Much of the following article is based on a new 20-page report by environmentalist Dr Rosemary Mason. Readers are urged to access the full report containing all relevant citations here.
In a new paper published in King’s Law Journal – The Chemical Anthropocene: Glyphosate as a Case Study of Pesticide Exposures – the authors Alessandra Arcuri and Yogi Hale Hendlin state:
As the science against glyphosate safety mounts and lawsuits threaten its chemical manufacture’s profits, the next generation of GMO crops are being keyed to the pesticide dicamba, sold commercially as XtendiMax® – and poised to be the next glyphosate. Regulatory agencies have historically been quick to approve products but slow to reconsider regulations after the decades of accumulated harms become apparent.”
They add that the entrenched asymmetries between public and ecological health and fast-to-market new chemicals is exacerbated by the seeming lack of institutionalised precautionary policies.
According to environmentalist Dr Rosemary Mason, these ‘entrenched asymmetries’ result from the corporate capture of key policy-making bodies and their subversion by agri-food oligopolies.
In her new report, ‘Why Does Bayer Crop Science Control Chemicals in Brexit Britain’, she states that Bayer is having secret meetings with the British government to determine which agrochemicals are to be used after Brexit once Britain is ‘free’ of EU restrictions and becomes as deregulated as the US.
Such collusion comes as little surprise to Mason who says the government’s ‘strategy for UK life sciences’ is already dependent on funding from pharmaceutical corporations and the pesticides industry:
Syngenta’s parent company is AstraZeneca. In 2010, Syngenta and AstraZeneca were represented on the UK Advisory Committee on Pesticides and the Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Foods, Consumer Products and the Environment. The founder of Syngenta, Michael Pragnell CBE, was the Chairman of Cancer Research UK (CRUK) from 2011-2017. CRUK started by giving money (£450 million/year) to the Government’s Strategy for UK Life Sciences and AstraZeneca provided 22 compounds to academic research to develop medicines. AstraZeneca manufactures six different anti-cancer drugs mainly aimed at breast and prostate cancer.”
It seems like a highly profitable and cozy relationship between the agrochemical and pharmaceuticals sectors and the government at the expense of public health.
Mason states that pesticides have been conveniently kept off the public health agenda: people are being blamed for obesity and rising rates of illness because of lifestyle choices. Because ‘loosely’ regulated and unmonitored pesticides continue to proliferate, she says that each year there are steady increases in the numbers of new cancers in the UK and increases in deaths from the same cancers, with no treatments making any difference to the numbers.
However, it is not just human health that is at risk from pesticides.
In 2010, Dutch toxicologist Henk Tennekes described neonicotinoid insecticides as an unfolding disaster. In his book ‘The Systemic Pesticides: a Disaster in the Making‘, he catalogued a tragedy of monumental proportions regarding the loss of invertebrates and subsequent losses of the insect-feeding (invertebrate- dependent) bird populations in all environments in the Netherlands.
“The disappearance can be related to agriculture in general, and to the neonicotinoid insecticide imidacloprid in particular, which is a major contaminant of Dutch surface water since 2004. The relationship exists because there are two crucial (and catastrophic) disadvantages of the neonicotinoid insecticides: they cause damage to the central nervous system of insects that is virtually irreversible and cumulative. There is no safe level of exposure, and even minute quantities can have devastating effects in the long term; they leach into groundwater and contaminate surface water and persist in soil and water chronically exposing aquatic and terrestrial organisms to these insecticides. So, what, in effect, is happening is that these insecticides are creating a toxic landscape, in which many beneficial organisms are killed off.”
From Rachel Carson back in 1962 with her book Silent Spring to more recent researchers, governments have been warned about the catastrophic effects of pesticides but have continued to capitulate to industry interests.
Mason counts the costs of these unheeded warnings. In 2017, scientists in Germany found three-quarters of flying insects had vanished in 25 years in protected habitats surrounded by intensively farmed land. It was predicted that the world is “on course for ecological Armageddon” and profound impacts would be felt by human society.
In France, scientists have revealed a massive decline in bird populations. The primary culprit, researchers speculate, is the intensive use of pesticides on vast tracts of monoculture crops, especially wheat and corn. The problem is not that birds are being poisoned, but that the insects on which they depend on for food have disappeared.
