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Certain kinds of plant growth are becoming more invasive in farmers’ fields. These super weeds are resisting the increased use of glyphosate and other herbicides. It has been going on for awhile now. Nature is fighting back. Weeds are finding new ways to adapt and survive.
Take for instance, the garlic mustard plant (Alliaria petiolata), which has become increasingly invasive in the Midwest in recent years. It is now recommended that farmers fight back this plant with cold weather application of glyphosate. This strategy also kills many great herbs, such as shepherd’s-purse and common chickweed, to name a few.
As ecological diversity of plant life disappears and as super weeds take hold in the fields, biotech corporations have only one solution…
Corporations, like Monsanto and DuPont, believe the solution to the problems they create is to continue the abusive cycle of creating stronger herbicides – which only endanger public health, strip the soil of its minerals and nutrients, and kill off beneficial, native plant life.
How else would these biotech corporations continue to protect their monopoly on genetically modified seeds? How else would they continue to control farmers, agriculture, and the food supply?
Even though these corporations continue to destroy the environment and public health, regulators at the USDA continue to give Big Biotech the green light for unleashing new waves of highly toxic herbicides.
Like partners in crime, Monsanto, DuPont, and the USDA are coming together to unleash the highly toxic, drift prone dicamba herbicide for Monsanto’s new line of GM dicamba-tolerant soybean and cotton seeds.
Monsanto always has another “answer” for the problems they create. The USDA even admits that these new dicamba-tolerant seeds are “not likely to provide for agronomic sustainability” but they approved their commercial release anyway.
The USDA predicts that there will be an 88-fold increase in dicamaba spraying in the next year. To prepare for wide scale dicamaba sales, Monsanto has already asked the Environment Protection Agency to increase tolerance levels for dicamaba by 150-fold for use on cotton seed.
Virtually all broadleaf plants, including fruits, nuts, vegetables, and non-GM commodity crops face certain eradication in the presence of dicamba. Not only does this herbicide drift after it is sprayed, but it also evaporates in the days and weeks after application, drifting for miles before destroying another person’s crops and plants. Dicamba is designed to disrupt the normal growth processes of plants through hormonal pathways.
Unleashing the new herbicide will have irreversible effects on native flora and fauna and will continue the chemical assault on human health. To make matters worse, dicamba has a bad reputation for drifting to neighboring fields and committing genetic damage to organic, non-GM crops. Organic farmers suffer crop losses because of herbicide drift. Herbicides like dicamba inadvertently yet predictably assault the property of organic farmers, hurting their yields and making it harder for them to keep their food free of toxins. Furthermore, organic farmers have no recourse in the courts because herbicide-doused, GM seeds are a protected, patented property. In fact, Monsanto has a sordid history of actually suing organic farmers, claiming that their GM technology is stolen when their GM seeds mate with plants from neighboring organic farms.
On top of all this, organic farms have to go through strict, expensive testing and validation to prove that their crops are indeed clean and free from biotech toxins. Shouldn’t it be the other way around? Shouldn’t toxic GM food be placed under heavy scrutiny, labeled with warning stickers, and strictly sanctioned off so it won’t pollute real whole foods?
If herbicides and GM traits drift to organic fields, organic farmers should be able to sue Monsanto, not the other way around. Thankfully there are ways to grow clean food and protect it right at home, year round. These clean growing methods can and should be implemented on a large scale, but since the North American agricultural system is rigged and owned by the biotech industry, individuals will have to take matters into their own hands. Learning to grow your own food is a great way to make positive change happen, right at home.
Ethan A. Huff
July 5, 2016
The media is notorious for showcasing genetic engineering as some kind of miracle for food production, but what do actual farmers think of the technology? In a scathing op-ed piece published in The Des Moines Register, Iowa farmer George Naylor holds nothing back in debunking many of the common myths about GMOs and chemical herbicides which food modification apologists often use as justification for continuing to alter the genetics of our food.
A board member at the Center for Food Safety (CFS) and the Non-GMO Project, Naylor is more than qualified to speak on the subject. He comes from a long line of farmers who did much the same thing back in their day as he does now: grow many acres’ worth of corn and soybeans. But, unlike many of his neighbors, Naylor grows only non-GMO corn and soybeans, explaining that transgenic varieties are simply too problematic.
