Monsanto “Goes Organic” and Wins “Sustainability Award”—Right!

February 18, 2014
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frankenappleThis isn’t a spoof. In addition to this story, we’ll provide you with a round-up of GMO-related news, including why your neighbor may shortly be planting GMO grass right next to you. Action Alerts!

We won’t spend time in this article reiterating past research on why genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are dangerous—you probably already know that they can randomly produce toxic effects; introduce alarming levels of chemicals into our ecosystems and diet; and have been shown to cause serious health problems—but there have been some recent developments in GMO politics, science, and regulation that we want to share with you.

Here are the news items we’ll cover:

Monsanto Wins Award for…“Sustainability”?

When most of us think of sustainability, we think of environmental practices that will allow current and future generations to enjoy nutritious, locally farmed foods, clean water, pure air, and a non-toxic, natural world. As the concept has developed, it’s also become applicable to other realms, including economics and healthcare. For example, ANH-USA advocates for sustainable healthcare—practices that allow you to naturally maintain your health and extend your lifespan.

To the EPA, sustainability “creates and maintains the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony, that permit fulfilling the social, economic and other requirements of present and future generations.”

Taking these definitions into account, it may surprise you to learn that last month, Monsanto—yes, the same Monsanto whose expensive seeds caused an estimated 125,000 Indian farmers to commit suicide—was recognized as one of 2014’s Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World.

Monsanto was ranked 37th on overall sustainability, 5th among American companies, and 5th globally in the materials industry by an organization called Corporate Knights (CK), a media and investment advisory company whose flagship magazine has one of the world’s largest circulations and is published quarterly as inserts in the Washington Post and the Globe and Mail (UK).

Ubiquitous as CK is, we find their criteria for “sustainability”—also called their “key performance indicators”—more than a little absurd:

  1. Energy productivity
  2. Carbon productivity
  3. Water productivity
  4. Waste productivity
  5. Innovation capacity
  6. Percent tax paid
  7. CEO to Average Employee Pay
  8. Pension fund status
  9. Safety performance
  10. Employee turnover
  11. Leadership diversity
  12. “Clean capitalism” pay link (rewards “companies that have set up mechanisms to link the remuneration of senior executives with the achievement of clean capitalism goals or targets”)

As one University of Toronto business ethics professor noted, “Only the first four actually have something to do with what most of us mean by ‘sustainability.’ The rest are…not relevant to the question of sustainable use of resources, or to the notion of sustainable economic growth that is compatible with environmental conservation.”

And even the first four have nothing to do with the environment, and everything to do with profits. After all, the award-givers define “energy productivity” as how much revenue companies can squeeze out of one unit of energy. The health of the environment literally has nothing to do with it.

For the countless natural health practitioners, organic farmers, consumers, and activists who unceasingly fight and sacrifice to “walk the walk” of sustainability, the bastardization of this important term is not a joke. It is offensive.

Perhaps “excellence in sustainability” is CK’s code for “excellence in propaganda.” As we’ve consistently reported, there is nothing sustainable about Monsanto and their GMO seeds.

For example, GMOs do not increase crop yields. A 2009 Union of Concerned Scientists report found that GMO soybeans do not produce increased yields, that GMO corn only marginally increases yields, and that no GMO crop has even been found to have intrinsic yield (meaning, yield in “real life,” and not laboratory, conditions).

We’re not quite sure who CK thinks they’re fooling, or what they get out of this nonsense. A more interesting question is why Monsanto is trying so hard to “greenwash” its image. Fonts inconsistent.

Meanwhile the Geneva-based Covalence group placed Monsanto dead last on a list of 581 global companies ranked by their reputation for ethics. For more on this, see chapter 11 of Crony Capitalism in America 2008–12, a book recently published by ANH-USA’s board president, Hunter Lewis.

GMOs Aren’t Enough—Monsanto Wants to Monopolize Conventional and Organic Crops, Too. Action Alert!

Since it purchased the company in 2008, Monsanto has been quietly cultivating its Seminis brand, as well as several other semi-anonymous brands, to breed and sell seeds that aren’t GMO.

To create these seeds, Monsanto and its minions are claiming to use nothing more than traditional crossbreeding (where plants with desirable qualities are laboriously “mated” until they yield progeny with the targeted traits). This process takes quite a bit of “time, land, and patience.”

