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The scientific evidence piling up against Roundup, the best-selling weed killer for home and farm use, is starting to sound a bit sci-fi. The latest damaging evidence against this potent herbicide, once widely believed to be safe, comes from the United States Geological Survey (USGS), which is now detecting glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, in streams, the air, and even rain.

http://www.rodale.com/roundup-weed-killer-0?page=0.1

It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to Goliath and that’s just what a group of small family-owned farms in Argentina are doing. These brave Argentine tobacco farmers have just filed lawsuits against the goliath Monsanto as well as other major tobacco companies like Philip Morris claiming these companies knowingly poisoned them with herbicides and pesticides subsequently causing “devastating birth defects” in their children. The birth defects cited in the 55 page complaint include cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, psychomotor retardation, missing fingers and blindness.

Most of Argentina's tobacco is grown in the rural north eastern province of Misiones. The small family-owned farms sell their tobacco to many United States distributors. Philip Morris and Carolina Leaf use a tobacco brokerage company, Tabacos Norte, to buy tobacco from the farmers and sell them crop production supplies, including herbicides and pesticides.

The farmers claim the tobacco companies that buy their crops asked them to replace the native tobacco with a new type, used in Philip Morris cigarettes, which required more pesticides. They claim the defendants pushed Monsanto’s Roundup on the farmers despite a lack of protective equipment or sufficient training directly exposing them to Roundup in large concentrations assuring them that the products were safe. Monsanto’s Roundup is a herbicide with its active ingredient glyphosate has been linked to a myriad of nasty human and environmental side effects.

The claim states that the tobacco companies “wrongfully caused the parental and infant plaintiffs to be exposed to those chemicals and substances which they both knew, or should have known, would cause the infant offspring of the parental plaintiffs to be born with devastating birth defects.”

The plaintiffs also claim they lacked training and instruction on the safe disposal of unused Roundup and other pesticides which caused further exposure. Leftover Monsanto's pesticides contaminated the farmers' non-tobacco crops, water wells and streams meant for family use, exposing their families to the toxic substances, the farmer say.

The lawyer argues that the tobacco companies were ”motivated by a desire for unwarranted economic gain and profit,” with zero regard for the farmers and their infant children — many of which are now suffering from severe birth defects from Monsanto’s products. The farmers seek compensatory and punitive damages for negligence, product liability, breach of warranty, ultra hazardous activity, aiding and abetting, willful and wanton misconduct and violations of Argentine laws.

Monsanto, who is no stranger to legal trouble, is named in the suit along with Altria Group fka Philip Morris Cos., Philip Morris USA, Carolina Leaf Tobacco, Universal Corporation fka Universal Leaf Tobacco Company and others.

Glyphosate is a systemic herbicide used to kill weeds. It is a post emergent herbicide that is non-selective. Meaning it will kill all green plants that you apply it to including grass, broad leaf weeds and some woody plants.

Commercial glyphosate is composed of other chemicals all with the purpose of making the herbicide more easy to use. These products are generally not placed on the label. Estimates are that over 99% of the product is composed of these inert products, of which little research has been conducted.

The toxicity of glyphosate alone is much less than the toxicity of commercial glyphosate used by consumers, due to the so-called “inert” ingredients in the commercial formulation. For example the surfactanct polyethoxylated tallowamine has an acute lethal dose three times that of glyphosate alone and destroys red blood cells. Yet toxicity studies used to regulate the product only examine the “active” ingredient only and not the formulation.

Examinations of the effects of Roundup™ on human lymphocytes have shown an increase in the frequency of sister chromatid exchanges, genetic exchanges during cell division resulting in point mutations. A 2008 scientific study has shown that Roundup formulations and metabolic products cause the death of human embryonic, placental, and umbilical cells in vitro, even at low concentrations. The effects were not proportional to the main active ingredient concentrations (glyphosate), but dependent on the nature of the adjuvants used in the Roundup formulation

Commercial Glyphosate Trade Names
Roundup
Buccaneer
Razor Pro
Genesis Extra II
Roundup Pro Concentrate
Rodeo
Aquaneat
Aquamaster
Non-target Damage

Glyphosate has been shown to kill beneficial insects including parasitoid wasps, lacewings and ladybugs. Other insect populations have been drastically reduced by glyphosate applications, which negatively impacts on birds and small insect-eating mammals. These changes in plant communities impact birds’ sources of food, shelter and nest support.

