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UG#657 - Rounding Up The Opposition (Glyphosate Risks, David versus Monsanto)

Robin Upton | 29.07.2013 22:17 | Bio-technology | Ecology | Health | Sheffield | World

A two part look at the practice of Genetic Engineering as carried out by Monsanto. We begin with a radio adaptation of 2009 film "David versus Monsanto". Then it's an in depth look at what the Wikipedia thought police describe as a "virtually ideal herbicide": Monsanto's glyphosate. Senior Research Scientist Stephanie Seneff, publisher of a recent papers suggesting that glyphosate (roundup) may be implicated in many of the diseases which are now increasing in prevalence in USA.

ug657-hour1mix.mp3 - mp3 27M

ug657-hour2mix.mp3 - mp3 27M

Episode 653 of Unwelcome Guests featured Gabor Maté on the importance of social and psychological factors which contribute to a lot of ill health. This week we look at some of the possible biomedical health threats which the agribusiness model - and Monsanto in particular - are doing their best to obscure. Witness, for example, the fact that the Wikipedia glyphosate is actively policed. We begin the show with a detailed interview of Stephanie Seneff about the possible health risks of glyphosate (roundup). Her recent paper implicates roundup in gastrointestinal problems, which are linked to a huge range of diseases including obesity, depression, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, autism, Parkinsons and Alzheimers' disease. She also discusses the use of roundup on crops not immune to it to hasten the drying process, therefor exposing even conventional crops to massive quantities of roundup directly.

We conclude this show with a radio adaptation of Bertram Verhaag's 2009 film, Percy Schmeiser - David versus Monsanto, which tells the story of Canadian organic canola grower, Percy Schmeiser, who after GM seed blew onto his property was charged by Monsanto with 'patent infringement' for growing 'their' seeds without a license. He refused to buckle under the pressure and became an international figurehead of resistance against the agribusiness model:

"Now, at 70, I am involved with this fight with Monsanto. I stood up to them because a farmer should never give up the right to use his own seed. I felt very strongly about it because my grandparents came here from Europe in late 1890s and early 1900s to open this land, to be free, and to grow what they wanted to grow. Now we are going back to a feudal system that they left because they were not free — basically we are becoming serfs of the land." — Percy Schmeiser

Thanks to Bertram Verhaag of Denkmal Films for Percy Schmeiser - David versus Monsanto.
On May 1st, 2013 the E.P.A. declared that it had "concluded that glyphosate does not pose a cancer risk to humans. Therefore, a dietary exposure assessment for the purpose of assessing cancer risk is unnecessary." The legal maximum level of glyphosate was raised by an order of magnitude.

Robin Upton
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