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The secret tactics Monsanto used to protect Roundup, its star product | Four Corners – YouTube


French Court rules Monsanto Liable

French Court Rules Monsanto Liable for Farmer’s Health Problems


French farmer Paul Francois outside a courthouse before a 2015 appeal of his case against Monsanto. JEFF PACHOUD / AFP / Getty Images

A French appeals court ruled Thursday in favor of a farmer who has been in a decade-long fight with Monsanto since he fell ill after inhaling a now-banned weedkiller.

Paul Francois, 55, said he suffered neurological damage after inhaling Monsanto’s Lasso in 2004. He sued the company arguing that the labeling on the product had been inadequate. Courts ruled in his favor in 2012 and 2015, but France’s top court overturned those rulings and ordered a new hearing.

“We are all happy to have won but it came at a heavy price,” Francois told reporters, according to Reuters. “It’s a big sigh of relief. It’s been 12 years of fighting, 12 years during which I had to put my whole life on hold.”

Bayer, which acquired Monsanto in 2018, told BBC News it was considering options including an appeal.

“We are currently reviewing the decision of the court,” a company spokesperson said.

Thursday’s decision follows a series of legal setbacks for the company since it acquired Monsanto. Two juries in the U.S. have now ruled in favor of plaintiffs claiming that glyphosate, the active ingredient in the company’s Roundup weedkiller, caused them to develop cancer. There are more than 10,000 similar lawsuits pending.

Bayer’s chief executive said the company was “massively affected” by the lawsuits, Reuters reported, which are partly responsible for the loss of 30 billion euros (approximately $33.9 billion) of its market value since August 2018.

Lasso has a different active ingredient, monochlorobenzene, that was found in Francois’ body after he inhaled the weedkiller. Francois said he suffered memory loss, headaches and difficulty speaking that forced him to stop working, BBC News reported.

Lasso was banned in France in 2007 and had been prohibited in Canada as early as 1985 and in Belgium and the UK in 1992AFP reported. Francois is asking for 1 million euros (approximately $1.1 million) in damages, arguing that Monsanto was aware of the dangers of the product and should have done more to warn users of potential hazards.

The court in Lyon, France agreed, saying the label should have included “a notice on the specific dangers of using the product in vats and reservoirs,” AFP reported.

“The plaintiff’s assumed technical knowledge does not excuse the lack of information on the product and its harmful effects — a farmer is not a chemist,” the court ruled.

Bayer disagreed that Monsanto had done anything wrong.

“Plant protection products are among the products whose evaluation and authorisation are the most strictly regulated in the world,” a Bayer spokeswoman told BBC News. “They are safe when used as directed.”

The court Thursday ordered Monsanto to pay 50,000 euros (approximately $56,570) for Francois’ legal fees but did not rule on the overall compensation. That will be decided in a later ruling, AFP reported.

GM Salmon approved in Canada


Minister Approves First Commercial GM Fish Factory
Groups raise concerns over transparency and environmental risk

Tuesday, April 2, 2019. Halifax. – The company AquaBounty has announced that the Minister of Environment and Climate Change has approved the production of genetically modified (GM or genetically engineered) Atlantic salmon at a site in Prince Edward Island (P.E.I). This will be the first factory in Canada to produce GM salmon, which is the world’s first GM food animal.

 “Canada and P.E.I. will now be associated with the controversial and risky production of the world’s first GM fish,” said Sharon Labchuk of Earth Action P.E.I., “But Canadians were never consulted and the product is not even labelled in our grocery stores.”

AquaBounty says it will produce 250 metric tonnes of GM Atlantic salmon each year at the on-land factory it is setting up in the community of Rollo Bay, P.E.I., and that the first harvest will be in late 2020. 

“This decision means more Canadians will be eating GM salmon without knowing,” said Lucy Sharratt of the Canadian Biotechnology Action NetworkThe GM salmon is sold in Canada but there is no mandatory labelling of GM foods. 

