficient than walking through a field to spray individual weeds with herbicide. The Roundup Resistant genetic modification is so popular that Monsanto makes billions licensing it to all the other GMO seed manufacturers. All told, Roundup Herbicide and Roundup Resistant seeds conservatively make up more than half of Monsanto’s annual sales. I suspect (but who knows) that 8 out of 10 genetically modified seeds contain the Roundup Resistant trait. GMO seeds basically means Roundup Resistant.

    In 2015 the International Agency for Research on Cancer ( IARC ) branch of the World Health Organization ( WHO ) announced that Glyphosate ( Round-Up ), is a Group 2A Carcinogen “probably Carcinogenic to humans”. This is a very big deal and since then, Monsanto has been on an all points PR and lobbying blitz to contain the damage. The U.S. EPA’s ( Cancer Assessment Review Committee ) dutifully affirmed this year that Round-Up does not cause Cancer. The State of California’s EPA on the other hand is in the process of listing Glyphosate ( Round-Up ) as a chemical known to cause cancer, under their Proposition 65 Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986. This would require Monsanto to Label Round-Up and Round-Up Ready seeds sold in California as ‘Carcinogenic’, and would make California farmers who use the product liable for any detectable Glyphosate found within state waterways. Monsanto is currently suing the state of California to prevent this:


    The writing is on the wall for the largest component of the genetically modified crops industry. Monsanto’s proposed merger with Bayer (and more to follow) I think is a move to consolidation from an industry under threat.

    1. different clue

      If this is correct . . . . if Monsanto is the “Sick Man of Corporate America”, doesn’t that mean that if Bayer aquires Monsanto that Bayer may well be chaining itself to a Dead Corporation Walking? And soon enough not even walking anymore? And then stinking after that?

      And if that is what Bayer is in fact letting itself in for if it aquires ( “merges with” ) Monsanto, might that not tend to drag Bayer itself somewhat down?

      Do any amateur analysts here have any thoughts on the meaning of those possibilities?

  6. shinola

    Bayer produces pesticides harmful to honey bees. Their own internal studies revealed this years ago but, apparently, they didn’t think this info. was important enough to release their findings to the public.

  7. Jeremy Grimm

    If Monsanto and Bayer were two angels making the world a better place every day in every way — their merger — a merger between the two largest agrichemical corporations when just six corporations already dominate worldwide seed and pesticide markets — should not be allowed. But Monsanto and Bayer are not angels.

    I thought genetic modifications of crops offered ways to create new fruits and vegetables full with exotic flavors and fragrances, new flowers with wondrous shapes and colors and stronger more robust plants of all kinds. Instead the miracles of genetic modification were used to make seeds to grow sterile hybrid plants compelling farmers to buy seed. Our farmers plant crop strains designed to sell massive amounts of poisons they must dump on their farm soil or face the threat of the superweeds and superbugs those crop strains and poisons helped produce.

    What sort of humankind controls our society who find ways to turn every gift into a murderous weapon? Our survival depends on ridding ourselves of these miscreants.

    1. jrs

      “I thought genetic modifications of crops offered ways to create new fruits and vegetables full with exotic flavors and fragrances, new flowers with wondrous shapes and colors and stronger more robust plants of all kinds. ”

      The thing is most of that could probably be done with old fashioned breeding. Yes in an ideal world GMO might have some use … but it’s really hard to say.

      1. Jeremy Grimm

        True — but I think GMO might be a little faster and more direct and could enable some crosses not otherwise possible. A little basic research might go a long way toward better understanding how and why some of the genetic tricks which evolved work. Also in a more ideal world the science would be much more carefully tested before stuff was allowed out the door. Agribusiness seems to operate on a Microsoft model for pushing out new GMO creations.

        I think we had a more ideal world not that many years ago before basic research was shut down and Science made captive to Industry — around the time of Reagan. I can’t imagine too many Scientists would be looking for ways to make the kind of stuff agribusiness wanted if they were acting on their curiosity instead of desire for profit. At least I hope that would be the case.