This global insect apocalypse is largely the result of intensive agriculture and pesticide usage. According to Mason, one of the biggest impacts of insect loss is on the many birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish that eat insects. If this food source is taken away, all these animals starve to death. Such cascading effects have already been seen in Puerto Rico, where a recent study revealed a 98% fall in ground insects over 35 years.
The demise of insects appears to have started at the dawn of the 20th century, accelerated during the 1950s and 1960s and reaching alarming proportions over the last two decades.
Mason refers to documents that reveal the EU bowed to demands of pesticide lobbies and created SAPEA (Science Advice for Policy by European Academies) which she says is “a committee of corrupt individuals that would actually increase sales of pesticides.”
She notes that the environmental group Pesticide Action Network Europe (PAN) has obtained over 600 documents showing top EU officials fighting to “cripple” the bloc’s pesticide protection legislation. They show top officials trying to protect chemical and farming interests (and profits) from incoming European rules that were expected to directly ban up to 32 endocrine disrupting (EDC) pesticides. Mason concludes that current EU legislation is set up in favour of the pesticides industry.
In discussing the failure of regulators to keep hazardous chemicals from polluting our wildlife, food, air and drinking water. Mason cites several studies and reports and concludes that thousands of chemicals have entered the food system. Their long-term, chronic effects have been woefully understudied and their health risks inadequately assessed.
It is worrying to think that, globally, sales of synthetic chemicals are to double over the next 12 years with alarming implications for health and the environment if governments continue to fail to rein in the plastics, pesticides and cosmetics industries. The second Global Chemicals Outlook (2019) says the world will not meet international commitments to reduce chemical hazards and halt pollution by 2020.
In fact, industry has never been more dominant nor has humanity’s dependence on chemicals ever been as great.
Global agricultural corporations have been severely criticised by Hilal Elver, the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food. A report presented to the UN human rights council in 2017 was severely critical of the global corporations that manufacture pesticides, accusing them of the “systematic denial of harms”, “aggressive, unethical marketing tactics” and heavy lobbying of governments which has “obstructed reforms and paralysed global pesticide restrictions”.
Elver says many of the pesticides are used on commodity crops, such as palm oil and soy, not the food needed by the world’s hungry people: “The corporations are not dealing with world hunger,” she says, despite industry propaganda which claims it and its chemicals are necessary for feeding the world. This is simply not true. Numerous high-level reports say that agroecology can feed the world healthily and sustainably.
At the Royal Society of Medicine Conference on pesticides safety, the late Peter Melchett presented alarming figures from official sources. The number of active ingredients applied to wheat had risen 12-fold from 1.7 in 1974 to 20.7 in 2014; that those applied to potatoes had risen 5.8 times from 5.3 in 1975 to 30.8 in 2014; that those applied to onions and leeks had risen 18-fold from 5.3 in 1975 to 30.8 in 2014. Pesticides are tested individually but no one tests the cocktail of pesticides to which humans and the environment are exposed.
The Chief Scientist for the UK’s Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) Professor Ian Boyd has pointed out that once a pesticide is approved there is no follow up.
Moreover, Dr Michael Antoniou, head of the Gene Expression and Therapy Group at King’s College London, told a Royal Society of Medicine conference that the adjuvants in commercial pesticide formulations can be toxic in their own right and in some cases more toxic than the declared active ingredients. Yet only the active ingredients are tested and assessed for long-term health effects in the regulatory process. He also said that research on hormone-disrupting chemicals, including pesticides, shows that very low realistic doses can be more toxic than higher doses.
Nevertheless, Dave Bench, head of UK Chemicals Regulation Division, has described the regulatory system for pesticides as robust and as balancing the risks of pesticides against the benefits to society. Does this mean balancing industry profits against public interest on a set of scales heavily weighted in favour of the former?
Glyphosate in the dock
Hilal Elver has stated that to address the pesticides issue, we must deal with the corporations pushing them. And this is not lost on Mason who documents Monsanto’s dirty tactics to keep its multi-billion-dollar money-spinner glyphosate-based Roundup on the market.
