Monsanto’s Weed Killer Crisis






Monsanto’s Weed Killer Crisis


August 9th, 2017

Via: Reuters:

As the U.S. growing season entered its peak this summer, farmers began posting startling pictures on social media: fields of beans, peach orchards and vegetable gardens withering away.

The photographs served as early warnings of a crisis that has damaged millions of acres of farmland. New versions of the herbicide dicamba developed by Monsanto and BASF, according to farmers, have drifted across fields to crops unable to withstand it, a charge authorities are investigating.

As the crisis intensifies, new details provided to Reuters by independent researchers and regulators, and previously unreported testimony by a company employee, demonstrate the unusual way Monsanto introduced its product. The approach, in which Monsanto prevented key independent testing of its product, went unchallenged by the Environmental Protection Agency and nearly every state regulator.

Typically, when a company develops a new agricultural product, it commissions its own tests and shares the results and data with regulators. It also provides product samples to universities for additional scrutiny. Regulators and university researchers then work together to determine the safety of the product.

In this case, Monsanto denied requests by university researchers to study its XtendiMax with VaporGrip for volatility – a measure of its tendency to vaporize and drift across fields.

The researchers interviewed by Reuters – Jason Norsworthy at the University of Arkansas, Kevin Bradley at the University of Missouri and Aaron Hager at the University of Illinois – said Monsanto provided samples of XtendiMax before it was approved by the EPA. However, the samples came with contracts that explicitly forbade volatility testing.

“This is the first time I’m aware of any herbicide ever brought to market for which there were strict guidelines on what you could and could not do,” Norsworthy said.















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Monsanto Was Its Own Ghostwriter for Some Safety Reviews






Monsanto Was Its Own Ghostwriter for Some Safety Reviews


August 9th, 2017

Via: Bloomberg:

Academic papers vindicating its Roundup herbicide were written with the help of its employees.















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The “Poison Papers”: New Documents Expose Monsanto, The EPA & More. We’ve Been Lied To







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The Environmental Protection Agency’s mission statement reads: “to protect human health and the environment.” Ironically, while the EPA has done some strong work in the past, the agency has also helped corporations destroy the environment and threaten human health through pesticide usage and adding neurotoxins to our drinking water. These are only two of many examples of the EPA doing an inadequate job of protecting human health and the environment.

The EPA is known to hold strong ties to oil, gas, and chemical corporations, enforcing extremely lenient regulations that allow these companies to profit at the expense of our health and the environment. The Bioscience Resource Project and The Center for Media and Democracy recently teamed up to expose some of this corruption by publishing the Poison Papers, which contains thousands upon thousands of EPA, government, and chemical company documents.

What Are the Poison Papers?

Poison Papers is a project created by The Bioscience Resource Project and The Center for Media and Democracy in a joint effort to expose any corruption within the EPA or chemical companies that somehow evade or bend U.S. laws.

The organizations describe the project as follows:

The “Poison Papers” represent a vast trove of rediscovered chemical industry and regulatory agency documents and correspondence stretching back to the 1920sTaken as a whole, the papers show that both industry and regulators understood the extraordinary toxicity of many chemical products and worked together to conceal this information from the public and the press. 

So, what did the Poison Papers reveal?

This document exposes countless health issues allegedly caused by certain pesticides, like Tordon and Roundup, including many cases of cancer following the use of Tordon, and even speculates that there was a huge cover-up regarding how many people had cancer as a result of chemical exposure. Despite the overwhelming number of health issues reported, the EPA released a statement explaining that there were no health concerns related to Tordon or its active ingredient, picloram.

Another document was a letter written by Dr. Jack Griffith, a former EPA scientist, discussing the dangers of 2,4,5-T and a controversial experiment in Oregon. After being sprayed widely in Oregon, there was an extreme increase in the number of involuntary abortions. Chemical giant Dow tried to argue this, and the EPA scientist stated that their comments were “totally inaccurate.”

Another document from 1985 referred to TCDD, an extremely toxic contaminant in 2,4,5-T. The document is a transcript detailing how Monsanto allegedly sold a chemical high in TCDD to Lysol, which they then used in their disinfectant spray for an astonishing 23 years, despite the severe toxicity.

A Canadian House of Commons document from Ross Harvey, MP, further discussed Monsanto’s sale of the chemical Santophen-I to Lysol and addressed the fact that Monsanto found evidence of the toxicity of it and then suppressed that information.

There were also multiple documents outlining the relationship the EPA had to the pulp and paper industry; for example, here’s a letter addressed to the EPA from the VP of the American Paper Institute. You’d think that the studies conducted to determine whether or not companies are endangering us and the environment as a result of their chemical usage would be completely independent from said companies in question, but sadly, they’re often not.

In fact, another document from Greenpeace addressed the potential collusion between the pulp and paper industry and the EPA, referring to a federal judge ruling on an agreement between the EPA and the paper industry to “suppress, modify, or delay” studies on dioxin in relation to paper products and production processes.

Another document addressed to the U.S. House of Representatives reads, “since 1979, the EPA has acted to suppress and delay the validity and test results of a major human health study” in regards to the toxicity of dioxin.

Another document included a testimony from Monsanto’s Chief Medical Officer George Roush, who admitted under oath that Monsanto omitted pertinent information regarding the health effects of dioxin. The study found that 27 exposed workers got cancer, but these results were not included in the study. Roush stated that Monsanto “didn’t report truthfully.”

Please keep in mind that these are only a small fraction from the Poison Papers, as there are thousands upon thousands of documents, which you can read through here.

Final Thoughts

Companies like Monsanto, which make vast sums of money off of these chemicals, have a strong incentive to ensure that people feel safe when using or consuming them. It’s important to remember this when looking at where your information is coming from or who funds these studies.

I would highly recommend reading through some of these documents, as the EPA’s connection to many industries that contribute to the destruction of the environment runs deep. It’s important to note that the Poison Papers weren’t the first publication to address EPA corruption and collusion, and unfortunately they likely won’t be the last!

For example, another court case addressed the EPA’s ties to Monsanto, which involved bending laws and lying about the environmental and health issues involved with the company’s products (GMOs, herbicide Round Up, etc.). You can read more about that here, but please note that this was not the first time the EPA was accused of aiding Monsanto.

