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April 28, 2017

You Can’t Keep Scamming People Who Don’t Want to Be Scammed

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Corporations and reformers always come together for what matters most.

 
 
(This is just a short piece. It’s a foretaste of a longer treatment I have in the works dealing with the pathology of hankering for “more and better testing.”)
 
 
We see where the seemingly permanent rut of fetishizing “more data” and “more testing” gets one. After endless begging by people who aren’t capable of understanding what the EFSA’s cover-up means and going from there, the EFSA finally, grudgingly, released a portion of its hitherto “secret science” to a few carefully selected scientist and public advocate recipients. The result, according to Corporate Europe Observatory’s survey of the collaborating scientists:
 
“The data is very difficult to handle and cannot be used for publication, making it impossible for scientists to use.”
 
In other words it’s a scam which has found all too many voluntary collaborators and all too few intelligent and principled denouncers. This was predictable and predicted. Any scientist with integrity would boycott this fake “disclosure” and publicly denounce it as a scam, for the exact reasons detailed in this piece.
 
Here’s a brief description of the EFSA’s “disclosure”: The documents are image PDFs which cannot be machine-searched or used with other software; the documents are grossly redacted, including the summary, methodology and conclusions; the release came with a threat that any recipient who publishes any part of it might be sued by the industry for violating intellectual property law. “So we did not publish it for now…”
 
To correct the headline, this most definitely is not “better than nothing”, it is worse, nor “could [it] in principle allow limited scrutiny on the agency’s glyphosate assessment work, and some insights”. Why anyone would be willing to settle for “limited scrutiny” is beyond me, but at any rate we see how it doesn’t allow even that, but rather scrutiny skewed according to Monsanto’s specifications.
 
But instead of dealing with this as the self-evident fraud it is, the piece and the collaborating scientists treat it as some kind of brain teaser.
 
 
What’s truly disturbing about even the seemingly more honest and socially responsible scientists isn’t just their bottomless political naivete which allows them to be so easily manipulated this way, but the way incidents like this highlight how existentially corrupt even they are. Any true scientist automatically rejects “secret science” as inadmissible by definition and rejects anything short of 100% public disclosure as unacceptable. This is non-negotiable, and no true scientist or public advocate would collaborate in any kind of fraud which flouts this non-negotiable baseline. But here we see yet again how our “reformers” endorse secret science, consider its existence negotiable and acceptable, and merely decry some “excesses”. Many of them see themselves as part of the technocratic elite and merely want to be accepted by the corporate establishment. That’s why they’re willing to serve as specially selected recipients of otherwise still secret information instead of demanding full public release as non-negotiable. To use a metaphor commonly used by political traitors to describe themselves, they merely want “a seat at the table” and nothing more. This is yet another proof of wanting to make a deal to co-exist with Monsanto.
 
I’m not aware of any of the specially selected recipients who rejected the release on the grounds I cite here. Evidently Monsanto selected the recipients well.
 
And to repeat the obvious fact of rationality and political tactics, secret science and covering up the facts is strict automatic proof that whatever evidence the corporations and regulators have is adverse to the product. Therefore the very fact that Monsanto and the EFSA have felt the need to resort to secrecy is proof that they know or suspect glyphosate causes cancer. It’s a clear admission of guilt on their part.
 
The tactical implications are obvious for anyone who’s really serious about abolishing these poisons and not just blowing smoke. We relentlessly denounce the system for its secrecy and, as I just did here, emphasize how secret science in itself is proof of the harmfulness of the product. As a matter of course we demand complete publication and a complete end to the cover-up. But since we know from history that any concession from the regulator and/or corporation will be fraudulent, we pre-emptively reject, on principle, anything short of full, 100% uncensored public disclosure, and we refuse any cooperation with any such scam. On the contrary, we redouble the condemnation. The EFSA’s fake disclosure only proves further that whatever they’re hiding damns glyphosate.
 
To restate the basic fact: We have far more than enough evidence which rationally proves that glyphosate causes cancer. By the strict proof of the system’s cover-ups and secret science and systematic refusal to conduct legitimate safety studies we also have proof that governments and corporations know or believe that glyphosate causes cancer. We don’t need more evidence, we need much better and more relentless, disciplined, cumulative communication of the evidence we do have.
 
This is also true of all other pesticides, all of which are cancer agents. And it’s true of glyphosate’s many other health ravages. And it’s true of GMOs. In these cases as well, the rote call for “more testing”, “better testing”, is at best procrastination on the part of those who have no idea what to do. In many cases it’s worse than this, intentional delaying and gate-keeping tactics.
 
 
 
The only thing the EFSA’s fake disclosure accomplished was to provide yet another lesson in how lukewarm most critics of poisonism still are. The EFSA hopes it’ll also allay some of the weaker-minded criticism and reassure the public. Those who collaborate are trying to assist the EFSA and Monsanto in this.
 
