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Poisoning the Public: Toxic Agrochemicals and Regulators’ Collusion with Industry


Colin Todhunter

Image source here.

In January 2019, campaigner Dr Rosemary Mason lodged a complaint with the European Ombudsman accusing European regulatory agencies of collusion with the agrochemicals industry. This was in the wake of an important paper by Charles Benbrook on the genotoxicity of glyphosate-based herbicides that appeared in the journal ‘Environmental Sciences Europe’.

In an unusual step, the editor-in-chief of that journal, Prof Henner Hollert, and his co-author, Prof Thomas Backhaus, issued a strong statement in support of the acceptance of Dr Benbrook’s article for publication. In a commentary published in the same issue of the journal, they write:

“We are convinced that the article provides new insights on why different conclusions regarding the carcinogenicity of glyphosate and GBHs [glyphosate-based herbicides] were reached by the US EPA and IARC. It is an important contribution to the discussion on the genotoxicity of GBHs.”

The IARC’s (International Agency for Research on Cancer) evaluation relied heavily on studies capable of shedding light on the distribution of real-world exposures and genotoxicity risk in exposed human populations, while the EPA’s (Environmental Protection Agency) evaluation placed little or no weight on such evidence.

Up to that point, Dr Mason had been writing to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the EU Commission for an 18-month period, challenging them about ECHA’s positive assessment of glyphosate. Many people around the world had struggled to understand how and why the US EPA and the EFSA concluded that glyphosate is not genotoxic (damaging to DNA) or carcinogenic, whereas the World Health Organisation’s cancer agency, the IARC, came to the opposite conclusion.

The IARC stated that the evidence for glyphosate’s genotoxic potential is “strong” and that glyphosate is a probable human carcinogen. While IARC referenced only peer-reviewed studies and reports available in the public literature, the EPA relied heavily on unpublished regulatory studies commissioned by pesticide manufacturers.

In fact, 95 of the 151 genotoxicity assays cited in the EPA’s evaluation were from industry studies (63%), while IARC cited 100% public literature sources. Another important difference is that the EPA focused its analysis on glyphosate in its pure chemical form, or ‘glyphosate technical’. The problem with that is that almost no one is exposed to glyphosate alone. Applicators and the public are exposed to complete herbicide formulations consisting of glyphosate plus added ingredients (adjuvants). The formulations have repeatedly been shown to be more toxic than glyphosate in isolation.

Rejection of Dr Mason’s complaint

The European Ombudsman has now rejected Rosemary Mason’s complaint who has in turn written a 25-page response documenting the wide-ranging impacts of glyphosate-based Roundup and other agrochemicals on human health and the environment. She also outlines the various levels of duplicity that have allowed many of these chemicals to remain on the commercial market.

Mason is led to conclude that, due to the rejection of her complaint (as with others lodged by her to the Ombudsman), the European Ombudsman Office is also part of the problem and is essentially colluding with European pesticide regulatory authorities. Mason has addressed this concern directly to Emily O’Reilly, who currently holds the post of European Ombudsman:

In your rejection of all my complaints over the last few years, it is clear that The Ombudsman’s Office is protecting the European pesticides regulatory authorities, who are in turn being controlled by the European Glyphosate Task Force…. You have turned a blind eye to the authorisation of many of the toxic pesticides that are on the market today because industry is being allowed to self-regulate.”

Some of the key points, claims and issues raised in Mason’s new report ‘The European Ombudsman is colluding with the European Pesticide Regulatory Authorities’ include:

