Carey Gillam’s presentation to European Parliament hearing on the Monsanto Papers & glyphosate

A giant battle is brewing in Europe over the future of glyphosate, the world’s most widely used pesticide, and we’re proud of our colleague Carey Gillam and her efforts there to stand up for truth and transparency.

If you haven’t seen it, Carey’s presentation last week to a joint committee of European Parliament is a powerful explainer of the tricks and methods Monsanto uses to manipulate science and deceive regulators, the public and the media.

Slides, video and text of Carey’s presentation are posted here - please share!

As Carey said, "We have now the thousands of pages of internal Monsanto emails, memos and other documents that make it clear beyond any doubt the efforts by this company to manipulate policy makers and members of the public."

Seneff: “Encouraging signs that regulators are finally realizing that glyphosate is not safe.”

Six Middle Eastern Countries Ban Glyphosate Herbicides over ‘Probable Carcinogen’ Fears

Oman’s Ministry of Agriculture has confirmed that six Middle Eastern countries, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman have banned the use of glyphosate herbicides since last year, after reviewing IARC’s classification of glyphosate as a ‘probable human carcinogen’.

Independent Women’s Forum: Koch-Funded Group Promotes Pesticide, Oil, Tobacco Agendas

Koch-funded women’s group says eat your pesticides: They promote toxic chemicals as nothing to worry about, push tobacco products and deny climate science. Meet the women – and billionaire male funders – behind the “Independent” Women’s Forum.

Seneff: “News brief on my recent paper with Dr. Greg Nigh on glyphosate and anencephaly.”

From Bad To Worse: Glyphosate, Recently Linked to Cancer, Now Possibly Linked to Anencephaly

PORTLAND, OR / ACCESSWIRE / October 16, 2017 / Glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup, was identified last year by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (“IARC”) as a “probable carcinogen.” More recently the State of California followed suit, requiring products containing glyphosate to be labeled as probably carcinogenic.

Today, Dr. Stephanie Seneff, a Senior Research Scientist at MIT, and Dr. Gregory Nigh, a naturopathic physician in Portland, Oregon, have published their review of the evidence that the heavy hand of glyphosate may even be reaching into the womb. They demonstrate that anencephaly, a tragic birth defect in which the brain of the fetus fails to develop, can be linked to glyphosate’s possible interference with fetal development in multiple ways.

“When we started this research on anencephaly, we were really just curious to see if there could be a link to glyphosate that might be apparent. The further we got into our review of the literature, we were shocked to discover that there isn’t just one link, but many, and they would all likely be happening at the same time in an exposed mother,” says Dr. Seneff, lead author of the review.

Dr. Nigh added, “We are not suggesting that glyphosate has been shown to cause anencephaly. We are saying that, given the surprising weight of the evidence that we found, the Precautionary Principle is in order until a truly independent review establishes its safety.”

The Precautionary Principle states that “if an action or policy has a suspected risk of causing harm to the public, or to the environment, in the absence of scientific consensus (that the action or policy is not harmful), the burden of proof that it is not harmful falls on those taking that action.” (Wikipedia).

While uncovering the various links between glyphosate exposure and anencephaly encompassed new research territory, Dr. Seneff said their findings were “deja vu all over again.” “I have been researching and publishing on the possible health impact of glyphosate exposure for nearly five years. Until more rigorous studies are conducted, all we can say is that the plausible biological mechanisms are there, and the strong correlation is there between exposure and associated conditions.”

When asked if she thought this most recent finding would compel regulatory agencies to investigate these links more carefully, she remarked, “Given the potential scope of this issue, that is desperately needed. But I’m not holding my breath.”

Their findings are sure to be met with resistance and outright dismissal. Even with the developmental pathways impacted clearly identified, and with strong correlations established between exposure and anencephalic births, detractors can rightly point out that correlation is not causation. As Dr. Seneff put it, “While those in government and industry carry on that debate, the concerned public should have this information so people can make their own decisions and act accordingly.”

Glyphosate and Anencephaly: Death by A Thousand Cuts - Stephanie Seneff1* Gregory L Nigh2

Seneff at MIT: All her Papers, TV appearances, interviews, etc.

Did Monsanto Ignore Evidence Linking Its Weed Killer to Cancer? - This could be the company’s “Big Tobacco” moment.

