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MONSANTO * One of the Most Evil Corporations on Earth

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Monsanto is a world leader in industrial agriculture, providing the seeds for 90 percent of the world's genetically modified crops. In an interview with The Real News Network, filmmaker Marie-Monique Robin discussed her recent film 'The World According to Monsanto' in which she exposes many of Monsanto's controversial practices, from concealing knowledge of toxicity of PCBs to producing genetically modified seeds and related herbicides.

Monsanto has a long history of manufacturing dangerous products. In 1949, an explosion in Nitro, a Monsanto factory in the US, caused 228 workers to develop an extremely disfiguring illness caused by dioxin, a highly toxic by-product of 2,4,5-T, a powerful herbicide manufactured in the factory.

Monsanto's product Roundup, an herbicide which Monsanto advertised as biodegradable, is still sprayed on crops by unprotected farmers in Paraguay even though Monsanto has already been convicted twice of false advertising for the product.

Robin also denounces Monsanto for not only denying that it ever heard of Agent Orange, a herbicide sprayed by the US Army on crops during the Vietnam war and which Monsanto had in fact manufactured, but also for manipulating scientific studies to hide links between Agent Orange and cancer.

According to Robin, Monsanto has bought fifty seed companies in the last ten years. In a clip from Robin's film, physicist and ecologist Dr. Vandana Shiva warns: "Once [Monsanto has] established the norm that seed can be owned as their property, we will depend on them. If they control seed they control food. It's more powerful than bombs. This is the best way to control the populations of the world."

In a Monsanto declassified file is found the sentence, "we can't afford to lose one dollar of business" even as toxicity of PCBs was discussed. This, Robin says, sums Monsanto's philosophy rather well.

"If you put a label on genetically engineered food you might as well put a skull and crossbones on it."

Norman Braksick, president of Asgrow Seed Co., a subsidiary of Monsanto, quoted in the Kansas City Star, March 7, 1994

After decades of chemical assaults and biotech bullying, Monsanto has earned its reputation as one of the most evil corporations on Earth, sharing this distinction with America's chemical and energy-intensive industrial food and farming system, "Food Inc." Monsanto and their Evil Axis are clearly worried about their public image. They're worried even more about their shaky bottom line - their accelerating loss of market share to a $30 billion organic and local food and farming movement.

Monsanto and Food Inc. are uneasy that North American consumers, like their European and Japanese counterparts, are wary and suspicious of genetically modified (GM) or engineered (GE) foods; as well as the filthy, disease-ridden animal factories (typically maintained by exploited immigrant labor) where GM grains and drugs are forced-fed to most of the nation's livestock and poultry. The biotech industry and the industrial agriculture lobby are painfully aware that every poll over the past two decades has shown that 85-95% of American consumers want mandatory labels on GM foods. They are also aware that most consumers are disgusted and alarmed once they get a glimpse in the media of the animal prisons and torture chambers the EPA euphemistically calls CAFOs (Confined Animal Feeding Operations).

This is why Monsanto, grocery store chains, and the Grocery Manufacturers Association adamantly oppose labels on GM foods or foods that come from CAFO animal factories. They know, just as we do, that millions of consumers are still "in the dark" about how "conventional" foods - especially the cheaper brands of animal products, processed and fast food - are produced. They know, just as we do, that millions of American consumers will shun or boycott products that are truthfully labeled in grocery stores as "May Contain GMOs" or "CAFO."

Unfortunately we can't depend on an indentured Congress to take a stand for us in regard to truth-in-labeling. Especially since the 2010 Supreme Court decision that gave big corporations and billionaires like the Koch brothers the right to spend unlimited amounts of money (and remain anonymous, as they do so) in order to buy elections and politicians. As long as Big Money controls the media and the elections, our chances of passing federal GMO and CAFO labeling laws over the objections of Monsanto and Food Inc. are all but non-existent.

Therefore we need to shift our focus away from Washington and the White House and go local. We need to concentrate our efforts where our leverage and power lie, in the marketplace, at the retail level - educating the public, gathering thousands of petition signatures, generating phone calls, organizing picket lines and pressuring retail grocers to voluntarily label GM and CAFO-tainted products. Then, once we reach a critical mass in our local efforts, we can mount a grassroots lobbying campaign to pass mandatory GMO (and CAFO) labeling laws, at the city, county, and state levels. If local or state government bodies refuse to listen to us, in those cities, states, and counties where the law permits, we will then need to gather petition signatures of registered voters and place these truth-in-labeling initiatives directly on the ballot.