The best way for you to change this reality is to educate yourself and be the change you wish to see in the world. Start researching so you can understand the scope of these issues and make more informed decisions as a consumer. If you don’t like the way we’re treating the environment, then don’t contribute to it. We vote with our dollars and our words. Support companies you believe have strong values and educate other people on what you learn.

Together, we can create positive change in this world through education and action!


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Uncovered: Monsanto campaign to get Séralini study retracted

    

Documents released in US cancer litigation show Monsanto’s desperate attempts to suppress a study that showed adverse effects of Roundup herbicide – and that the editor of the journal that retracted the study had a contractual relationship with the company. Claire Robinson reports:

Internal Monsanto documents released by attorneys leading US cancer litigation show that the company launched a concerted campaign to force the retraction of a study that revealed toxic effects of Roundup. The documents also show that the editor of the journal that first published the study entered into a contract with Monsanto in the period shortly before the retraction campaign began.

The study, led by Prof GE Séralini, showed that very low doses of Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide had toxic effects on rats over a long-term period, including serious liver and kidney damage. Additional observations of increased tumour rates in treated rats would need to be confirmed in a larger-scale carcinogenicity study.

The newly released documents show that throughout the retraction campaign, Monsanto tried to cover its tracks to hide its involvement. Instead Monsanto scientist David Saltmiras admitted to orchestrating a “third party expert” campaign in which scientists who were apparently independent of Monsanto would bombard the editor-in-chief of the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology (FCT), A. Wallace Hayes, with letters demanding that he retract the study.

Use of “third party experts” is a classic public relations tactic perfected by the tobacco industry. It consists of putting industry-friendly messages into the mouths of supposedly “independent” experts, since no one would believe industry attempts to defend its own products. Back in 2012, GMWatch founder Jonathan Matthews exposed the industry links of the supposedly independent scientists who lobbied the journal editor to retract the Séralini paper. Now we have first-hand proof of Monsanto’s direct involvement.

In one document, Saltmiras reviews his own achievements within the company, boasting that he “Successfully facilitated numerous third party expert letters to the editor which were subsequently published, reflecting the numerous significant deficiencies, poor study design, biased reporting and selective statistics employed by Séralini. In addition, coauthored the Monsanto letter to the editor with [Monsanto employees] Dan Goldstein and Bruce Hammond.”

Saltmiras further writes of how

“Throughout the late 2012 Séralini rat cancer publication and media campaign, I leveraged my relationship [with] the Editor i[n] Chief of the publishing journal… and was the single point of contact between Monsanto and the Journal.”

Another Monsanto employee, Eric Sachs, writes in an email about his efforts to galvanize scientists in the letter-writing campaign. Sachs refers to Bruce Chassy, a scientist who runs the pro-GMO Academics Review website. Sachs writes:

“I talked to Bruce Chassy and he will send his letter to Wally Hayes directly and notify other scientists that have sent letters to do the same. He understands the urgency… I remain adamant that Monsanto must not be put in the position of providing the critical analysis that leads the editors to retract the paper.”

In response to Monsanto’s request, Chassy urged Hayes to retract the Séralini paper:

“My intent was to urge you to roll back the clock, retract the paper, and restart the review process.”

Chassy was also the first signatory of a petition demanding the retraction of the Séralini study and the co-author of a Forbes article accusing Séralini of fraud. In neither document does Chassy declare any link with Monsanto. But in 2016 he was exposed as having taken over $57,000 over less than two years from Monsanto to travel, write and speak about GMOs.

Sachs is keen to ensure that Monsanto is not publicly seen as attempting to get the paper retracted, even though that is precisely what it is doing. Sachs writes to Monsanto scientist William Heydens:

“There is a difference between defending science and participating in a formal process to retract a publication that challenges the safety of our products. We should not provide ammunition for Séralini, GM critics and the media to charge that Monsanto used its might to get this paper retracted. The information that we provided clearly establishes the deficiencies in the study as reported and makes a strong case that the paper should not have passed peer review.”

Another example of Monsanto trying to cover up its involvement in the retraction campaign emerges from email correspondence between Monsanto employees Daniel Goldstein and Eric Sachs. Goldstein states:

“I was uncomfortable even letting shareholders know we are aware of this LTE [GMW: probably “Letter to the Editor”]…. It implies we had something to do with it – otherwise how do we have knowledge of it? I could add ‘Aware of multiple letters to editor including one signed by 25 scientists from 14 countries’ if you both think this is OK.” Sachs responds: “We are ‘connected’ but did not write the letter or encourage anyone to sign it.”

A. Wallace Hayes was paid by Monsanto

The most shocking revelation of the disclosed documents is that the editor of Food and Chemical Toxicology, A. Wallace Hayes, entered into a consulting agreement with Monsanto in the period just before Hayes’s involvement in the retraction of the Séralini study. Clearly Hayes had a conflict of interest between his role as a consultant for Monsanto and his role as editor for a journal that retracted a study determining that glyphosate has toxic effects. The study was published on 19 September 2012; the consulting agreement between Hayes and Monsanto was dated 21 August 2012 and Hayes is contracted to provide his services beginning 7 September 2012.

The documents also reveal that Monsanto paid Hayes $400 per hour for his services and that in return Hayes was expected to “Assist in establishment of an expert network of toxicologists, epidemiologists, and other scientists in South America and participate on the initial meeting held within the region. Preparation and delivery of a seminar addressing relevant regional issues pertaining to glyphosate toxicology is a key deliverable for the inaugural meeting in 2013.”

Hayes should have recused himself from any involvement with the Séralini study from the time he signed this agreement. But he kept quiet. He went on to oversee a second “review” of the study by unnamed persons whose conflicts of interest, if any, were not declared – resulting in his decision to retract the study for the unprecedented reason that some of the results were “inconclusive“.

Hayes told the New York Times‘s Danny Hakim in an interview that he had not been under contract with Monsanto at the time of the retraction and was paid only after he left the journal. He added that “Monsanto played no role whatsoever in the decision that was made to retract.” But since it took the journal over a year to retract the study after the months-long second review, which Hayes oversaw, it’s clear that he had an undisclosed conflict of interest from the time he entered into the contract with Monsanto and during the review process. He appears to be misleading the New York Times.