Besides plunging many farmers into a hopeless debt spiral, which also contributes to widespread farm consolidation by big agriculture corporations, GMO farming is destroying the habitats and food sources of our most precious pollinators: insects and birds. Crop chemicals like glyphosate herbicide (Roundup) kill everything in the areas where they’re sprayed, which the exception of the GMO crops that resist them, destroying the diverse ecological systems that maintain our soils and help naturally protect against pests and disease.
These chemical sprays are also creating resistance among the GMO crops they were designed to protect, leaving them vulnerable to the very same problems as the conventional crops they’re quickly replacing. Not only do these chemical interventions not work, but according to Naylor, they actually create more problems than before, including notable upticks in cancer and other chronic illnesses.
“[R]ather than boosting rural economies, genetically engineered crops have drained billions of dollars from them,” Naylor writes, adding that “the temporary ease of weed control has led to even more farm consolidation; and the unbelievable power of the herbicide glyphosate to kill both annual and perennial weeds has destroyed food and nesting resources for many of our important insects and birds.”
“Farmers have spent billions of dollars on genetically engineered seeds only to see weeds become resistant to the glyphosate on Roundup Ready crops. Corn rootworms, too, have become resistant to the most common insecticidal proteins included in many GMO corn varieties. These resistance problems require even more application of herbicides and pesticides that threaten the health of rural Americans … and add to chemical residues in food products.”
With all that we now know about the risks involved with GMOs – the cancer risk alone validating the concerns of skeptics – it’s remarkable that transgenic species are still allowed to be sold without labels. Heck, these organisms should be banned outright simply out of precaution for human and environmental health, and yet neither a ban nor labeling appear to be on the horizon.
The chemical industry is pushing for a compromise called “Smart Labels” that would allow consumers with smartphones to scan an item on the grocery store shelf and identify the origins of its ingredients. But, as Naylor points out, this system is inherently discriminatory (not everyone has a smartphone), not to mention incredibly impractical (who has time to scan every single item during a routine shopping trip?).
“We are in the dark simply because a handful of multinational agribusiness and food companies have spent more than $100 million over the past three years to fight the consumer’s right to know, and now are pushing senators from both sides of the aisle to endorse discriminatory smart labeling,” he writes. “Voters and consumers have enough to keep us awake at night; we don’t need to be worrying about what’s really contained in the food we put on our tables.”
April 20, 2016
According to glyphosate laboratory testing conducted at Microbe Inotech Laboratories, Inc., in St. Louis, the Quaker Instant Oatmeal (Strawberries and Cream) sample tested at the lab contains an astonishing 1,327.1 ppb (parts per billion) of glyphosate weed killer.
The test results, achieved via the ELISA methodology (enzyme linked immunosorbent assay), are astonishing for two reasons:
1) They are extremely high, far surpassing the levels of glyphosate that have so far been detected in other foods.
2) Oats are not GMO! While glyphosate might be expected at some concentrations in GM soy and other herbicide resistant crops, very few people are aware that glyphosate is being routinely sprayed on wheat, barley and oat crops as a powerful desiccant, right before harvest.
By comparison, Nature’s Path Organic Instant Oatmeal — produced by a cereal company that meticulously avoids GMOs and toxic agricultural chemicals — showed a final test result of “less than 75 ppb” which could mean essentially zero. For grains, anything below 75 ppb is below the LoD (Limit of Detection) for the ELISA methodology.
The testing was commissioned by the Alliance for Natural Health (ANH-USA), which tested 24 popular breakfast foods and found glyphosate concentrations in 11 of those samples. ANH-USA has also released a video on the subject, entitled “Are You Eating Glyphosate For Breakfast?” (The answer is probably YES…)
“We decided to do this testing to see just how ubiquitous this toxin has become in our environment. We expected that trace amounts would show up in foods containing large amounts of corn and soy,” explained Gretchen DuBeau, executive and legal director of ANH-USA. “However, we were unprepared for just how invasive this poison has been to our entire food chain.”