  • The European pesticide regulatory authorities and the European Ombudsman is colluding with industry, resulting in the poisoning of humans and the environment
  • Cancer Research UK is not addressing the impact of agrochemicals because it is heavily compromised by industry interests and therefore claims, “there is little evidence that pesticides cause cancer”
  • The UK Science Media Centre is an industry lobby organisation, which feeds the wider media and its journalists with misleading and false information about agrochemicals
  • Industry group the European Glyphosate Task Force (GTF) has been instrumental in ensuring the re-licensing of glyphosate in the EU
  • Maladministration and criminal collusion with the agrochemicals industry resulted in the renewal of glyphosate registration in the EU
  • The report touches on the condemnation of the ECHA’s positive classification of glyphosate by the judges of the International Monsanto Tribunal
  • The global insect apocalypse and the impact of intensive agriculture and pesticides is catastrophic
  • Children and adults have diminished mental acuity and exhibit increasing levels of mental health disorders, depression, suicides and anxiety as a result of exposure to agrochemicals
  • Monsanto’s sealed secret studies shows the company knew about impact of its product on cancers and eye damage
  • The report mentions UN expert on Toxins Baskut Tuncak’s call to put children’s health before pesticides
  • Mason outlines the poisoning of British food: breakfast cereals have shockingly high levels of glyphosate
  • She notes that 30,000 doctors and health professionals in Argentina have demanded a ban on glyphosate
  • Brazil’s National Cancer Institute statement that genetically modified crops are causing of massive pesticide use is referred to
  • The independence of regulatory decisions made by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) has been marred by political donations to Labor and the Coalition. In the 2017-18 financial year, Bayer donated $40,600 to Labor and $42,540 to the Coalition, with CropLife donating $34,271 to Labor and $22,300 to the Coalition
  • As a result, APVMA is allowing clothianidin and Roundup to be applied to crops in low lying areas which drains into The Great Barrier Reef
  • In turn, the poisoning of The Great Barrier Reef is taking place due to the impact of herbicides and long-acting insecticides

There are numerous other important points and issues tackled in the report, which readers are urged to read in full. Mason names key individuals and provides all relevant links to research, reports and papers. You can access the report below. You can also access Dr Mason’s many other documents here.

Read Rosemary Mason’s new report The European Ombudsman is colluding with the European Pesticide Regulatory Authorities here.

Colin Todhunter is an independent journalist who writes on development, environmental issues, politics, food and agriculture. He was named in August 2018 by Transcend Media Services as one of 400 Living Peace and Justice Leaders and Models in recognition of his journalism.

Filed under: agriculture, empire watch, GMO, latest

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Colin Todhunter is an independent journalist who writes on development, environmental issues, politics, food and agriculture. He was named in August 2018 by Transcend Media Services as one of 400 Living Peace and Justice Leaders and Models in recognition of his journalism.

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Rhys Jaggar
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Rhys Jaggar

Unless Mr Todhunter has very specific evidence to back up his claims that CRUK is ‘compromised’, I think he would well to understand more about how CRUK operates. CRUK is involved in a variety of work, including: 1. Basic medical research in arenas of relevance to how cancer develops and progresses. 2. Mechanistic studies of how particular cancer-associated genes operate. 3. Mechanistic studies of how known carcinogens act. 4. Developing technologies and new formulations worthy of investigation as potential medicines. 5. Carrying out clinical trials on a wide variety of potential treatments, including diet, giving up harmful activities, screening programmes,… Read more »

leruscino
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Glyphosate is a demineralising drain cleaner that accidently killed weeds! It was never mean’t to be an integral part of the human food chain & now its killing us ! CRUK know this. Watch “Peril on your plate” https://rtd.rt.com/films/the-peril-on-your-plate/ Monsanto knew & know everything & that’s why they cashed out in a very dirty deal with Bayer before the legal cases came tumbling in & BECAUSE the USDA is complicit Bayer will not pay the Billions in damages but the US Taxpayer will. USDA by default sanctioned the Bayer deal & has to carry the legal tab………. CRUK are no… Read more »

binra
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Cancer as a racket? I find that power operates its own versions of history, narrative and appropriation of funding and attention. Power can also be given to that which protects, and by capturing and enforcing a regulatory monopoly, only ‘standard of care’ can be effected without risk of losing one’s career as a doctor. Since a ‘War on Cancer’ was announced by Nixon, how many billions of dollars that have been funnelled and continue to be funnelled to cancer research that has not resulted in significant changes to ‘standard of care’ or proscribed outcomes overall. Research into cancer is highly… Read more »

ColinT
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ColinT

Mr Jaggar, you say, “Unless Mr Todhunter has very specific evidence to back up his claims that CRUK is ‘compromised’… ” I advise you to read carefully what I state prior to the list of bullet points that I have included in the article. I say: “Some of the key points, claims and issues raised in Mason’s new report ‘The European Ombudsman is colluding with the European Pesticide Regulatory Authorities’ include… ” – then I list the points. In other words, I have made it clear that I am reporting on, in the case of CRUK, a claim made by… Read more »

