Re: 3The EPA, whose mission is . . . to protect human health and the environment,1 has approved Monsanto1srequest to allow levels of glyphosate (Roundup) contamination in your food up to a million times higher than have been found carcinogenic.2
With Reuters and other major news organizations finally pushing forward
on our Feb. 16 story about Hubers letter to the USDA that warned of
spontaneous miscarriage possibly linked to Roundup, the manufacturer
Monsanto has posted a rebuttal on its website: In a January 17, 2011
letter to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, retired Purdue University
professor Don Huber proclaims discovery of a plant pathogen that
appears to significantly impact the health of plants, animals, and
probably human beings. The letter also alleges this pathogen is more
prevalent on herbicide-tolerant genetically modified (GM) crops. No data
was provided nor cited, and no collaborators were identified . . .
In the next paragraph, Monsanto follows up by acknowledging what a pesky
thorn Huber has been, ever since they hired him to research their
genetically modified products more than two decades ago.
Huber has previously made allegations related to micronutrient uptake
and diseases in connection with GM crops and glyphosate products, said
the statement. Independent field studies and lab tests by multiple U.S.
universities and by Monsanto prior to, and in response to, these
allegations do not corroborate his claims. . . .
The statement in Monsantos letter of response is disingenuous, said
Dr. James E. Rahe, Professor Emeritus, Department of Biological
Sciences, Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, B.C. The published
research from my lab done during the 1980s and 1990s showed that
glyphosate (Roundup) causes increased susceptibility of dicot species to
infection by root rot fungi such as pythium and fusarium.
Rahe is retired now to life as a row-crop farmer and has less at stake
than his younger counterparts who still toil in laboratories that
depend, largely, on funding from Monsanto and its brethren to conduct
their work. He said he is inclined to accept Hubers letter and inherent
warnings to the USDA.
On reading the letter, my impression is that it was sent in good
faith, said Rahe, who said he still uses Roundup on a limited basis on
his farm. The claims made in Hubers letter concerning a novel
micro-fungal-like organism appear to be based on a substantial amount
of unpublished research by several individuals in distinct scientific
disciplines. If so, and now that the cat is out of the bag, it will be
interesting to see what information appears in the domain of the
scientific community in the near future with regard to the nature of
this organism and its relationship to certain plant diseases and animal
reproductive failure. . . .
If youre a practicing researcher dependent on a certain level of
funding, it can be very, very damaging to come forward with any
information that is considered detrimental to the GM industry, said
Vlieger. It can literally ruin careers.
Making research involving genetically modified crops even more difficult
is Monsantos overt squelching of any research by independent labs. The
company wont make seeds available and will take scientists to court for
attempting to take any independent research public. Farmers, by
contract, are not allowed to share even a handful of seed with a lab.
Agritech companies have given themselves veto power over the work of
independent researchers . . . Only studies that the seed companies have
approved ever see the light of a peer-reviewed journal, said an article
in the August 2009 issue of Scientific American.
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