Monsanto has also tried to undermine the credibility of scientists on the IARC committee. “The basic strategy is: Attack people who’ve done the research you don’t like—mercilessly,” said epidemiologist Devra Davis, a former appointee to the US Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board and president of the nonprofit Environmental Health Trust. “They go after the researcher, they go after their funding…. Even the scientists who reported the formation of the ozone hole were vilified before they got their Nobel Prize” in chemistry.

Glyphosate Weedkiller Found in All 5 Popular Orange Juice Brands

Tropicana, Minute Maid, Stater Brothers, Signature Farms and Kirkland.

In 2015 the USDA reported orange juice was the most consumed fruit juice in the United States and oranges were second most consumed fruit overall, just slightly behind apples. The average person in America consumes 2.7 gallons of orange juice and 3 pounds of oranges each year. “100% Pure Orange Juice” is a common claim used by many juice brands that allow consumers to feel safe when serving it to their families on a daily basis. However, recent testing revealed that every one of the five top orange juice brands Moms Across America sent to an accredited lab tested positive for glyphosate weed killer. Glyphosate is the declared active chemical ingredient in Roundup, manufactured by Monsanto, and 750 other brands of glyphosate-based herbicides. Roundup is the most widely used herbicide in the world, often sprayed as a weedkiller between citrus trees, found in irrigation water and rain.

Ben & Jerry’s to launch glyphosate-free ice-cream after tests find traces of weedkiller

Ben & Jerry’s has moved to cut all glyphosate-tainted ingredients from its production chain and introduce an “organic dairy” line next year, after a new survey found widespread traces of the controversial substance in its European ice-creams.

How to Eat a Non-GMO Diet with Jeffrey Smith

Pesticide Action Network - UK - “A fascinating summary by Carey Gillam on the levels of deception Monsanto have taken to keep glyphosate (Roundup) on the market (taken from a hearing in Brussels yesterday).” 11/10/2017

Live replay: hearing on the Monsanto papers and Glyphosate - Panel 2 - Transparency and use of scientific studies in the risk assessment of glyphosate - lessons learned from the US. Presentation by Ms Carey Gillam, U.S. Right to Know

All of presentations of the impacts glyphosate in European Parliament

MEPs urge probe into Monsanto's sway over safety studies (MEP = Members of the European Parliament)

The call for a probe came during a parliamentary hearing into allegations Monsanto influenced scientific research on glyphosate safety.

The Indian farmers falling prey to pesticide

Farmers in Yavatmal, who mainly grow cotton, soybean and lentils, told the BBC that they use a highly potent mix of pesticides, both in powder and liquid form.

They also cultivate a genetically modified variety of cotton, which is supposed to be resistant to bollworms, a pest that attacks cotton crops.

But many farmers have said that bollworms still attacked their crops this year, which led them to increase their use of pesticides.

Scientists Urge Retraction of Journal Article on Glyphosate’s Safety, Surreptitiously Written by Monsanto

(Beyond Pesticides, October 17, 2017) In a letter to the scientific journal Critical Reviews in Toxicology, scientists called for the retraction of a 2016 paper that refuted glyphosate’s cancer risks after it was learned that the paper was secretly edited and funded by Monsanto, manufacturer of glyphosate.

The paper in question, “An Independent Review of the Carcinogenic Potential of Glyphosate,” is a review of the 2015 decision by an expert Working Group of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) to designate glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s flagship product, Roundup, as “probably carcinogenic to humans” (Group 2A). However, a new report this summer discovered conflict of interests not revealed at publication. Contrary to the journal’s conflict-of-interest disclosure statement, Monsanto directly paid at least two of the scientists who authored the paper, and a Monsanto employee substantially edited and reviewed the article prior to publication, in clear contradiction to the disclosure statement.

Seneff: “Wow! This article is fascinating and frightening in its implications!”

Have Monsanto and the Biotech Industry Turned Natural Bt Pesticides into GMO “Super toxins”? By Jonathan Latham

..."Not a single one of the 23 Bt commercial lines that we analysed was identical to natural or historically used versions of Bt toxins. All had at least two of the above categories of alterations, but most had many more. To call GMO Bt proteins natural, as biotech companies standardly do, is therefore misleading and scientifically wrong."

Our analysis is of importance for many reasons. First, are the real world ecological implications. According to our estimations, a series of independent alterations are creating enhancements in Bt protein toxicity. If each individual enhancement gives rise to a many-fold increase in toxicity, which, according to industry data it often does, then the cumulative effect is likely to be very large.