The timing of the contract also begs the question as to whether Monsanto knew the publication of the study was coming. If so, they may have been happy to initiate such a relationship with Hayes at just that time.

A Monsanto internal email confirms the company’s intimate relationship with Hayes. Saltmiras writes about the recently published Séralini study:

“Wally Hayes, now FCT Editor in Chief for Vision and Strategy, sent me a courtesy email early this morning. Hopefully the two of us will have a follow up discussion soon to touch on whether FCT Vision and Strategy were front and center for this one passing through the peer review process.”

In other email correspondence between various Monsanto personnel, Daniel Goldstein writes the following with respect to the Séralini study: “Retraction – Both Dan Jenkins (US Government affairs) and Harvey Glick made a strong case for withdrawal of the paper if at all possible, both on the same basis – that publication will elevate the status of the paper, bring other papers in the journal into question, and allow Séralini much more freedom to operate. All of us are aware that the ultimate decision is up to the editor and the journal management, and that we may not have an opportunity for withdrawal in any event, but I felt it was worth reinforcing this request.”

Monsanto got its way, though the paper was subsequently republished by another journal with higher principles – and, presumably, with an editorial board that wasn’t under contract with Monsanto.

Why Monsanto had to kill the Séralini study

It’s obvious that it was in Monsanto’s interests to kill the Séralini study. The immediate reason was that it reported harmful effects from low doses of Roundup and a GM maize engineered to tolerate it. But the wider reason that emerges from the documents is that to admit that the study had any validity whatsoever would be to open the doors for regulators and others to demand other long-term studies on GM crops and their associated pesticides.


Comment: Read more about the Séralini study and why Monsanto had to kill it: Biosafety and the ‘Seralini affair’: Systemic corruption of science and regulation

A related danger for Monsanto, pointed out by Goldstein, is that “a third party may procure funding to verify Séralini’s claims, either through a government agency or the anti-GMO/antl-pesticide financiers”.

The documents show that Monsanto held a number of international teleconferences to discuss how to pre-empt such hugely threatening developments.

Summing up the points from the teleconferences, Daniel Goldstein writes that “unfortunately”, three “potential issues regarding long term studies have now come up and will need some consideration and probably a white paper of some type (either internal or external)”. These are potential demands for

  1. 2 year rat/long-term cancer (and possibly reproductive toxicity) on GM crops
  2. 2 year/chronic studies on pesticide formulations, in addition to the studies on the active ingredient alone that are currently demanded by regulators, and
  3. 2 year rat/chronic studies of pesticide formulations on the GM crop.

In reply to the first point, Goldstein writes that the Séralini study “found nothing other than the usual variation in SD [Sprague-Dawley] rats, and as such there is no reason to question the recent EFSA guidance that such studies were not needed for substantially equivalent crops”. GMWatch readers will not be surprised to see Monsanto gaining support from EFSA in its opposition to carrying out long-term studies on GMOs.

In answer to the second point, Goldstein reiterates that the Séralini study “actually finds nothing – so there is no need to draw any conclusions from it – but the theoretical issue has been placed on the table. We need to be prepared with a well considered response.”

In answer to the third point, Goldstein ignores the radical nature of genetic engineering and argues pragmatically, if not scientifically, “This approach would suggest that the same issue arises for conventional crops and that every individual formulation would need a chronic study over every crop (at a minimum) and probably every variety of crop (since we know they have more genetic variation than GM vs conventional congener) and raises the possibility of an almost limitless number of tests.” But he adds, “We also need a coherent argument for this issue.”

EU regulators side with Monsanto

To the public’s detriment, some regulatory bodies have backed Monsanto rather than the public interest and have backed off the notion that long-term studies should be required for GM crops. In fact, the EU is considering doing away with even the short 90-day animal feeding studies currently required under European GMO legislation. This will be based in part on the results of the EU-funded GRACE animal feeding project, which has come under fire for the industry links of some of the scientists involved and for its alleged manipulation of findings of adverse effects on rats fed Monsanto’s GM MON810 maize.

Apology required

A. Wallace Hayes is no longer the editor-in-chief of FCT but is named as an “emeritus editor”. Likewise, Richard E. Goodman, a former Monsanto employee who was parachuted onto the journal’s editorial board shortly after the publication of the Séralini study, is no longer at the journal.

But although they are sidelined or gone, their legacy lives on in the form of a gap in the history of the journal where Séralini’s paper belongs.

Now that Monsanto’s involvement in the retraction of the Séralini paper is out in the open, FCT and Hayes should do the decent thing and issue a formal apology to Prof Séralini and his team. FCT cannot and should not reinstate the paper, because it is now published by another journal. But it needs to draw a line under this shameful episode, admit that it handled it badly, and declare its support for scientific independence and objectivity.

Source Article from https://www.sott.net/article/358403-Uncovered-Monsanto-campaign-to-get-Seralini-study-retracted

Monsanto Emails Raise More Questions About Collusion and Roundup Safety

On August 2, 2017, documents released as part of a lawsuit against Monsanto raised more questions over whether or not the mammoth biotech company suppressed information about the potentially carcinogenic nature of its Roundup weedkiller and its primary ingredient, glyphosate. [1]

Glyphosate is one of the most widely-used weedkillers in the world and is available for both agricultural and home use.

It came to light in early 2017 that the same EPA official responsible for evaluating the cancer risk associated with glyphosate may have colluded with Monsanto to tilt research on glyphosate in favor of Monsanto’s claim that the chemical is not carcinogenic to humans.

The allegations led the EPA’s inspector general to launch a probe into the matter in May, 2017.

As of August 2, 2017, more than 75 documents containing over 700 pages, including text messages and discussions about payments to scientists, were posted for all the world to see by attorneys who are suing Monsanto on behalf of people who allege Roundup caused them or their loved ones to develop a type of blood cancer known as non-Hodgkin lymphoma. [2]

Read: Widow Sues Monsanto for Husband’s Wrongful Death

More than 100 of the lawsuits have been consolidated in multidistrict litigation in federal court in San Francisco. Similar lawsuits are pending in state courts, including Missouri, Delaware, and Arizona.

The lawyers claim they will send copies of the documents to European authorities, the EPA’s OIG, and to the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA).

The OEHHA is being sued by Monsanto for officially listing glyphosate as a carcinogen under the state’s Proposition 65 law.

According to the newest document leak, Henry I. Miller, an academic and outspoken supporter of genetically modified (GM) crops, asked Monsanto to draft an article for him that all but mirrored one that appeared under his name on Forbes’ website in 2015. [1]

Miller is a notorious American lobbyist who tried to discredit scientists who linked tobacco use with cancer and heart disease to protect the industry.

In the Forbes article, Miller attacked the findings of the International Agency for Research on Cancer’s (IARC), a branch of the World Health Organization (WHO), which labeled glyphosate a probable carcinogen in 2015. Several other regulatory bodies have challenged that finding, and Monsanto tried to get the IARC to retract the link to cancer.

The documents show that when Monsanto asked Miller if he would be interested in writing an article on the topic, he responded:

“I would be if I could start from a high-quality draft.”

The article was published under Miller’s name, with the assertion that “opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own,” and with no mention of Monsanto’s involvement in the writing of the piece.

Scott Partridge, vice president of global strategy for Monsanto, defended Miller’s Forbes article by calling it a “collaborative effort, a function of the outrage we were hearing from many people on the attacks on glyphosate.”

Partridge went on:

“This is not a scientific, peer-reviewed journal. It’s an op-ed we collaborated with him on.”

Forbes removed the article from its website on August 2, 2017, and said that it ended its relationship with Miller over the matter.

Mia Carbonell, a Forbes spokesperson, said:

“All contributors to Forbes.com sign a contract requiring them to disclose any potential conflicts of interest and only publish content that is their own original writing. When it came to our attention that Mr. Miller violated these terms, we removed his blog from Forbes.com and ended our relationship with him.”

Even former Monsanto employee John Aquavella appeared to view the “collaborative effort” as dishonest and unethical, writing in a 2015 e-mail to a company executive:

“I can’t be part of deceptive authorship on a presentation or publication.”

He added:

“We call that ghost writing and it is unethical.”

A Monsanto official said Aquavella’s remarks were based on a complete misunderstanding and that the situation had been “worked out.” Aquavella has changed his story, as well, saying in an e-mail to The New York Times that “there was no ghost writing” and that his remarks had actually been about an early draft and a question over authorship that has since been resolved.

The documents also suggest that Monsanto scientists weren’t wholly confident in the safety of glyphosate or the other ingredients in Roundup – at least not confident enough to guarantee Roundup does not cause cancer.

Read: Dangerous Surfactants in Glyphosate Herbicide Slip Passed EU Regulators

In an e-mail dating back to 2001, a company scientist wrote:

“If somebody came to me and said they wanted to test Roundup I know how I would react – with serious concern.”

In 2002, a Monsanto executive wrote in an e-mail:

“What I’ve been hearing from you is that if this continues to be the case with these studies – Glyphosate is OK but the formulated product (and thus the surfactant) does the damage.”

A different Monsanto executive said in a 2003 e-mail:

“You cannot say that Roundup is not a carcinogen … and we have not done the necessary testing on the formulation to make that statement.”

However, she added that “we can make that statement about glyphosate and can infer that there is no reason to believe that Roundup would cause cancer.”

handshake

Additionally, the documents show that A. Wallace Hayes, the former editor of the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology, has had a contractual relationship with Monsanto – something which Hayes vehemently denies.

In 2013, while Hayes was still editor, he retracted a crucial study which found that Roundup, and GM corn, could be carcinogenic to rats, causing premature death. Biotech trolls and shills point to this deceptive retraction as proof that any research indicating that glyphosate causes cancer is bunk.

In an interview, Hayes said that he was under no contractual obligation with Monsanto at the time of the study’s retraction, and was paid only after he left the journal.

He explained:

“Monsanto played no role whatsoever in the decision that was made to retract. It was based on input that I got from some very well-respected people, and also my own evaluation.”

Hayes was fired from the journal in 2015, after hundreds of scientists queried the publication to find out why the Roundup study had been retracted, and arguing that it was giving into pressure from the biotech industry.

Sources:

[1] The New York Times

[2] The Huffington Post


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About Julie Fidler:

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Julie Fidler is a freelance writer, legal blogger, and the author of Adventures in Holy Matrimony: For Better or the Absolute Worst. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two ridiculously spoiled cats. She occasionally pontificates on her blog.

Source Article from http://naturalsociety.com/monsanto-emails-raise-questions-collusion-roundup-safety-1770/

Monsanto finally exposed as the puppet master behind the effort to retract Seralini’s GMO study

Image: Monsanto finally exposed as the puppet master behind the effort to retract Seralini’s GMO study

(Natural News)
Just like many people thought was the case, the Monsanto corporation has been exposed for conspiring to have an indicating study on its popular Roundup (glyphosate) herbicide pulled from the scientific journals. Internal Monsanto documents recently released by attorneys reveal that Monsanto launched an aggressive campaign to have Gilles-Eric Séralini’s study showing that Roundup causes cancer censored from view.

The research showed that exposure to Roundup, even at very low levels, induces a powerful toxic effect on mammals, especially over the long term. Besides causing serious liver and kidney damage in test rats, Roundup was found to trigger the formation of cancer tumors, suggesting that further research be conducted to carefully evaluate the clearly carcinogenic nature of Roundup.

This was obviously really bad news for Monsanto, as its top-selling weedkiller was now in the spotlight as being associated with cancer. So the multinational chemical company immediately launched a retraction campaign to smear Séralini’s work and make it appear as though it was fraudulent. Monsanto further tried to conceal its own efforts in orchestrating this immoral witch hunt.

Internal company documents, which were recently made public as part of a massive lawsuit against Monsanto, show that the chemical giant engaged in a fraudulent campaign to discredit Séralini’s study for the simple reason that it made Monsanto look bad. It did this by hiring fake “independent” scientists to challenge its publishing.

“Monsanto scientist David Saltmiras admitted to orchestrating a ‘third party expert’ campaign in which scientists who were apparently independent of Monsanto would bombard the editor-in-chief of the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology (FCT), A. Wallace Hayes, with letters demanding that he retract the study,” reports indicate.

