Reality-Check

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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“The Age of Stupid”: Part 2

We interviewed the ‘Risk-Monger’, a.k.a David Zaruk, on food propaganda, food labelling and how European consumers can be better informed about where their food comes from and how it is produced. Click here to see the first part of the interview.

David Zaruk, A.K.A. The Risk MongerWho is David Zaruk?

David Zaruk is the outspoken blogger known as the Risk-Monger. A philosopher by training, he has been an EU risk and science communications specialist since 2001. David believes that hunger, AIDS and diseases like malaria are the real threats to humanity – not plastics, GMOs or pesticides. Also follow him in smaller doses on the Risk-Monger FB page: www.facebook.com/riskmonger 

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More fearmongering about glyphosate: Who drinks 1,000 litres of beer a day? (EN/DE)

You may have seen alarmist stories about the alleged discovery of glyphosate, an herbicide used for weed control, in 14 German beers. Time to give up beer for good? Well, not because of this study at least…

The levels the authors claim to have detected are well below any levels deemed relevant by regulatory authorities. An average person (60 kg) would need to drink more than 1,000 liters of beer in a day, or that amount over many years, before consuming glyphosate levels that are considered potentially relevant, according to the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR).

Who drinks 1,000 liters of beer a day?

Also, the BfR confirmed there are no health concerns and questioned the study process used by the authors.

Glyphosate is approved for use on barley, hops and other grains i...

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Monsanto responds to Zembla broadcast about glyphosate (EN/NL)

Monsanto employees in the Netherlands saw a Dutch television programme about glyphosate broadcast this week on Zembla that presents a seriously distorted picture of reality. The report that was previously broadcast in Germany was rife with misinformation. Monsanto appreciates the important role played by the media in informing the public. Unfortunately, Zembla denied Dutch viewers some facts that could help them achieve a well-informed opinion.

Monsanto invites viewers and others who are interested to also do their own research. We do our best to help provide additional information and perspectives.

Glyphosate has a history of more than 40 years of safe use as a weed killer and is among the most commonly used and extensively tested agro-chemical substances in the world...

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Monsanto, Zika and microcephaly: Activists are misleading people

You may have seen Zika virus news articles spreading on social media and the Web. The below is a link to a blog post on the site Medium.com by Robb Fraley, Monsanto Chief Technology Officer, that looks at the practice of ‘clickbait’ used by agenda-driven online outlets:

The curious case of how activists are misleading people about Monsanto, Zika and microcephaly

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