Transgenic potatoes are burning

Transgenic potatoes are burning

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By Luis E. Sabini Fernández

Monsanto had overwhelmed the EPA, the US's highest authority on food quality control, in 1985 when it called glyphosate a carcinogen and Monsanto covered it with hundreds of reports invoking the safety of the herbicide. Then, no doubt, no one had managed to imagine that it could be counterfeited on such an industrial scale. And the cascade effect worked: EPA raised that rating in 1991.

A free field for Monsanto, which began, in the service of geopolitics instrumented by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), its planetary penetration.
But in the last two decades, unfavorable research has raged. Just a minimal sample of the studies that pointed to the toxicity of transgenic products, glyphosate or that of the "technological package" that includes other adjuvants (such as POEA):

· 2004. S. Bradberry, British toxicologist certified the extremely high toxicity (gastrointestinal corrosive effects, arrhythmias, kidney failure) of glyphosate.

· 2008. Marie-Monique Robin, French investigative journalist, writes a monumental book, The World According to Monsanto, in which she uncovers the fallacies, sneakiness and falsehoods with which this transnational octopus develops its strategies to implant transgenic foods.

· 2009. Andrés Carrasco, in Argentina, is carrying out an investigation that proves the toxicity of glyphosate on animals, much higher than that registered "officially". The establishment, in this case Argentine, freezes it.

· 2009. Muñoz Rubio, Julio, Mexican academic, analyzes and criticizes a “neoliberalism on a molecular scale”.

· 2011. Eva Sirinathsinghji and Mae-Wan Ho, from London, accuse EU regulators and Monsanto of concealing glyphosate toxicity, such as dilated heart and congenital malformations in laboratory animals.

· 2011. María Solange, in Argentina, verifies the damage of glyphosate in fresh water.

· 2012. Gilles-Eric Séralini, in France, explains how his research, strictly following Monsanto's protocols, only that prolonging them over time (Monsanto's were barely 3 months) reveals a chilling series of disorders in the health of laboratory animals. Séralini tested toxic effects of transgenic corn, distinguished from the effects of the pesticide that the same crop received.

· 2012. Eva Sirinathsinghji reviews the toxicity soared in Argentina (second country in the world to introduce transgenic products) with its "alarming increase in congenital malformations, cancers and other alterations."

· 2012. Eva Sirinathsinghji. Transgenic soybeans in Denmark linked to diseases in farmed pigs. Alterations that have been registered with the use of glyphosate since the 1980s.

· 2012. Don Huber, professor and principal investigator of the USDA (Department of Agriculture of the United States) has verified the increase of diseases in the crops applied with glyphosate. In one document he refers to "a pathogen new to science." Associated with an unprecedented amount of diseases and disorders in plants and animals ”.

· 2013. Ho, Mae-Wan. "Why GMOs can't be safe." Because they are built on an epistemological foundation that has been revealed to be fallacious: genetic determinism.

· 2013. Obama protects Monsanto. In March 2013 the president of the United States signed and put into effect a law that establishes that the companies that produce transgenics will be exonerated from any lawsuit regarding health risks posed by the consumption of their products. Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of the Center for Food Health, soberly called it an "abuse of power."

· 2013. Thongprakaisang, S., et al, investigate the presence of glyphosate in breast milk.

· 2014. Steven Druker, Altered Genes, Twisted Truth. How the Venture to Genetically Engineer Our Food Has Subverted Science, Corrupted Government, and Systematically Deceived the Public [Altered genes, eguivocal truth. How the bet on genetic engineering in our food corrupted the government and systematically betrayed society]. We transcribe title and subtitle because they are explicit enough. Because of the title, the objection in this case is directed directly to transgenic foods.

· 2014. Vallianatos, E. G. and Jenkins Mc Key. Poison Spring. The Secret History of Pollution and the EPA [Poisoned Spring. The secret history of contamination and that of the EPA]. Here, too, the title and subtitle speak for themselves, referring to a radical distrust of public validations, of the chemical jungle in which we find ourselves.

· And in 2015, the WHO itself, which had delayed its position so long, through its International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) established the carcinogenic nature of glyphosate.

The floodgates appear to have opened. What sweeps away the unthinkable: A senior Monsanto official, Dr. William Moar, a roving lecturer, arrogantly declared: “We have a whole department dedicated to deflating scientific work that does not match our own.” [1] We imagine the CEO shaking with anger at such a "gift to the enemy" ... Who can talk science? Just Monsanto?

To top it all off, American farmer and scholar Carol Von Strum denounces gross errors, omissions and forgeries in a series of "investigations" presented by Monsanto.

One wonders immediately about the scientific value of that flurry of research that rained down on the EPA in the '80s… Indeed, Von Strum affirms that the alterations in the research come at least from the decade of the' 70s. The institutional axis of such falsifications passes through the IBT, Industrial BioTest Laboratories, whose works are considered invalid in 99% of the cases (covering almost half a thousand certifications and "approvals" of pesticides).

What was being planned in the IBT? Animals killed during the experiments were routinely replaced by new, live ones; any report was used to apply to other investigations (therefore, not carried out); evidence implicating adverse data or fatal effects in guinea pigs was erased; in experiments with rats all dead, they were replaced with dogs or cats and the info that they were still rats was maintained; Results such as cancer, testicular atrophy and other effects were being sneaked up in guinea pigs ... an endless series of fakes. For a reason, Von Strum's work is titled: “Failure to Regulate: Pesticide Data Fraud Comes Home to Roost” [Failure in regulation: now fraud in data on pesticides, thrown out the door reappears out the window]. [2]

The question that immediately arises is how it has been possible to ignore such a wealth of research over so many years.