AquaBounty started selling GM salmon in Canada in 2017, produced at its small pilot plant in Panama. Canada had been the only country where GM salmon could be sold until the US government reversed an import ban in March 2019. AquaBounty can now sell GM salmon in the US and ship its GM salmon eggs from P.E.I. to a second commercial-scale factory that the company is setting up in the state of Indiana.  

Although the P.E.I. production site is on land, environmental groups continue to raise concerns because of the serious impacts if any escape into the wild occurs.

“More GM salmon means more risk to wild Atlantic salmon. That is the science,” said Mark Butler of the Ecology Action Centre based in Nova Scotia, “This decision is the first step in a dangerous expansion of GM fish production. We need a national consultation on improving regulation before new GM animals are approved. We need democracy and transparency on this issue.”

The fish is genetically engineered with a growth hormone gene from Chinook salmon and genetic material from ocean pout, to grow faster than other farmed salmon.

 “How do we know what we’re eating?” asked Mary Boyd of the MacKillop Centre for Social Justice in P.E.I., “Health Canada should never have allowed a GM fish onto the market without labelling for consumers. We urgently need labels.”

 Major retailers and many seafood companies have said they will not sell the GM salmon.

 “Without labelling, retailers, restaurants and food companies should be clear that they are only selling non-GM salmon,” said Sharratt.




For more information: Sharon Labchuk, Earth Action PEI, 902 626 7327; Lucy Sharratt, Canadian Biotechnology Action Network, 902 209 4906; Mark Butler, Ecology Action Centre, 902 266 5401 (entrevue disponible en français); Mary Boyd, MacKillop Centre forSocial Justice, 902 892 9074.


GM contaminations in Canada:Failure to contain Living Modified organism

March 26, 2019 – Regina.

Since genetically modified (GM) crops were introduced into Canadian agriculture almost 25 years ago, GM contamination has had significant economic consequences, according to a report published today by the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN) and the SaskOrganics’ Organic Agriculture Protection Fund (OAPF) Committee. The report calls for action to prevent future contamination incidents. (SEE Background on Alfafa below)

“GM Contamination in Canada: The failure to contain living modified organisms – incidents and impacts” documents the details and impacts of all the known contamination incidents in Canada involving GM crops and animals. The costs of GM contamination and escape incidents include the temporary or permanent loss of export markets, lower crop prices, the loss of access to grow a particular crop, and the loss of some farm-saved seed.

“Farmers are the first to pay the price. Our experience shows that GM contamination can cost farmers dearly,” said Marla Carlson of SaskOrganics. “We encourage the federal government to take action to prevent GM contamination to protect farmers’ livelihoods and Canada’s economy.”

The report is published ahead of “Advancing Organics”, SaskOrganic’s conference and tradeshow taking place at the Travelodge in Saskatoon March 28-29.

“Readers may be surprised by the diversity of GM organisms that have escaped control. Experimental GM pigs have accidentally entered the food system twice, and we are still removing GM flax from our flax supply,” said Lucy Sharratt of CBAN. “Despite our experiences with GM contamination in Canada, federal regulation still doesn’t assess the full potential of contamination or assess the economic costs. The first GM perennial, GM alfalfa, was approved without comprehensive evaluation of the contamination risk and related costs to farmers.”

Since the first GM crop was commercialized in 1996, there have been escape events in Canada with GM canola, GM flax, GM wheat and GM pigs. Canadian farmers grow GM canola, GM corn, GM soy and GM sugarbeet, as well as a small amount of GM alfalfa in the Eastern provinces. The federal government may soon approve the production of GM salmon in Prince Edward Island.

“Organic farmers in Saskatchewan have never been compensated for our loss of canola due to GM contamination,” said Arnold Taylor, organic grain farmer and chair of the OAPF. “Widespread GM canola contamination in Canada means our organic farmers no longer have the option of growing canola.”

Canadian flax farmers lost the lucrative European food market as a result of GM flax contamination in 2009, and cleaning up seed stocks took years of testing.

CBAN and OAPF are calling on the federal government to help prevent future GM contamination by deregistering GM alfalfa; halting field trials of GM wheat; and adding an assessment of the potential economic impacts before new GMOs are released.