      2. Mark P.

        ‘The thing is most of that could probably be done with old fashioned breeding.’

        Why would you want to?

        ‘Old-fashioned breeding’ for the last half-century has mostly meant that one begins by bombarding with radiation many thousands of specimens (be they plant or animal species) so thousands of polymorphisms — mutations — are produced in their progeny. The desired mutation is then selected and bred for.

        It’s an enormously slow, scattershot process. And quite ugly, really.

        Conversely, what can be done today with CRISPR-enabled synbio is quite precise. Today’s biogenetic technologies no more resemble most people’s conception of genetic engineering than modern computers resemble early vacuum tube-reliant mainframes.

  8. Not that Bob

    International Agency for Research on Cancer ( IARC ) branch of the World Health Organization ( WHO ) announced that Glyphosate ( Round-Up ), is a Group 2A Carcinogen “probably Carcinogenic to humans”.

    This is a very big deal.

    Yup! Right up there with drinking Grapefruit Juice and working the Night Shift, also in Group 2A.

    The U.S. EPA’s ( Cancer Assessment Review Committee ) dutifully affirmed this year that Round-Up does not cause Cancer.

    As their duty is to base ttheir decisions upon the existing science, their affirmation was inevitable.

    The possible links between pesticide exposure and cancer are frequently re-investigated by regulatory authorities world-wide. So far, they have found the evidence to be, at best, inconsistent, and therefore insufficient to call for regulation.

    Or are you implying that the regulatory authorities, world wide, consider their duty to lie elsewhere?

    1. Vatch

      Grapefruit (juice) is not on the current IARC list of suspected carcinogens:


      Apparently, nobody was able to replicate the results of the study that found a causative link between grapefruit juice and cancer. I’ll speculate (and I emphasize that this is speculation) that perhaps some of the grapefruit juice had too much pesticide in it, and that was what increased the risk of cancer. Or maybe the study’s sample size was too small..



      Although they were hyped for their cancer-protective antioxidants, a large, well-publicised study in 2007 found grapefruits were linked with an increased risk of breast cancer. The theory was that certain chemicals in grapefruits interfere with the metabolism of oestrogen, and it was thought that increased levels of oestrogen may have been responsible for breast cancer. However, subsequent larger studies have found no link between grapefruit and breast cancer, and other studies have shown grapefruit or grapefruit juice may protect against prostate cancer, pancreatic cancer and oral cancer.

      1. Not that Bob

        I sit corrected. I should have performed due diligence.

        Thank you for providing a link to a more recent source than mine.

        (At least “Circadian Disruption” due to shift work remains.)

    2. JimTan

      I am not an expert in what constitutes a Carcinogen, but I assume these two regulatory bodies with contradicting finding are. In my opinion the IARC appears to be more impartial because an EPA finding that Glyphosate is anything related to Carcinogenic will nuke the entire GMO seed market in general (most GMO firms sell licensed Roundup-Ready seeds), and Monsanto in particular. Monsanto is a very large U.S. firm with considerable lobbying capabilities and a well documented revolving door with the FDA, USDA, and EPA:


      This influence is likely coming to bear on the congress and the EPA. Glyphosate is at least 50% of Monsanto’s $15 billion in annual revenues. That’s a lot of seed and herbicide, and doesn’t include sales from all its competitors which license Glyphosate resistant seed. The IARC posted a release briefly explaining why this product is listed as a possible carcinogen:


      Interestingly it mentions the U.S. EPA and includes gems like:

      “On the basis of tumours in mice, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) originally classified glyphosate as possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group C) in 1985. After a re-evaluation of that mouse study, the US EPA changed its classification to evidence of non-carcinogenicity in humans (Group E) in 1991.”

      Again I’m not an expert, and there are two findings here. I simply think the EPA has an enormous incentive to find Glyphosate non-Carcinogenic regardless of the actual results.

      1. Not that Bob

        Apologies for the tardy response.

