WebMD shills for Monsanto & Big Pharma

WebMD shills for Monsanto, Big Pharma, and other corporate giants.  Natural News has revealed how WebMD has never seen a Monsanto product or a Big Pharma drug or vaccination that it didn’t like.  It promotes them all, without question or critical comment.  Why?

It’s the Advertising Money, Stupid
WebMD takes most of its advertising money from Big Pharma corporations like Merck, maker of the dubious shingles vaccine, the dangerous MMR vaccine, and other troublesome vaccines that are far from as safe or as effective as advertised by Merck and WebMD.  The company known as WebMD is one that clearly knows which industry giants are paying its bills.  WebMD is, in point of fact, little more than a tireless promoter of not only Big Pharma drugs and ethically-challenged Monsanto, but any and all vaccination, regardless of real science (or lack thereof) or circumstances.

Related:  Five Most Dangerous Vaccines

Passive GMO Promotion
Corporate sponsorships taint WebMD’s recommendations and “passive” promotion techniques. WebMD advertisements are often designed to look more like editorials to disguise their real intent, fooling readers into thinking that the advertising they see is actually news of some sort.

Monsanto WebMD Partnership
Monsanto uses WebMD’s influence to serve its own agenda.  Monsanto produces several sponsored “advertorials” that can easily be mistaken for “real” content rather than marketing propaganda.  Monsanto also uses independent third parties to manipulate GMO content on WebMD’s web site. (Monsanto also colludes with the EPA to play down the dangers of Roundup and promote it.)

Web MD Internet’s Most Visited Health Site
WebMD is, unfortunately for the truth, the internet’s most visited health site.  Public perception is that it’s a trustworthy source of “independent and objective” health information.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  WebMD is a thinly-disguised corporate shill masquerading as a news site.  WebMD uses its influence to shamelessly promote corporate-backed health products and protocols.

WebMD’s Journalistic Subterfuge destroys Credibility
WebMD “Partnerships” destroy any credibility the site may have once had.  Partnerships and sponsorships infect WebMD’s recommendations across the board. “Passive” promotion techniques include advertisements designed to look like editorials.  This is journalistic subterfuge at its worst, and its most sophisticated.

Web MD Rigs Phony Test for Depression
The pharmaceutical drug industry’s capture of WebMD has been clear for a long while and is nearly complete.  In just one egregious example, Dr. Mercola has reported how WebMD’s free online depression test in 2010 was rigged to make any person responding feel like she needed professional help.  The only result a test respondent could receive was that she was at risk for major depression and should discuss her options with a doctor.

That phony “test” was sponsored by Cymbalta maker Eli Lilly.  The test’s intent was obvious – to make a person inquire about antidepressants, and hopefully start taking them, preferably forever.

This advertisement dressed up as a “consumer aid” to make people go from feeling normal to depressed caught the attention of Senator Charles Grassley.  He launched an investigation, but that announcement changed no laws and apparently no perceptions.  WebMD continues to hide advertising business as usual.  Consumer Beware!

Web MD Aids Monsanto
Monsanto is one of the latest multinational corporate giants to use WebMD for its own hidden agenda.  Nearly every WebMD article now includes a Monsanto-sponsored ad that boldly declares: “It’s time for a bigger discussion about food.”  This clever propaganda then links to Monsanto’s corporate take on soil, water, and honey bee-disappearance, with no other contributor’s point of view allowed.

Marketing Strategists Tout “Advertorial Sponsorships”
Marketing strategists say “advertorial sponsorships” are the best way to sell something today.  They are designed to fool consumers, so that they don’t realize they’re being sold something.

Back in the day, before deep-pocketed advertisers called the shots and completely ruled the publishing world, the line between editorial and advertising content was clear.  You knew whether you were reading an advertisement or an editorial.  Today, readers practically need degrees in journalism and science to know what they’re reading, who sponsored it, and why.

A business has to pay for a sponsorship/advertorial just like it would a regular ad.  In some cases, businesses pay significantly more than they would for a regular ad.  But corporations consider the expense of a sponsorship/advertorial ad well worth the cost.

As Dr. Mercola explains: “The venue where your sponsored advertorial is going (in this case, WebMD and its affiliates) has no input on the content – the advertiser has full control over the text of the ‘informative’ ad.  The advertiser can control how the information is presented on the page, as opposed to having to select a regular display ad format.”

The sponsored advertorial can be used in multiple publications.  Companies can reuse a sponsored advertorial as a stand-alone ad in other places.

Native Advertising’ further Blurs the Line Between Ads and Independent Content

Another form of this type of shrouded sales presentation is called “native advertising.” The key difference between a native ad and an advertorial is that a native ad fits more seamlessly into the Website which features it, making it even less noticeable as a sales pitch.

This sneaky ad is designed to make you think you’re reading a regular content article, when in fact it’s all marketing. In the case of WebMD, the advertorial/native ad line is so thin as to be non-existent. Many of WebMD’s disclaimers are barely noticeable, and rendered in a typeset which manipulates readers into skipping them entirely.

Dr. Mercola explains:  “This all amounts to massive collusion on the part of the industries partnering with WebMD to sell THEIR health goals and products without you realizing you’ve been sold something that may or may not be in your best interest at all.”

WebMD pushes Vaccination

When it comes to vaccination, WebMD publishes only those articles which make it seem as if vaccination is a tried and true science without enormous problems, which include lawsuits for dubious vaccines like Merck’s Zostavax.  Vaccination “science” is far from settled, but you wouldn’t know that if you read only WebMD’s narow take on the subject.  The same goes for Monsanto products, and Big Pharma drugs.

WebMD shills for Monsanto & Big Pharma

If you want to find out what is really going on in the world of GMO foods, Big Pharma drugs, and vaccination safety and efficacy, the best thing you could do is avoid WebMD.  You will find little truth there not colored by WebMD’s fealty to its corporate and government sponsors.  Selah!

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Monsanto-funded Journalists fail to disclose Industry ties

An EcoWatch story broke the news two years ago of how Monsanto fakes news.  Time and again, Monsanto-funded journalists fail to disclose industry ties.  Journalists whom the company secretly pays write pro-GMO articles, or hit pieces against organic foods.  Those ostensible “journalists” fail to disclose their monetary (and career) conflicts of interest.  Those “journalists” work for Monsanto to produce fake news.

Fake Monsanto News – 27 Examples

In Nov. 2015, EcoWatch uncovered 27 examples of so-called journalists failing to disclose they were paid by Monsanto.

