Genetic Modification News ArticlesExcerpts of key news articles on genetically modified organisms
Monsanto, the giant of agricultural biotechnology, has been buffeted by setbacks this year that have prompted analysts to question whether its winning streak of creating ever more expensive genetically engineered crops is coming to an end. The latest blow came last week, when early returns from this year’s harvest showed that Monsanto’s newest product, SmartStax corn, which contains eight inserted genes, was providing yields no higher than the company’s less expensive corn, which contains only three foreign genes. Monsanto has already been forced to sharply cut prices on SmartStax and on its newest soybean seeds, called Roundup Ready 2 Yield, as sales fell below projections. Sales of Monsanto’s Roundup, the widely used herbicide, has collapsed this year under an onslaught of low-priced generics made in China. Weeds are growing resistant to Roundup, dimming the future of the entire Roundup Ready crop franchise. And the Justice Department is investigating Monsanto for possible antitrust violations. Until now, Monsanto’s main challenge has come from opponents of genetically modified crops, who have slowed their adoption in Europe and some other regions. Now, however, the skeptics also include farmers and investors who were once in Monsanto’s camp.
Note: For those who are not aware of how Monsanto executives are quite consciously endangering your health, click here.
As the Food and Drug Administration considers whether to approve genetically modified salmon, one thing seems certain: Shoppers staring at fillets in the seafood department will find it tough to pick out the conventional fish from the one created with genes from another species. Despite a growing public demand for more information about how food is produced, that won't happen with the salmon because of idiosyncracies embedded in federal regulations. The FDA says it cannot require a label on the genetically modified food once it determines that the altered fish is not "materially" different from other salmon - something agency scientists have said is true. Perhaps more surprising, conventional food makers say the FDA has made it difficult for them to boast that their products do not contain genetically modified ingredients. The decision carries great weight because, while genetically modified agriculture has been permitted for years and engineered crops are widely used in processed foods, this would be the first modified animal allowed for human consumption in the United States. The AquAdvantage salmon has been given a gene from the ocean pout, an eel-like fish, and a growth hormone from a Chinook salmon. Consumer advocates say they worry about labeling for genetically engineered beef, pork and other fish, which are lining up behind the salmon for federal approval.
Note: For an excellent overview of the dangers of genetically modified foods, click here.
Gordon Brown and other European leaders are secretly preparing an unprecedented campaign to spread GM crops and foods in Britain and throughout the continent, confidential documents obtained by The Independent on Sunday reveal. The documents –- minutes of a series of private meetings of representatives of 27 governments –- disclose plans to "speed up" the introduction of the modified crops and foods and to "deal with" public resistance to them. The secret meetings were convened by Jose Manuel Barroso, the pro-GM President of the Commission, and chaired by his head of cabinet, Joao Vale de Almeida. The prime ministers of each of the EU's 27 member states were asked to nominate a special representative. Neither the membership of the group, nor its objectives, nor the outcomes of its meetings have been made public. But The IoS has obtained confidential documents, including an attendance list and the conclusions of the two meetings held so far – on 17 July and just two weeks ago on 10 October – written by the chairman. The list shows that President Nicolas Sarkozy of France and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany sent close aides. Britain was represented by Sonia Phippard, director for food and farming at the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. The conclusions reveal the discussions were mainly preoccupied with how to speed up the introduction of GM crops and food and how to persuade the public to accept them. The documents also make clear that Mr Barroso is going beyond mere exhortation by trying to get prime ministers to overrule their own agriculture and environment ministers in favour of GM.
Note: For an excellent summary of the many health risks posed by genetically modified foods, click here.
The Bush administration has slipped a controversial ingredient into the $770 million aid package it recently proposed to ease the world food crisis, adding language that would promote the use of genetically modified crops in food-deprived countries. The value of genetically modified, or bio-engineered, food is an intensely disputed issue in the U.S. and in Europe, where many countries have banned foods made from genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. Opponents of GMO crops say they can cause unforeseen medical problems. They also contend that the administration's plan is aimed at helping American agribusinesses. "This is a hot topic now with the food crisis," said Ronnie Cummins, national director of the Organic Consumers Association. "I think it's pretty obvious at this point that genetically engineered crops ... don't increase yields. There are no commercialized crops that are designed to deal with the climate crisis." Noah Zerbe, an assistant professor of government and politics at Humboldt State University in California, said that GMO crops might not be appropriate for developing countries. "You get fantastic yields if you're able to apply fertilizer and water at the right times, and herbicides to go along with that," Zerbe said. "Unfortunately, most African farmers ... can't afford these inputs." The U.S. tried to introduce GMO crops to Africa in 2002, with mixed results. European Union opposition was part of the reason that several African nations that year balked at an offer of U.S. aid that included corn, some of which was genetically modified. [Despite] a severe drought, Zambia rejected the U.S. aid altogether.