We should not kid ourselves. We are up against powerful and ruthless adversaries who understand that truth-in-labeling poses a mortal threat to Business as Usual. Truth-in-labeling will no doubt require a protracted struggle. But restoring consumers' right-to-know is well worth the effort, since once the thin veneer of "normalcy" or acceptability is lifted off of Monsanto and Food Inc's products, millions of consumers will demand non-GM, organic, local, and non-CAFO products.

In an interview with The Real News Network, filmmaker Marie-Monique Robin discussed her recent film ‘The World According to Monsanto.‘ The documentary exposes Monsanto‘s controversial practices, which range from concealing knowledge of toxicity of PCBs to producing genetically modified seeds and related herbicides.

A Monsanto declassified file stated that "we can‘t afford to lose one dollar" to worries about PCB toxicity. This, Robin says, sums up Monsanto‘s philosophy rather well.

Monsanto, the chemical manufacturer turned agricultural giant, is indeed gaining control over the world’s population, one seed at a time.

Marie-Monique Robin’s documentary “The World According to Monsanto” tells the whole story. It was actually aired on French television earlier this year, but if you live in the United States don’t expect this eye-opening expose to hit the mainstream press. Fortunately, I’ve posted the entire video so that everyone can see it.

And I believe it is one of the most important videos you could ever watch.

It may sound outrageous that a corporation could prevent farmers from reusing seeds produced after each harvest, as has been done since the beginning of agriculture, but this is already going on thanks to Monsanto.

Since the 1980s, Monsanto has become the world leader in genetic modification of seeds and has won 674 biotechnology patents, more than any other company.

But Monsanto is not only patenting their own GMO seeds. They have also succeeded in slapping patents on a huge number of crop seeds, patenting life forms for the first time -- without a vote of the people or Congress.

Farmers who buy Monsanto’s Roundup Ready seeds are required to sign an agreement promising not to save the seeds or sell them to other farmers. The result? Farmers must buy new seeds every year, and they must buy them from Monsanto.

The Monsanto Mafia

Monsanto has actually hired an army of private investigators and agents to secretly videotape and photograph farmers that may attempt to reuse their seeds. These “seed police” as the farmers call them have infiltrated community meetings and attempted to pressure farmers into signing papers giving Monsanto access to their private records.

Quite fittingly, farmers have described Monsanto’s tactics as similar to the “Gestapo” and “Mafia.”

Monsanto has also considered using what’s known as terminator technology on a wide-scale basis. These are seeds that have been genetically modified to “self-destruct.” In other words, the seeds (and the forthcoming crops) are sterile, which means farmers must buy them again each year.

Yet, most farmers cannot afford to buy new seeds every year, so collecting and replanting seeds is a crucial part of the agricultural cycle. This is the way food has been grown successfully for thousands of years.

Further, the traits from genetically engineered crops can get passed on to other crops. Once the terminator seeds are released into a region, the trait of seed sterility could be passed to other non-genetically-engineered crops, making most or all of the seeds in the region sterile.

If allowed to continue, every farmer in the world could come to rely on Monsanto for their seed supply … and this is not a company that you want in control of your food supply.

Monsanto’s Toxic Past

Monsanto tries to pass itself off as an innovative agricultural company, when in reality they produced two of the most toxic substances ever known -- polychlorinated biphenyls, known as PCBs, and dioxin (Agent Orange).

Monsanto may also be responsible for more than 50 Environmental Protection Agency Superfund sites, and they’re the masterminds behind some of the most dangerous products on the market today:
Genetically modified crops (Monsanto provides the seeds for 90 percent of the world's GM crops)
Fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides
Recombinant bovine somatotropin, or rBST, a genetically engineered growth hormone given to dairy cows to make them produce more milk
Monsanto is also deeply entrenched with the pharmaceutical industry. Pharmacia Corporation was created in April 2000 through the merger of Pharmacia & Upjohn with Monsanto Company and its G.D. Searle unit.

