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Monday, March 30, 2015

KILLING US SOFTLY Monsanto Underreporting Use of Toxic Chemicals

Activists protest outside Monsanto headquarters Creve Coeur, Missouri, January 30, 2015 Photo: Reuters

The U.S. based agrochemical company released harmful toxins into the atmosphere for over three years without reporting it. 

Monsanto has agreed to pay US$600,000 in fines to federal regulators for not reporting the release of severe toxic chemicals from its Idaho plant between the years 2006 and 2009.  

The agrochemical company reached a deal with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Justice earlier this week for the toxins released from the Soda Springs facilities, a Monsanto subsidiary.

According to federal officials, the plant was emitting hydrogen cyanide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and mercury in the three year time period. 

The chemicals could cause serious damage to the environment and the health of local residents. 

“Each of these chemicals are hazardous and can pose serious health risks to workers and the community if mishandled or released in an uncontrolled manner,” said federal officials in a statement released Thursday.   

Companies are required by law to report the release of such chemicals immediately, however managers at the Soda Springs Facilities failed to do so. 

Monsanto has been under fire before for releasing toxic chemicals into the environment and exposing residents to cancer causing chemicals.

Last week, the World Health Organization and the International Agency for Research on Cancer released a report saying the world's most used herbicide, which is produced by Monsanto, “probably causes cancer.” 

The $600,000 is not expected to burn a hole in the multimillion dollar company's pocket. In the fiscal year of 2013, the company reported over $1.5 billion in profit.   

Dr. Patrick Moore, a lobbyist for Monsanto, claimed the company's Roundup weed killer was secure for humans to drink in big quantities refused to consume some himself when a French tv reporter offered it to him.

During an interview with French cable channel Canal+, Moore claimed that the active ingredient in the herbicide, glyphosate, was not causing cancer prices in Argentina to raise.

The interview comes soon after a report from the Globe Wellness Organization linking Roundup to cancer. Monsanto, which ranked as the fourth most-hated business in America earlier this year, denied this claim, demanding a retraction.

"You can drink a complete quart of it and it won't hurt you," he says. 

But when the reporter told him that they had poured him a glass of the weed killer, he had to swallow his words when he refuses to swallow its contents.

"No, no, I'm not stupid," he says. 
"So, it's hazardous?" the interviewer asks. 

Then, Moore claims that Roundup is so secure that "persons attempt to commit suicide" by drinking it, and they "fail consistently."

"Tell the truth — it is risky," the interviewer presses.

"It's not dangerous to humans," Moore insists. "No, it is not."

"So, are you prepared to drink 1 glass?" the interviewer continues.

"No, I'm not an idiot," Moore says indignantly. "Interview me about golden rice — that is what I'm talking about."

At that point, Moore declares that the interview is "finished." 

As he storms out of the area, he huffs, "You happen to be a jerk," below his breath.

Lobbyist Says Monsanto Weed Killer Is Safe To Drink, But Won't Drink It

Days later, a new report surfaced that linked to official EPA documents showing that in 1985, the EPA classified glyphosate as a Class C carcinogen. 

Six years later, just about the time former Monsanto lawyer Michael Taylor got himself installed in a key position at the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), the EPA reversed that decision.

Thanks to the FDA, in the early 1990s GMOs were (illegally, according to some experts) classified as “substantially equivalent” to non-GMO foods and “Generally Recognized as Safe”—a classification that exempts them from any pre-market safety testing.

Since then, a long list of credible scientists have challenged the safety of GMO foods. But this much is irrefutable: Monsanto’s glyphosate is the cornerstone of GMO crops (whether those crops go into human food products, animal feed or biofuels). Glyphosate causes cancer. And the FDA, EPA and USDA have failed to protect us from what they’ve known all along is a cancer-causing toxin, widely used on our food, and prevalent in our drinking water.

Monsanto and Big Food have spent millions to corrupt the political process, manipulate the mass media and keep consumers in the dark. They would like nothing more than for us to give up this fight.

Now is not the time to give up. Now is the time to ramp up the pressure, and take a stand for consumer and states’ rights. 

Our lives depend on it. Because while you may not drop dead instantly after eating glyphosate-drenched GMO foods, Monsanto’s chemicals linger in your body, quietly waiting for an opportunity.

We’re grateful for the generosity of our anonymous New England donor. Please help us make the most of this generous offer by donating today to run strong GMO labeling campaigns in Maine, Massachusetts and other New England states.

Congress will have a much more difficult time ramming through their bill to preempt states’ rights to label GMOs, if we can pass a few more strong state laws asap.

Donations made to the Organic Consumers Fund, our 501(c) 4 lobbying arm, are not tax-deductible. If you want to support the grassroots advocacy and education campaigns in these states, you can make a tax-deductible donation to our 501(c)3 here.

Thank you!

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