Bayer CEO Werner Bauman has told his top-tier investors that Bayer had performed an adequate due-diligence on Monsanto before purchasing the company for $66 billion. At the time of its purchase, Monsanto told its German suitors that a $270-million set-aside would cover all its outstanding liabilities arising from Monsanto’s 5,000 Roundup cancer lawsuits.
But Bauman has conceded to anxious shareholders that Monsanto had withheld internal papers relevant to the case. Bayer never saw those internal Monsanto documents prior to the purchase.
Robert F Kennedy, co-counsel to Baum Hedlund Law, which is representing nearly 800 people in the US who allege Roundup exposure caused their non-Hodgkin lymphoma, says that it was no surprise that Monsanto kept secrets from Bayer.
He notes that Dewayne Johnson’s jury heard evidence that for four decades Monsanto maneuvered to conceal Roundup’s carcinogenicity by capturing regulatory agencies, corrupting public officials, bribing scientists and engaging in scientific fraud to delay its day of reckoning. The jury found that these activities constituted “malice, fraud and oppression” warranting $250 million in punitive damages.
Perhaps more ominously for Bayer, Monsanto also faces cascading scientific evidence linking glyphosate to a constellation of other injuries that have become prevalent since its introduction, including obesity, depression, Alzheimer’s, ADHD, autism, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, kidney disease, and inflammatory bowel disease, brain, breast and prostate cancer, miscarriage, birth defects and declining sperm counts. Strong science suggests glyphosate is the culprit in the exploding epidemics of celiac disease, colitis, gluten sensitivities, diabetes and non-alcoholic liver cancer which, for the first time, is attacking children as young as 10.
Researchers peg glyphosate as a potent endocrine disruptor, which interferes with sexual development in children. The chemical compound is certainly a chelator that removes important minerals from the body, including iron, magnesium, zinc, selenium and molybdenum. Roundup disrupts the microbiome destroying beneficial bacteria in the human gut and triggering brain inflammation and other ill effects.
Kennedy states that glyphosate now accounts for about 50% of all herbicide use in the US. About 75% of glyphosate use has occurred since 2006, with the global glyphosate market projected to reach $11.74 billion by 2023. He adds that never in history has a chemical like glyphosate been so pervasive.
It is in our air, water, plants, animals, grains, vegetables and meats. It’s in beer and wine, children’s breakfast cereal and snack bars and mother’s breast milk. It’s even in our vaccines.
The issues outlined here are not confined to Europe, the UK or the US. From Argentina to India, the agri-food industry is subverting public institutions and adversely impacting diets, food, public health and the environment.
Regardless of a rapidly emerging health and environmental apocalypse, unrestrained capitalism reigns, profits trump public interest and its business as usual.
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Haha .. Bayer didn’t know what a keen reader already knows?
“Monsanto kept secrets from Bayer”
Only lawyers believe this gibberish.
Bayer is no stranger to propagating poisons and diseases on a massive scale.
Bayer and Monsanto are both made from the same mold.
‘“Monsanto kept secrets from Bayer”
Only lawyers believe this gibberish.’
So now Robert F. Kennedy Jr indirectly joins the ranks of the Controlled Conspiacy Hangouters Opposition Limited. Yeah, right.
The trouble with people who know nothing about the inner detail of all sorts of matters to do with the entities and processes that are leading us all to possible (IMO likely) extinction or near extinction within the next few generations, other than what they have learned from the headlines or soundbites concerning the finally-obvious exponential nature of the destruction that we, through those entities and processes, have wreaked and continue to wreak on the planet and its social and life support systems, except (rightly but dumbly) those headlines and those soundbites, is precisely that: they know nothing about the inner detail of all sorts of matters to do with the entities and processes that are leading us all to possible extinction or near extinction within the next few generations other than what they have learned from the finally-obvious exponential nature of the destruction that we, through those entities and processes, have wreaked and continue to wreak on the planet and its social and life support systems, except (rightly but dumbly) those headlines and those soundbites. And what mostly misguided or inadequate conclusions that shaky basis allows them to draw.
The news for them is: the very same entities whose processes are lying to them shamelessly and screwing them shitless–as they know from their own detailed, microcosmic experience of the macrocosm they choose to apprehend only as headlines and soundbites–are equally busy screwing each other for a monoply chunk of the $ame bottom line. The amount of dirty paper that is shredded to make the average large corporation look attractive enough to be the target of a profitable takeover by another would usually be sufficient to run a profitable little sideline producing enough recycled arsewipe to satisfy the toilet needs of every broad-brushing WTC-enlightened activist in the entire world for all of the following year, and then some.
