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Monsanto is Sweating This One

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Touch the Soil News #619 California officials have been wrestling with the health risks of Roundup (a Monsanto product) whose primary active ingredient is glyphosate. Glyphosate has been determined to be a probable carcinogen by a study group sponsored by the World Health Organization. Before California could take action on requiring labeling on RoundUp products, Monsanto brought a lawsuit against California. Monsanto insists that its product poses no risk to people. Less than a week ago, Fresno County Superior Judge Krisit Kapetan ruled in favor of the state of California. California can now move forward to forcing Monsanto into putting cancer warnings on its glyphosate products – RoundUp. Farmers in…

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Is This For Real?

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Touch the Soil News #615 (feature photo courtesy of Food Democracy Now) Food Democracy Now http://www.fooddemocracynow.org/ recently published a report on the levels of the chemical glyphosate (Roundup) in popular American foods including Cheerios, Doritos, Oreos, Goldfish and Ritz cracker and Stacey’s Pita Chips. Following are some of the highlights of that report: Glyphosate – the active ingredient in Roundup – is the most heavily used chemical weedkiller in food and agriculture production in human history. 29 foods were tested for residues of glyphosate at the FDA registered laboratory – Anresco Laboratories of San Francisco. Scientific evidence shows that probable harm to human health could begin at ultra-low levels of…

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GMO Bans in the News

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Touch the Soil News #597 (feature photo – Chris English – CC SA 3.0) The controversy over GMOs is alive and well. Following are recent bans on GMOs and Monsanto’s Roundup (glyphosate):   Bermuda’s Environment Minister is not lifting a ban on weed killers containing glyphosate. The ban came into effect almost two years ago – May of 2015. Weed killers containing the controversial chemical glyphosate will be banned from being sold in the nation of Malta come April 2017. The ban comes days after the release of a study showing that the herbicide Roundup caused liver disease in rats. A European Union Citizens Initiative is being accepted by the…

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How Different Is GMO Corn?

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Touch the Soil News #580 The reason for GMO corn is to make corn tolerant to Glyphosate – a chemical used in the herbicide Roundup. Thus, when controlling weeds in corn fields, you can spray a chemical lethal to living plants and not kill the corn. The USDA has classified GMO corn as “Generally Recognized as Safe.” This makes us consumers believe that the GMO corn is generally the same as regular real corn. A recent technical study (1) on NK603 – Roundup Ready GMO corn, revealed that the GMO corn was materially different than normal Non-GMO corn. The study was led by Dr. Michael Antiniou of King’s College London.…

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Is Monsanto in Financial Trouble? And What About the Pee Test?

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Touch the Soil News #419 Monsanto’s problems in India and Argentina (they both materially cut back royalties paid to Monsanto on GMO cotton seeds) seem to be just a few of the increasing number of problems facing the company. Earlier in the year, Monsanto was fined $80 million by the Securities and Exchange Commission for account irregularities in its financial reports. The following Info Graphic #1 shows Monsanto sales and net income for the first half of 2014, 2015, and 2016. Shocking is that sales are down 25 percent over the two year period and net income down 60 percent. Monsanto’s licensing of glyphosate (active ingredient in RoundUp) in the…

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Is Monsanto – The Publically Proclaimed GMO Villain – About to Collapse?

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Touch the Soil News #384 With a long history of buying other companies and thwarting efforts by states to label foods containing GMOs, Monsanto may be consumed by another beast – Bayer Ag from Germany. Bayer Ag (twice the size of Monsanto) has announced it has visited with Monsanto officials for an unsolicited takeover. Monsanto is consumed with a host of problems that are impacting the value of the company. The problems are of such magnitude, that Monsanto has turned from feeding on smaller prey, to becoming fodder for a bigger fish. In its weak condition, Monsanto stockholders may want to bail ship and sell the company. Here is a…

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Striving for Power Via Farm Chemicals, GMOs and Seed Patents (part 1 of 2)

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Touch the Soil News #379 Historically we have followed the Monsanto company whose operations have ignited domestic and global protest. Operating at a lower public profile are two other companies (Syngenta and ChemChina) whose business lines are similar to Monsanto’s – genetic modification of plants, agrochemicals and patenting seeds for private corporate ownership. In an unsuccessful attempt last year (2015), Monsanto tried to acquire Syngenta – to create the world’s largest biotech and agrochemical company. Syngenta management spurred the deal, essentially saying Monsanto was not a suitable partner. Earlier this year, ChemChina (China National Chemical Corporation) – a state-owned enterprise by the Chinese government – made a bid to acquire…

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Brazil National Cancer Institute: GMO Crops Drive Agrochemical Use

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Touch the Soil News #376 Brazil, one of the world’s largest GMO corn and soybean producers has become the largest consumer of agrochemicals in the world. Brazil’s National Cancer Institute (INCA) – a division of the nation’s ministry of health – is quoted as saying: “Importantly, the release of transgenic seeds in Brazil was one of the factors responsible for putting the country in first place in the ranking of agrochemical consumption. The cropping pattern with the intensive use of pesticides generates major harms, including environmental pollution, poisoning of workers and the population in general. Brazil’s national consumption of agrochemicals is equivalent to 5.2 liters per person per year. Brazilian…

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India – One of Monsanto’s Largest Markets – Gives the Boot to Monsanto

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Touch the Soil News #359 It is no secret expensive GMO seeds – for which many small farmers in India had to get into debt for – has caused financial hardship. Financial failure is like social failure in India. Since 1997 there have been roughly 200,000 farmer suicides in India due to loan defaults and financial failures. Recently, the government of India has had enough – particularly as relates to the nation’s large cotton farming footprint in which GMO seeds now prevail. The government of India led – by Prime Minister Narendra Modi – has imposed a 70 percent reduction in royalties that Monsanto receives for it cotton technology. Contributing…

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A Wrench in the Spokes of Monsanto’s Bike

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Touch the Soil News #333 Organizations and movements around the world have been fighting the likes of Monsanto and GMO foods that rely on heavy chemical use – particularly glyphosate – aka Roundup. Come to find out, the European Commission of the European Union had planned to rubber stamp a new 15-year license for the chemical. But not so fast, the nations of Italy, France, Sweden and the Netherlands decided to step in and block the approval. This international wrench in the spokes is being praised by Greenpeace and other anti-GMO organizations. International pictogram used to designate hazardous substances like glyphosate. So what was the reason we are we putting…

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