Wednesday, November 10, 2010

War Over Monsanto Gets Ugly

War Over Monsanto Gets Ugly

Dr. Carrasco and a colleague locked themselves in a car as the mob yelled threats and beat on the vehicle for two hours. One delegate was hit in the spine and has since suffered lower-body paralysis. Another person was treated for blows to the head. A former provincial human rights official was hit in the face and knocked unconscious.

This is the challenge facing Carrasco, Seralini, and others who use science to hold the biotech industry accountable for its push for control over the future of agriculture.
Their stories show that taking on powerful financial interests of massive global corporations can be a difficult - and even dangerous - task: a war of information between those in search of profit and those in search of truth.
The report is not the first to show that glyphosate herbicides like Roundup are more dangerous than government regulators and Monsanto have claimed, and Carrasco is not the first scientist to face intimidation after challenging the biotech industry, although he is the first to be threatened with violence.

In September, an international coalition of scientists released a report citing the attack in La Leonesa and human tragedy in Chaco as proof that Roundup and genetically engineered soy crops are dangerous and unsustainable. The report provides a conclusive rebuttal to the industry's claims that spraying mutant crops with chemicals is the best way to feed the world. It's just another chapter in an information war that has raged for more than a decade, pitting independent scientists and embattled whistleblowers against the world's biggest biotech and petrochemical corporations.

The mere presence of superweeds and the fact that Monsanto is now paying farmers to spray additional chemicals that are more toxic than Roundup, is evidence of a complete regulatory breakdown, according to watchdog group Center for Food Safety (CFS).

Monsanto took the EPA's initial evaluation and ran with it, and in 1996, the state of New York filed a lawsuit against Monsanto over an advertising campaign that claimed Roundup to be as safe as table salt.

Jeffrey Smith, GM critic and author of the books "Seeds of Deception" and "Genetic Roulette," told Truthout that many scientists have been verbally threatened and denied tenure for publishing studies critical of Roundup and GM crops.

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