Glyphosate in its commercial form is 20 to 70 times more toxic to fish than glyphosate alone. It is also increasingly toxic at higher temperatures. This is significant when one considers that glyphosate is a defoliant and the lack of plant cover increases the temperature of waterways. Sublethal effects on fish include erratic swimming, gill damage, and changes in liver structure.

Glyphosate also impacts non-target plant species in several important ways. In low doses it decreases both the number of seeds germinating and the seedling weight as compared to untreated plants. It also affects the ability of bacteria located on the nodules of leguminous plants to perform nitrogen fixation, an essential process converting nitrogen from an unusable form to a compound that is able to be used by the plant. Studies have shown that at typically application rates, glyphosate inhibits up to 70% of nitrogen fixation.

Corn and soybeans, are some of the food crops that have been genetically modified with genes that convey resistance to the herbicide Roundup™. The subsequent development of resistance in some weed species is now emerging as a costly problem.

Early Symptoms of Glyphosate Poisoning

According to the World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization, early symptoms of glyphosate poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea and other flu-like symptoms. Both organizations also advise that poisoning can occur by absorption through the skin or eye contact, therefore the area of absorption may also be irritated. The individual may develop a rash or an itchy, red patch where the chemical originally made contact. If ingested, the poisoning would mimic food poisoning and cause stomach cramps and possible throat irritation.

Acute symptoms of glyphosate exposure include, destruction of red blood cells, lung dysfunction, low blood pressure, kidney damage, erosion of gastrointestinal tract, dizziness, fever, and nausea.

Resources
In our food: a recent study found that Glyphosate residues in the main foods of the Western diet – sugar, wheat, and genetically modified corn and soy – inhibit critical enzymes in mammals [which] manifests slowly over time, as inflammation damages cellular systems throughout the body.
Source: http://www.mdpi.com/1099-4300/15/4/1416

A study done in Germany in 2012 found glyphosate in all of the urine samples it took from non-agricultural workers in Berlin, at levels 5-20 times the limit for drinking water.
Source: http://www.ithaka-journal.net/herbizide-im-urin?lang=en

In humans: in June 2013, another study found traces of glyphosate in the urine samples of individuals across 18 countries in Europe.
Summary: http://gmoevidence.com/dr-hans-wolfgang-hoppe-glyphosate-found-in-human-... Original Study Report: http://gmoevidence.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/glyphosate_studyresult...

Glyphosate is a genotoxic endocrine disruptor to human cells and gut bacteria
Human Cells: http://www.barnstablecounty.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/gasnier-toxic...

Gut Bacteria: our gut bacteria was recently discovered to contain the very same metabolic pathway in plants that is being targeted and disrupted by Glyphosate—in direct opposition to Monsanto’s claims that the human body did not contain this pathway:
http://www.mdpi.com/1099-4300/15/4/1416 (watch a full video presentation on this topic).

Two decades after the advent of “RoundUp Ready” crops and their dominance in the agricultural marketplace, the evidence of their falsehoods abound: multiple studies have found significant levels of glyphosate in streams, soil, air, rainwater, and groundwater:
Wastewater: http://toxics.usgs.gov/highlights/glyphosate_wastewater.html
Rain and Streams: http://www.usgs.gov/newsroom/article.asp?ID=2909
Groundwater: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22101424
Soil: http://www.docstoc.com/docs/124999079/Effects-of-Glyphosate-and-Foliar-A... (slideshow; see presentation here; view report here)
Atmosphere, Soil and Surface Water: http://environment.gov.ab.ca/info/library/6444.pdf
Mississippi and Iowa Streams: https://gsa.confex.com/gsa/2009AM/finalprogram/abstract_162346.htm
Mississippi Air and Rain: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24549493

According to the USGS, more than 88,000 tons of glyphosate were used in the United States in 2007, up from 11,000 tons in 1992. Since the advent of “super weeds,” the use of glyphosate (and other even stronger weed killers) has risen significantly.
Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/08/31/us-glyphosate-pollution-idUSTR...

Superweeds: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/04/business/energy-environment/04weed.html
International Database on Glycines (Glyphosate family): http://www.weedscience.com/summary/MOA.aspx?MOAID=12
Iowa State: http://www.extension.iastate.edu/CropNews/2011/0120hartzler.htm
University of Arkansas: http://bumperscollege.uark.edu/test_cses2012/1946.php
National Academy of Sciences Report: http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=12804

Three studies linking glyphosate exposure with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma:

2001: http://cebp.aacrjournals.org/content/10/11/1155.long
2002: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12148884
2003: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1740618/

Recent study linking glyphosate exposure to kidney disease in multiple countries:
2014: http://www.lankabusinessonline.com/news/sri-lanka,-kidney-disease-linked...