A Columbia Journalism Review story on whether science journalists should accept money from corporate interests triggered the research. The authors wanted to know whether journalists were disclosing their sources’ corporate ties and conflicts of interest. U.S. Right to Know reviewed recent articles to assess how often journalists, columnists and other writers quote academic sources without disclosing that they were funded by the chemical giant Monsanto.

The review found 27 articles quoting (or authored by) university professors after they received Monsanto funding.  Alarmingly, the university professors failed to disclose their funding.  If even university professors – who obviously know better – fail to disclose their funding, how many other Monsanto-funded writers fail to disclose that the biotech bully from Missouri is paying them to promote Monsanto or help shield the company from liability?  Monsanto is now being sued by farmers and others for causing their non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, for failing to warn people that Roundup is carcinogenic.

Collapse of Journalistic Standards, Personal Integrity

This is a failure of journalistic standards as well as personal and civic integrity.  Whenever a writer quotes sources about food controversies such as GMOs or organic food, readers have a right to know if Monsanto funded that writer or whether the writer has any conflicts of interest.

Cuttlefish Squirt Ink for Monsanto
These writers are like cuttlefish squirting ink for Monsanto, covering up the truth of the matter in a morass of disinformation, misinformation, or outright propaganda.  Failing to reveal obvious conflicts of interest fools the reading public about the credibility of Monsanto-funded academics, their support of GMOs, their criticisms of organic food.  It also detracts from the credibility of consumer advocates, or anyone else (like this writer, writing because science shows GMOs are neither safe nor nutritious) who wants the world to know the truth about Monsanto’s poison products and business model.

University Professors Shill for Monsanto, hide Secret Funding

EcoWatch found that many top media outlets quoted either University of Florida Professor Kevin Folta or University of Illinois Professor Emeritus Bruce Chassy, while failing to disclose that the “professors” had received funding from Monsanto.  The New York Times published documents that showed Professor Folta received Monsanto funding in August 2014, while Professor Chassy received Monsanto funding in October 2011, if not also prior to that date.

Fake Monsanto News from NY Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, etc.

Failure to disclose Monsanto funds occurred at well-known news outlets, including the New York Times, Washington Post and Chicago Tribune. Other Monsanto-funded fake news appeared in science publications, such as Nature, Science Insider and Discover. Other fake Monsanto news came from magazines such as the New Yorker, Wired, The Atlantic. But fake Monsanto news was not and has not been limited to print and internet media. Well known broadcast outlets like ABC and NPR also published fake Monsanto news without revealing they were funded by Monsanto itself.

EcoWatch published this list of news articles quoting (or authored by) Professors Folta and Chassy after they received their Monsanto funding, yet failed to disclose that Monsanto funding.

•  New York Times: “Taking on the Food Industry, One Blog Post at a Time.” By Courtney Rubin, March 13. (Also ran in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune).
•  New York Times: “Foes of Modified Corn Find Support in a Study.” By Andrew Pollack, Sept. 19, 2012.
•  Washington Post: “Kraft Mac & Cheese Just Got Duller. You Can Thank (Or Blame) ‘The Food Babe’.” By Michael E. Miller, April 21. (Also ran in the Chicago Tribune).
•  Washington Post: “Proof He’s the Science Guy: Bill Nye Is Changing His Mind About GMOs.” By Puneet Kollipara, March 3.
•  Nature: “GM-Crop Opponents Expand Probe Into Ties Between Scientists and Industry.” By Keith Kloor, Aug. 6.
•  NPR: “Is The Food Babe A Fearmonger? Scientists Are Speaking Out.” By Maria Godoy, Feb. 10.
•  New Yorker: “The Operator.” By Michael Specter, Feb. 4, 2013.
•  The Atlantic: “The Food Babe: Enemy of Chemicals.” By James Hamblin, Feb. 11.
•  Wired: “Anti-GMO Activist Seeks to Expose Scientists Emails with Big Ag.” By Alan Levinovitz, Feb. 23.
•  ABC News: “Scientists Developing Hypo-Allergenic Apples.” By Gillian Mohney, March 22, 2013.
•  Science Insider: “Agricultural Researchers Rattled by Demands for Documents from Group Opposed to GM Foods.” By Keith Kloor, Feb. 11.
•  Columbia Journalism Review: “Why Scientists Often Hate Records Requests.” By Anna Clark, Feb. 25.
•  Discover: “Open Letter to Bill Nye from a Plant Scientist.” By Keith Kloor, Nov. 10, 2014.
•  Discover: “How to Balance Transparency with Academic Freedom?” By Keith Kloor, Feb. 27.
•  Discover: “Anti-GMO Group Seeks Emails from University Scientists.” By Keith Kloor, Feb. 11.
•  Forbes: “Zombie Retracted Séralini GMO Maize Rat Study Republished To Hostile Scientist Reactions.” By Jon Entine, June 24, 2014.
•  Forbes: “Did The New Yorker Botch Puff Piece On Frog Scientist Tyrone Hayes, Turning Rogue into Beleaguered Hero?” By Jon Entine, March 10, 2014.
•  Forbes: “You Can Put Lipstick On A Pig (Study), But It Still Stinks.” By Bruce M. Chassy and Henry I. Miller, July 17, 2013.
•  Forbes: “Anti-GMO Scientist Gilles-Eric Seralini, Activist Jeffrey Smith Withdraw from Food Biotech Debate.” By Jon Entine, May 29, 2013.
•  Forbes: “Malpractice On Dr. Oz: Pop Health Expert Hosts Anti-GM Food Rant; Scientists Push Back.” By Jon Entine, Oct. 19, 2012.
•  Forbes: “Scientists Smell a Rat In Fraudulent Genetic Engineering Study.” By Henry I. Miller and Bruce Chassy, Sept. 25, 2012.
•  Forbes: “The Science of Things That Aren’t So.” By Bruce Chassy and Henry I. Miller, Feb. 22, 2012.
•  Des Moines Register: “Consumers Are Misled About Organic Safety.” By John Block, Oct. 10, 2014.
•  Gainesville Sun: “Genetically Modified Foods Face Hurdles.” By Jeff Schweers, June 29, 2014.
•  Peoria Journal Star: “Hybrid Crops That Used to Offer Resistance to Rootworm No Match for Mother Nature.” By Steve Tarter, June 21, 2014.
•  Gawker: “The ‘Food Babe’ Blogger Is Full of Shit.” By Yvette d’Entremont, April 6.
•  St. Louis Post-Dispatch: “California Labeling Fight May Raise Food Prices for All of Us.” By David Nicklaus, Aug. 19, 2012.

Related:  Writer Henry Miller Outed as Monsanto Puppet, again

Two Compromised Professors, Thousands of “Others”
If university professors are this easy to capture and compromise, how much easier is it for Monsanto to pay “journalists,” bloggers and other hack writers (not on a university salary) to promote GMOs and attack organic foods and those who believe in and support them?

Fake “Independent” Experts
These two compromised professors who failed to disclose their Monsanto funding have received major media attention as “independent” experts on GMOs and organics.  The professor fakers only admitted to receiving their Monsanto funding after they were unmasked by emails uncovered by Freedom of Information Act requests filed by a consumer group – U.S. Right to Know.

Monsanto News Fakers Like Fleas
Now, how many other news fakers are out there with “scientist” and “professor” titles defending Monsanto and attacking organics while hiding their secret Monsanto funding?  Think of them like fleas.  If you can find two, you know you’ve got a thousand you can’t yet see. “Independent” indeed!

Monsanto-funded Journalists Fail to Disclose Industry Ties

In future, one would hope that when “journalists” write about food, they carefully question their sources regarding any conflicts of interest.  Who or what corporation is funding this so-called food “expert”?  What PR or front group is used to fund this “expert” person to hide his ties with Monsanto, the real source of the funding?  This is a shell game played for decades, but the stakes have never been higher. Roundup is very likely killing people, while “professors” and other corporate shills provide desperately-needed cover for what is arguably a criminal enterprise.

Readers beware!

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Roundup Carcinogenicity Evidence Clear since 1985

Monsanto’s official position is that no evidence shows Roundup or glyphosate can cause cancer.  The problem for Monsanto is that plenty of evidence shows Roundup, as well as its only identified active ingredient, glyphosate, is carcinogenic.  A Roundup lymphoma lawsuit petition from April 2016 outlined some history of which Monsanto cannot help but be aware.  Roundup carcinogenicity evidence has been clear since at least 1985, if not earlier.

Monsanto Knows Glyphosate Carcinogenic
Monsanto knew of glyphosate’s carcinogenic properties as early as the 1980s.

Related:  Monsanto Lawsuit

Roundup Carcinogenicity Evidence Clear since 1985

March 4, 1985: A group of the EPA’s Toxicology Branch published a memorandum classifying glyphosate as a Category C oncogene. Category C oncogenes are possible human carcinogens with limited evidence of carcinogenicity.

1986: EPA issued a Registration Standard for glyphosate (NTIS PB87-103214). The Registration standard required additional phytotoxicity, environmental fate, toxicology, product chemistry, and residue chemistry studies. All the data required was submitted and reviewed and/or waived.

October 1991: EPA published a Memorandum entitled “Second Peer Review of Glyphosate.” The memorandum changed glyphosate’s classification to Group E (evidence of non-carcinogenicity for humans). Two peer review committee members did not concur with the committee’s conclusions. One member refused to sign.

Roundup Toxicity Dwarfs Glyophosate Alone
Besides the toxicity of the active molecule in glypohosate, many studies support the hypothesis that glyphosate formulations found in Monsanto’s Roundup products are more dangerous,more toxic than glyphosate alone.

Since glyphosate is rarely, if ever, used alone, it is irresponsible, at best, for Monsanto to test only glyphosate. It is duplicitous, disingenuous, and quite possibly criminal, at worst, to test only glyphosate alone.

Related:  Roundup Cancer Lawsuit

1991 (or earlier): Evidence had demonstrated glyphosate formulations were significantly more toxic than glyphosate alone.

2002: Julie Marc published a study titled “Pesticide Roundup Provokes Cell Division Dysfunction at the Level of CDK1/Cyclin B Activation.” The Marc study found Monsanto’s
Roundup caused delays in the cell cycles of sea urchins, while the same concentrations of glyphosate alone proved ineffective and did not alter cell cycles.

2004:  Ms. Marc published a study titled “Glyphosate-based pesticides affect cell cycle regulation.” The study demonstrated a molecular link between glyphosate-based products and cell cycle dysregulation. The study noted: “[C]ell-cycle dysregulation is a hallmark of tumor cells and
human cancer. Failure in the cell-cycle checkpoints leads to genomic instability and subsequent
development of cancers from the initial affected cell.” Further, “[s]ince cell cycle disorders such
as cancer result from dysfunction of unique cell, it was of interest to evaluate the threshold dose
of glyphosate affecting cells.”

2005:  Francisco Peixoto published a study showing Roundup’s effects on rat liver mitochondria are much more toxic and harmful than the same concentrations of glyphosate alone.

The Peixoto study suggested the harmful effects of Roundup on mitochondrial bioenergetics could not be exclusively attributed to glyphosate.  They could be the result of other chemicals, namely the surfactant POEA, or alternatively due to the possible synergy between glyphosate and Roundup formulation products.

Roundup Adjuvants NOT INERT
2009:  Nora Benachour and Gilles-Eric Seralini published a study examining the effects of Roundup and glyphosate on human umbilical, embryonic, and placental cells. The study used dilution levels of Roundup and glyphosate far below agricultural recommendations, corresponding with low levels of residues in food. The study concluded that so-called “inert” ingredients, and possibly POEA, change human cell permeability, amplifying toxicity of glyphosate alone. The study further suggested glyphosate toxicity determinations must take adjuvants into account – the chemicals used in the formulation of the complete pesticide. The study confirmed adjuvants in Roundup are not inert; so Roundup is always more toxic than its so-called lone active ingredient, glyphosate.

Monsanto Knew or Should Have Known
The Delaware petition reads: “The results of these studies were confirmed in recently published peer-reviewed studies and were at all times available and/or known to (Monsanto).

“(Monsanto) knew or should have known that Roundup is more toxic than glyphosate alone and that safety studies on Roundup, Roundup’s adjuvants and “inert” ingredients, and/or the surfactant POEA were necessary to protect Plaintiff from Roundup.”

Monsanto Failed to Test Roundup for Safety

The petition further charges that Monsanto “knew or should have known that tests limited to Roundup’s active ingredient glyphosate were insufficient to prove the safety of Roundup.”

Monsanto is then charged in the petition with failing to appropriately and adequately test Roundup, Roundup’s adjuvants and “inert” ingredients, and/or the surfactant POEA to protect Plaintiff from Roundup.”

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Monsanto sued in Delaware for causing non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

Monsanto was sued in the state of Delaware (Roundup Petition) for causing a man’s non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.  The plaintiff is New York resident Kenneth Panthen, who was diagnosed with NHL after using Roundup for several years.

