(Thank you Barron’s🙂
Monsanto’s Tough Week: Now It’s Birth Defects
By Tiernan Ray
Tough week for Monsanto (MON). Tuesday, word went around that the company’s “SmartStax” seeds were yielding less in Iowa’s corn harvest than expected. That prompted analysts, including Goldman Sachs, to cut their price targets on the stock.
Today, it’s the rumor that the company’s herbicide, “Roundup,” could be causing birth defects, based on a study released by researchers in Argentina, and published in the August issue of the academic journal Chemical Research in Toxicology.
The study itself focuses broadly on herbicides containing glyphosate, but F. William Engdahl over at Global Research lays out the explicit connection to Roundup, a glyphosate-based herbicide, writing:
Widespread reports of human malformations began to be reported in Argentina beginning 2002, two years after widespread aerial spraying of Roundup and planting of [Roundup Ready] Soybeans was begun. The test animals used by CarrascoÃs group share similar developmental mechanisms with humans. The authors concluded that the results Ã¬raise concerns about the clinical findings from human offspring in populations exposed to Roundup in agricultural fields.Ã® Carrasco added, Ã¬The toxicity classification of glyphosate is too low. In some cases this can be a powerful poison.Ã®
(April: Let’s not fail to realize the crops/plants themselves contain pesticides within every living cell on the plant. Studies need to be done on this as well?)
Monsanto shares today ended down 9 cents at $47.91, which is actually pretty good considering the state of the broader market today.
There was at least one bright spot: Monsanto’s “Roundup Ready Yield” Soybeans, unlike SmartStax, are actually performing as expected, reports OTR Global of San Francisco, according to a piece by Bloomberg’s Jack Kaskey this afternoon. OTR found that farm managers in Illinois and Indiana were seeing crop yield improvements of 7% to 11%. OTR said that was an improvement from a year ago, when Roundup Ready soybeans underwhelmed.