Monsanto Chemical Shown to Cause Infertility and Super Weeds

Monsanto's herbicidal chemical glyphosate could cause infertility or cancer. It may also be speeding the growth of super weeds and causing worrying changes to plants and soil.

The chemical, which has long been touted as a safe part of global food production, is now at a crossroads. Regulators in the United States and Canada are conducting a formal review of glyphosate's safety, even as lawsuits are pending and some groups are calling for a global ban.

According to Reuters:

"Environmentalists, consumer groups and plant scientists from several countries are warning that heavy use of the chemical over the years is causing dangerous problems for plants, people and animals alike."

Monsanto is also only an FDA approval away from its latest monstrosity -- soybeans that have been genetically modified to produce omega-3 fats. That FDA approval is expected this year.

Monsanto plans to include GM soybean oil in every product it can -- baked goods, baking mixes, breakfast cereals, cheeses, frozen dairy desserts, pasta, gravies and sauces, fruit juices, snack foods, candy, soups, and more.

According to Forbes:

"Monsanto is so despised by environmentalists that Google's first suggested search term for the St. Louis company is 'Monsanto evil.' Readers ... voted Monsanto the world's most evil corporation in a January poll, giving the corporation a whopping 51 percent of the vote."

Marie-Monique Robin, author of The World According To Monsanto, says that for all Monsanto's talk about the ecological and humanitarian benefits of its chemicals and genetically modified organisms (GMOs), the solutions have never been delivered.

According to Robin's extensive documentation, this is because what really matters to Monsanto is control of the world seed market. To that end, they have genetically engineered seeds that are resistant to, and therefore dependent on, Roundup, Monsanto's herbicide, which nets them gigantic profits.

Green Left reports:

"GMOs and Roundup, says Robin, are amongst the 'most dangerous products of modern times', joining a list that is heavily populated by other Monsanto products such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dioxin and bovine growth hormones.

In all cases, Monsanto has been fully aware of their harmfulness yet has lied about their dangers with an impunity conferred by the collusion between the company and the public health and environmental authorities of successive U.S. governments."

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Glyphosate, the world's bestselling weed killer and the key ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup herbicide, is emerging as one of the most dangerous Monsanto products to date.

As the mastermind behind polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dioxin and bovine growth hormones, Monsanto is no stranger to toxic products -- PCBs alone have polluted the planet for decades and health risks remain to this day -- but the vast quantities of Roundup being poured over U.S. land could lead to damage of unprecedented proportions.

In a letter sent to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, retired Purdue University professor Don Huber warned that tests show glyphosate "could be contributing to spontaneous abortions and infertility in pigs, cattle and other livestock," Reuters reported. The chemical has also been linked to a growing army of superweeds that now cover about 11 million acres of farmland, up fivefold from just three years ago, according to Penn State weed scientist David Mortensen.

Today there are more than 750 products in the United States that contain glyphosate, and the problems to human health and the environment are only slated to get worse if drastic changes are not made in the massive use of Roundup herbicide across the United States.

How Did Roundup Become so Popular?

Millions of pounds of Roundup are used every year on U.S. gardens, lawns and farms. It works by inhibiting an enzyme called EPSP synthase, which is necessary for plants to grow. Without it, plants are unable to produce essential proteins so they slowly yellow and die.

Ordinarily, if you were to spray Roundup on crops, it would kill them . So Monsanto created genetically modified (GM) Roundup Ready crops, which produce an enzyme that has the same function as EPSP synthase, but is not affected by Roundup. This allows farmers to liberally spray Roundup directly onto their Roundup Ready crops, killing only weeds and leaving the crops to grow unharmed.

However, this convenience comes at a steep price, as evidence shows that Roundup's active ingredient glyphosate is actually devastating crops and human and animal health around the world.

Cancer, Infertility and Plague Epidemics

GM expert Jeffrey Smith has reported that glyphosate promotes the formation of certain types of fungi that are dangerous to people and contaminate food and animal feed. One such fungi, the Fusarium fungus, has been linked to plague epidemics, cancer, infertility and animal diseases.

Residues of Monsanto's Roundup herbicide found in GM food and feed have also been linked to cell damage and death, even at very low levels. Researchers have also found it causes membrane and DNA damage, and inhibits cell respiration.