Roundup Lawsuit Petition
The lawsuit petition says Mr. Panthen was injured “as a direct and proximate result of (Monsanto’s) negligent and wrongful conduct in connection with the design, development, manufacture, testing, packaging, promoting, marketing, advertising, distribution, labeling, and/or sale of the herbicide Roundup®, containing the active ingredient glyphosate.”

Related:  Roundup non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Lawsuit

Mr. Panthen maintains that “Roundup® and/or glyphosate is defective, dangerous to human health, unfit and unsuitable to be marketed and sold in commerce.”  He also alleges Roundup lacked proper warnings and directions regarding its dangers.

All Formulations of Roundup

“Roundup,” says the petition, “refers to all formulations of Defendant’s Roundup products, including, but not limited to, Roundup Concentrate Poison Ivy and Tough Brush Killer 1, Roundup Custom Herbicide, Roundup D-Pak herbicide, Roundup Dry Concentrate, Roundup Export Herbicide, Roundup Fence & Hard Edger 1, Roundup Garden Foam Weed & Grass Killer, Roundup Grass and Weed Killer, Roundup Herbicide, Roundup Original 2k herbicide, Roundup Original II Herbicide, Roundup Pro Concentrate, Roundup Prodry Herbicide, Roundup Promax, Roundup Quik Stik Grass and Weed Killer, Roundup Quikpro Herbicide, Roundup Rainfast Concentrate Weed & Grass Killer, Roundup Rainfast Super Concentrate Weed & Grass Killer, Roundup Ready-to-Use Extended Control Weed & Grass Killer 1 Plus Weed Preventer, Roundup Ready-to-Use Weed & Grass Killer, Roundup Ready-to-Use Weed and Grass Killer 2, Roundup Ultra Dry, Roundup Ultra Herbicide, Roundup Ultramax, Roundup VM Herbicide, Roundup Weed & 3Complaint for Damages Grass Killer Concentrate, Roundup Weed & Grass Killer Concentrate Plus, Roundup Weed & Grass killer Ready-to-Use Plus, Roundup Weed & Grass Killer Super Concentrate, Roundup Weed & Grass Killer1 Ready-to-Use, Roundup WSD Water Soluble Dry Herbicide Deploy Dry Herbicide, or any other formulation of containing the active ingredient glyphosate.”

Injuries were Avoidable
The Monsanto lawsuit petition also states that Mr. Panthen’s injuries, “like those striking thousands of similarly situated victims across the country, were avoidable.”

The petition also explains that the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), 7. U.S.C. § 136 et seq.: “FIFRA requires that all pesticides be registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) prior to their distribution, sale. . .”

EPA does not verify Roundup Safety
Part of the EPA registration process requires a chemical maker to perform a variety of tests to evaluate the potential for exposure to pesticides, toxicity to people and other potential so-called “non-target organisms,” and other adverse effects on the environment.  EPA registration, however, is no assurance or finding of safety, says the petition:

“The determination the EPA makes in registering or re-registering a product is not that the product is safe (emphasis ours), but rather that use of the product in accordance with its label directions ‘will not generally cause unreasonable adverse effects on the environment.’” 7 U.S.C. § 136(a)(c)(5)(D).

FIFRA defines “unreasonable adverse effects on the environment” to mean “any unreasonable risk to man or the environment, taking into account the economic, social, and environmental costs and benefits of the use of any pesticide.” 7 U.S.C. § 136(bb).  FIFRA thus requires the EPA to make a risk/benefit analysis in determining whether a registration should be granted or allowed to continue to be sold in commerce.

EPA does not Test Monsanto Products
FIFRA generally requires that a registrant like Monsanto conduct health and safety testing of its pesticides.  However, most people are surprised to learn that Monsanto and other pesticide makers perform their own tests; an agency like the EPA simply peruses those tests.  The government does no safety testing of its own.

The petition explains: “The government is not required, nor is it able, to perform the product tests that are required of the manufacturer.”

Just as drug companies attempt to hide behind “FDA approval,” despite the fact that FDA does no drug testing of its own, Monsanto has attempted to hide behind EPA registration as some sort of official government certification of safety.

The other problem with that dubious position is that secret Monsanto emails between Monsanto executives and EPA officials in charge of registering (and, one can only hope, regulating)  Roundup show that EPA employees worked to help Monsanto.  Recently-released documents show that EPA officials helped slow reviews of Roundup/Glyphosate, and helped Monsanto sidestep any meaningful regulations.  Several EPA officials have helped engineer public perception for the benefit of Monsanto.

Glyphosate a Probable Carcinogen
Monsanto became gravely concerned with public perception and legal problems after the World Health Organization declared in 2015 that glyphosate is a probable carcinogen.  Many of the legal cases regarding glyphosate in Roundup are based on that World Health Organization’s declaration.  But the WHO is far from the only organization to find deeply troubling problems with glyphosate.

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Trump moves to stop Screening Truck Drivers for Sleep Disorder

The Trump administration has withdrawn a proposed law to screen truckers for a dangerous sleep condition.  Sleep apnea can threaten the lives of every driver on the road, but the Trumpernaut sees it as an unnecessary regulation.  No need to test truck drivers for sleep apnea, says Trump and Co.

Thousands of truck accidents are caused each year by sleep problems, but anything that looks like a “regulation” looks bad to the Trumpernaut.  Also anything that was put forth by the Obama administration.

How Asleep should Truckers Be on the Road?
The Atlantic asks, “How asleep should truck drivers be on the job?”  That inquiring absurdity is a consequence of an ideology against regulation in any form. The Trumpian mantra never changes: “Regulation is bad. Less regulation is good. Let’s stomp out any regulation that we can.”

Public Citizen, meanwhile, is leading a lawsuit against Trump’s absurd and dangerous edict that no new regulation can be put into law unless two other regulations are rescinded. This arbitrary lunacy – backed by dark Koch Brothers, Chamber of Commerce and ALEC money – benefits corporations at the expense of regular citizens.

Conductor with Sleep Apnea injures 100 People
Trump famously doesn’t read anything. If he did, he might recall that last summer in New Jersey, a sleepy conductor with undiagnosed sleep apnea crashed his train into a crowded station in Hoboken, injuring 100 people. The man’s obstructive sleep apnea affects alertness. It can make people spontaneously sleep even during stimulating activities.

That’s just one high profile case. How many tragic trucking accidents have been caused by truck drivers with undiagnosed sleep apnea? That number is sure to be in the hundreds, if not the thousands. But anything that affects the bottom line of industry must not be allowed to encroach on the Trumpian dream of total corporate independence from regulation of any sort.

