By David Noakes
Monsanto Roundup® glyphosate weed killer has been a predictable disaster; instead of killing weeds, it grows glyphosate-resistant ones. So, farmers are paying Monsanto again for more toxic weed killers to kill the weeds that Monsanto failed to kill.
The most toxic and dangerous of these weed killers is Dicamba. It is known to cause Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, which, so far, is an improvement on glyphosate, which causes thirty diseases and two cancers. Monsanto says the Dicamba drift is controlled; it is not blown about by the wind.
Some farmers still believe Monsanto, and are astonished that the sprayed Dicamba has drifted across three million acres. Dicamba can destroy one acre of soy beans with the same amount of gas you might release upon opening one can of Coke.
A class-action lawsuit has been filed by the law firm of Morgan & Morgan on behalf of its clients against Monsanto, BASF, and DuPont, the makers of Dicamba. Other lawsuits against Monsanto are growing – there’s one for lymphoma against Roundup®, with hundreds of plaintiffs. But even with billion-dollar payouts, it is unlikely that Bayer’s attempt to take over Monsanto will be affected.
In the meantime, crops, plants, and trees, even GMO crops, will wither and die in Dicamba’s fatal embrace, unless they are genetically engineered (GE) to be resistant to Dicamba.
As Dr. Joseph Mercola’s excellent article, which quotes from an article in The Star Tribune in Little Rock, Arkansas, recounts:
“Losses blamed on accidental chemical damage could climb into the tens of millions of dollars, if not higher, and may have a ripple effect on other products that rely on soybeans, including chicken. The number of complaints ‘far exceeds anything we’ve ever seen,’ Arkansas Plant Board Director Terry Walker recently told lawmakers.”
As with Roundup, Dicamba-resistant plants have quickly turned into a nightmare for those who plant them, and their neighbors. Dr. Mercola’s quote continues:
“‘I’m a fan of Monsanto. I’ve bought a lot of their products,’ said Brad Williams, a Missouri farmer. ‘I can’t wrap my mind around the fact that there would be some kind of evil nefarious plot to put a defective product out there intentionally.’
Yet he has been dismayed both by damage to his soybean crops, which were within a wide area of farmland harmed by dicamba, and by the impact even to trees on his property. Leaves, he said, were ‘so deformed you couldn’t even really identify the differences between them.'”
Kentucky soybean farmer Jacob Goodman on the Ohio Valley Resource website calls Dicamba drift “chemical arson” – plants will curl and shrivel with chemical burns.
In a statement, Morgan & Morgan attorney Rene Rocha said:
“This has been a major issue for American agriculture. Farmers across the country relied upon the defendants’ assurances that these new formulations of dicamba could be used safely and without harm to others. That simply isn’t true, and as a result thousands of farmers are staring down lean harvests and uncertain futures.”
Monsanto appears to have deliberately prevented testing of Dicamba. Normally tests are shared with regulators. Universities get samples for analysis and testing. Regulators and researchers can then assess the product’s safety. That’s not what happened here.
Farmers face the horrible dilemma of having to choose whether or not to grow Dicamba-resistant crops simply in order to avoid having their harvests destroyed by other Dicamba growers. This forces the farmers to submit to what is effectively Monsanto’s blackmail. Perhaps it is no coincidence that Dicamba sales are expected to climb from one million to 25 million pounds per year.
There’s no doubt the Dicamba disaster needs to be stopped, and quickly. Farmers will not survive several years of crop destruction. What if it starts to destroy forests and countryside? As with Monsanto’s glyphosate, Dicamba-resistant GE crops are likely to cause serious health problems; and as there is no GE labeling in the United States, it is a real health risk for supermarket shoppers.
Dicamba, just like glyphosate, is putting farmers out of business.
At the International Monsanto Tribunal, citizens have proven to a panel of judges that Monsanto is violating human rights. Over 1.3 million people have signed a citizens’ initiative against Monsanto. Meanwhile, 75% of the insect population has been killed by pesticides in Germany; and some people realize humans cannot survive if we kill all life around us. Somewhat recognizing this problem, the European Union Parliament has officially banned Monsanto lobbyists from its corridors.
You may be surprised to hear that Monsanto is probably not the World’s most evil company. Yes, it has killed 100,000 farm workers in Nicaragua with chronic kidney disease caused by Glyphosate. In India, 250,000 farmers have committed suicide since 1995 when their Monsanto GMO crops failed to grow – they are designed to fail in the second year. Glyphosate poison is in 90% of Westerners, and is killing many. But the drugs of the big pharmaceutical corporations have killed millions.
Monsanto blames the Dicamba disaster on farmers. Well, to be fair, farmers are killing the public with Monsanto products. They must be stunningly ill-advised to buy anything from Monsanto, so Monsanto has a point.
Dr. Joseph Mercola, “Over 3 Million Acres Damaged by ‘Chemical Arson’ as Plants Wither and Die From Chemical Burns,” Mercola.com, October 4, 2017, at https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2017/10/04/dicamba-damages-over-3-million-acres.aspx.
Jon Queally, “EU Parliament Bans Monsanto Lobbyists,” EcoWatch, September 28, 2017, at https://www.ecowatch.com/eu-parliament-monsanto-lobbyists-2490626188.html.
Foundation Monsanto Tribunal website, accessed on December 21, 2017, at http://en.monsantotribunal.org/main.php?name=main&obj_id=384283593.