BigB
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BigB

Colin is on the cutting edge – or perhaps the neural edge – of the interface between the old and the emerging new paradigm. According to the scientific Method of the old paradigm: you isolate the pure chemical (in this case glyphosate) under sterile lab conditions; with a ‘neutral’, objectively dispassionate, non-participant observer; from the isolated, linearised, reproducible results it can be correctly determined how the chemical will affect the whole of the isolated, sterile, ‘dead’ material, disconnected universe. Now clearly there is wilful negligence and corporate bias at play here. Not all scientists are wilfully negligent or corrupt. But… Read more »

Antonnym
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Antonnym

According to the scientific Method of the old paradigm: you isolate the pure chemical (in this case glyphosate) under sterile lab conditions; with a ‘neutral’, objectively dispassionate, non-participant observer; from the isolated, linearised, reproducible results it can be correctly determined how the chemical will affect the whole of the isolated, sterile, ‘dead’ material, disconnected universe.

Like CO2 affecting the Earth’s climates because it did in the lab?

wardropper
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wardropper

That is just such an excellent review of so much that is wrong with the traditional “scientific” approach to our world:
No respect for Nature, no comprehension of the difference between something alive and something dead, and blind acceptance of existing habits of thought.
Thank you.

BigB
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BigB

Thanks WD

Kind words outweigh the occasional downvote 50-1. 🙂

wardropper
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wardropper

I hope I never meet the person who down-voted your comment, by the way. Incomprehensible, although I suppose one should endeavour to understand all points of view…

Mikalina
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Mikalina

Hi, Wardropper, nice to meet you. BigB’s position is a pendulum swing to the other side from the Cartesian viewpoint. It appears to be hinduism/theosophy/baha’i/new age/planet worship – the world RELIGION Gorbachev said would be needed for the New World Order, and, therefore, shortsighted and dangerous. I agree we need to be one with each other, but nature (let’s loose the ecosystem label) is separate – it (and let’s loose the female pronoun, mother earth fantasy) supports us and we protect it for our survival. I had to go out so I downvoted the comment intending to post an answer… Read more »

BigB
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BigB

Mikalina “The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” “If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.” Carl Sagan Have you heard of self-organisation? It is indeed a huge folly to project our ideas of Beingness onto Nature, anthropomorphising ‘Her’ as an intentional, teleological entity. You are right, that is New Ageist hippy BS, and not at all helpful. It is also a classic denigration trope… Read more »

Robbobbobin
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Robbobbobin

“Gaia might be a suicidal teenager for all we know.”

Even Lovelock has proposed
The perfect technical notion
That we could dispose of our heat
In the depths of the ocean

binra
Reader

The human psyche is predicated upon a god of terror and so we project it as our model or self-image – with a front facing mask of justified self that conceals what would damn and condemn us if it were exposed. I realise that ‘successful’ identification in the mask does not look within, asserts there is no within – and maintains its defiance no matter what – so that death and dying proves it right – for such is the god-idea of terror that splits love to a stockholm syndrome allegiance set over a denied captivity. The god(s) (split mind)… Read more »

BigB
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BigB

Life is substantially atemporal. I say substantially so as not to completely deny inner ontological time …and temporal Being. Being is time, life is not …hence the disonnance between the two. We symbolically reify a psyche that masks the congruence and actualisation of Life. Literally, Life is what happens when we are too busy Being: making other plans for the quasi-perpetualisation of Being. We have this huge cosmogony of astrophysical history preceding us by billions of years. The universe and the natural laws (of physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, etc) were made without us …just waiting for us to evolve to… Read more »

binra
Reader

We may use words or symbols differently. I behold that being is – and only is – no matter what attributes are given, Is Is. Being is time-less or always – but the identification in mind of form is ‘come and go’ or cyclical, periodic, temporal. Being does not DO so much as embrace all that (it) Is. Giving attributes is ‘doing’ as intent, desire or appreciation of worth, value or meaning and AS SUCH is creative – as the extending (of) idea in and as the mind of being – as awareness (of) being. We can be aware THAT… Read more »

BigB
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BigB

Mikalina Yes, we have shared views before: so you could at least correct the misattribution element of your comment? My views are a mix of old and new – Dao, Yogacara-Mahayana-Zen, process philosophy (Bergson, Pierce, Whitehead); etc. with modern science such as Prigogine, Maturana, Varella, etc. plus a whole lot more. None of your attributions is remotely correct. On the ‘woman versus nature’ split: where do you propose the boundary is? Is it a permeable or non-permeable boundary? Is it a cognitive, psychological, or hard physical membrane? Where does the individuated self reside? How is it separated and insulated from… Read more »

