Mention the name “Monsanto” and you are sure to get a rise from almost everyone these days. This behemoth biotech company has made the “Most Hated Companies” list more than once.
In 2011, the Natural Society declared Monsanto as the worst company of the year based on its growing reputation for threatening not only human and animal health, but also the environment as a whole.
Monsanto is the leader in genetically modified seeds and crops, and it is currently responsible for a whopping 90 percent of all genetically engineered seeds in the United States. This monster company is also the manufacturer of the deadly herbicide Roundup, which is responsible, among other atrocities, for creating over 120-million hectares of herbicide-resistant “super-weeds.” (1)
In 2014, A Neilson Poll revealed that Monsanto’s “bad reputation” continues to grow out of control, (much like its herbicide-resistant super-weeds), ranking this billion-dollar super giant “third worst” among 60 of the world’s highest profile companies.
While coming third in the world might be an achievement to boast about under any other circumstance, Monsanto’s ranking puts it right behind BP, the oil giant responsible for the worst oil spill in US history and Bank of America, the key player in the 2008 meltdown of the financial market.
Despite Monsanto’s knowledge of its devastatingly harmful products and the growing public outrage, the biotech giant defiantly continues to spread its modified crops and deadly poisons that put every living organism on this planet in harm’s way. And its culpability in the destruction of our planet is nothing new.
In 1929, the Swann Corporation, which was eventually merged with Monsanto, began manufacturing PCBs for commercial use.
Today, to put the global ramifications of the situation into perspective, we now know that Monsanto has been involved directly and/or indirectly in the production of, or has granted production licences for almost every single carcinogenic polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) in the world!
It is further responsible for the release of 1.2 million tonnes of these chemicals worldwide. The EPA alone has thousands upon thousands of records that date back decades on Monsanto—which to some has essentially become the poster child for evil itself. (2)
Monsanto Killing Our Great Lakes
You have no doubt heard about the mysterious “algae blooms” that are slowly taking over North America’s Great Lakes. In the most recent algae bloom outbreak, news outlets everywhere warned over 400,000 people in Ohio and Michigan that elevated levels of phosphorus are triggering these shockingly large and aggressive blooms that look like something out of a sci-fi horror movie.
This toxic thick, green scum is not only tainting our drinking water supplies, but it is killing fish in devastating numbers. (3) And it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to point the finger at the main culprit. In fact, researchers from Ohio Northern University (ONU) clearly state the main cause of the overwhelming and destructive green goop that is taking over our lakes and rivers is glyphosate, the key chemical found in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide. (4)
Lead chemist at ONU, Christopher Spiese, essentially revealed that the crops that are capable of withstanding glyphosate (those that are genetically engineered by Monsanto) are all but taking over, “… to the point where we’re washed in Roundup.”
Spiese added that “… more than 95 percent of [all] soybeans and over half of corn in the US are Roundup Ready, and those percentages probably haven’t changed over the last 2 years.” His study, known as the “Spiese Study,” further determined that, “For every acre of Roundup Ready corn and soybeans that you plant, it’s about one-third pound of phosphorus coming down the Maumee (River)…”
And this phosphorous leads to the increasing number of toxic algae blooms that are literally flooding our lakes and rivers.
A Bleak Future
Every year, literally millions of acres of prime farmland, state, provincial and/or federal parks as well as commercial and private properties are sprayed with Roundup.
Apart from its proven part in the growing number of toxic algae blooms that are taking over our water systems, researchers have also shown that the chemicals in Roundup are actually more lethal than represented by manufacturers and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the government body tasked to keep us safe.
While regulators openly admit specific chemicals are toxic in and of themselves, what they do not properly portray is that together, like in a product such as Roundup, these chemicals can be many times more harmful than any single chemical.
For instance, each product contains adjuvants, which are pharmacological or immunological agents that modify the effect of the other agents in the product. Typically, these adjuvants are not reported and are kept confidential as they are considered “inert” by the manufacturer. When a product is tested for its potential risk, generally only the principal chemical is tested. (5) As you can imagine, this does not give a true picture of the actual potency of any complete product.
A 2014 study published in BioMed Research International looked at 9 different pesticides. Of these 9, Roundup was deemed to be among the most toxic tested. As well, according to the researchers, 8 out of 9 of the formulations were found to be up to 1,000 times more toxic than their active principles alone. (6)
What this means is that if a product such as Roundup is already considered unsafe or even “slightly harmful,” you can be sure that it is actually at least 1,000 times more dangerous than you are being led to believe.
The Real Danger
Toxic algae blooms are only a small part of the true risk these pesticides cause. Glyphosate is linked to the development of countless chronic diseases and conditions in humans, including autism, allergies, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, gastrointestinal diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, chronic diarrhea, colitis and Crohn’s disease, as well as heart disease, fertility issues, multiple sclerosis, ALS, depression and obesity just to name some of the growing number of health issues thought to be a direct or indirect result of this toxic chemical. (7)
Another study published in the journal Entropy reveals how glyphosate residue, which is essentially found in any food we eat that contains genetically modified sugar, corn, soy and/or wheat, enhances the damaging effects of other chemicals and toxins in our environment.
Ultimately, prolonged exposure interferes with your normal body functions and leads to disease. (8) What researchers found is that your gut bacteria are actually the key to how glyphosate wreaks havoc on your body.
Monsanto and its team of highly paid researchers and lawyers continue to claim that Roundup is “harmless to animals and humans.” They base this theory on the fact that Roundup uses a specific pathway, called the shikimate pathway, to kill off weeds and insects.
They claim that humans and animals do not have this “pathway” and as such, cannot be harmed by the chemicals. What Monsanto fails to tell you, however, is that bacteria do have a shikimate pathway. And guess what? Your body is full of bacteria.
In fact, the bacteria in your body outnumber your cells by 10 to 1, meaning that for every cell in your body, there are 10 microbes with a shikimate pathway that can be affected by glyphosate, just as it affects the weeds and pests it is designed to kill. (9,10)
How to Protect Yourself
With the onslaught of negative studies linking glyphosates to toxic algae blooms, a joint agreement by the US and Canadian governments was made in 2015 to seek a 40 percent reduction in phosphorus runoff into sections of Lake Erie that are most affected by the chemicals and resulting algae blooms by the year 2025. (11)
While reducing these toxic chemicals will definitely help lower the number of toxins that find their way into your body, 10 years is a long time to wait. In the interim, there are many private groups, groups of concerned farmers and even high profile groups like Greenpeace that are seeking legal action against Monsanto, but until Monsanto is officially stopped, you can be sure it will continue to sell its toxic chemicals and GE seeds.
The only way you can protect yourself is to limit your use of any commercial herbicides or pesticides. When it comes to chemicals in general, it is always best to limit your exposure to them.
Many natural alternatives are not only safe but effective and in some cases, more effective. When it comes to the food you eat, until the US government requires all genetically engineered (GE) foods to be labeled as such, the only way you can be sure you are not ingesting these “frankenfoods” is to buy and eat as much organic food as you can.
Make sure it is certified organic. Foods that claim to be “all natural” are not organic. Corn, for example, is “all natural” but as you now know, over half of all corn in the US is GE. So, look for the organic certification.
Also avoid all soy and soy products as soy is also mostly engineered. Look for meat that is grass-fed or pastured to assure the animals were not feed GE corn or soy.
By making these changes, you can limit the number of toxins you eat or come in contact with, and by doing so, give your body a fighting chance.