Glyphosate Detected in Pregnant Women: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22261298
EPA Study Outline and Schedule: http://pesticidetruths.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Reference-glyphosa...

Glyphosate causes DNA damage: Inhalation of glyphosate was observed to cause DNA damage after short exposure to concentrations that correspond to the 450-fold dilution of spraying most commonly used in agriculture:
Study: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22331240

Additional Resources
1]Franz, J.E., M.K. Mao, and J.A. Sikorski. 1997. Glyphosate: A unique global herbicide. ACS Monograph 189. Washington, D.C.: American Chemical Society.

[2] Sawada, Y., et al. 1988. Probable toxicity of surface-active agent in commercial herbicide containing glyphosate. Lancet 1(8580):299.

[3] Tominack, R.L. et al. 1991. Taiwan National Poison Center: Survey of glyphosate-surfactant herbicide ingestions. Clin. Toxicol. 29(1):91-109.

[4] Talbot, A.R. et al. 1991. Acute poisoning with a glyphosate-surfactant herbicide (“Roundup”): A review of 93 cases. Human Exp. Toxicol. 10:1-8.

[5] Savitz, D.A. et al. 1997. Male pesticide exposure and pregnancy outcome. Am. J. Epidemiol. 146: 1025-1036.

[6] Vigfusson, N.V. and E.R. Vyse. 1980. The effect of the pesticides, Dexon, Captan, and Roundup on sister-chromatid exchanges in human lymphocytes in vitro. Mut. Res. 79:53-57.

[7] Bolognesi, C. et al. 1995. Mutagenicity testing of nine herbicides and pesticides currently used in agriculture. Environ. Mol. Mutagen. 25:148-153.

[8] Hassan, S.A. et al. Results of the fourth joint pesticide testing programme carried out by the IOBC/WPRS working group “Pesticides and Beneficial Organisms”. J. Appl. Ent. 105:321-329.

[9] Santillo, D.J., D.M. Leslie, and P.W. Brown. 1989. Responses of small mammals and habitat to glyphosate application

[10] Folmar, L.C., H.O. Sanders, and A.M. Julin. 1979. Toxicity of the herbicide glyphosate and several of its formulations to fish and aquatic invertebrates. Arch. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 33:355-361.

[11] Liong, P.C., W.P. Hamzah, and V. Murugan. 1988. Toxicity of some pesticides towards freshwater fishes. Malaysian Agric. J. 54(3):147-156.

[12] Neskovic, N.K. et al. 1996. Biochemical and histopathological effects of glyphosate on carp, Cyprinus carpio L. Bull. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 56:-295-302.

[13] Locke, D., J.A. Landivar, and D. Moseley. 1995. The effects of rate and timeing of glyphosate applications on defoliation efficiency, regrowth inhibition, lint yield, fiber quality and seed quality. Proc. Beltwide Cotton Conf. National Cotton Council of America: 1088-1090.

[14] Eberback, P.L. and L.A. Douglas 1983. Persistence of glyphosate in a sandy loam. Soil Biol. Biochem. 15(4):485-487.

In the first study to measure the delayed effects of exposure to Roundup on sperm in mammals, the molecular biology department at the University of Caen, France, found that rats exposed to the glyphosate based pesticide Roundup altered testicular function after only 8 days of exposure at a concentration of only 0.5%. This concentration is similar to levels found in water after agricultural spraying.

Dr Séralini's team found that Roundup changed gene expression in sperm cells, which could alter the balance of the sex hormones androgen and estrogen. A negative impact on sperm quality was confirmed, raising questions about impaired sperm efficiency. The authors suggested that repeated exposures to Roundup at doses lower than those used in agriculture could damage mammalian reproduction over the long term.

The study’s findings should raise alarm in farm workers, as well as people who spray Roundup for municipal authorities and even home gardeners. People exposed to lower doses repeated over the long term, including consumers who eat food produced with Roundup and people who happen to be exposed to others’ spraying activities, should also be concerned.

An important and controversial piece of independent research that provides new insights into the risks of genetically modified organisms in food was republished in 2014. The events around the retraction pointed to how far agri-corporations will go to protect their very lucrative market.

