Ecuadorian peasants and ecologists win battle against GM crops

The lawsuit was filed after monitoring by Acción Ecológica and the Ombudsman in the soybean producing areas of the country found that glyphosate-tolerant GM soybeans had been planted, despite the fact that Ecuador is constitutionally a country free of GM seeds and crops.

In a first hearing, the judge had ordered that monitoring be carried out, with the participation of the plaintiffs together with the Ministry of Agriculture and Agrocalidad, the Animal and Plant Health Regulation Agency. The monitoring confirmed that GM soybean is being planted illegally in the area.

Faced with this evidence, the judge granted the protection order and pointed out that GM crops violate the rights to life, health, work, a healthy environment and the rights of nature.

In his sentence the judge ordered the Ministry of Agriculture:

- to decommission, eliminate, and burn all the GM crops found in the monitoring programme

- subject to the sowing period, to confiscate, eliminate, and burn all batches of GM seed to prevent new sowings

- to establish a permanent surveillance program to prevent the planting of GM crops in Ecuador (except for research purposes)

- to establish training of officials and to the peasants of the region on the dangers of GM crops

- as a reparation measure, to include on the ministry's website the inscription "Ecuador is a GM-free country"

- to send a notice to the Prosecutor's Office of all the areas where GM crops were found, in order to identify responsibility, by action or omission, for the entry of GM soy.

Commenting, Richard Intriago of the Federation of Peasant Organisations of the Coast (FECAOL) said, "This is a historical event, because since Ecuador declared itself a GMO-free country, all efforts have been made to violate the Constitution. The judge's decision strengthens our struggle."

The president of the Federation of the Agricultural Center of Quevedo, one of the plaintiff organisations, said, "This is just the beginning of our struggle, because now we have to ensure that the judge's decision is complied with."

Highwire with Del Bigtree

Zen Honeycutt of Moms Across America: France bans Monsanto’s 360 herbicide. Costco removes Roundup from their shelves and Charles Benbrook’s study that just came out this week that shows EPA used industry funded studies to approved glyphosate.


Cancer Expert's Shocking Death; Vaccine Risk Awareness Tops Charts; Plotkin on Vaccines; Ethical Uprising at BMJ.

At 30:00 a clip from Stanley Plotkin’s 9 hour testimony under oath, ACIP...

French court cancels Monsanto weedkiller permit on safety grounds

PARIS (Reuters) - A French court canceled the license for one of Monsanto’s glyphosate-based weed killers on Tuesday over safety concerns, placing an immediate ban on Roundup Pro 360 in the latest legal blow to the Bayer-owned business.

A court in Lyon in southeast France ruled that the approval granted by French environment agency ANSES in 2017 for Roundup Pro 360 had failed to take into account potential health risks.

Monsanto Roundup Trial Tracker: New Developments

The story was picked up by media outlets around the world, and promoted by Monsanto and chemical industry allies. Google advertisements were even purchased promoting the story.

Now, new information revealed in court filings indicates just how heavy Monsanto’s hand was in pushing the narrative. In a January 15 court filing, Plaintiff’s attorneys cited internal Monsanto correspondence dated April 27, 2017 they say show that Monsanto executive Sam Murphey sent the desired narrative to Kelland with a slide deck of talking points and portions of the Blair deposition that was not filed in court. The attorneys said the correspondence shows the Monsanto executive asking her to publish an article accusing Dr. Blair of deceiving IARC.

The public cannot see the actual internal correspondence between Monsanto and Kelland because Monsanto and Bayer lawyers want it sealed from public view.

And …

January 10, 2019 – For those wanting more details on the reasoning and ramifications of a federal court judge’s decision to limit large volumes of evidence related to Monsanto’s internal communications and conduct from the first federal trial, this transcript of the Jan. 4 hearing on the matter is informative.

Here is an exchange between plaintiff’s attorney Brent Wisner and Judge Vince Chhabria that illustrates the frustration and fear plaintiff’s attorneys have over the limitation of their evidence to direct causation, with much of the evidence dealing with Monsanto’s conduct and internal communications restricted. The judge has said that evidence would only come in at a second phase of the trial if jurors in a first phase find that Monsanto’s Roundup products directly contributed substantially to the plaintiff’s cancer.


Seneff: “Armageddon? The news just keeps on getting worse and worse! Hard not to get jaded.”

Insect collapse: ‘We are destroying our life support systems’

Scientist Brad Lister returned to Puerto Rican rainforest after 35 years to find 98% of ground insects had vanished

“I don’t think most people have a systems view of the natural world,” he said. “But it’s all connected and when the invertebrates are declining the entire food web is going to suffer and degrade. It is a system-wide effect.”