Don’t be fooled: Monsanto isn’t using your grandparents’ crossbreeding. They’re engaging in a highly technical process that appears to takes place in a lab, not a field, and also appears to involve manipulation on the genetic level.

Worse yet, they don’t seem to want to make foods healthier. For example, Monsanto is attempting to breed fruits and vegetables that taste sweeter than their traditional counterparts. Read: they’re engineering a way to add more sugar than nature intended. The last thing that most people need is more sugar or fructose in their diet.

Is this a blatant attempt to win back the “hearts and minds” of consumers? According to one Monsanto official, “There isn’t a reputation silver bullet, but it helps.”

There is another important question to ask here: If Monsanto truly believes that GMOs are the future, why are they investing in conventional crops?

There’s no way to know for sure, but it’s possible that Monsanto doesn’t have faith in its own product: the company is already facing consumer pressure and emerging long-term health problems associated with GMOs.

For this reason, they could simply be hedging their bets. What if, in the future, the scientific consensus is that GMOs are harmful, or there’s a GMO-sparked environmental disaster, or the government decides to intervene? They may think they have to prepare for the possibility that GMOs may eventually fail. Seminis and its sister subsidies are Monsanto’s “insurance:” if GMOs crash and burn, they have a conventional cash cow to fall back on.

Action Alert! Please write to national grocery chains, and tell them you don’t want any Monsanto products—not “organic,” not conventional, and certainly not under any other name!

Take-Action11

Is Someone Growing Unregulated GMO Grass Right Next to You? Action Alert!

In July 2011, the USDA—often characterized as a power-hungry agency—gave GMOs a regulatory hall pass.

The agency determined that, thanks to a tiny technical loophole, they had no oversight over GMO Kentucky bluegrass. This meant that the grass—and any GMOs created via the same GMO technique—could be planted anywhere, at anytime, with zero government oversight.

The public backlash was immediate, though we knew at the time that the true extent of this disastrous decision wouldn’t be felt for years to come. Unfortunately, we were right.

Late last month, Scott’s Miracle-Gro quietly announced that their employees will “test” the Roundup-resistant GMO grass by planting it in their home lawns in Marysville, Ohio. Scott’s hopes to have thousands more consumers planting their GMO grass by 2016—and thanks to the USDA, there’s no framework in place to keep this from happening.

Alarmingly, if your neighbor plants GMO grass, your lawn may become full GMOs, too. Cross-contamination of non-GMO crops is already a reality. Pollen can travel anywhere from the length of three football fields to thousands of miles away. Given this, and the fact there’s little to no space between suburban lawns—it’s completely unrealistic to assume GMO grass will stay where it’s planted.

It will be interesting to see whether GMO lawn grass producers sue you for having their grass when it spreads into your lawn. That is what Monsanto has done for years to innocent neighboring farmers. Since suing each suburban neighborhood is presumably not a workable model, what new one will devised?

The truth is that we are at a now-or-never moment with respect to GMOs in America. The more these seeds are released into the air, neighboring farms, and now suburban lawns, the harder it will be to stop them.

Action Alert! Write to the USDA immediately and tell the agency to stop protecting the biotech industry at the public’s expense! GMO Kentucky bluegrass shouldn’t be allowed due to a technical loophole—otherwise, GMOs created via the same GMO technique as this grass could be planted anywhere, at anytime, with zero government oversight. Please write to the USDA immediately!

Take-Action11

All Eyes on New Global Precedent for GMO Contamination

GMO crops have been known to contaminate organic crops, bringing severe economic damage to small farmers. The problem has gotten so pervasive that the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association has had to publish a seventy-page booklet on how to avoid (and test for) GMO contamination.

For example, one organic corn grower whose crops were contaminated was forced to sell her corn for $1.67 a bushel—far below the $4 market price for organic corn.

All eyes are now on an Australian court case, wherein one farmer is suing Monsanto for the GMO contamination of his organic wheat and oat crop. The episode resulted in the farmer losing his organic certification and export license (Australia has a zero tolerance policy for GMO material in organic products)—the keys to his very livelihood.

