Sept 24, 2012 | Natasha Longo
If we explore the history of Monsanto, we see much more than the largest producer of herbicides and genetically modified (GM) seeds in the world. We see outright deception, lies, fraud, and a full awareness of the catastrophic damage they have willfully inflicted on human beings. A recent widely publicized study on GM corn fed rats has gone viral, however there are no conclusions in this study that Monsanto (despite denying it) was not already aware of. They've known the cancer causing effects of GM seeds all along, and simply ignored the truth so they could further poison mass populations with their products.
For over hundred years, Monsanto has evolved from primarily an industrial chemical concern into a pure agricultural products company. Although they are best known today for their agricultural biotechnology GMO products, the company has a long and dirty history of polluting the world with some of the most toxic compounds known to humankind.
Founded by Missouri pharmacist John Francis Queeny in 1901, Monsanto is literally everywhere. Just about every non-organic food product available to consumers has some sort of connection with Monsanto.
Monsanto's deadly legacy includes the production of Agent Orange, DDT, PCBs, and dioxin. Now massive aerial spraying of Roundup in Colombia is being used by the US and the Colombian government as a counter-insurgency tactic, contaminating food crops and poisoning villagers.
With Monsanto's patented genes being inserted into roughly 95 percent of all soybeans and 80 percent of all corn grown in the U.S., the company also is using its wide reach to control the ability of new biotech firms to get wide distribution for their products
GMO crops and their associated herbicides can harm birds, insects, amphibians, marine ecosystems, and soil organisms. They reduce bio-diversity, pollute water resources, and are unsustainable. For example, GMO crops are eliminating habitat for monarch butterflies, whose populations are down 50% in the US. Roundup herbicide has been shown to cause birth defects in amphibians, embryonic deaths and endocrine disruptions, and organ damage in animals even at very low doses. GMO canola has been found growing wild in North Dakota and California, threatening to pass on its herbicide tolerant genes on to weeds.
Recently, a study by the International Journal of Biological Sciences revealed that Monsanto's Mon 863, Mon 810, and Roundup herbicide-absorbing NK 603 in corn caused kidney and liver damage in laboratory rats. Scientists also discovered damage to the heart, spleen, adrenal glands and even the blood of rats that consumed the mutant corn. A "state of hepatorenal toxicity" the study concluded.
first ever and most comprehensive study of the effects of genetically modified foods on mammalian health, researchers have linked organ damage with consumption of Monsanto’s GM maize.
One of the First Deceptions on Genetically Modified Organisms
In 1995, genetically engineered canola (rapeseed) which is tolerant to Monsanto's Roundup herbicide was first introduced to Canada. Today 80% of the acres sown are genetically modified canola.
Rapeseed oil is poisonous to living things and is an excellent insect repellent. The oil is strongly related to symptoms of emphysema, respiratory distress, anemia, constipation, irritability, and blindness in animals and humans. Canada paid the FDA the sum of $50 million to have rape registered and recognized as "safe". In 1995, a study in the Wall Street Journal showed is caused lung cancer. The Canadian government later subsidized it to industries involved in food processing.
Generally rapeseed has a cumulative effect, taking almost 10 years before symptoms begin to manifest. It has a tendency to inhibit proper metabolism of foods and prohibits normal enzyme function.
Monsanto has repeatedly denied the scientific evidence behind the toxicity of Canola oil and to this day defends it.
Monsanto = Release of Toxicity
In 1995, Monsanto had already ranked 5th among U.S. corporations in EPA's Toxic Release Inventory, having discharged 37 million pounds of toxic chemicals into the air, land, water and underground. Monsanto was ordered to pay $41.1 million to a waste management company in Texas due to concerns over hazardous waste dumping.
Although Monsanto's Ortho Weed-B-Gon Lawn Weed Killer contains a known carcinogen, 2,4 D. Monsanto officials argue that 'numerous studies have found no link to cancer'.
As Monsanto had moved into biotechnology, its executives had the opportunity to create a new narrative for Monsanto. They began to portray the false ideology that genetic engineering was a ground-breaking technology that could contribute to feeding a hungry world.
Today, over 80% of the worldwide area devoted to GMO crops carries at least one genetic trait for (Monsanto's Roundup) herbicide tolerance. Herbicides account for about one-third of the global pesticide market. Monsanto's glyphosate-resistant (Roundup Ready) seeds have reigned supreme on the biotech scene for over a decade - creating a near-monopoly for Monsanto's Roundup herbicide - which is now off patent. Roundup is the world's biggest selling pesticide and it has helped make Monsanto the world's 5th largest agrochemical company.
RoundUp herbicide KILLS anything that is ORGANIC. "RoundUp Ready" crops are GMOs that have a resistance to RoundUp - usually by mixing the food (corn) with BT (bacillus thuringiensis) bacteria. FYI RoundUp is made from Rockefeller's fossil-fuel petroleum OIL. RoundUp foods are corn, soy, alfalfa, canola, and cottonseed oil... if it's in a box or a can = you can bet it's GMO.
Buying off Politicians and Government
Monsanto has had strong ties to the core players in the U.S. administration of George W. Bush, including John Ashcroft, Donald Rumsfeld, Ann Veneman, Tommy Thompson, and Clarence Thomas, a former attorney for Monsanto who was appointed to the Supreme Court by George H. W. Bush.