“GM alfalfa must be taken off the market as soon as possible to prevent contamination and the economic and social impacts that would hit farmers across the country,” said Taylor.


Background on Alfalfa; A call for precaution before GM Alfalfa is planted in western Canada.

Market Status

A small amount of genetically modified (GM or genetically engineered) alfalfa seed was sold in Eastern Canada in 2016 and some seed is also now on the market in in the Eastern provinces. This GM alfalfa seed is sold for producing pasture and hay for farm animals, not for use as sprouting seeds. GM alfalfa is currently playing a very minimal role in the production of milk and meat products.


Because alfalfa is a perennial crop pollinated by bees, GM contamination is inevitable. .

Alfalfa (hay and pasture) is high-protein feed for animals like dairy cows, beef cattle and sheep and is also used to build up nutrients in the soil, making it particularly important for organic farming of grains and vegetables.

“This would be a disaster for farmers because, once it has been planted, there would be no way to stop the GM trait from spreading to organic and conventional farms and crops. There are many domestic and export markets that completely reject alfalfa seeds, hay or pellets with any GM content. Clearly, the Minister needs to take action to protect the interests of Canadian farmers before it is too late.” – Jan Slomp, President, National Farmers Union, March 24, 2016


For more information: Marla Carlson, SaskOrganics, 306 535 3456; Lucy Sharratt, Canadian Biotechnology Action Network, 902 209 4906; Arnold Taylor, Organic Agriculture Protection Fund, 306 561 7788 or 306 252 2783. The report is posted at and a Media Backgrounder is at


CFIA declined to address misleading advertising of GM Salmon.

For Immediate Release

GM Salmon: Allegations of misleading advertising not to be addressed by Canadian Food Inspection Agency

Friday, February 8, 2018. Halifax. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has declined to address a complaint alleging misleading advertising from the company selling genetically modified (GM or genetically engineered) salmon in Canada, because the company’s website is based in the US.

“The government says it has no jurisdiction to investigate our concerns but Canadians are the only people in the world eating this GM salmon,” said Lucy Sharratt of the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN) that sent a complaint December 13, 2018.

The GM salmon is not labelled in Canada and the advertising to the public is on the website of the company AquaBounty. CBAN filed a complaint that AquBounty’s homepage says the GM salmon is “100 Percent North American Raised” when it is currently only produced in Panama. The company also says that, “AquaBounty will get salmon from harvest to your table in hours, not days”, but emails between the company and the CFIA, secured through Access to Information, show that the GM salmon is shipped to Canada frozen and has a “Best Before” date that is nine months after its “Packed” date. Emails also show that the GM salmon was stored in the port of Montreal for at least 14 days in May 2018.

The CFIA’s response to CBAN’s complaint states, “As Aqua Bounty’s home page is not based in Canada, it does not fall under CFIA jurisdiction.”

“While the CFIA says investigating false advertising from a US website is outside its jurisdiction, the federal government has provided millions in grants and loans to this same company,” said Sharratt.

The federal government has provided over $8 million in various grants and loans to support the development of the GM salmon, including one that involves related 10% royalty payments to the government from product sales.

“There is no transparency with this GM salmon. Without mandatory labelling, Canadians don’t even know where it is on the shelves,” said Sharratt. “Who will hold this company accountable for how they advertise their product to Canadians? The government is letting the company promote its GM salmon without oversight, and sell it to Canadians without labelling.”


For more information: Lucy Sharratt, Canadian Biotechnology Action Network, 902 209 4906

UN puts brakes on Gene Drives

United Nations Hits the Brakes on Gene Drives

Friends of the Earth International and ETC Group

Landmark Convention on Biological Diversity decision calls on governments to conduct strict risk assessments and seek indigenous and localpeoples’ consent ahead of potential release of ‘exterminator technology.

29 November 2018, Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt: Today, the UN has made a significant global decision on how to govern a high-risk, new genetic engineering technology – gene drives[1].