Monsanto employing same corrupt tactics as Big Tobacco

The hiring of fake “third party experts” is nothing new. It’s the same public relations tactic that the tobacco industry used to try to defend the reputation of cigarettes against an onslaught of science showing that tobacco sticks – and especially those laced with synthetic chemicals, as most major brands are – tend towards being grossly unhealthy.

It’s a tactic likely used by many large industries, but now there’s definitive proof that Monsanto employed it as part of a propaganda campaign to defend Roundup against emerging independent science that contradicts the company’s version of “science.” And it was none other than GMWatch founder Jonathan Matthews who first exposed Monsanto’s corrupt dealings back in 2012.

A Monsanto scientist by the name of David Saltmiras actually admitted to successfully facilitating “numerous third party expert letters to the editor which were subsequently published, reflecting the numerous significant deficiencies, poor study design, biased reporting and selective statistics employed by Séralini,” Saltmiras wrote.

“In addition, coauthored the Monsanto letter to the editor with [Monsanto employees] Dan Goldstein and Bruce Hammond.”

Saltmiras goes on in his now-revealed correspondences to boast about his connections with the Editor-in-Chief of the first journal that published Séralini’s paper. Saltmiras admits that this Editor-in-Chief was actually the “single point of contact between Monsanto and the Journal.”

But that’s not all – another Monsanto employee by the name of Eric Sachs wrote a similar email admitting to corporate fraud in obstructing the scientific process. Directed towards Bruce Chassy, a scientist who operates the pro-GMO website Academics Review, Sachs’ email issues a plea for more “outsiders” to send letters to the editor asking for Séralini’s study to be retracted, noting that it can’t look like such letters are in any way connected to Monsanto.

“My intent was to urge you to roll back the clock, retract the paper, and restart the review process,” Sachs wrote in his letter to Chassy, which is listed alongside many other now-public documents posted to U.S. Right to Know (USRTK).

Sources for this article include:

GMWatch.org

NaturalNews.com

EnvEurope.SpringerOpen.com

USRTK.org

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Shock: Editor of science journal found to be on Monsanto’s PAYROLL at $400 per hour

The following bombshell story appears on GM Watch and was published on August 2, 2017. It appears on the same day that the New York Times published another bombshell story revealing Forbes.com to be a propaganda rag for Monsanto. What’s abundantly clear in all this is how Monsanto’s web of criminality, lies and deceit is rapidly unraveling, and the evil corporation is facing billions of dollars in damages from multiple lawsuits across the country.

Read this article from GM Watch and learn just how devious and criminal Monsanto has become. It is truly the most evil corporation on the planet, and it bankrolls evil, corrupt people like Bruce Chassy, Jon Entine and A. Wallace Hayes. Every effort to retract science papers that exposed the toxicity of GMOs and glyphosate, we now know, was orchestrated by Monsanto through a network of bribery and fraud that even ensnared the editors of science journals. No corporation has corrupted science more than Monsanto, and it is very telling that science propagandists like Neil deGrasse Tyson and Bill Nye have joined the efforts of Monsanto to lie to the world and suppress scientific truth in order to protect the profits of the world’s most evil (and dangerous) corporation.

Here’s the full story from GM Watch. Also see this page of court discovery documents, listed on USRTK.org.

Uncovered: Monsanto campaign to get Séralini study retracted

Documents released in US cancer litigation show Monsanto’s desperate attempts to suppress a study that showed adverse effects of Roundup herbicide – and that the editor of the journal that retracted the study had a contractual relationship with the company. Claire Robinson reports

Internal Monsanto documents released by attorneys leading US cancer litigation show that the company launched a concerted campaign to force the retraction of a study that revealed toxic effects of Roundup. The documents also show that the editor of the journal that first published the study entered into a contract with Monsanto in the period shortly before the retraction campaign began.

The study, led by Prof GE Séralini, showed that very low doses of Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide had toxic effects on rats over a long-term period, including serious liver and kidney damage. Additional observations of increased tumour rates in treated rats would need to be confirmed in a larger-scale carcinogenicity study.

The newly released documents show that throughout the retraction campaign, Monsanto tried to cover its tracks to hide its involvement. Instead Monsanto scientist David Saltmiras admitted to orchestrating a “third party expert” campaign in which scientists who were apparently independent of Monsanto would bombard the editor-in-chief of the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology (FCT), A. Wallace Hayes, with letters demanding that he retract the study.

Use of “third party experts” is a classic public relations tactic perfected by the tobacco industry. It consists of putting industry-friendly messages into the mouths of supposedly “independent” experts, since no one would believe industry attempts to defend its own products. Back in 2012, GMWatch founder Jonathan Matthews exposed the industry links of the supposedly independent scientists who lobbied the journal editor to retract the Séralini paper. Now we have first-hand proof of Monsanto’s direct involvement.

In one document, Saltmiras reviews his own achievements within the company, boasting that he “Successfully facilitated numerous third party expert letters to the editor which were subsequently published, reflecting the numerous significant deficiencies, poor study design, biased reporting and selective statistics employed by Séralini. In addition, coauthored the Monsanto letter to the editor with [Monsanto employees] Dan Goldstein and Bruce Hammond.”

Saltmiras further writes of how “Throughout the late 2012 Séralini rat cancer publication and media campaign, I leveraged my relationship [with] the Editor i[n] Chief of the publishing journal… and was the single point of contact between Monsanto and the Journal.”

Another Monsanto employee, Eric Sachs, writes in an email about his efforts to galvanize scientists in the letter-writing campaign. Sachs refers to Bruce Chassy, a scientist who runs the pro-GMO Academics Review website. Sachs writes: “I talked to Bruce Chassy and he will send his letter to Wally Hayes directly and notify other scientists that have sent letters to do the same. He understands the urgency… I remain adamant that Monsanto must not be put in the position of providing the critical analysis that leads the editors to retract the paper.”

In response to Monsanto’s request, Chassy urged Hayes to retract the Séralini paper: “My intent was to urge you to roll back the clock, retract the paper, and restart the review process.”

Chassy was also the first signatory of a petition demanding the retraction of the Séralini study and the co-author of a Forbes article accusing Séralini of fraud. In neither document does Chassy declare any link with Monsanto. But in 2016 he was exposed as having taken over $57,000 over less than two years from Monsanto to travel, write and speak about GMOs.