Half of Michigan bumblebee species dropped by 50 percent or more

“It’s a loss of flowers. Many of the bumblebees that are stable fly mainly earlier in the season and so they’re more on trees and shrubs. And then, many of the bumblebees that have declined fly later in the season and they’re more in prairies and they’re more on herbs and forbs,” Wood explained.

Prairie areas in Michigan have been disappearing.

On top of that, a class of pesticides introduced about 25 years ago, called neonicotinoids, has been linked to declining bee populations.

“They’re acutely toxic to bees and they’re used in agriculture. Almost all the corn that’s planted in Michigan, and in the Midwest more generally, is treated with these insecticides,” Wood said. They're also used on some other crops such as sugar beets and soybeans.

Minnesota Becomes 5th State to Restrict Use of Monsanto Herbicide

Because of this, Minnesota just joined four other states in restricting the use of the chemical for the 2019 growing season.

The decision follows 253 complaints of dicamba drift in 2017, impacting a total of 265,000 acres.

After state restrictions were put in place for the 2018 growing season, the number of complaints of “dicamba drift” dropped dramatically to 53, affecting only 1,800 acres.

Tennessee achieved similar results after becoming the fourth state to restrict the use of dicamba a year and a half ago.

This year’s tougher restrictions — including a shorter spraying season and greater buffers around non-GMO crops — are expected to reduce crop damage even further.

Although essentially no studies or tests were conducted to prove the safety of dicamba before the EPA approved it, there is already at least one study linking dicamba to lung and colon cancer, and another study linking it to non-Hodgkis lymphoma.

Childhood Leukemia, the Microbiome, and Glyphosate: A Doctor’s Perspective by Michelle Perro, MD

Nevertheless, studies in rodents are considered to be relevant to human health – and such studies have found that the gut microbiome of these laboratory animals is sensitive to glyphosate-based herbicide exposure. Long-term exposure of rats to three different doses of Roundup (including one lower than the level permitted in drinking water in the EU) caused alterations in the gut microbiome.[17] Significantly, the alterations corresponded to those observed in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, obesity, and systemic inflammation.[18] [19] In a separate study, medium- and long-term exposure of mice to Roundup altered the gut microbiome in terms of decreasing the abundance of certain bacteria. Roundup-treated mice showed an increase in anxiety and depression-related behavior, which was possibly caused by Roundup-induced gut dysbiosis (imbalance in the microbial community) and thus impaired gut-brain communication.[20]

USDA’s “GMO Labeling Law” is a Farce

Cornucopia’s Take: The GMO labeling law crawled out of the swamp in time for Christmas. The USDA will allow QR codes instead of legitimate labeling and, for those who do choose to label clearly, the necessary language is the little-know phrase, “bioengineered food.” Soda and oils made from GMOs are exempt from any labeling.

There’s a Toxic Weed Killer on the Menu in K-12 Schools Across the US

Exposing children, with their developing bodies, to a chemical that can cause cancer and hormone dysfunction is wrong. It’s especially wrong for children simply eating breakfast at school, who often are from low-income families. This fact has spurred the nonprofit Center for Environmental Health (CEH), where I serve as the senior scientist, to measure glyphosate contamination in breakfast cereals and bars served at schools. Although our study was small, the results were striking.

We found significant contamination in 70 percent of the products we tested, including big name brands like Quaker, whose glyphosate contamination was more than six times the safety threshold developed by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and Cheerios, whose glyphosate contamination was more than five times the EWG safety threshold.

Exposing children, with their developing bodies, to a chemical that can cause cancer and hormone dysfunction is wrong. It’s especially wrong for children simply eating breakfast at school, who often are from low-income families. This fact has spurred the nonprofit Center for Environmental Health (CEH), where I serve as the senior scientist, to measure glyphosate contamination in breakfast cereals and bars served at schools. Although our study was small, the results were striking.

We found significant contamination in 70 percent of the products we tested, including big name brands like Quaker, whose glyphosate contamination was more than six times the safety threshold developed by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and Cheerios, whose glyphosate contamination was more than five times the EWG safety threshold.

Monsanto (now Bayer) made hundreds of millions of dollars in 2017 from herbicide sales. We need to demand a change. Cancer-causing chemicals do not belong in children’s meals, whether served at home, at school or a child care center.

Mary Kay Elloian, Esq.: “And now, the lunch menu is getting even worse, as healthy choices for food is being removed from the menu. Not only will the children now be battling against glyphosate, they will be battling other added chemicals as part of the Trump plan to roll back Obama era requirements for school lunches. This should give pause and concern for every American and especially those with school-aged children.”