I’ll close with the observation that this isn’t just about the abolition struggle. Anyone who cares about the integrity of science itself must regard the campaign of secret science as an abhorrent scourge. Here too one must be an abolitionist. At the very least, one must never be weak, wavering, willing to compromise and collaborate on such a fundamental point. This point on secret science is so fundamental that anyone who would compromise here certainly would compromise anywhere and has no firm principle at all. It’s clear, on both practical and principled grounds, that the one and only valid position on “secret science” is total rejection and refusal to countenance anything short of 100% public transparency.
 
Have I been too severe in this piece? Well, we’ll see if anyone learns a lesson from the incident and publicly expresses that lesson. But if they persist on their “more and better testing” co-existence course, we already know the truth. Persistence Proves Intent, always.
 
 
 
 

April 20, 2017

Destinies: Dependent and Independent of Corporate Domination

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All corporate security is the same.

 
 
This is true, spoken by an EU Green Parliament member against the European Food Safety Agency: “It is not your destiny to be independent. You rely on studies by industry. You have no means of commissioning independent studies….Stop pretending you are an independent institution.” That’s about the best we can expect from electoral representatives within the corporate system, from parties dedicated to “reforming”, i.e. preserving, the corporate system. In the end the goal of electoralism is the same as the goal of regulatory agencies, to ensure that all possible destinies remain within the bounds of corporate domination.
 
One of the tasks of the abolitionists, and of all who seek a human destiny free of corporate rule is to use such facts (the EFSA’s complete subservience to industry, as detailed for the millionth time in the piece linked above; here’s more) and such testimony to go one better and speak, not within the elitist framework as those already within it always do (the above quote is not packaged rhetorically for the people but was directed at the EFSA’s chief), but directly to the people, speaking the much greater truth: We must renounce and obliterate religious faith in agencies like the EFSA or EPA and the inherently pro-poison regulatory model upon which they’re founded.
 
 
Unfortunately, system NGOs have an opposed ideology. GMWatch testifies:
 

GMWatch and many other NGOs, however, advocate that regulatory and expert advisory bodies like EFSA should not rely on studies directly sponsored by industry – but they also insist that the public should not pay for them.

The groups have long advocated a system whereby money for safety studies is provided by the industry that wishes to bring a product to market. The money would be paid into a publicly administered fund, which would use it to commission independent laboratories to carry out safety studies.

All results would have to be published on the Internet before the product came to market, putting an end to the current system whereby the studies are the proprietary data of industry and are kept secret.

Both EU laws and international agreements reached under the auspices of the OECD would need to be changed to accommodate the new system. But it is the bare minimum of reform that is needed to restore public trust in the regulatory framework for risky substances such as pesticides and GMOs.

 
And I wish I had a billion dollars. Indeed this goes into the territory of infantile fantasy. Where has this ever been done? Where has there ever existed such a political campaign, which would be designed like these NGOs and share their ideology, but be rather more assertive in action. Here’s the traits of such an organization:
 
**Pro-capitalist, pro-corporate, wanting to co-exist with poison-based agriculture but wanting really to regulate it, wonkish, enamored of complex funding and assessment mechanisms which nevertheless would maintain integrity, believing in the essential goodness of people even within the framework of profit-seeking and “competition”, possessing the political and cultural skill to communicate all this coherently to enough people to muster broad, active political support for this system, and most of all having the organizational strength, relentlessness, ruthlessness, and force of will necessary to remain permanently vigilant and at a state of high alert against the attrition and corruption of this bureaucratic system.**
 
Most astounding of all, many who believe in this fantastic Millennium (which has been disproven by the facts over and over) then turn around and claim they’re being “practical” while abolitionism is “unrealistic”. Nowhere has the insanity of modern politics more profoundly turned truth upside down and forced words to mean the opposite of what they really mean than where liberal and reformist types invert the words “practical” and “pragmatic” to mean their exact opposite, the most extreme, impossible fantasies.
 
 
In fact such fantasy isn’t the real goal of these NGOs, but merely is religious cant they ritually recite. If you have any doubt about how NGOs like GMWatch consider their mission really to be propping up faith in the corporate system, Monsanto and all, whether they’re conscious of this or not, read again the final line in that quote: “[I]t is the bare minimum of reform that is needed to restore public trust in the regulatory framework for risky substances such as pesticides and GMOs.”
 
Quite a peculiar way of putting things, isn’t it? (And it’s not unusual; on the contrary it’s a desire they frequently express.) You might think the primary goal is the health of the people and environment, the safety of our food and water, with “the regulatory framework” being just one of many possible strategies toward this goal, to be assessed and used or not used depending upon whether or not it works. You might think “public trust in the regulatory framework” can be good or evil depending on what this framework really is and what it does, and must never be a goal in itself.
 
But this was not a mistaken formulation on their part. As the quote expresses, system NGOs truly do believe their primary goal is to keep the corporate project going, as I have written so many times in describing the corporate-technocratic regulatory template (most recently here). Therefore where it comes to regulation the number one priority of system NGOs is to prop up faith in the regulatory framework as such. Meanwhile the number one priority of the regulator is to ensure that the corporate project goes forward. The regulator may curb or more often only pretends to curb the worst “abuses”, while the NGO pretends to be vigilant in ensuring the regulator carries out its own pretense. Then both assure the public that everything is fine, the system is working as it should, corporate poisons are being deployed only in “safe” ways, and that everyone can go about their private lives and forget about public matters. Most of all, everyone can stop even thinking about politics. The regulator vouches for the corporation and, for the constituency among the people for whom the regulator’s word isn’t enough, the NGO vouches for the regulator. Thus the regulator is running a scam and the NGO is running a meta-scam, a scam squared. The goal is to ensure that all possible destinies remain within the corporate-normative paradigm.
 
We can go further. The system NGOs work to set up a technocratic, “expert”-brokered paradigm of “politics”, wherein the people are supposed to do nothing but assimilate the news as provided by the NGO, do politically only what the NGO tells them to do (usually sign petitions and sometimes “call your Congressman”), and of course keep sending money. The goal is to ensure that all possible political destinies remain within the corporate-normative framework.
 
 
We see how for system NGOs the regulatory model is the object of religious worship and its perpetuation the focus of all their activity. Thus, as GMWatch says here, the most important thing is to prop up public faith in the regulator at all costs and without reference to whether or not this system “works” toward any other goal. The formulation is clear: The regulatory system’s existence is the priority, what it actually does is of secondary importance at best. This follows perfectly the regulatory template I’ve discussed dozens of times. For recent discussions see here, here, and here.
 
And then this strain of the technocratic religion goes hand in hand with the religion of electoralism, “voting” as an object of religious worship rather than just a tactic toward a concrete goal. We see how in both cases the pseudo-political religion is ultimately opposed to abolitionism and to any movement which is honest, which has a concrete goal, and which embraces this goal as the non-negotiable priority, placing all else in the realm of tactics to be assessed in a purely practical, rational way.
 
We see the extreme difference and opposition between movements whose goal is concrete, and status quo religions like electoralism and regulator-ism whose non-negotiable goals are nothing but fog and diffusion: Voting as such, the regulatory model as such. For these the only real goal is to ensure that all possible political destinies remain within the corporate framework.
 
And then both of these cults are part of the broad infamy of neoliberalism, whose ideology is corporate-technocratic domination and whose strategy is to use the forms of democracy, not just to come to power in the first place as in the case of classical fascism, but to maintain power and become ever more totalitarian while using a minimum of direct, overt coercion and violence.
 
We see how electoralism turned out to be a world-historical mistake on humanity’s part. At least for the duration of the fossil-fuel era, we must understand that it can never be a value or goal in itself but only a tactic to be used or not according to circumstance.
 
As for the regulatory model, it always was transparently a fraud, and in any event the history of over a century is unequivocal. That’s especially true of the regulation of broadly deployed corporate poisons like agroechemicals. It’s been a long, long time since anyone could claim to be innocently mistaken about the likes of the EPA or EFSA. To still espouse faith in this model can only be terminal conformism, stupidity, and corruption. Most of all, it reveals that one is indelibly a technocracy believer and a believer in corporate rule. One believes only in destinies that are encompassed within the death zone of corporate dominion. That says it all, and whether or not one’s petty preference is then to attempt to “regulate” some “abuses” is just a minor detail, a consumerist lifestyle ornament. It has no political substance, and no relation to any reality-based, concrete, necessary goal such as the great need to abolish agricultural poisons. But only those who follow the paths of necessity can even envision a destiny independent of corporate domination and all its evils.
 
 
 
 
Help propagate the necessary ideas.
 
 
 

March 17, 2017

The Regulators’ Rearguard Fight for the Cancer Poisons

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Where Gothic really does mean death.

 
 
Today we live in fear of cancer, one of the great and insidious fears deeply delving, haunting the civilized psyche. We know that the power structures ranging uncannily above us like storm clouds, pelting us unpredictably with rain and winds, are insinuating this cancer through the industrial poisons they pump into our air, water, and food. We know this adds up to an existential incarceration and we fear we’re on death row. People don’t know what to do, which is why denial is the most common response. To those who struggle to overcome denial, the corporate state directs its propaganda campaigns.
 
The most directly potent cancer agents are the agricultural poisons. Humanity has no choice but to come together as a movement dedicated to abolishing these poisons. Nothing less can liberate us from the fear and the reality of cancer. So far this movement does not yet exist, only the necessary idea for it.
 
Once in awhile one of these poisons becomes the subject of a political flash point. Today glyphosate, one of the most cancerous agricultural poisons, is under fire. Even some governments and other system forces have been cutting ties with it. Where this happens we abolitionists must urge all effective anti-poison actions and use the situation for the greatest benefit 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 against the poisons is so extreme that even within the ranks of the enemy some are losing faith. But we must never give aid and comfort to reactionary notions about wanting to “reform” the regulator, or any version of wanting to resurrect faith in it. This is the main preoccupation of gatekeeper consumerist groups who really seek a deal with the corporations.
 
In the US the EPA has been the leader organizing and propagating lies and misinformation about glyphosate. This is a permanent EPA campaign which continues regardless of any merely cosmetic change of presidential administrations. All US presidents from Reagan onward have agreed to the EPA’s suppression of its knowledge that glyphosate causes cancer. All US presidents are therefore conscious, willful accomplices to this campaign of murder.
 
The EPA has been forced into damage mode by the rising tsunami against glyphosate. From the mainstream point of view, the milestone was the 2015 finding of the World Health Organization’s cancer research agency (IARC) that glyphosate causes cancer. According to secret Monsanto memos forced into the public light by ongoing litigation, the EPA tipped off Monsanto about the IARC’s upcoming finding and helped Monsanto prepare an attack. This included EPA officials working to prevent an investigation of glyphosate’s cancerousness by the Department of Health and Human Services, and academics agreeing to have their names placed on “scientific” papers actually written by Monsanto public relations cadres.
 
In April 2016 the EPA publicly released a document declaring glyphosate to be “unlikely to be carcinogenic to humans”, then withdrew it from public view. The memo publicly existed just long enough for Monsanto to tout it as an EPA formal public opinion. The EPA implicitly endorses this Monsanto characterization even as it claims the memo was posted inadvertently. This clearly is a lie.
 
What’s really happening is that the evidence of glyphosate’s cancerousness is so overwhelming that the EPA is scared to defend this position in full public view. Seeing how badly the EU’s EFSA has been floundering in public since its own formal declaration in 2015, the EPA has been unable to assemble a propaganda package it feels comfortable defending. That’s why it’s been stonewalling and resorting to such tricks as now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t with public releases. This has been nothing but an innuendo campaign meant to prop up the pro-glyphosate status quo without actually having to make a formal public declaration. The EPA knows it can never plausibly defend any such declaration, since it’s in the nature of the brazen pro-glyphosate lie that it can have no plausible content or evidence to justify it.
 
We’ve been getting more details about the EPA’s internal angst. According to a secret EPA memo leaked to a French magazine, there’s an internal dispute about the agency’s campaign to whitewash glyphosate. The EPA’s Office of Research and Development (ORD) accuses the Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP, the division which released and then suppressed the April 2016 memo) of using a reductive, anti-scientific measure instead of the internationally agreed scientific measure. All agencies including the EPA agree in principle to use a scale of five levels in assessing the cancerousness of a chemical, ranging from “carcinogenic” to “unlikely to be carcinogenic”. (The WHO’s cancer agency found glyphosate to be a “probable carcinogen”, the second most severe ranking.) According to the ORD’s memo, in practice the OPP drops this and applies a reductive Yes/No measure rigged always to give a No answer.
 
The OPP refuses to divulge the methodology it uses. This is because it really uses no method at all. It only starts with the dogma that it will whitewash the chemical, then engages in whatever convolution is necessary to reach this conclusion. Evidently these methodological convolutions are so contorted as to be laughable, which is why the EPA is refusing to release and stand by a public proclamation.
 
Meanwhile the EU continues to brazen ahead. Its Chemical Agency (ECHA) released its own declaration whitewashing glyphosate. This was written by a pro-industry panel in imitation of the prior BfR/EFSA declaration, which by the BfR’s own admission was nothing but a rewrite of a paper written by the Glyphosate Task Force, a de jure industry group. We see how in Europe the conveyor belt from Monsanto’s PR department to a regulatory finding has been completely mechanized, while the EPA’s procedure is more clumsy in action.
 
Nevertheless the EPA’s intent and result is the same: Whitewash glyphosate. Prop it up as long as possible. EPA performs this role most directly on behalf of Monsanto, the politically powerful corporation most precariously dependent upon glyphosate.
 
More broadly the EPA and its European counterparts have an ideological and power-conserving mandate to defend the entire regime of poison-based agriculture and maximize the use of poison. Therefore every fight for a particular high-profile poison is also the fight for all poisons.
 
Conversely, abolitionists must fight every particular cancer poison, which means all pesticides, and turn every fight against one poison to the fight against all poisons.
 
 
 
 
 
Help propagate these ideas.
 
 
 

March 10, 2017

Updates on the Poisonist Regulators

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It’s Green vs. Green, and the EPA exalts that of Mammon, not of the Earth

 
 
Yesterday we discussed further how examples of so-called “conflict of interest” highlight the fact that corporate regulators have no such conflict, since in principle as well as practice they exist to serve the corporate imperative. Therefore to fixate on superficial conflicts of interest and conventional notions of corruption is to mistake the character of the entity. Whether or not a soldier in your unit is pilfering from the ration depot is less important than the fact that he’s really an enemy officer wearing the wrong uniform. That’s how we have to understand the sham of a “public interest” regulator, as well as many other types of entities which claim to act in the public interest but really act only in the technocratic corporate interest.
 
Greenpeace has posted the ECHA’s response to its letter accusing the body of allowing conflicts of interest to ferment on its glyphosate review panel. This comes the same day as another public interest group, the US Right to Know, announced it is suing the EPA for that body’s flouting of USRTK’s many Freedom of Information Act requests.
 
EPA’s handling of its pro-glyphosate propaganda mandate has been especially brazen and clumsy. Last April its Cancer Assessment Review Committee (CARC) posted on the EPA website a memo whitewashing glyphosate’s cancerousness. EPA suppressed the post a few days later claiming it was supposed to be secret and had been posted inadvertently. In the meantime Monsanto copied the post and proceeded to tout it in public and in court, with full EPA approval.
 
Here the regulator’s pro-poison brazenness is extreme even by their standards. They post the fraudulent imprimatur, then quickly delete it claiming it’s not for public perusal, even as the corporation, with the regulator’s approval, publicizes this now-phantom imprimatur.
 
This proves that EPA’s phony “evidence” is so poor that even given the regulator’s extremely low standards, it doesn’t feel confident about posting even a sham assessment.
 
The ECHA also is nervous about how well its own lies will go over, to the point it didn’t issue the anticipated assessment on March 8th. The glyphosate panel meets again on the 15th.
 
The ECHA’s response letter to Greenpeace provides further evidence of our ongoing analysis. As we said yesterday a technocratic regulator like the ECHA has no concept of a conflict of interest, since it recognizes no value or goal other than the corporate imperative.
 
Greenpeace summarizes the five main points of the regulator’s position.
 

*ECHA explains how it manages specific conflicts of interest, but fails to address concerns about conflicts of interest that can affect ECHA’s overall work.

*Allowing experts to move freely between the private sector and public authorities, even if employment periods do not overlap, is the definition of revolving doors.

*Conflicts of interest related to industry consultancy cannot simply be declared. They must be ruled out.

*If an expert opinion in relation to regulatory processes can be omitted from the declaration of interests, the requirement to disclose such interests may as well be scrapped. These rules only make sense if they are enforced.

*Dependence on unpublished scientific evidence provided by industry calls into question the independence of scientific assessments conducted by European agencies.

 
(Note how Greenpeace itself insensibly parrots the enemy’s self-assessments, calling these usually ignorant and incompetent corporate operatives “experts”, and especially referring to secret science as “unpublished scientific evidence”. But secret science is a contradiction in terms and by definition is not scientific evidence. On the contrary, it’s evidence of nothing but the fact that the regulator is an indelible pro-corporate, pro-poison liar, an extension of industry. These examples are all too typical, and it’s a measure of the lack of political consciousness among anti-poison types. One measure of the mature evolution of a movement, much like a nation, is that it attains a coherent language and becomes disciplined in the use of that language. On the other hand to remain unconsciously mired in foreign terminology, especially using the terms imposed by one’s chauvinist oppressor, is the mark of immaturity and lack of political consciousness. Of course this lack of terminological consciousness and discipline is part of the same immaturity which remains mired in infantile “good civics” notions of what these regulatory agencies indelibly are. I’ve been writing these essays toward the goal of demolishing these notions and fostering movement evolution beyond them.)
 
 
Each of these five points highlights aspects of the true regulator character.
 
*”ECHA explains how it manages specific conflicts of interest, but fails to address concerns about conflicts of interest that can affect ECHA’s overall work.” In other words ECHA will, for cosmetic reasons, pretend to guard against the most brazen “conflicts”. But it does not in fact recognize such conflicts as having any real existence, and regards the combined corporate/regulator organism as normative and normal. This applies to each individual agent as much as it does to the agency as a whole. In its reply the ECHA explicitly says it regards this combined organism as normative “in principle” as well as desirable for practical reasons.
 
*”Allowing experts to move freely between the private sector and public authorities, even if employment periods do not overlap, is the definition of revolving doors.” As we’ve long known, regulators flat out do not consider the revolving door to be a problem. It’s a feature. It’s normative.
 
*”Conflicts of interest related to industry consultancy cannot simply be declared. They must be ruled out.” Since the regulator does not recognize any such conflict in the first place, it certainly will not regard anything more than a declaration as ever necessary, and even this only where it’s politically forced upon them.
 
Of course the regulator always points out that the system is designed to promote the combined public/private character of all institutions and personnel. Higher education is designed systematically to indoctrinate personnel into the corporate technocrat ideology, which is centered on the principle that the nominally “public” government exists to serve the corporations, which are indeed creations of government and extensions of government. These cadres proceed to careers where they’re completely immersed in the revolving door, the close collaboration of corporate and regulator operatives, and the complete dependency of the private sector on public subsidies. This relentlessly inculcates the technocratic mindset of the corporate state.
 
When we grasp this in its full magnitude, we see how picayune it is to think in terms of “conflicts of interest” and “corruption”. The entire technocratic system is predicated on one massive conflict between the corporate interest and the human interest. The entire system is one massive kleptocracy which views humanity and the Earth as literally nothing but a resource mine and waste dump. If we speak here of corruption we can speak only of corruption at the most extreme metaphysical level.
 
*”If an expert opinion in relation to regulatory processes can be omitted from the declaration of interests, the requirement to disclose such interests may as well be scrapped. These rules only make sense if they are enforced.” This refers to the ECHA’s fraudulent demarcation of “scientific positions” and propaganda (what it calls “influencing public debate”) as separate from one’s being “part of a regulatory, legislative, or judicial process.” Greenpeace correctly recognizes that where STEM cadres organize to issue a public statement about a current policy controversy, they are not acting as scientists nor are they merely exercising “freedom of opinion”, but are acting as political operatives and lobbyists, working to influence policy. The reference is to ECHA panelists who were signees of a public letter which regurgitated industry lies about endocrine disruptors. This propaganda campaign was part of the EU’s ongoing regulatory stonewall against enforcement of EU law which requires the banning of endocrine disruptors (i.e., all pesticides). This too is a typical example of the corporate/regulator combined organism.
 
The Nuremburg Tribunal took a rather different view of such “scientific positions” and “influencing public debate” which allegedly weren’t “part of a regulatory process.”
 
*”Dependence on unpublished scientific evidence provided by industry calls into question the independence of scientific assessments conducted by European agencies.” As we said above, there is no such evidence. The fact that the regulator is dependent upon the phantasmic “secret science” is proof that the industry and the regulator have literally zero science on their side, and that on the contrary the science is 100% against them, damningly so. Secrecy is, in fact, proof and an admission of the worst suspicions of critics. In this case, it is proof that glyphosate causes cancer and the ECHA knows it. Just as the EFSA and US EPA know it.
 
Of course the ECHA’s response is bogus in the conventional sense in that it doesn’t just operate according to Orwellian definitions of concepts like “conflict” but pretends to be using terms in the same way as its reformist interlocutor. Both strands of the lie are always operative. Both are core parts of technocracy’s culture of the lie.
 
But they couldn’t do this without willing collaborators. Organizations like Greenpeace seem committed to believing in the sham good-civics notion of public regulators, i.e. what gullible children are taught in the system schools. For all their talk of evidence, it seems they’ll never have enough evidence to reach the conclusion that an organization like the ECHA is an indelibly pro-industry, pro-poison organization, and was designed to be so in the first place. Compare if a public interest group wrote a letter to Monsanto’s CEO complaining that he cares about nothing but profit. Silly, isn’t it? But seriously-meant letters of complaint to pro-corporate regulators are the same thing. It’s fine to use such demands to unmask the regulator, the better to demolish its public credibility. But groups like this seem not to have this as their goal. They’re really naive enough to think they can “reform” the gangster organization. Similarly, USRTK seems sincerely to want these EPA materials even though EPA’s stonewalling is far more eloquent of the truth, and far more politically useful, than any release (no doubt heavily redacted) could ever be.
 
If humanity is ever to learn to fight, it must rouse itself from the consumerist, anti-political mire in which it currently wallows. It must transcend and renounce all consumerist consciousness and attain a true political consciousness.
 
One of the many litmus tests of this maturation is to evolve beyond the faith that regulators were ever supposed to be “public servants”, when this was always a lie. This lie always was obvious to anyone who cared to see with their own eyes.
 
 
 
 
 
Help propagate these necessary ideas.
 
 
 

March 9, 2017

Glyphosate Reviews Within the Corporate Science Paradigm

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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.
 
 

May 4, 2016

The EPA Parrots Monsanto

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The EPA posted online, then took back down, its laundered regurgitation of the Monsanto marketing department’s decree against the fact that glyphosate causes cancer. In reality glyphosate causes cancer as confirmed by all the science, this confirmation summed up by the WHO’s IARC in 2015. We now have the EPA’s own parroting of the EU’s earlier rubberstamp of industry lies. The fact is that the WHO’s cancer agency consulted all the science and nothing but the science, while the EPA, the German BfR, and the EU’s EFSA have literally zero science on their side and throw out all the legitimate science. They “assess” nothing but Monsanto’s marketing materials. In fact, among several other EPA documents posted and then taken down at the same time were summaries of three 2015 EPA consultations with Monsanto and a Monsanto slide show for EPA officials.
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Why did EPA post the thing now and then immediately retract it as “not yet final” when every page says “FINAL”? No doubt it was timed to influence the upcoming European vote on the relicensing of glyphosate. But why not post it and leave it up? This seems to indicate a lack of confidence at EPA, or maybe a lack of consensus on how to carry out pro-Monsanto strategy and tactics. Whatever’s going on with these idiots, they seem clumsy. If the idea is to bolster the EFSA’s political credibility with European state ministers by giving the EU’s agency EPA backup, how is this goal attained if the EPA immediately undercuts its own credibility by immediately retracting its own “final” report? According to the EPA’s own account they were incompetent and confused, as they claim they “inadvertently” posted all these documents, including stamping “FINAL” on every page of a report which they now claim is “not yet final”. All that’s been proven here is that the EPA can’t keep its own story straight for even a few hours, and that it lacks confidence in its own ability to sustain its contradiction of the fact that glyphosate causes cancer. It can get hard sometimes, committing crimes against humanity by systematically lying about these crimes.
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February 19, 2016

GMO News Summary February 19th, 2016

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*As was clear from the start, the number one pressing goal of the Grocery Manufacturers Association, Campbell’s, Mark Lynas, agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack, and the rest of the pro-Monsanto, anti-labeling brigade has been to prevent the Vermont labeling law from going into effect.
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Today we’re hearing from the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) of a new attempt at “compromise”, i.e. exactly the kind of scam I predicted all along. This is a version of what I call DARK Act Plan B. The idea is that since the original DARK Act which would directly preempt Vermont looks unable to pass in the Senate, the anti-Vermont forces with propaganda help from Gary Hirshberg (and probably the rest of industrial organic) will push for a two year Congress-imposed “delay” to prevent Vermont’s law from going into effect. This two years would then be used to get a more permanent preemption policy enacted, or for new lawsuits to be filed by the GMA, or to cause Vermont to wither and die in some other way. The OCA is right to be upset, although they too have been willing to waffle away from what used to be an uncompromising anti-preemption, pro-democracy position (i.e. for the state-level movement, against FDA preemption). Now we see where such waffling gets one.
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It’s always been clear that preemption is the absolute litmus test. To be uncompromisingly, unequivocally against preemption is a prerequisite for strong labeling, the right to know, and democracy. To be for preemption is to be against all these things, in principle and in practice.
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The history of preemption proves this, in the same way that the FDA’s history (especially where it comes to GMOs) proves its inability and unwillingness to enact or carry out a real labeling policy. These are examples of why pro-corporates hate history so much and do all they can to encourage people’s general anti-historical bent. Because movements which can’t be bothered to know their history set themselves up for assured failure.
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*A scientific panel of the French environmental ministry ANSES endorses the WHO’s finding that glyphosate is cancerous to humans. The environmental minister Segolene Royal publicly supports the panel and says she wants the agency to withdraw approval for glyphosate formulations, especially those containing the surfactant POEA. (There’s no rational or scientific difference between the so-called “active ingredient” in a pesticide or any other chemical product or drug, as opposed to the “inert ingredients”, which contrary to the English definition are often extremely toxic. Those two terms are purely ideological jargon meant to make the product seem less toxic than it is. In reality, commercial formulations are usually far more toxic than the nominally primary ingredient by itself. This is because the additional chemicals are there to render the primary ingredient more potent, and because these additional ingredients are often so poisonous in themselves. Plus any escalated synergy effect among these combined toxins. This is why corporations and regulators insist that only the so-called “active ingredient”, never the real-world formulation, be subject to whatever bogus testing they perform. It’s a scientific fraud and a public health crime. That’s how the BfR and EFSA were able to claim that the IARC was wrong about cancer, even as they admitted the evidence is there. They admitted that perhaps the commercial formulations may be carcinogenic. In other words they admitted that in real life glyphosate causes cancer. Royal and the ANSES panel are now taking what the EFSA said at face value and proceeding accordingly.) In 2015 Royal touted how proactive France allegedly is being, on the occasion of new legal restrictions on the sale of glyphosate at garden centers: “France must be on the offensive with regards to the banning of pesticides…I have asked garden centers to stop putting Monsanto’s Roundup on sale.” France also has bans or restrictions on aerial spraying of pesticides and spraying in parks.
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As I said in last week’s summary, the impetus is spreading gradually. Let’s get the glyphosate abolition campaign going and really intensify and accelerate the natural political momentum already gathering toward this necessary and inevitable goal.
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*More of the same proven-to-fail scams from corporate “environmentalist” front groups like the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), which issued this fluff piece. “Habitat exchange”, that’s their new term for the same old scam? Meanwhile the real goal is always the same for the likes of the EDF, to misdirect focus away from the need to ban glyphosate, period. Because that’s what groups like the EDF are there for, to make sure the corporate project always continues unhindered. Therefore the corporate environmental prescription is always of the same basic form: Allow the corporation to continue destroying, often in what the flacks themselves call a “sacrifice zone”. But make a deal to somehow “make up for” the destruction through something like a “carbon offset” or a “mitigation” where another piece of land is allegedly not destroyed, or is restored, or is “improved”. The scam is often bolstered with a phony application of the “island biogeography” concept, even though even in principle the fragment “conserved” in some mangled state doesn’t even remotely resemble a bona fide natural island habitat. Meanwhile the conservation is always a straight-up scam. Almost all projects endorsed under “offset”-type scams were going to be built anyway, and almost all which are mothballed were going to be mothballed anyway. The conserved fragment often ends up destroyed anyway and is always severely damaged. The greenhouse gas emissions, chemical poisoning, carbon sink destruction and biodiversity destruction continue unabated. The corporate “environmental” front groups give PR cover to it all. “Habitat exchange” joins this Orwellian parade of happy lies.