Sachs is keen to ensure that Monsanto is not publicly seen as attempting to get the paper retracted, even though that is precisely what it is doing. Sachs writes to Monsanto scientist William Heydens: “There is a difference between defending science and participating in a formal process to retract a publication that challenges the safety of our products. We should not provide ammunition for Séralini, GM critics and the media to charge that Monsanto used its might to get this paper retracted. The information that we provided clearly establishes the deficiencies in the study as reported and makes a strong case that the paper should not have passed peer review.”

Another example of Monsanto trying to cover up its involvement in the retraction campaign emerges from email correspondence between Monsanto employees Daniel Goldstein and Eric Sachs. Goldstein states: “I was uncomfortable even letting shareholders know we are aware of this LTE [GMW: probably “Letter to the Editor”]…. It implies we had something to do with it – otherwise how do we have knowledge of it? I could add ‘Aware of multiple letters to editor including one signed by 25 scientists from 14 countries’ if you both think this is OK.” Sachs responds: “We are ‘connected’ but did not write the letter or encourage anyone to sign it.”

A. Wallace Hayes was paid by Monsanto

The most shocking revelation of the disclosed documents is that the editor of Food and Chemical Toxicology, A. Wallace Hayes, entered into a consulting agreement with Monsanto in the period just before Hayes’s involvement in the retraction of the Séralini study. Clearly Hayes had a conflict of interest between his role as a consultant for Monsanto and his role as editor for a journal that retracted a study determining that glyphosate has toxic effects. The study was published on 19 September 2012; the consulting agreement between Hayes and Monsanto was dated 21 August 2012 and Hayes is contracted to provide his services beginning 7 September 2012.

The documents also reveal that Monsanto paid Hayes $400 per hour for his services and that in return Hayes was expected to “Assist in establishment of an expert network of toxicologists, epidemiologists, and other scientists in South America and participate on the initial meeting held within the region. Preparation and delivery of a seminar addressing relevant regional issues pertaining to glyphosate toxicology is a key deliverable for the inaugural meeting in 2013.”

Hayes should have recused himself from any involvement with the Séralini study from the time he signed this agreement. But he kept quiet. He went on to oversee a second “review” of the study by unnamed persons whose conflicts of interest, if any, were not declared – resulting in his decision to retract the study for the unprecedented reason that some of the results were “inconclusive”.

Hayes told the New York Times’s Danny Hakim in an interview that he had not been under contract with Monsanto at the time of the retraction and was paid only after he left the journal. He added that “Monsanto played no role whatsoever in the decision that was made to retract.” But since it took the journal over a year to retract the study after the months-long second review, which Hayes oversaw, it’s clear that he had an undisclosed conflict of interest from the time he entered into the contract with Monsanto and during the review process. He appears to be misleading the New York Times.

The timing of the contract also begs the question as to whether Monsanto knew the publication of the study was coming. If so, they may have been happy to initiate such a relationship with Hayes at just that time.

A Monsanto internal email confirms the company’s intimate relationship with Hayes. Saltmiras writes about the recently published Séralini study: “Wally Hayes, now FCT Editor in Chief for Vision and Strategy, sent me a courtesy email early this morning. Hopefully the two of us will have a follow up discussion soon to touch on whether FCT Vision and Strategy were front and center for this one passing through the peer review process.”

In other email correspondence between various Monsanto personnel, Daniel Goldstein writes the following with respect to the Séralini study: “Retraction – Both Dan Jenkins (US Government affairs) and Harvey Glick made a strong case for withdrawal of the paper if at all possible, both on the same basis – that publication will elevate the status of the paper, bring other papers in the journal into question, and allow Séralini much more freedom to operate. All of us are aware that the ultimate decision is up to the editor and the journal management, and that we may not have an opportunity for withdrawal in any event, but I felt it was worth reinforcing this request.”

Monsanto got its way, though the paper was subsequently republished by another journal with higher principles – and, presumably, with an editorial board that wasn’t under contract with Monsanto.

Why Monsanto had to kill the Séralini study

It’s obvious that it was in Monsanto’s interests to kill the Séralini study. The immediate reason was that it reported harmful effects from low doses of Roundup and a GM maize engineered to tolerate it. But the wider reason that emerges from the documents is that to admit that the study had any validity whatsoever would be to open the doors for regulators and others to demand other long-term studies on GM crops and their associated pesticides.

A related danger for Monsanto, pointed out by Goldstein, is that “a third party may procure funding to verify Séralini’s claims, either through a government agency or the anti-GMO/antl-pesticide financiers”.

The documents show that Monsanto held a number of international teleconferences to discuss how to pre-empt such hugely threatening developments.

Summing up the points from the teleconferences, Daniel Goldstein writes that “unfortunately”, three “potential issues regarding long term studies have now come up and will need some consideration and probably a white paper of some type (either internal or external)”. These are potential demands for
•    2 year rat/long-term cancer (and possibly reproductive toxicity) on GM crops
•    2 year/chronic studies on pesticide formulations, in addition to the studies on the active ingredient alone that are currently demanded by regulators, and
•    2 year rat/chronic studies of pesticide formulations on the GM crop.

In reply to the first point, Goldstein writes that the Séralini study “found nothing other than the usual variation in SD [Sprague-Dawley] rats, and as such there is no reason to question the recent EFSA guidance that such studies were not needed for substantially equivalent crops”. GMWatch readers will not be surprised to see Monsanto gaining support from EFSA in its opposition to carrying out long-term studies on GMOs.

In answer to the second point, Goldstein reiterates that the Séralini study “actually finds nothing – so there is no need to draw any conclusions from it – but the theoretical issue has been placed on the table. We need to be prepared with a well considered response.”

In answer to the third point, Goldstein ignores the radical nature of genetic engineering and argues pragmatically, if not scientifically, “This approach would suggest that the same issue arises for conventional crops and that every individual formulation would need a chronic study over every crop (at a minimum) and probably every variety of crop (since we know they have more genetic variation than GM vs conventional congener) and raises the possibility of an almost limitless number of tests.” But he adds, “We also need a coherent argument for this issue.”

