Reality-Check

Balance wanted: European media coverage of GMOs and pesticides often misses it

by Brandon Mitchener

In a year in which the Oxford English Dictionary has named “post-truth” the word of the year, it should surprise no one that the global news media are under increasing scrutiny for failing to hold politicians and others accountable for telling outright lies that leave a mark—sometimes a decisive mark—on public policies. Lies helped fuel the “Brexit” vote in the United Kingdom, and lies and fake news played a starring role in the U.S. presidential election.

In the U.S., major news organisations including The New York Times and The Washington Post belatedly ramped up live online fact-checking services in the realisation that most voters couldn’t tell lies from facts. Google and Facebook have belatedly announced plans to ban fake news from their sites...

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Bringing important crop protection tools to farmers requires significant investment

Given the significant investment of time and money required to bring crop protection products to market, regulatory authorities must follow the standard procedures enshrined in EU law that protect investment and support innovation.

Every year, as much as 40% of the world’s potential harvests are lost to weeds, insects and plant diseases. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), these losses could double without pesticides and other crop protection practices.

When it comes to controlling invasive weeds, farmers – as well as governments, gardeners, and other users – have depended on glyphosate for 40 years as a safe, efficient and cost-effective tool. Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Roundup® and other popular weed killers.

Like all pestici...

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European Union: Please make up your mind on organic, for the sake of the environment

Derek 's quote on organic farming practicesBy Gary Frewin

Is the practice of organic farming supposed to be about eco-farming at its best or is it supposed to be all natural? It’s important to know because it cannot be both at the same time. Such is the confusion on this question today that everybody seems to have a different answer. Even the European Union (EU) has defined organic in radically different ways depending where you look, for example the Organic Legislation 2007 says this:

1) Organic production is an overall system of farm management and food production that combines best environmental practices […] and a production method in line with the preference of certain consumers for products produced using natural substances and processes.

The appeal to nature should be obvious to most of you...

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AN OPEN LETTER ABOUT THE MONSANTO TRIBUNAL

Image of a farmer on a farm. Monsanto's response to the Monsanto Tribunal.

For The Record: The mock tribunal distracts from real dialogue on the world’s food and agriculture needs and the full realization of human rights.

To people interested in food, the environment and biodiversity, human rights, and Monsanto,

In growing our food, farmers face some tough challenges as the world’s population continues to grow. We work daily to provide farmers with a broad range of solutions so they can have better harvests while making land, water and other natural resources go further, and make a more balanced plate of food more accessible for everyone.

To address these ever increasing challenges collaboratively and advance our commitment to human rights, we welcome a genuine constructive conversation with diverse ideas and perspectives about food and farming...

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Independent experts find glyphosate unlikely to pose human carcinogenic risk

A one litre bottle of Roundup weedkiller.

A one litre bottle of Roundup® weedkiller.

At Monsanto, we’re fully confident in the safety profile of our products. Our confidence is based on rigorous internal safety assessments in addition to safety assessments by regulatory authorities, independent researchers and other experts around the world. On 28 September a new peer-reviewed study reviewing the total scientific evidence of the herbicide glyphosate concluded that it is unlikely to pose a carcinogenic risk to humans.

In July 2015, Monsanto retained a scientific consultant to convene an expert panel to review the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) monograph on glyphosate once it published...

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Photo editors: That’s not Roundup they’re spraying! EN/FR

Open letter to European photo editors

Dear editor,

It has come to our attention over the past weeks and months that most European photo editors routinely choose photos of farmers spraying something that cannot possibly be Roundup or other glyphosate-based herbicides over the tops of their crops to illustrate the current public debate about the use of glyphosate in agriculture. We’re talking about photos like this:

Farmer spraying crop. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

This cannot possibly be glyphosate for the simple reason that glyphosate is an herbicide. That means it kills plants. It is designed to kill weeds, but if a farmer sprays it on his or her crop it would also kill the crop...

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My First March Against Monsanto

By Jaden Elsasser

Growing up as a small town farmer’s daughter in Illinois, I only understood the basics of the farming business (and quite frankly I was never urged to learn about it, as hard as my dad pushed). I could answer the simple questions such as, “How many acres does your father farm?” and “Where is your farm located?” But when any further questions were sent my way, I simply nodded my head with a smile and pretended I knew exactly what they were talking about.

WhatsApp-Image-20160521 (3)I hadn’t fully understood the debate around Monsanto until my first year at the University of Missouri. I paid little attention to what friends, acquaintances and others had said about the big, bad multinational company because Monsanto products had always played a vital role for a large farming family...

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Anti-glyphosate activism masquerading as journalism at Euractiv

by Brandon Mitchener

ChemophobiaWe have unfortunately gotten used to seeing bad and sloppy journalism on topics related to Monsanto, but this week’s Euractiv France story about French opposition to the renewal of glyphosate may have to take the prize for media bias. (Arthur Nelsen’s biased coverage in the Guardian is close behind).

Euractiv’s story starts out factually, noting that the European Commission had once again delayed a vote on the renewal of glyphoate, the active substance in Monsanto’s Roundup and in many other weedkillers used by farmers, gardeners and others for whom weeds are a scourge. From there, all normal journalistic standards of objectivity go straight to the bottom.

Just a few warning signs:

  1. Eleven of the fourteen paragraphs in the story quote environmental activists, Greens o...
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Glyphosate in Roundup unlikely to cause cancer in people from food, says UN

Screenshot of Joint FAO/WHO Meeting on Pesticide Residues Summary Report on glyphosate. Image courtesy of WHO.

Screenshot of Joint FAO/WHO Meeting on Pesticide Residues Summary Report on glyphosate. Image courtesy of WHO.

Yesterday a joint meeting of the UN’s World Health Organization (WHO) and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) published a statement concluding that “glyphosate is unlikely to pose a carcinogenic risk to humans from exposure from the diet.” Glyphosate is a key ingredient in Monsanto’s popular herbicide Roundup. This news supports the wider body of scientific evidence that glyphosate does not cause cancer in humans.

The Joint Meeting on Pesticide Residues (JMPR), held in Geneva Switzerland from 9 to 13 May 2016, also assessed the pesticides diazinon and malathion...

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Monsanto’s Ongoing Concerns About IARC’s Glyphosate Claims

By Scott Partridge, Monsanto Vice President Global Strategy

At Monsanto, I work with many teams that research and develop products to help farmers, and ultimately, consumers, every day. These teams rely on the science to guide their decision-making, and they adhere to the rigorous regulatory processes established by governments around the world to bring our products to market. Recently, glyphosate, the main ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup agricultural herbicides, has been under attack by a French-based group called the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Its activities have raised a lot of questions, which we intend to explore further.

A 40-Year History of Safe Use

Glyphosate has been called the most important herbicide developed in the post- World War II era...

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