The best advice for them, IF their “cause” is GENUINELY of real concern to them and if they can’t, for any number of valid reasons, or won’t, for very few valid reasons, sweat the detail required to get on top of the facts about anything is to keep their trap shut and do what they’re consequently good at: signing the petitions, joining the protests organised by and holding up the five-word banners written by others.
Because every one of their boneheaded conclusions based on mindless concatenations posing as valid premises is fuel for the PR machines of those committed to keeping the destruction right on going, even faster; an endless supply of living “evidence” testifying to the veracity of the claim that any opposition to their recklessly sociopathic behaviour is nothing but the mouthings of a bunch of Ludditeish (dead) birdbrains.
Yes, but I have seen discussions in German what is behind this.
BlackRock has a controlling interest in the companies who rule the world (as it were). So THEY wanted to get rid of Monsanto and could force Bayer to buy it. Bayer did not have all that money so a loan was issued by Deutsche Bank.
With this structure, they can bleed Bayer and Deutsche Bank dry through the compensation cases. If you want to destroy Bayer and Deutsche Bank, or declare both too big to fail so you can milk the German taxpayer – there’s a win/win situation.
Yup, they will never acknowledge anything, so we have to tear them down, before they tear us down.
And then we have lies, dammed lies and statistics, long livety, people lived long before, certain areas did not, but thats due to other factores as well and for how long do we indeed have data, huh, like the Cut and Paist of the AGW cults high prests constant hammering, and of course, people whom is basically iliterate, since they are dumbed down, belives everything they read, and whatever anyone whom is labeled eh…. expert is drooling as the ephifany of truth so help us god.
Fertalizers is another one, along with pestisices, we all know that, I for my self didnt know what Glypostate was or roundup, before I did some cleaning up on a job I had some years ago, told to just sray it on the “weeds” and the weed would be gone, and the day after it was dead, that, morons scared me more than anything I have ever seen my self, something that wacks life so fast, some claim its not dangerous at all, huh, how stupid are they, and that alone is more than sufficient for me to know something is wrong with the image we are feed, more or less, spoon feed thru decades, and the second thing is, we dont need them, industrial scale production needs them, we dont.
One thing is to talk about fake science regarding AGW, the fact is, its much harder to punch facts into people regarding everything else, like polutants, as done here in this article, because the counter forces are formidable, and is an cash cow of biblical proportions.
Yeah, cancer rates are sky rocketing and yet the political rats drools something about smoking, huh, and the rocketing, eh…. passive smoking, one wiff and you die, and most people belive that to.
Why is it impossible to fight this, because of mainly two things, we arent only encountering HasbaRats etc, to “friends of ISISrael” etc, to SoreAss asociates on/in the left compartement of the asylum, but also an wast army of payed scums out ther attacking articles like this one, and dilutes the comentary fields with nonsense, to divert the truth.
They are an almost invicible army, most people dont relate to them, other than when we debate wars, etc, to imperialism, and then thing is, we dont need industrial scale food production at all, if humanity is going to have something to live off, as an income, we need to kill the Agri. Ind. Complex as the evil MICs, to the medical Ind. complexses, whom have one thing in common, they feed upon our missery, ignorance and stupidity of not paying attention to the real world.
Then we have the so called AGW cult, biofuel, the reason for half-50% of the UssA corn production goes straight into this scam, like palm oil, etc, to wast regions is cut down to use them for this scams, and all that to claim its eh…. ecologicaly viable for humanity since its not uh…. oil pumped up from the ground.
I am not that pessimistic, but we need to do something, since in the long run, this will be an much bigger problem, ignoring it, well, I will die probably the next decade/s, but our children will bear the grunt of this issues, and I am one of those that find the AGW to be an hideous bloody joke, nothing else then an pety scam, since it drowns other issues, as pestecides etc.
That, is why I attack them, because of its just an scam, but the article points to something much more dangerous, corruption of science and politics, an icestious relation ship we must remove.
Hang em all, and I am not joking.
