Monsanto is secretly poisoning the population with Roundup
Tuesday, October 04, 2011 by: Jeffrey Smith
(NaturalNews) Dr. Andreas Carrasco remained in the locked car and watched with
fear as the crowd beat the vehicle and shouted at him -- for two hours. His
friends who didn't make it into the vehicle were not so lucky. One ended up
paralyzed. Another unconscious. The angry crowd of about 100 were likely
organized by a local rice grower who was furious at Carrasco for what he was
trying to do that day. Carrasco's crime? Telling people that Roundup herbicide
from Monsanto causes birth defects in animals, and probably humans.
Carrasco is a leading embryologist at the University of Buenos Aires Medical
School and the Argentinean national research council. He had heard the horrific
stories of peasant farmers working near the vast fields of Roundup Ready
soybeans -- plants genetically engineered to withstand generous doses of
Monsanto's poisonous weed killer. The short-term impact of getting sprayed was
obvious: skin rashes, headaches, loss of appetite, and for one 11 year old
Paraguayan boy named Silvino Talavera, who biked through a fog of herbicides in
2003, death. But Carrasco also heard about the rise of birth defects, cancer,
and other disorders that now plagued the peasants who were sprayed by plane. He
decided to conduct a study.
Exposing Roundup's 30 year
cover-up of birth defects
Carrasco injected minute amounts of Roundup into chicken and frog embryos, and
sure enough, the offspring exhibited the same type of birth deformities that the
peasant communities were seeing in their newborns. A report by the provincial
government of Chaco soon followed, confirming that those living near soy and
rice fields sprayed with Roundup and other chemicals did in fact have higher
rates of birth defects -- nearly a fourfold increase between 2000-2009. (Child
cancer rates tripled during the same period.)
Regulatory agencies had given Roundup a green light years before, claiming that
it was free of such problems. However after Carrasco's findings were published,
European authorities quietly pushed their official re-assessment of Roundup, due
in 2012, back to 2015. And the German Federal Office for Consumer Protection and
Food Safety, charged with responding to Carrasco's findings, issued a statement
claiming that the Argentine scientist must be mistaken; earlier studies
conducted by manufacturers of Roundup (including Monsanto) had already
demonstrated that Roundup does not cause birth defects.
But in June 2011, a group of international scientists released a report
detailing a massive cover-up that went back to the 1980s. The very industry
studies cited by the German Consumer Protection office in fact showed just the
opposite. Roundup did increase birth defects. Using scientific sleight of hand,
Europe's regulators had ignored statistically significant increases in birth
defects, and so did every other regulatory agency worldwide. Monsanto has relied
on these misleading statements of safety by regulators ever since, using them to
deny that Roundup causes birth defects.
poisoning the population, again and again
Covering up toxic effects of their products was not new for Monsanto. They're
experts at it. In 2003 the company paid $700 million in settlements for secretly
poisoning the population living next to their PCB factory in Anniston, Alabama.
Court documents showed the arrogance of Monsanto executives made aware of the
product's effects: "We can't afford to lose $1 of business," was the written
response in a secret company memo.
Leaked documents also revealed that EPA scientists had charged Monsanto with
fraudulently hiding the toxic effects of Agent Orange -- effectively preventing
Vietnam veterans from collecting compensation for cancer, birth defects, and
other symptoms of exposure.
When Carrasco first reported his findings, he got the usual treatment. His
results were vehemently denied, and he was attacked in the press by biotech
advocates. Four highly aggressive men showed up at his office and tried to
interrogate him, but he wasn't physically attacked. Not until he tried to give a
speech on his results in the small Argentine farm town of La Leonesa on August
7, 2010. That was unusual.
Punishing messengers worldwide
When Dr. Irina Ermakova came to her office, the meaning of the charred remains
of papers on her desk was unambiguous -- it was yet another attempt to
intimidate or punish her. So was the theft of samples from her laboratory, and
the continuous verbal attacks by biotech advocates. Her crime? She fed rats
genetically modified Roundup Ready soy, and reported the results.
Those results were clearly not what the sellers of GM soy wanted us to hear.
After female rats were fed GM soy, more than half their babies died within three
weeks. The rat pups were also considerably smaller, and in a later experiment,
were unable to reproduce. Offspring from mothers fed non-GM soybeans, on the
other hand, died at only a 10% rate, and were able to mate successfully.
Journal ambushes scientist
After Ermakova presented the results as "preliminary" at an October 2005
conference, the biotech industry's damage control teams kicked into high gear.
At the center of the coordinated attack was the editor of the journal Nature
Biotechnology and four biotech advocates. According to Ermakova, the editor
contacted her and told her he was going to include a description of her study as
a sort of essay in the journal. She was then asked to summarize her research
over the phone, or if she preferred, in writing. Ermakova, a senior scientist at
the Russian Academy of Sciences, was surprised by the request and asked instead
to properly submit the findings for peer review and publication. Oh no, the
editor insisted, he just wanted a summary. She sent it in, and the journal sent
Ermakova back a proof of the article, with her named as the author.
But that was just a "dummy proof." What was actually published was quite
different. Instead of an essay, the journal had inserted scathing criticisms
from the four biotech advocates after nearly every paragraph. Many of Ermakova's
citations were also stripped off and replaced with those chosen by the biotech
detractors -- to weaken her case. It was an academic lynch mob, conducted by
four biotech apologists: Bruce Chassy, Vivian Moses, Val Giddings, and Alan
McHughen. All acknowledged that they had no personal experience in the type of
research they were condemning, but that didn't stop them from throwing every
type of challenge they could think of at Ermakova.