Note: For an eye-opening overview of the risks of genetically modified foods, click here.
Until recently ... even the most sophisticated laboratories could make only small snippets of DNA -- an extra gene or two to be inserted into corn plants, for example, to help the plants ward off insects or tolerate drought. Now researchers are poised to cross a dramatic barrier: the creation of life forms driven by completely artificial DNA. Scientists in Maryland have already built the world's first entirely [artificial] chromosome -- a large looping strand of DNA made from scratch in a laboratory. In the coming year, they hope to transplant it into a cell, where it is expected to [be able to direct] the waiting cell to do its bidding. And while the first synthetic chromosome is a plagiarized version of a natural one, others that code for life forms that have never existed before are already under construction. The cobbling together of life from synthetic DNA, scientists and philosophers agree, will be a watershed event, blurring the line between biological and artificial -- and forcing a rethinking of what it means for a thing to be alive. That unprecedented degree of control over creation raises more than philosophical questions, however. What kinds of organisms will scientists ... make? How will these self-replicating entities be contained? And who might end up owning the patent rights to the basic tools for synthesizing life? Some experts are worried that a few maverick companies are already gaining monopoly control over the core "operating system" for artificial life and are poised to become the Microsofts of synthetic biology. That could ... place enormous power in a few people's hands. "Ultimately synthetic biology means cheaper and widely accessible tools to build bioweapons, virulent pathogens and artificial organisms that could pose grave threats to people and the planet," concluded a recent report by the Ottawa-based ETC Group, one of dozens of advocacy groups that want a ban on releasing synthetic organisms pending wider societal debate and regulation.
Note: Remember that top secret government programs are usually at least a decade ahead of anything reported to the public. To read more on the dangers of genetically modified organisms, click here.
Opponents of GE [genetically engineered] food ... say problems suggested in some health studies could take years to show up. Meanwhile, we're eating lots of GE foods anyway, whether we know it or not -- especially in processed foods, because corn, soy and canola are the Big 3 GE food crops." Since our government has refused to label these foods, how do we avoid buying and eating these foods?" asks [Andrew] Kimbrell, an attorney who heads the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Food Safety, a vocal opponent of GE foods. His new book, Your Right to Know: Genetic Engineering and the Secret Changes in Your Food ... answers that question. For conscious eaters, the heart of the book is a 14-page guide to your local supermarket. It tells you which foods are the most likely to contain GE ingredients (chips, snacks and baby formula), which aren't (fruits, vegetables, wheat), and how to read labels for "hidden ingredients" derived from corn, soy or canola (hint: look for high fructose corn syrup, soy lecithin and canola oil). A passport-size version of the guide, small enough to slide into most pockets or purses, comes along with the book. "I wanted to give people a usable tool to avoid these foods so they don't feel so helpless," said Kimbrell. The book isn't intended to present the pros and cons of GE foods. Kimbrell is 100 percent against the technology and spends a lot of time in court fighting companies like Monsanto, to keep GE crops from spreading. The Center for Food Safety also opposes irradiation and food animal cloning, and has labored to keep industry from weakening federal organic standards. In fact, Kimbrell is the man who calls the current administration's efforts to protect food safety "Katrina on a plate."
Richard Cotta, CEO of California Dairies Inc., the nation's second-largest dairy cooperative, is guided by a simple business philosophy: "If you want milk with little blue dots, you'll have it, as long as you are willing to pay for it." So, when a string of major customers, including supermarket giant Safeway, came to his co-op saying they would no longer accept milk from cows treated with a genetically engineered growth hormone, the co-op bowed to the inevitable. In January, California Dairies' board voted to ask its members not to inject synthetic bovine growth hormone into their cows. The action by a co-op that ships 50 million pounds of milk every day is part of a sweeping, consumer-driven agricultural makeover. Demand for natural foods is rising, while increasing numbers of consumers are avoiding products that rely on antibiotics or growth hormones. And food retailers are listening. Recombinant bovine somatotropin, or rbST, was approved by the Food and Drug Administration 14 years ago. It sustains lactation by stimulating cows' appetites so they eat more and produce more milk, perhaps an extra 5 quarts per day. The European Union, Japan, Canada and Australia did not approve rbST. The reasons included questions about human and animal safety, as well social and economic considerations. Research that shows injections of rbST increase another hormone, insulin-like growth factor 1, or IGF-1, in cows. Too much IGF-1 in humans is linked with increased rates of colon, breast and prostate cancer. Synthetic hormone use also ... leads to increased use of antibiotics, whose overuse is already a serious problem in the livestock industry.
