Germany’s flagship company, Bayer, is facing 18,400 lawsuits, predominantly from California whereby their subsidiary, Monsanto, has been cited for its toxic, cancer causing pesticide, glyphosate. Bayer bought Monsanto for $63 billion one year ago and today Bayer’s total market value is less than what it paid for just Monsanto with it’s stock plummeting 50%. While Bayer claims that there is absolutely nothing wrong with the chemical, they are fast-tracking an alternative.
There are 26 countries that ban or restrict the use of Monsanto products including: Germany, China, India, France, Hungary, Austria, Australia, Switzerland, Italy, Poland, Luxembourg and Mexico. The four largest pesticide companies in the world are: Syngenta, owned by China – the world leader of agro-chemicals, Bayer, headquartered in Germany, DOW, headquartered in Michigan, and BASF, also headquartered in Germany (they purchased Monsanto’s seed division).
In the US alone 851 million pounds of pesticides are used annually. 90% of private wells sourced by groundwater contain pesticides. The contamination results in 14 million fish deaths, 67 million bird deaths and 20,000 new cancer patients each year.
The most prolific user of pesticides is China at 4 trillion pounds per year. Obviously their ban of Monsanto is purely a business decision and not an environmental one.
The top consumers in order of pounds: China, US, Argentina, Thailand, Brazil, Italy, France, Canada, Japan, and India. The impact on the smaller countries is significantly more hazardous given the concentration levels.
Glyphosate is not the only banned chemical that is showing up in our food chain, paraquat and chlorpyrifos which are banned in the EU are a common supplement to Brazils exports including wheat, soy, cotton, dairy products, coffee, tea, eggs and beef. YUM! But chlorpyrifo’s are the brainchild of DOW and used for insect control on citrus fruits, wheat, corn, cotton, soybeans and sugar beets in the US. They are NOT banned in the US despite serious potential side effects including: vomiting, stomach cramps, muscle twitching, tremors, weakness, loss of coordination, unconsciousness, loss of bladder control, convulsions, difficulty breathing, paralysis and of course – death.
Farmers have lobbied for the continued use claiming they stand to lose up to 70% of their crop if insects are not controlled – and there is no alternative product. But, while they claim there is no alternative, that would be a false argument given that organic farming utilizes just that – alternatives. It is not that their are no alternatives, it is that the alternatives make them non-competitive in the mass market.
Sometimes alternatives may be a predator insect, as in butterflies eat aphids, but as we are well aware, the cost of alternative farming exceeds the mass market and the competition for the general public.
Notable elite such as Bill Gates et all, Buffet, Zuckerberg, those with the means, negate anything mass produced and eat only organic. While they advocate the use of chemical laden foods for feeding the world, they are wholly repugnant at the thought of consuming such for themselves or their families.
Starbucks coffee is imported from Brazil and Columbia. The term Arabica on the package refers to a type of plant, not a place. So when you are choking down that latte, or espresso, or French Roast, know that you are drinking a hefty dose of yummy pesticides aka Latin America. Brazil is known to have the highest per capita consumption of pesticides.
According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, glyphosate causes cancer, most notably Hodgkins. Nerve damage is the other leading medical ailment associated with the chemical.
A California couple’s settlement award for glyphosate poisoning which was initially $2 billion was recently reduced to $87 million. Still, given 18,400 separate lawsuits at an award rate of $80 million, that would amount to nearly $1.5 trillion. At present, Bayer’s annual net is roughly $400 million, so that would wipe out all profits for about 4 years.
Agro companies, pharma companies, they have an agenda. And it isn’t – health. Let the buyer beware. But let the buyer also be informed.