This important decision puts controls on gene drives using simple common sense principles: Don’t mess with someone else’s environment, territories and rights without their consent,’ explains Jim Thomas, Co-Executive Director of the ETC Group. ‘Gene drives are currently being pursued by powerful military and agribusiness interests and a few wealthy individuals. This UN decision puts the power back in the hands of local communities, in particular Indigenous Peoples, to step on the brakes on this exterminator technology’.

The Convention on Biological Diversity decision (see Box) also requires that, before an environmental gene drive release, a thorough risk assessment is carried out. With most countries lacking a regulatory system for the technology, it requires that new safety measures are put in place to prevent potential adverse effects. The decision acknowledges that more studies and research on impacts of gene drives are needed to develop guidelines to assess gene drive organisms before they are considered for release[2].

‘In Africa we are all potentially affected, and we do not want to be lab rats for this exterminator technology,’ notes Mariann Bassey-Orovwuje of Friends of the Earth Africa, and chair of the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa. ‘Farmers have already marched in the streets of Burkina Faso to protest genetically engineered mosquitoes and we will march again if they ignore this UN decision. We are giving notice now that potentially affected West African communities have not given their consent or approval to this risky technology’.

The agreement to seek and obtain consent may immediately impact the most high-profile (and well-funded) gene drive project, by researchers at London’s Imperial College who aim to release genetically engineered mosquitoes in Burkina Faso as a step towards future gene drive mosquito releases. Contrary to Target Malaria’s claims, people living in the villages targeted for potential release have not been consulted, nor given consent.

This decision follows a campaign by hundreds of organizations, along with concerns expressed by several governments represented at the UN, who called for a moratorium on the environmental release of gene drives[3].

The globally-agreed decision requires that governments must seek the approval of ‘potentially affected indigenous peoples and local communities’ prior to considering any release of gene drives, including experimental releases. Given that gene drives are designed to spread through a species and across geographic regions – a novel feature of this form of genetic engineering – any environmental release could potentially affect communities far beyond the single release site and it will now be necessary to seek wider consent. This puts an important halt to gene drive releases moving forward. The UN decision justifies controls on gene drive releases because of their potential impact on the ‘traditional knowledge, innovation, practices, livelihood and use of land and water’ of Indigenous Peoples and local communities.

Guy Kastler from La Via Campesina, a global movement that represents over 200 million peasants from 182 organizations in 81 countries, said: ‘The prospect of this technology brings unprecedented risks that we can’t accept. The UN should have decided a clear moratorium on gene drives. La Via Campesina calls on peasants of the world to oppose in every country the implementation of this technology, which can potentially exterminate our crops or animals and other elements of biodiversity essential to our productions and livelihood’.

Expert contacts:

Monsanto manipulated science for Health Canada.



Équiterre calls for withdrawal of glyphosate’s approval in Canada
and an independent review

Montreal, November 9, 2018 ─ Health and environmental safety groups have conducted a preliminary review of the “Monsanto Papers” and uncovered evidence that calls into question the re-registration of glyphosate for another 15 years in Canada. The study findings show that agrochemical giant Monsanto (now Bayer) manipulated public research in an effort to downplay the cancer risk of its controversial pesticide and that these fraudulent studies were used in the re-evaluation of glyphosate in Canada.

The groups submitted this evidence in a letter sent to the federal Health Minister, the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, on October 29. Équiterre is requesting the cancellation of glyphosate’s re-registration in Canada and calling for the creation of an independent review panel to investigate the decision.

It should be noted that, in 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a branch of the World Health Organization, released an assessment declaring that glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic to humans.”


“A decision was made based on biased science, thereby compromising the risk assessment that led to the regulatory agency’s decision to re-register glyphosate. This constitutes grounds for cancelling the decision to renew the approval of glyphosate in Canada,” declared Sidney Ribaux, executive director of Équiterre. “Under Canadian law governing pesticide use, the Health Minister has the discretion to establish a special review panel in such cases and to suspend a re-registration until a final decision is made based on this review,” explained Mr. Ribaux. “These revelations are just the tip of the iceberg and our investigation is continuing in Canada, but it is ultimately up to the federal Health Minister to investigate in order to prove the independence and integrity of the scientific facts used in the re-evaluation of glyphosate in Canada,” he added.