To learn more, watch Stephanie Seneff’s interview with The Legal Edition host, Attorney Mary Kay Elloian. View at:

Making the Connection: How Herbicide Use Correlates to Modern Disease

Seneff: “Nice article on glyphosate summarizing some of my thoughts on the subject as well as Don Huber's insights.”

What Does Monsanto’s ‘Roundup’ Do To You?

Food from Canada. Not buying it.

Canada sees no cancer risk from Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer

Canadian farmers will continue using glyphosate after Health Canada concluded that the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer poses no human risks.
The federal agency dismissed eight notices of objection and assertions made in the so-called Monsanto Papers in 2017.

“After a thorough scientific review, we have concluded that the concerns raised by the objectors could not be scientifically supported when considering the entire body of relevant data. The objections raised did not create doubt or concern regarding the scientific basis for the 2017 re-evaluation decision for glyphosate,” Health Canada said in a press release.

Let’s tackle glyphosate this year - Letter to the Editor of Martha’s Vineyard Times

The bottom line is that glyphosate (marketed as Roundup, among other brands) is incredibly unsafe. As to whether it causes cancer, the most generous statement is that the science is unclear. But dig a little deeper. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, many of the studies that cleared glyphosate were actually funded by Monsanto (now part of Bayer AG). And not only is glyphosate harmful when it is sprayed, it stays harmful even after it breaks down.

Drawing this back to our beautiful Island, there are many reasons that we are better off taking glyphosate products off our shelves, and finding alternatives. And that is an important first point: There are alternatives to glyphosate, including safer chemicals, natural products, and even goatscaping.

And finally, I would like the dispel the notion that we cannot move to ban glyphosate and other chemicals because everyone uses them. We once had widespread use of lead paint and dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT). But when we found out that they were extremely dangerous, we stopped using them. We can do the same for any of the numerous chemicals on the market now that we know are unsafe.

Monsanto Hires Internet Trolls to Cover Up Roundup’s Cancer Risk - 2017

Internet trolls, paid for by Monsanto, have been scouring the internet to hide the ugly truth about the herbicide Roundup and the dangers of glyphosate, while the chemical giant worked with government regulators to declare the product safe to use, even though it "probably" causes cancer.

According to court documents, Monsanto hired third parties to search out negative comments about their products and counter them with pseudo-scientific research commissioned by the company itself.

Mike Papantonio, of America's Lawyer, predicts that Monsanto will pay heavily in a jury trial and describes how the company even has trolled The Ring of Fire, while manipulating the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

In the wake of that report, Monsanto stepped up their efforts to keep the public in the dark about the dangerous product. Dr. William Moar, a Monsanto executive, said at a conference in 2015 that the company had "an entire department" with the sole purpose of "debunking" science that threatened their bottom line, like the IARC report.

This course is closed now, but fyi...


IPAK 1001 is an IPAK Citizen Scientist Course.

Instructor: James Lyons-Weiler, PhD

Course Description: This is an online IPAK Certificate course designed to empower individuals to know the landscape and layout of scientific studies. Topics will include the basics like types of studies, how to find published studies and preprints, how to access supplemental material, what to expect to find in specific sections of a typical peer-reviewed study, including the abstract, introduction, materials and methods, results, discussion, acknowledgements, funding information, conflicts of interest, and citations; how to approach an author for access to data and software; how and why to respond to studies that are flawed and/or unethical. Course material will include case studies of specific publications – both well-done and flawed. The course will be a 2.5 hr per week experience, with pre-class assigned readings, videos, and lectures. Course assignments will including finding specific types of studies. Students will be evaluated with weekly quizzes. Three levels of competency certificates will be issued: Basic, Intermediate and Advanced based on the student’s ability to answer questions at all three levels. By the end of the course, students will be comfortable navigating the familiar territory of published scientific studies.

The Supreme Court Ruling Upheld India’s Law, not Monsanto’s False Claims on Patents on Seeds by Dr Vandana Shiva, 9 January 2019

Without a patent on Bt Cotton Seed Monsanto has been collecting royalties form farmers. Monsanto illegally introduced Bt Cotton and illegally claimed royalties increasing the price of cotton seeds by 80,000%, this is the primary reason for farmer’s debt and suicide in the cotton area. It continues to falsely claim that it has a patent on Bt Cotton including a distortion of Supreme court order of 8th January 2019 which upheld Article 3j of India’s Patent Law which does not allow patenting of seed.

Health Canada stands by approval of ingredient in Roundup weed killer

After the decision, eight objections were filed, many of which said the evidence used to approve the product was tainted because Monsanto had influenced the results.