“From Rachel Carson back in 1962 with her book Silent Spring to more recent researchers, governments have been warned about the catastrophic effects of pesticides but have continued to capitulate to industry interests.”
1962? Her book “Silent Spring”? As early as NINETEEN FORTY FIVE (1945) Rachael Carson had all but given up on the “official narrative” and was trying to get articles published in the popular press such as the Readers Digest just to try to break through the congressional-academic-corporate complex’s wall. The READERS DIGEST, !!!!!, FFS:
They did publish at least one article, maybe a different one, in the late 1940s or early 50s and they also included the Silent Spring in one of their “Condensed Books” volumes soon after it was first published.
Below another recent article reproduced hereabouts, various FlatBTLiners have been trying to exculpate themselves from accusations of wilfull negligence with mutual self-assurances that there was nothing, absolutely nothing, anywhere, ever, to give poor little ordinary personages like themselves even just the vaguest clue about an impending multi-horsemanned ecological (or, for that matter, any other type of) apocalypse before GWB persuaded MBS to fly some ghost planes into some fire-prone commercial buildings in downtown Manhattan less than 20 years ago. Pfffft.
You’re pissing into the wind, Mr Todhunter, just pissing into the wind. Put on some waterproof leggings and keep it up, because it’s the only rational act, short of jumping into a nearby mass grave, anyone can do. Maybe the wind will change but don’t expect Greta’s and Friends’ huffing and puffing in the other direction to last much beyond voting age.
One more example that illustrates that we are run by fascists.
Post Brexit it will get even worse, much worse.
Since the “discovery” of America (I’ll go easy on the inverted commas) the challenge for capitalists has been how to produce more commodities (sugar, wheat, cotton etc) for sale on the market with low labour costs.
Pesticides are the latest and most efficient-in the very short run-substitute for labour: kids weeding, hoes being plied, horse-hoeing. with machines and pesticides a farmer can cultivate thousands of acres without needing to employ more than a few family members or seasonal workers.
The cost of this sort of farming in unimaginably steep: never mind the direct effects on human health-Willem has that angle covered- pesticides wipe out enormous numbers of insects, links in the food chain, rungs in the ladder of life. No insects mean no birds. No birds mean, before very long no human beings either.
In any other system precautionary principles would come into play: we would make certain, before tasting those attractive fungi under the trees, that they were not poisonous. We would ensure that the chemicals we were spreading on the fields-because they are cheaper and more biddable than labourers- were not dangerous to life. and we would act, accordingly and rationally.
Under capitalism, however, the precautionary principle is minimised. And if species disappear, leaving yawning gaps in the ladder of life, and wiping out additional species, it doesn’t matter. Because, in the long run, we are all dead. In the short run, lies, bribed scientists, prostituted journalists and lawyers will ensure that profits are made. and that is all that matters. Anything is better than the nightmare of those who grow the food insisting on having enough of it to feed themselves and their families.
I don’t like plastic, I don’t like Bayer, I don’t like waste.
But we are not massively dying from poisoned food. Life expectancy is pretty good for most countries, much better than it was in the 60s-90s. Just look here and see for yourself.
Longer lives, but lives riddled with cancer, cardio-vascular disease, obesity and other end-products of being disconnected from nature and reality.
But hey, don’t worry though Willy, there’s billions, even trillions to be earned from managing these self-induced conditions. Corporations cause these conditions and earn money, then they earn money managing them, it’s just a despicable state of affairs.
Dutch, German and British corporations are doing well out of this evil, is your pension invested in any?
And no, there is still nothing to see here. Keep moving. No genocide here. No waepons of mass distruction over there. Nope. No depopulation program at work. Not over there. Not here. Just keep eating your cnacer, your lymphoma, your obesity and depression.
And make sure to give your children seconds as many as they like. It’s good for them. It’ll make suicide later easier. When everything comes crushing down. When everything is croaking away in agony and pain. Because the whores of the owner’s club sold you out. And your children. All life on earth – for a buck.
Crimes against humanity – now with even higher ROI!
Invest now for your share of the future wasteland Plastica, the planet formerly known as Earth.
…weapons, destruction, cancer – typos. Apologies.
