Reality-Check

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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A Top Court Strikes Down French MON810 Ban – for Fourth Time (EN/FR)

You might think the first three high court rejections would send a clear enough message to the French government that it can’t just ban things on a whim. Think again. Although Monsanto wasn’t even selling the product in the country and had no intention to do so, the government in March 2014 tried a fourth time to ban Monsanto’s MON810 genetically modified (GM), insect-resistant maize on dubious scientific grounds. Now France’s top administrative court has struck the ban down–again–for being scientifically baseless.

On August 1st, 2013 and November 28th, 2011, the Conseil d’Etat had already found that the French government’s 2008 and 2011 bans on MON810 cultivation were illegal. Furthermore, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) on Sept 8th, 2011 found the French ban on the cultivation...

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Monsanto transitions away from tallowamine in products (EN/FR)

Based on what has been a political debate in Europe, we have already been preparing for a gradual transition away from tallowamine to other types of surfactants for commercial reasons. In this context, such an intention by France would not come as a surprise.

Importantly, tallowamine-based products do not pose an imminent risk for human health when used according to instructions. In a 2009 review of toxicological data on tallowamine, the U.S. EPA found no evidence that tallowamines are neurotoxic, mutagenic or clastogenic.

In the coming weeks, we look forward to more fully understanding the agency’s concerns and intentions and providing scientific information...

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GTF response to Commissioner Andriukaitis’ letter Re: publication of studies.

6th April 2016

As part of the approval process for active substances, industry is obliged to generate data which is then evaluated alongside other sources of information such as open (published) studies. The admissibility of industry studies is dependent on adherence to rigorous standards, such as OECD guidelines on Good Laboratory Practice (GLP). As it stands, the legislation aims to strike a balance between satisfying the demands of the regulatory system and respecting the investment and proprietary nature of data generated by companies...

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Fighting the hydra of science myths: an interview with Kavin Senapathy

We interviewed Kavin Senapthy on food myths and counter movements, food education and how consumers both in Europe and beyond can be better informed about where their food comes from and how it is produced.

Kavin Senapathy

Who is Kavin Senapathy?

Kavin Senapathy is a science communicator tackling myths on science, health and food. She is the co-Executive Director of international pro-science, pro-biotech organization March Against Myths, and co-author of “The Fear Babe: Shattering Vani Hari’s Glass House,” a book discussing popular food misconceptions and why they proliferate in the face of mountains of evidence against them...

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Three things to know about glyphosate and the European Commission Standing Committee (EN/FR/DE)

As expected, the European Commission’s Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food & Feed held an initial exchange of views on the proposed glyphosate renewal this week.  Prior to this discussion, the European Food Safety Authority published its science-based conclusion on glyphosate, reaffirming its 40-year history of safe use as the active ingredient in herbicides popular with farmers and gardeners.  After this initial exchange of views, we expect that the Commission will schedule a vote on glyphosate in the coming weeks.  Here are three things to know about this process:

  1. This was the first time glyphosate was on the agenda for an exchange of views and possible vote...
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