A revolving door exists between Monsanto and U.S. regulatory and judicial bodies making key decisions. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, a former Monsanto lawyer, was the one who wrote the majority opinion on a key Monsanto case. Michael Taylor once worked for the FDA, later represented Monsanto as a lawyer, then returned as the FDA's Deputy Commissioner for Policy when rBGH was granted approval.
In 1996, Monsanto was accused of false and misleading advertising of glyphosate products, prompting a law suit by the New York State attorney general. Monsanto had made claims that its spray-on glyphosate based herbicides, including Roundup, were safer than table salt and "practically non-toxic" to mammals, birds, and fish.
Environmental and consumer rights campaigners brought a case in France in 2001 for presenting Roundup as biodegradable and claiming that it left the soil clean after use; glyphosate, Roundup's main ingredient, is classed by the European Union as "dangerous for the environment" and "toxic for aquatic organisms". In January 2007, Monsanto was convicted of false advertising. The result was confirmed in 2009.
France's highest court ruled in 2009 that Monsanto had lied about the safety of its weed killer Roundup. The court confirmed an earlier judgment that Monsanto had falsely advertised its herbicide as "biodegradable".
On two occasions, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has caught scientists deliberately falsifying test results at research laboratories hired by Monsanto to study glyphosate. In the first incident involving Industrial Biotest Laboratories, an EPA reviewer stated after finding "routine falsification of data" that it was "hard to believe the scientific integrity of the studies when they said they took specimens of the uterus from male rabbits". In the second incident of falsifying test results in 1991, the owner of the lab (Craven Labs), and three employees were indicted on 20 felony counts, the owner was sentenced to 5 years in prison and fined $50,000, the lab was fined $15.5 million dollars and ordered to pay $3.7 million dollars in restitution. Craven laboratories performed studies for 262 pesticide companies including Monsanto.
Monsanto has stated that the studies have been repeated, and that Roundup's EPA certification does not now use any studies from Craven Labs or IBT. Monsanto also said that the Craven Labs investigation was started by the EPA after a pesticide industry task force discovered irregularities.
Almost any food with oil in it is either Monsanto GMO soy, Monsanto GMO canola, or Monsanto GMO cottonseed oil. Soy protein is used in a variety of foods such as salad dressings, soups, imitation meats, beverage powders, cheeses, non-dairy creamer, frozen desserts, whipped topping, infant formulas, breads, breakfast cereals, pastas, and pet foods.
GMO = Degraded Health
The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) urges doctors to prescribe non-GMO diets for all patients. They cite animal studies showing organ damage, gastrointestinal and immune system disorders, accelerated aging, and infertility. Human studies show how genetically modified (GM) food can leave material behind inside us, possibly causing long-term problems. Genes inserted into GM soy, for example, can transfer into the DNA of bacteria living inside us, and that the toxic insecticide produced by GM corn was found in the blood of pregnant women and their unborn fetuses. Monsanto has denied all of these claims.
Numerous health problems increased after GMOs were introduced in 1996. The percentage of Americans with three or more chronic illnesses jumped from 7% to 13% in just 9 years; food allergies skyrocketed, and disorders such as autism, reproductive disorders, digestive problems, and others are on the rise.
A 2001 literature review suggested that women should be aware of the risks of potential tumor growth when taking soy products, based on the effect of phytoestrogens to promote breast cancer cell growth in animals.
In March 1999, UK researchers at the York Laboratory were alarmed to discover that reactions to soy had skyrocketed by 50% over the previous year. Genetically modified soy had recently entered the UK from US imports and the soy used in the study was largely GMO. Aspartame is also known to cause NEW allergies and hives by the "reported cases" at the FDA.
For well over a decade GMO foods have been proven in laboratory tests (on rats AND mammals including monkeys) to cause new allergies, cancer, sterility (consumers losing their ability to get pregnant and have babies), miscarriages, seizures, and even death!
On of the first ever and most comprehensive study of the effects of genetically modified foods on mammalian health appeared in the International Journal of Biological Sciences (IJBS) where researchers linked organ damage with consumption of Monsanto’s GM maize. The December 2009 study conforms with a 2007 analysis by CRIIGEN on Mon 863, published in Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, using the same data.
Monsanto rejected the 2007 conclusions, stating:
“The analyses conducted by these authors are not consistent with what has been traditionally accepted for use by regulatory toxicologists for analysis of rat toxicology data.”When testing for drug or pesticide safety, the standard protocol uses three mammalian species. The subject studies only used rats, yet won GMO approval in more than a dozen nations.
Chronic problems are rarely discovered in 90 days; most often such tests run for up to two years. Tests “lasting longer than three months give more chances to reveal metabolic, nervous, immune, hormonal or cancer diseases.
Ongoing imposition of GMOs is one of the greatest threats to the security and sovereignty of all nations? GM foods can convert our intestinal bacteria into living pesticide factories and that there is a five-fold increase in infant mortality among babies of mothers that are fed GM soy. Approved genetically modified foods are linked to organ damage in comprehensive studies.
So although this latest study has scientists suggesting that the results raise serious questions about the safety of GM foods and the assurances offered by biotech companies and governments, nothing is new, nothing has changed and there is no supplemental evidence that will alter government regulations. However, what the study does provide is further awareness on the dangers of GMO, further publicity to promote the issue and further education to those who have ignored the facts about genetically modified foods for years.
Natasha Longo has a master's degree in nutrition and is a certified fitness and nutritional counselor. She has consulted on public health policy and procurement in Canada, Australia, Spain, Ireland, England and Germany.