Media/News Archive

Monsanto Accused of Ghost-Writing Research on Glyphosate’s Cancer Risk

Thursday, March 16th, 2017

Cornucopia’s Take: Accusations deepen against EPA official Jess Rowland. It seems Rowland colluded with Monsanto to provide a less-than-rigorous safety analysis of glyphosate, and that Monsanto officials may have even ghost-written part of a toxicological report on glyphosate used by the EPA. Science and health must stand  independent of corporate influence and bottom-line self-interest.

EPA Official Accused of Helping Monsanto ‘Kill’ Cancer Study
Bloomberg Markets
by Joel Rosenblatt, Lydia Mulvany, and Peter Waldman

Source: Paul A. Fagan

The Environmental Protection Agency official who was in charge of evaluating the cancer risk of Monsanto Co.’s Roundup allegedly bragged to a company executive that he deserved a medal if he could kill another agency’s investigation into the herbicide’s key chemical.

The boast was made during an April 2015 phone conversation, according to farmers and others who say they’ve been sickened by the weed killer. After leaving his job as a manager in the EPA’s pesticide division last year, Jess Rowland has become a central figure in more than 20 lawsuits in the U.S. accusing the company of failing to warn consumers and regulators of the risk that its glyphosate-based herbicide can cause non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

“If I can kill this I should get a medal,” Rowland told a Monsanto regulatory affairs manager who recounted the conversation in an email to his colleagues, according to a court filing made public Tuesday. Read Full Article »

Which Fish is the Best Fish?

Thursday, March 16th, 2017

Cornucopia’s Take: Selecting seafood from the grocery store is complicated if you want to support sustainable fishing. And seafood guides offer varying advice, although all of them are based on the same research. This article explains what is going on here.

I Want To Eat Fish Responsibly. But The Seafood Guides Are So Confusing!
NPR – The Salt
by Natalie Jacewicz

This month, I ventured to ask the man behind the counter at a Whole Foods Market what kind of shrimp he was selling. “I don’t know,” he replied. “I think they’re just normal shrimp.” I glanced at the sustainable seafood guide on my phone. There were 80 entries for shrimp, none of them listed “normal.”

What about the cod? Was it Atlantic or Pacific? Atlantic. How was it caught? I asked. “I’m not sure,” he said, looking doubtfully at a creamy fish slab. “With nets, I think. Not with harpoons.”

The shrimp had a blue sticker shaped like a fish on it, which appeared to be some type of official approval. Plus, they were on sale. I bought half a pound.

I was using the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch app, one of a handful of sustainable seafood guides which base their recommendations of sustainable seafood on a range of factors, including where the fish came from, how it was caught or farmed and how the local environment was affected. Spend an hour trying to make sense of these guides, and you may feel more confused than when you started — and guilty about putting an unsuspecting grocery employee on the spot. Read Full Article »

Judge Forcing Monsanto’s Transparency in Court

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

Cornucopia’s Take: Monsanto’s glyphosate may be at the center of a controversy on par with tobacco and asbestos. With people lining up to sue the company, the judge is refusing to allow key documents to remain sealed, including some which may suggest a top EPA official was working in the interest of Monsanto rather than the American people.

Judge Threatens to Sanction Monsanto for Secrecy in Roundup Cancer Litigation
The Huffington Post
by Carey Gillam

Nearly a year after a mysterious leak of industry-friendly information from the Environmental Protection Agency, many pressing questions remain about the agency’s interactions with agribusiness giant Monsanto Co. and its handling of cancer concerns with Monsanto’s top-selling herbicide. But thanks to a federal court judge in California, we may soon start getting some answers.

The transcript of a recent court hearing reveals that Judge Vince Chhabria, who is overseeing a combination of more than 55 lawsuits filed against Monsanto in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, warned Monsanto that many documents it is turning over in discovery will not be kept sealed despite the company’s pleas for privacy. He threatened to impose sanctions if Monsanto persists in “overbroad” efforts to keep relevant documents out of public view.

Read Full Article »

Coloring Book Shows Kids Females Can Farm

Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

Cornucopia’s Take: The Female Farmer Project continues to bring attention to women in farming with this sweet coloring book. All children benefit from caring for the earth.

How One Woman Is Helping Inspire A Generation Of Girls To Close The Gender Gap In Farming
Huffington Post
by Joseph Erbentraut

Source: R. Nial Bradshaw

A new coloring book is picking up where Old McDonald left off.

Farms in the U.S. have a problem: There simply aren’t enough women working on them, especially at the top of the industry.

About 30 percent of U.S. farmers are women, but that representation dissipates the higher you go. Fourteen percent of U.S. farms are principally operated by women, according to data from the Department of Agriculture, and only 7 percent of American farmland is owned by women.

Read Full Article »

Household Pesticides Affecting Children’s Behavior

Friday, March 10th, 2017

Cornucopia’s Take: Pyrethroids are found in most head lice treatments and many household bug killers, and are showing up in children’s urine. Lice have largely become immune to the toxins, but scientists suggest there are neurocognitive health concerns for our kids.

Common Household Pesticides Again Linked to Behavioral Problems in Children
Beyond Pesticides

Source: Frankie Leon

Another study, published by a team of French scientists in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine, links childhood behavioral problems to pyrethroid insecticide exposure. Synthetic pyrethroids are a class of insecticides that have increased in use over the past decade due to assumptions that they pose fewer risks to human health than older pesticide chemistries, such as organophosphates. However, this latest study is part of a growing body of research showing that pyrethroids share similar neurocognitive health concerns as these older pesticides.

In this research, scientists investigate the interplay between pyrethroid exposure and behavioral problems through a longitudinal cohort study, which tracks levels of pyrethroid metabolites, or breakdown products, in the urine of mothers beginning between six and 19 gestational weeks and then in their children up through six years of age. Children’s behavior is measured through a screening questionnaire known as the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). SDQ measures how social a child is (altruism), whether the child has difficulty sharing problems or asking for help (internalizing disorders), as well as how defiant or disruptive a child is (externalizing disorders). Read Full Article »