Mercola, October 2010
Monsanto, the giant biotechnology agriculture company that created genetically modified corn, soybeans and herbicides, isn’t riding so high this year in the stocks department, as news comes in that its products aren’t working like they’d hoped.
According to the New York Times, weeds are becoming immune to Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup, and its latest genetically modified, 8-gene corn is a flop, producing yields no higher than the company’s less expensive corn, which contains only three foreign genes.
“Monsanto has already been forced to sharply cut prices on SmartStax and on its newest soybean seeds, called Roundup Ready 2 Yield, as sales fell below projections,” the Times said. “And the Justice Department is investigating Monsanto for possible antitrust violations.”
“Until now, Monsanto’s main challenge has come from opponents of genetically modified crops, who have slowed their adoption in Europe and some other regions. Now, however, the skeptics also include farmers and investors who were once in Monsanto’s camp.”
Monsanto was named “company of the year” by Forbes Magazine in December. Last week, television stock market commentator Jim Cramer said it “may be the worst stock of 2010,” the Times said.
Dr. Mercola’s comments:
Since the 1980s, Monsanto has become the world leader in genetic modification of seeds, succeeding in at least 674 biotechnology patents, more than any other company — and they showed no signs of stopping … until now.
It seems Monsanto’s glory days may be coming to an end, which is a refreshing turnaround from last December, when Forbes declared this evil corporation “company of the year” — for reasons that truly boggle the mind.
Now, the tide is turning, and as the Times pointed out, signs are suggesting that Monsanto’s “winning streak” is over:
- Monsanto’s newest genetically modified (GM) product, SmartStax corn, provides no greater yields than older products, despite being more expensive
- Weeds are growing resistant to Monsanto’s Roundup
- The Justice Department is investigating Monsanto for possible antitrust violations
Already, shares of Monsanto’s stock have fallen 42 percent since January, and earnings for the fiscal year are expected to be well under projections.
To say this news makes me overjoyed is an understatement, as this company represents one of the biggest threats to your future health, and that of the planet.
Monsanto Monstrosities Swept Under the Rug
Why is Monsanto top on my hit list of evil corporations? Here is just a short list of the many improprieties and outright crimes committed by Monsanto:
- Suing small farmers for patent infringement after Monsanto’s GM seeds spread wildly into surrounding farmers’ fields, contaminating their conventional crops
- Secretly discharging PCB-laden toxic waste into an Alabama creek, and dumping millions of pounds of PCBs into open-pit landfills for decades after PCBs were banned in the US for being a possible carcinogen.
- Being found guilty of bribery to bypass Indonesian law requiring an environmental assessment review for its genetically engineered cotton.
- Last year, the supreme court of France found Monsanto guilty of falsely advertising its herbicide Roundup as “biodegradable” and “environmentally friendly.” Scientific evaluation discovered that glyphosate, the active ingredient in RoundUp, is acutely toxic to fish and birds and can kill beneficial insects and soil organisms that maintain ecological balance. Additionally, the surfactant ingredient in Roundup is more acutely toxic than glyphosate itself, and the combination of the two is even more toxic.
- In 2007, the South African Advertising Standards Authority also found Monsanto guilty of lying when advertising that “no negative reactions to Genetically Modified food have been reported.”
- According to one EPA scientist, Monsanto doctored studies and covered-up dioxin contamination of a wide range of its products. She concluded that the company’s behaviour constituted “a long pattern of fraud.”
- In 1999, the New York Times exposed that Monsanto’s PR firm, Burson Marsteller, had paid fake “pro-GMO” food demonstrators to counteract a group of anti-biotech protesters outside a Washington, DC FDA meeting.
This should give you a clue as to why I’m thrilled that Monsanto appears to be falling out of favor, at least in the stock market realm.
Be Warned: Monsanto Has People on the Inside
Despite their falling stock prices, I don’t expect Monsanto to disappear from the radar. They will continue to produce as many genetically modified crops and chemicals as the world population will accept.
And they’ve got help at every turn, including from leaders in the U.S. government. Michael Taylor, a former vice president of public policy and chief lobbyist at Monsanto Company, is the deputy commissioner for foods at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Who is Michael Taylor? He is the person who “oversaw the creation of GMO policy,” according to Jeffrey Smith, the leading spokesperson on the dangers of GM foods. Smith continues:
“If GMOs are indeed responsible for massive sickness and death, then the individual who oversaw the FDA policy that facilitated their introduction holds a uniquely infamous role in human history. That person is Michael Taylor. He had been Monsanto’s attorney before becoming policy chief at the FDA. Soon after, he became Monsanto’s vice president and chief lobbyist.”
