Dave Murphy: Will Monsanto's Loss Result In Less Poison In Our Food?

In November 2016, a very concerning report -- Glyphosate: Unsafe On Any Plate -- was released by The Detox Project and Food Democracy Now!, raising the alarm of the high levels of glyphosate in the US food supply and the (deliberate?) low levels of awareness of its associated health risks.

Soon after its release, we brought Dave Murphy, executive director of Food Democracy Now!, on the podcast to explain the explosive findings within this report on the world's most-used herbicide (more commonly known by its retail brand: Roundup). We asked: Are we being poisoned in the pursuit of profit?

As happened in past decades with the alcohol and tobacco industries, the glyphosate report added compelling evidence that profits have indeed taken a priority over consumer safety in our food production system -- and as public health concerns mounted, Big Ag started circling its wagons and attacking the questioners rather than embracing open scrutiny.

But last month, the tables turned. In a landmark upset ruling, Monsanto's Roundup weedkiller was ruled to be carcinogenic, and the company's attempt to hide this fact from consumers made it guilty of acting “with malice or oppression”. Monsanto's new parent company Bayer was ordered to pay the plaintiff, a former school groundskeeper now dying of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, $289 million in damages.

Will this court ruling restrict the use of glyphosate going forward? Or will it be de-fanged upon appeal? What else has been learned about the health impacts of glyphosate in our food since the 2016 report? What is the latest science telling us?

To address these important questions and more, we welcome Dave Murphy back on the program.

When I look at the damages that glyphosate does to the human gut biome, I ask folks: What's worse: cancer or the destruction of your immune system?

There's eighteen to twenty million people in America that have gluten intolerance. And really, they're not gluten intolerant. What they're intolerant to is the pesticide glyphosate that's sprayed on wheat, oat and barley as a pre-harvest dessicating agent. Scientists have studied the gut microbiome – your stomach is your second brain. There's a gut-brain axis, and glyphosate really significantly disrupts the microbiome in humans just like it disrupts the microbiome of the soil.

So the ironic thing is while farmers are spraying Roundup on their fields to kill weeds, they're actually destroying their soil fertility over the long term. Scientists in the Midwest that have shown that Roundup and glyphosate are linked to serious crop diseases like sudden death syndrome in soybeans and also Goss's wilt corn which can lead to a 40-70% loss of those farmers' crops when it becomes widespread. The thing is, if it destroys the microbiome in the soil and it impacts those crops' health, it's also impacting the human gut microbiome of the folks who eat those crops.

A number of studies have come out since we last talked in 2016. One is by the Ramazzini Institute, which is a fairly famous cancer review agency in Italy. They just came out with a study linking EMFs in cell phone radiation to changes in human genes and being harmful to humans. Last fall they came out with a thirteen-week preliminary study that showed that in pregnant rats fed glyphosate, their rat pups' microbiome is disrupted while they're in the womb. For any mother whp's pregnant right now or who's eating food that's not organic, that should be very concerning.

And that corresponds to a study that was published last year in Indiana where the scientists did a cohort review of a hundred pregnant women in Indiana. They found that women who had the highest levels of glyphosate in their urine also had the worst birth outcomes. So that means they had still-births, miscarriages, and low birth weights. And when we interviewed one of the doctors who had been part of that study, he was absolutely flabbergasted that the U.S. government is allowing this chemical to be used in such a widespread way that endangers human health.

Click the play button below to listen to Chris' interview with Dave Murphy (45m:03s).