The outcome of this case could set a global precedent, and seriously affect the regulation of organics to protect the interests of GMO growers and producers (sad to say, it will almost certainly not be vice versa). We’ll continue to watch it very closely.

Meanwhile, a recent Supreme Court ruling confirmed that Monsanto can sue farmers whose crops are contaminated—even if it’s not their fault, because Monsanto has promised to behave better and not take advantage of innocent farmers!

Industrial Herbicides Are Even More Toxic Than We Thought

The uncontrolled GMO grass “experiment” is even more alarming in light of the growing body of evidence that glyphosate, a main chemical component in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, is a major health threat.

Keep in mind that GMO Kentucky bluegrass, like some brands of Monsanto’s GMO corn, cotton, and soy seeds, is engineered to be Roundup-resistant. This means that growers can apply as much Roundup as they’d like to kill the weeds they don’t want, while leaving their plants intact. The GMO seed and the herbicide enter the environment together.

Also remember that many weeds are now learning to be Roundup-resistant. To compensate, growers are forced to spray more and more Roundup—which that means more glyphosate in our foods, ecosystems, and bodies, or use even more dangerous chemicals.

Despite assurances by Monsanto and the EPA, glyphosate is a hazard to humans, animals, plants, and organic and conventional agriculture. As Dr. Joseph Mercola recently highlighted, new research published in the International Journal of Toxicology found that commercial glyphosate-based herbicides—at levels far below the normal agricultural applications—are extremely toxic to human many cells, and are lethal to human liver cells.

This research confirms Dr. Charles Benbrook’s and ANH-USA’s investigation into the environmental, economic, and human health effects of glyphosate. Our research found, for example, that glyphosate is toxic to fish and essentially all plant life (if you haven’t read this comprehensive case study, you can download the PDF here).

We should be focusing on reducing our addiction to chemical farming, not coming up with new ways to expose ourselves to more and more toxins. We have the opportunity to solve this problem before the disastrous health effects become widespread and irreversible. Future generations will not get the same chance.

Is Industry Persuading Scientists to Quash Chilling Scientific Findings?

Another recent study, authored by French researcher Gilles-Eric Séralini and published in BioMed Research International, confirms the International Journal of Toxicity study. It too found that herbicides and pesticides—notably those that are glyphosate-based—are far more toxic than industry and the EPA would lead you to believe. Séralini found that formulations like Roundup were “several times more toxic” than their main ingredient alone (i.e., glyphosate), and that “Roundup was by far the most toxic” of the chemical formulations tested.

Just hours after the study’s publication, Dr. Ralf Reski, a BioMed editor, immediately resigned, stating, “I do not want to be connected to a journal that provides [Séralini] a forum for such kind of agitation.”

We wonder: is Dr. Reski really concerned about scientific sensationalism? According to his own résumé, his “independent” research is 53% funded by industry. Did Dr. Reski proactively protect his source of funding? Did industry threaten him?

In September 2012, Séralini published a study suggesting that a long-term diet of GMO corn can cause health problems—including breast cancer and severe organ damage—in animals. After a year of artificial controversy, the paper was retracted, much to the dismay and protest of a significant part of the scientific community.

Séralini’s peers felt the retraction was made on invalid grounds. It was withdrawn for being poorly designed, despite the fact that it followed almost exactly the same protocol of a trial conducted by Monsanto and published in the same journal. Moreover, they saw in the retraction evidence of undue industry influence on the scientific community: a few months before the study was retracted, a former Monsanto scientist was appointed to the journal in a newly created editorial position.

To be published in journals like BioMed, studies go through a thorough editor and peer-review process. BioMed requires an initial review by the editorial office; approval from an editor knowledgeable about the subject in question; and a peer review by between two and five outside evaluators. That’s three layers of intense scrutiny before a study can even be published.

It now seems that Séralini, despite of the integrity of his work, has been blacklisted—a clear warning to other objective, independent researchers.

41 Responses to “Monsanto “Goes Organic” and Wins “Sustainability Award”—Right!”

  1. Katherine L says:

    Grow your own foods. Learn how to. Aquaponics is a new and cleaner. No soil, just water, fish and your plants. Look it up. research indoor growing. and please dont shop food from ANY corporation. Shop locally and organic and start learing to grow your own stuff. These people are evil. They want more control over us, plain to see.

       8 likes

  2. Paul Franklin says:

    The revolution that recently occurred in Ukraine needs to occur against Monsanto. These people are evil.

       7 likes

  3. Steve Apelman says:

    Even if Monsanto’s heart was in the right place at the beginning of all this and they thought that they were creating a good thing, all that became a mute point when all the years of study and evidence pointing to the whole GMO effort being a monster waiting in the wings for human health and the environment, and then there is their despicable legal maneuvers to punish those who have opposed their GMO onslaught.
    The concept that Monsanto would ever think that they can possibly erase the evil they have done by trying to mask things by a “green” approach

       9 likes

  4. Ella says:

    I would like to help create a list of those politicians that need to go home. How might we get the work out to those living in the cities and farm towns. I am noticing there are many people using the online medias sites now. The only way we can do this is get some of the knowledgeable activist to run for their seats and help us know who they are so we can flood the box with their names. I just thinking out loud. I just feel so very used by this government.

       7 likes

  5. Randall says:

    How can Monsanto sue farmers, since the supreme court ruled that you can’t patent genes from nature?

       6 likes

    • Kahtra says:

      GMO’s aren’t natural gene’s. GMO gene’s have been created by Monsanto. therefore they have the right to patent them. And, anyone who hasn’t bought an expensive yearly LICENSE to grow GMO’s on their property, Monsanto gets to sue. Monsanto usually takes big chunks of money and land when they win the lawsuits.

         5 likes

    • Joe says:

      That only applies to us little people, there’s former Monsanto employees that sit on the supreme court bench and are also the head of the FDA now

         3 likes

    • David says:

      Monsanto isn’t patenting a gene that can be produced in nature. GMO=genetically modified organism. They have modified it in a lab and completely control the DNA that gets produced from the seeds that continue to propagate themselves indefinitely. This loophole is why the US government allows them to not only patent it, but to sue anyone who unknowingly “steals” plants that also has those genes.

         2 likes

      • wvhillbilly says:

        This has to change. Any field Monsanto contaminates with their GMO genes through no fault of the owner, Monsanto should be required to clean up at their own expense, and pay damages to the farmer they have harmed for the harm they have done.

        Monsanto is evil cubed.

           3 likes

  6. Fred Ernst says:

    It’s disgusting and scary! Do these idiots plan on moving to another planet to live?

       3 likes

  7. It is unfortunate that alarm bells are sounded for Scott’s peddling of GM Bluegrasss to residential customers. when have we seen a lawn go to seed? Pollen drift with Blgrs is also a stretch.

    There is a potential problem with the increase in the amount of glyphosate being used. No dispute here from me. And I can see this seed making its way into pastureland. So much for “natural” (non-GM) beef production when this happens except for the most ardent and devoted pasture producers.

       5 likes

    • Patricia Rodgers says:

      I don’t cut my lawn very often so there are seeds that will be blown around and there is pollen drift as shown by the dandelions that I love to see after our long dreary winters in the North West – and I am not the only one. So GMO’s everywhere are a big risk and I think Monsanto is a danger to humanity. I didn’t think growing up during WWII in the UK anything could be worse – obviously I was wrong.

         4 likes

  8. Nancy says:

    I clicked on action alert, the page appeared for 1-2 seconds and then Yahoo flashed “message the the page could not be found. Is this being ‘managed ‘by outside interested parties” or am I just too late?

       0 likes

  9. margret head says:

    In regard to my previous comment above:
    a link to a good article on TPP is:
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/nov/04/us-trade-deal-full-frontal-assault-on-democracy

       0 likes

  10. margret head says:

    I second everything you’ve said above…and everything in your petitions…

    I am VERY concerned that if the current Trade bill passes: TPP…

    It will put a corporate Global Trade Tribunal court…which is secret…above ALL courts; local, state and national.

    Any attempts to proscribe or regulate ANY corporation will be taken to the Tribunal and the amounts of damage to the corporation and its products/business will be determined and levied as a fine.