And in one animal study, rats given 1,000 mg/kg of glyphosate resulted in a 50 percent mortality rate, and skeletal alterations were observed in over 57 percent of fetuses!

It's also possible that glyphosate is significantly altering the nutrient content of our food, through its chelating mechanism, leading to widespread mineral deficiencies in animals and humans. Smith writes:

"The same nutrients that glyphosate chelates and deprives plants are also vital for human and animal health. These include iron, zinc, copper, manganese, magnesium, calcium, boron, and others. Deficiencies of these elements in our diets, alone or in combination, are known to interfere with vital enzyme systems and cause a long list of disorders and diseases …

Glyphosate-induced mineral deficiencies can easily go unidentified and untreated. Even when laboratory tests are done, they can sometimes detect adequate mineral levels, but miss the fact that glyphosate has already rendered them unusable.

Glyphosate can tie up minerals for years and years, essentially removing them from the pool of nutrients available for plants, animals, and humans. If we combine the more than 135 million pounds of glyphosate-based herbicides applied in the US in 2010 with total applications over the past 30 years, we may have already eliminated millions of pounds of nutrients from our food supply."

A Threat to Future Food Crops (and the Food Chain That Depends on Them)

Monsanto's Roundup weed killer is thought to be contributing to Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS), a deadly plant disease that causes plants to turn yellow and die.

Numerous studies have linked glyphosate to increases in SDS, including in crops that have never been sprayed with the herbicide but were planted in a field that received an application the previous season.

If an herbicide were actually weakening crops, wouldn't farmers know? Not necessarily, as the herbicide does not kill plants outright. Rather, it creates what Jeffrey Smith calls "a unique perfect storm of conditions" that ultimately weakens the plants and promotes disease.

This includes:

Acting as a chelator of vital nutrients, depriving plants of the nutrients necessary for healthy plant function
Destroying beneficial soil organisms that suppress disease-causing organisms and help plants absorb nutrients
Interfering with photosynthesis, reducing water use efficiency, shortening root systems and causing plants to release sugars, which changes soil pH
Stunting and weakening plant growth
Promoting disease-causing organisms in soil, which then overtake the weakened crops
Roundup may actually be changing the makeup of soil and boosting the number of disease-causing organisms, a deadly recipe for crops around the globe.

As Don Huber stated:

"There are more than 40 diseases of crop plants that are reported to increase with the use of glyphosate, and that number keeps growing as people recognize the association between glyphosate and disease."

Superweeds are Getting Out of Control

More than 75 percent of soybeans, 65 percent of cotton, and 10 percent of corn grown in the United States contain the GM Roundup Ready gene -- and all of these crops receive numerous applications of Roundup each and every year. Even John Ramsay, chief financial officer of plant sciences company Syngenta, told Reuters:

"Glyphosate resistance has built up to quite concerning levels in the United States … It is not surprising that with every single farmer pouring glyphosate over virtually every acre, plant life is going to have something to say about it."

Indeed, it's estimated that more than 130 types of weeds spanning 40 U.S. states are now herbicide-resistant. As a result, farmers are applying even more herbicides to crops. This is, in fact, the National Research Council's advice to farmers who are facing issues with superweeds:

"In particular, farmers who grow GE [genetically engineered] herbicide-resistant crops should not rely exclusively on glyphosate and need to incorporate a range of weed management practices, including using other herbicide mixes."

But applying even more chemicals to the soil is only adding to the problem, as Center for Food Safety analyst Bill Freese told Reuters.

"That is going to spell big problems... even larger problems with herbicide-resistant weeds … It will just accelerate this toxic spiral of increased pesticide use."

Monsanto's in it for the Money

Monsanto long used the slogans, "It's Safer than Mowing," "Biodegradable," and "Environmentally Friendly" to describe Roundup -- until the real effects of this toxic herbicide were revealed and they were forced to discontinue their deceptive advertising. As always, their ultimate goal remains to protect their lucrative profits and virtual monopoly over GM crops and related herbicide use.

In 2010, glyphosate-based herbicides including Roundup brought in more than $2 billion in sales for Monsanto.

