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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Monsanto to grow greenhouse crops in Tucson area (GMOs, robots )

    Monsanto to grow greenhouse crops in Tucson area

    • Dave Kettering


    Multinational biotechnology giant Monsanto Co. is bringing a small chunk of its highly influential — and controversial — seed operation to Pima County.

    The company hopes to start building a facility later this year to grow corn and soybeans in at least one greenhouse on a 7-acre site in Pima County, a Monsanto spokeswoman told the Star Friday.

    The main purpose will be for corn-breeding operations, which use few genetically modified organisms, Monsanto spokeswoman Christi Dixon said. But it also will do “trait integration,” which combines genetic and biotech traits, Dixon said.

    Word of Monsanto’s Arizona plans became public Wednesday when the company announced in a news release “its investment plans for greenhouses in Arizona.” Dixon provided more details Friday, but didn’t specify where the greenhouse would be built. More than one greenhouse could be built on the same site, she said.

    Using new automated greenhouses, with robots watering and otherwise maintaining crops, the company hopes it can “better manage risks — like insect, disease and weather variables — we may otherwise encounter in open field environments,” Dixon said in an email.

    The use of “support protected culture capabilities” — indoor growing — will “increase the long-term rate of genetic gain in both corn and soybeans,” she said.

    The company picked Arizona because, while greenhouses can grow things year-round in most places by blocking out the elements, “It’s easier in this kind of weather,” Dixon said, referring to Tucson’s mild winters and warm weather the rest of the year.


    Monsanto’s plans for Pima County are common knowledge in the local farming community, said Arnold Burruel, a longtime Marana farmer.

    He has sold GMO-based seeds to Monsanto but hasn’t talked to company officials about this venture, said Burruel, who said he’s grown GMO and non-GMO cotton as well as GMO corn and non-GMO alfalfa in his fields.

    Herb Kai, an owner of the Kai Farms in Marana, said his company’s officials have talked with Monsanto about possibly selling the company land for the operation, but can’t say more because of a confidentiality agreement the two parties have signed.

    “I’m sure they’re probably talking to other landowners in Arizona besides us,” said Kai, a Marana Town Council member.


    The St. Louis-based company is the world’s largest manufacturer of genetically manufactured seed products for fruits, vegetables, cotton, corn and oilseeds. It calls itself “a sustainable agriculture company” that delivers products supporting farmers around the world.

    It’s also been called one of the world’s most-hated companies because of its work with GMO seeds and crops, its production of the widely used herbicide Roundup and its past production of toxic chemicals such as polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, a long-banned compound that was once regularly used in electrical transformers.

    It’s also fought legal battles with some farmers who accused Monsanto of trying to monopolize control of seed production.

    Roundup, in particular, has become hugely controversial. Last year, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, an arm of the World Health Organization, concluded that glyphosate, Roundup’s active ingredient, probably causes cancer in humans.

    Monsanto has challenged that finding. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has long considered Roundup safe, but is now revisiting that conclusion.

    On its website, Monsanto says, “We are focused on empowering farmers — large and small — to produce more from their land while conserving more of our world’s natural resources such as water and energy.

    “We do this with our leading seed brands in crops like corn, cotton, oilseeds and fruits and vegetables. We also produce leading in-the-seed trait technologies for farmers, which are aimed at protecting their yield, supporting their on-farm efficiency and reducing their on-farm costs. We strive to make our products available to farmers throughout the world by broadly licensing our seed and trait technologies to other companies.”

    In October, environmental, farming, food, anti-GMO and other groups will hold a mock trial in the Hague, Netherlands, to assess what they see as the company’s negative impacts. Those include pollution, accelerated biodiversity loss and “massive” production of greenhouse gases that cause climate change. The group also accuses Monsanto of crimes against nature and humanity and “ecocide.”

    Writing critically about this effort, Fortune Magazine journalist Marc Gunther quoted Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant as saying U.S. corn farmers generate yields of 150 to 160 bushels an acre, far more than what’s generated in Mexico, India and Africa, where the range is 20 to about 100 bushels per acre.

