Monsanto’s cozy Relationship with Regulators
Writer Katherine Paul has detailed how two new reports just published add to the already huge body of convincing evidence — from more than 50 years of research — that pesticides and other toxic chemicals used in agriculture are poisoning us all.
Both reports issue scathing indictments of the cozy relationships between U.S. and global regulatory systems and chemical companies. Together they work to hide the truth in order to increase industry profits at the expense of our health and Mother Earth (one and the same).
Pollution, Pesticides Killing Children
The World Health Organization report focused on a range of environmental risks. It found the cost of a polluted, pesticided environment leads to the deaths of some 1.7 million children each year.
A Myth that Kills
The Special Rapporteur on the right to food presented a report to the United Nations Human Rights Council. The report focused on agricultural chemicals. That report states unequivocally that Monsanto’s story line about feeding the world by using pesticides is completely false. Monsanto is not feeding the world nutritious food, despite all the company’s shameless propaganda; and the need for pesticides is a myth that kills.
Both reports made headlines in a handful of mainstream outlets like the Washington Post and the Guardian, but far more exposure is needed for people to wake up to to prevent their own undoing.
In the early 1960’s, Rachel Carson eloquently outlined the insanity of poisoning our environment in her book Silent Spring. But since that time, U.S. regulators bought and paid for by Monsanto and other biotech bullies have paid little heed to that insanity. We seldom follow the reasonable, precautionary principle when it comes to allowing poisons to be unleashed on us all.
More Poisons assured as Trump guts EPA
President Trump now wants to gut the EPA and further “deregulate” our protections from corporate insanity, greed, cruelty, stupidity. The most corporate-friendly administration in history is doing everything possible to dismantle what little remains of the U.S. government’s power to stop the runaway poisoning of our land, food, water, air, wildlife.
The Environment Card
Calling the world we live in our “environment” is misleading. The environment is not separate from us. It IS us, where we live. We swim in it from cradle to grave, like fish in a tank. Our very lives depend on it; but life is cheap in this political climate. Those with money or working for Monsanto apparently think they breathe different air than the rest of us, drink different water, eat different food. They are partly right, (if the reports we hear of Monsanto’s HQ serving only organic food are right), but in the larger sense they are not right at all. Nobody can entirely escape the poisoned world, the “environment,” anymore than we can.
EPA Captured by Industry
While Trump is working to gut the EPA with a $2.6 billion budget cut, it is instructive to note that even before the combover king decided to de-fang the agency, it was already captured and compromised by industry. E. G. Vallianatos worked for the EPA for 25 years, then wrote a book called Poison Spring: The Secret History of Pollution and the EPA.
Mr. Vallianatos wrote:
“It is simply not possible to understand why the EPA behaves the way it does without appreciating the enormous power of American’s industrial farmers and their allies in the chemical pesticide industries, which currently do about $40 billion per in year business. For decades, industry lobbyists have preached the gospel of unregulated capitalism, and Americans have bought it. Today, it seems the entire government is at the service of the private interests of America’s corporate class.”
That was written in 2014. Now it is much worse. Though public opinion has shifted against poisoning our food with toxic chemicals, U.S. public health and safety officials appear more determined than ever to uphold the “rights” of corporations to poison us all, and everything else they can.
‘UN experts denounce “myth” pesticides are necessary to feed the world’
That Guardian story headline on the report delivered this week to the UN Human Rights Council nicely summed up the mess Monsanto and others have made of our food supply. The Guardian said:
“A new report, being presented to the UN human rights council on Wednesday, is severely critical of the global corporations that manufacture pesticides, accusing them of the ‘systematic denial of harms,’ ‘aggressive, unethical marketing tactics’ and heavy lobbying of governments which has ‘obstructed reforms and paralysed global pesticide restrictions.’”
Pesticides’ Catastrophic Effects
The report says pesticides have “catastrophic impacts on the environment, human health and society as a whole,” including an estimated 200,000 deaths a year from acute poisoning. Its authors said: “It is time to create a global process to transition toward safer and healthier food and agricultural production.”
The UN report was written by Hilal Elver, special rapporteur on the right to food, and Baskut Tuncak, special rapporteur on “toxics.” The report stated that chronic exposure to pesticides has been linked to cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s diseases, hormone disruption, developmental disorders, sterility. Populations most at risk include farmers, agricultural workers, others living near plantations, indigenous communities, pregnant women, and especially children, who require special protections which they seldom get from U.S. regulators.
The Crop Protection Association, a lobbying group representing the $50-billion agri-chemical industry, fired back at the report with its standard propaganda, false on its face, that pesticides “play a key role in ensuring we have access to a healthy, safe, affordable and reliable food supply.”
The Myth that Pesticides are useful and necessary
Mr. Elver told the Guardian:
“ It (the need for pesticides) is a myth. Using more pesticides is nothing to do with getting rid of hunger. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), we are able to feed 9 billion people today. Production is definitely increasing, but the problem is poverty, inequality and distribution.
Monsanto, U.S. Regulators Poison World
Sustainable Pulse (SP) also reported on the story. SP noted that the report warns that some pesticides can persist in the environment for decades. It remains to be seen whether the rest of us will last for decades given the extent of Monsanto’s poisoning of our bodies, minds, and politics.
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