Monsanto

Internal documents released in a lawsuit by cancer victims show how the chemical giant Monsanto actively subverts science to promote its products and profits, notes the Corporate Europe Observatory.

To mark the sixth international March Against Monsanto activists in Sydney organised an event on May 20 to raise awareness about the dangers of Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) food technology.

This year the focus was on Monsanto’s “Roundup” herbicide, an organophosphorus compound the company patented in 1974. In 2105, the World Health Organization urged people to stop using it due to its extreme toxicity saying that glyphosate “probably” causes cancer. The use of glyphosate has increased 16-fold since the mid-1990s when GMO crops were first introduced.

Monsanto, one of the world’s biggest pesticide and seed corporations and leading developer of genetically modified crop varieties, had a stock market value of US$66 billion in 2014. It has gained this position by a combination of deceit, threat, litigation, destruction of evidence, falsified data, bribery, takeovers and cultivation of regulatory bodies.

A four-year campaign by local residents has forced agrochemical giant Monsanto to abandon its plans to build one of the world's largest transgenic seed factories in the province of Cordoba, Argentina. The campaign included protests, concerts, blockades and a campsite that had been maintained since 2013.

Local activist Vanesa Sarton said of their struggle: "[It] has become an icon of resistance. It demonstrates that people can organize, and even though it had appeared that everything was ready, closed and sealed, these decisions can be overcome. If the people organise, it can happen.”

After delivering some bad news to presidential candidate Donald Trump to stop rockin’ to his “Rockin' In The Free World” song, it looks like Neil Young has also upset some of his fans over at Monsanto.

In a statement to Billboard, multinational corporation Monsanto is letting it be known that its feelings have been hurt by the rock legend.

The 69-year-old Canadian musician is releasing a new album entitled the Monsanto Years, targeting the chemical giant’s use of genetically modified seeds and pesticides.

About 150 people took to the streets of Brisbane on May 24 to protest against biotechnology corporation Monsanto, one of the foremost proponents of genetically modified (GM) technologies.

The event was part of an international day of action that called for all products with genetically modified organisms to be labelled, Monsanto products to be banned in Australia, and a more transparent handling of GM products by the Australian government.

Speakers described the history of Monsanto and neoliberal laws and free trade agreements that help the corporation.

Organic farmer Steve Marsh has lost his case in the Western Australian Supreme Court after seeking compensation for his crops being affected by genetically modified (GM) seeds.

Organic farmers fear the case will have dire consequences for non-GM farmers everywhere.

In a case which was the first of its kind, Marsh brought legal action against his neighbour Michael Baxter, who took advantage of changes in state legislation and began growing GM canola on his adjacent farm in 2010. Some seeds blew over the road onto Marsh’s property.

Australians took part in an international March Against Monsanto on May 24. Hundreds of events in 50 countries protested against the world's biggest agricultural biotechnology company.

IN ADELAIDE, STEPS OF PARLIAMENT HOUSE


Photos: Gemma Weedall

“Steve's case is really a case about all of us,” renowned Indian environmentalist Vandana Shiva said in support of organic farmer Steve Marsh.

It is about the right to “have the freedom to eat healthy, safe organic food”.

Marsh lives in Kojanup in Western Australia, and is embroiled in a landmark “David v Goliath” legal case about the effects of genetically modified (GM) crops on his farm.

It is time for us to rise up and reclaim our power. As citizens of the world, as people of this planet.

If we want a fair, just, harmonious, equitable, peaceful world, we need to create it.

We need to take action. Show our politicians we care about our planet and the destruction being wreaked on it by unaccountable, tax-avoiding, profit-driven corporations who are polluting and poisoning the planet for profit.

If we analyse the genetically modified (GM) industry's “humanitarian” claims, we see they are nonsense. They trot out the line that GM food will solve the world's hunger.

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