In August 2018, a California jury found that a citizen’s repeated occupational exposure to glyphosate contributed to his development of cancer, in the case known as Johnson v. Monsanto Company. This trial, which led to the release of the “Monsanto Papers,” is one of thousands currently making their way through U.S. courts.

During the preliminary hearing, a number of Monsanto’s documents and internal communications (emails, text messages, reports, studies, memos, etc.) were made public. Evidence emerged from these documents that Monsanto had ghostwritten scientific studies and launched a major public relations campaign aimed at defending the reputation of its glyphosate-based pesticides and downplaying the cancer risk.

Research by Ecojustice shows that Health Canada relied on several of these fraudulent studies in its decision to re-register glyphosate in Canada in April 2017. This decision had already been challenged via a notice of objection filed pursuant to the Pest Control Products Act by the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, Environmental Defence, Équiterre, the David Suzuki Foundation and Prevent Cancer Now.


Glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide in Canada. It is used for weed control in agriculture, mainly on crops such as canola, corn, and soybeans that have been genetically modified to resist glyphosate, and is also sprayed before the harvesting of wheat, oats, barley and several pulses.

To access the petition launched by Équiterre calling for an independent review panel on glyphosate, visit:

Consult the Media Backgrounder : Health Canada’s ghyphosate re-evaluation & the Monsanto Papers

– 30 –

For more information and to arrange an interview:

Courtney Mullins, Senior Communications Officer, Équiterre
514 293-2370 |

PEI loan to AquaBounty GE fish farm

Tuesday, October 23, 2018. Charlottetown, P.E.I., Canada – The Government of Prince Edward Island (P.E.I) has provided a new $2 million loan to the company AquaBounty, to help it finish construction of the world’s first genetically modified (GM or genetically engineered) fish factory.


“We’re incredulous that our government is loaning even more money to help this company produce such a controversial product,” said Sharon Labchuk of Earth Action PEI. “AquaBounty is struggling financially and the province is throwing good money after bad.”


The loan will help the company finish construction of its GM fish production facility at Rollo Bay, P.E.I. The company says it will start producing 250 tonnes of GM Atlantic salmon there in 2019. This follows a 2016 provincial government loan of $717,093.


“The government is helping get this Frankenfish factory up and running, even though there’s been local protest for two decades,” said Leo Broderick of The Council of Canadians in PEI. “How much unlabelled GM salmon do Canadians have to eat for the company to pay back these government loans?”


The only reason AquaBounty can sell its GM salmon in Canada right now is because no one knows where it is,” said Broderick. There is no mandatory labelling of GM food in Canada.


The announcement of the loan comes just days after the major Quebec sushi chain Aki Sushi announced that it refuses to use the GM salmon.(1)


The federal government has also granted and loaned at least $8.2 million to support development of the GM salmon, including via an agreement with AquaBounty that stipulates 10% royalties to the government from sales of a related product. The government will not disclose what product is subject to royalty payments.(2)


“Investing in this Frankenfish factory is backwards and risky,” said Mary Boyd, of the MacKillop Centre for Social Justice in Charlottetown, “It’s an appalling use of taxpayers’ money. Few taxpayers would even eat the GM salmon, if they had the choice.”


The company does not yet have federal government approval to produce GM salmon at the Rollo Bay site, however an Environment Canada assessment appears be underway.(3)


The groups are asking the Premier of P.E.I. to provide a rationale for this loan and a full accounting of all government loans and other funding supports to AquaBounty.



For more information: Leo Broderick, Council of Canadians, 902-316-2921; Mary Boyd, MacKillop Centre for Social Justice,902-892-9074; Sharon Labchuk, Earth Action PEI, 902- 626-7327.