        IARC appears to be more impartial because an EPA finding that Glyphosate is anything related to Carcinogenic will nuke the entire GMO seed market in general

        Your opinion is that the regulatory authorities, world wide, consider it their duty to ensure the viability of Monsanto, rather than to base ttheir decisions upon the existing science?

        Well, fair enough, we all have opinions; but the IARC is an agency of the World Health Organization, and the WHO has decided that the IARC finding does not indicate the need for further regulation of Glyphosphate.

        Do you consider the WHO to be as corrupt and inhumane as you imply the EPA is?

        Monsanto is a very large U.S. firm with considerable lobbying capabilities and a well documented revolving door with the … EPA

        As is “Big Energy”, but it is currently being ‘nuked’.

        1. JimTan


          What I said was the EPA (a US regulatory agency) is more likely than IARC (an international regulatory agency) to report Glyphosate as benign because Monsanto has considerable lobbying capabilities and a well documented revolving door with the FDA, USDA, and EPA. That and Glyphosate accounts for over $7 billion in annual Monsanto sales.

          Why would IARC make this up? Do you believe they are incompetent and/or being malicious? I can’t see an incentive other than scientific to report Glyphosate as possibly Carcinogenic.

          The EPA on the other hand has every incentive (regulatory capture from their revolving door with Monsanto, Monsanto’s considerable lobbying capabilities, the fact that their finding will decide if Monsanto as a firm will survive). There have been criticisms of the EPS recent Glyphosate finding including this one:


          Its worth a look.

          1. Not that Bob

            And what I said was that the EPA’s assessment is supported by studies performed by government agencies world-wide. It is also supported by the FAO/WHO:

            In view of the absence of carcinogenic potential in rodents at human-relevant doses and the absence of genotoxicity by the oral route in mammals, and considering the epidemiological evidence from occupational exposures, the Meeting concluded that glyphosate is unlikely to pose a carcinogenic risk to humans from exposure through the diet.


            Geneva, 9–13 May 2016

            SUMMARY REPORT

            Of course the IARC is not ‘making it up’. The IARC identified a probable hazard to humans. The EPA, FAO/WHO, European Food Safety Authority, … , then set out to identify the risk to humans, i.e., “At what dose?”

            As for the link to: EPA Uses Industry-funded Studies to Determine Glyphosate Does Not Cause Cancer

            The Food and Agriculture Organisation and the World Health Organisation do so too:

            2.1 General considerations on the evaluation of genotoxicity studies

            A large number of genotoxicity studies were evaluated during the present meeting.

            These were identified through direct submission to JMPR, searches of the publicly available literature and requests to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) Monographs Secretariat and industry groups.

            The studies evaluated included unpublished (primarily guideline) studies submitted to support pesticide registration as well as peer-reviewed studies published in the scientific literature.

            [criteria omitted]

            Following an evaluation and weighting of the studies, taking the criteria described above and the quality of the studies into account, an overall weight of evidence approach was used to reach conclusions about the genotoxicity of the individual pesticides.

            An important aspect of the evaluation was whether the genotoxic effect would be likely to occur in humans exposed to low levels of the pesticide present as residues in food.

            The evaluation was conducted for the pesticide active ingredient, its formulation products and prominent metabolites, as data were available.


            So, although “the WHO took into account studies on actual products that are available on store shelves” (products which “have other ingredients that can make the pesticide more dangerous”), while “the EPA ignored those studies to focus solely on studies that tested glyphosate as a single ingredient”, the WHO “concluded that glyphosate is unlikely to pose a carcinogenic risk to humans from exposure through the diet”.

  9. Marcie

    Bayer faces litigation for their gadolinium-based contrast agent (GBCA), Magnevist and Gadavist. They had the largest market share for decades and millions of unsuspecting patients have been injected with their GBCA, Magnevist. Millions now have gadolinium in their brains x 23 in their bones.

