Monsanto Deceptions Exposed
As the summer heat rolls back in, forest fire smoke fills our air and lungs. The sky looks white or grey or pale orange, and the sun is reduced to a pale red ball. That smoke takes a toll from plants as well as people and critters; oily smoke can coat leaves and clog pores, reducing their ability to carry out photosynthesis and to clean the air. Smoke also contains complex chemical mixtures that can trigger seed sprouting for forest dwelling species, leading to regeneration that often doesn’t look much like the forest that was lost, at least for a few decades. The same holds true for clearcuts, which is why logging companies often choose to spray herbicides after cutting down forests. They generally prefer to replant a cash crop monoculture instead of allowing natural regrowth of pioneer species of grasses, forbs and shrubs that weave into a welcoming habitat for young native trees.
In a nearby community, exactly that scenario is playing out as Pope Resources announced plans to spray a large clearcut area near Hansville, Washington with Roundup before replanting cash crop trees. The site covers several large tracts much used by local residents who hike, bike, walk dogs and birdwatch there. When last week’s court ruling against Monsanto granted nearly 300 million dollars to a groundskeeper dying from cancer caused by frequent exposure to Roundup, locals rose up in alarm. To date, nearly 1,700 signatures have been gathered from residents who want Pope Resources to find another way to control both competitive native plants and weeds.
It’s Been A Long Time Coming
Now I’m burning like a wildfire, but it’s with fierce satisfaction. I’ve been waiting for decades to see Monsanto’s cover blown wide apart. The groundskeeper’s lawyers presented documents demonstrating that Monsanto executives and scientists engaged in expensive coverups and deceitful practices while poisoning the world for profit. I can’t even imagine the mindset that values money over the health of our planet’s soil, water, air, let alone harming living creatures from humans to all kinds of critters. Roundup is the most-used pesticide on earth, with over 300 million pounds used globally each year. Independent researchers have been warning us for decades about Roundup toxicity but until very recently, Monsanto has been able to suppress and deny information that could hurt their bottom line.
Wondering what the legal researchers found? Here you go:
Here’s an excerpt from The International Journal of Risk & Safety in Medicine, June, 2018.
The Monsanto Papers: Poisoning the Scientific Well
LEEMON B. McHENRY
Department of Philosophy, California State University, Northridge, California, USA
Examination of de-classified Monsanto documents from litigation in order to expose the impact of the company’s efforts to influence the reporting of scientific studies related to the safety of the herbicide, glyphosate.
A set of 141 recently de-classified documents, made public during the course of pending toxic tort litigation, In Re Roundup Products Liability Litigation were examined.
The documents reveal Monsanto-sponsored ghostwriting of articles published in toxicology journals and the lay media, interference in the peer review process, behind-the-scenes influence on retraction and the creation of a so-called academic website as a front for the defense of Monsanto products.
The use of third-party academics in the corporate defense of glyphosate reveals that this practice extends beyond the corruption of medicine and persists in spite of efforts to enforce transparency in industry manipulation.
Lots more where that came from!
Now About Those Wildfires
Here in the Northern maritime region, about half of our summer wildfires are caused by human carelessness (nationally about 90% are human caused). The rest start when lightning strikes tinder dry plants, from mighty trees to running grasses and shrubs. In forests, natural fires are harmful in the short term as plants and critters die and habitat is destroyed. In the long term, though, natural fire cycles are restorative. Nutrients are released into soils; soil absorption improves, replenishing the water table; tree seeds sprout; and younger patches of forest arise which tend to block to spread of fires that rage through older growth without check.
Our short sighted forestry practices have changed somewhat since the historic and devastating fires ripping though Yellowstone National park in 1988, but not enough. It’s heartening to see that Hilary Franz, Washington State’s Commissioner of Public Lands, is actively working to develop better strategies and practices to improve forest health and wellbeing. Similarly, we can all create a long and short term strategy to renew and restore our own property, and we can work with local parks, schools, and governments to eliminate use of Roundup and promote healthy, wholesome practices that restore plant and soil health.
Love The Soil You’re With
Last week I visited several gardens where soils were powder dry after the long baking summer. Watching desiccated soil puff off a shovel like dust in the wind, I was reminded of the dustbowl days when foolish and ignorant farming practices destroyed native plants and soils. One highly productive thing we can do to help repair the ecological damage to our precious world is to amend impoverished soil. Healing treatments include deep mulching with aged compost and/or digested dairy manures, both of which help to renew soil tilth and texture as well as the nutrient balance. This fall, heap weary beds high with fallen foliage, shredding the larger leaves by running over them with a mower. A foot of leaves isn’t too much for empty or new beds, and it’s not too much for empty bays between larger shrubs or areas around trees. Do not till in these amendments; tilling is now considered an ultimately destructive practice. Just layer them on, autumn and spring. Every. Single. Year.