The Monsanto Papers

2018, Environment  -   13 Comments
Storyline

Glyphosate, more commonly known as Roundup®, is the most widely used herbicide on the planet. It's also the central cash cow for the agrochemical giant Monsanto. Undeniably effective in controlling the growth of crop-destroying weeds, the chemical is also the main culprit in a series of suspected risks to humans, animals and the environment in general. The Monsanto Papers outlines these dangers, and the devious tactics employed by the company to evade responsibility.

"Farmers are junkies to this chemical," says one of the product's detractors whose wife has been diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. He would come home at the end of a long way stinking of the weed repellent, and he now blames himself for passing on its severe health risks to his ailing wife.

Is Monsanto dealing in a chemical they know causes cancer? The fight for the truth involves a battle of wills between public safety advocates and the strong arm tactics of Big Agriculture.

In spite of a recent $200 million dollar verdict against the company, Monsanto representatives claim that over 800 scientific studies testify to the safety of their product. Most of the farmers they serve stand in defiant defense of the company; after all, their products are essential in maintaining their livelihoods.

But critics claim the company has ghostwritten or manipulated many of these "scientific" studies to favor their bottom line. Safety study numbers were doctored, flawed approaches were employed, and EPA recommendations were ignored and eventually reversed under pressure. False advertising targeted the most vulnerable consumers throughout the heartland of America in spite of being banned in other regions like New York.

These assertions are contained in The Monsanto Papers, thousands of discovery documents that were submitted to the courts as required by law. The film spends much of its running time examining the details in these documents, and it's complimented by informative interviews with environmental advocates, independent experts, and even a top-level representative from Monsanto.

Produced by ABC News Australia, the film portrays a potential health crisis that transcends the American landscape. The Monsanto Papers is a hard-hitting expose on corporate malpractices, but it's fair minded enough to include several voices of dissent.

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13 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Paul Modde

    17:27 no gloves no mask wheres is the safety and educational programs there

  2. Paul Modde

    What if we could use less energy, land, water, time, labor and money to grow more high quality chemical gmo free nutritious food while saving trees, environment, aiding community health, well being, biosphere, creating bio diversity, building and rebuilding natural eco systems and community socioeconomic development. We can we have the technologies. It is a scientific, innovative and integrated design system. Look at the incidence of cancer and diabetes and other disease since the 50/s green chemical revolution. Globally one in 3 get cancer or diabetes In the next 10 years its predicted 50% of women will develop breast and 50% men.Babies being born today have been tested will up to and over 200 toxins. Body Burden: The Pollution in Newborns | EWG Of the 287 chemicals we detected in umbilical cord blood, we know that 180 cause cancer in humans or animals, 217 are toxic to the brain and nervous system, and 208 cause birth defects or abnormal development in animal tests.Find More Than 200 Chemicals in Newborn Umbilical Cord Blood. And according to the Research of the International union of concerned scientists published in 2012 the number one cause of sickness disease and death is food, our diet. If all of these chemicals are so good why are we all full of cancer causing toxins.

  3. American Patriot

    I trust President Trump more than a bunch of ambulance chasing lawyers. Trump's new and improved EPA has determined RoundUp is safe and needs no further investigation.

    'Nuff said!

  4. Seaside Suicide

    Nearly anything powerful & toxic enough to kill plants, pests or fungi is going to have adverse effects on humans in large enough doses. That goes for so-called "organic" alternatives as well as chemicals. But these substances need to carry adequate warnings like cigarettes & other consumer products so people can choose whether & how often to use them.

    I've known too many farmers who died of lymphoma or leukemia or came down with Parkinson's at an early age. Rural babies born with their organs outside their bodies or other rare birth defects. Of course that's anecdotal, but the observation that farmers are getting disproportionate rates of Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma are not.

    RoundUp is highly linked to NHL & a couple other types of cancer but they will never admit it until they're forced to. It's too widely used & was sold on the premise that it was specifically safer than other herbicides. Just like OxyContin was supposedly "non-addictive".

    In America, we emphasize individual responsibility. It's high time we demand corporate culpability as well.

  5. Richard Joyce

    Don't cover yourself with it, don't breathe it , don't let it soak your skin. Protect yourself and there will be no problem. People protect themselves and work with asbestos these days to no ill effect. Sensible please people.

    1. Nicholas Durrant

      I think you're missing the point here. The manufacturers are still telling everyone that it's harmless... Asbestos manufacturers are not even suggesting that.

    2. Seaside Suicide

      If your employer is not providing adequate protective gear & the container is not warning about cancer, how is that the individual's fault? Nothing you've said is sensible, sir.

      Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma rates have risen by 50% in the last 30 years and pesticides are thought to play a large role. Meanwhile manufacturers are getting filthy rich while failing to provide warnings about these risks to the people MAKING them rich buying their products. As the man said, let customers make an informed decision about whether & how to use the product. Cancer is no small risk.

      The point is, there WAS no warning about cancer when these people developed it from using RoundUp and the company is still lying about the link. If there's even a sliver of a chance it causes something so deadly, the product should come with a flashing red warning on the label.

  6. Ajayakumar

    We can't forget the famines that affect sapiens in history...when we develop this kind of modern agricultural practices, ("includes seeds, chemical manuers and pesticides) only human can produce enough food for the entire...even its distribution is not correct... We can't blame the modern scientific agricultural practices...even it had some problems...through theresearch we can correct it... I think...

  7. mr sunday

    Food will become really expensive if we switch to only organic, and not just your vegetables that means dairy and most meat too since we feed our live stock with gmo's and grow our crops with gmo's/pesticides. To sustain growth the way it's going we have to either keep using this system or create a new one that is just as efficient or better. People gotta stop having so many kids or safe food will be only one of the many issues we will face.

    1. Seaside Suicide

      You're not wrong. We can either have quality of life or quantity...not both. More people = more pollution, disease, war, depletion of resources, habitat loss for wildlife, crowding & climate change. Having 0-2 kids is the single most impactful thing you can ever do for the environment in your life. I'm having 0 and am perfectly happy with that decision.

      It's easy to talk about everyone going vegan, riding their bike to work or giving up other creature comforts to better the environment, but in reality it's not fair for us to live like this while expecting our progeny to make all those sacrifices. But they're not going to have a choice if we don't reign in our out of control breeding, consumption & pollution.

      People in Hong Kong are currently renting out "cage homes"--literal coffins with bars that are too small to stand up in--because there's not enough space in the city. The future is now for some unlucky SOB's.

  8. Penny Ackerly

    Stop using unsafe Roundup.
    It's bad for the environment and people.

  9. Chef Will

    Stop using Monsanto/Bayer Roundup! It’s not safe now and it never has been safe! Bayer just doesn’t want you to know because they will lose money. EAT and BUY ORGANIC FOOD!

    1. Simon

      I'm not sure that either side of this argument knows what they're talking about. I'm sure Glyphosate will kill you if you expose yourself to enough of it. But so will salt. To say "he came home stinking of it" just adds fuel to the emotive responses: I've used it for years and the only thing I get accused of smelling of is B O. Scientifically, despite which side you choose to join her, the jury really is out as to how toxic it is. We live in a toxic world. We just have to decide which toxins we really can't do without. Try going without carcinogenic benzene in your gas or SO2 in your wine.