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18.06.2018 |

Monsanto Squares Off With Man Dying of Cancer in Roundup Trial

Lee Johnson’s doctors didn’t think he’d live long enough to testify in court that exposure to Monsanto Co.’s Roundup weed killer caused his deadly cancer.

But the 46-year-old is now first in line to go to trial against the agrochemical giant among thousands of people across the U.S. who blame its herbicide for their disease.

As groundskeeper for the school district in Benicia, California, about 40 miles east of San Francisco, Johnson mixed and sprayed hundreds of gallons of Roundup. He was diagnosed with cancer in 2014, and in July, after chemotherapy and other treatment, his oncologist gave him six months to live.

15.06.2018 |

Media Release: GM wheat incident a reminder of need for better regulation, says NFU

SASKATOON, SK: On June 14, 2018, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) released information about an incident in Alberta where a small patch of unapproved genetically modified wheat was discovered. The wheat plants have a glyphosate resistant herbicide tolerance trait that was developed and tested by Monsanto in open-air field plots fifteen to twenty years ago. The nearest test plot site is over 300 kilometers from where the contamination incident was discovered. The exact identity of the wheat is unknown. When field trials were approved the CFIA did not require full genetic characterization of the experimental lines containing the genetic modification. The CFIA does not know, and is unwilling to speculate on how the experimental seed ended up growing on an access road to an oil rig in southern Alberta 14 years after Monsanto withdrew its application for approval of genetically modified wheat.

“We are relieved that this GMO wheat incident was discovered and action was taken quickly to prevent contamination of Canada’s commercial wheat stocks and seed supplies,” said Terry Boehm, chair of the National Farmers Union Seed Committee. “This is a close call, which we hope will not result in lost markets or lower prices for wheat.”

15.06.2018 |

Japan suspends sale of Canadian wheat after GMO wheat found in Alberta

TOKYO/WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) - Japan’s farm ministry said on Friday it has suspended its tender and sale of wheat from Canada after grain containing a genetically modified trait was discovered last summer in Canada’s Alberta province.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) said on Thursday the wheat containing a genetically modified trait, developed by Monsanto Co (BAYGn.DE) to tolerate the Roundup weed-killer, was discovered in Alberta.

“We are suspending the tender and sale of Canadian wheat until we confirm that the Canadian wheat that Japan buys contains no GMO,” an official at the Japanese farm ministry said.

07.06.2018 |

Bayer-Monsanto merger creates agrichemical juggernaut

German chemicals and pharmaceuticals giant Bayer will seal a $63-billion merger with US-based Monsanto Thursday (7 June), creating an agrichemical juggernaut with lofty ambitions to feed the world but feared by environmentalists.

“Feeding a growing world population is a long-term trend, and we want to contribute to its solution,” Bayer chief executive Werner Baumann told business newspaper Handelsblatt in an interview Tuesday.

“Buying Monsanto brings big reputational risks, but also enormous market opportunities,” the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper judged.

Executives are betting big on projections that around 10 billion people will live on Earth by 2050, meaning more food must grow on the same amount of arable land.

They believe that can best be achieved with technologies rejected by green organisations and politicians, including genetically-modified (GM) seeds designed to resist strong pesticides.

Modified crops and digital tools to help farmers adapt to the weather and monitor the health of their fields could also help swell harvests threatened by climate change.

07.06.2018 |

Germany expects to see record Non-GMO food sales

It seems demand in Germany for Non-GMO milk and dairy products, eggs and poultry remains unabated.

06.06.2018 |

Pink Bollworm Resistance to Bt Cotton in India

Pectinophora gossypiella (Saunders), the pink bollworm, has made a comeback in India, attacking genetically modified (GM) Bt Bollgard-II cotton bolls, the second-generation GM cotton created by Monsanto to confer resistance to the worm.

The pest had first showed up sporadically on Bt cotton in 2010, but by the 2015-16 season, large areas of cotton crop were affected, reducing yields by an estimated 7-8%. Surveys by the state revenue and agriculture departments in November 2017 and February-March 2018 indicate that pink bollworm infestation affected over 80% of the 4.2 million ha under cotton in Maharashtra alone. Each farmer reportedly lost 33% to over 50% of standing crop. In January 2018, Maharashtra’s Department of Agriculture predicted a dip in cotton production and bales by 40%.

