March 16th – At 6:45 am outside the offices of Seminis Seeds in Salinas, the only things moving were two police cars circling anxiously, waiting for the Zombie Horde to arrive. I watched from my car until a second zombie and the Grim Reaper arrived in a Prius rather than on the more traditional pale horse…. As the three of us prepared our signage for the day, the circling patrol cars pulled up, and we had a brief discussion about not blocking access to any of the businesses. A slightly surreal experience considering the bite wound on my neck, blood oozing from the corners of my mouth, and the creepy white contact lenses I was wearing. As daylight broke and more zombies arrived we realized that Seminis had indulged in a little subterfuge, by removing their sign from outside the office, perhaps hoping we would think they had moved. However the Building Owner confirmed that the office was still in use, and the Monsanto hat visible inside proved it. As the morning progressed we were joined by members of Occupy Cabrillo, and Occupy Santa Cruz, and despite the fact that no TV crews turned up, we did have a visit from a photo-journalist from the Monterey County Weekly. Judging by the bemused looks from many of the passers by, and the number of people who asked what a GMO was we still have a lot of work to do to make locals aware of the issues. Cowboy supplied us with music including several rousing renditions of The Cranberries “Zombie”, and at his suggestion, at 1:00pm we declared VICTORY!, since we had effectively shut down the office for the day.
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In light of this quote, had Monsanto been around during Roosevelt’s time, he would not have taken too kindly to their business strategy. After all, in 2007, 176 million lbs of an extremely toxic herbicide known as glyphosate,1 first created by Monsanto, was sprayed onto the soil (and everything standing between it) in this country, with untold environmental and human health fallout.
Untold, that is, until now…
Roundup (Glyphosate): The Science Vs. Marketing
2011 was a watershed year, as far as scientific revelations into the nature and extent of the damage associated with glyphosate-based herbicide usage and exposure is concerned. An accumulating body of peer-reviewed and published research now indicates glyphosate may be contributing to several dozen adverse health effects in exposed populations. And as we shall see, human exposure is as universal as is the contamination of our food, air, rain and groundwater with this now ubiquitous chemical.
Ever since Monsanto developed, marketed and patented the glyphosate molecule — Roundup (®) herbicide’s active ingredient — beginning in the early 70’s, a substantial and ever-growing portion of the earth’s arable surface has been transformed into an environmental and human health experiment, of unprecedented scale. Non-industry funded human research on glyphosate exposure is only now being performed, and the preliminary picture being painted isn’t very pretty. Recent experimental research found that exceedingly small concentrations of glyphosate (450-fold lower than used in agricultural applications) induce DNA damage in human cells. Given these findings, it is likely that the widespread adoption of GM agriculture has and will continue to result in massive collateral health damage; the fall-out of which we are only beginning to understand, and yet which we are all no doubt are already experiencing, mostly subclinically.
Long-running suit claims residents of Nitro, West Virginia were exposed to the carcinogenic Vietnam-era chemical weapon
Dominic Rushe in New York
Chemicals giant Monsanto is believed to have reached a settlement with US residents who claim they were poisoned by chemicals used in the manufacturing of the Vietnam-era chemical weapon Agent Orange.
The long-running suit was brought by residents living near a now defunct Monsanto plant in Nitro, West Virginia that between 1949 and 1971 produced the agricultural herbicide 2,4,5 trichlorophenoxyacidic acid, a key ingredient in Agent Orange.
The weapon was used extensively during the Vietnam war, killing and maiming an estimated 400,000 people and leading to 500,000 birth defects. In 2005 a US court rejected a case brought by Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange.
The suit – filed on behalf of tens of thousands of people who lived, worked and went to school in Nitro after 1949 – claims that Monsanto spread toxic substances including dioxins, which have been linked to cancer, all over the town. Read the rest of this entry →
There was quite a stir amongst beekeepers and anti-gmo activists this past October 2011 when chemical and seed giant Monsanto purchased Beeologics , a small company best known for its “groundbreaking research” vis a vis the application of RNAi technology on honeybees, a mechanism meant to block gene expression.
This was Monsanto’s first acquisition of a pest control biotech company. Yet surprisingly the terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Since its inception in 2007, Beeologics has been developing Remebee,® an anti-viral treatment for use in honeybees affected with Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus (IAPV), a bee-specific virus, which originated from Australia and found and named in Israel in 2002.
Have Bees Become Canaries In the Coal Mine? Why Massive Bee Dieoffs May Be a Warning About Our Own Health
February 12, 2012 in Uncategorized
It’s often said that we have bees to thank for one out of every three bites we take of food. In addition to producing honey, honeybees literally criss-cross the United States, pollinating almonds, oranges, melons, blueberries, pumpkins, apples, and more. And while carrots are a biennial root crop that are harvested long before they flower, all carrots are planted from seed, and honeybees pollinate the carrot flowers that produce the seeds. Other species of bees, both social and solitary bees, pollinate other crops. And the populations of all these species of bees are in decline.
The decline of bees has been in the headlines for several years, and theories to explain their deaths abound. But perhaps there is not just one single cause. University of California San Diego professor of biology James Nieh studies foraging, communication and health of bees. “I would say it’s a combination of four factors; pesticides, disease, parasites, and human mismanagement,” says Nieh. Bees might be weakened by having a very low level of exposure to insecticides or fungicides, making them more susceptible if they are attacked by viruses or parasites. “It’s kind of like taking a patient who is not doing so well — very weak, poor diet, exposing them to pathogens, and then throwing more things at them. It’s not surprising that honeybees are not very healthy.”