(This is particularly so when the vast quantities of Bt toxins present in each GMO crop field are considered. Not only are Bt proteins present in every cell of each GMO plant, but stacked GMO crop varieties increasingly have many different Bt transgenes. It is easy to imagine that GMO Bt crops may be having large effects on agricultural ecosystems.)

Second, there is a lesson here surely for new generations of biotechnologies. What our paper shows is that government regulators across the globe have opted to assume that Bt toxins, no matter how much they have been altered, whether accidentally or on purpose, have a toxicological profile that is unchanged.

Such an interpretation is highly convenient for applicants wanting to roll out potent novel toxins, but it is useless for protecting public health and the environment. Such disregard of the scientific evidence, laid out in full by us for the first ever time, is part of an unfortunate wider pattern–which we have been documenting–of adoption by GMO regulators of industry-friendly theoretical frameworks and interpretations.

It is the question for our times. How to integrate science into decision-making but ensure it is applied rigorously and impartially and therefore in the public interest?

Latham: “The next time that someone tells you that GMO pesticidal crops use a natural toxin, tell them to read our new peer-reviewed publication.”

The distinct properties of natural and GM cry insecticidal proteins

What's in a GMO (part one and two) - Herbicide Tolerant Crops - Jonathan Latham PhD

The Misleading and Deceitful Ways of Dr. Kevin Folta

However, documents show that Monsanto provided Dr. Folta with, in their words, “an unrestricted grant in the amount of $25,000 which may be used at your discretion in support of your research and outreach projects.”

Emails indicate that Monsanto donated the money in response to a 9-page proposal from Dr. Folta, in which he asked Monsanto for $25,000 to fund his “three tiered solution” to the “biotech communications problem.” Proposed activities included traveling each month to a major domestic university to promote GMOs. The money was donated to a food bank after the documents became public.

Seed Industry Structure – Dr. Phil Howard

Since the 2008 economic downturn, Dr. Howard notes that “there have been more than 70 seed company acquisitions by the top eight firms, as well as a number of biotech company acquisitions and joint ventures.” Monsanto, DuPont and Syngenta now control over half the global market – a dramatic shift since 1996 when the top three corporations in the global seed industry controlled 22% of the industry.

Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream in Four EU Countries Tests Positive for Monsanto Roundup Ingredient - Organic Consumers Association

If at first you don’t succeed, ask, ask again.

Ever since we announced in July that Ben & Jerry’s ice cream contains glyphosate, hundreds of thousands of consumers—through petitions, protests, phone calls, social media messages—have joined in asking Unilever-owned Ben & Jerry’s to live up to its claims of “social responsibility” and “natural, healthy products” by going 100% organic.

You helped us get Ben & Jerry’s attention in the U.S.

Ben & Jerry's feigned "concern" about the problem, but didn't respond with a concrete plan to resolve it.

On Tuesday (October 10), we took the Ben & Jerry’s campaign to Unilever's doorstep, by announcing, with help from the EU Parliament, Beyond GM, HRI Labs, and others, that Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in four European countries (The Netherlands, Germany, France and the UK) also contained glyphosate.

When word leaked in advance about the press conference, Unilever officials scrambled to preempt our news with news of their own—a plan to source ingredients not sprayed with glyphosate, and plans to go 6% organic.

This latest announcement from Ben & Jerry’s doesn’t go far enough, so the campaign will continue.

But make no mistake—this is big news. It proves that consumers have the power to help rid our food system of poisons like glyphosate by pressuring corporations like Unilever—the second largest in the world—to live up to their claims about caring about your health and the environment.

This campaign isn’t over, not by a long shot. The “glyphosate-free” ice cream Ben & Jerry’s promises is a step in the right direction. But as long as Ben & Jerry’s sources 94 percent of its dairy products from industrial “dirty dairy” factory farms, the company is supporting Monsanto (whose GMO crops are used to feed dairy cows on conventional farms). And it will continue to be a major polluter of waterways, and degrader of healthy soils.

For now, all of you who helped pressure Unilever should take a moment to congratulate yourselves on pushing the Ben & Jerry’s brand one step further down the road to organic and regenerative.

Read our press release for the EU Parliament press conference…

Séralini said: “Research, both from France and the UK indicates that the levels of glyphosate present in most samples of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream likely pose a health risk. The regulatory levels of glyphosate set in the EU and US are based on outmoded toxicology models that fail to account for the properties of hormone disrupters like glyphosate-based herbicides, which can damage health at even very low levels.”