    “I wonder what, exactly, the anti-GMO forces who are going to spend their time and money to put Monsanto ‘on trial’ intend to do for farmers in Africa,” Grant wrote in a blog post late last year. “Like all companies, Monsanto has made mistakes. Perhaps more than its share. But I honestly don’t understand why this company is so maligned.”

    Marana farmer Burruel said his use of genetically modified seed to grow crops has been “nothing but a win for us.” He says Monsanto’s greenhouse-grown seeds will probably use less water than outside field crops because it will be far easier to recycle it inside the greenhouse, where the water will be contained and won’t run off into the soil.

    Because GMO crops are insect-resistant, use of chemicals on Burruel’s farm is down 95 percent, he said. That includes less use of residual herbicides on neighboring weeds that can seep into the underground aquifer.


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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Monsanto is on trial. You be the judge.

    September 12, 2016

    Organic Consumers Association

    by Ronnie Cummins

    If you could be “judge for a day,” which of Monsanto’s crimes would you take the most satisfaction in prosecuting?

    Would you hold the world’s most famous corporate criminal accountable for poisoning the people of Monte Maíz, Argentina—the “City of Death”—where glyphosate has caused a huge spike in miscarriages and cancer?

    Would you bring down the hammer of justice on Monsanto for making the lives of India’s farmers so desperate that nearly 300,000 of them have committed suicide?

    Or would you look closer to home, where here in the U.S. Monsanto's calculated infiltration of regulatory agencies resulted in the unleashing of cancer-causing GMOs into our food system without safety testing?

    Where non-GMO farmers whose crops are contaminated by nearby GMO crops are sued by Monsanto for “illegally growing” the company’s patented seeds?

    Where Monsanto's attacks on independent scientists and journalists have ruined careers?

    And most recently, where the Biotech Bully’s big spending corrupted our democracy to the point where Congress ignored the will of 90 percent of American citizens and instead, at Monsanto’s bidding, stripped Americans of the most basic right to know if our food has been contaminated with toxic pesticide-drenched GMOs?

    Monsanto’s crimes against human health and the environment, on a global scale, are well-documented.

    And yet, with great arrogance, diabolical planning and riches acquired at the expense of human suffering and irreparable harm to the environment, Monsanto carries on with business as usual, even as it looks to merge with yet another corporate criminal, Bayer.

    On October 15-16, in The Hague, Netherlands, a panel of five distinguished international judges and numerous lawyers will hear testimony from 29 witnesses representing five continents. OCA will pay for many of these witnesses to fly to The Hague, so they can tell the world how Monsanto has devastated their lives, their farms, their careers, their countries.

    The International Monsanto Tribunal is a citizens’ initiative. It is being organized by the people, to give Monsanto’s victims a voice, on an international stage. While the opinions that will be issued by the judges are non-binding, this tribunal, as has historically been the case with citizens’ tribunals, will create grassroots pressure on governments and the United Nations to hold Monsanto legally liable for its criminal activity.

    In 2017, OCA will work tirelessly to expose the health hazards of glyphosate and other poisons peddled by Monsanto, Bayer, Syngenta and the rest. We will test as many food products as we can, for as many toxic chemicals as we can find—and pressure the mainstream media to publish our results.

    We will go after the food companies that mislead consumers with blatantly false product labels.

    We will continue to provide financial support to US Right to Know, a nonprofit dedicated to exposing the lies behind slick PR campaigns by biotech, food and pharmaceutical companies, and attacks on scientists and journalists.

    We will launch a massive education and media campaign exposing the link between Monsanto and a factory farm system that produces toxic food, pollutes more water and air than any other industry, treats workers unfairly and inflicts unconscionable suffering on animals.

    It would be easy to give up this fight—especially after Monsanto’s masterful manipulation of Congress, which led to passage of the DARK Act.

    But giving up is exactly what Monsanto wants you, all of us, to do.
    Last edited by artist; 09-15-2016 at 11:25 AM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    California fights Monsanto on labels for popular weed killer

    • By SCOTT SMITH Associated Press
    • Jan 26, 2017 Updated 37 min ago

    FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — A battle over the main ingredient in Roundup, a popular weed killer sprayed by farmers and home gardeners worldwide, is coming to a head in California, where officials want to be the first to label the chemical with warnings that it could cause cancer.