EU regulators side with Monsanto

To the public’s detriment, some regulatory bodies have backed Monsanto rather than the public interest and have backed off the notion that long-term studies should be required for GM crops. In fact, the EU is considering doing away with even the short 90-day animal feeding studies currently required under European GMO legislation. This will be based in part on the results of the EU-funded GRACE animal feeding project, which has come under fire for the industry links of some of the scientists involved and for its alleged manipulation of findings of adverse effects on rats fed Monsanto’s GM MON810 maize.

Apology required

A. Wallace Hayes is no longer the editor-in-chief of FCT but is named as an “emeritus editor”. Likewise, Richard E. Goodman, a former Monsanto employee who was parachuted onto the journal’s editorial board shortly after the publication of the Séralini study, is no longer at the journal.

But although they are sidelined or gone, their legacy lives on in the form of a gap in the history of the journal where Séralini’s paper belongs.

Now that Monsanto’s involvement in the retraction of the Séralini paper is out in the open, FCT and Hayes should do the decent thing and issue a formal apology to Prof Séralini and his team. FCT cannot and should not reinstate the paper, because it is now published by another journal. But it needs to draw a line under this shameful episode, admit that it handled it badly, and declare its support for scientific independence and objectivity.

Read the full entry at GMwatch.org

Via Natural News

Featured Image: OccupyReno MediaCommittee/Flickr

Source Article from https://www.intellihub.com/shock-editor-of-science-journal-found-to-be-on-monsantos-payroll-at-400-per-hour/

Did an EPA Official Collude with Monsanto by Tilting Research?

The EPA’s inspector general has launched an investigation into possible collusion between a former high-ranking EPA official and Monsanto, the maker of RoundUp. [1]

The probe was initiated in response to a request from Rep. Ted Lieu, a Democrat from California, for an investigation into whether the EPA official colluded with the biotech giant to tilt research on glyphosate in favor of Monsanto’s claim that the chemical does not cause cancer in humans.

This, despite Monsanto having never conducted carcinogenicity studies on RoundUp.

Source: Zero Hedge

Lieu’s request was based on media reports of documents released as part of a lawsuit against Monsanto alleging that glyphosate is carcinogenic and that the company may have spun research and hired scientists to cover it up.

Read: EPA Official Accused of Helping Monsanto “Kill” Glyphosate-Cancer Link

Inspector General Arthur A. Elkins Jr. wrote in a letter he sent to a lawmaker on 31 May, 2017:

“As you are you aware, there is considerable public interest regarding allegations of such collusion. As a result, I have asked the EPA OIG Office of Investigations to conduct an inquiry into several agency review-related matters.” [1]

The lawsuit-related documents refer to internal Monsanto e-mails that mention Jess Rowland, a former manager in the EPA’s pesticide division.

In a press release, the Center for Biological Diversity, a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting endangered species, notes that the documents contain these potentially incriminating revelations:

  • The chair [Rowland] of the EPA’s Cancer Assessment Review Committee on glyphosate was in regular contact with Monsanto, providing insider information that guided Monsanto’s messaging;
  • The chair warned Monsanto that the World Health Organization’s cancer research arm had found glyphosate to be probably carcinogenic months before the 2015 determination became public, allowing the pesticide-maker to mount a public relations attack on the finding;
  • The chair promised to thwart the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ review of glyphosate’s safety, saying that if he was successful he deserved a medal. The department never did review glyphosate’s safety;
  • A Monsanto executive e-mailed other company officials that they could hire academics to put their names on glyphosate research papers written by Monsanto, citing a previous instance where this was done. The referenced paper was used in the EPA pesticide program’s own cancer analysis.
Source: Zero Hedge

It appears that at the time the original e-mail was sent, Monsanto was trying to recruit Rowland to help shut down a review of glyphosate within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry division.

Rowland has since retired after spending 26 years at the agency, and plaintiffs’ lawyers have been deposing him about accusations that Monsanto may have paid him off for his efforts via third parties. [1] [2]

OIG investigators will likely begin interviewing Rowland’s former colleagues and bosses, pulling records and poring through e-mails, according to Michael Hubbard, a retired Special Agent in Charge for the EPA’s criminal investigations division. It’s also likely that investigators at the Department of Justice’s Public Integrity Section will be pulled into the mix. Additionally, subpoenas could be granted to allow access to Rowland’s bank records.

Said Hubbard:

“You want to start looking at money trails. Has he benefitted from Monsanto? Was the money changing hands with him or his significant other?” [1]

It wouldn’t be shocking to learn that Monsanto was working with an EPA official to quash damaging research. This is the same company that allegedly has its own department of Internet “trolls” tasked with trashing negative articles and comments about RoundUp.

Monsanto will do anything to cover up the toxic truth about glyphosate. After the IARC declared glyphosate “probably carcinogenic,” the company pressured the WHO agency to reassess the herbicide, and continues to insist that “there is no evidence of carcinogenicity” in RoundUp’s main ingredient.

Sources:

[1] The Huffington Post

[2] Center for Biological Diversity

Images Source:

Zero Hedge


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About Julie Fidler:

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Julie Fidler is a freelance writer, legal blogger, and the author of Adventures in Holy Matrimony: For Better or the Absolute Worst. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two ridiculously spoiled cats. She occasionally pontificates on her blog.

Source Article from http://naturalsociety.com/epa-inspector-general-epa-official-collude-monsanto-1484/

In Case You Missed It: EPA Quietly Approved Monsanto’s RNAi Genetic Engineering Technology

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently and quietly approved Monsanto’s new genetic engineering technology, known as RNAi. [1]

The insecticide DvSnf7 dsRNA is not sprayed on crops. Instead, instructions for manufacturing it in the DNA of the crop itself must be encoded in crops. The plants’ self-made DvSnf7 dsRNA disrupts a crucial gene in western corn rootworms – a major threat to corn – and kills the pests.

All that’s left after that is RNA interference, or RNAi, and the EPA approved this final step in making corn rootworm-resistant in mid-June 2017. RNAi was the source of both hype and controversy just a few years ago, The Atlantic reports. But the EPA so quietly approved the technology that the media and environmental groups barely noticed.

The first DvSnf7 dsRNA product will be used in SmartStax Pro genetically modified corn seeds made in collaboration between the world’s top agrotech giants, Monsanto and Dow. Monsanto will supply the RNAi technology, and it already has its eye on several RNAi applications. The company expects corn seed with RNAi to be on the market by the end of this decade.