In 2013, a research paper was summarily retracted without just cause by The Journal of Food and Chemical Toxicology (FCT). The retraction basically removed the study's findings from the realm of accepted science. Independent scientists all over the world objected. Many believe the study was removed from the journal due to pressure by Monsanto, the owner of the plant and Roundup. Monsanto’s position was that the results of the Séralini study were inconclusive as was its own (90-day) research.

The two-year study, conducted by a team lead by French biotech critic Gilles-Eric Séralini of the University of Caen, found that groups of lab rats fed a lifetime diet of either Monsanto's NK603 corn (NK603 is treated with Roundup herbicide) or exposed to varying levels of Roundup herbicide in drinking water died earlier and had higher rates of tumors and organ damage than controls. NK603 is a genetically modified organism, or GMO, that is bioengineered to tolerate Roundup.

The publication claimed Séralini did not experiment on enough rats to support his explosive cancer claims, and the Sprague Dawley lab rats used in the study are prone to developing tumors if allowed to live long enough. Independent scientists, however, say the Sprague Dawley breed is an industry standard for toxicity research, and while the Séralini study is not perfect, there is no legitimate reason to remove it from scientific debate.

After the research was yanked from FCT, the study underwent two additional peer reviews, both of which reinforced the validity and results. Consequently, the study has again been published, this time in Environmental Sciences Europe. The republished version contains extra material addressing criticisms of the original publication. The raw data underlying the study’s findings are also published – unlike the raw data for the industry studies that underlie regulatory approvals of Roundup, which are kept secret.

Sometimes the truth does prevail.

For years, the public has been assured that the chemical glyphosate was safe whether it was found in the environment or in our fresh water supply or in the processed food we feed our families. As a result, farmers spray more than 185 million pounds of glyphosate-based herbicides, particularly Monsanto’s Roundup, on food crops in North America The questionable agrochemical is also the third most commonly used herbicide for industrial and commercial land and the second most commonly used herbicide in the home and garden. A whopping twenty-five million applications are spread on yards within easy reach of children, pregnant women, the elderly and pets, every year. In short, this herbicide is everywhere. So why the concern? Turns out the industry reports behind glyphosate's safety may have been overstated.

In March 2015, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IRAC) reviewed the latest non-industry-funded science and concluded that glyphosate must be labeled a “probable human carcinogen” based on the findings suggesting glyphosate increases the risk of non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

Independent science has been sounding the alarm for years. Glyphosate has been implicated in over 40 plant diseases; commercial grade glyphosate attacks mammals in the liver and intestines by decreasing the activity of two detoxification enzymes; a report dating back to 2011 found regulators knew as long ago as 1980 that glyphosate can cause birth defects in laboratory animals and that the European Commission has known that glyphosate causes malformations since 2002. Yet the information was never made public.

In Argentina, currently the second largest producer of transgenic BT soy in the world and a major user of Roundup, amphibian embryos are exhibiting defects in their brain, intestines and heart. Farmworkers are becoming ill and their children are born with devastating birth defects. Concerned scientists discovered the herbicide increased the activity of a particular “signalling pathway” that turns off the genes that are needed for normal embryological development. Three countries, across multiple continents are experiencing an inexplicable epidemic. Dubbed as CKDu, Chronic Kidney Disease of unknown origin has attacked and killed thousands of field workers, primarily young males. The disease is spreading so quickly, it's estimated that it now affects 15 percent of field workers - that's 400,000 people. Glyphosate has been implicated.

Undoubtedly, farmworkers face the highest exposures, but low levels of glyphosate are present in our food and drinking water and that could pose a serious threat to our well being. The problem is not acute, its the accumulation of the chemical that may pose the greatest threat. Studies have found glyphosate accumulates in soy and is present in thousands of nonorganic packaged foods including those labelled 'natural'. It is also in animal feed for livestock like pigs, cows, chickens, turkeys and fish so that means it's in the meat aisles of our grocery stores.

IRAC also determined insecticides malathion and diazinon are probable human carcinogens. These bug-killing chemicals are most often found on nonorganic strawberries, celery, and cilantro. An argument to purchase organic if there ever was one.

Despite all the input from independent science, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) just gave the green light to allow farmers in nine more states to use a new glyphosate-containing pesticide called Enlist Duo. The new weedkiller also contains 2,4-D, an old-school, toxic chemical that's also linked to cancer. Enlist Duo's two active ingredients, 2,4-D and glyphosate, have both been shown to increase the risk of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

But here's the real kicker, the stuff doesn't work! Genetically engineering crop seeds are engineered to live through dense herbicide sprayings that normally would kill the crop. But spraying BT crops is a failed technology and a losing battle. Just as overusing antibiotics led to hard-to-kill, antibiotic-resistant super germs, abusing weed killers has fuelled the emergence of nearly impossible-to-kill super weeds.