    Under an existing trade treaty with clauses like TPP already has done the following:

    The Australian government, after massive debates in and out of parliament, decided that cigarettes should be sold in plain packets, marked only with shocking health warnings. The decision was validated by the Australian supreme court. But, using a trade agreement Australia struck with Hong Kong, the tobacco company Philip Morris has asked an offshore tribunal to award it a vast sum in compensation for the loss of what it calls its intellectual property.

    Wouldn’t the same thing happen if any governmental body in the US required GMO labeling???
    Wouldn’t the FDA and USDA lose all power to regulate any corporation…domestic or foreign…in the US for any reason?

    In Canada, the courts revoked two patents owned by the American drugs firm Eli Lilly, on the grounds that the company had not produced enough evidence that they had the beneficial effects it claimed. Eli Lilly is now suing the Canadian government for $500m, and demanding that Canada’s patent laws are changed.

    Wouldn’t the result be similar here if any government body tried to stop a Monsanto or Scoot patent – or product? They could ‘legally’ claim anything they wanted to for their product…that it was ’safe’…’effective’…’not harmful’…etc…and never have to prove any of that was true. Anyone proving otherwise would have to pay them for trying to restrict their product!!!

    During its financial crisis, and in response to public anger over rocketing charges, Argentina imposed a freeze on people’s energy and water bills (does this sound familiar?). It was sued by the international utility companies whose vast bills had prompted the government to act. For this and other such crimes, it has been forced to pay out over a billion dollars in compensation.

    Wouldn’t the same thing happen if any governmental body in the US tried to restrict ANY corporation from price-gouging in the airline, energy, cable, phone, or whatever…

       5 likes

    • wvhillbilly says:

      We are now in an oligarchy-the corporations control the government!!! Look at the collusion between the FDA and the pharmaceutical industry! Look at the collusion between the factory farms and the USDA! Remember the raid on Rawsome Foods some years ago? Look at the secrecy involved in the writing of the TPP and the few leaks revealing draconian rewrites of intellectual property laws! These people and the corporatins they control want to turn everything to their own advantage at the expense of everyone else. Pray God would expose these evil people for what they are and thwart their evil plans!!!

         1 likes

  11. Doug says:

    Do NOT drink the Kool-Aid. I repeat … Step away from the Kool-Aid !!!

       1 likes

  12. Evan E says:

    Just keep spreading the word. Monsanto will be doomed eventually. And may they rot in h.

       2 likes

  13. ian dylan says:

    frightening.

       0 likes

  14. Carlean Lewis says:

    These toxins are getting into all our neurons causing all kinds of health problems. This has to stop.

       2 likes

  15. Would like to see some energy put towards bringing greater awareness of Chemtrails and their effect on people and the planet.

    I appreciate what you are doing.

    Thank you,
    Alan

       0 likes

    • Shade says:

      Yes! They are poisoning the air that we breathe, the food that we eat and the water we drink. It’s disgusting and scary! We need to do something, otherwise we’re all doomed.

         1 likes

    • We are fully persuaded that the non-aluminum from chemtrails is impacting the health of plants. We saw it in corn in 2013 where aluminum content was borderline toxic. The exciting part is that we applied a foliar product via fixed wing aircraft and watched the aluminum drop by over 300%. The net was an additional 24 bushels of corn (non-gmo, of course, )

         1 likes

  16. amelia lamoscatella says:

    Mosanto has been poisoning us for way to long stop the insanity and lets stop them for getting away with all of this killing us little by little .We need to speak out and let them know were sick of it .

       2 likes

  17. Victoria Bingham says:

    Monsanto is a prototype juggernaut. The only way to stop this insidious encroachment of evil and patent genocide machine is by concerted prayer. Pray that this company implodes the way the did. Pray that it self destructs the way Hammon did. Let it become a victim of its own malignancy. And be sure that God hears prayers to bring wicked devices (and companies) to naught. VIZ:
    II Thessalonians 1:76 ‘Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you.’

       5 likes

  18. ed power says:

    Please stop caving in to monsanto, it looks quite obvious that you are their puppet

       0 likes

  19. David says:

    When I click on your ‘take action’ button, it appears for a second or so, then disappears to a yahoo page saying ‘page does not exist’.

    Is somebody hacking your site?