In March of 2016, the Obama administration proposed that deadly sleep-related accidents should be prevented where possible. One approach was to begin sleep apnea-screening of train engineers and truck drivers.

On August 11, 2017, the Trump administration announced that it had withdrawn that proposed sleep test requirement. The reason was the same as always for an ideologue dead set against “regulation” in any form – it was part of a larger effort to remove any regulations that might limit economic growth.

NTSB “Disappointed” with Change
The National Transportation Safety Board, which has advocated screening truckers for sleep apnea for years, said through a spokesmodel that it was “disappointed” that the DOT withdrew this “much-needed” rule.

Sleep Apnea affects 1 in 10 People
The sleep-inducing condition is increasingly common, affecting at least one in 10 people to some degree. Obstructive sleep apnea in serious cases can give someone symptoms that sound like classic narcolepsy. Such a person can fall asleep with little to no warning. It is similar to narcolepsy, though the primary problem is respiratory. People with sleep apnea don’t breathe well while sleeping at night. This degrades the quality of the sleep, and leaves people impaired and exhausted throughout the day.

Trump moves to stop Screening Truck Drivers for Sleep Disorder
The problem with dropping screening is that sleep apnea applies even to many people who report sleeping well for seven or eight hours each night. These people are unaware that their breathing interruptions are precluding deep, restorative cycles. Without those deep cycles, accidents are more likely to happen. It only makes sense to screen people whose jobs involve trucking or training enormous machines at high velocities, always a potential recipe for human tragedy.

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U.S. Senate Could Destroy Your Rights with H.R. 1215

Tort reform pushed by the U.S. Congress and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has always been a ruse.  The game has always been to attack lawyers in order to disguise the real target: the citizen and the citizen’s inalienable rights.  H.R. 1215 is the same animal.  Dressed up as a bill to “protect” people’s access to healthcare, it does the opposite.

H.R. 1215 Would Severely Limit Courthouse Access

The duplicitously named “Protecting Access to Care Act of 2017″ does everything BUT protect peoples’ access to healthcare.  What it mostly does is severely limit a U.S. citizen’s access to the courtroom.  It virtually wipes out class action lawsuits – whether for credit card fraud committed by a major bank, rank discrimination,  negligence, or even outright criminality committed by any corporation.  It also makes it all but financially impossible for a plaintiff’s law firm to pursue pharmaceutical drug or medical device cases for their injured or dead clients.  All of this is done under the guise of saving money; but this bill doesn’t do that, either.  Limiting a victim’s ability to collect fair and just compensation not only makes survival more difficult for that person, it also undermines any real accountability of the negligent party, the corporation.  The U.S. Supreme Court erroneously granted corporations personhood with its unconscionable ruling in the duplicitously-named  “Citizens United” case.  The rancid H.R. 1215 bill takes that catastrophe a step further, moving us all further down the road to complete corporate servitude.

Make no mistake: the end game is clear.  Like the Trump juggernaut, this bill moves under the guise of a populist movement which pretends that it will help people.  But the people ARE the target, and this new war is the same as the old:  It’s corporate power vs. people power.  If you have not figured that out yet, God help us all.

H.R. 1215 Violates the Constitution
The Seventh Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees a U.S. citizen’s right to a civil trial by jury.  Despite all its phony language about “protecting” people, H.R. 1215 works in direct violation of that right.

What is the Protecting Access to Care Act of 2017?
The summary of the bill, H.R. 1215, reads: “To improve patient access to health care services and provide improved medical care by reducing the excessive burden the liability system places on the health care delivery system.” In short, this is a bill designed to take away your rights to a jury trial, and to limit how much compensation an injury victim can collect.

Medical Errors are 3rd Leading Cause of Death in the U.S.
Medical errors are the third leading cause of death in this country. So how are your rights being “protected” if we limit your compensation?  Is your child’s life worth just $250,000? According to Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan it is. This bill will not only not “protect” you and your family. It will also destroy any incentive that the medical industry has to actually fix that problem. What has happened in Texas with its Draconian “tort reform” will open the door to that happening all over the country. H.R. 1215 will preempt your state’s laws that would formerly protect you from the kinds of things that have happened to Texas patients with their many perverted, imprisoned doctors, which the state’s twisted Tort Reform enables.

What damage caps will H.R. 1215 put into place?
The new bill places no caps on economic damages, a small silver lining in a black cloud. It will, however, drastically limit the amount of non-economic damages you may be able to collect – and in a sneaky way, too. From the bill (excerpts in bold are ours):

“In any health care lawsuit, the amount of noneconomic damages, if available, shall not exceed $250,000, regardless of the number of parties against whom the action is brought or the number of separate claims or actions brought with respect to the same injury.

“The jury shall not be informed about the maximum award for noneconomic damages. An award for noneconomic damages in excess of $250,000 shall be reduced either before the entry of judgment, or by amendment of the judgment after entry of judgment, and such reduction shall be made before accounting for any other reduction in damages required by law.

“In any health care lawsuit, each party shall be liable for that party’s several share of any damages only and not for the share of any other person. Each party shall be liable only for the amount of damages allocated to such party in direct proportion to such party’s percentage of responsibility.”

More Problems with H.R. 1215
Damage caps have always been a problem, but we have deeply-rooted concerns about the rest of the bill. H.R. 1215 also stands to:

  • Eliminate the class-action lawsuit
  • Make all healthcare claims federal claims, thus eliminating states’ laws
  • Allow insurance companies to pay claims via payments, not all at once

Soft targets of the bill, plaintiff attorneys – who fight for injured people – will have their fees arbitrarily limited.  Defense attorneys – who represent the corporations that caused harm – have no such limits placed on their pay.  The surgeon who hacked off the wrong leg, or the intern who mislabeled a chart and killed someone with a drug overdose, or the doctor who missed your cancer diagnosis?  Their “defense” attorneys can charge whatever they want.

Why H.R. 1215 is bad for injured people and their families
This Congressional bill aims to fix a “crisis” that even medical malpractice insurers say does not exist.  The Doctors Company, one of the country’s largest medical malpractice insurance providers, says, “Doctors are paying less for malpractice insurance than they did in 2001 – without any inflation adjustment. (And) the rate of claims has dropped by half since 2003.”

Despite a mountain of evidence to the contrary, including years of studies, research, data collection and other hard evidence, this Congress continues to perpetuate the lie that limiting the civil justice system, in terms of which kinds of lawsuits you can bring and in how much money an injured person can collect, will do anything at all to save money when it comes to health care.