Thomas said: “These test results confirm the grim reality that other UK- and EU-wide testing has shown: almost no food is free from pesticide contamination. Ben & Jerry’s says it’s on a mission to make the world a better place. Inasmuch as ice cream can be used to do that, moving to a fully organic system, from farm to spoon, is the only way to ensure a product free from traces of endocrine-disrupting and carcinogenic glyphosate.”

How are GMOs and Roundup linked to cancer?

That was the subject of my talk this past weekend in Orlando at the exciting The Truth About Cancer conference. Below are the 10 main points from my presentation.

(Note: I missed the rebroadcast of this and will repost any future rebroadcast dates. But, fyi...)

GMOs and Cancer

1. The very process of creating a GMO creates side effects that can promote cancer. Monsanto’s Roundup Ready corn, for example, has higher levels of putrescine and cadaverine. These are not only linked to cancer and allergies, they produce the foul smell of rotting dead bodies.

2. Bt-toxin, which is manufactured by the altered DNA in every cell of genetically modified varieties of corn, cotton, and South American soy, pokes holes in cell walls. It may create “leaky gut,” which is linked to cancer and numerous other diseases.

3. Most GMOs are “Roundup Ready”—designed to be sprayed with Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide. These include Soy, Corn, Cotton, Canola, Sugar Beets (for sugar), and Alfalfa. Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, is classified as a class 2A carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (part of the World Health Organization). They said it probably causes cancer in humans, does cause cancer in animals, does cause mutations in DNA that can lead to cancer, and where it is heavily sprayed, cancer rates are higher.

4. Roundup is also sprayed on numerous non-GMO crops just before harvest as a desiccant, to dry down the crop as it is killed by the herbicide. Some of these other crops include: Wheat, Oats, Flax, Peas, Lentils, Dry Beans, Sugar Cane, Rye, Triticale, Buckwheat, Millet, Potatoes and Sunflowers. Canola, Corn and Soybeans labeled non-GMO may also be sprayed with Roundup.

5. To avoid Roundup, eating non-GMO is not sufficient. It is better to choose organic, which does not allow the use of GMOs, Roundup, or other synthetic poisons. (Products labeled both Organic and Non-GMO Project Verified are even better, because the latter requires tests for possible inadvertent GMO contamination.) Since Roundup is sprayed on most US cotton, residues are found in cotton products including tampons. BUY ORGANIC!

6. Several cancer rates in the US are rising in parallel with increased use of glyphosate on GMO soy and corn fields. These include leukemia and cancers of the liver, kidney, bladder, thyroid, and breast.

7. In Argentina, the rate of cancer in communities living near Roundup Ready soybean fields has also skyrocketed, as have birth defects, thyroid conditions, lupus, and respiratory problems.

8. The following are just some of the health effects of glyphosate, all of which are known to increase cancer risk. Glyphosate:

a. Damages the DNA
b. Is an antibiotic
c. Promotes leaky gut
d. Chelates minerals, making them unavailable
e. Is toxic to the mitochondria
f. Interferes with key metabolic pathways
g. Causes non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
h. Degrades into Sarcosine and formaldehyde
9. The full Roundup formulation is up to 125 times more toxic than glyphosate alone. It also has a greater endocrine disruptive effect.

10. Thousands of people who were exposed to Roundup and are now suffering from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma are suing Monsanto. The lawsuit forced Monsanto to make public secret documents, emails, and texts. These are smoking guns, providing clear evidence that Monsanto colludes with government regulators, bullies scientists, ghostwrites articles, pays off journal editors and scientists, and publicly denies evidence of harm that it privately admits to.

(Watch the speech for some pretty shocking revelations.)

I ended my talk by introducing a peer-reviewed article that was recently accepted for publication. It features survey results in which 3,256 people describe significant improvements in 28 conditions after switching to non-GMO (and often organic) food. Of the 155 people who reported improvement in cancer after making the change, 23% said there was “Significant improvement,” 17% said the condition was “Nearly gone,” and 42% had a “Complete Recovery.” We will send you information about how to access that article as soon as it is public.

My new film Secret Ingredients, created with Amy Hart, has an excellent section on cancer. Information on the film and the new peer reviewed article are coming soon.

Safe Eating.

Jeffrey Smith
Executive Director
Institute for Responsible Technology
Arty turns 10 this summer.