Volatility

March 1, 2016

Let’s Drink to Abolition

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GMWatch asks: Glyphosate in German beer: What does it mean?, in response to the news that in spite of Germany’s rigorous Reinheitsgebot (Beer Purity Law) all 14 brands tested by the Munich Environmental Institute contained varying levels of glyphosate residue, many quite high. GMW answers in terms of getting opinions from some unnamed scientists, asking them to interpret the health implications in light of the findings of the 2009 Gasnier study which established that “small amounts of glyphosate herbicides had cytotoxic effects, and were genotoxic and endocrine disruptors in human cell lines.” The scientists answered conservatively that it’s hard to tell what the health effects might be from drinking these kinds of beers, although the levels are far above Europe’s “tolerance” levels for drinking water. They did say that for anyone who drinks a lot of beer it could be a significant source of the poison, and that beer produced from ingredients in other countries may be even more toxified.
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When I saw the question I asked first, where does the residue come from? Under the German law these brewers wouldn’t be importing Roundup Ready ingredients. But they could be using barley or hops which have been subject to burn-down spraying. There’s one possible source. Perhaps even more ominous, it could be a result of the increasing omnipresence of glyphosate in our drinking water. Maybe it got into the beer from the water. GMWatch recommends drinking organic beer which can’t legally use pesticide-sprayed crop ingredients (though the USDA does allow a percentage of the EPA’s tendentious “tolerance” levels under the organic certification here in the US). But water quality is often a loophole in organic production. In the US water is assumed to be water for organic purposes and doesn’t have to be tested for poison residues.
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The point today is that our water supply in general is increasingly being poisoned by everything from agricultural and industrial chemicals, to fallout from CAFOs and industrial and transportation sources of air pollution, to fracking and other extraction activities. Glyphosate’s omnipresence in what’s supposed to be legally purified German beer is just the latest measure of how nothing’s sacred any more. Environmental poisons are no respecters of our rule of law, no conformists to our law and order. Until we abolish glyphosate by whatever means necessary, this cancer bringer is going to become an ever more intimate part of our lives, an ever more physical element of our bodies.
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The mainstream reformers continue to sigh that they don’t know, and their constrained horizon has no answer but the mythical “better testing”. In fact we do know glyphosate is an endocrine disruptor at these allegedly low residue levels (low only according to the false “tolerance” level the corporations dictate to the regulators; tolerance levels have zero scientific legitimacy and are pure propaganda memes) and that it causes cancer and birth defects even at such low doses. We know there is no safe level of glyphosate use, and we know there’s no reason for humanity to allow glyphosate to be used at all, since it’s a proven failure at all the things it’s claimed to do. Therefore we need no further testing, and we would be crazy to sit around waiting for “US regulators [who] have just begun to get together a battery of tests, though they are years off completing them.” Indeed, to even contemplate such a wait could only be procrastination on the part of those who are too afraid to draw the necessary conclusions. There’s no moral, rational, or practical alternative to complete abolition as fast as possible. No one can reasonably dispute the need to abolish glyphosate completely with all deliberate speed.

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