ANH-USA results, found at this link, use generic descriptors of food samples, without their brand names. But Natural News can now exclusively report the brand names behind these foods which tested positive for glyphosate, according to lab results provided to Natural News:
• 1327.1 ppb – Quaker Instant Oatmeal, Strawberries and Cream
• 491.9 ppb – Thomas’s Whole Wheat Bagels
• 151.5 ppb – Rudio Multibagels
• 403.0 ppb – Pepperidge Farm Whole GrainBread, 100% Whole Wheat
• 136.4 ppb – Dave’s Killer Whole Wheat Bread
• 34.4 ppb – OreIda Hash Brown Potatoes
• 24.1 ppb – Russet Potato
• 260.6 ppb – Cream of Wheat Hot Cereal Whole Grain
• 104 ppb – 365 Coffee Creamer
• 86 ppb – Original Silk Soy Creamer Non GMO
In addition, results of over 100 ppb were also found in eggs, but extracting glyphosate from eggs hasn’t yet been validated with the ELISA method, so we’re not including those results here.
Many consumers will be extremely surprised — perhaps “shocked” is a better descriptor — to learn that “Silk” brand non-GMO soy milk still contains glyphosate, according to these test results.
Whole Foods’ 365 brand was also found to contain a significant concentration of glyphosate, as was Cream of Wheat hot cereal, which is mostly made of wheat (which is also non-GMO).
Thus, the disturbing upshot of these tests is that even non-GMO crops can be saturated with glyphosate weed killer chemicals. This includes oats, wheat, barley and other crops.
Glyphosate is currently listed as “probably carcinogen” by the IARC — meaning these health experts believe there is credible evidence that it causes cancer. Click here for the IARC’s report and conclusions.
March 7, 2016
In a new white paper entitled Human Health and Pesticides: Glyphosate and 2,4-D, the Midwest Pesticide Action Center warns of a ubiquitous source of exposure to toxic chemicals: so-called “Weed and Feed” mixes, or combinations of herbicides and fertilizers that are spread across everything from lawns and gardens, to parks, ball fields and playgrounds.
89 Million pounds of Weed and Feed products are used in the United States each year, solely by the non-agricultural sector. The white paper summarizes the research to date on the negative health consequences of the two most common herbicides in those mixes: glyphosate (Roundup) and 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D).
The report utilizes the term “pesticide” as “an umbrella term that includes insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, and rodenticides.” Placing the health risks of glyphosate and 2,4-D into context, the report says, “Most pesticides contain chemicals that can be harmful to humans, and exposure to these chemicals can cause illnesses (ranging from mild irritation to severe poisoning, seizures and death).”
Specifically, the paper notes, glyphosate and 2,4-D have both been linked to cancer and to disorders of the reproductive, nervous, endocrine (hormonal) and respiratory systems. They are both known to be especially dangerous to children. Like all biocides, these chemicals can cause both short- and long-term health problems, and the risks only increase with prolonged contact.
The report specifically highlights the growing concern over the ability of toxic chemicals to introduce epigenetic changes: changes in gene expression (without changing DNA) that can be passed on to future generations. Research has linked certain pesticides to epigenetic changes, but this research has not yet been done on glyphosate or 2,4-D specifically. However, both herbicides have been shown to cause genetic damage. 2,4-D causes both chromosomal damage and changes in gene expression.
A 2013 study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) found that consuming glyphosate just at the levels found on food as residue, caused enough damage to the immune system and gut to damage the microbiome and encourage the development of every disease associated with the Western diet, including obesity, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, depression, autism, infertility and Alzheimer’s disease. This “insidious” effect occurs slowly and steadily over time, the researchers found, due to glyphosate blocking key detoxification enzymes on a cellular level.
February 22, 2016
Glyphosate, the main ingredient in Monsanto’s best-selling herbicide, Roundup, is “the most widely applied pesticide worldwide.” Yet farmers report that glyphosate is failing to control weeds – so why is it still being used?!
It’s no accident that Agent Orange and glyphosate, both produced by the multinational company Monsanto, have both been used in wars led by the United States. The long-term effects of Agent Orange in Vietnam are widely known – the effects of glyphosate in Colombia and other countries, not so much. Robert Bellé, a French scientist who investigated aerial spraying of glyphosate on some 1.5 million hectares in Colombia says:
“Formulated glyphosate is causing the early stages of cancerization.”
Was this chemical blend even meant to kill weeds? Midwestern farmers are seeing ‘super weeds’ grow past their high-water boots, and globally over 120 million hectares have had an increase in weed growth, not a decline. The weeds are resistant to glyphosate! Even when these chemicals kill weeds quickly, they are likely killing us in slow motion.
Monsanto and the pesticide industry claim that glyphosate is minimally toxic to humans, but research published in the journal Entropy strongly argues that mammals and fish are greatly harmed by this chemical.