When GE technology was first introduced, chemical companies touted the technology as a way to reduce chemical use on food crops. But Professor Chuck Benbrook, PhD, a research professor at Washington State University, recently found that between 1996 and 2011, GMO technology actually increased herbicide use by 527 million pounds—that's an 11 percent increase -- for every pound less of insecticide used, farmers used four pounds more of herbicides.

The weight of evidence is indicating something is going seriously wrong and glyphosate could be playing a role. Surely it's time stop its commercial distribution until we can get a clear picture of its safety. Likely? Unfortunately until the public starts making some serious noise, particularly around election time, nothing is going to change.

Early in 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the research arm of the World Health Organization (WHO), determined glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, was to be listed a “probable carcinogen” (Class 2A). The recommendation was based on evidence showing the popular weed killer was linked to non-Hodgkin lymphoma and lung cancer in humans,as well as convincing evidence that the pesticide can also cause cancer in animals.

Monsanto maintains the classification is wrong and continues to claim glyphosate (and Roundup) is one of the safest pesticides on the planet. However, Reuters reported Monsanto has now been slapped with a growing number of lawsuits alleging they long knew that Roundup’s glyphosate could harm human health.

… ‘We can prove that Monsanto knew about the dangers of glyphosate,’ said Michael McDivitt, whose Colorado-based law firm is putting together cases for 50 individuals. ‘There are a lot of studies showing glyphosate causes these cancers.’” In fact, internal Monsanto documents reveal they knew over 30 years ago that glyphosate caused adenomas and carcinomas in rats.

Now California environmental officials intend to add glyphosate to their Proposition 65 list of cancer-causing chemicals. Established in California in 1986, Proposition 65 requires consumer products with potential cancer-causing ingredients to bear warning labels. Most companies reformulated their product ingredients to avoid warning labels altogether, and not just in California.

Monsanto, however, is trying a different strategy. They filed formal comments with the state’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment saying the plan to list glyphosate as a carcinogen should be withdrawn because the claims had no merit.

Listing glyphosate as a cancer cause "has the potential to deny farmers and public agencies the use of this highly effective herbicide," Monsanto said in its public filing. "Global regulatory authorities... agree that glyphosate is not carcinogenic."

But many scientific studies have raised questions about the health impacts of glyphosate and consumer and medical groups have expressed worries about glyphosate residues on food.

The monolithic chemical company, Monsanto, is at it yet again. This time, they are trying to convince the world that glyphosate, their number one selling herbicide, is not a probable carcinogen as defined by World Health Organization report published earlier this year.

According to Reuters, a 16-member panel, assembled by Intertek Scientific & Regulatory Consultancy will present its findings to the annual meeting of the Society for Risk Analysis on Monday. Their study will be published the study at a later date after peer review.

The group says the WHO's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) misinterpreted or incorrectly weighted some of the data it reviewed and ignored other data before classifying glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen, according to an abstract of its findings.

So how objective are the findings? The panel is anything but impartial. Monsanto paid Intertek for the panel's work.Ten of the 16 scientists on the Intertek panel have been consultants for Monsanto in the past and two others are former Monsanto employees, according to a roster published on Monsanto's website.

But then again objective science is not Monsanto's goal - declining sales are the slings and arrows behind this attempt to debunk the World Health Organization. Monsanto is continuing to lose profits into the second quarter of 2015, shedding an exceptional 15% profit amid falling GMO seed sale.

The WHO report indicated studies “sufficiently demonstrated” that glyphosate caused cancer in animals. And, according to multiple reports, Monsanto was well aware that this chemical caused cancer for decades yet still continued to sell it.

Earlier in the year, over 30,000 doctors and health experts throughout Latin America are demanding that Monsanto’s products be banned. One of the primary cases that these doctors are bringing against Monsanto is the recent confirmation that their main herbicide RoundUp is actually responsible for causing cancer.

Concerns about glyphosate on food have also been a hot topic of debate in the United States contributing to the passage last year in Vermont of the country's first mandatory labeling law for foods that are genetically modified. In Europe, France has banned Roundup's use

Critics say that industry-linked scientists are downplaying the risk to human health and trying to discredit the IARC report by casting doubt on some of the scientific studies that it reviewed.

