Thursday, June 28, 2012
Monsanto faces $7.5 billion payout to Brazilian farmers
by Carmelo Ruiz-Marrero
June 28, 2012
Monsanto, the largest seed corporation in the world, may have to pay as much as $7.5 billion to five million Brazilian soy farmers.
The company has long dealt out severe legal sanctions against farmers it suspects of “pirating” its seed. But now the farmers have turned the tables on Monsanto, by suing the company and winning.
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Popular weedkiller causes deformities in amphibians
By Bob Berwyn
Summit County Citizens Voice, USA
April 3, 2012
SUMMIT COUNTY - Exposure to sub-lethal doses of a widely used weed killer caused tadpoles to grow abnormally large tails, according to University of Pittsburgh biologist Rick Relyea, who has been studying ecotoxicology and ecology for two decades.
Relyea has conducted extensive research on the toxicity of Roundup® to amphibians. Monsanto has challenged some of the studies and Relyea has responded to the criticism.
In his latest study, Relyea set up large outdoor water tanks that contained many of the components of natural wetlands. Some tanks contained caged predators, which emit chemicals that naturally induce changes in tadpole morphology (such as larger tails to better escape predators).
After adding tadpoles to each tank, he exposed them to a range of Roundup® concentrations. After 3 weeks, the tadpoles were removed from the tanks. “It was not surprising to see that the smell of predators in the water induced larger tadpole tails,” Relyea said. “That is a normal, adaptive response. What shocked us was that the Roundup® induced the same changes.
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Monsanto’s Roundup threatens stability of global food supply
By Anthony Gucciardi
March 13, 2012
Monsanto’s reckless disregard for public health and the agricultural stability of the planet may be even more significant than previously thought. A shocking new report reveals how Monsanto’s Roundup is actually threatening the crop-yielding potential of the entire biosphere. The report reveals that glyphosate, which was developed by Monsanto in the early 1970s and is the active ingredient in its patented herbicide Roundup, may be irreversibly devastating the microbiodiversity of the soil - compromising the health of the entire planet, as a result.
New research published in the journal Current Microbiology highlights the extent to which glyphosate is altering, and in some cases destroying, the very microorganisms upon which the health of the soil, and - amazingly - the benefits of raw and fermented foods as a whole, depend. Concerningly, certain beneficial strains of bacteria used as food-starters in cultures for raw yogurt, such as Lactobacillus cremoris, have entirely disappeared from certain geographic regions where traditionally they were found in plenty. The study reports that the death and growth inhibition of selected food microorganisms was observed in concentrations of Roundup that are lower than are recommended in agricultural practice.
This means that farmers who are increasingly using larger and larger concentrations of Roundup and similar glyphosate-based herbicide formulations to countermand the increasingly resistant super weeds GM agriculture has spawned, are not only damaging the immediate health of the soil, but subsequent yields of indispensable food-starter microorganisms, as well as the microbes that ensure the overall fertility of the soil for producing crops well into the future.
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Glyphosate-resistant weed spreads to Canada crop belt
By Rod Nickel
January 11, 2012
WINNIPEG, Manitoba - A weed resistant to a widely used chemical to protect crops has spread for the first time to Western Canada, the country’s grain and canola belt.
Kochia weed turned up in three fields in Southern Alberta last August, despite the use of glyphosate, and Canadian government scientists have now confirmed that it is resistant to the farm chemical, seed company Monsanto Canada said on Wednesday.
So-called “super weeds” have defied dosages of the world’s top-selling herbicide, Monsanto’s Roundup, and spread through key crop-growing areas of the United States in recent years, boosting costs and cutting crop yields for farmers.
Roundup’s active ingredient is glyphosate.
“That is one of the chemicals that has been so broadly used that this will be a growing issue that we have to face,” said Ron Frost, a Calgary, Alberta-based agriculture analyst.
Kochia has previously been confirmed in Kansas, Colorado and Nebraska, and suspected cases are under investigation in North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana.