Monday, March 30, 2015

Lobbyist defending Monsanto insists Roundup Is safe to drink, but refuses to drink it

Dr. Patrick Moore speaks to CANAL+ (image screen grab)

You've probably seen this man's image in the headlines recently. His name is Dr Patrick Moore who is a major lobbyist & defender of Monsanto. But it seems he is all the rage in discussion these days because he made the outrageous claim that Roundup was safe to drink, but then refused to drink it when offered it by the French interviewer. He made this statement after insisting that the major ingredient in Roundup was not responsible for any of the increases in cancer rates in the country of Argentina. Here is a transcript of what was stated between the interviewer and Dr Moore:
¤ Moore: “You can drink a whole quart of it and it won’t hurt you.”
¤ Interviewer: “You want to drink some? We have some here.” 
¤ Moore: “I’d be happy to, actually. Not really. But I know it wouldn’t hurt me.”
¤ Interviewer: “If you say so, I have some.”
¤ Moore:  “I’m not stupid.”
 ¤ Interviewer: “So, it’s dangerous?” 
¤ Moore: “People try to commit suicide by drinking it, and they fail regularly.” 
¤ Interviewer: “Tell the truth, it’s dangerous” 
¤ Moore: “No, it’s not. It’s not dangerous to humans”
¤ Interviewer: “So, are you ready to drink one glass?” 
¤ Moore: “No, I’m not an idiot”- “Interview me about golden rice, that’s what I’m talking about.”  -  At that point, Moore declares that the “interview is finished”
¤ Interviewer: "That's a good way to solve things"
¤ Moore: "Jerk"
 I would also like to point out that as a scientist he also believes Global Warming is a natural phenomenon, similar to how Yosemite was once under ice during the ice age. He denies humans are causing any harm to the global climate. This interestingly seems to be a common stand of those who back and promote the Industrial Ag business model
Dr Patrick Moore: "Confessions of a Greenpeace Dropout" 
This post is not really about about Dr Patrick Moore in particular, but what often happens when people for whatever reasons defend any product they have an emotional or even financial attachment to. I have often found the same to be true regarding people who distribute many health products. They have a tendency to go well beyond the manufacturer's recommendations and make unprovable claims which cannot be verified when attempting to contact with the manufacturer. I'm definitely no fan of the manufacturer of Roundup, but I have confidence that they do not recommend their product be used for human consumption, even if their distributors and promoters are trying to defend their business model and it's products through exaggeration. The scary thing though is that many people do take these arguments seriously and somewhere down the road may be careless when using the Roundup product by neglecting safety concerns and precautions as recommended by the actual label on the container. Many a manufacturer of health items have gotten themselves into lawsuit legal problems for not reigning in their people. This eventually could be the case for Monsanto. The outrageous claims about drinking Roundup are not specific to Dr Patrick Moore. Long before this News Report, I have personally seen in print, numerous defenders on the Net make that same exact claim while also challenging others. Many of these types of people  are anonymous commenters utilizing various "Sockpuppets" in defending Monsanto with the same exact claim as Dr Moore long before his interview. But what is more serious is that many of the champions [Farmers] of GMOs and Monsanto pesticides who are well written about in various Media outlets like Huffington Post and others are held up as fine examples on a few of the GMO Apologetics websites like the infamous , & websites. Articles written by many of these Farm family individuals are featured on those websites, but they probably are unaware of some of the incredible claims made by these champions of GMO technology and the pesticides they use. In particular, the same almost exact word for word claims Dr Patrick Moore made, but well before his interview.

The danger of course is when people who are used by corporations as outstanding examples of success, they are in great position of influencing others, can make outrageous claims for which those who admire & follow them and hang onto every word uttered from their mouth so to speak, can potentially cause great harm. I first followed this case with one Farmer's wife last year who is from a small town in North Dakota where she and her farmer husband raise wheat. The article that Jenny Dewey Rohrich wrote in her own blog, ,was about the usage of Glyphosate on Wheat. It's true, Glyphosate is used on wheat as a desiccant to dry out the wheat crop into harvest quicker. Even Monsanto has a recommendation for this on their own website Monsanto Roundup - Preharvest Staging Guide . But as she truthfully stated, the Glyphosate is mostly used by far northern hemisphere farmers because they have such a short growing season. But many other Wheat Farmers do not because they have a longer growing season which allows wheat to harden off or dry out naturally for harvest. She also mentioned that this is not used to spray on wheat for weeds as other Roundup Ready crops. This is also true as wheat is not a GMO crop. If wheat gets wet before harvest, it could lower the quality of the crop and downgrade it's value on the market, potentially to a lower livestock grade feed standard if the human consumption standard is not met. Where she made her error however was in the comments section where she stated almost the same identical thing Dr Patrick Moore said:
"It is all about the dose. While vinegar and salt are indeed chemicals we can cook with, glyphosate isn’t labeled to be cooked with. But yes, you could more than likely drink it and be perfectly okay. 
As I said in the post, you are more than welcome to disagree with me and purchase certified organic wheat. That is your choice and thank goodness for choice in our food system!" (Made on November 17, 2014) 
The other farmer's wife who lives in Wheatland County of Alberta Canada is Sarah Schultz who writes a blog on her own website called, where she posts articles and takes comments about her championing the modern day biotechnology. She likewise wrote an article back in November 16, 2014, about Glyphosate and Wheat, but she wrote an interesting take on Glyphosate being safer to ingest than vinegar or Caffeine. What was odd about what she wrote on this comparison, I had seen it somewhere before and others who were Pro-Biotech-Chemicals had also used the same exact wording as she did:
"Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) sets and monitors maximum residue levels (MRLs) using scientific methodology far below the amount that could produce health problems. It is a very safe herbicide to use, even safer than vinegar as a herbicide. Caffeine is ten times more toxic than glyphosate! If accidentally consumed, glyphosate is excreted mostly unchanged in feces and urine, so it doesn’t stay in the body and accumulate. There have been no legitimate studies linking glyphosate to any human health ailments."
So where in the world did she get her info from ? Commenters called her on the carpet for claiming it was safer to drink Glyphosate than caffeine or vinegar, which she denied, yet her argument was mostly about dilution in making the comparisons to the caffeine, vinegar and salt arguments and that was what gave people the impression of drinking safety. Her main point had been that the chemical alone, Glyphosate, is not at all harmful in low doses and that it runs through the human body in feces and urine unchange. And yet I had heard or read this somewhere before. That last part in her paragraph was key and I did in fact remember where I had seen this before. 

It was an article I read almost exactly a year ago which was written by XiaoZhi Lim who is a graduate student of the Boston University Science Journalism on the Genetic Literacy Project site, but this was back further around April 2014. So she wasn't a scientist, but rather a science journalist. She listed references, but many were old references from the early 1990s from Cornell University and even their paper had references as far back as the early 1980s. It'll get clearer in a moment. She wrote several paragraphs in that post which made it obvious where these people [Farmer's wives & Dr Patrick Moore & various assorted internet trolls] today were getting their debate material from. The same exact wording in this piece is being used all over the internet with the same stupid challenging by Pro-GMO types who said they would drink the Roundup stuff with no reservations. 
"Let’s take a closer look at glyphosate. Glyphosate is derived from an amino acid, glycine. It acts against plants by suppressing an essential biochemical mechanism commonly found in plants, but not in animals. According to the Extension Toxicology Network, a joint pesticide information project by Cornell University, Michigan State University, Oregon State University and University of California at Davis, and funded by US Department of Agriculture, glyphosate is non-volatile, minimizing exposure through inhalation, and undergoes little metabolism in the human body. If accidentally consumed, glyphosate is excreted mostly unchanged in feces and urine, so it doesn’t stay in the body and accumulate."
Recognize the same exact words used elsewhere around the Internet ? So as I stated, she is citing a study put together by the people at Cornell University back in May of 1994. Now what's funny about the information from that 1994 Cornell summary on the potential for toxicity of  Glyphosate is it's date. And as I stated before, you could scroll down and view the Cornell paper's references and where & when the Cornell researchers got their own informational references and they date back from 1984, 85, 87, 89, 91 & 92. But even those papers got their own references farther back than that. Here's my point. When the Cornell Glyphosate safety study was published, did they know that Monsanto's Roundup was NOT biodegradable at that time ? Well I would have to assume they did not or otherwise they were lying. Do you think if they had today's information on Roundup, that they would have published the same results ? Of course not. In 2009, a French court found Monsanto guilty of lying; falsely advertising its Roundup herbicide as "biodegradable," "environmentally friendly" and claiming it "left the soil clean." Seriously, that's exactly what it said when I was using it. New York's attorney general back in 1996 sued Monsanto over the company's use of "false and misleading advertising" of it's produt Roundup. That case ended with Monsanto agreeing to stop calling Roundup "biodegradable," and to pull ads claiming that Roundup was "safer than table salt" and "practically nontoxic." As one such advertisement put it, "Roundup can be used where kids and pets play." (Lawsuit Info Source) BTW, both ladies I referenced above also brought up the "Table Salt" argument as did the defenders of the Roundup in the Genetic Literacy Project article in the comments section. Still, 1996 is two+ years away from the May 1994 Cornell report. The question is, why are the Genetic Literacy Project authors still pimping these old archaic antiquated flawed arguments ? Because they figure no one will do their homework and mostly they are correct on that. 
"Caffeine is over ten times more toxic than glyphosate. Is this cause for concern? Should we stop drinking coffee? No, the main reason being that a typical dosage of caffeine is not high enough to cause toxicity. Let’s look at the numbers. With LD50 of 192 mg/kg, it would take 12192 mg of caffeine to kill an average 140 lb human being. A typical 8 oz cup of coffee only contains 95 mg of caffeine, much lower than the dose required for acute toxicity. The same reasoning applies to glyphosate. Following the same calculations, it would take 12.5 oz of glyphosate to kill an average 140 lb human being. That means drinking about three gallons of Roundup Original."
Source: "Genetic Literacy Project - "Is glyphosate, used with some GM crops, dangerously toxic to humans?"
"Glyphosate is poorly absorbed from the digestive tract and is largely excreted unchanged by mammals. Ten days after treatment there were only minute amounts in the tissues of rats fed glyphosate for three weeks"
(Source: Cornell University - Glyphosate Toxicology Report 
Sound familiar ? That was not only the wording of the May 1994 Cornell Report, but also the words of Genetic Literacy Project's journalist, Xiao Zhi Lim, the Farmer's wives referenced above and no doubt Dr Patrick Moore. Why didn't any of them do their homework first ? Especially a graduate student like Science Journalist Xiao Zhi Lim ? There is clearly no excuse for that, especially on a supposedly intellectual information promotion website like "Genetic Literacy Project" who promote themselves above all of this disinformation & propaganda mission ? Further below here in another paragraph, Ms Xiao, after referencing the potency of caffeine sarcastically asks the readers: 
"Caffeine is over ten times more toxic than glyphosate. Is this cause for concern? Should we stop drinking coffee? No, the main reason being that a typical dosage of caffeine is not high enough to cause toxicity. Let’s look at the numbers. With LD50 of 192 mg/kg, it would take 12192 mg of caffeine to kill an average 140 lb human being. A typical 8 oz cup of coffee only contains 95 mg of caffeine, much lower than the dose required for acute toxicity. The same reasoning applies to glyphosate. Following the same calculations, it would take 12.5 oz of glyphosate to kill an average 140 lb human being. That means drinking about three gallons of Roundup Original.
In the comments section, one opponent of the use of Glyphosate takes up the challenge from the article. The individual, who unlike many of the pro-gmo proponents who cowardly hide behind sockpuppets in the comment section uses his own name to answer the challenge. Tito Castillo says this:
"I'm curious, if it is so safe, safer than coffee as this paper suggests, then how about we conduct a test with two live subjects. I volunteer to drink the coffee... the other, preferably a chemical company scientist hired to defend their industry, can drink a cup of roundup and lets see what happens?"
Then one of the most notorious sockpuppets of them all ['Hyperzombie' with over 15,000+ posts on just the GMO topic alone] who also claims to be a Hockey playing Farmer from Alberta Canada accepts Mr Castillo's challenge, but with the usual derogatory style snarkiness for which is the only way he apparently can discuss a science topic. Seriously, the quote below is one of the cleanest I can post of his.
"It says that it is safer than CAFFEINE, not coffee. You drink a cup of pure caffeine (equivalent to 190 cups of coffee), and I will drink a cup of roundup. I will call the ambulance for you after i finish rinsing out my mouth (tastes like weird soap). You will most likely be very ill or die, i will be fine.  Only about 8% of people that try to commit suicide with glyphosate actually die, baby aspirin is more effective."
This Disqus user with the sockpuppet, "Hyperzombie" then proceeded to provide a link which supposedly provides proof that Glyphosate was safe to drink because of how most people who tried to commit suicide by drinking Roundup failed, although some did die (HERE) . This was supposed to be proof positive that Roundup could be drank and a person wouldn't die. I've seen the same link given over and over by other Biotech proponents in justifying why it would be safe to drink Roundup. It's a stupid stunt to win a dumb argument, but it is what it is. So for all those with eyes glued to the Dr Patrick Moore debacle, there is a deeper dirtier history to this than you can imagine. Dr Moore, the two Farm Ladies and the Science journalist Xian Zhi Lim just didn't do their homework. Oh, BTW, the other argument made was that Glyphosate leaves no residues in human or mammal tissues. Even the Cornell 1994 paper admitted there were trace amounts in tissues detected back then. Here is a link to the recent residual studies in human and animals which they said never happened: - "Detection of Glyphosate Residues in Animals and Humans"
In Conclusion
I have to say that, while I abhor the adolescent behaviour of the GMO proponents and have mostly left off reading and following the comment sections, I also don't agree with the behaviour of some of these Organic folks who are equally insulting, foul mouthed, derogatory and making false accusations. The two ladies I referenced were pummeled by the idiots on the Organic side. There was no reason for that and while I may not agree with their position on industrial Ag because of my experience with learning and observing how nature actually works and making practical application by means of biomimicry, those two ladies do appear pleasant and respectful with the guests on their pages. This post of mine was never about GMOs, but rather the disingenuous arguments given on Roundup safety. There also appears to be some safety concerns regarding the surfactants used in blending and emulsifying the glyphosate with water [otherwise it floats on the surface in oil beads]. This actually adds to the toxicity of Roundup, especially for aquatic environments. I'm also very much still blown away by the people being used to promote Monsanto's interests. Many are a sorry lot and have been used and abused by a hideous organization for corporate profit and don't even know it. Why didn't  any of them do their own homework on whether or not these outrageous claims were true ? Instead of blindly accepting old outdated research material and fraudulent labeling and advertisement talking points meant to sell massive amounts of product that Monsanto was actually sued for as fraud back in the 1990s. It's a beautiful set up. Monsanto get's the same selling points and at the same time disconnects and disavows themselves of any false advertising because it was other Sheople who said such things. The two nice ladies I mentioned, Dr Moore, Science Journalist Xaio and a plethora of Sockpuupets are the latest instantiation of the old fables and myths from Monsanto's fraudulent labeling and advertising schemes of the 1990s. They are being used and abused and are not even aware of it.
Some final interesting stats and facts on many on many of the internet Biotech proponents out there
One final point on the same commenters often seen always posting on these articles. Many of them have 10,000-20,000 [one individual has over 40,000+] posts and mainly on this topic. Tracing many, they also post as climate change deniers on other sites as well. When I've pointed this out, many have blocked access to their own posting history in the Public Profile section page. No problem, just Google the sockpuppet's username and the subject you are looking to connect them with. If you know how to research, you will find that many of the ones with sockpuppets or abbreviated names are actually utilized on the Monsanto, the, and the website as shining examples and/or authors as article contributor in promoting GMOs. All of these internet sites are industrial agriculture backed and it would seem many of the ones who have been called Trolls or Shills by others do have some type of vested interests in the Biotech industry. One interesting gal is Mary M. who always appears to somehow show up at the right time when new articles come out. I seriously don't know where any of these people get the time for all of this posting. Don't they have some kind of farmimg chores to do ? She is Mary Mertz of . She and her husband Robert Mertz along their extended family run a large corporate Beef & grain farming operation in the state of Kansas. Here is their website:
However just for fun, here is another interesting thing you can research. Find out where all the government subsidies these farmers receive go. I first found this out from researching my own family back in Iowa who also make a substantial amount with subsidies which makes them a living as grain farmers. Many, not all, but many need those US Gov subsidies to survive or at least break even. You may have read recently in the well known Forbes magazine journal how many of the well known U.S. Billionaires who just happen to own industrial farms also receive substantial payouts. Nevertheless, look up this link and see the history of payouts to the various Mertz family members who all have various ownership percentage of River Creek Farms Inc. It's all publicly  recorded and available, nothing secret. But remember, you can Google any of these folks and find out their history regarding government entitlements. To be honest, Mary Mertz has for the most part been mostly respectful, though very determined and dogmatic in her beliefs.
BTW, just for fun again, here is that Forbes list of Billionaire farmers being subsidized by taxpayers from the same exact website above. FAT CATS COLLECT TAXPAYER-FUNDED FARM SUBSIDIES: FORBES 400 SUBSIDY RECIPIENTS (1995 – 2012)

