Barbara H. Peterson
Hey there, Monsanto Man! You like to paint those who are against you, your toxic sludge and what it is doing to our health and the planet as conspiracy theorists without a leg to stand on, while you paint your products as safe and beneficial to the environment.
Isn’t that exactly what you did in Anniston, Alabama, which is now a superfund site due to PCB contamination caused by you that you said was perfectly safe, and in Nitro, West Virginia, where people were poisoned with your Dioxin? You were ordered to pay on both of those catastrophes, weren’t you?
Yet, you still insist, even with numerous lawsuits in your checkered past, to flagrantly declare that your products are safe, once again. You have never once admitted blame nor accepted responsibility for your actions unless forced to by a court with a judge that for some insane reason, you have not managed to “influence.”
Let’s just take a little trip in the Wayback machine…
Anniston, Alabama and PCBs
On the west side of Anniston, the poor side of Anniston, the people ate dirt. They called it “Alabama clay” and cooked it for extra flavor. They also grew berries in their gardens, raised hogs in their back yards, caught bass in the murky streams where their children swam and played and were baptized. They didn’t know their dirt and yards and bass and kids — along with the acrid air they breathed — were all contaminated with chemicals. They didn’t know they lived in one of the most polluted patches of America.
Now they know. They also know that for nearly 40 years, while producing the now-banned industrial coolants known as PCBs at a local factory, Monsanto Co. routinely discharged toxic waste into a west Anniston creek and dumped millions of pounds of PCBs into oozing open-pit landfills. And thousands of pages of Monsanto documents — many emblazoned with warnings such as “CONFIDENTIAL: Read and Destroy” — show that for decades, the corporate giant concealed what it did and what it knew.
In 1966, Monsanto managers discovered that fish submerged in that creek turned belly-up within 10 seconds, spurting blood and shedding skin as if dunked into boiling water. They told no one. In 1969, they found fish in another creek with 7,500 times the legal PCB levels. They decided “there is little object in going to expensive extremes in limiting discharges.” In 1975, a company study found that PCBs caused tumors in rats. They ordered its conclusion changed from “slightly tumorigenic” to “does not appear to be carcinogenic.”
Monsanto enjoyed a lucrative four-decade monopoly on PCB production in the United States, and battled to protect that monopoly long after PCBs were confirmed as a global pollutant. “We can’t afford to lose one dollar of business,” one internal memo concluded.
Nitro, West Virginia and Dioxin
For more than 50 years, the Monsanto plant churned out herbicides, rubber products and other chemicals. The plant’s production of Agent Orange, a defoliant deployed widely in the Vietnam War, created dioxin as a toxic chemical byproduct.
Dioxin has been linked to cancer, birth defects, learning disabilities, endometriosis, infertility and suppressed immune functions. The chemical builds up in tissue over time, meaning that even a small exposure can accumulate to dangerous levels.
In February 2012, Monsanto agreed to the settlement on the eve of an expected six-month trial in which residents sought medical monitoring for dioxin-related illnesses and a cleanup of what they argued was a contaminated community.
Moving ahead in time…
The USA and Glyphosate
A huge increase in the incidence and prevalence of chronic diseases has been reported in the United States (US) over the last 20 years. Similar increases have been seen globally. The herbicide glyphosate was introduced in 1974 and its use is accelerating with the advent of herbicide-tolerant genetically engineered (GE) crops. Evidence is mounting that glyphosate interferes with many metabolic processes in plants and animals and glyphosate residues have been detected in both. Glyphosate disrupts the endocrine system and the balance of gut bacteria, it damages DNA and is a driver of mutations that lead to cancer.
In a nutshell
Sure, we trust you when you say that THIS latest and greatest, new and improved product, unlike the others, is perfectly safe. I’ll bet that’s what you say to all of your victims. ‘It’s all in your head. Forget about that huge tumor growing out of your neck. That’s nothing. You must have had that before you moved here. We had nothing to do with it.’
Wait! Is that a pig flying by? It’s a bird, it’s a plane, NO! it must be an anti-GMO conspiracy theorist… Nah, just some kook high on the genetically engineered pharma corn growing in undisclosed locations in Monterey, California, but you had absolutely nothing to do with that, Monsanto Man. You just started the trend. After all, you tell all those naughty genes to stay put, but the birds, bees, insects and wind just refuse to comply. They spread the genes anyway. But how could you possibly know THAT would happen… uh huh… And another pig just flew by with a seed in its mouth. I think it was GMO…
©2014 Barbara H. Peterson