Monsanto trial: judge rejects bid to overturn landmark cancer verdict | Business | The Guardian

Monsanto trial: judge rejects bid to overturn landmark cancer verdict Dewayne Johnson originally won $289m after finding Roundup weedkiller caused illness, but judge reduces financial award Sam Levin in Oakland

Dewayne ‘Lee’ Johnson reacts after hearing the verdict in his case against Monsanto. Photograph: Josh Edelson/AP A California judge has rejected Monsanto’s appeal to overturn a landmark jury verdict which found that its popular herbicide causes cancer.

The judge’s ruling on Monday largely sided with Dewayne “Lee” Johnson, a father of three and former school groundskeeper, who won a $289m award over the summer after alleging that his exposure to Roundup weedkiller gave him cancer.

During the trial, the first of its kind, the 46-year-old also alleged that Monsanto had failed to warn him of the risks of using its product. Monsanto, now owned by Bayer, the German pharmaceutical company, filed an appeal of the verdict, which said the company was responsible for “negligent failure”, knew or should have known that its product was “dangerous”, and had “acted with malice or oppression”.

The man who beat Monsanto: ‘They have to pay for not being honest’ Read more Monsanto fought to overturn the verdict, arguing the evidence was insufficient. The San Francisco superior court judge Suzanne Bolanos had suggested in an initial written ruling this month that she was considering granting a new trial. But she ultimately denied Monsanto’s request. However, she has ruled to reduce punitive damages from $250m to $39m.

Source: Monsanto trial: judge rejects bid to overturn landmark cancer verdict | Business | The Guardian

Gene Drive Organisms(GDOs) : new genetic technology 2.0

Forcing the Farm

How Gene Drive Organisms Could Entrench Industrial Agriculture and Threaten Food Sovereignty

» Download the report ( 40 pages  must read for non_GMO activists)

» Read the news release

» The letter, signed by food movement leaders around the world


More than 200 global food movement leaders and organizations representing hundreds of millions of farmers and food workers  set out their clear opposition to “gene drives” – a controversial new genetic forcing technology. Their call for a stop to this technology accompanies a new report, Forcing the Farm, that lifts the lid on how gene drives may harm food and farming systems.

Gene drives are a genetic engineering tool that aim to force artificial genetic changes through entire populations of animals, insects and plants. Unlike previous genetically modified organisms (GMOs) these gene drive organisms (GDOs) are deliberately designed to spread genetic pollution as an agricultural strategy – for example, spreading ‘auto-extinction’ genes to wipe out agricultural pests. Agri-research bodies now developing these extinction-organisms include the California Cherry Board, the US Citrus Research Board and the private California company Agragene Inc. Next month, the United Nations Biodiversity Convention will meet to discuss measures to control this technology, including a possible moratorium.

The Forcing the Farm report, researched and produced by ETC Group and The Heinrich Boell Foundation, details several ways in which gene drive technology is being readied for application in agriculture. The report exposes how gene drive developers are deliberately keeping agricultural applications from view while trying to focus public interest on high profile health and conservation projects. Reports of secret meetings with a US defence committee show that agribusiness firms such as Monsanto-Bayer and Cibus Bioscience appear to be engaging with gene drive development.

Gene Drives and Agriculture: Six examples drawn from Forcing the Farm

  • Gene drives are being engineered into flies, insects, worms and other pests to spread sterility as a biological alternative to pesticides.
  • Researchers are proposing using gene drives as a breeding tool to increase meat production in livestock.
  • Auto-extinction” gene drives are being engineered into rats and mice as well as beetles that affect storage of grains.
  • Patents have been sought to engineer gene drives into honey bees to control pollination patterns using light beams.
  • Research is ongoing to engineer gene drives into common weed species to make them more susceptible to herbicides such as Roundup.
  • Analysis of two key patents on gene drives show that they each reference around 500-600 agricultural uses including brand names of 186 herbicides, 46 pesticides, 310 agricultural pest insects, nematodes, mites, moths and others 

If your organization would like to sign on to the call for a moratorium against gene drives, email

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