    Monsanto rejects any health risk of its top-selling herbicide. The chemical giant sued the nation's leading agricultural producer to block the labels, arguing that the state unconstitutionally stakes its claims on an international health organization based in France.

    California will ask a Fresno judge on Friday to dismiss the case so it can move forward with the warnings, drawing support from heavyweights including environmental attorney Robert Kennedy Jr. and the United Farmworkers.

    Teri McCall says her husband toted a backpack of Roundup for more than 30 years to spray weeds on their 20-acre avocado and apple farm. Jack McCall died of cancer in late 2015, and his widow believes a warning would have saved his life.

    "I just don't think my husband would have taken that risk if he had known," said Teri McCall, one of dozens nationwide who are suing Monsanto, claiming the chemical gave them or a loved one cancer.

    Critics take issue with Roundup's main ingredient, glyphosate, which has no color or smell. Monsanto introduced it in 1974 as an effective way of killing weeds while leaving crops and plants intact.

    It's sold in more than 160 countries, and farmers in California use it on 250 types of crops.

    The chemical is not restricted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which says it has "low toxicity" and recommends people avoid entering a field for 12 hours after it has been applied.

    But the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a Lyon, France-based branch of the U.N. World Health Organization, classified the chemical as a "probable human carcinogen."

    Shortly afterward, the most populated state took its first step in 2015 to require the warning labels.

    St. Louis-based Monsanto contends in court papers that California is delegating its authority to an unelected foreign body with no accountability to officials in the U.S. or state in violation of the California Constitution.

    Attorneys for California consider the International Agency for Research on Cancer the "gold standard" for identifying carcinogens, and they rely on its findings along with several states, the federal government and other countries, court papers say.

    Monsanto also says placing the labels on Roundup would lead to consumers' unfounded fears and drive them to less safe and effective alternatives. Spokeswoman Charla Lord said she could not estimate the potential financial harm to the company.

    "Glyphosate is a vital tool," Lord said in a statement. "Our goal is to minimize any disruption to farmers in the state."

    California regulators are waiting for the lawsuit to be resolved before deciding whether to require warnings, said Sam Delson, a spokesman for the state Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment.

    Kennedy, who represents McCall's widow, questions Monsanto's staunch objection to the labels because the state is not trying to ban the weed killer.

    "People have a right to know what the risks are when they use Roundup," said Kennedy, a longtime adversary of Monsanto and son of Robert F. Kennedy. "It's almost strange that a corporation would be fighting so hard."

    Farmer Paul Betancourt has been using Roundup for more than three decades on his almonds and cotton crops and says he does not know anyone who has gotten sick from it.

    Still, he provides his crew with gloves and respirators and trains them how to correctly handle it. Betancourt said he doesn't know of an alternative that would work better.

    "You've got to treat it with a level of respect, like anything else," he said. "Gasoline will cause cancer if you breathe in the stuff."


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  6. #6
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    glyphosate is the dangerous ingredient in Round Up and GMO crops. Most of your immune system is in your gut so glyphosate alters that which leads to an array of health conditions, cancer being just one.

    New 90-Day Rat Study Destroys Corporate Propaganda

    Posted on January 3, 2017

    By Brandon Turbeville

    GM proponents who constantly drone on with untrue claims that the science has clearly demonstrated GMOs as safe were dealt yet another blow shortly before Thanksgiving this past year.

    This is because yet another study has been published demonstrating the negative health effects of GMOs on the intestinal tract.

    This study by Ibrahim and Okasha entitled “Effect of genetically modified corn on the jejunal mucosa of adult male albino rat.,” and published in the journal Experimental and Toxicologic Pathology has demonstrated that rats fed GM Bt corn MON810 for only 90 days did indeed suffer rather serious damage to the surface mucous membranes of the jejunum – which is part of the small intestine.

    The specific type of corn fed to the rats was MON810: Ajeeb YG. This is a GM version of Ajeeb, which is a local species of corn grown in Egypt. The GM version was created by Monsanto for the Egyptian market.