As Green Left Weekly reported:

"All Monsanto's talk about the ecological and humanitarian miracles of its chemicals and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is so much hot air, says Marie-Monique Robin in The World According To Monsanto.

The reduction of pesticide pollution, the end of world hunger, plants producing biodegradable plastics, corn containing antibodies against cancer -- none of these promised GMO solutions have been delivered.

This is because what really matters to Monsanto, as Robin documents, is control of the world seed market and the genetic engineering of those seeds to be resistant to, and therefore dependent on, Roundup, Monsanto's herbicide with the real miracle; gigantic profits."

Unfortunately, as it stands Monsanto is set to introduce even more GM crops to the marketplace, with their latest creation -- soybeans genetically modified to produce omega-3 fats -- just one FDA approval away.

Will the EPA Take Action Before it's Too Late?

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is finally looking into the damaging effects of glyphosate on humans and the environment and plans to make a decision regarding its future by 2015. At that time, Roundup could either continue to be used as it is now, be required to have some modifications to its use or be banned from use entirely in the United States.

Hopefully they will not continue their history of leniency with the chemical. As Reuters reported:

"Though the Food Quality Protection Act requires the EPA to use an extra tenfold (10X) safety factor to protect infants and children from effects of the pesticide, the agency determined there was adequate data available to show that the margin of safety for glyphosate could be reduced to only a 1X factor."

The potential health ramifications of these worldwide experiments with our food supply are frightening to say the least. And unfortunately the EPA will NOT be conducting its own studies for the glyphosate review, but rather will be reviewing data that comes from the agricultural chemicals industry, including Monsanto, Syngenta, Dow Chemical and BASF. Industry-funded studies are notorious for being biased in favor of the corporate side, so only time will tell whether the EPA's review will be beneficial for public health and the environment -- or big business.

In the meantime, if you care about the health and future of your family, I strongly urge you to refuse to participate in this destructive trend and help to give Monsanto the boot.

By boycotting all GM foods and instead supporting organic (and local) farmers who do not use Monsanto's GM seeds, you are using your wallet to make your opinions known.

Most people want to avoid GMOs but it is virtually impossible to do so, since the government prevents GMO labeling.

However, Jeffrey Smith has compiled a resource for you to avoid the government block of information -- the free Non-GMO Shopping Guide. You can also print out the Non-GMO Shopping Guide and give it to your friends and family.

By making your shopping choices according to this guide, you can help ensure that Monsanto will fall further and further from public favor, until one day perhaps they will disappear from the radar entirely.

Major Threat to Human Fertility and Very Existence of Human Life on Earth

A long-term feeding study commissioned by the Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety confirms genetically modified (GM) corn seriously affects reproductive health in mice.

Non-GMO advocates, who have warned about this infertility link along with other health risks, now seek an immediate ban of all GM foods and GM crops to protect the health of humankind and the fertility of women around the world.

Feeding mice with genetically modified corn developed by the US-based Monsanto Corporation led to lower fertility and body weight, according to the study conducted by the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna. Lead author of the study Professor Zentek said there was a direct link between the decrease in fertility and the GM diet, and that mice fed with non-GE corn reproduced more efficiently.

Other studies have also found that offspring of rats fed GM soy showed a five-fold increase in mortality, lower birth weights, and the inability to reproduce.

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Austrian researchers have now confirmed a direct link between a decrease in fertility and a genetically modified diet. In order to protect the health of humankind and the fertility of women around the world, GM opponents are calling for an immediate ban of all GM foods and GM crops.

The highly reputable study, which was commissioned by the Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety, managed by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Health, Family and Youth, and carried out by Veterinary University Vienna, found significant litter size and pup weight decreases in the third and fourth litters in the GM-fed mice, compared to the control group.

The GM product in question is corn genetically modified with genes that produce a pesticidal toxin, as well as genes that allow it to survive applications of Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup. Yet, this is far from the only GM crop you need to avoid.