Note: For many years the media has avoided even mentioning the major controversy over growth hormone use in milk and other animal products. To better understand how the mass media and big industry sometimes work together for profit at the expense of your health, click here.
A mysterious decimation of bee populations has German beekeepers worried, while a similar phenomenon in the United States is gradually assuming catastrophic proportions. In the United States ... bees are dying in such dramatic numbers that the economic consequences could soon be dire. No one knows what is causing the bees to perish, but some experts believe that the large-scale use of genetically modified plants in the US could be a factor. Since last November, the US has seen a decline in bee populations so dramatic that it eclipses all previous incidences of mass mortality. Beekeepers on the east coast of the United States complain that they have lost more than 70 percent of their stock since late last year, while the west coast has seen a decline of up to 60 percent. Scientists call the mysterious phenomenon "Colony Collapse Disorder" (CCD), and it is fast turning into a national catastrophe. A number of universities and government agencies have formed a "CCD Working Group" to search for the causes of the calamity, but have so far come up empty-handed. They are already referring to the problem as a potential "AIDS for the bee industry." Diana Cox-Foster, a member of the CCD Working Group ... said that the bees' death is accompanied by a set of symptoms "which does not seem to match anything in the literature." Some had five or six infections at the same time and were infested with fungi -- a sign, experts say, that the insects' immune system may have collapsed. The fact that genetically modified, insect-resistant plants are now used in 40 percent of cornfields in the United States could be playing a role.
Note: Bees play a vital role in fertilizing most flowers and crops. The consequences of this bee calamity could be far reaching. For an abundance of reliable, verifiable evidence that genetically modified crops, which are already a part of the normal U.S. diet, can be very damaging to the health of bees and humans, click here.
When you buy a gallon of organic milk, you expect to get tasty milk from happy cows who haven't been subjected to antibiotics, hormones or pesticides. But you might also unknowingly be getting genetically modified cattle feed. Albert Straus, owner of the Straus Family Creamery ... decided to test the feed that he gives his 1,600 cows last year and was alarmed to find that nearly 6% of the organic corn feed he received from suppliers was "contaminated" by genetically modified (GM) organisms. Organic food is, by definition, supposed to be free of genetically modified material. But as GM crops become more prevalent, there is little that an organic farmer can do to prevent a speck of GM pollen or a stray GM seed from being blown by the wind onto his land. In 2006, GM crops accounted for 61% of all the corn planted in the U.S. and 89% of all the soybeans. So Straus and five other natural food producers, including industry leader Whole Foods, announced last week that they would seek a new certification for their products, "non-GMO verified," in the hopes that it will become a voluntary industry standard for GM-free goods. In a few weeks, Straus expects to become the first food manufacturer in the country to carry the label in addition to his "organic" one. With Whole Foods in the ring, the rest of the industry will soon be under competitive pressure to follow. Genetically modified crops have become so prevalent in the U.S. that chances are you've been buying and eating them for years. You just wouldn't know it from the label: the U.S. Department of Agriculture, unlike agencies in Europe and Japan, do not require GM foods to be labeled.
Note: This article also states "scientists have not identified any specific health risks from eating GM foods." This is a clear lie, when two sentences later the article mentions Jeffrey Smith, who has written an entire book with excellent documentation showing many scientific studies in which animals died shortly after consuming GM foods. To see an excellent summary of this book including reliable footnotes, click here.