Now, now Off Guardian, as MediaLens proclaims, its the ‘climate crisis’ we must focus on and never question. I mean, who gives a toss about the continual ecological destruction wrought on our planet hourly when we have a ‘climate crisis’ on our hands, which luckily for us, our capitalist overlords will solve one way or another whilst continuing to do all in its power to make our planet uninhabitable for most of mankind – we have an ecological crisis on our hands of epic proportions, regardless of whether we have man made climate change or not.
You are causing hurt by speaking in non-Parliamentary tones. How you make other people feel is far more important than trying to stop them being poisoned.
That is exactly what they are doing – us in, all.
Erm, we actually have both an ecological crisis and a climate crisis.
For the first one, we know exactly the reasons for it, yet we ignore them.
For the second one, we are less sure of the reasons for it, but some of our brightest minds, even decades ago and supported by Greenpeace, have reasoned that human mismanagement is very likely to be a very significant component.
When it comes to our one and only atmosphere, and home, shouldn’t the precautionary principle apply to climate change in the same way that it should be applying to GMO and ecological destruction, but isn’t ?
“Erm, we actually have both an ecological crisis and a climate crisis.”
And? And, and, and (and and and and and and). And and… … …
What happened? Key caps falling off? Running out of electrons to post with?
wtf are you on about?
Yes – unlike the diversionary computer modelled predictions running political agenda via emotional manipulation this is degrading and destroying us now. Cognition, immune function and digestive capacity as well as reproduction and all kinds of developmental disorders in utero and in infancy – as well as dementia.
A qualitative shift is called for.
A qualitative shift is called for.
Oh goody. At last a solution.
Are you pissing on the idea of solution from your superior intellect Robbobbobin?
Or simply unaware of what I mean by qualitative shift?
I mean re-evaluating priorities in the light of the core qualities of life.
By the light of synchronicity I include a part of what transpired to be my shared reading today. Does it speak to you? That is entirely up to you.
I find it speaks to our times – which include all number of destructive and chaotic derivatives of once reasonable goals – such as weeding.
The idea of compression in the above extract from ‘Love without End’ by Glenda Green, is not at all the idea of contraction or enforced austerity – which operates a quantitative limitation from which recovery is very difficult or slow.
What are the seeds of the new that your life can even Now be the alignment in and expression of? (A seed is good representation for compression).
And what no longer fits or serves purpose as your discern purpose in your desire to heal within wholeness instead of persisting in an expansion that has become chaotically destructive as a negative economy feeding and thriving on destruction?
The active purpose we are operating under determines all else that proceeds from it.
Do we know our purpose? Or do we run of inherited and acquired purpose that effectively re-enacts or repeats the conflicts of the past upon the presently triggered ‘survival mode’ to assert its ‘sustainability’ into the future?
Most of the ‘alt-net’ is focussed on fear, hate and horror of the ‘problem’ and often seeking to enact hate as the solution – but without any power except to foul our own nest – and of course offer proxy through which Trump can be brought in as the wild card to front the unsettling and reconfiguring of compliance under coercive power.
The ‘do something’ that expresses and reinforces the problem is the proxy of the elitism – the ‘activist’ gains an identity set against evil as a sense of shared movement and the system subverts and runs the movement to bring fresh energy of sacrifice into an otherwise unsustainable lie.
We must all in any case ‘do’, because action is the realm of the body – and this includes choosing NOT to act or give support where such would serve to undermine our integrity or that of others or the whole. Generally our tolerance for dissonance is low – such that we seek escape, diversion or displacement of blame and focus to others or elsewhere than the problem as experienced directly. And so we make society of the evasion of our core separation trauma – which goes back to preverbal conditioning but repeats as a life of problem or conflict management rather than joy in being. The former is considered real and the latter a fantasy taken out upon the body of the world.
But the prime qualities of life as joy, peace, love, justice, freedom, love, and power are tangibly shared – even if derivative symbols and counterfeits can be taken in vanity.
Yielding to Life is no surrender to ‘other’ but willingness to be truly centred instead of seeking sustainability for an ego-centrism. This is as simple as choosing not to react in or from thinking unless and until we recognise resonant recognition. And so abide in and through our experience of dissonance as the conscious willingness for a truly connected resolve or in which we see from a shifted perspective than that which the problem framed, defined or besieged us in.
Is that you, Allen Ginsberg?