'Why did the European Food Safety Authority claim that glyphosate was not ecotoxic? This is the question environmentalist Dr Rosemary Mason poses in her new 23-page report which can be accessed in full here.
In places, the report reads like a compilation of peer-reviewed studies and official reports that have documented the adverse impacts of chemicals used in modern agriculture.
Only a brief outline of Mason’s report is possible here. Readers are urged to consult the document to grasp more detailed insight into the issues she discusses as well as the evidence cited in support of her arguments and claims.
Mason argues that the European Commission has consistently bowed to the demands of the pesticide lobby. In turn, she notes the fraudulent nature of the assessment of glyphosate which led to its relicensing in Europe and thus the continued use of Monsanto’s glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup.
This ongoing support for the pesticide lobby flies in the face of so much evidence pointing to the detrimental effects of Roundup and other agrochemicals on the environment, living organisms, soil, water and human health.
These chemicals have become integral to an increasingly globalised process of agro-industrialisation. Mason discusses the nature of modern farming by referring to the endless cornfields of Iowa. One hundred years ago, these fields were home to 300 species of plants, 60 mammals, 300 birds and thousands of insects. Now, there is almost literally nothing – except corn – in what amounts to a biological desert. The birds, bees and insects have gone.
It’s a type of farming where so much toxic agrochemicals are used that they have ended up in soils and sediment, ditches and drains, precipitation, rivers and streams and even in seas, lakes, ponds, wetlands and groundwater. A type of agriculture that is responsible for undermining essential biodiversity, human health and diverse, nutritious diets.
The report takes us further afield, to the Great Barrier Reef to discuss the destruction of coral by Monsanto’s Roundup and Bayer’s insecticide clothianidin. It is interesting that the pesticide industry and the media tend to blame global warming for the degradation of the reef. Although there have been efforts to grow new corals, Mason states that pesticide runoff from farmland means that corals will continue to be destroyed.'
Read more: From the Green Revolution to GMOs: Toxic Agriculture Is the Problem Not the Solution
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