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://peakprosperity.com/dave-murphy-will-monsantos-loss-result-in-less-poison-in-our-food/

Here is an interesting article I read a few weeks ago. It seems impartial and lays things out as they are. For years I’ve heard all these polar opposites about glyphosate, and it was hard to find unbiased facts. It seems that glyphosate remains basically non toxic to humans at typical concentrations, as originally suspected. It is mildly toxic to certain aquatic life. What is toxic is many of the other ingredients put in the Round-up formulation and similar mixtures from other companies. Ironically, these are more toxic than glyphosate, but because they aren’t the active ingredients, companies don’t have to test their toxicity or even list them as ingredients.
I also saw a list of glyphosate concentrations in common foods (can’t find it again) and Quaker was the highest if I recall. Kelloggs was down the list and Nature Valley and Kashi were at the bottom. So I have some Quaker oatmeal prepper food I know what I’ll be doing with…

This is our third year in the “Operation Pollinator” program and we are already begining to see some benefits of increased crop diversity in insect species on our 3 acre parcel. However, when you are surrounded by mono-cropping plantings, the same cannot be said of the surrounding fields. Between herbicides, fungicides and crop dessicants, my neighboring fields will see the crop sprayers three to five times in a typical season. We have two colonies in the city and two in the country. The city honey stays liquid longer while the country honey will start to crystalize in the comb before we can start extracting(canola flowers). But it also means cutting a lot more weeds by hand to keep the weed inspector happy.
These issues are more about species diversity than just the threat of Roundup or honeybee decline. Industrial agriculture has produced an abundance of commodities for humans and animals, for which, our human species should be thankful. However, at what cost? When will we learn that we have to work with nature, if we hope to change the narrative. Human migrations are just the tip of the “environmental” iceberg and are setting the stage for severe conflict if we don’t turn this bus around. It is time to roll up our sleeves, get our hands dirty and get connected with the world around you. If not; you do it at your own peril.

… as Dave Murphy described them. If scientists have been co-opted and are betraying their professional principles, not just in the ag sector but more widely, and as the general public hear of this, is it any wonder that respect for science, scientists and scientism is declining? that simplistic, reactionary solutions are sought for the problems that surround us?
I am very cynical. To preserve their revenue streams, I fully expect Monsanto, and Bayer now, to appeal and appeal and appeal this decision, right up to the highest courts in the US and EU. They have deep pockets.
After all, innovations are always benign, aren’t they? In the long term the good will outweigh the bad. Won’t it? Technology will always save us. Won’t it?
If Millennials are anxious and depressed, will they find the time, energy and motivation to feed themselves properly? To break out of The System will require dedication, even fright. Could be a tough assignment.
In my country (Oz), Monsanto and others have had great success in convincing our politicians that glyphosate is harmless. How else can we feed the people? Further, the general public has been educated over some decades that the only shopping criterion that matters is price, and the lower the better. Organics cost more and hence are not good value; the health aspect is secondary and probably mythological anyway. As the economic system degrades and incomes drop, where will people look for food supplies?
I can’t avoid noticing another heresy here: “a study linking EMFs in cell phone radiation to changes in human genes and being harmful to humans.” This concern has surfaced elsewhere and more than once, and has been quickly jumped on by the cell phone industry. Let’s see: tobacco, sugar, lead in petrol, glyphosate, cell phones, some vaccinations… Where does it end?
(BTW, the transcription software seems to have written “ischemic” for “shikimic”.)

Here is a nice explanation/deeper dive into the shikimate pathway/Round-up conseuquences for those interested. https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/06/09/monsanto-roundup-herbicide.aspx
I eat almost exclusively organic, but never thought about my beer! I wonder if mexican tequila farmers use round-up on their blue agaves? Maybe time to switch to tequila.
Let’s hope this case raises the public awareness about the absolute evil Monsanto spreads.

ezlxq1949 wrote:
(BTW, the transcription software seems to have written "ischemic" for "shikimic".)
Fixed - Thanks As a reminder, we are always thankful for edit and typo catches.

https://www.fooddemocracynow.org website down for maintenance. Great timing!

KugsCheese wrote:
https://www.fooddemocracynow.org website down for maintenance. Great timing!
Another hack of their website?

Glyphosate residues were even found in organic products probably from field drift. https://shop.restore4life.com this helps your gut fight it. Podcast with Dr Zach Bush?

Like many others, I’d be skeptical on the impartiality of modern scientific findings. I’d be especially skeptical of them in relation to Monsanto’s twinned organisation Bayer, with its gruesome Holocaustic WWII past. Two powerful poison companies in bed together does not bode well. Monsanto’s record of extreme oppression of farmers & seed protection is terrifyingly disturbing, and to me is a clear indication of the lengths they will travel to inflict misery on the general population. On purely moral grounds I would not financially support them in any way whatsoever.