The Department of Agriculture declared safe for human consumption yesterday an experimental variety of genetically engineered rice found to have contaminated the U.S. rice supply this summer. The move ... to deregulate the special long-grain rice, LL601, was seen as a legal boon to its creator, Bayer CropScience. The company applied for approval shortly after the widespread contamination was disclosed in August and now faces a class-action lawsuit filed by hundreds of farmers in Arkansas and Missouri. The experimental rice ... escaped from Bayer's test plots after the company dropped the project in 2001. The resulting contamination, once it became public, prompted countries around the world to block rice imports from the United States, sending rice futures plummeting and farmers into fits. In approving the rice, the USDA allowed Bayer to take a regulatory shortcut and skip many of the usual safety tests. Joseph Mendelson, legal director of the nonprofit Center for Food Safety, said the quick approval shows that the USDA is more concerned about the fortunes of the biotechnology industry than about consumers' health. "USDA is telling agricultural biotechnology companies that it doesn't matter if you're negligent, if you break the rules, if you contaminate the food supply with untested genetically engineered crops, we'll bail you out," Mendelson said in a statement. Officials in Europe, where genetically altered rice is derisively dubbed "Frankenfood," made clear as recently as last week that European countries will not accept any U.S. rice, he said.
Note: For reliable information on the deception and dangers of GM (Genetically Modified) food, click here.
Food insiders may already know the disturbing facts highlighted by this film, but the general public is in for a shock at how corporations are using misleading campaigns -- and scare tactics -- to ensure that people around the world become dependent on genetically modified food. Monsanto and other corporate behemoths are motivated (not surprisingly) by profits, according to farmers, academics and others who talk to documentarian Deborah Koons Garcia. Canadian farmer Percy Schmeiser was targeted by Monsanto's lawyers because some of the corporation's patented seedlings were found on his property. Schmeiser didn't plant them there; wind blew the insecticide-resistant seeds onto his farm from another farm, or the seeds fell off a passing truck. Monsanto didn't care, ordering Schmeiser to kill all his family's seed because they'd potentially been contaminated by its patented product. Schmeiser ... fought Monsanto, spending his retirement money against the sort of legal attack that has already scared farmers throughout North America. Incredibly, a judge ruled in favor of Monsanto. Garcia's documentary shows how much the U.S. federal government favors these corporations, especially through lax oversight (the [FDA] and the Department of Agriculture seem to rubber-stamp every corporate project having to do with genetically modified food). In the past 20 years, Monsanto's alumni have occupied the high reaches of American power. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, for example, did legal work for the corporation, while Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was president of a Monsanto subsidiary.
Between 1999 and 2001, unbeknownst to the others, each [of four scientists] made a simple but dramatic discovery that challenged the catechism of the same powerful industry -- biotechnology -- that by then had become the handmaiden of industrial agriculture and the darling of venture capitalists. When he was the principal scientific officer of the Rowett Institute in Aberdeen, Scotland, Hungarian citizen Arpad Pusztai fed transgenically modified [GMO] potatoes to rodents in one of the few experiments that have ever tested the safety of genetically modified food. Almost immediately, the rats displayed tissue and immunological damage. After he reported his findings, which eventually underwent peer review and were published in the United Kingdom's leading medical journal, Lancet, Pusztai's home was burglarized and his research files taken. Soon thereafter, he was fired from his job at Rowett, and he has since suffered an orchestrated international campaign of discreditation. [Read full article for the other three distrubing stories of scientific suppression] These four men were not attacked because of flawed or imperfect experiments but because the findings of their work have a potential economic effect. The sad part is that the academies and other allegedly independent institutions that once defended scientific freedom and protected employees like Hayes, Chapela, Losey and Pusztai are abandoning them to the wolves of commerce, the brands of which are being engraved over the entrances to a disturbing number of university labs.
Note: Big money is clearly stifling good science and keeping the public in the dark about genetic modifications in the food we eat. To educate yourself on this most important topic, click here.
With safety concerns widespread, Americans almost unanimously favor mandatory labels on genetically modified foods. And most say they'd use those labels to avoid the food. Barely more than a third of the public believes that genetically modified foods are safe to eat. Instead 52 percent believe such foods are unsafe, and an additional 13 percent are unsure about them. That's broad doubt on the very basic issue of food safety. Nearly everyone, moreover — 93 percent — says the federal government should require labels on food saying whether it's been genetically modified, or "bio-engineered" (this poll used both phrases). Such near-unanimity in public opinion is rare. Fifty-seven percent also say they'd be less likely to buy foods labeled as genetically modified. The image problem of genetically modified food is underscored by contrast to organic foods. While only five percent of Americans say they'd be more likely to buy a food labeled as genetically modified, 52 percent say they'd be more likely to buy food that's labeled as having been raised organically. Genetically modified foods are particularly unpopular among women, another problem for food producers since so many women do the family shopping. Sixty-two percent of women think genetically modified foods are unsafe to eat, a view that's shared by far fewer men, 40 percent.
