Corbettreport – June 23, 2018
TRANSCRIPT AND MP3 AUDIO: https://www.corbettreport.com/bayer/
It is hardly surprising that the first thing Bayer did after completing their takeover of Monsanto earlier this month was to announce that they were dropping the Monsanto name, merging the two companies’ agrichemical divisions under the Bayer Crop Science name. After all, as everyone knows, Monsanto is one of the most hated corporations in the world. But Bayer itself has an equally atrocious history of death and destruction. Together they are a match made in hell.
There are no genetically engineered (genetically modified or GM) wheat varieties approved anywhere in the world. None have ever been commercially grown and sold. However, field trials of different GM wheat varieties continue in Canada and the US, at undisclosed locations.
Contamination from Monsanto’s GM herbicide-tolerant wheat
Monsanto’s GM trait for glyphosate-tolerance was found in wheat plants growing on a road in southern Alberta in 2017, in a contamination incident reported by Canadian regulators on June 14, 2018.[i]
There have been three GM wheat contamination incidents reported in the US (2013, 2014, 2016), all with Monsanto’s GM herbicide-tolerant (glyphosate-tolerant) “Roundup Ready” wheat.
In 2004, Monsanto withdrew its request for approval of its GM “Roundup Ready” wheat in Canada and the US after protests from farmers and consumers along with resistance in the international market.
The last time Monsanto grew trials of its GM wheat in Canada was in 2004 (2005 in the US).[ii]
Sustainable Pulse – May 22nd, 2018
The peer-reviewed accepted manuscripts from the pilot phase of the Global Glyphosate Study were revealed last Wednesday in a Press Conference at the European Parliament.
The results of the short-term pilot study showed that glyphosate-based herbicides (GBHs) were able to alter certain important biological parameters in rats, mainly relating to sexual development, genotoxicity and the alteration of the intestinal microbiome, at the ‘safe’ level of 1.75 mg/kg/day set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
As is normal practice for Monsanto, their Public Relations department was soon in action to try and crush the scientists involved and the study results, which could cause major damage to the product that supports their whole business model – the glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup.
However, this time their PR campaign against the Study was only met with contempt and disdain from journalists, politicians and the public in countries across Europe.
The Global Glyphosate Study involves The Ramazzini Institute, the University of Bologna (Faculty of Agriculture, Veterinary Science and Biostatistics) the Genoa Hospital San Martino, the Italian National Institute of Health, the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York and the George Washington University.
In an another legal blow to Monsanto, India’s Supreme Court on Monday refused to stay the Delhi High Court’s ruling that the seed giant cannot claim patents for Bollgard and Bollgard II, its genetically modified cotton seeds, in the country.
Monsanto’s chief technology officer Robert Fraley, who just announced that he and other top executives are stepping down from the company after Bayer AG’s multi-billion dollar takeover closes, lamented the news.
Fraley tweeted, “Having personally helped to launch Bollgard cotton in India & knowing how it has benefited farmers … it’s sad to see the country go down an anti-science/anti-IP/anti-innovation path…”
Monsanto first introduced its GM-technology in India in 1995. Today, more than 90 percent of the country’s cotton crop is genetically modified. These crops have been inserted with a pest-resistant toxin called Bacillus thuringiensis, or Bt.
Citing India’s Patents Act of 1970, the Delhi High Court ruled last month that plant varieties and seeds cannot be patented, thereby rejecting Monsanto’s attempt to block its Indian licensee, Nuziveedu Seeds Ltd., from selling the seeds.
Because of the ruling, Monsanto’s claims against Nuziveedu for unpaid royalties have been waived, as its patents are now invalid under Indian law. Royalties will now be decided by the government.
A California Appellate Court sided with the State of California and Center for Food Safety (CFS) on Thursday, affirming that Monsanto’s glyphosate pesticide can be listed as a known carcinogen under Proposition 65.
Monsanto’s lawsuit challenged the 2015 announcement by California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) that it intended to list glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s herbicide, Roundup, under California’s landmark Proposition 65.
Proposition 65 requires notification and labeling of all chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm, and prohibits their discharge into drinking waters of the state. CFS intervened in the case, defending the listing of glyphosate as a carcinogen and the public’s right to know when it is being exposed to cancer-causing chemicals.
April 10, 2018. On Monday April 9, the Wall Street Journal reported that the United States Department of Justice has agreed to allow a merger between seed and pesticide companies Bayer and Monsanto, creating the largest seed and pesticide company in the world. A US approval means that Canada could also soon permit the merger.
The US Department of Justice has not yet officially announced the deal, along with any conditions for the approval. Europe allowed the merger on the condition that Bayer sell some of its seeds, pesticides and digital farming investments to remove overlaps with Monsanto.
A decision from Canada’s Competition Bureau is also required but no timeline has been provided. The proposed merger requires regulatory approval from anti-trust agencies across the world.
“A US decision brings a Canadian announcement closer,” said Lucy Sharratt of the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN). “Canada is on the verge of making a decision that will affect farmers and consumers for many decades. It will shape the future of food and farming in Canada and across the world.”
The new merged company could control around 30 percent of the world’s commercial seed market and 25 percent of agricultural pesticides.
“A merger of this size creates an unprecedented level of corporate control over seeds and pesticides,” said Sharratt.
CBAN is calling on The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development to stop the merger.