Renewable Farming

Monsanto president deflects mother’s health concerns on Roundup at stockholders’ meeting

A detailed report by Moms Across America founder Zen Honeycutt (visit this link) reveals the sharp contrast between mothers’ health concerns on glyphosate and the continued assurance by Monsanto president Hugh Grant that Roundup has been, and continues to be, a safe and carefully approved product.

Jan 28,2017 By Jerry Carlson — Zen questioned Hugh Grant at a stockholder’s meeting of only about 60 people at a Monsanto research facility in St. Louis. Her questions, and the assuring answers offered from Monsanto’s side, sharply define the conflict between health-concerned mothers and corporate methods of downplaying those concerns.


Zen Honeycutt with Anne Temple, Moms Across America MidWest leader

Several laboratory analyses have detected glyphosate residues in human mothers’ milk. Other studies have found glyphosate in vaccines. Some of these were done at a widely respected St. Louis laboratory, Microbe Inotech.  Yet Hugh Grant simply responded to Honeycutt by saying, “There is absolutely no scientific evidence that glyphosate is present in breast milk and vaccines.”

The interchange between Mrs. Honeycutt and Mr. Grant highlights some fascinating facts about the new dynamics of conflicts with corporations in an internet-connected world.

1. Most important: Corporate and media news “gatekeepers” can no longer effectively spike the story of struggles between truth and falsehood. Suppression and ignoring and denial don’t last long. Zen’s report was instantly available worldwide, even if newspapers and farm publications ignore it from anxieties over their advertising source.  

Multiple web outlets are picking up and commenting on Zen’s report. An early example is this analysis on the Food Integrity Now site.

2. The credibility of major corporations, or their minor challengers, can erode much more quickly in a public debate. We’re even seeing mothers and other citizens in China challenging their government’s pro-GMO attitude. Respectable, solidly based research from contrarian scientists doesn’t get quashed easily by dismissive corporate chiefs. There’s a wealth of such in-depth research in the book by Steven Druker: Altered Genes, Twisted Truth.

3. Conclusive fact-finding on the broad safety issues of transgenic food and the chemicals linked with it will most likely build outside U.S. regulatory agencies and corporations, which are persisting in their claims of biotech safety and promise. When consumers reject those products and seek out alternatives, marketers will follow.  So will alert food producers. That’s happening most clearly in more than 60 nations outside the United States which reject or restrict GMO foods and related chemicals.

Bottom line for farmers: The minority who lead the adoption curve for non-biotech, safe food are the ones we’re seeing as most enthused, and usually the most profitable. We enjoy working with the survivors.