Corporate actions happens for many reasons. Sometimes they are tied to economic shifts, other times ephemeral political winds are a trigger or as we all know technological revolutions like transgenics can cause major upheavals. This week two major agribusinesses have taken actions to correct some serious wrongs. Mind you, they are not admitting anything, they're just throwing money at two problems that they contributed to originally. Step in the right direction? Yep. Enough to make a major difference? Nope.

Monsanto whose popular weed killer Roundup has been blamed, in part, by critics for knocking out monarch butterflies' habitat, said it is committing $4 million to efforts to stem the worrisome decline of the black-and-orange insects. They are donating the funds to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation's Monarch Butterfly Conservation Fund -- one-third of that money matches what the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is contributing. The remaining funds will be set aside to mirror what other federal agencies plan to offer over the next three years. But to be clear, this contribution focuses on habitat restoration, not chemical assessment.

Then the state of New York announced that, after negotiations with the global agribusiness conglomerate Archer Daniels Midland, ADM will adopt a no-deforestation policy for soy and palm oil. This comes at a critical time because evidence indicates that after years of progress, deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon is increasing again. Just outside the Brazilian Amazon — in Peru, Bolivia, Columbia, and in Brazil’s Cerrado region people have been cutting down the forests where there has been less pressure to stop. The move from ADM provides a clear warning to farmers who are considering the costs and benefits of clearing more land.

ADM laid out a specific set of commitments and a plan for implementation. This announcement is the latest in a cascade of no-deforestation commitments set off when Wilmar, the largest palm-oil company, pledged to stop buying from suppliers who cut down rainforest. ADM owns 16 percent of Wilmar.

“ADM has a steadfast commitment to the development of traceable and transparent agricultural supply chains that protect forests worldwide,” wrote Victoria Podesta, ADM’s chief communications officer, in an email. “We are confident that our No Deforestation policy is both strong and appropriate for our company.”

Last year, another agribusiness, Cargill, announced a plan to stop buying all commodities that caused deforestation. While this ADM commitment is more narrowly focused on soy and palm oil, it applies more stringent rules than the Cargill pledge, said Ben Cushing, spokesperson for the advocacy group Forest Heroes. “For soy, this puts ADM out front,” he said.

As the awareness of the devastating destruction and health issues that surround palm oil and soy, this move may have as much to do with supply chain management than altruism. A closer look at the 'why' reveals that while a group of NGOs — Forest Heroes, Sierra Club, the Union of Concerned Scientists, the National Wildlife Federation, SumOfUs, and NRDC all urged the company to make its business more sustainable, it was the New York State Common Retirement Fund that asked ADM to take this step. The retirement fund holds $83.1 million in ADM stock.

A 2016 University of Illinois Plant Clinic herbicide resistance report shows that glyphosate herbicide resistance and PPO Inhibitor herbicide resistance have both reached epic proportions across the Midwest of the United States.

Herbicide-resistant weeds are symptomatic of a bigger problem: an outdated system of farming that relies on planting huge acreages of the same crop year after year. Farming practices such as monoculture, promotes excellent habitats for the accelerated development of weed and pest pesticide resistance. In response to the crisis, Monsanto and its competitors suggest using more of their herbicides to cover the resistant weeds. This approach ignores the underlying biology of agricultural systems and inevitably leads to more resistance. Great for chemical sales; not so great for land stewardship or honeybees.

The study examined 2,000 water-hemp or palmer amaranth weed samples from 10 states across the Midwest. Alarmingly 76.8% of the 593 sites studies 456 showed glyphosate resistance. Over 62% of the weed samples showed resistance to PPO inhibitor herbicides. And almost 50% of weeds on all the field sites showed resistance to both PPO inhibitor herbicides and glyphosate herbicides.

The University of Illinois Plant Clinic report has led Midwest farmers to question the glyphosate resistant (Roundup Ready) GMO crops that have been pushed on them over the last 20 years by biotech giants such as Monsanto. Bill Giles, a farmer from Illinois, who has been growing GM crops since 2009 stated “GM crops are on the edge of failure in the U.S. as farmers are asked to fork out more and more money on herbicides to try to control the superweeds. We simply can’t afford it! It is near the end of the road for these crops and many of my friends in the Midwest are on the edge of turning back to conventional farming methods.”

Related Links:
2016 University of Illinois Plant Clinic Herbicide Resistance Report
http://bulletin.ipm.illinois.edu/?p=3821