The FDA policy being referred to is the 1992 GMO policy, which stated:
“The agency is not aware of any information showing that foods derived by these new methods [genetic engineering] differ from other foods in any meaningful or uniform way.”
In reality, there was major concern among FDA scientists that GM foods were in fact different than natural foods, and that their creation could prompt unknown and unpredictable health problems.
Former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack, now the Secretary of Agriculture, is also widely regarded as a shill for biotech giants like Monsanto (he even reportedly often travels in Monsanto’s jet). There are other less noticeable connections too, such as Sharon Long, a former member of Monsanto’s board of directors who was part of Obama’s scientific advisory team during the election/campaign.
Let’s Really Give Monsanto the Boot
This could be the beginning of the end for Monsanto … if we can continue to drive the momentum that’s forming against the creation and proliferation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
The first step you have already done, and that is to get informed. You can continue to spread the word further by sharing this article with your friends and family.
Next, hit Monsanto where it counts … their bottom line. By boycotting all GM foods and instead supporting organic (and local) farmers who do not use Monsanto’s GM seeds, you are using your wallet to make your opinions known.
Most people want to avoid GMOs but it is virtually impossible to do so, since the government prevents GMO labeling.
However, Jeffery Smith has compiled a resource for you to avoid the government block of information. It is the free Non-GMO Shopping Guide. We realize that with the challenging economy it is very difficult for many to donate money to help this cause, so we are merely asking for your time and connections with your family and friends.
You can really help by making this message go viral. So if you are convinced that GMO foods should not be in the US, please send this information to everyone you know; post it on Facebook and Twitter…
You can also print out the Non-GMO Shopping Guide and give it to your friends and family.
If you feel more ambitious you can also order the Non-GMO Shopping Tips brochure in bulk, and bring them to the grocery stores in your area. Talk to the owner or manager and get permission to post them in their store.
October is Non-GMO Month! Here’s How to Get Involved …
There are a number of different ways for you to get actively involved during Non-GMO (genetically modified organisms) Month … which may as well be called Non-Monsanto Month, too, given that they’re the leader in the GMO industry. Here is a list of Action Item for you to pick and choose from:
- Distribute WIDELY the Non-GMO Shopping Guide to help you identify and avoid foods with GMOs. Remember to look for products (including organic products) that feature the Non-GMO Project Verified Seal to be sure that at-risk ingredients have been tested for GMO content.
- Download the Non-GMO Shopping Tips brochure and keep it with you whenever you shop, or download the free iPhone application that is available in the iTunes store. You can find it by searching for ShopNoGMO in the applications.You can also order the Non-GMO Shopping Tips brochure in bulk and give it to your family and friends.
- Urge food manufacturers to join the Non-GMO Project and become Non-GMO Project Verified. This is currently the only way for manufacturers to get around the fact that there’s no GM-labeling system.
- Urge your local food retailers to join the Non-GMO Project’s Supporting Retailer Program.
- If your budget allows support this urgent mission by generously donating to the Institute of Responsible Technology.
- Bring the film Hidden Dangers in Kid’s Meals to your local access TV station, or perhaps your child’s school, along with some educational material specifically designed for teachers and educators.
- Share Your Milk on Drugs – Just Say No!, and Jeffrey’s lecture, Everything You Have to Know About Dangerous Genetically Modified Foods with everyone you know. Post them to your Facebook page, or email the links to your network of friends and family.
- Join the Non-GMO Project on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter.
Together, We Control the Future of Our Food
Please join us in this important campaign. Do as much or as little as you can. Maybe you can’t make a donation to IRT, but you can distribute 20 Non-GMO shopping guides to your closest family and friends.
Plus, all orders placed through Mercola.com, starting October 6th, will receive a FREE, printed 16-page Non-GMO Shopping Guide.*
No purchase necessary. You may also download the Non-GMO Shopping Guide, for free, here.
Please, support this urgent mission by donating to the Institute of Responsible Technology, a non-profit organization.
Together, we can make a difference. Together, we can reach the tipping point and push GMOs out of our food supply.