Jim Porter
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Jim Porter

From my tiny bit of research I have found that glyphosate products destroy the brain/ body barrier and allow metallic compounds to gain access where normally they couldn’t. Aluminium compounds for instance cause dementia. The manufacture of some medicines is so slap dash that glyphosate products are allowed into the pitri dishes (from food chain contamination of animal feed) in which some cultures are grown. Let’s start the MMR vaccine argument all over again.

vexarb
Reader
vexarb

Jim Porter, eg: Abstract from Link to research paper published in Surgical Neurology International:

“Manganese (Mn) is an often overlooked but important nutrient, required in small amounts for multiple essential functions in the body. A recent study on cows fed genetically modified Roundup®-Ready feed revealed a severe depletion of serum Mn. Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup®, has also been shown to severely deplete Mn levels in plants.”

Link is to National Institute of Health:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4392553/

vexarb
Reader
vexarb

PS Roundup (Trademark) is basically an old chelating agent which Monsanto found a new use for. A chelating agent is one which picks up metallic ions and carries them around in a protective coating; hence can kill plants by preventing access to essential trace metals, and could quite feasibly carry metal ions across the blood-brain barrier in animals and deposit them in the brain, as Jim reports above.

vexarb
Reader
vexarb

PPS info from my socially conscious chemist friend Dr.Janina Altman and her husband Prof.Colman Altman at Techion Physics Dept, Israel.

Operation Fragrance
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Operation Fragrance

Beware governments in some places are installing air-freshners in as many places as possible, for example at every railway station. The vast majority, if not all, of these air-freshners contain chemicals that cause short and long term illnesses in the respiratory system as well as causing kidney and liver damage. Do your research on Volatile Organic Compounds or VOCs and see the evidence. The auto-release feature ensures the place where every unit is installed is saturated as much as possible with these poisonous chemicals, and saturated day and night. And if government actions are not enough, many companies are voluntarily… Read more »

vexarb
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vexarb

Operation Fragrance. I had a friend who suffered acute respiratory distress from such compounds, couldn’t stand them at all. He seems to have been among the first victims of what is now known as Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. Wikipedia:

“Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. Multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), also known as Idiopathic Environmental Intolerances (IEI), is a complex chronic condition symptoms characterized by non-specific symptoms that the affected person attributes to encountering small amounts of common substances, _such as perfume.”

BigB
Reader
BigB

I used to live in NW Scotland. I heard many a rumour about something very similar to this – acute respiratory distress – from locals working on fish farms, spraying de-lousing agents on salmon. I heard of people who had to be excluded from such work as another dose would kill them. This is anecdotal, and I never came across a study of the effects on the locals. Fisherman told me that the local mollusc populations – which are filter feeders – were wiped out. That and salmon lice escape were at least reported. And they shoot otters and seals.… Read more »

vexarb
Reader
vexarb

Colin Todhunter’s article puts the dot upon the i. The systematic loosening of public regulations regarding Financial Institutions began under Snatcher & Raygun, was extended to Military Intelligence & International Law by Bush & BLiar, and is now being extended to weakening the public regulation of Health. All this to increase profits for ruthless, stupidly irresponsible Capitalism. And the bribes which Capitalists give to our Political Leaders are derisory (or “only modest”, to quote British Prime Minister TB.Liar): a modest 80Million GBP to BLiar, a slightly less modest couple of $Billion to the Clintons, And now a laughable pittance to… Read more »

GrigoryZinoviev
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GrigoryZinoviev

vexarb, Do you have a list of all Bayer’s donation to political parties worldwide? I have a particular interest in a drug Rivaroxaban/Xarelto widely prescribed abd promoted as a blood thinner. There is a class action underway in the USA against Bayer in connection with this drug.