Note: Members of the U.S. Congress are finally starting to take action on this most important topic. For more key information on what you can do to help, click here.
Monsanto owner Bayer AG and industry lobbyist CropLife America have been working closely with US officials to pressure Mexico into abandoning its intended ban on glyphosate, a pesticide linked to cancer that is the key ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup weedkillers. The moves to protect glyphosate shipments to Mexico have played out over the last 18 months, a period in which Bayer was negotiating an $11bn settlement of legal claims brought by people in the US who say they developed non-Hodgkin lymphoma due to exposure to the company's glyphosate-based products. The pressure on Mexico is similar to actions Bayer and chemical industry lobbyists took to kill a glyphosate ban planned by Thailand in 2019. Records show alarm starting to grow in the latter part of 2019 after Mexico said it was refusing imports of glyphosate from China. In denying a permit for an import shipment, Mexican officials cited the "precautionary principle", which generally refers to a policy of erring on the side of caution. Industry executives told US government officials that they feared restricting glyphosate would lead to limits on other pesticides and could set a precedent for other countries to do the same. Mexico may also reduce the levels of pesticide residues allowed in food, industry executives warned. "If Mexico extends the precautionary principle" to pesticide residue levels in food, "$20bn in US annual agricultural exports to Mexico will be jeopardized", [CropLife president Chris] Novak wrote to US officials.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption from reliable major media sources.
One of the most powerful Big Food lobbyists wants to change its image. The Grocery Manufacturers Association ... is planning to change its name to the Consumer Brands Association in 2020, a sign the group is trying to distance itself from past troubles. In the past two years, food companies like Campbell, Kraft Heinz, Nestle, Hershey and Unilever have left the GMA, amid disputes. Among the issues that were fiercely debated were how and when to disclose the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The organization says each of the former members left for individual reasons, but the common thread was a failure by the organization to adapt as consumer sentiments and trends were evolving. “Gone are the days when we could have one face to policymakers and a different one to consumers,” said GMA President and CEO Geoff Freeman. ″Policymakers have little to no influence on the decisions consumers make,” he said. The organization’s agenda is based on the industry’s realization that it must react to consumers’ demands, rather than fight them, Freeman said. The new name more clearly identifies the companies in its membership: branded names in food, beverage, personal care and household products. GMA wants to fix what it believes is a broken system to help address the country’s recycling crisis. The U.S. does not have uniform recycling laws, which has led to contamination of shipments meant for recycling. Exacerbating this issue, China ... has begun to refuse America’s garbage.
Note: In 2016, the Grocery Manufacturers Association was forced to pay $18 million in damages for violating Washington State law in its opposition to a GMO labeling initiative. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption from reliable major media sources.
Glyphosate, an herbicide and the active ingredient in Monsanto Co's popular Roundup weed killer, will be added to California's list of chemicals known to cause cancer effective July 7, the state's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) said on Monday. Monsanto vowed to continue its legal fight against the designation, required under a state law known as Proposition 65. The listing is the latest legal setback for the seeds and chemicals company, which has faced increasing litigation over glyphosate since the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer said that it is "probably carcinogenic" in a controversial ruling in 2015. Dicamba, a weed killer designed for use with Monsanto's next generation of biotech crops, is [also] under scrutiny in Arkansas after the state's plant board voted last week to ban the chemical. OEHHA said the designation of glyphosate ... will proceed following an unsuccessful attempt by Monsanto to block the listing in trial court. Listing glyphosate as a known carcinogen ... would require companies selling the chemical in the state to add warning labels to packaging. Monsanto and other glyphosate producers would have roughly a year from the listing date to re-label products or remove them from store shelves if further legal challenges are lost.
Note: The negative health impacts of Monsanto's Roundup are well known. Major lawsuits are building over Monsanto's lies to regulators and the public about the safety of glyphosate. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food industry corruption and health.
