Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Monsanto-Funded Glyphosate Study Pleased to Inform the World That Glyphosate Is Completely Safe

Monsanto-Funded Glyphosate Study Pleased to Inform the World That Glyphosate Is Completely Safe
By Kurtis Bright

Thanks For Clearing That Up, Monsanto

They just won’t give up, will they?

Once again Monsanto is in the news, and this time it isn’t about their proposed merger with Bayer, a troubling enough development to anyone who thinks food and the means to feed ourselves shouldn’t be controlled by a half-dozen chemical corporations.

And weirdly the news isn’t about their genetically modified seeds either, the seeds that the rural people of India call “suicide seeds” due to the rate at which impoverished farmers in hock to the corporation because of their usurious patent fees kill themselves.

For once it isn’t even about their lawyers continuing to avoid the corporation’s culpability in the poisoning of millions of acres of U.S. wetlands and waterways with their PCB chemical runoff.

No, Monsanto is in the news this time around due to something they actually want to see in the news--which is there thanks no doubt to their massive PR department. The chemical concern-turned-seed-company recently made headlines due to the release of a study that has shown that glyphosate, the active ingredient in their signature herbicide Roundup has been determined to be perfectly safe.

If you’re wondering why that doesn’t sound quite right, given that the World Health Organization’s cancer research arm found that glyphosate is a probable carcinogen, or because you’re aware of the mounting evidence that keeps piling up indicating that glyphosate is largely responsible for the massive bee die-offs of recent years, well, you wouldn’t be alone in your confusion.

What you should probably know is that Monsanto funded the research and paid the scientists who reached this conclusion, so there’s that.

Miracle of miracles, they sided with Monsanto’s long-time claims.

Of course disclosing their financial interest in the results isn’t something Monsanto’s pet scientists felt compelled to do, at least not in any clear, transparent way. Published in Critical Reviews in Toxicology, the study conveniently didn’t mention these blatant industry ties until the very end of the article, in an obscurant “Declaration of Interests.”

And those confessions were anything but candid. In part:

“...it should be recognized that each individual participated in the review process and preparation of this paper as an independent professional and not as a representative of their employer.”

And who are those employers? Well you’d have to read on to find the Monsanto name on there. But at any rate, how big-hearted, how clear-eyed and objective of them to dig deep and find their independence while working on this study--despite living in homes paid for by Monsanto, sending their kids to high-end schools financed by Monsanto, and eating food put on the table by their Monsanto paychecks.

And in case you didn’t take the point about how liberated the scientists were from the constraints of pleasing their bosses in their day jobs, there were multiple, prominent  references to the “independence” of the study’s authors, a curious use of the word to say the least.

And this “independent” study couldn’t have been released at a better time for Monsanto, as the company attempts to justify its sale to Bayer. Given the current ongoing cultural context of glyphosate being found in more and more consumer products, including baby food, wine, beer and oatmeal, and more and more people questioning GMO farming versus organic methods, and expressing an overwhelming preference not to eat these chemicals, Monsanto could be viewed as somewhat desperate to make sure the deal goes through.

But another place the company has found more of that much-vaunted “independent” corroboration that glyphosate is as safe as mother’s milk is at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Recently the EPA announced that it would be holding a four-day open forum with public meetings to address citizen concerns over the cancer risk of glyphosate.

Luckily, just to keep things crystal clear, the agency’s Office of Pesticide Programs was able to reach the conclusion that glyphosate is “...not likely to be carcinogenic to humans at doses relevant to human health risk assessment” just before the hearings began.

Such a convenient “independent” conclusion to come to for both Monsanto and the EPA, especially given that the EPA is complicit in allowing billions of pounds of glyphosate to be dispersed all over the planet over the course of the last 20 years.

Imagine how ashamed they would be if some independent study were to find that glyphosate causes cancer.

Oh, wait. That already happened, and neither entity has shown the least scrap of shame.

But then that’s one of the traits of great liars: their inability to be ashamed of what they’ve done.

When the government agency in charge of protecting people from corporate poisons is providing cover for those same corporations, we’re no longer living in a liberal democracy nor even a free-market capitalist society.

That is what you call fascism (from Wikipedia):

“Fascist economics supported a state-controlled economy that accepted a mix of private and public ownership over the means of production. Economic planning was applied to both the public and private sector, and the prosperity of private enterprise depended on its acceptance of synchronizing itself with the economic goals of the state. Fascist economic ideology supported the profit motive but emphasized that industries must uphold the national interest as superior to private profit.”

The only difference between the economic side of this neo-fascism and that of pre-World War II Italy and Germany is that back then, the state called the shots and controlled the corporations.

Today the corporations control the state.

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