If apologists and lobbyists like Patrick Moore won’t drink Monsanto’s chemical cocktails then I don’t see why the rest of us should:

… as of 08:43 AEST.

They get knocked down, but they get up again / Ain't nobody gonna keep them down!
Or maybe it was indeed a maintenance outage.

As already pointed out, our bodies are ecosystems, mirrors of the larger ecology. Glyphosate has the same disruptive effect in our bodies that it does in the soil, though not directly toxic to our flesh. Thats why they can tell those half truths and confuse so many people. Industrial Ag, yet another system that needs to crash, oh so many that need to come to an end!
Science, if not set in a broader moral context is as corruptible as anything else. I would even argue that a purely scientific approach to reality invariable must lead to nihilism and demoralization. The disease of our times. It is a self referential system that ultimately collapses in on itself, because it denies parts of realty that it own method proves true to itself. But this is not something that anybody cares a whit about even though it is at the foundation so many misdeeds that are now coming back to haunt us.
Are we ready for the message we are the world and the world is us. Not really, after the crash? Still probably not. Probably need to wait a couple hundred generations more, but lots of small steps in the right direction. This podcast is one of them.

ezlxq1949 wrote:
... as of 08:43 AEST.
They get knocked down, but they get up again / Ain't nobody gonna keep them down!
Or maybe it was indeed a maintenance outage.
As of 7:40 PM CDT its down.

Patrick Moore is an interesting one. He comes from a small logging town on Vancouver Island, the same general area where I’m from. He has a PhD in ecology, a degree in forestry I believe, and was a founder of Greenpeace. Then for some reason something flipped inside his head and he turned. He would be an interesting case to study the psychology of denialism and political antagonism.
He uses his history with Greenpeace and as an ecologist to promote himself as an environmentalist, but ironically pretty much everything he says is anti-environment. He engages in rhetoric and makes little logical sense.
I studied forestry long ago and one day he was invited in for a talk and of course he rallied against environmentalists. True, some of the points he made had some merit but he then took this way out of proportion and extrapolated this to discredit the entire environmental movement; except, of course, what he would be branding as his own environmentalism, which wasn’t environmentalism at all.
In studying forestry it was sometimes frustrating trying to address some of the claims made by the environmental movement, such as calls to ban clearcutting even though it is the best mimic for natural forest fires that were otherwise being suppressed, and many other similar claims that were based more on emotion (green religion) than logic, science, rationalism, and empathy. But overall, I would have to say that the environmental movement was correct more often than not and was fighting and exposing some very bad forestry practices, policies, and corruption within BC’s forest industry.
I walked out of that talk by Dr. Moore shaking my head and swearing that he’s just like the extreme environmentalists, but worse, and on the other side of the political spectrum. I find it intriguing how a person with such an apparently qualified background can say and believe some of the things he does (I’m not sure if he’s still around saying this stuff; I haven’t heard from him much lately.) I could have gotten on stage that day in a debate and quickly put him in his place (but I was just a timid little kid then), using mere logic and evidence to pick apart each of his statements and point out any validity that they may have, but showing how he is coming to improper concusions based on this.
Throughout my life I’ve been involved with, both personally and as part of social debates in the industries I have worked in, people who are not capable of separating emotion and rhetoric from rational consideration. It is a human foible to think in polarized terms; that something is either good or bad. If it’s good then all things about it are good and vice versa; or that the innate “goodness” of a particular stance on an issue outweighs the bad stuff and therefore justifies doing otherwise horrible things – see the current comical left vs. right political theater in the US. The perfect example in BC is the supposed need for economic growth and jobs, which was and still is seen as “good”, and was used to justify the progressive industrial clearcutting of most of our forests to the exclusion of most other forest values. The alternative that I would suggest, ie. restructuring our economy so we no longer have a need for economic growth, and providing the middle class with the wealth of society so they don’t have a need to go out and work 40 hours a week to support themselves, was never and still isn’t being discussed as a solution to the need for “growth 'n jobs”, but that doesn’t require us to cut down all our forests. The logical conclusion that exponential growth is simply not sustainalbe didn’t and still doesn’t seem to factor into the rationalization for cutting down our forests to create jobs and economic growth.
Another polarizing issue he waded into and further polarized was fish farming. It was and is being criticized for spreading diseases and parasites to wild fish, and creating large concentrations of fish waste under the pens. His predictable sound byte on this debate was to the effect of, “fish have been pooping in the seas for millions of years with no ill effects”. Yes, Patrick, they have, but the issue here is that they have never been pooping in such high concentrations as in the sea pens, never had such antibiotics pumped into them, and never been so close to wild salmon stocks that are otherwise threatened by overfishing. His justification for fish farming would certainly go along the lines of providing jobs and needing to produce food to feed the world’s hungry growing population, blah bah blah, the usual stuff, that avoids having to rationally consider all the aspects of the issue to really understand it and the broader social and economic problems it is a symptom of.
I don’t think this polarized thinking has anything to do with scientists per se as was suggested by a comment above; it is more of an interesting human reaction to having beliefs challenged, and being faced with uncomfortable aspects about our society. Scientists are people too, not immune to this and I think that their limited scope of specialization sometimes makes them more vulnerable to this type of thinking. Some people respond to this cognitive dissonance by maturing and growing their wisdom. Others just become more closed minded, bitter, militant and irrational; regardless of what position they take on an issue since I’ve seen it in people from all sides politically. I also think it involves a little bit of intellectual laziness in that people don’t want to put in the effort to understand and learn.
That’s why I strive to separate rhetoric from fact when it comes to glyphosate. I personally am not a fan of it, but I don’t want that to be based on a belief that it is somehow carcinogenic or causing other major harm to my body, because all evidence clearly shows that it isn’t. But the topic is broader than simply whether glyphosate is toxic to my body (what a self-centric view of the world to think otherwise); and it is because of these larger social and ecological issues that I do not support Roundup and its use in industrial agriculture, and all the things that go along with it.

