Time Out For Pesticide Manufacturer Monsanto

Time Out For Pesticide Manufacturer Monsanto

June 9, 2011

By Rachel Lincoln Sarnoff, Previous Executive Director/CEO, Healthy Child Healthy World

The jig may be up for Monsanto. A new report from Earth Open Source alleges that regulators knew as early as 1980 that glyphosate, the core chemical component of the company’s best-selling herbicide Roundup, was linked to birth defects, and that although the European Commission was aware of the information since at least 2002, the information was not made public.

Across the pond, American researchers found that genetically modified crops grown with Roundup contained organisms linked to animal miscarriages. In February, Purdue University Emeritus Professor Don Huber sent an open letter to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, urging him to regulate these “Roundup Ready” crops.

Meanwhile, the Chicago Tribune reported last month that, as part of the agency’s routine produce testing, the U.S Department of Agriculture found at least 34 unapproved pesticides on the herb cilantro.

In Fresno, CA, farm workers and residents recently protested the use of methyl iodide, according to local CBS news station. Manufactured by Arysta LifeScience, the pesticide was approved for use by the EPA in 2007, found to be “highly toxic” by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation in 2010. Despite the findings, which included links to fetal death, neurotoxicity and reproductive toxicity, methyl iodide was approved for use in California that same year.

Finally, a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that pesticide drift from conventional farming has poisoned farm workers and rural residents, Beyond Pesticides reports. Published on June 6th, the study identified 2,945 cases of pesticide poisoning—14% of those were children less than 14-years-old—associated with agricultural pesticide drift in 11 states. The report did not take into account the fact that pesticide poisoning is not typically reported by farm workers: According to the Cesar E. Chavez Foundation, only one percent of illness or injury due to pesticides is reported in California.

Kind of makes the case for organics, doesn’t it?