The purpose of the attack was transparent. It allowed the biotech industry to
claim from that point forward that the study showing high death rates was
officially refuted and discredited. It also served as a warning: if anyone
wanted to defend Ermakova (or do similar research) they too would be mercilessly
The problem was that nearly all their criticisms were utterly baseless. About 75
% of their arguments, for example, were simply complaints that she didn't
provide sufficient detail. Now remember -- she was told to only provide a
summary. Her request to the editor to submit complete details was denied. It
was quite a setup. When the details of this ambush were made public, independent
scientists charged Nature Biotechnology with an unethical "premeditated
attack." At least one letter called on the editor to resign.
It didn't happen. Instead, international pressure against Ermakova got so
intense, her boss told her not to do any more studies on GMOs. One of her
colleagues even tried to comfort her by suggesting that perhaps the GM soy could
solve the human overpopulation problem. (She wasn't comforted.)
Real life confirms research: GM soy = high infant mortality for
The main valid criticism against Ermakova's research was that she failed to
conduct a biochemical analysis of the feed. Without that, we don't know if some
rogue toxin present in the bag of soy flour might have been responsible for the
astonishing death rate and stunted growth in her experiment. But subsequent
events at her laboratory suggest otherwise.
After Ermakova repeated the test three times with similar results, the supplier
of rat food used at the facility began using GM soy in the formulation. With all
the rats now eating GM soy, Ermakova couldn't conduct any more experiments (she
had no controls). After two months, however, she asked her colleagues at the lab
about the mortality rate in their rat experiments. It turned out that 99 of 179
(55.3%) rat pups whose parents were fed GM soy-based rat chow had died within
the first 20 days. Thus, whatever caused the high death rate does not appear to
be confined to the one batch of GM flour used in her experiment. Both the study,
and the subsequent laboratory-wide mortality rate, are published in the Russian
peer-reviewed journal Ecosinform.
Other studies on Roundup Ready soy also show scary reproductive problems.
Ermakova showed that the testicles of rats fed GM soy changed from the normal
pink to blue (not published). Peer-reviewed research from Italy also showed
changes in mice testicles, including alterations in young sperm cells. A
Brazilian team found changes in the uterus and ovaries of female rats. The DNA
of mice embryos functioned differently, compared to those whose parents were fed
non-GM soy. And when hamsters were fed GM soy for two years, by the third
generation, most lost the ability to have babies. The offspring grew at a slower
rate and the infant mortality rate was 4-5 times that of the non-GM soy group.
Many also had hair growing in their mouths.
When the Austrian government tested Roundup Ready corn (which was also
engineered to produce an insecticide), mice had fewer – and smaller – babies.
It's not possible to know if the reproductive damage was due to the genetic
changes in the GM crops, the high residues of Roundup in the GM soybeans and
corn, or some other reason. But the American Academy of Environmental Science is
among the medical organizations that don't need more animal studies before
issuing a warning. They urge all doctors to prescribe non-GMO diets to everyone.
Omnipresent Roundup literally falls from the sky
Although eliminating Roundup Ready soy and corn from our diet will certainly
reduce our intake of Roundup, a recent study suggests that getting our exposure
down to zero is not possible. In the Midwest during the growing season, Roundup
is found in 60–100% of air and rain samples, as well as in streams.
The omnipresence of Roundup in the US is due in large part to the more than 100
million acres of Roundup Ready crops. As farmers pour on Monsanto's weed killer,
weeds are learning to adapt and withstand the poison -- so farmers pour on more.
In the first 13 years since GM crops were introduced, the use of
herbicide-tolerant crops resulted in an additional 383 million pounds more
herbicide. And due to the emergence of superweeds (now found in 11 million
acres), the increased use of Roundup is accelerating dramatically.
USDA solution? Even more Roundup
The USDA has a unique response to this mounting threat: Add more Roundup.
In January 2011 they deregulated yet another Roundup Ready crop, alfalfa --
which is widely used for animal feed. Only 7% of the more than 20 million acres
of this crop typically gets any herbicide applied to it. But that's about to
change, since Roundup Ready alfalfa will soon be drinking Roundup in a hay field
Not content with just the alfalfa, on July 1 the USDA told Scotts Miracle-Gro
that it could introduce Roundup Ready Kentucky Bluegrass to lawns, golf courses,
and soccer fields around the nation, without any government oversight.
So now we have Roundup in our food, animal feed, air, rain, and streams, and
soon it will be sprayed in high doses where our children play on the grass. It's
not just birth defects that may soon plague America as a result. Roundup is also
linked to cancer, endocrine disruption, lower sperm counts, abnormal sperm,
human cell death, miscarriages, and other disorders. But it's also linked to
billions in profits for Monsanto. No wonder they are working overtime to silence
the scientists and cover-up the findings. What if people knew the truth?
Jeffrey M. Smith is the author of Seeds of Deception (http://www.seedsofdeception.com/Pub...),
the world's bestselling book on GMOs. He is also the author of Genetic Roulette
and the Executive Director of the Institute for Responsible Technology (http://www.responsibletechnology.org).
The Institute's Non-GMO Shopping Guide website (http://www.nongmoshoppingguide.com),
iPhone app ShopNoGMO, and pocket guide, help people navigate to healthier non-GMO
foods. Join the Institute's Non-GMO Tipping Point Network (http://action.responsibletechnology...)
to connect with others in your area, to bring the truth about GMOs to your
friends and community.