       0 likes

  20. Jan Ellis says:

    HI We have seen a huge increase in our area of pets with tumors and different types of cancers that seem to have a direct link to relaxation of pet food quality and high use of GMO foods in their diets!!! Has anyone thougt of getting stats from Vets on this? It seems like the GMO pushers like Monsanto have been running a giant experiment on our pets without our permission!Maybe this could work against them though!!

       3 likes

  21. Tana says:

    Sustainably corrupt they are this evil anti life corporation is.

       0 likes

  22. rudy ferrara says:

    hi
    Monsanto, the grocery manufacturers association, usda, etc have/are taking advantage of a simple fact: “out of site out of mind”. I, like most average americans trusted our food delivery and health care systems all my life. I was not aware of what was going on behind the scenes until I watched the movies “food matters” and “food inc”. I was shocked. Our food supply and health care are in a shambles and most americans like myself are not even aware of it. Thank god for the few like ANH are. Government and big business are behind this mess and again most americans are not aware of what has/is going on behind the scenes with lobbyists “buying out” our elected officials, actually writing our farm/food laws to maintain their billion dollar ponzi scheme. Truth be known there would be a legion of corrupt politicians, lobbyists sharing a prison cell with maddoff.

    That is the key. Getting people to see the truth of what is happening behind their backs every day to deliver tainted, unhealthy animals and plants grown from poisoned soil. We are what we eat just as hyppocrates said four thousand years ago. The spot light needs to be turned on, exposing the evils of this corrupt system and what it has/is doing to us. Otherwise we will continue paying every day with every bite of food we eat. And corporate America and the drug industry will continue to thrive at our expense. Unless the light is turned on and this corruption exposed, the average American will continue supporting this system, subsidizing with his/her taxes and health, cheap, nutritionally devoid food just as I did all my life.

    Things need to be changed if we are to reverse this downward spiral. Kick out all the entrenched, bought out politicians. Create term limits. Create transparency in government, in the media, in big business even if it means creating a WHISTLEBLOWER branch of government and business that will start sounding the alarm, exposing this evil system. Start waking people up before it’s too late. Clearly we are on an unsustainable path leading to our own destruction. For the sake of money, without even knowing it, we are/have been on a fools path to self destruction, God help us to wake up like I did and join together to change things. We can do it if we want to. We went to the moon and I’m sure if enough people wake up we can give every American the option of having the choice of eating healthy food at prices we now are paying for crap.
    Rudy ferrara

       5 likes

  23. Mike says:

    The reason why Monsanto wins sustainability awards is that it is providing benefits to farmers and the environment. Nearly everything you read about Monsanto on the web is not true. Activists take a few points and twist the facts. For the last 14 years this has been constant. People believe the stories and perpetuate the lies.

    How do I know. I work there and none of us would work there if we got a HINT that the stories were true.

       0 likes

    • Will be praying for you and others like yourself, Mike. In the meantime why not read Seeds of destruction by William Engdahl. Available on fiver languages the last time I checked. Pick one and check out the footnotes after each chapter.

         1 likes

  24. Robin Rooney says:

    Thank-you for taking action and for bringing this very important issue to the forefront of the public’s awareness. I commend you for your diligence in this Monsanto GMO and world health concern. How can We the People stop this evil power from killing and corrupting the very web of life? Big $ seems to turn a blind eye to the destruction this bad science and policies leave in its wake! The day of reckoning will be either the people stand up to this evil empire and crush its power once and for all, or life will be altered forever and may cease to exist as we have known it. People and the Environment before profits!!

       2 likes

  25. Felicity Botwinik says:

    Just a spelling correction from your petition:

    The word is “wreaking” havoc, not “wrecking”.

    Thank you for all you are doing,

    FB

       2 likes

  26. Robbie Henderson says:

    My main question is: Why are they so secretive about labeling GMO products if they claim they are safe? If they are safe, as they claim, then what’s the problem with labeling?
    Plus, there is a huge difference between ‘Organic’ GMO and non GMO Organics. Huge.
    So, I’m rather disgusted they got any sort of award!

       4 likes

  27. Buck says:

    Meanwhile , my ” Spina Bifida ” disabled son continues to live in poverty on one thousand dollars a month because of my exposure to ” agent Orange ” in Vietnam . Thank You Monsanto !

       1 likes

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