Fox News hired Jane Akre and a couple of other reporters as an
investigative unit and did a snazzy promo about that.
The first case they investigated was Monsanto’s bovine growth hormone, RBGH.
This is the whistleblower story behind the
Fox Can Lie lawsuit.
ITN in the U.K. reporting about Health Canada’s report on bovine growth hormone:
Monsanto’s engineered growth hormone did not comply with safety requirements.
It could be absorbed by the body, and therefore did have implications
for human health.
Mysteriously, that conclusion was deleted from the final, published version
of their report.
That was for a product that U.S. EPA had approved with little or no testing.
Fox’s investigative unit had the story, but Monsanto threatened to sue Fox.
the video for the details.
For many years big agro has treated the world’s health as an economic externality, a problem for somebody else that did not affect its own bottom line. That is starting to change, most recently in Argentina.
In a developing news piece just unleashed by a courthouse news wire, Monsanto is being brought to court by dozens of Argentinean tobacco farmers who say that the biotech giant knowingly poisoned them with herbicides and pesticides and subsequently caused ”devastating birth defects” in their children. The farmers are now suing not only Monsanto on behalf of their children, but many big tobacco giants as well. The birth defects that the farmers say occurred as a result are many, and include cerebral palsy, down syndrome, psychomotor retardation, missing fingers, and blindness.
But this is once again far away in a small country of which we know nothing, right? Wrong:
The farmers come from small family-owned farms in Misiones Province and sell their tobacco to many United States distributors. The family farmers say that major tobacco companies like the Philip Morris company asked them to use Monsanto’s herbicides and pesticides, assuring them that the products were safe. Through asserting that the toxic chemicals were safe, the farmers state in their claim that the tobacco companies ”wrongfully caused the parental and infant plaintiffs to be exposed to those chemicals and substances which they both knew, or should have known, would cause the infant offspring of the parental plaintiffs to be born with devastating birth defects.”
Still, it must be some obscure poison only sold in the third world, right?
The majority of the farmers in the area used Monsanto’s Roundup, an herbicide with the active ingredient glyphosate that has shown to be killing human kidney cells. What’s more, the farmers say that the tobacco companies pushed Monsanto’s Roundup on the farmers despite a lack of protective equipment. In other words, these farmers — many in dire economic conditions — were being directly exposed to Roundup in large concentrations without any protective gear (or even experience or skills in handling the substance). Still, the farmers say the tobacco giants required the struggling farmers to ‘purchase excessive quantities of Roundup and other pesticides’.
That would be the same Roundup that farmers use around here all the time, without protective equipment. The Roundup we already knew was
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The 83 family farmers, small and family owned seed businesses, and
agricultural organizations challenging Monsanto’s patents on genetically
modified seed filed papers in federal court (13th August 2011) defending
their right to seek legal protection from the threat of being sued by
Monsanto for patent infringement should they ever become contaminated
by Monsanto’s genetically modified seed. The
Public Patent Foundation
(PUBPAT) represents the plaintiffs in the suit, titled Organic Seed
Growers & Trade Association (OSGATA), et al. v. Monsanto and pending
in the Southern District of New York. The August 13 filings respond to
a motion filed by Monsanto in mid-July to have the case dismissed. In
support of the plantiffs’ right to bring the case, 12 agricultural
organizations also filed a friend-of-the-court
“Rather than give a straight forward answer on whether they would sue
our clients for patent infringement if they are ever contaminated by
Monsanto’s transgenic seed, Monsanto has instead chosen to try to deny
our clients the right to receive legal protection from the courts,”
said Dan Ravicher, PUBPAT’s Executive Director. “Filings include
sworn statements by several of the plaintiffs themselves explaining to
the court how the risk of contamination by transgenic seed is real and
why they cannot trust Monsanto to not use an occurrence of contamination
as a basis to accuse them of patent infringement.”
This goes well beyond control of seeds, of course, and beyond the plaintiffs:
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