    The rats who were fed the GM corn were given the MON810 corn as 30% of their diet. The control group was given the same amount of non-GMO corn.

    In the group fed GM corn, the finger-like structures in the intestine known as villi that absorbs nutrients from food were clearly damaged. They were both distorted and flattened and some cells were even joined together.

    The study includes images and shows photographs of the damage. There were also signs of inflammation around the areas of damage in the form of white blood cell infiltration. The mucosal glands were disturbed and blood vessels were congested. There was also an increased level of shedding of mucosal cells, higher rates of division of cells lining the mucosal glands and larger numbers of mucous secreting goblet cells.

    The damage to the GM-fed rats was so obvious, that the researchers concluded, “consumption of GM-corn profoundly alters the jejunal histological [microscopic] structure”
    They also added that,
    Results from the current study could show that in spite of the assuring reports on GM products, GM corn has profoundly altered the histological structure of the jejunal mucosa at many levels and revealed several alarming signs, as the proliferative and eroded hemorrhagic lesions in addition to several ultrastructural alterations described here for the first time for jejunum under GM corn influence.
    The researchers also called for more research to be done in order to determine exactly how this strain of GM corn inflicted this type of damage on the intestinal system. Their suppositions include direct damage as a result of the Bt toxin or indirect damage as a result of gut bacteria disruption.
    The limitations of the study include the fact that the control group was not given the Ajeeb non-GM variety and there was no analysis in terms of the possibility of the presence of pesticide residues and other contaminants. Still, the findings of this new study are extremely significant in that they demonstrate that at best, GM MON810: Ajeeb YG causes damage to the intestinal system.

    However, the results do seem to indicate that it is the process of genetic modification that is the cause of this damage. This is not the only study of its kind.

    As GM Watch writes,
    Two earlier rat feeding studies by Egyptian scientists on the same GM corn, MON810: Ajeeb YG, showed harm in the GM-fed animals. In these cases, the comparator was the appropriate non-GM parent variety Ajeeb, so the ill effects shown in the rats were due to the GM process.

    In the first study, rats fed the MON810: Ajeeb YG for 45 and 91 days showed differences in organ and body weights and in blood biochemistry, compared with rats fed the non-GM Ajeeb parent variety grown side-by-side under the same conditions. The authors noted that the changes could indicate “potential adverse health/toxic effects”, which needed further investigation.[3]

    In the second study, histopathological (microscopic) investigations by the same group of researchers found toxic effects in multiple organs in the rats fed the GM MON810: Ajeeb YG Bt corn for 91 days. Effects included abnormalities and fatty degeneration of liver cells, congestion of blood vessels in kidneys, and excessive growth and necrosis (death) of the intestinal villi. Examination of the testes revealed necrosis and desquamation (shedding) of the spermatogonial cells that are the foundation of sperm cells and thus of male fertility.[4]

    It is significant that the findings of the second study, namely cell abnormalities, congestion of blood vessels, and damage to the intestinal villi were also found in the new study by Ibrahim and Okasha.
    It should be noted, that in both of these studies the non-GM Ajeeb variety was used for the control group, thus demonstrating that the process of genetic modification is most likely the culprit for such damage. Likewise it should be noted that the rats showed now outward signs of illness (possibly due to the short duration of the study) but they were clearly sick.

    Perhaps now we can begin putting to rest the disingenuous claims by GMO proponents that there are no studies showing the dangers of GMOs. As more and more studies are published demonstrating the danger of GMOs – corporations, governmental regulatory bodies and scientific call girls as well as the fake news media outlets that constantly tout the benefits of GMOs will continue to lose their credibility.
    Last edited by artist; 01-26-2017 at 10:37 PM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Honestly, GMO is bad. Some of us have known this for a long time. I wish Monsanto would have tried to find a cure for cancer instead of debilitating our food supply and our bodies for money. The long term impact of this disaster will be felt by all species including humans for a very long time, possibly forever if we don't stop it now. Where are the bees? Ask Monsanto. They know what's happened to the bees.
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