In fact, EU Member States have delayed the renewal of glyphosate that was banned pending further investigation. That delay was met with a strong response by Monsanto. The company stated that the EU delay was “…not scientifically warranted and represents an unprecedented deviation from the EU’s legislative framework” (2).
Whose science should the general public should believe?
The WHO report carries worldwide weight and not surprisingly, many farmers suffering from cancer believe their illnesses are directly related to their constant exposure to Roundup. Some of them are turning to the courts to seek what they feel is justice.
Four Lawsuits in Nebraska
In May 2016, Press for Truth reported that four people in Nebraska, three farmers and one agronomist were taking Monsanto to court. The lawsuit alleges that Monsanto is responsible for each person’s cancer.
In addition, the lawsuit claims that the public has been intentionally misled about the dangerous side-effects by the biotech company’s herbicide Roundup.
The plaintiffs claim that their “repeated use of Roundup” and its main chemical glyphosate caused them to develop cancer. All four plaintiffs were diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
According to Press for Truth, the lawsuits claim that Monsanto “‘concealed or systematically sought to discredit’ any negative research about its products” (3).
TSW told readers about Daily KOS reporter occupystephanie having attended a talk given by Monsanto’s Dr. William ‘Bill’ Moar. A key part of Dr Moar’s talking points was “Monsanto’s efforts to educate citizens about the scientific certainty of the safety of their genetically engineered products” (4).
A revealing moment followed as occupystephanie wrote, “Dr. Moar, perhaps forgetting that this was a public event, then revealed that Monsanto indeed had ‘an entire department’ (waving his arm for emphasis) dedicated to ‘debunking’ science which disagreed with theirs.”
Other Farmers Sue Monsanto
In September 2015, Reuters reported that six months following the WHO’s classification of glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans” a lawsuit against Monsanto was filed in Los Angeles (5).
The plaintiff, Enrique Rubio (58) worked on farms in Texas, California and Oregon using Roundup and other pesticides. In 1995, he was diagnosed with bone cancer. This lawsuit was followed by another.
A horticultural assistant Judi Fitzgerald, 64, claimed that Roundup was responsible for her contracting leukemia, diagnosed in 2012. The lawsuit went a step further by alleging that “Monsanto intentionally misled the public and regulators about the dangers of the herbicide.”
Charla Lord, the spokesperson for Monsanto, stated that these claims were “without merit and that glyphosate is safe for humans when used as labeled.”
In 1983, the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) changed the glyphosate classification from “possibly carcinogenic to humans” (Class C) to a classification of “evidence of non-carcinogenicity in humans” (Class D). According to Reuters, this reclassification came “after pressure from Monsanto” (6).
The highly controversial use of glyphosate in weed control has two very opposing sides. Nearly every study that has claimed glyphosate is dangerous for humans to use has been countered by Monsanto.
One prime example often cited is the June 2012 GMO Seralini study. “In late June 2014, GMO Seralini announced the republishing of its 2012 study that was originally published in Food and Chemical Toxicology (FCT). That study, however, was ‘retracted by the editor-in-chief in November 2013 after a sustained campaign of criticism and defamation by pro-GMO scientists’.”
Dr. Jack A Heinemann, Professor of Molecular Biology and Genetics, University of Canterbury New Zealand later commented on the pressure made against the journal Nature to retract the 2012 report. “The first publication of these results revealed some of the viciousness that can be unleashed on researchers presenting uncomfortable findings,” he said (7).
Farmers Worldwide Suffering Effects
In August 2015, TSW reported on a study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (2014) that “found a possible strong link between glyphosate and the tragic epidemic of the fatal Chronic Kidney Disease (CKDu) sweeping through the agri-centers for sugarcane, rice and other crops in the Central American (CA) countries of El Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica, as well as Andhra Pradesh (India) and Sri Lanka.”
Subsequently, Sri Lanka and El Salvador “banned Monsanto’s Roundup after the study linked it to the killer CKDu, which is the second leading cause of death among males in these regions.”
As farmers step forward with lawsuits against Monsanto, another former chemical company turned biotech giant, Bayer AG (Germany), has moved to buyout the highly controversial competitor. The UPI (United Press International) reported in May 2016 that “Monsanto has been open to a corporate takeover to help resolve some financial concerns…” (8)
Monsanto rejected Bayer AG’s $62 Billion bid to buy, stating it was inadequate and “significantly undervalues our company.” However, Monsanto stated the company is open to further discussion on the possibility of a sale (9).
How things shake out will probably be as controversial as the company itself.
References & Image Credits:
(1) TSW: Why Glyphosate Bathed GMO Plants Really Are Dangerous to Your Health
(3) Press For Truth
(4) TSW: Cancerous Monsanto Flyphosate Pesticides and the EPA Cover-Up
(6) TSW: Campaign GMO Defam Scientific Studies Roundup
(7) TSW: Monsanto Has a Department Dedicated to Discrediting Anti-GMO Scientists