May 22, 2015
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(ANTIMEDIA) San Diego, CA — The Monsanto Company is everyone’s least favorite corporation. Because of their bad reputation around the world for polluting, poisoning, destroying then denying communities, ecosystems, and farmers, they’ve earned a permanent spot as the world’s most evil corporation according to annual polling.
Answering these concerns, the March Against Monsanto has emerged as a driving force for holding Monsanto accountable for their numerous crimes, both in the past and the present. While some fears over GMO technology are unfounded or misrepresented, there are many scientific reasons to demand an end to this corrupt enterprise.
1. UN World Health Organization declared glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer, likely carcinogenic.
In April of this year, the UN’s WHO issued a report raising concerns over the health effects of glyphosate, the most widely used weed killer on the planet. After analyzing scientific evidence and existing studies showing glyphosate’s cancer-causing properties in animals, scientists believe that humans are affected in the same way. Following the WHO report, numerous countries have issued new limits or bans on Roundup and glyphosate. In Colombia, President Juan Manuel Santos has gone as far as prohibiting the weed killer’s use against illegal coca (used to make cocaine) growers over health, farming, and environmental concerns.
Monsanto continues to push forward with its pro-Roundup PR blitz despite the growing body of evidence that suggests their best selling product is harming millions of peoples’ health.
2. Monsanto’s patented Roundup Ready genetically modified crops have caused an increase in glyphosate use.
Monsanto claims on its website that it is a sustainable agricultural company, partly because their crops reduce pesticide use. This claim is patently false. Since the advent and implementation of Roundup Ready crops, the amount of glyphosate used in agriculture has skyrocketed. Researchers at Washington State University concluded in 2012 that “Herbicide-resistant crop technology has led to a 239 million kilogram (527 million pounds) increase in herbicide use in the United States between 1996 and 2011[…]Overall, pesticide use increased by an estimated 183 million kgs (404 million pounds), or about 7%[…]Contrary to often-repeated claims that today’s genetically-engineered crops have, and are reducing pesticide use, the spread of glyphosate-resistant weeds in herbicide-resistant weed management systems has brought about substantial increases in the number and volume of herbicides applied.”
3. Glyphosate is being sprayed within 200 feet of nearly 500 schools in the US, over 3000 schools within 1000 feet.
Data compiled by the Environmental Working Group shows that Roundup Ready crops are being planted right next to schools all around the country. These crops are routinely doused with the “probably carcinogenic” Roundup glyphosate herbicide, putting thousands of children directly into it’s cross-hairs. See the interactive map below to see if Monsanto is treating your children like they’re Roundup ready.
4. Monsanto’s chemical exploits from decades ago are still impacting global ecosystems.
Monsanto has been in the business of developing and manufacturing chemicals for a long time. One of their most notorious exploits was a chemical known as Aroclors or PCBs for short. Aroclors is a chemical created by Monsanto and was used in many industrial processes. It’s now known that PCBs cause various severe health conditions — including cancer — to both animals and humans, according to the EPA. The city of San Diego launched a lawsuit against Monsanto in March of this year because Monsanto-manufactured PCBs have polluted the entire San Diego Bay. Despite the chemicals being banned since 1979, they continue to plague world ecosystems because they break down extremely slow while being absorbed and transferred through the entire food chain. Experts believe that there will eventually be hundreds of lawsuits against Monsanto and other manufacturers of PCBs in the US alone due to this widespread pollution.
Perhaps the most revealing insight from Monsanto’s handling of PCBs and their Aroclors product comes from their own internal documents. These documents show that Monsanto knew about the health and environmental risks of PCB’s, yet did nothing to curtail their use. In fact, they did everything in their power to increase the use of PCBs.
Monsanto pollution, contamination, and accidental spills of various chemicals have decimated locations all over the world.
5. Monsanto is partially responsible for hundreds of thousands of birth defects and deaths of Vietnamese people and American veterans of the Vietnam War.
Herbicides were regularly used during the Vietnam war to defoliate jungles and destroy food crops of communist forces. The most common of these defoliants was known as Agent Orange. Agent Orange was manufactured by seven different companies, however, Monsanto’s Agent Orange was more potent than the rest of the manufacturers’. A statement on Monsanto’s website takes credit for their role in Agent Orange, however, they place the blame for its use solely on the US government. A byproduct of Agent Orange production is dioxin, one of the most damaging substances known. Dioxin exposure is directly responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths and birth defects inflicted upon the Vietnamese people and US war veterans. The severity of this poisoning cannot be understated. Graphic proof of these effects can be seen in these photos, which I won’t embed in this article because of their horrific nature. The damage to reproductive systems that were caused by this former Monsanto product are still being seen today, with second and third generations still being born with genetic abnormalities which cause a wide range of health issues in the Vietnamese population and children of Vietnam War veterans. Like Monsanto, the US government still refuses to fully accommodate the victims of Agent Orange exposure, which happened over 40 years ago.
Monsanto is a demonstrably horrible company with a history of destruction rivaled by few. Historically, the company has shown a willingness to suppress information regarding the safety of their products — many times at the despair of millions of people as is the case in their role in polluting the San Diego Bay. Regardless of your stance on the issue of genetically modified foods, the reasons to march against Monsanto are far greater than their controversial seeds alone. If you think that Monsanto is a company that must be opposed, join the March Against Monsanto happening tomorrow in cities and towns around the world. Find a march near you on this events list. For more research into the crimes of Monsanto you can click on the hyperlinked sources in the article (red text).
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