The Monsanto company employs about 45,000 people and peddles over eight billion dollars a year in chemical products all over the world. While Monsanto has been critised for some time for their production of NutraSweet and the genetically engineered BGH (Bovine Growth Hormone), the latest criticism is for it's moves into the world of gene manipulation. They produce 'RoundUp Ready' soya beans that are genetically engineered to be resistant to their chemical herbicide 'Roundup' which is the world's largest selling herbicide and provides 40% of the companies operating profit.
The propaganda continues with Bob Shapiro, the CEO of Monsanto, saying;
"We take our responsibilities to our customers, employees, shareowners and people of the world very seriously."
"..we're working very hard to make sure our products and manufacturing facilities are safe for the people who use them and for the environment we live in. "
"..we're trying to improve people's lives all over the world."
"What is important and valuable to you is important and valuable to us."
It all sounds very nobel but words are just words, and their record tells a different story...
In 1996 Monsanto introduced its RoundUp Ready soybean - which has been geneticallyaltered to be resistant to the chemical herbicide glyphosate which is marketed by Monsanto as Roundup. The inbuilt resistance allows farmers to use the herbicide while the crop is growing. Other altered crops likeky to be marketed include maize, wheat, sugar beet, letuce, potatoes and poplar.
Monsanto also owns 49.9 percent of Calgene, the maker of the Flavr Savr tomato engineered for longer shelf life.
Absorbed very quickly into the bloodstream it metabolizes into six to eight byproducts including methyl alcohol and the class A carcinogen, formaldehyde. The ealy research history of aspartame was plagued with deception. Although the US FDA gave the pproduct approval, it latter emerged that the results of animal experiments had been manipulated to improve the results.
Monsanto's herbicide Butachlor, marketed in foreigh countries as Machete and Lambast, has never been permanently approved by the EPA. Adverse effects of the chemical include weight loss, weight changes in internal organs, reduced brain size together with lesions. Butachlor, reports Multinational Monitor, can be found in the U.S. food supply. It's used in Argentina, Brazil, China, India, the Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and Venezuela, which means that the majority of rice imports could contain it.
Monsanto owns the drug company, G.D. Searle - producers of;
Flagyl, an oral synthetic antiprotozoal and antibacterial, can cause convulsive seizures, peripheral neuropathy, a significant lessening of white blood corpuscles, and can make candida infections worse.
Kerlone for "management of hypetension" can contribute to cardiac failure.
Lomotil, the anti-diarrhea drug, has a number of adverse effects including tachycardia, vomiting, depression, numbness of extremities and pancreatitis.
Monsanto's artificial bovine growth hormone BGH (Posilac) is designed to make cows produce more milk. Ingnoring the fact that no body needs more milk one of the problems with the use of the hormone is that it pushes the cow to the limits of production and causes illness such as Mastitis. In Monsanto's own words: "Use of Posilac has been associated with increases in cystic ovaries and disorders of the uterus...digestive disorders...enlarged hocks and lesions (lacerations, enlargements, calluses) of the knee..." On March 1993 the Veterinary Medicine Advisory Committee of the FDA unanimously agreed with the Monsanto conclusion that "Cows injected with Posilac are at an increased risk for clinical mastitis." If you drink milk you will be pleased to know that this disease is treatment with high levels of antibiotics which no doubt find their way into the milk supply. Since the intriduction of BGH in the USA, reports of serious health and reproductive problems among U.S. cows have increased significantly.
Further information: http://www.envirolink.org/arrs/AnimaLife/spring95/BGH.html - Background information http://www.envirolink.org/arrs/essays/posilac.html - Cancer threat http://www.monitor.net/rachel/r381.html - Milk, rBGH, and Biotechnology
Monsanto Corporation, a major manufacturer of phenoxy herbicides, in the late 1970s and early 1980s sponsored studies of workers that the company had exposed to dioxin, and these studies showed no increased cancer deaths among exposed workers. However, the Monsanto studies have been criticized by a report from the National Research Council, which says Monsanto's studies were "plagued with errors in classification of exposed and unexposed groups, according to some reports, and hence have been biased toward a finding of no effect." A 1990 analysis of Monsanto workers, conducted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, reported a statistically-significant increase in soft tissue sarcomas.
As part of its multi-year scientific reassessment of dioxin, EPA recently published a draft review of all scientific data linking dioxin to cancer and other health effects in humans. The EPA's draft document concludes that four separate studies of workers exposed to dioxin have revealed an "overall increased mortality from all malignancies combined." EPA speculates that dioxin's ability to mimic hormones gives dioxin the capacity to cause cancer in many different organs and bodily systems in humans.
There seems to be little room left for doubt: As the EPA's "scientific reassessment team" told then-chief of EPA, William Reilly, January 27, 1992: "Dioxin does cause cancer in humans." suing Monsanto on behalf of plaintiffs who say they were harmed when a Norfolk and Western railroad tank car derailed, spilling 19,000 gallons of a Monsanto chemical called "ocp-crude" into the community of Sturgeon, Missouri the night of January 10, 1979.
Denial of responsibility means, basically, stonewalling pollution, even on your own property. For example, Monsanto's plant in Sauget, Illinois has over a dozen chemical dumps on it, according to the WALL STREET JOURNAL, several of them containing substantial quantities of cancer-causing PCBs, at concentrations as high as 74,000 parts per million (ppm), or 7.4 percent. For years, Monsanto's Sauget plant was the nation's largest single manufacturer of PCBs.
Monsanto officials insist that the PCBs on their property do not necessarily belong to them. Anyone could have dumped PCBs there, they say. All told, there are more than one million tons of chemical wastes on Monsanto's property--chlorinated pesticides,
PCBs and other chemicals that Monsanto manufactured on the site for decades. Monsanto insists the wastes did not necessarily come from their plant, located half a mile north of the dumps. It is company policy to destroy waste records after 4 years.
Meanwhile the state of Illinois has spent 12 years and $1.3 million trying to get the Monsanto site listed on the federal Superfund. An estimated 13 tons of chemical wastes leach off the Monsanto site into the Mississippi River each year.