As of 17:02 AEST. The thick plottens.

Mark_BC wrote:
That's why I strive to separate rhetoric from fact when it comes to glyphosate. I personally am not a fan of it, but I don't want that to be based on a belief that it is somehow carcinogenic or causing other major harm to my body, because all evidence clearly shows that it isn't.
On pages 79-82 of "The World According To Monsanto" Marie-Monique Robin cites several studies which demonstrate the link. She writes "a Canadian study published in 2001 by the University of Saskatchewan showed that men exposed to glyphosate more than two days a year had twice the risk of developing non-Hodgkins lymphoma of men never exposed" (McDuffie et al in Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention November 2001 pp 1155-1163) Similar results were obtained by Hardell et al in Sweden (Leukemia and Lymphoma v43 2002 pp1043-1049) and in the US by DeRoos et al (Occupational and Environmental Medicine v60 n 9 2003) She goes on to describe disturbing results from animal studies. It does appear from her descriptions that the tests did not attempt to separate the effect of glyphosate from the carrier chemicals it is normally mixed with so perhaps pure glyphosate (which is never used) is not harmful. However that's like saying guns aren't dangerous if you don't put bullets in them.

Don’t forget the fish needed to feed the fish. In Tasmanian salmon farms, these I think are Peruvian pilchards. The pilchard input outweighs the salmon output.
But it’s all jobs 'n growth, innit! Mammon be praised!

Later tonight I will check what’s in the Wayback Machine.

are complicated. asbestos is a carcinogen that becomes much more potent in the presence of smoking (much higher rates according to www.cancer.gov). alcohol causes more stomach cancer with the right genetics and in the presence of smoking. certain kinds of tea only cause cancer if they are very very hot when you drink them.
look at the funding sources to interpret ANY data on this. ref: big tobacco research

Food Democracy Now website STILL down as of 7:58 A.M. CDT