    Now the multi-trillion dollar industry is going to face lawsuits in the near future. First, you see the studies and then comes the lawsuits. Look up my name under Marcie Jacobs gadolinium lawsuit. Seeger Weiss is representing the NFL in the head injury litigation but I believe they know that it is gadolinium-based contrast agents that are causing or amplifying their diseases and cognitive problems.

    Most people don’t know why they are sick because the industry has lied and covered it up. Now the revenue for the radiology industry is plummeting and is being replaced by safer modalities. Radiologists, in my opinion, ought to find a new profession for they have harmed millions.

    Very sick combination Bayer-Monsanto but their reign may be short lived. Bayer is desperate, they know if the FDA ever makes the determination that they committed fraud during the approval process the company, whatever its name, is going down. It will be bigger than tobacco and asbestos combined.


  10. different clue

    That little item about some mainstream farmers not being able to recover the high costs of their high priced GMO patented and covenanted seed suggests a way to topple GMO crops from dominance faster.
    IFF ! ! ! ee NUFF people act at the same time on that possibility in a focused and concerted way.

    And the possibility goes like this. Almost all of the GMO shitcorn and shitsoy is grown to feed confinement-feedlotted shitmeat animals for shitmeat. And mega factory-barn confinement dairy cows for shitmilk after that. So if enough millions of people all began boycotting GMO Corporate shitmeat and shitmilk and shit-cheese and shit-eggs at the same time, the prices for GMO shitcorn and GMO shitsoy would go down even faster and harder and mainstream GMO shitseed feed farmers would be facing bankruptcy and liquidation within very few years over the cost of GMO shitseed and the special chemicals that go with some of it.

    How would this help? If it happens fast and hard enough, it may happen before the NON-GMO/ pre-GMO conVENTional side of the big-seed industry goes all the way extinct. If that happens ( if it can be MADE to happen), then those FrankenFree conventional seed growers will still be in existence if mainstream farmers turn back to them en masse to get the mainstream quantities of FrankenFree conventional seed they need to grow FrankenFree conVENTional feed for feedlots and etc. That process could drive GMOs and the Black Hat Perpetrator companies which produce them into extinction and liquidation and total extermination.

    Some people may quibble and cavill to the effect that “conventional still isn’t organic and a feedlot is still a feedlot”. “That may be true”, as General Giap once said to Colonel Larry Summers. “But it is also irrelevant.” If the immediate goal is the extermination of GMOs from existence and the total enwipement of Monsanto, Bayer, and Syngenta from the face of the earth, this first step I outlined above seems to me to be a possible way to achieve that noble lofty goal.

  11. Reality's Stooge

    The ICC is now going after “emvironmental criminals”? ElOhEl. Will BP or one of the American or British companies it contracted to build and maintain its GoM drilling platforms get hauled in front of this court? It will probably be the usual parade of (mostly) non-white, non-western goons based in places the US does not like. Altruistic western-based corporations, er, I mean “wealth creators”, that “donate” generously to major political parties and “charitable foundations” may soon have a new tool at their disposal with which to neutralize pesky Russian or Venezuelan competitors.

    The only reason Bloomberg and a few other pro-globalization media outlets ran pieces that “called out” Bayer is because it is based in Germany and has a they couldn’t pass up an opportunity to mention Nazis (and as a bonus…heroin) and get a few more clicks.

  12. different clue

    Professor Emeritus Don Huber of Purdue University in Indiana ( it don’t hardly get no more mainstream than that) first began discovering about and then warning about the dangers of the Roundup-Ready/ Roundup corner of the GMO enterprise. Here is a digital photocopy of the interview he gave on that subject to Acres USA.

    Acres USA holds a conference every December, both to present new stuff and who’s doing what, and also so people can re-meet eachother after a year of doing whatever wherever. Lately the conference has expanded to offering full day seminars the day before and the first day of the conference. For those who wish to pay extra and take those instead. The full day seminar on the first day is being given by Professor Huber himself. Here is a link to information on the upcoming conference.

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