 You should also know that most Organic Wheat Farmers do not qualify for Farm Subsidies. That's because they actually make a profit.
"Ideology prevents wheat growers from converting to more profitable methods, new study shows"
References on authors mentioned above on corporate sponsored Pro-Biotech sites
Genetic Literacy Project: - Jenny Dewey Rohrich - "Farmers say they do not feel ‘forced’ to buy GM seeds" - Jenny Dewey Rohrich (New York sues Monsanto)
Other extremely important & revealing references regarding the Biotech Public Relations strategies
Pro-Biotech Industry Authors at News Media Journals
The online journal "The Guardian" has several authors tied to Biotech Industries. Over the past couple years, there have been articles by various science groups pointing out the strong scientific disconnect between Pro-GMO Farmers and Anthropological Global Climate Change. In an effort to twist this embarrassing revelation around, pro-gmo "The Guardian" authors, Nina Federoff, Peter Raven & Phillip Sharp on March 9, 2015, wrote a co-authored article to turn the tables on the anti-gmo groups and deflecting attention away from their own client's science disconnect issues: - "The anti-GM lobby appears to be taking a page out of the Climategate playbook" 
Incredibly, today March 31, 2015, the organization "U.S. Right to Know" just published information on just who all three of these authors are beholding to. They clearly have a vested interesting in disseminating misinformation:

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