Monsanto reconvicted

Will this make folk sit up and take notice… or will the farmers (big boys) simply use their clout to continue using Glyphosate…

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Glyphosate is bar none the safest herbicide available. It blocks a process only found in plants and to a lesser extent bacteria.
It is exceedingly useful in no-till agriculture.
There is a lot of bad science involved - propagated by conspiracy theorists - as with the associated GM technology.

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In my experience it blocks natural processes in animals too…and by extension humans…

Many many years ago I lived on what some may consider a smallholding surrounded by farmland…the area was designated by Natural England as one of ‘Special Scientific Interest’…

We personally used absolutely no chemicals whatsoever on our land (or in our home) but lost a puppy…we arranged a private autopsy…glyphosate was the substance that killed him…so you’ll forgive me for not sharing your enthusiasm over Monsanto…nor do I share any enthusiasm for genetically modified organisms…

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Who conducted the private autopsy ? And what was the mechanism of death ?

A vet…independent of the vet who initially tried to save our pup…the result was “poisoning”…The vet noted a big strong healthy puppy…fur smelling strongly of chemicals… free from internal parasites…

It wasn’t just us…during crop spraying many seizures were reported in their dogs by local dog walkers some resulting in death…

The greatest threat with glyphosate is the detergent added to it.
That farmer in the USA must have drunk the stuff.

You’ll maybe not be surprised that I don’t share that view either…x :slight_smile:

Monsanto patents (animal and plant) don’t exactly have a great track record…

I’m surrounded by farmland here too…one side crops so subject to spraying…

Every summer I’m watching out for the bee population…(as well as my Border Collies…) x :slight_smile:

Plants and seeds have been patented for decades and you’re ,often not technically allowed to sell rooted cuttings of geraniums.
Read the labels !

Very glad you posted this. Thanks.

There are a lot of sound, well-researched articles and reports on agri-business practices and pesticide issues. It’s not a simple problem, and there are a lot of serious issues including the obvious targets like widespread pesticide use. I hope in my lifetie, the worldwide business of agriculture moves on to the issues that get to the ‘wicked’ problem, the heart of the issue which includes why the widespread practice of using pesticides, became that way.

Regarding glyphosate, I read the following information in Environmental Health News:

"Glyphosate has been used as a broad-spectrum herbicide, meaning it kills all vegetation it’s sprayed on, since the 1970s. Its use at the outset, however, was limited. Farmers and land managers could only spray it where they wanted to kill all vegetation, for instance, between the rows in orchards or vineyards, in industrial yards, or along train tracks or powerline rights of way.

"That all changed in 1996, when the Missouri-based agrochemical company Monsanto (now part of the pharmaceutical giant Bayer) introduced glyphosate-tolerant crops—first corn, then soybeans, cotton and others. Farmers could spray it on and around their fields without accidentally killing their crops.

"The chemical soon became the most heavily used herbicide in history.

"Global glyphosate use has risen nearly 15-fold since the mid-90s, with an estimated 19 percent of global use happening in the U.S. alone.

Since this change, much has been made about the potential health impacts to humans from widespread use. In 2015, the World Health Organization classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans” due to a growing body of research linking glyphosate to non-Hodgkin lymphoma and other cancers."

Articles published more recently state things about the excessive use of glyphosate: Glyphosate is the most commonly used herbicide and was considered to be non-toxic. But its use in excess in agricultural lands has polluted soils and waters. Nowadays, glyphosate residues are found in soil, water and food. As a result glyphosate causes severe acute and chronic toxicological effects…

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I’ve done a bit of research and the domestic animal poisonings are exaggerated (often assumptions by local vets) none fatal and most likely to be connected to the surfactants added to sprays generally.

One morning 20-odd years ago I went downstairs to find my own dog frothing at the mouth after demolishing half a pack of chocolate biscuits - luckily he didn’t suffer any after effects - even lilies can be harmful to pets.

