Monsanto Stock falls with Cancer Finding – WSJ
Monsanto Makeover Aborted
Prior to glyphosate’s being declared a probable carcinogen for humans, Monsanto had for years been trying to rehabilitate its image from that of a chemical producer that makes things to kill plants – Agent Orange, for example – into a beneficent agricultural corporation interested in making drought-resistant seeds that bring higher crop yields.
California acts to ban Glyphosate
Other people interested in the quality of the food they eat – such as those in the state of California – looked at the WHO’s proclamation that glyphosate was carcinogenic. California examined the evidence for its citizens and the rest of the world – a huge portion of whom eat California fruits, vegetables and other glyphosate-tainted food, including California wine (also contaminated with glyphosate) – and the state then moved to ban the toxic substance.
Monsanto sues California
As is so often the case when someone moves to ban the great and powerful Monsanto, the company quickly acted to sue California for having the temerity to think it could keep the chemical giant from dumping carcinogenic toxins into the state’s food and water supplies.
Monsanto is suing California in an attempt to block it from adding Roundup to the Proposition 65 list of chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects, and other reproductive damage. California had been planning to add glyphosate to its Prop. 65 list since September 2014, after the WHO declared glyphosate a probable human carcinogen. Prop. 65, you see, requires the state to label all substances identified as carcinogenic or dangerous to the reproductive process. Nevertheless, Monsanto argues in its lawsuit filed in Fresno County that glyphosate is not harmful. What other argument could the monster make? This is the fight of its life, and one that should have taken place before glyphosate was ever unleashed on the public.
EPA balks on Glyphosate Ruling
The U.S. EPA, meanwhile, also said it would take another look at glyphosate. EPA declared it a carcinogen in 1985, then later inexplicably reversed that decision in a very curious maneuver; at least two of its top researchers on the project refused to sign their names to the green light change. Then in 2016, the EPA balked on glyphosate again, first declaring the chemical not carcinogenic to humans, then pulling that review and claiming it had only inadvertently published it.
Glyphosate spawns Superweeds
Glyphosate use has increased dramatically in recent years. Originally used primarily on cotton, soybeans and corn, it is now sprayed indiscriminately (wafting for miles over fences all over the world) on many more popular crops people eat every day, including wheat. If California were to add gyphosate to its carcinogen list as it plans to do, many of those foods might have to carry the familiar Prop. 65 warning label. That could drastically cut into Monsanto profits, unless perhaps people develop a taste for glyphosate like many have for cigarettes, despite their warning labels.
Although the warning labels are legally required only in California, most manufacturers include them on the labels of products sold elsewhere because of the cost and complexity of having separate labels for different states.
Pesticides wiping out Bees
On top of Monsanto’s Roundup/glyphosate cancer problem is another little problem, one that is wiping out our pollinators, without which Albert Einstein and others have observed we cannot survive. It is during corn planting season when Roundup use is at its highest levels that our honeybees are being killed off in catastrophic numbers. According to the USDA, beekeepers lost 44 percent of their honey bee colonies in 2015.
Thom Hartmann at TruthOut writes, “This loss is considered too high to be sustainable for US agriculture and the beekeeping industry.” (You think, Thom?)
Tiffany Finck-Haynes, a food futures campaigner with Friends of the Earth, said, “These honey bee losses reinforce what sciences continues to tell us; we must take immediate action to restrict pesticides contributing to bee declines. The longer we wait, the worse the situation becomes. If we do not suspend neonicotinoid pesticides immediately, we risk losing our beekeepers and harming important ecosystem functions upon which our food supply depends.”
A Dark Monsanto Future
Orwell said, “If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.” The ever-encroaching police state would seem to make that remark prescient, but for a future determined by the biotech bully of St. Louis, we can imagine Monsanto executives living in underground bunkers with Dick Cheney and others of their corporate ilk forking dollar bills into their mealy mouths, then chasing their green meal with glyphosate.