Will we listen to
French farmer Paul François, who sued Monsanto for nerve damage due to inhaling
Lasso weedkiller, and
won last year?
Monsanto appealed, but
“Farmers need to understand that those who speak for them are businessmen who defend other interests, very lucrative for the businessmen, who do not care about farmers’ health or the health of those around us.”
the appeal, too.
Now the court is gauging losses to determine penalties for Monsanto.
This after back in 2009
France convicted Monsanto of lying
about its claims that Roundup was “biodegradable” and “left the soil clean”.
And Argentinean tobacco farmers
are suing Monsanto in New Castle County Court, Delaware, saying
“knowingly poisoned them with herbicides and pesticides and subsequently caused ”devastating birth defects” in their children”.
These same Monsanto herbicides and pesticides are sprayed
on most fields around here, and they’re just as much
poisons here as in Argentina or France.
Alarming new research published in the journal
Neurotoxicology and Teratology
supports the emerging connection between glyphosate, the
active ingredient in Roundup herbicide, and neurodegenerative
conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and Parkinsonian disorders.
They found that glyphosate inhibited the viability of differentiated
test cells (PC12, adrenal medula derived), in both dose-and-time
dependent manners. The researchers also found that “glyphosate
induced cell death via authophagy pathways in addition to activating
Roundup herbicide is now a ubiquitous contaminant in our air, rain,
groundwater, and food, making complete avoidance near impossible. A
growing body of experimental evidence now indicates that it in
addition to its neurotoxicity it also has the following.
A recent study conducted by a German university found very high
concentrations of Glyphosate, a carcinogenic chemical found in
herbicides like Monsanto’s Roundup, in all urine samples tested. The
amount of glyphosate found in the urine was staggering, with each
sample containing concentrations at 5 to 20-fold the limit
established for drinking water.
Some people didn’t like the source of a recent post about
the toxic effects of agrochemicals and GM plants on the environment,
plants, animals, and people.
There are plenty of other sources, including:
“To human cells glyphosate is already toxic in a very low dose.
A farmer uses a much higher dose on the field.
Roundup is even more toxic than glysophate,
for that is only one of the ingredients in Roundup.”
Roundup says none of this applies to humans and Roundup is safe.
In an open letter sent May 14, Chavannes Jean-Baptiste, the executive
director of MPP and the spokesperson for the National Peasant Movement
of the Congress of Papay (MPNKP), called the entry of Monsanto seeds
into Haiti “a very strong attack on small agriculture, on farmers, on
biodiversity, on Creole seeds … and on what is left our environment
Fortunately, the Haitian government agrees:
For now, without a law regulating the use of GMOs in Haiti, the Ministry
of Agriculture rejected Monsanto’s offer of Roundup Ready GMOs seeds. In
an email exchange, a Monsanto representative assured the Ministry of
Agriculture that the seeds being donated are not GMOs.
Well, who could doubt Monsanto?
Apparently some influential Haitians.
They even get that it’s not just about the chemicals:
Haitian social movements’ concern is not just about the dangers of the chemicals and the possibility of future GMOs imports. They claim that the future of Haiti depends on local production with local food for local consumption, in what is called food sovereignty. Monsanto’s arrival in Haiti, they say, is a further threat to this.
Maybe people in other countries will also act to preserve what is left of our environment.
At least seven US state attorneys general are investigating whether Monsanto Company has abused its market power to lock out competitors and raise prices on seed. Iowa, Illinois, Ohio, Texas, Virginia, and two other unidentified states are in a working group to investigate the biotech giant.
The states are probing whether Monsanto violated laws by offering rebates to seed distributors for excluding rival seeds, imposing limits on combining the product with other genetic modifications, or offering cash incentives to switch farmers to more expensive generation of seed varieties.
The state investigations add to pressure on Monsanto. The US Justice Department is investigating the company’s marketing practices, and DuPont Company has accused Monsanto of anti-competitive practices in licensing litigation.
And Monsanto’s stock price is down more than 30%, from $93.35 in May to a 52 week low of $63.75 Friday.
The Justice Department began an antitrust investigation of the seed industry last year, with an apparent focus on Monsanto, which controls much of the market for the expensive bioengineered traits that make crops resistant to insect pests and herbicides.
Critics charge that Monsanto has used license agreements with smaller seed companies to gain an unfair advantage over competitors and to block cheaper generic versions of its seeds from eventually entering the market. DuPont, a rival company, also claims Monsanto has unfairly barred it from combining biotech traits in a way that would benefit farmers.
Monsanto of course claims to be unfairly maligned, and its CEO, Hugh Grant, says:
“We were the first out of the blocks, and I think what you see now is a bunch of people catching up and aggressively competing, and I’m fighting with them,” Mr. Grant said. He said farmers chose the company’s products because they liked the results in the field, not because of any untoward conduct on Monsanto’s part.
The answer in
turns out to be about the same as in
minority shares by its own executives, and the majority by, well:
Last week’s survey of stockholders—lavish to the point of including pictures of “typical” Monsanto stockholders in the “typical” city of Cincinnati—was frankly designed to prove that Monsanto is not owned or run by any of “America’s 60 Families.”
Outstanding as of June 1, 1938, were 1,241,816 common shares held by 4,300 men, 4,084 women, 2,708 trusts, groups, institutions. Mr. Queeny holds only 3.4% has beneficial interest in about 4.5% more through relatives and trusts. One officer of the company owns 1.47%, no others own more than .25%.
The magazine named as “stockholders, once removed,” students in 42 universities which together own 1% of Monsanto and the 25,000,000 policyholders in 72 insurance companies which together own 3%. Tucked away in a graph was the fact that 81% of the company’s shares is owned in blocks of 101 or more shares ($102-to-$104 a share last week).