May 2, 2015, 4:38 pm
“If one thousand died every day of cholera, swine flu, or food poisoning, an epidemic of major proportions would be at hand. Yet cancer claims that many lives daily, often in prolonged and agonizing pain, and most people believe they can do nothing about it.”
– Samuel S. Epstein, M.D., The Politics of Cancer (1978)
That 1978 estimate of 1,000 daily cancer deaths worldwide has today ballooned twenty-fold, to 20,821 deaths from cancer each day, making a grim total of 7.6 million lives lost to the scourge every year.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) recently – and finally! – classified glyphosate, the active chemical in the best-selling herbicide Roundup, as carcinogenic, prompting a furious reaction from its manufacturer, Monsanto Corporation, demanding that the WHO – as well as the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) – retract their statements on Roundup’s toxicity to human health.
Monsanto’s demand was despite a peer-reviewed study published in March of 2015 in the respected journal, The Lancet Oncology, proving that glyphosate was indeed ‘probably carcinogenic’.
The published study revealed:
“Glyphosate is a broad-spectrum herbicide, currently with the highest production volumes of all herbicides. It is used in more than 750 different products for agriculture, forestry, urban, and home applications. Its use has increased sharply with the development of genetically modified glyphosate-resistant crop varieties. Glyphosate has been detected in air during spraying, in water, and in food. There WAS limited evidence in humans for the carcinogenicity of glyphosate.
“Glyphosate has been detected in the blood and urine of agricultural workers, indicating absorption. Soil microbes degrade glyphosate to aminomethylphosphoric acid (AMPA). Blood AMPA detection after poisonings suggests intestinal microbial metabolism in humans. Glyphosate and glyphosate formulations induced DNA and chromosomal damage in mammals, and in human and animal cells in vitro. One study reported increases in blood markers of chromosomal damage (micronuclei) in residents of several communities after spraying of glyphosate formulations.”
In his pioneering work The Politics of Cancer first published in 1978, Dr. Epstein noted that his book had “carefully documented startling evidence of decisions made by US corporations to deliberately withhold from Congress and the public information about public health dangers. It was not just a wake-up call to the nation, it was also a call to arms for those of us both inside and outside the beltway, Republican and Democrat, young and old, to reclaim our fundamental rights to a safe environment for ourselves and our families.”
Christina Sarich, an author and freelance writer, has specialized in exposing the frauds and lies told by Big Food and Biotech companies while they taint the world’s food supply with toxic ingredients. She recalled that at a recent talk attended mostly by students hoping to get decent paying internships in their field, one student asked what the company was doing to negate ‘bad science’ concerning their work.
Monsanto employee, Dr. William ‘Bill’ Moar, whose job is to reassure people that his company’s products are safe, momentarily forgot that the event he was addressing – though mostly students, was also being attended by members of the public – said his company had “an entire department” (waving his arms for emphasis) dedicated to ‘debunking’ science which disagreed with Monsanto’s stated position’!
Wrote Christina: “Monsanto will stop at nothing to discredit and devalue the contributions of unimpeachably respected Lancet and the international scientific bodies of WHO and IARC,” adding, “The stakes are high – after all, an entire industry of GMO seed (for which they currently hold more than a three-fourths monopoly share) is based on being Roundup ready. Glyphosate is their hallmark product, and it accounts for billions in sales when you account for the seed they sell to go with their best-selling herbicide.
“In a single publicly made phrase,” added Christina, “Moar admitted that the Monsanto-funded science is sheer propaganda – essentially that they indeed have dozens, if not hundreds of employees out making sure that no science which tells the truth about their cancer-causing products ever garners any credibility whatsoever in the information age. Monsanto has also held up the findings of regulatory bodies, particularly in the United States where the revolving door between agrochemical corporations and government seems never-ending.”
Carol Van Strum, author of A Bitter Fog: Herbicides and human rights, who was described by the Truthout website as ‘a chronic thorn in the side of those who endanger the health and safety of people and the environment’, wrote: “The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can hardly be surprised by news that Roundup and other best-selling pesticides cause cancer. The EPA originally registered atrazine, Roundup (glyphosate), 2,4-D and hundreds of other poisons based on fraudulent or nonexistent industry safety studies, their real effects concealed by the EPA and industry for 50 years. Now the fraud and lies are coming home to roost.”
The EPA, writes Carol, has been routinely lying about the safety of pesticides ever since it took over pesticide registrations from the US Department of Agriculture in 1970. “This is perhaps inevitable. Ensuring the ‘safety’ of chemicals designed to kill living things is no more feasible than ensuring the safety of guns, but unlike guns, the damage done by pesticides can take weeks, months or even decades to become manifest, presenting endless opportunities for fraud, lies and cover-ups.”
Pesticides have been linked to the alarming decline of amphibians throughout the planet, says Carol. “Amphibians, which live in water much of their lives and breathe through their permeable skin, are particularly susceptible to poisons in the water; frog eggs float on or near the water surface, where pesticides drift and accumulate, and their tadpoles live exclusively in water, extremely vulnerable to pesticide contamination for five to seven months or longer before metamorphosing into adult frogs.
“Worldwide, multiple studies have linked pesticide exposure to malformed tadpoles, reversal of sexes, hermaphrodism, infertility, immune system damage, embryo death and other effects in frogs.” For 25 years, in what US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials called “the most massive scientific fraud ever committed in the US, and perhaps the world,” all major chemical and pharmaceutical companies had paid IBT to produce the test data they needed to register their products. All but forgotten now, in 1983, a six-month-long criminal trial resulted in the convictions of three IBT officials. The trial revealed a vast, lucrative business of deceptive safety testing:
* New animals routinely substituted – often en masse – for test animals that died, without noting deaths or substitutions in lab reports;
* Entire test data and lab reports for one test product copied into reports for other products;
* ‘Magic pencil’ studies substituted false data for tests never done or results implicating test products’ adverse or fatal effects;
* Signatures of lab technicians who had refused to sign false reports were forged by managers;
* Rats listed as dead and autopsied in one section of a report reappeared alive and breeding in another section of the same report (“Now IBT did some strange and unusual things,” Dr. Adrian Gross, who first revealed the IBT scandal, remarked, “but bringing back the dead wasn’t one of them.”);
* Substitution of unexposed control animals for test animals that died;
* Wholesale concealment and falsification of cancers, testicular atrophy, death and other effects in test animals;
IBT, it turned out, was but the tip of a huge iceberg. Subsequent audits of 82 other testing laboratories found that more than half – 47 labs – had ‘serious deficiencies’.
Strange that criminally-minded Monsanto hasn’t yet cottoned on to pleading that ‘People are born to die. It can’t be helped!’