If I had to look for a simile in society to this string of researchers, authors of formidable allegations about the toxicity of the transgenic technological package, the closest or similar thing, in another social ladder, it is what has happened and happens with the Palestinians , who denounce one atrocity after another of Zionist politics ... and the years go by with no results in sight.
Gary Ruskin, dedicated to debunking the fallacies of "transgenic health" from the US, [3] wonders and questions how Monsanto, for example, has had a more conciliatory attitude in the UK than in the US, where maintains a closed campaign against the labeling of transgenic products and defends in a closed book the quality of "safe" [safe] of its products.

Similar alternation we have in Argentina. The alternative media has reported abundantly of the WHO ban on glyphosate. Some of that has even crept into the "normal" press. But the casts that have embraced the USDA plan since the mid-1990s; soybean farmers, associations such as AAPRESID, CASAFE, landowners' unions, rural newspaper supplements such as Clarín, La Nación, and various radio stations associated with agribusiness, tell the story in another way.
Thus Héctor Huergo, director-editor of Clarìn-Rural, titled an editorial: "The star of glyphosate." And he criticizes environmentalists "who cannot digest the enormous environmental benefits of this process" [the agribusiness system, including transgenic soy and biocide]. Huergo points out that "the environmentalists" scored a bean. Undeserved. Because "up to now all scientific studies had reliably demonstrated the lack of relationship between cancer and glyph." (sic).

When it says "scientific studies" it refers to many of those processed by the IBT. And when it says "all," it reveals a first-degree arithmetic deficiency. But he insists, like Lino Barañao, the Minister of Science and Technology in a permanent asbestos suit: Huergo tells us that glyphosate and its effects are comparable to that of mate and coffee; Barañao had told us that glyphosate was less toxic than salt. [4] We have those top-level officials and referents of equal scope in Argentina.

And the most painful thing, when a criticism of Monsanto arises from the kidney of “ruralism”, it refers to the dispute over the slices in the sale of soybeans. The vice of the Argentine Agrarian Federation, Jorge Solmi, for example, complains: “what they want to charge they would deduct it from us from the price they pay us for what we produce. […] And we are not going to allow it […] it is a virtual private withholding scheme. " [5] Here's a good example from the fight with Monsanto. "For the pennies." By pollution, by those victimized with the poison spread like never before? Well thanks.

Clarìn Rural boasts about the safe invasion of GMOs around the world: “Genetically modified crops (GM) continue to grow in the world. Last year 181 million ha were planted. The leader continues to be the US, and Brazil and Argentina are in the second and third places globally. " [6]

This alleged impunity, today in question, has been based on a certain fact, but totally insufficient in the new situation. Glyphosate came to replace (at first, totally, then only partially) much stronger biocides, almost instantaneous poisons. As we saw in the sad example, note 6, between paraquat and glyphosate.

This attenuation of the devastating effects of biocides such as DDT, the aforementioned Paraquat, Malathion, 2-4-5-TCDD and many others, allowed some interested parties to deny all toxicity to glyphosate and to run with that story long enough to establish it. in the market and scatter it urbi et orbi. On its website, Monsanto insists on its low toxicity and its lack of incidence in cancers, fertility, the nervous system, and so on.
The truth is usually complex and does not marry Manichean solutions. It is true that glyphosate proved to be less toxic in the very short term than other poisons, with much more visible deleterious effects and sharp pictures.

But precisely the low apparent toxicity of glyphosate allowed an expansion like never had any other of these more vigorous biocides (perhaps yes, at the time, DDT).

The end result has been devastating. Because the areas affected with this "soft poison" are incomparably larger. Since along with glyphosate and genetic engineering, agriculture changed radically. Of scale, of scope. Now we have monocultures even bigger than those of the past and we have expanded crops? Expansion of the agricultural frontier? to unprecedented latitudes. The damage is widespread like never before.

And we have reached the "paradox" of damaging more biodiversity, animal and plant, with less intense poisons. That affect us, by their scope, more than the previous ones. And since they are not withering attacks, their action and effects are much more insidious.

Such is the contribution of these "benefactors." I want to finish these lines with the title that Marie Monique Robin gave to one of her latest books: Our daily poison (2012). There he details: from pesticides to packaging, how chemicals have contaminated the food chain and are making us sick. Thus, we see that glyphosate and transgenic soy are nothing but links in this "new world" in which we are being housed.
The title of this note alludes to the first "purified", fired, with the offensive of genetic engineering. Arpad Pusztai, a Hungarian lectin specialist, publicly confessed that he would not eat potatoes like the ones he was analyzing, with transgenic lectins. Immediately, 1998, he was fired and two processes were opened: one for his professional quality and the other for his moral probity. The perfect praise of silence ... accomplice.

[1] Sarich, Christina, “Monsanto Employee Admits an Entire Department Exists to‘ discredit ’” “Scientists, truthout, 4/9/2015.

[2] Carol Von Strum, Truthout, 4/9/2015.

[3] “Seedy Business. What Big Food is hiding with its slick PR Campaign on GMOs ”(January 2015, January 2015). What food companies hide with their flattering campaign.

[4] Walter Moyano, from the network of "Doctors of Fumigated Towns" explains to Barañao that "glyphosate is not water with salt." And he takes the sad and tragic example of the many, many farmers in Sri Lanka who have used glyphosate to commit suicide. The investigation by D.M. Roberts established that by taking one drink they survived (unlike with another biocide, Paraquat where 5 ml is enough to kill a human), but that all, without exception those who drank 190 ml or more, died. Nobody dies drinking a glass of salted water. Well salty, even.

[5] Page 12 ,, Buenos Aires, 2/4/2015.

[6] 31/1/2015.

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