Friday, January 27, 2012
A recent study conducted by a German university found very high concentrations of Glyphosate, a carcinogenic chemical found in herbicides like Monsanto’s Roundup, in all urine samples tested. The amount of glyphosate found in the urine was staggering, with each sample containing concentrations at 5 to 20-fold the limit established for drinking water. This is just one more piece of evidence that herbicides are, at the very least, being sprayed out of control.
The Monsanto Company (NYSE: MON) is a multinational agricultural biotechnology corporation. It is the world's leading producer of the herbicide glyphosate, marketed in the Roundup brand of herbicides, and in other brands. Monsanto is also the leading producer of genetically engineered (GE) seed; it provides the technology in 90% of the genetically engineered seeds used in the US market. It is headquartered in Creve Coeur, Missouri.
Agracetus, owned by Monsanto, exclusively produces Roundup Ready soybean seed for the commercial market. In 2005, it finalized the purchase of Seminis Inc, making it the world's largest conventional seed company.
Monsanto's development and marketing of genetically engineered seed and bovine growth hormone, as well as its aggressive litigation, political lobbying practices, seed commercialization practices and "strong-arming" of the seed industry have made the company controversial around the world and a primary target of the alter-globalization movement and environmental activists. As a result of its business strategies and licensing agreements, Monsanto came under investigation by the U.S. Justice Department in 2009.
Glyphosate appears to be able to induce reproductive failures through three separate mechanisms. The first, mentioned above is the endocrine dysfunction caused by direct toxicity of glyphosate.
The second is the reduced nutrient content having consequential effects on the nutritional status of animals. Manganese in animals, as in plants, is an essential nutrient, and deficiencies have been associated with a variety of diseases as well as reproductive failures, which are becoming increasingly common in livestock. One study performed in Australia following two seasons of high levels of stillbirths in cattle found that all dead calves were manganese deficient . Furthermore, 63 percent of babies with birth defects were also deficient. Manganese is known to be important for mobilising calcium into bones, correlating with abnormal bone formation in these calves.
Third, the unknown pathogenic ‘entity’ may be associated with inducing pseudo-pregnancies. As far back as 1998, a suspect agent was found in reproductive tissue of livestock. It has now been isolated in high concentrations from semen, amniotic fluid as well as placental tissue. It has also been found in aborted foetal tissue. Some farms are reporting up to 50 percent fewer conceptions in animals due to increased miscarriages and pseudo-pregnancies. Although evidence of the widespread presence of this new pathogen is clear, Don Huber suggested the need for further research to understand not only what kind of pathogen it is, but importantly, the effects it is having on the health of plants as well as animals.
Over 100 peer reviewed papers have been published by Huber and other scientists on the detrimental effects of glyphosate. Glyphosate increases disease in plants (as well as animals), prompting Huber to write to the Secretary of Agriculture. It may be linked to many health problems in animals and humans, which are an added cost to all the failed promises of a new agricultural technology that would feed the world. As Huber concluded, the “public trust has been betrayed.”
A fully illustrated and referenced version of this report is posted on ISIS members website and is otherwise available for download here.
The patented technology enables a seed company to genetically alter seed so that the plants that grow from it are sterile; farmers cannot use their seeds. The patent is broad, applying to plants and seeds of all species, including both transgenic (genetically engineered) and conventionally-bred seeds. The developers of the new technology say that their technique to prevent seed-saving is still in the product development stage, and is now being tested on cotton and tobacco. They hope to have a product on the market sometime after the year 2000.
Over the last four years, USDA researchers claim to have spent nearly $190,000 to support research on what the Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI) calls "Terminator" seed technology. Delta & Pine Land, the seed industry collaborator, devoted $275,000 of in-house expenses and contributed an additional $255,000 to the joint research. According to a USDA spokesperson, Delta & Pine Land Co. has the option to exclusively license the jointly developed patented technology.
The USDA's Willard Phelps explained that the goal is "to increase the value of proprietary seed owned by US seed companies and to open up new markets in second and third world countries."
USDA molecular biologist Melvin J. Oliver, the primary inventor of the technology, explained why the US developed a technology that prohibits farmers from saving seeds: "Our mission is to protect US agriculture and to make us competitive in the face of foreign competition. Without this, there is no way of protecting the patented seed technology."
They often have language included to affirm the sovereignty of the people of the state and to create a commission or a committee to review the Constitutionality of acts emanating from the federal government.