Environment, Organic Policy and Regulations, What is Organic

Dear Human, Glyphosate by Any Other Name is Now a Reality

green tractor
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As a follow up to my interview with Chuck Benbrook, I was astounded to see the verdict come through on the case of Alva and Alberta Pilliod. The jury awarded them an astonishing $2 billion in damages for their exposure to the herbicide glyphosate and their subsequent fight with Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Chuck testified in the case on April 17th, and he focused on Monsanto’s “stewardship” and lack thereof for its Roundup-brand herbicides.

Chuck comment that “This verdict will surely get Bayer’s attention. Talk about chickens coming home to roost.” His May 13thblog post, Has Bayer’s Day of Roundup Reckoning Arrived?, elaborates more on the verdict.

What does all this have to do with organic products? Herbicides like glyphosate are explicitly forbidden in organic production. Continue reading “Dear Human, Glyphosate by Any Other Name is Now a Reality”

Environment, Social Implications in Agriculture, What is Organic

Help Stop the Toxic Treadmill

Pesticide SprayRecently the World Health Organization classified Glyphosate, the world’s most widely sprayed herbicide as a possible carcinogen. The reaction around the world was swift, everywhere but here in the US, government agencies began banning the herbicide while companies pulled glyphosate from their shelves. As a result of bad press, and the fact that glyphosate doesn’t work well anymore, the chemical companies began a new strategy. They’ve introduced new toxic technologies to combat the problem they created. Continue reading “Help Stop the Toxic Treadmill”

What is Organic

The Demise of Glyphosate?

JLI-chart_C01Most genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are altered so they can withstand heavy applications of noxious herbicides and not be harmed. More than 15 years since their introduction about 90% corn, soy and cotton in the U.S. are genetically modified just for this purpose. The emergence of super-weeds has resulted in a huge increase in the amount of herbicides being sprayed on U.S. fields. The world’s most widely used herbicide is called glyphosate and it is produced by Monsanto. So when the cancer research arm of the World Health Organization (WHO) recently announced that glyphosate was likely carcinogenic it became a game changer.   Continue reading “The Demise of Glyphosate?”

Environment, Social Implications in Agriculture

Leaving Iowa

German BackyardIt is a beautiful spring day and I am departing my place of birth, Iowa, a wide expanse of corn and soy amidst easy rolling hills. It once was virgin prairie, sustaining perennial grasses, thundering bison and the indigenous people of the Tama nation. My great grandparents were some of the original sod busters, building new German lives on the prairie. So very much has changed in just a few hundred years and indeed the past 50 years have witnessed exponential alterations. In my lifetime I have seen the rise of the industrial agricultural chemical complex take over the vast majority of this landscape. Continue reading “Leaving Iowa”

What is Organic

Forewarnings and Murmurs: What are we doing to our Children?

Autistic brianHow many of us have a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)? How many of us know a child that has been diagnosed with autism? According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 68 children suffered from the disorder in 2010. It was 1 in 88 in 2008. It is more common in boys, doesn’t reflect intelligence and is definitely on the increase. What is causing our children to be afflicted so? Could it be something new in our environment? A Senior Research Scientist at MIT believes the culprit is a by-product of GMO production. Continue reading “Forewarnings and Murmurs: What are we doing to our Children?”