https://www.classaction.com/xarelto/lawsuit/

Thanks

vexarb
Reader
vexarb

Grigory, all I know is what I read in the papers. Only noticed Bayer when I read they had moved out of ethical products (such as their famous Aspirin) and into Monsanto’s GMO scams. If Bayer are launching some dubious pharmaceutical, I hope the courts will check them. PS I am not against GMO in principle, neither am I against any other technology such as carbon fuel, nuclear fuel, artificial intelligence or whatever. Nor am I against public right to carry a gun or a knife (even though such a great scientist as Charles Darwin deplored this American practice as… Read more »

rogerglewis
Reader

This is the tip of the iceberg of the regulatory capture and corruption of peer review process. The EU is captured by the Lobbyist complex as much as Washington and any of the other Corporate “Democracies” Professor Bruce Charlton was hounded from his Journal for Publishing a research paper challenging the link between HIV and Aids, Clive Spash resigned from CIRso in Australia when the Aussie quango’s higher ups wanted to censor his paper critiquing Carbon Trading credits. This portmento of quotes from We Pragmatists by (Haack) attributed to C S Pierce In order to reason well …. it is… Read more »

vexarb
Reader
vexarb

@RogerLewis: “Professor Bruce Charlton was hounded from his Journal for Publishing a research paper challenging the link between HIV and Aids” As I wrote on a previous thread, scientists do not ‘hound’ people for proposing a thesis (even though they might question their sanity). They simply test whether the idea corresponds with: 1. objective measurements & 2. a web of ideas which do (more or less) correspond with objective measurement. I do not know about Prof.Charlton but I have disagreed with Peter Duesberg’s thesis for decades; nevertheless I am pleased to read this from Nature | News: Paper denying HIV–AIDS… Read more »

rogerglewis
Reader

From 2003 to 2010, Charlton was the solo-editor of the journal Medical Hypotheses, published by Elsevier.[4] After HIV/AIDS denier Peter Duesberg published a paper in Medical Hypothesis arguing that “there is as yet no proof that HIV causes AIDS”, the journal came under fire for its lack of peer review. The paper was withdrawn from the journal citing concerns over the paper’s quality and “that [it] could potentially be damaging to global public health.” Elsevier consequently revamped the journal to introduce peer review, firing Charlton from his position as editor, due to his resistance of these changes.[5] vexarb I do… Read more »

vexarb
Reader
vexarb

@RogerLewis: “The paper was withdrawn from the journal citing concerns “that [it] could potentially be damaging to global public health.” Elsevier consequently revamped the journal to introduce peer review, firing Charlton from his position as editor due to his resistance of these changes.” I stand by my claim: Elsevier and the people who wanted Duesberg’s hypothesis retracted on social grounds are no true Scotsmen. Whereas the Italians who published it, are true Scotsmen. I have other bad things to say about Elsevier, but shall not vent them here because you are probably aware of recent criticisms that Elsevier impose a… Read more »

Robbobbobin
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Robbobbobin

Planck proposed the quantization of radiant energy and later experimentally derived a constant linking energy and frequency. A few years later Einstein realized that if the hypothesis Planck developed to explain his work were correct then the then “laws” of physics would need serious revision and proceeded, with Bohr, Heisenberg and others, to do just that, constructing quantum theory, despite having for the rest of his life philosophical objections to the total loss of determinism the new theory implied (“God doesn’t play dice with the universe”). More people now reject Einstein’s reservations than accept them, but the matter is still… Read more »

vexarb
Reader
vexarb

Rob, good for you, reporting earlier something this thread is presenting in greater depth. But why on earth should people _downvote an experimental result_?. Roundup (TM Monsanto/Bayer) is simply a chelating agent, which wraps up metals in a protective coating. Whether this is good or bad depends on which metal and for which purpose. Chelating agents are useful for wrapping up Calcium ions to make water softer, for instance. I believe Monsanto originally developed glyphosate to prevent iron from rusting, then they found it was toxic so Monsanto/Bayer are now trying to sell the stuff as a weedkiller. “The surgeon’s… Read more »

vexarb
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vexarb

PPS That was a quote from surgeon Christian Ficat, in Revue des Deux Mondes if I remember correctly.

BigB
Reader
BigB

Einstein: for all his genius, was a Laplacian determinist at heart. He couldn’t cope with the idea of Uncertainty. Professor Stephen Hawking famously rebutted: “Thus it seems Einstein was doubly wrong when he said, God does not play dice. Not only does God definitely play dice, but He sometimes confuses us by throwing them where they can’t be seen.” http://www.hawking.org.uk/does-god-play-dice.html Determinism literally means that we can determine every variable – including hidden variables (see link) – at any given time: and predict or calculate the state of the universe at any other time from such a universal datum. Except under… Read more »

mark
Reader
mark

One of May’s Cabinet has just resigned.
Somebody called Eustice. Maybe Useless Eustice.
Never heard of him, but he was in charge of mangel wurzels or something to do with agriculture.
Can the country survive?