Your environmental health reference seems fairly reasonable, but glyphosate paranoia now overlaps with autism hysteria thanks to a certain Stephanie Sennef (computer specialist at MIT - i.e. not a scientist) who claims glyphosate harms gut bacteria … so there’s an overlap with the quack Andrew Wakefield who triggered the current antivax movement.
There is some mention in the literature of glyphosate once having been tried as some sort of antibiotic …

My personal interest is in soil persistence and harm to the soil microbiome possibly through harm to bacteria - thereby offsetting the advantages of no-till - but by all accounts it is bacteria who help break down the product.

I’m not a biochemist, but I have colleagues who are, so this has prompted me to investigate further.
If glyphosate is still available when I move to France and start my vegetable garden, perhaps I will experiment myself.

My scepticism about the WHO cancer worries has been prompted by videos made by a young scientist in the UK Myles Power.

A major annoyance for me is that the ex-head of Greenpeace who is now a GM / glyphosate advocate is also an anthropogenic climate change denier…

So it’s a very complex and emotive subject - but at the end of the day it is heavily skewed by Monsanto’s involvement along with others in manufacturing components of agent orange - defoliants being a vile enough weapon in itself, but made massively worse by the accidental contamination with dioxins.
That and chemophobia generally.
It pays to remember the Volkswagen Beetle was nominally Hitler’s invention …

I myself take a massive cheque from Bayer-Monsanto every month :smiley:

the reports and legal cases have all included Bio-Chemists…

and the results have been found NOT to be in favour of Monsanto…

The people who have contracted cancer (in several countries)… have won their cases… which IMO tell us that this is not immediately provable to be “harmfree”…

Thus the stuff is not as harmless as folk would lead us to believe…Whatever… it is a fact that the more chemicals we cut out of our lives… probably/possibly the better of we all will be… this has been debated/discussed worldwide and (at the very least) it is better to err on the side of caution…

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I think what it actually tells us is that non-expert juries are just as, if not more, likely to convict a company like Monsanto based on emotion rather than based on the science involved in the case.

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Ha ha… It tells me that the “professionals” cannot show their product does no harm… and the biochemists can show (chemically) what the product can do… and the sick folk are there for all to see…

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You can’t show that a substance is incapable of harm because there is no such thing as a completely harmless substance

Paul… we could chew this over… time and time again… IMO Monsant product is NOT good for humans or the planet…

You will disagree… I’m OK with that…

Happy Easter…


"who needs experts "?

Now where we heard that recently

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I’m sure that Gove regrets saying that but it is quoted out of context. At the time the conversation was about economists. Those folk who, if you ask 12 of them for an opinion, you’ll get 15 different answers. Gove wasn’t wrong in that respect.

Everyone is pro Europe but seriously they do little towards the planet and Animals. They have finally banned chemicles that kill bees, but refuse or keep delaying the use of glyphosate, when it’s been upheld in courts that people’s cancer has been caused by this.
Reports on french tv also show amounts of chemicles on most produce and in wines, even chemicles that were suppost to be banned over 10 years ago.
I just wish someone would stand up to principles and not just money.

Oh for <deity>'s sake. The fact that Monsanto lost establishes no more than the fact that the jury wanted to give it a bloody nose as it is the big bad chemicals company and the victim was some poor guy who can’t afford his cancer treatment because the US has a shit healthcare system. The scientific evidence for carinogenicity is not strong.

I do not wish to be an apologist for Monsanto in this debate but I do feel that they should get a fair hearing based on doing science not emotion. It might also be worth pointing out that by improving yields glyphosate has prevented a good bit of famine.

Glyphosate, as weedkillers go is spectacularly benign - it has to be because it is everywhere in the environment, if it were not benign then the problems it caused would be very obvious.

They feed an awful lot of humans so “good for” or “not good for” might depend on whether you’d starve otherwise. As for good for the planet, well that’s another, wider, debate entirely.

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If you note… I did say IMO (in my opinion)…

as an aside… when was the decision made… that smoking could cause cancer ???