All so-called “tort reform” has ever done is hurt more people more often. The Protecting Access to Care Act of 2017 essentially says that it doesn’t matter how severe, how catastrophic, your injuries are.  Your life is worth $250,000, end of story.  Is that what your life is worth?  How about your child’s life?  If it costs a plaintiff’s attorney $250,000 to put together a medical malpractice case (and it typically costs at least that much), and the highest possible payout is $250,000, do you think you will be able to find an attorney to represent you?

What is Your Life or Injury Worth?
If a surgeon accidentally nicks your wife’s artery and she dies during back surgery, is that worth only $250,000 for you and your family?

If a doctor fails to recommend an emergency C-section because the umbilical cord is wrapped around your unborn baby’s neck, and your child suffers permanent brain damage that requires lifetime nursing care running into the millions of dollars, is that worth just $250,000 to you?

If a doctor prescribes the wrong medication to your spouse and it kills him, is that worth just $250,000?

U.S. Senate Could Destroy Your Rights with H.R.1215

Whether you have ever needed a medical malpractice or a personal injury attorney or not, you would be wise to contact your U.S. Senators today and tell them to vote “No” on H.R. 1215.  The only ones who will benefit from this bill are the corporations that cause people harm.

Matthews & Associates, meanwhile, will continue to fight against this obscenity of a bill.  We have always fought for the individuals’ rights against the corporation that harmed them.  We are lawyers working for people.  We don’t work for corporations, ever.

To learn more about our services, contact us at any time. Call or email for a free legal consultation.

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Ten Deaths Linked With Hernia Repair Physiomesh

At least ten deaths have been linked with hernia repair Physiomesh™, according to U.S. FDA reports.  Mesh News Desk worked with Device Events to bring these deaths to light.

Thousands of women with transvaginal mesh claims have known for years of the dangers of polypropylene (plastic) mesh implanted in the human body.  Now, as many of the women’s pelvic mesh cases are settling, several trial lawyers are taking on hernia mesh lawsuits.

One Million Hernia Repairs

More than a million hernia repairs are performed yearly.  Many recipients of the plastic mesh used for hernia repairs are now reporting the same problems that transvaginal mesh patients did.  Hernia mesh victims report chronic pain, infection, mesh shrinkage, mesh migration, organ perforation, and more.

Medical device injury lawyers are focusing primarily on coated hernia meshes.  They are preparing cases for future litigation, specifically Atrium C-Qur and Physiomesh™ made by Ethicon, a division of Johnson & Johnson (JNJ).  Ethicon voluntarily recalled Physiomesh™ from the market in May 2016.

The Urgent: Field Safety Notice, notes two unpublished studies found that Physiomnesh™ had higher failure rates for laparoscopic ventral hernia surgeries than other meshes used in a German and Danish Medical Registry.

The voluntary product recall states unpublished data found, “The recurrence/reoperation rates (respectively) after laparoscopic ventral hernia repair using Ethicon Physiomesh™ Composite Mesh were higher than the average rates of comparative the comparator set of meshes among patients in these registries.”

Physiomesh Cleared by FDA, Not Approved

Some 300,000 patients have likely been implanted with Physiomesh™ since it was cleared by the FDA for sale via the 510 (k) process in 2010.   FDA Clearance does not mean FDA Approval, which is why the makers of these products can still be held accountable in the civil court system.

The Field Safety Notice notes nothing about hernia mesh deaths.

Device Events:  Ten Deaths Linked with Physiomesh™
‘Device Events’ is an investigative tool that uses proprietary algorithms designed by developer Madris Tomes, a former FDA investigator.   Ms. Tomes now investigates under-reported or mis-reported entries to the FDA complication databases, in order to identify patterns of injury or death.  In all, Ms. Tomes shared (with Mesh Medical Device News Desk) seven (7) injury and ten (10) death reports linked with Physiomesh™ hernia mesh.

Dirty Data skews True Picture
“While the FDA requires manufacturers and hospitals to report deaths due to devices, if there is any leeway or room for interpretation, often the reports come in as injuries or malfunctions. Tens of thousands of deaths have been extremely difficult to find due to this regulatory ambiguity and dirty data. This can be the critical data point needed for mesh and countless other medical device cases.” – Madris Tomes, Device Events

Further exploration of deaths and injury via additional search terms (such as manufacturer and a host of search terms used to unearth findings), are available via a subscription to Device Events.

Mesh Maker Must Report Adverse Events
Hospitals, medical device makers and importers are required to file adverse event reports with the FDA.  Lawyers, doctors, and patients may also file an adverse event report to the FDA. (See how here.)

An Adverse Event report means the device “may” have caused or contributed to death or serious injury, according to Isaac Chang, Ph.D, Director of the Division of Postmarket Surveillance with the FDA.

Certain malfunctions, such as a product failure, improper design, labeling and manufacturing problems, failure to meet performance specifications and use error must also be reported. Those incidents may have been a factor in a death or serious injury.

Sepsis and Infection
The ten deaths linked with Ethicon Physiomesh reported to the MAUDE database, almost always involved infection.

Sepsis is the most common word for a bacterial, fungal or viral infection of the bloodstream, according to Mayo Clinic here. Sepsis should be treated in the early stages before progressing to severe septic shock, which can be fatal, especially in an older person or one with a weakened immune system.

Sepsis’ origin can be the introduction of an invasive device or injury to the bowel, which then releases bacteria into the system.

Ten Deaths Linked With Hernia Repair Physiomesh
Organs can fail from severe sepsis, gangrene or tissue death.

Patient 8 died from sepsis after straps of the mesh were turned into the fascia violating the bowel.  Bowel violation, says a report on the patient.

Patient 14 is listed as an injury report, even though it later said the “patient had a generalized infection and died” after a Physiomesh™ implant and suffering two injuries to the small intestine.

In some cases, initial injury reports are not updated when the patient expires.

Mesh breakage of Physiomesh report to MAUDE
Patient 23 is an injury report with sepsis and the “mesh breaking up” and a “hole in the mesh” necrosis, and “resection of small bowel,” yet the reporter, JNJ, says the “mesh met the finished goods criteria.”  In other words, it did not test as defective.

Physiomesh™ problems have included a failure of the mesh to incorporate with the body, largely blamed on the laminated coating on the polypropylene (PP).

The Physiomesh™ is constructed of knitted filaments of extruded PP (plastic) with an additional dyed polydioxanone film marker, added for orientation purposes. The coatings were added to each side to avoid contact with tissue and organs and bowel. But with no PP exposed, the hernia mesh may not incorporate into the body, leaving it potentially floating and moving around in the patient.

