While Exxon is being investigated for covering up knowledge about climate change (and misinforming the public) for decades, Monsanto had its own cover-up – it knew about the link between glyphosate and cancer for 35 years, according to research published in the Journal of Biological Physics and Chemistry.
Monsanto never reported a decades-worth of studies that showed animals exposed to glyphosate in their food developed cancer in multiple organs, and many died.
"In this paper, we have reviewed the research literature on glyphosate and on the biological processes associated with cancer, and we have provided strong evidence that glyphosate is likely contributing to the increased prevalence of multiple types of cancer in humans. Monsanto’s own early studies revealed some trends in animal models that should not have been ignored. 40 years of glyphosate exposure have provided a living laboratory where humans are the guinea pigs and the outcomes are alarmingly apparent," the researchers conclude.
"In 1981, both Monsanto and the EPA were aware of malignant tumours and pre-cancerous conditions in test animals given doses of glyphosate in secret feeding experiments. Although concerns were expressed by EPA committees, they were suppressed while Monsanto was allowed to bring forward a range of cynically manipulated and fraudulent studies purporting to show that glyphosate was harmless. None of these studies has been made available for independent examination. That is a scandal in itself. If Monsanto and the EPA had acted in a precautionary fashion back then, glyphosate would never have been licensed, and hundreds of thousands of lives might have been saved," says Brian John, speaking for GM-Free Cymru, a group that works to keep GMOs out of Wales.
Other investigations show Monsanto and the biotech industry have been enlisting university scientists willing to whitewash studies that show GMO crops cause harm. Then they hire PR firms to get the word out that GMOs and its main product, Roundup, are safe.
GMO Crops Failed Promises
Meanwhile, a report from Greenpeace exposes the dismal failure of GMO crops to live up to their promises. It debunks every myth the biotech industry uses to sell its products, such as:
• GMO crops can feed the world: sorry, not a single GMO crop is designed to deliver high yields, but instead are designed to sell the company’s pesticides.
• GMO crops hold the key to climate resilience: conventional breeding techniques are way ahead on developing plant varieties that can withstand drought, salt intrusion and other factors associated with climate change.
Resilience to climate change is much more about farming practices that promote crop diversity and nurture the soil, not monoculture GMO crops.
"Where GMO crops are grown, they lead to increased pesticide use and entrenchment of industrial farming systems that in turn exacerbate hunger, malnutrition and climate change," says Franziska Achterberg, EU food policy director for Greenpeace, noting that two-thirds of member nations have opted out of growing GMO crops.
After the World Health Organization called glyphosate a probable carcinogen, France banned Roundup from retail stores and California listed glyphosate as a carcinogen, opening the door to lawsuits.
Thrown Out of Mexico
This month, Mexico’s Supreme Court blocked cultivation of GMO soy in the Mexican states of Campeche and Yucatan, and separately, an appeals court upheld a 2013 ruling that bars planting or selling GMO corn in Mexico.
In the soy case, Maya beekeepers took Monsanto to court because pesticides used on Roundup Ready soy could destroy their businesses and their health. Honey collection and production is the main industry in the Yucatan. The court suspended Monsanto’s permit to grow GMO soybeans on over 250,000 hectares, directing the federal agency in charge to first consult with indigenous communities before granting such permits.
For corn, it’s a matter of saving Mexico’s staple maize crop, which has so far retained its diversity.
Roundup is also implicated in epidemics of fatal chronic kidney disease that’s affecting poor farming regions across the world.
Read the Greenpeace report, 20 Years of Failure: Why GM Crops Have Failed to Deliver on Their Promises: