Monsanto wants to add new poison to its toxic assault on our food. Monsanto’s Roundup (glyphosate) has spawned superweeds which have grown resistant to Roundup. Monsanto’s answer to this problem it has created has been to lobby the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to give Monsanto permission to put more and different poisons into our food supply.
Glyphosate contaminates Everything
Glyphosate has been found virtually everywhere contaminating our food and water. As Roundup is being sprayed daily on crops and public areas, we are almost constantly breathing, drinking, and eating it. Testing throughout the world proves our constant exposure, whether in California wine, German beer, or General Mills Granola bars. The U.S. EPA rolled over on Monsanto’s latest request as it usually does for Monsanto, granting the biotech bully license to further pollute and poison the country, its people, pollinating insects, plants, animals (what else you got?).
Environmental Groups move against Monsanto
To slow this endless onslaught, environmental groups have asked the Ninth Circuit court to strike down the U.S. EPA’s approval of Monsanto’s toxic answer to its self-created problem — a new weed killer aimed at killing the Roundup-resistant weeds. On Jan. 23, 2017, the groups told the court that the new Monsanto poison could lead to “superweeds” resistant to both the older and the newer poisonous products.
According to Law 360, the Center for Food Safety, National Family Farm Coalition, Center for Biological Diversity and Pesticide Action Network North America filed their petition on Jan. 23. It seeks to overturn the FDA’s conditional registration for a new use of dicamba, an herbicide (plant poison) now being sold under the brand name XtendiMax. FDA issued its rubber stamp approval in November 2016. XtendiMax had previously been approved for pre-planting, during planting and as a “pre-emergent.” The latest approval allows it to be sprayed directly on Monsanto’s dicamba-resistant cotton and soybeans.
FDA Violated U.S. Law for Monsanto
The environmental groups’ petition said FDA violated the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act when it approved XtendiMax. The agency also violated the Endangered Species Act by failing to consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in order to address potential threats to wildlife or critical habitat.
Earthjustice, which represents the environmental groups, said in a Jan. 23 statement that dicamba will only continue the problem of weed resistance started by Monsanto’s Roundup.
The Earthjustice Statement reads: “The huge increase in dicamba spraying will trigger an outbreak of dicamba resistance in weeds, just as massive use of Roundup on first generation [genetically engineered] crops created an epidemic of weeds immune to glyphosate. (While) Monsanto spins its new dicamba crops as a fix to the current weed resistance problems its own Roundup Ready crop system caused, many scientists, and even the U.S. Department of Agriculture, predict the opposite: the rapid emergence of more superweeds, resistant to both herbicides.”
In a November 2016 statement announcing XtendiMax’ approval, Monsanto said it “is intended to provide farmers with more consistent, flexible control of weeds, especially tough-to-manage and glyphosate resistant weeds, and to help maximize crop yield potential.”
The EPA tepidly addressed the issue of weed resistance in its approval for the pesticide in November. The agency said herbicide resistance has become a “significant issue to growers” and required Monsanto to come up with an Herbicide Resistance Management plan as a condition of the approval.
In genuflecting to Monsanto as it typically does, the EPA said that if the new product is not working, Monsanto must “investigate the issue.” It is hard to imagine a more toothless, industry friendly stance than this one taken by the U.S. EPA. You will be hard pressed to find such an agency in all the world as industry friendly as this one entrusted with our food supply. France, for one, has moved to ban glyphosate, acknowledging that Roundup causes liver disease. Roundup has also been found to raise the risk of cancer; it has triggered Roundup Cancer Lawsuits.
The EPA did, however, throw us all a bone, setting the registration to automatically expire in November 2018, unless EPA determines before then that it’s not causing unintended problems. (What about intended problems, which will only trigger more toxic spraying, as Roundup already has, in order to battle the superweeds it has created, along with the cancer?)
Dicamba increases Farmer Cancers
The environmental groups also said in their statement that dicamba has been linked to increased cancer in farmers, though the EPA said in its November 2016 approval that it has classified the chemical as “not likely” to be carcinogenic in humans. The EPA drew that conclusion following the results of Monsanto’s own laboratory studies on mice and rats. Third party studies have found the opposite is true. The EPA also claims glyphosate is safe, while the World Health Organization classifies it as “probably carcinogenic.”
Center for Food Safety Statement
Center for Food Safety attorney George Kimbrell said in a Jan. 23 statement: “Federal regulators have abandoned the interests of farmers, the environment, and public health,” “We won’t allow our food to be dragged backward into a pesticide-soaked nightmare — not without a hell of a fight.”
A spokeswoman for Monsanto reached for comment by Law 360 defended XtendiMax in an emailed statement: “[F]armers need new tools for weed control, and the EPA approved XtendiMax with VaporGrip Technology for in-crop use after more than seven years of exhaustive scientific review and evaluation. Dicamba-based herbicides have a 40-year history of safe use, and we are confident the government’s exhaustive assessment will prevail.”
Those “40-year history” studies, of course, were virtually all done by employees of Monsanto or by scientists hired by Monsanto. Researchers not working for Monsanto have found kidney and liver damage and tumors in rats, other life-threatening “side effects.” Monsanto has also been sued for false advertising, for a blatant lie which it prints on the Roundup label. It claims glyphosate targets an enzyme found only in plants, but not in people or pets. The scope of that lie is astonishing, as elementary science shows that same enzyme Roundup targets also lives in the guts of humans and animals.
Monsanto wants to add new poison
The plaintiffs are represented by George Andreas Kimbrell of the Center for Food Safety and Paul Achitoff of Earthjustice.
The EPA is represented by Jon Michael Lipshultz of the U.S. Department of Justice.
The case is National Family Farm Coalition, et al v. USEPA, et al, case number 17-70196 in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.