March 9, 2017

Glyphosate Reviews Within the Corporate Science Paradigm


One World

Greenpeace is accusing the European Chemical Agency (ECHA), whose opinion on the cancerousness of glyphosate is supposed to be imminent, of “conflict of interest” because its panel members also operate as “risk assessment consultants” for the industry.
As a system NGO, when Greenpeace says “conflict of interest” they’re referring to conventional corruption of “public servants” who are paid also by the industry they’re supposed to be regulating in accordance with scientific method.
Our abolitionist analysis is much deeper and more comprehensive than this, of course. While this kind of corruption is common, it’s epiphenomenal compared to the overall ideological and methodological framework of technocracy and the corporate science paradigm. Cadres of an agency like the ECHA, or the US EPA, FDA, and USDA, operate according to the corporate/technocratic template. Its three components are:
1. The corporate power/profit project is normative. It is the primary purpose of civilization. Under no circumstance can any other value or alternative project be allowed significantly to hinder the corporate project.
This has profound implications for actions like a pesticide cancer review. For technocratic regulators to acknowledge the fact that all synthetic pesticides cause widespread cancer would significantly hinder the corporate project. Therefore even the prospect of such acknowledgement is ruled out a priori. By definition it cannot be part of the review. Only the most grossly excessive and obvious carcinogenicity on the part of a particular chemical could be acknowledged even in principle. When outfits like the US EPA or the EU’s EFSA claim to believe that glyphosate is not cancerous, this is not according to any rational or scientific canon of evidence, and reformers who interpret it this way make a mistake about the fundamental character of these organizations.
Rather, technocratic regulators apply the canon of the corporate paradigm. According to this canon “causes cancer” is defined as: “So grossly carcinogenic that it’s politically impossible to deny it, to the point that lack of action would in itself be significantly bad for business.”
This is the template’s second component.
2. Given the strictures of (1), the regulator may if absolutely necessary impose limits on the most excessive harms and worst abuses. More often, it only pretends to do even this. Which leads to the template’s third component.
3. The regulator then puts its imprimatur on the corporate project as having been sufficiently regulated for safety. According to the ideology of technocracy and bureaucracy, the people are supposed to believe implicitly in the competence, rigor, and honesty of the regulator. They’re supposed to believe this for all measures of safety, public and environmental health, political and socioeconomic benefit and lack of harm.
All this is based on a Big Lie, since as we described above the regulator actually functions only according to the normative values of corporate power. But it fraudulently claims, always implicitly and very often explicitly, that it has acted on behalf of human values and to protect and serve the people. Therefore the people should repose implicit trust in the regulator, not assert themselves democratically in any kind of grassroots way, and most of all not start to think in any political terms which would be based on fundamentally different values and goals, values and goals opposed to those of corporate rule and technocracy.
Thus we see how technocracy is an ideology, method, and form of government which is fundamentally anti-democratic and anti-political as such since it is dedicated to the proposition that the people should relinquish all political activity and passively receive and believe the judgements of technocratic regulators. This system is based fundamentally on the Big Lie that it actually is a form of democracy and a form of society which encourages the political participation of the people. But in fact it conjures only sham versions of these and seeks aggressively to discourage and suppress any true politics.*
We see how the corporate state and technocracy, along with their allied economic ideology of neoliberalism, exist as species within the same genus as classical fascism. This is the genus of pseudo-democratic forms bled of all real political content which then stand as cultural facades behind which exists only state tyranny. Today’s corporate state is the most fully evolved form of this tyranny.
This site’s ultimate project is to oppose this tyranny. One prerequisite for such opposition is to understand what modern regulatory agencies truly are, and to renounce all faith in and support for them. As abolitionists one of our goals is completely to demolish all claims to legitimacy and authority of such agencies as the ECHA or US EPA. The destruction of such misguided faith is necessary for the people to conceive and commit to the necessary new ideas.
Toward that necessity, we need to substitute the more comprehensive analysis for the superficial and shallow “conflict of interest” and “corruption” notion. Corporate regulators, by their inherent nature, do not have conflicts of interest because their one and only interest is the corporate client. Everything else they claim about themselves is a lie.
The same Big Lie encompasses their ideology and propaganda of “science”. To take today’s example, the Greenpeace indictment specifically focuses on the ECHA panelists doubling as industry “risk assessment” consultants. We can leave aside the more vulgar modes of corruption though these too are common. Far more important, the entire concept, ideology, and methodology of “risk assessment” is based on the corporate profit endeavor as normative and therefore thinks, at most, in terms only of worst-case scenarios, never the omnipresent, chronic, daily harms and crimes of the corporate project. The official ideology of the US EPA is based on managing the human cancer and other tortures it and its corporate client inflict, via the concept of pesticide and cancer “tolerances”. This word should be taken literally: It means how much cancer can the corporate system cause before the magnitude becomes politically dangerous enough that the regulator needs to take evasive action, starting with sham reviews and lies meant to put the people back to sleep.
The European and US government establishment, along with the corporate media, reached this crisis point with glyphosate in 2015 because of the rogue action (from the corporate system’s point of view) of the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). The IARC, like some individual scientists, acted according to canons of the scientific method instead of the corporate science paradigm. This caused them to issue the scientific judgement that glyphosate causes cancer. The EFSA and EPA since then have carried out their propaganda function. They’ve lied about the evidence and lied about their canons of evidence.
(Although the WHO as a whole has been consistently pro-corporate, the IARC is out of step with the dominant corporate/reductionist ideological framework, instead emphasizing environmental factors in cancer causation: “Emphasis is placed on elucidating the role of environmental and lifestyle risk factors and studying their interplay with genetic background in population-based studies and appropriate experimental models. This emphasis reflects the understanding that most cancers are, directly or indirectly, linked to environmental factors and thus are preventable.”
The proposition that cancer is preventable runs directly counter to the dominant “science” ideology which views cancer as arising from genetic determinism and which conceives the acceptable response to be massively expensive and interventionist cures supervised by Big Drug and other corporate sectors. This ideology is driven by the need of the poison-peddling corporations to obscure and deny the fact that profitable products like glyphosate are in fact major cancer drivers. The corporate flacks are abetted by scientism’s religious zealots who refuse to hear any evil spoken of their technological objects of cult worship.)
The IARC also is a pro-science renegade in that it assesses only the scientific public record, which according to Popperian canons is by definition the only scientific record. But the EFSA, EPA, and (we can expect) the ECHA adhere to an exactly upside-down, anti-scientific canon of “secret science”. Secret science of course is a contradiction in terms. By definition, if it’s not part of the public record and open to public perusal, analysis, and debate, it’s not part of science.
Today’s corporations, governments, universities, the mainstream media, and the scientific establishment all exalt the perverse notion of “secret science”. This means that we can reject their entire paradigm as, by definition, anti-science and not part of science. This underlies any specific evils of the lies being protected by the secrecy.
We abolitionists, in response, assume that anti-scientific secrecy automatically indicates the corporation and/or regulator has zero scientific evidence which supports them, and that what evidence they do have must prove the extreme harmfulness of the corporate product. In this case, the evidence for glyphosate’s cancerousness which Monsanto and the EPA actually possess is likely far worse even than the conclusive amount which has leaked out.
We see how technocratic regulators, in general and where it comes to specifics such as “risk assessment”, the cadre as a whole as well as specific agents, whether or not particular agents have conflicts of interest and/or are conventionally corrupt, all are part of the corporate science paradigm and therefore are anti-science and anti-democracy, according to Popperian canons of scientific method and the open society.
*This same corporate-technocatic template can be applied to the STEM establishment, the mainstream media, much “alternative” media, system NGOs, system political parties, and electoralism as such. The details may vary, never the broad function: To conserve the indoctrination that corporate rule is normative, as much as possible to render this water in which we swim implicit and imperceptible, where necessary to reinforce the indoctrination with propaganda, where necessary to offer sham “reforms” and sham pseudo-political “options”, all toward the goal of rendering truly political thought and action extremely difficult, preferably unthinkable.
Help propagate these ideas.


  1. Dear Russ:

    Many of those, in Western Oregon, who have familiarized themselves with the wide use of aerially applied herbicides on the increasingly ubiquitous and very large clear cuts imposed upon the private industrial timber lands of our Coast Range and West Slope Cascades watersheds, understand your description of these so-called regulatory/protective entities all too well. As the volunteer conservation chair for a local environmental non-profit, I know from personal experience just how nearly pointless it is for our group or for any citizen impacted by this spraying, to appeal for protection to the Federal EPA, or, effectively, from any state agency.

    A regional entity, Beyond Toxics, held a very well attended speaking event at the Douglas County (self styled timber capitol of the nation) Library in April of 2015. Following the slide presentation and presentations by various speakers, including from state agencies, many questions remained unanswered. Speakers from the Oregon DEQ and Department of Agriculture explained some of what is known and unknown about the herbicides regularly sprayed across our watersheds. Sometimes up to five of these chemicals and their inert ingredients are combined by industrial timber operators into “witches brews” that are applied by helicopter, untested. At the forum, these state professionals warned such combinations can be “synergistic,” whereby their effects are magnified, with unknown (and potentially toxic) consequences for wildlife and humans.

    Judging from letters to the editor and guest editorials published in the local news paper, industrial timber was deeply offended (threatened?), and highly critical of the forum. I wonder why?

    We do know atrazine, developed by the Swiss corporation Syngenta, is banned in Switzerland and the entire European Union. A study sponsored by Syngenta found exposure to atrazine, in minute amounts, can have very damaging effects on living beings, amphibian and mammalian. Among other harms, atrazine is a proven endocrine disruptor. Another speaker at the forum presented conclusive evidence, supported by state inspections, that atrazine sprayed onto a clear cut near Tiller, Oregon (4/16/14), drifted onto neighboring properties and into nearby Jackson Creek, despite ideal weather conditions and an OK from a state inspector, who gave the go-ahead to spray. Following cries of dismay and alarm from neighboring home owners, and even after a heavy rain and a delay of a few days, state inspectors found traces of atrazine on neighboring properties and strong evidence that it had found its way into the water of Jackson Creek, a salmon bearing stream. Good neighbors, indeed!

    2, 4-D is another herbicide “helicoptered” onto clear cuts across our watersheds. Once associated with the infamous Agent Orange, 2, 4-D contains TCDD dioxins, characterized by one researcher, biology professor S.M. Jamal of the University of North Dakota, as perhaps the single most toxic chemical ever known to man. He further states that TCDD dioxins have “…awesome degenerative power that could cripple, cause cancer, and kill experimental animals at exceedingly low doses.”

    While it is true that an EPA study published in June of 2016, indicated the likelihood of widespread contamination and potential health impacts from the extensive use of atrazine, it remains to be seen if effective regulatory action will take place. Such a desirable outcome as the complete banning of atrazine is, of course, both desirable and necessary. Given the recent election and changing of the guard at EPA, one can only wonder if this will ever happen. Those of your readers, Russ, who are new to this alarming state of affairs can learn more about the corruption at EPA that allows this to persist, by reading the well researched book, Poison Spring, by E.G. Vallianatos (Bloomsbury, 2014).

    Joseph Patrick (Pat) Quinn
    Camas Valley, Oregon

    Comment by Joseph Patrick Quinn — March 9, 2017 @ 1:31 pm

    • Thanks Joseph. There’s the insanity in its most concrete, harrowing detail. History will someday stand dumbfounded that the people actually stood there and let such poisons be sprayed on their and their children’s food, into their water and air, slathered literally all over their bodies and homes, and most people just stood there and regarded that as normal, rather than a clear and present mass murder campaign which must be fought to the death immediately.

      In all of history there’s never been anything even remotely approaching such mass insanity. Nothing comes close.

      I second the recommendation of Poison Spring, as fine an introduction to what the EPA is and its history as one is likely to find. It’s not only well researched, Vallianatos was there for years, seeing it all from the inside, with mounting horror.

      Comment by Russ — March 9, 2017 @ 2:02 pm

  2. […] to the necessary ideas and to organizing for these ideas. But we must never regress to faith in discredited enemy organizations. Thus where we have evidence of discord at the EPA we use it to demonstrate that the evidence […]

    Pingback by The Regulators’ Rearguard Fight for the Cancer Poisons | Volatility — March 17, 2017 @ 8:02 am

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