Tag Archives: Glyphosate

Are the Dinosaurs moving towards extinction?

(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 Carrascoís group share similar developmental mechanisms with humans. The authors concluded that the results ìraise concerns about the clinical findings from human offspring in populations exposed to Roundup in agricultural fields.î Carrasco added, ìThe toxicity classification of glyphosate is too low. In some cases this can be a powerful poison.î

(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.

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New Study Links Monsanto’s Roundup to Cancer

By the Organic Consumers Association

A recent study by eminent oncologists Dr. Lennart Hardell and Dr. Mikael
Eriksson of Sweden [1], has revealed clear links between one of the
world’s biggest selling herbicide, glyphosate, to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a form
of cancer [2].

In the study published in the 15 March 1999 Journal of American Cancer
Society, the researchers also maintain that exposure to glyphosate
‘yielded increased risks for NHL.’ They stress that with the rapidly increasing use
of glyphosate since the time the study was carried out, ‘glyphosate
deserves further epidemiologic studies.’

Glyphosate, commonly known as Roundup, is the world’s most widely used
herbicide. It is estimated that for 1998, over a 112,000 tonnes of
glyphosate was used world-wide. It indiscriminately kills off a wide
variety of weeds after application and is primarily used to control annual
and perennial plants.

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Farmers Expected To Return To Harsh Herbicides, Chemicals In Battle Against Roundup Resistant Weeds

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — When the weed killer Roundup was introduced in the 1970s, it proved it could kill nearly any plant while still being safer than many other herbicides, and it allowed farmers to give up harsher chemicals and reduce tilling that can contribute to erosion.

But 34 years later, a few sturdy species of weed resistant to Roundup have evolved, forcing farmers to return to some of the less environmentally safe practices they abandoned decades ago.

The situation is the worst in the South, where some farmers now walk fields with hoes, killing weeds in a way their great-grandfathers were happy to leave behind. And the problem is spreading quickly across the Corn Belt and beyond, with Roundup now proving unreliable in killing at least 10 weed species in at least 22 states. Some species, like Palmer amaranth in Arkansas and water hemp and marestail in Illinois, grow fast and big, producing tens of thousands of seeds.

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Special Report: Are regulators dropping the ball on biocrops?

Carey Gillam COLUMBIA, Missouri    Tue Apr 13, 2010 2:45pm EDT
Robert Kremer, a U.S. government microbiologist who studies Midwestern farm soil, has spent two decades analyzing the rich dirt that yields billions of bushels of food each year and helps the United States retain its title as breadbasket of the world.
Kremer’s lab is housed at the University of Missouri and is literally in the shadow of Monsanto Auditorium, named after the $11.8 billion-a-year agricultural giant Monsanto Co.. Based in Creve Coeur, Missouri, the company has accumulated vast wealth and power creating chemicals and genetically altered seeds for farmers worldwide.

But recent findings by Kremer and other agricultural scientists are raising fresh concerns about Monsanto’s products and the Washington agencies that oversee them. The same seeds and chemicals spread across millions of acres of U.S. farmland could be creating unforeseen problems in the plants and soil, this body of research shows.

Kremer, who works for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS), is among a group of scientists who are turning up potential problems with glyphosate, the key ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup and the most widely used weed-killer in the world.

“This could be something quite big. We might be setting up a huge problem,” said Kremer, who expressed alarm that regulators were not paying enough attention to the potential risks from biotechnology on the farm, including his own research.

Concerns range from worries about how nontraditional genetic traits in crops could affect human and animal health to the spread of herbicide-resistant weeds.

Biotech crop supporters say there is a wealth of evidence that the crops on the market are safe, but critics argue that after only 14 years of commercialized GMOs, it is still unclear whether or not the technology has long-term adverse effects.

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Global GM Crop Slowdown

Feb 26, 2010,  Josette Dunn

The annual GM industry-funded survey of global GM crops, by the International Service for the Acquisition of Agro-biotech Applications (ISAAA), shows 7 of the 25 GM countries grew less genetically manipulated (GM) crops in 2009. No more countries adopted GM and just 2.7% of global agricultural land was used for GM soy, corn, canola and cotton.

Canola

This slowdown in GM crops appears to be largely due to the widespread public concern about the safety of consuming GM foods.  “Most GM product goes into animal feed, biofuels or cotton products, as shoppers avoid eating GM foods” says Gene Ethics Director Bob Phelps.

“GM is not a global industry. Just six countries dominate GM cropping, with the USA, Brazil, Argentina, India, Canada and China growing 95% of all GM crops. Though 20 other countries, including Australia, grow some GM they are just dabbling.