Their accusations were largely based on documents filed in a U.S. lawsuit in which a former groundskeeper was awarded a multimillion-dollar settlement after jurors decided his cancer was linked to glyphosate.

Seneff: “Charles Benbrook has a new paper out where he compares the US EPA with IARC in terms of why they came up with such different decisions on glyphosate's cancer risk. This Web article does a good job of summarizing the paper.”

How did the US EPA and IARC reach opposite conclusions about glyphosate’s genotoxicity?

New analysis shows EPA relied on secret industry studies, which found ‘no effect’ from glyphosate, rather than published studies, which mostly found the chemical was genotoxic

Now a new peer-reviewed article answers the question of how and why the US EPA and EFSA reached diametrically opposed conclusions to IARC about glyphosate’s genotoxicity.[1] The article shows that the EPA relied on unpublished industry studies, 99% of which found that glyphosate was not genotoxic, whereas IARC relied on published studies, 74% of which found that glyphosate was genotoxic.

The EPA's "no genotoxicity risk" judgement on glyphosate was essential to its "no carcinogenic risk" classification of the chemical. The article shows that only by framing and constraining its genotoxicity assessment in a highly selective and biased way was the EPA able to conclude that glyphosate was not genotoxic. It also demonstrates that the EPA's cancer classification – as well as EFSA’s, which was based on the same data and was reached in a similar way – is scientifically baseless. Overall, the article shows that the way pesticides are assessed for risk is not fit for purpose and exposes people and the environment to unacceptable risks.

The paper is authored by Dr Charles Benbrook and is published in Environmental Sciences Europe.

The article’s key findings in detail are as follows.

1. EPA relied on secret and biased industry studies, whereas IARC used published studies

How did the US EPA and IARC reach diametrically opposed conclusions on the genotoxicity of glyphosate-based herbicides? Charles M. Benbrook

EU Parliament adopts strong recommendations to protect health and environment from pesticides

Yesterday, the Greens/EFA Group published a study demonstrating that the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) in its assessments of the health effects of glyphosate partly plagiarised assessments directly from Monsanto (now Bayer), the glyphosate producer that led the Glyphosate Task Force. The BfR adopted the chemical giant's own assessments of the potential damage to humans and the environment from glyphosate, without clearly indicating the true source in their final report. In doing so, the BfR dismissed all independent scientific studies indicating potential carcinogenic effects.

Bart Staes, rapporteur on the Special Committee on Pesticide Authorisation report, commented:

"The European Parliament has listened to EU citizens, who expressed calls through the European Citizen Initiative (ECI). In conducting its work, the PEST committee has not bowed to the pressure of the pesticides lobby and is demanding strong action to protect health and the environment. The overwhelming support for reform of the pesticide authorisation procedure is a wakeup call for EU governments and the Commission and also a success for the ECI and public protests throughout the glyphosate debate.

"The Special Committee has brought to light serious shortcomings in the authorisation of pesticides. We must now put an end to the secrecy, the conflicts of interest and the fact that governments are depending too heavily on chemical giants such as Monsanto. The copy and paste in the approval case of glyphosate must be a lesson for more transparency and independent assessment in the authorisation of dangerous substances.

"The Committee could not resolve the controversy around the carcinogenicity of glyphosate and for that reason has asked for a systematic review of all relevant science. The next round of decisions on whether to ban glyphosate from our fields will be in 2022. Any future decision on glyphosate must fully consider independent scientific studies and ensure objective and transparent decision-making around the cancer risks and threats to biodiversity that glyphosate poses.

Ethanol from GMOs is now the base for most cleaning and sanitizing products. The list is growing...

Chemical: ETHANOL

What Kinds of Consumer Products May Contain This Chemical?

The United States has an Epidemic of Processed Food — and it’s Killing Us

What?! I simply couldn’t believe that this was the case. Why don’t more people know how much food matters? Why don’t doctors talk about it? And most importantly, why aren’t we doing anything to fix it?

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves with too many questions. I’d like to return to the grocery store to unpack what’s really wrong with all of the processed food I grew up with — the food that simply seemed too tasty and convenient to live without.

GMO Free Rochester: “It is odd that this type of growing food would be considered organic— especially because it doesn’t meet the requirements for a plant or animal to be qualified for the organic label in the US. Seems that so many lines are getting blurred as time moves along—even basic understandings and concepts.”