Jeffrey Smith, author of Seeds of Deception and Genetic Roulette, has documented 65 serious health risks from GM products of all kinds. Among them:

• Offspring of rats fed GM soy showed a five-fold increase in mortality, lower birth weights, and the inability to reproduce
• Male mice fed GM soy had damaged young sperm cells
• The embryo offspring of GM soy-fed mice had altered DNA functioning
• Several US farmers reported sterility or fertility problems among pigs and cows fed on GM corn varieties
• Investigators in India have documented fertility problems, abortions, premature births, and other serious health issues, including deaths, among buffaloes fed GM cottonseed products

Genetically modified foods are, from my perception, one of the largest threats that we have against the very sustainability of the human race.

Although Monsanto doesn’t believe (or admit) this is a possibility, their shortsighted focus on profits is blinding them to the very real threats that this technology is posing to the viability of the human race.

No One Knows What Devastation is Yet to Come

No one knows the full extent of what happens to the end product when you splice in new genes, and then eat that product for several generations. The only thing that is guaranteed is that it will create surprise side effects … However, according to Smith’s research, what we do know is that between 1994 and 2001 -- the same time that GMO’s flooded the market – food related illnesses DOUBLED.

GMO foods can be:

• Allergenic
• Toxic
• Carcinogenic
• Anti-nutritional

It may also create brand new diseases that we’ve never seen before, in addition to spurring on the disease rate of some we already have, such as cancer.

Dr. Mae-Wan Ho of the Institute of Science in Society (ISIS) explains the heart of why GM foods are so dangerous:

“The genome is remarkably dynamic and ‘fluid’, and constantly in conversation with the environment,” Dr. Ho writes. “This determines which genes are turned on, when, where, by how much and for how long. Moreover, the genetic material itself could also be marked or changed according to experience, and the influence passed on to the next generation.”

But when genetically modified “rogue genes” are inserted into a genome, it cannot possibly mimic the complex processes -- the “dance of life” -- that’s necessary for survival in nature.

“The rogue genes inserted into a genome to make a GMO could land anywhere; typically in a rearranged or defective form, scrambling and mutating the host genome, and have the tendency to move or rearrange further once inserted, basically because they do not know the dance of life,” Ho says. “That’s ultimately why genetic modification doesn’t work and is also dangerous.”

Choosing to Avoid GM Foods

The major GM crops are:

• Soy
• Corn
• Cottonseed
• Canola

The offspring of these products include items such as maltodextrin, soy lecitin, and high fructose corn syrup. Other GMO products include:

• Some varieties of zucchini, crookneck squash, and papayas from Hawaii
• Milk containing rbGH
• Rennet (containing genetically modified enzymes) used to make hard cheeses
• Aspartame (NutraSweet)

Avoiding GM products in your diet means avoiding all of these ingredients, or choosing organic versions of them. This is not an easy task, especially if you eat processed food, so to get an idea of how widespread these ingredients are, download this Non-GMO Shopping Guide, which uses information from the Center for Food Safety and Institute for Responsible Technology that you can get for free.

You can also further educate yourself, your friends and your family on the real threat GM foods pose to your health by watching, and sharing, The Future of Food. It is perhaps one of the most important videos on this subject, and one that everyone in America should watch and pass on to others.

There's nothing they are leaving untouched: the mustard, the okra, the bringe oil, the rice, the cauliflower. Once they have established the norm: that seed can be owned as their property, royalties can be collected. We will depend on them for every seed we grow of every crop we grow. If they control seed, they control food, they know it -- it's strategic. It's more powerful than bombs. It's more powerful than guns. This is the best way to control the populations of the world. The story starts in the White House, where Monsanto often got its way by exerting disproportionate influence over policymakers via the "revolving door". One example is Michael Taylor, who worked for Monsanto as an attorney before being appointed as deputy commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1991. While at the FDA, the authority that deals with all US food approvals, Taylor made crucial decisions that led to the approval of GE foods and crops. Then he returned to Monsanto, becoming the company's vice president for public policy.

Thanks to these intimate links between Monsanto and government agencies, the US adopted GE foods and crops without proper testing, without consumer labeling and in spite of serious questions hanging over their safety. Not coincidentally, Monsanto supplies 90 percent of the GE seeds used by the US market. Monsanto's long arm stretched so far that, in the early nineties, the US Food and Drugs Agency even ignored warnings of their own scientists, who were cautioning that GE crops could cause negative health effects. Other tactics the company uses to stifle concerns about their products include misleading advertising, bribery and concealing scientific evidence.

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