Concerns about the world’s most widely used herbicide are taking a new twist. Researchers looking at exposure to the herbicide known as glyphosate, the key ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup-branded herbicides, said they tested and tracked 69 expectant mothers and found that the presence of glyphosate levels in their bodily fluids correlated with unfavorable birth outcomes. Glyphosate ... has become the subject of hot debate over the last few years because of research that links the herbicide to types of cancer and other health ailments. Monsanto is being sued by hundreds of people who claim they or their loved ones developed non-Hodgkin lymphoma because of exposure to glyphosate-based Roundup. Documents discovered in the course of the litigation indicate the company may have manipulated scientific research to hide evidence of harm. The team that presented their report Wednesday ... collected the data over two years, from 2015-2016, and found that higher glyphosate levels in women correlated with significantly shorter pregnancies and with lower adjusted birth weights. [Paul Winchester, who led the study], said he was surprised to see such a high percentage of women tested showing glyphosate in their urine. He was sharply critical of the U.S. government, which routinely skips testing for glyphosate residues in food.
Note: Major lawsuits are building over Monsanto's lies to regulators and the public on the dangers of glyphosate. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and health.
The reputation of Roundup, whose active ingredient is the world’s most widely used weed killer, took a hit on Tuesday when a federal court unsealed documents raising questions about its safety and the research practices of its manufacturer, the chemical giant Monsanto. Monsanto’s internal emails and email traffic between the company and federal regulators ... suggested that Monsanto had ghostwritten research that was later attributed to academics and indicated that a senior official at the Environmental Protection Agency had worked to quash a review of Roundup’s main ingredient, glyphosate, that was to have been conducted by the United States Department of Health and Human Services. The files were unsealed by Judge Vince Chhabria, who is presiding over litigation brought by people who claim to have developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma as a result of exposure to glyphosate. The litigation was touched off by a determination made nearly two years ago by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a branch of the World Health Organization, that glyphosate was a probable carcinogen. Court records show that Monsanto was tipped off to the determination by a deputy division director at the E.P.A., Jess Rowland, months beforehand. That led the company to prepare a public relations assault on the finding well in advance of its publication. Last year, a review by The New York Times showed how the [chemical] industry can manipulate academic research or misstate findings.
Note: The negative health impacts of Monsanto's Roundup are well known. Major lawsuits are beginning to unfold over Monsanto's lies to regulators and the public on the dangers of glyphosate. Yet the EPA continues to use industry studies to declare Roundup safe while ignoring independent scientists. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and health.
Testing for residues of an herbicide developed by Monsanto Co. that has been linked to cancer has turned up high levels in honey from the key farm state of Iowa, adding to concerns about contamination. The Food and Drug Administration began glyphosate residue testing in a small number of foods earlier this year after the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen. Research by FDA chemist Narong Chamkasem and John Vargo, a chemist at the University of Iowa, shows that residues of glyphosate - the chief ingredient in Monsanto’s branded Roundup herbicide - have been detected [in honey] at ... more than 10 times the limit of 50 ppb allowed in the European Union. “According to recent reports, there has been a dramatic increase in the usage of these herbicides, which are of risk to both human health and the environment,” Chamkasem and Vargo stated in their laboratory bulletin. Because there is no legal tolerance level for glyphosate in honey in the United States, any amount could technically be considered a violation, according to statements made in FDA internal emails, obtained through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. The Environmental Protection Agency may soon move to set a tolerance, however. The agency has set tolerance levels for glyphosate residues in many foods the EPA expects might contain residues of the weed killer.
A whistle-blower who once worked for Monsanto walked away with a handsome payout for alerting regulators to accounting improprieties within the company, according to Reuters. Regulators will reportedly award the former executive with $22 million in connection with the $80 million settlement agreement Monsanto made with the S.E.C. over an incentive program the company ran to promote its trademark weed killer, Roundup. The $22 million payout is the second-highest sum the S.E.C. has given so far to a whistle-blower, behind a $30 million award paid in September 2014. The regulatory agency enacted a program to sweeten the idea of reporting impropriety in 2011, as part of the Dodd-Frank reforms. With between 10 and 30 percent of penalties or settlement agreements made with the government on the line, Wall Streeters and company insiders have all but lined up to tip off the S.E.C. Between September 2014 and September 2015 alone, the agency says 4,000 people forked over information, and more than 30 of them have pocketed a collective $85 million over the last five years.
Note: Monsanto lied to regulators and investors about RoundUp's profitability for three years. Major lawsuits are beginning to unfold over Monsanto's lies on the dangers of Roundup. Yet the EPA continues to use industry studies to declare Roundup safe while ignoring independent scientists. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and health.
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