The pink bollworm infestation is widespread in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Telangana.This drove the profuse use of pesticides from July to November 2017 across Maharashtra by farmers desperate to save their cotton crop, but no pesticides were reportedly able to control the worm. The Ministry of Agriculture acknowledges the problem but has rejected the demand from Maharashtra and other states to de-notify Bt-cotton, a move that will change its status to regular cotton since Bt cotton’s efficacy is no longer there.

06.06.2018 |

Feed me the Truth … about the GM crops being fed to the animals that produce our meat, eggs and dairy products.

UK supermarkets are using GM animal feed in their own brand supply chains. If you buy non-organic eggs, milk, dairy products, poultry, red meat or farmed fish you are most likely buying GM-fed – without even knowing it.

Take action now

- Show that shoppers want a GM free supply chain by asking your supermarket to feed you the truth about GM-fed products

- Put people in the picture about GM animal feed

- Feed the Truth to your local community by staging a campaign event in your area

Download our Feed me the Truth Action Guide to get more involved, as a group or an individual campaigner.

05.06.2018 |

Genetically-modified salmon is now in Canada, but no one will say where

Canadians ate 4.5 tonnes of unlabelled GM salmon without knowing it this past year

The world’s first shipment of genetically-modified salmon arrived in Montreal last year. After that, it’s impossible to track where it went. Why all the secrecy?

Perched on the coast of Prince Edward Island, in Bay Fortune, a biotechnology company breeds the world’s first genetically modified fish—an Atlantic salmon containing a fish gene that allows it to grow twice as fast as its non-GM cousins. In the past year, without knowing it, Canadians ate 4.5 tonnes of the unlabelled GM fish—the world’s first batches of GM animal sold for human consumption. Where exactly? No one knew, until recently, when Vigilance OGM, a food watchdog in Quebec, obtained import documents via access to information. In a $170-billion global aquaculture industry, Canada in 2016 became the first country to allow human consumption of genetically engineered salmon. Fish-farming companies and consumer groups remained wary, partly because of the controversy around labelling and the secrecy that’s shrouded the fish since research began in Canada in the early 1990s. Since then, taxpayers have forked over $8.2 million in federal grants for the fish’s development, and the Canadian government negotiated a 10 per cent royalty for itself on GM salmon sales.

04.06.2018 |

Bayer to ditch Monsanto name after mega-merger

German chemicals and pharmaceuticals giant Bayer on Monday said it will discard the name Monsanto when it takes over the controversial US seeds and pesticides producer this week, as environmental groups kept up their criticism of the mega-merger.

The move comes after years of protests against Monsanto's activities by environmental groups that have badly damaged the company's brand.

But Bayer executives insisted that Monsanto practices rejected by environmentalists, including genetic modification of seeds and deployment of "crop protection" technologies like pesticides, were vital to help feed a growing world population.

"The company name is and will remain Bayer. Monsanto will no longer be a company name," chief executive Werner Baumann said.

Bayer's $63-billion (54-billion-euro) buyout of Monsanto -- one of the largest in German corporate history -- is set to close Thursday, birthing a global giant with 115,000 employees and revenues of some 45 billion euros.

04.06.2018 |

The Monsanto Papers: Poisoning the scientific well

Article type: Research Article

Authors: McHenry, Leemon B.

Affiliations: Department of Philosophy, California State University, Northridge, 18111 Nordhoff Street, Northridge, CA 91330, USA. E-mail: leemon.mchenry@csun.edu

Abstract: OBJECTIVE:Examination of de-classified Monsanto documents from litigation in order to expose the impact of the company’s efforts to influence the reporting of scientific studies related to the safety of the herbicide, glyphosate. METHODS:A set of 141 recently de-classified documents, made public during the course of pending toxic tort litigation, In Re Roundup Products Liability Litigation were examined. RESULTS:The documents reveal Monsanto-sponsored ghostwriting of articles published in toxicology journals and the lay media, interference in the peer review process, behind-the-scenes influence on retraction and the creation of a so-called academic website as a front for the defense of Monsanto products. CONCLUSION:The use of third-party academics in the corporate defense of glyhphosate reveals that this practice extends beyond the corruption of medicine and persists in spite of efforts to enforce transparency in industry manipulation.

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