Washington, D.C. – Today, Center for Food Safety (CFS) filed a new legal action demanding the Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibit hydroponic operations from the Organic label. Hydroponic production systems—a catch-all term that applies to food production methods that do not use soil—do not meet federal organic standards and violate organic law, which requires that organic farming include soil improvement and biodiversity conservation. Hydroponic systems cannot comply with the organic standard's vital soil standards because hydroponic crops do not use soil at all. The CFS filing was endorsed by over a dozen other organic farmer, consumer, retailer, and certifying organizations, including the Organic Farmers Association, Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance (NODPA), PCC Community Markets, and the Cornucopia Institute.

"Mislabeling mega-hydroponic operations as 'organic' is contrary to the text and basic principles of the organic standard. Right now there is a pitched battle for the future of organic, and we stand with organic farmers and consumers who believe the label must retain its integrity," said George Kimbrell, CFS legal director.

Consumers trust the organic label and pay extra for the assurance that it indicates a more healthful and environmentally-friendly way of producing the food they buy. Since the federal Certified Organic label was introduced more than twenty years ago, the organic food market has grown exponentially and is now a $60 billion industry in which multinational corporations have bought organic brands and compete with small food producers growing food using environmentally-friendly methods.

"Allowing hydroponic systems to be certified as organic undercuts the livelihood of organic farmers that take great lengths to support healthy soil as the bedrock of their farms," stated Kate Mendenhall of the Organic Farmers Association. "Hydroponic producers getting the benefit of the organic label without actually doing anything to benefit the soil undermines the standard and put all soil-based organic farmers at an untenable economic disadvantage."

The Sobering Details Behind the Latest Seed Monopoly Chart

As four seed companies now control more than 60 percent of the global market, a seed policy expert argues that consolidation poses major risks to our food supply.

Howard’s newly updated seed chart is similar but even starker. It shows how weak antitrust law enforcement and oversight by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has allowed a handful of firms to amass enormous market, economic, and political power over our global seed supply. The newest findings show that the Big 6 (Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta, Dow, Bayer, and BASF) have consolidated into a Big 4 dominated by Bayer and Corteva (a new firm created as a result of the Dow–DuPont merger), and rounded out with ChemChina and BASF. These four firms control more than 60 percent of global proprietary seed sales.

Howard began his annual tracking of seed industry ownership changes in 1998, a year that served as a turning point for industry consolidation. Two years after genetically engineered (GE) varieties were introduced in 1996, by 1998 the large agribusiness companies had accelerated their consolidation by buying up smaller firms to accumulate more intellectual property (IP) rights. By 2008, Monsanto’s patented genetics alone were planted on 80 percent of U.S. corn acres, 86 percent of cotton acres, and 92 percent of soybean acres. Today, these percentages are even higher.

Can You Tell Which GMOs Will Be Labeled under the NBFDS?

The National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard requires some food producers to put labels on some products that contain GMOs. Unfortunately, there are two glaring problems with this law that mean consumers will still not be able to tell what is in the food they are eating. Let’s take a closer look at disclosure options and exemptions under the NBFDS.

These examples make it painfully clear that this law does not deliver the transparency American citizens have been demanding for decades. Most people do not walk around with an encyclopedic knowledge of GMO risks and regulatory details. They certainly cannot tell if an ingredient has detectable GMO DNA just by looking at an ingredient panel—no one can. How could anyone ever know if a product lacks a BE disclosure because it is truly non-GMO or because it falls into one of the many exempt categories in this law?

The National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard doesn’t label all types of GMOs, but the Non-GMO Project still does because conscientious consumers like you demand it. We will continue to listen to shoppers and provide the trustworthy labeling that the USDA has failed to offer. Unlike the NBFDS, the Non-GMO Project Standard includes all products of biotechnology, not just the convenient ones. It follows ingredients back to their source rather than exempting processed ingredients, because the Non-GMO Project knows you can’t start with a GMO ingredient and process it into something that somehow isn’t the product of genetic engineering.

Non-GMO Project Verified will remain the most trustworthy and accessible way for consumers to avoid GMOs. The Non-GMO Project will continue to support consumers by offering GMO transparency under North America’s most rigorous standard for GMO avoidance.

What is GMO?

Genetic Roulette The Gamble of Our Lives

Secret Ingredients

The secret ingredients in our food may be a lead driver of our obesity, infertility, cancer, digestive problems, autism, brain fog, skin conditions, gluten sensitivity, allergies, fatigue, anxiety, and many other conditions. Meet more than a dozen people whose turned around serious health conditions after adopting a diet that avoids genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and food sprayed with toxic herbicides like Roundup. Learn from leading physicians who say that these are not coincidences. They see illness and recovery like this every day in their practice. And listen to the scientists who explain why.

Moms Across America - Communities Rising

Across the country, citizens are taking action to protect their families from GMOs and toxic chemicals. Watch and share this moving and inspiring story.
Arty turns 11 this summer.