The western corn rootworm is known as the “billion dollar pest” because of the damage it wreaks on cornfields. The insect keeps becoming resistant to the other insecticides that farmers use against it – including the kind you spray on crops and corn genetically modified to product Bt toxin, another technology commercialized by Monsanto.

The SmartStax Pro corn will contain both Bt toxin and DvSnf7 dsRNA.

Read: Monsanto’s GMO Bt Toxins Found in 93% of Pregnant Women

RNAi works by “turning off” 1 specific gene in 1 specific species by leaving other crops unharmed, at least theoretically. In nature, plants and animals use this process to “silence” their own genes. The technology has already been used to create genetically modified apples and potatoes that don’t brown. (The apples, called Arctic Apples, are expected to reach supermarkets in the U.S. by the end of 2017.)

However, with Monsanto and Dow’s GMO corn, the DvSnf7 dsRNA silences a gene in another living organism, in this case the western corn rootworm. It modifies its environment, rather than itself.

Environmental Groups Stunned by Quiet Approval

Groups like the Center for Food Safety, who vocally opposed the RNAi-made apples and potatoes, said they were a bit stunned by the EPA’s approval. The agency only allowed a 15-day comment period, instead of the traditional 30 days, and it did not post its proposed decision in the Federal Register. It’s not the first time the EPA has done that, but Bill Freese, CFS’ science policy analyst, says the unparalleled use of RNAi as insecticide should have warranted more public scrutiny.

Freese – who has received funding from Monsanto to study the western corn rootworm – has reason to be concerned. A scientific paper published in 2011 questions the safety of DvSnf7 dsRNA, after Chinese scientists found that people eating genetically modified rice had naturally occurring RNA molecules in their bloodstream. It should be noted, however, that scientists have struggled to replicate the study’s findings, and the report received much criticism.

Freese told The Atlantic that the real problem goes beyond RNAi itself. He explained:

“There’s faddish interest in the latest technology. It often neglects the basic issues of the unhealthy practices used in planting corn.”

For example, rotating crops versus planting corn multiple years in a row in the same field can make a dent in the western corn rootworm problem.

Freese says planting non-GMO corn is also vitally important, because overplanting of Bt corn led to Bt resistance.

“We need to treat these things carefully because we really can’t just afford to throw them away.”

Sources:

The Atlantic


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About Mike Barrett:

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Mike is the co-founder, editor, and researcher behind Natural Society. Studying the work of top natural health activists, and writing special reports for top 10 alternative health websites, Mike has written hundreds of articles and pages on how to obtain optimum wellness through natural health.

Source Article from http://naturalsociety.com/epa-quietly-approves-monsanto-rnai-genetic-engineering-technology-1646/

The GMO Agenda Takes An Alarming Step Forward. The EPA Just Quietly Approved Monsanto/Dow’s RNAi Corn






Next Story

Varying opinions on the rise and prominence of GMOs has led to a lot of controversy. Many people, regardless of their stance, still feel entitled to know what they’re consuming, and if it’s the product of laboratory research.

vSnf7 dsRNA is an insecticide, but unlike others, it’s not sprayed on crops. To use it, you encode instructions for manufacturing it in the DNA of the crop itself. So, for instance, if a Western corn rootworm begins destroying your crop, the plant’s self-made DvSnf7 dsRNA interferes with a critical rootworm gene and kills the pesky bugger.

This disruption is referred to as RNA interference, or RNAi. Haven’t heard of it? That’s because it was just approved. Didn’t hear that news? That’s because mainstream media remained silent, allowing the Environmental Protection Agency to recently approve the first insecticide relying on it.

The first DvSnf7 dsRNA product will come in the form of SmartStax Pro, a line of genetically modified corn seeds created by Monsanto and Dow. The RNAi part comes from Monsanto. The agricultural giant anticipates corn seed with RNAi coming to the market by the end of this decade.

The Western corn rootworm has proved quite resilient, with corn farmers continuously investing in new ways to stop it from damaging their cornfields. When spray-on pesticides failed, farmers took advantage of corn genetically modified to make the Bt toxin, a technology also from Monsanto, which also didn’t work as hoped for. Now, the farmers are eagerly awaiting the arrival of SmartStax Pro, which will have both Bt as well as DvSnf7 dsRNA.

Despite critics revealing in a 2011 paper the potential safety harms of DvSnf7 dsRNA, in which Chinese scientists found naturally occurring RNA molecules from rice circulating in the bloodstream of people eating it, the EPA became the last of three agencies, the others being the FDA and USDA, to give DvSnf7 dsRNA the go-ahead.

The EPA gave a short 15 days of public comment, and didn’t even post its proposed decision in the Federal Register, which is customary. Such quiet approval was likely meant to ensure public scrutiny remained slim.

Bill Freese, CFS’s science policy analyst, said that the real problem is bigger than RNAi itself. “There’s faddish interest in the latest technology,” he said. “It often neglects the basic issues of the unhealthy practices used in planting corn.” Rotating crops — as we did in traditional farming — as opposed to planting corn multiple years in a row in the same field, could diminish the Western corn rootworm problem, according to Joseph Spencer, an entomologist at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. But such simplicity is being overlooked, in place of a product that hasn’t had years of safety testing before licensure, but is being rushed to market instead.

Freese was surprised by the EPA’s handling of the situation, most notably given how unprecedented it is to use an RNAi insecticide in a plant meant for human consumption.

The Western corn rootworm is surely only the beginning of Monsanto’s goals for the use of RNai. We will certainly require continued education and awareness to counteract the widespread acceptance of such a technology.

Related CE Articles On GMOs With More, Heavily Sourced Information

Here’s Why More Than 34 Countries Have Banned Genetically Modified Crops

Federal Lawsuit Forces The US Government To Divulge Secret Files On Genetically Engineered Foods

Wikileaks Cables Reveal  That The US Government Planned To Retaliate & Cause Pain On Countries Refusing GMOs 

New Study Links GMOs To Cancer, Liver/Kidney Damage & Severe Hormonal Disruption

Geneticist David Suzuki Says Humans Are Part of a Massive Genetic Experiment

 

 

 

 

 


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