Also, since less PP (plastic) was used to make Physiomesh™ “lightweight,” it is considered to be weaker than standard hernia mesh made of polypropylene.

The Physiomesh™ may tear apart as a result, according to trial attorneys pursuing these cases.

Natural Hernia Mesh Death?
Patient 20 was considered obese with chronic steroid use. Those are the factors contributing to his surgical site infection and wheezing, according to the entry.  The mesh separated and did not adhere to the intestinal loops.  Fasciitis and infection were observed.

A new mesh was implanted. The patient died four weeks after the Physiomesh™ was implanted. His death was attributed to bronchoaspiration and respiratory failure.
An autopsy was not ordered due to the “natural death.”

When Patient 24 presented with a 104.5 fever following his Physiomesh™ implant, as well as sepsis, he had the mesh removed. In 12 hours, the report says, “the patient got better.”

FDA Reports favor Mesh Maker
Two of the reports to the FDA seem tortured to avoid connecting the mesh to the patient’s death.

In the Patient 21 death report, which notes complications and sepsis after a mesh implant, the mesh maker reports there is “no reason to suspect the mesh malfunctioned and caused the patient death.”

Patient 16’s death, J&J reports, is “not related to mesh but to co-morbidity.” The patient had two surgeries, was bleeding from the trocar site and had necrosis of the colon.

Another death report, Patient 17, reports that he died six days post-op. The patient was enrolled in a study of patients with peritonitis to prevent incisional hernias. The patient suffered three small bowel resections during the procedure. The patient passed out in the hospital and hit his head. He died after 45 minutes of resuscitation.

Ethicon Response
Ethicon’s newer version of Physiomesh, Ethicon Physiomesh™ Open Flexible Composite Mesh Device, was approved via 510(k) October 23, 2014. It remains on the market and is not related to the withdrawal of Physiomesh.

Removing Physiomesh™ from the market does not qualify as an FDA recall, notes J&J.

A call from Mesh News Desk to J&J to respond to these reports went unanswered by deadline. Jane Akre of the Desk said that any additional comments will be added when and if they are received.

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Morcellator Device Violates Standard of Care

A California surgeon Hysterectomy Sarcoma Attorneyhas said the morcellation device violates the standard of care.  V.G. Hufnagel, MD, said that she warned Johnson & Johnson back in 1993 that the morcellator would spread disease. The doctor said she told J&J and German morcellator maker Karl Stortz that morcellation would trigger infection, endometriosis, adonomyosis, and fibroids.  The doctor also says she told J&J and Karl Stortz that their morcellation devices would kill women with sarcoma.

Morcellator Design Flawed
Dr. Hufnagel, who said she was the first California surgeon to remove a fibroid with a laparascope, has also reported that she told J&J the morcellator was not properly designed.  She says she told J&J that tissue cannot be chopped up and then spread all throughout the pelvic cavity.

The “Unexpected Cancer” Lie: How Morcellator violates Standard of Care
Dr. Hufnagel, a self-described whistleblower, said that the morcellator device violates the standard of care.  She said the standard of care is simple:  “All tissues need to be evaluated for cancer and other conditions before operating on any woman.”

The problem is that no reliable test can now evaluate whether or not a woman’s uterine fibroids are cancerous.  Consequently, any surgeon morcellating a woman’s fibroids is taking a chance that they are not cancerous.   One wrong guess can kill the patient.

Surgical Oncology – Unambiguous Rules
Dr. Hufnagel says that surgeons and morcellator makers try to explain the unfortunate results as “unexpected cancer.”  Dr. H. Cries foul on that explanation.  She says that surgeons and device makers have “fabricated the concept of ‘unexpected tumor’ and ‘unexpected cancer’.  She says they use those marketing and false medical finding/diagnostic terms to “take away [or cover up] the full knowledge that all have had.”

The surgeon says that during any operation, “all tissues must be treated as if they are cancer.”  The doctor wrote:  “In the morcellaton process all of the science used to develop oncological protocol to give the best outcome for the patient was and is totally ignored.  It is truly madness.  A chopper is racing about chopping up tissue emulsifying it into small particles and with it speeds spreading tissue about the body.”

Morcellator Device Violates Standard of Care
Dr. Hufnagel also explains that without full knowledge of the dangers of morcellation, women cannot give their informed consent to a procedure that involves the use of a morcellator.

Surgeon Files Formal Legal Complaint
Dr. Hufnagel filed a formal legal complaint against morcellator makers on Dec. 31, 2015.  Her petition includes the claim that she redesigned the device in 1995, which she says she showed and explained to the medical device committee of the FDA.

Dr. Hufnagel’s petition also includes the claims that she wears several hats. She is:

•  a gynecological surgical ethics specialist

•  creator of a new surgical branch of gynecology called Female Reconstructive Surgery before 1985

•  a student of Kurt Semm ( Germany) and Viktor Bonney (UK)

•  the first physician to write law to protect patients in the USA, Calif., Texas, New York with informed consent for hysterectomy

•  an internationally known women’s health care expert and whistle-blower on abuses.

Dr. Hufnagel, however, is not the first physician to announce that morcellation violates the standard of care.  Dr. Amy Reid and her husband, Dr. Hoonan Noorchashm, have also spoken out about the problems of morcellating cancer tissue.  Dr. Reid, a mother of five, died of cancer this past Spring after a morcellator was used on her.

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Seven Deaths Follow Weight Loss Balloon Treatment

Seven Deaths Follow Weight Loss Balloon Treatment

Seven people have died following weight loss balloon treatment since 2016, according to the FDA.  The obesity balloons were placed inside the people’s stomachs.

FDA Issues Alert
The FDA issued a letter August 10, 2017 to an audience of surgeons, gastroenterologists, and other health care professionals. The agency said the deceased had all received “liquid-filled intragastric balloon systems to treat obesity.”

Deaths within a Month
The agency reported that five deaths occurred within a month or less of balloon placement. Death occurred in three cases within 1-3 days after a balloon was placed.

Orbera & ReShape Intragastric Balloon Systems
The agency said it also received two additional reports of balloon deaths in the same time frame. One was a gastric perforation with the Orbera Intragastric Balloon System and the other an esophageal perforation with the ReShape Integrated Dual Balloon System.

Four death reports involve the ReShape Integrated Dual Balloon System made by Apollo Endo Surgery; one involves the ReShape Integrated Dual Balloon System made by ReShape Medical, Inc.

