Last summer, the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) announced that our testing of Ben & Jerry’s popular ice cream flavors for glyphosate (the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller) turned up positive results in 10 of 11 samples we tested.
Our critics fired back that the glyphosate levels we found were “well below” the levels that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) tells us are “safe.”
In other words, relax! A little bit of Monsanto Roundup weedkiller in your ice cream is nothing to fret over.
Now a new pilot study, soon to be published in the prestigious scientific journal Environmental Health, suggests that EPA “safe” levels aren’t safe at all—especially for kids.
Will this new evidence lead to a ban on glyphosate? Hard to tell, given what we know about possible collusion in the past between Monsanto and the EPA to keep consumers in the dark about how toxic Roundup and glyphosate are to human health. Plus we’re now dealing with an EPA that favors hiding the truth about toxic chemicals from the public, over protecting the chemical industry’s image.
It has happened at slaughterhouses run by Smithfield Foods, Swift and Agriprocessors.
Now U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has swooped down on Southeastern Provision, a cattle slaughterhouse in Bean Station, Tennessee.
On April 5, with helicopters chopping overhead, 97 workers, mostly Hispanic, were detained by ICA. That left a workforce of only three. According to an article in the New Yorker, 32 of the detainees were released the same day, 54 were kept in detention and 10 were arrested for defying previous deportation orders.
Original news reports about the raid stressed the immigration detentions. But it was soon learned that the raid, conducted jointly by ICE and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), was triggered by suspicious cash withdrawals by the slaughterhouse owners. The millions in withdrawals were allegedly used to pay workers in cash in order to avoid paying payroll taxes. The owners of the slaughterhouse operation owe at least $2.5 million in back payroll taxes, according to federal authorities.
But the raid led to other revelations, including evidence that Southeastern Provision's undocumented workers were handling harsh chemicals without proper eye protection, and were not paid extra for overtime. Some earned only $6 an hour.
“We see the formulations are much more toxic. The formulations were killing the cells. The glyphosate really didn’t do it.” — Mike DeVito, acting chief, National Toxicology Program Laboratory
Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller may be even worse for human health than we thought.
As reported this week in the Guardian, new tests show that when Roundup’s key active ingredient, glyphosate, is combined with other chemicals to create the final product, the herbicide is more toxic to human cells than glyphosate alone.
As if glyphosate alone weren’t toxic enough.
U.S. Right to Know’s Carey Gillam reported on the first-ever testing, conducted by the U.S. National Toxicology Program (NTP), of glyphosate-based formulations. Previous testing focused exclusively on glyphosate in isolation.
On August 1, then-President Obama signed a meaningless so-called mandatory GMO labeling law that, for all practical purposes, ended an intense four-year grassroots-led campaign for consumers’ right to know if their food is genetically engineered, or contains genetically engineered ingredients.
Now, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has unveiled its proposed version of GMO labels. Wait ‘till you see them. All bright and cheery, with sunburst and smiley-faced images—but without “GMO” appearing anywhere on the labels. (You can see all of the proposed images here).
According to Politico, the USDA’s long-awaited106-page proposal for how companies must disclose the presence of genetically modified ingredients in their products includes eliminating the words “genetically modified” or “genetically engineered” and replacing them with “bioengineered.”
That means no more “GMO”—instead consumers will see “BE” on the environmentally friendly looking green and yellow images.
The images are just as insulting to consumers as the law, which the chemical and junk food industry lobbyists spent $400 million to pass—under the specious name of the “Safe and Affordable Food Labeling Act.”
“If we lose the insects then everything is going to collapse.” - Dr. David Goulson, Sussex University, UK
Victory for bees in Europe! As reported in the Guardian, the world’s most widely used insecticides will be banned from all fields in the E.U. within six months to protect both wild and commercially raised honeybees that are vital to crop pollination.
The neonicotinoid insecticides now banned in the E.U are sold by Bayer and Syngenta and used by Monsanto to coat its genetically engineered seeds. They are the cause of the massive bee die-offs that commercial beekeepers in the U.S. reported this year—and every year since 2006.
Industrial agriculture, with its factory farms, GMO monculture crops and toxic chemicals, is one of the leading causes of global warming. You can help cool the planet by choosing organic foods, grown using sustainable, regenerative farming practices.