“The Cartagena Biosafety Protocol will be completed this year, giving countries more grounds for saying ‘no’ to GM crops. 156 countries are now members of the treaty but Australia is not among them.”

The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety is an international agreement on biosafety, as a supplement to the Convention on Biological Diversity.  The Biosafety Protocol aims to protect biological diversity from the potential risks posed by living modified organisms resulting from modern biotechnology.

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GM Crops Facing Meltdown in the USA 

ISIS Press Release 01/02/10

Major crops genetically modified for just two traits – herbicide tolerance and insect resistance – are ravaged by super weeds and secondary pests in the heartland of GMOs as farmers fight a losing battle with more of the same; a fundamental shift to organic farming practices may be the only salvation – Dr. Mae-Wan Ho.

Please circulate widely, keeping all links unchanged, and submit to your government representatives demanding an end to GM crops and support for non-GM organic agriculture.

Two traits account for practically all the genetically modified (GM) crops grown in the world today: herbicide-tolerance (HT) due to glyphosate-insensitive form of the gene coding for the enzyme targeted by the herbicide, 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase (EPSPS), derived from soil bacterium Agrobacterium tumefaciens, and insect-resistance due to one or more toxin genes derived from the soil bacterium Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis). Commercial planting began around 1997 in the United States, the heartland of GM crops, and increased rapidly over the years.

By now, GM crops have taken over 85-91 percent of the area planted with the three major crops, soybean, corn and cotton in the US [1]] (see Table 1), which occupy nearly 171 million acres.

The ecological time-bomb that came with the GM crops has been ticking away, and is about to explode.

HT crops encouraged the use of herbicides, resulting in herbicide-resistant weeds that demand yet more herbicides. But the increasing use of deadly herbicide and herbicide mixtures has failed to stall the advance of the palmer super weed in HT crops. At the same time, secondary pests such as the tarnished plant bug, against which Bt toxin is powerless, became the single most damaging insect for US cotton.

Monster plants that can’t be killed
It is the Day of the Triffids – not the genetically modified plants themselves as alluded to in John Wyndham’s novel -but “super weeds that can’t be killed” [2], created by the planting of genetically modified HT crops, as seen on ABC TV news.

The scene is set at harvest time in Arkansas October 2009. Grim-faced farmers and scientists speak from fields infested with giant pigweed plants that can withstand as much glyphosate herbicide as you can afford to douse on them. One farmer spent US$0.5 million in three months trying to clear the monster weeds in vain; they stop combine harvesters and break hand tools. Already, an estimated one million acres of soybean and cotton crops in Arkansas have become infested.

The palmer amaranth or palmer pigweed is the most dreaded weed. It can grow 7-8 feet tall, withstand withering heat and prolonged droughts, produce thousands of seeds and has a root system that drains nutrients away from crops. If left unchecked, it would take over a field in a year.

Meanwhile in North Carolina Perquimans County, farmer and extension worker Paul Smith has just found the offending weed in his field [3], and he too, will have to hire a migrant crew to remove the weed by hand. The resistant weed is expected to move into neighbouring counties. It has already developed resistance to at least three other types of herbicides.

Herbicide-resistance in weeds is nothing new. Ten weed species in North Carolina and 189 weed species nationally have developed resistance to some herbicide. A new herbicide is unlikely to come out, said Alan York, retired professor of agriculture from North Carolina State University and national weed expert….

Read the rest of this article here:
http://www.i-sis.org.uk/GMCropsFacingMeltdown.php

“There is nothing more dangerous than a shallow thinking compassionate person”   Garrett Hardin

Proof that Monsanto’s Roundup Ready creates weed resistance – Puts the responsibility back on the farmer

By April Reeves

Monsanto is always trying to convince North Americans that Roundup Ready is safe and won’t create resistance, but in Australia, farmers sign on the dotted line to keep vigil over their use of the chemical.

However, the ministry flagged the importance of farmers following procedures to avoid any threat of weedkiller resistance being spread to surrounding plants.

“Effective stewardship of Roundup Ready varieties is important in minimizing the risk of developing glyphosate-tolerant weeds,” a report of the crop trials said.

Monsanto imposes smallprint on buyers of its GM seed range that they inform neighboring farmers, permit official inspections and undertake “weed walks” after glyphosate sprays to see if resistance is spreading.”

Is this not a direct admission to a problem? Those of us who protest these chemicals already know of Roundup’s hazards, yet our governments go on blindly approving it.

Now Monsanto is putting the responsibility onto the farmer. “It’s your problem if something goes wrong” seems to be the statement here.

Why would any farmer WANT to take this on? Does this now open up the farmer to potential law suits from anyone?

Please continue to eat Organic as much and whenever you can.