Root Cause of Death Unknown
The FDA wrote in its August 2017 alert: “We do not know the root cause or incidence rate of patient death, no have we been able to definitively attribute the deaths to the devices or the insertion procedures for these devices (e.g., gastric and esophageal perforation, or intestinal obstruction).”

The FDA’s adverse report system is broad and not designed to immediately prove a device or drug caused a complication.  It is designed to gather information about anything that happens to anyone using a drug or device (or soon after); so that investigators can determine cause and effect.

FDA Letter of Feb. 2017 Re: Intestinal Balloon Labeling
In Feb. 2017, FDA issued a previous letter to health care providers recommending close monitoring of obese patients treated with liquid-filled intragastric balloon systems.  The FDA alerted providers to the potential risks of acute pancreatitis and spontaneous over-inflation.  Both companies then revised their patient labeling to address these risks.

FDA continues to recommend health care providers closely monitor anyone implanted with an obesity balloon.  It also urges professionals to promptly report any adverse events related to intragastric balloon systems through MedWatch., the FDA Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program.

Law Firm Investigating Obesity Balloon Deaths
Matthews & Associates Law Firm is investigating obesity balloon death cases for potential litigation.  Contact our law firm for a free legal consultation if you or someone you love was injured by an intestinal balloon used to treat obesity.  We have been handling medical devices litigation for more than a decade.

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Kill weeds without Monsanto’s Roundup

Monsanto’s Roundup is controversial, to say the least.  Dozens of studies not sponsored by Monsanto have found reasons why people would be wise to use something besides Roundup (glyphosate) to kill weeds.

Seralini Study threatens Monsanto

Cancerous tumors grew in rats after four weeks of glyphosate exposure.  In a similar experiment sponsored by Monsanto, industry scientists conveniently stopped following the development of glyphosate-exposed rats after three weeks. That’s just one example of how Monsanto manipulates science to give glyphosate the appearance of being safe.  In another, Monsanto secretly put its own man into an editor’s position to have Seralini’s famous rat study retracted.  An international outcry from outraged scientists, however, got the study re-published in another peer-reviewed scientific journal, one with an editor not tied to Monsanto.

Ten More Reasons not to support Monsanto

•  A high-ranking U.S. EPA official has been caught red-handed exchanging emails with Monsanto executives to help silence growing consumer fears over a glyphosate-cancer link.

•  Glyphosate has been declared a probable carcinogen by the World Health Organization.

•  California has added glyphosate to its list of chemicals likely to cause cancer.

•  New revelations occur almost daily of Monsanto’s cozy relationship with US “regulators” as well as politicians.

•  France has banned glyphosate.  Norway has announced Monsanto GMOs lack safety evidence.

•  Studies have shown Roundup attacks kidney and liver function.

•  Monsanto has used its deep pockets and far-reaching legal and political connections to sue at least 140 independent farmers.  With more lawyers than R&D people on its payroll, Monsanto rarely loses a legal fight.

•  Monsanto has used its cozy connections in the U.S. government to force its products and nasty farming methods on the survivors of murdered and tortured people in Iraq and elsewhere. Monsanto and the U.S. government “help” destroyed countries (Disaster Capitalism at its finest) that never wanted our “help” in the first place.

•  Glypohosate and other pesticide herbicides (same thing) have been shown now beyond doubt to contribute significantly to the massive bee die-offs that threaten all of civilization as we know it.

•  Monsanto is being sued by at least 100 people who were diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and other types of cancer following years of Roundup exposure.

Practical Reasons not to Support Monsanto
These and many other reasons should give a thinking person pause for buying Monsanto’s poison products.  There are also simple, practical reasons why purchasing Roundup makes little sense.

Besides being a probable carcinogen, Roundup is expensive. It has also been found to be an odd-duck chemical. The old adage that the dose makes the poison fails to hold for the killer chemical combo that is Roundup.  Some studies have shown that glyphosate (in Roundup) is even more dangerous at lower (chronic) levels than at higher doses.  Monsanto has used that oddity to its advantage, so far.  This counter-intuitive facet of glyphosate either fools unwitting regulators, or it allows former Monsanto employees now working for the US government (like Michael Taylor) a tidy platform on which to promote Roundup as safe, when nothing could be further from the truth.

Kill weeds without Monsanto’s Roundup
The good news is that natural methods work for killing weeds that won’t give one lymphoma or kill one’s pets or pollinating bees.  One can kill weeds with kitchen pantry items as cheap as they are non toxic: white vinegar, table salt, dishwashing liquid.

The Ingredients: Vinegar, Salt, Dish Washing Liquid
•  White vinegar: Ordinary distilled white vinegar with 5% acidity works great.  A higher acidity, even up to 20%, will work faster, but results will be the same.

•  Table salt: The cheapest table salt is fine, iodized or un-iodized generic salt, also known as sodium chloride (NaCl).

•  Dishwashing liquid: A few drops.  Brand doesn’t matter.  Soap breaks the surface tension of the vinegar, so it sticks to weeds, forcing them to more readily absorb it.

Weed Killer for Areas to be Replanted
For weeds in areas you want to replant, fill an ordinary garden sprayer with white vinegar and add about one teaspoon liquid dish washing soap. Apply sprayer top and follow the instructions on the sprayer to get it ready.  It’s that simple.  Pick a hot, dry day to spray weeds to saturation. They will wilt and shrivel up within hours, so be careful to not spray anything you want to survive.  Don’t worry about the vinegar killing anything below the soil.  Vinegar will not harm the soil. You can safely replant the area once the weeds have died.

Weed Killer for Areas Never to Grow Again
The Romans pounded salt blocks into the land of their enemies to make their fields barren, so this method is as old as the Bible.  Beware how you apply it.

To kill all vegetation in walkways, driveways and other areas where you don’t want any living thing to grow again, mix two cups of ordinary table salt with one gallon of white vinegar.  Use a container larger than one gallon to leave room for the salt.  Apply the lid and shake it to dissolve the salt.  Salt dissolves more quickly in vinegar than in water, but it still takes time.  It’s okay if the salt doesn’t completely dissolve.  Add one teaspoon of liquid dish washing soap. Pour it all into an ordinary garden sprayer.  Apply the concoction to weeds or grass on a dry, sunny day.

The salt will eventually penetrate and leach into the soil, killing weeds forever (unlike Roundup, which has spawned superweeds). It may take several applications, but eventually salt will “sterilize” the soil, so that nothing will grow there.

And please remember to plan well before you decide to kill any plot of ground forever.

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