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The evidence has been piling up which associates the monarch decline more and more strongly with glyphosate, especially as farm subsidies increasingly encourage cultivation of “marginal” land. Studies have assembled this evidence. Of course a corporate group like the EDF is congenitally capable of thinking only in terms of, at best, rejiggering the subsidy system (as this piece advocates). But that’s already proven to be a failure in general, and more often a fraud. (Now if we could all get together to campaign to abolish industrial farm subsidies completely, that would really be something worthwhile) At any rate it’s intentional misdirection in order to diffuse focus and waste time. I bet Monsanto’s hoping the monarch will go extinct ASAP so they can stop having to hear about it and everyone else will forget about it. We can take it to the bank that if we do anything but the opposite of what the likes of the EDF propose, we’ll lose the monarch in no time.
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*The whistleblower controversy at the USDA is blossoming into a bona fide scandal requiring even the attention of the department’s inspector general. Now the inquiry is expanding to take in animal abuse at USDA labs. Gratuitous neglect and abuse of animal subjects will automatically follow when the sociopathic commitment of a system reaches a certain point (today’s corporate regulators are way past that point), just as the scientists empowered by the Nazis to experiment upon human subjects in the concentration camps quickly went beyond the nominal scientific purposes of the research and started gratuitously inflicting pain and death, just for the hell of it, as a form of “pure science”. I think this fact is key for understanding everything that’s happening today, and where the vector is headed.
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*In recent years the agrochemical industry has wearily confessed that it has no ideas for new herbicide “modes of action” to combat the increasingly triumphant superweeds which GMOs are producing. “Growers think there will be something over the horizon that will bail them out, says Larry Steckel, weed management scientist at the University of Tennessee’s West Tennessee Research and Education Center in Jackson. But there isn’t.” But there’s new research contradicting this and playing to the fantasies of those alleged growers. The piece is published at the propaganda front group called the “American Association for the Advancement of Science”, by which they mean corporate “science”.
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According to publicly-funded profit-oriented researchers at Britain’s John Innes Center, they’ve discovered a specimen of Arabadopsis thaliana (a mustard often used in botanical research, the plant equivalent of the fruit flies regularly used in genetic research) which is resistant to the antibiotic ciprofloxacin. This poison kills bacteria and plants by interfering with an enzyme necessary for photosynthesis. The researchers doused 400,000 mutated tissue-cultured specimens to find one which showed resistance to the antibiotic. (The rest were thrown out, typical of the extreme wastefulness and sociopathic attitude toward life inherent in all genetic engineering.) Next they’ll try to figure out how to turn the tolerance mutation into a transgene while they also work on an herbicide based on the antibiotic or a similar compound. The researchers disavow any intention of directly using the antibiotic as an herbicide, but of course this is a lie. We already see their paradigm’s standard attitude toward antibiotics in their attitude toward subtherapeutic antibiotic use in CAFOs and in genetic engineering itself including this experiment. Certainly no one among them would object to an antibiotic-based herbicide. Glyphosate is an antibiotic and was patented as such in the 1960s. Nor do these scientists, engineers, regulators, and corporate cadres care about the fact that existing commercial herbicides help trigger antibiotic resistance among potentially pathogenic bacteria, or that glyphosate selects for pathogenic bacteria in the mammalian digestive tract. No, I think we can rest assured that if the corporations demand such an herbicide and it can be made to work, these researchers will happily deliver it, and the AAAS will be right there cheering them on as it cheers on all these crimes against humanity and the Earth.
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The AAAS is also regurgitating the straight bald-faced Monsanto lie, most commonly told about glyphosate, that if a poison affects only plants and bacteria then it won’t affect humans: “This research also highlights another important benefit for using DNA gyrase as a target for the development of new herbicides. DNA gyrase is only present in plants and bacteria, and does not exist in animals. Therefore any new herbicides that target this DNA gyrase in plants are very unlikely to be any danger to humans.”
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Even if this were true as far as it goes (it’s a lie for glyphosate, which affects the mammalian cytochrome P450 and retinoic acid pathways as well as adversely affecting mineral chelation), it’s a complete lie because science knows humans and other mammals are symbiotic with our bacterial microbiome. What harms our gut bacteria, harms us. The AAAS knows this, they lie about it, they are criminally culpable for any harm which follows from it.
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The piece once again reminds us how by now the pro-GMO activists are perfectly at home simultaneously telling two mutually exclusive and directly contradictory lies, that “GMOs reduce pesticide use” while we also need “Eureka! New pesticides!” It’s also another example of how they’ve had to drop the whole line of bull that “we’re for hi-tech GMOs, not for luddite chemical pesticides” and especially “GMOs don’t equal Monsanto, and we ARE NOT Monsanto shills.” But then the WHO pretty much forced everyone’s hand on that one. Since then Monsanto’s needed all hands on deck to stick up for Roundup, no matter how much of a stupid, luddite, dinosaur technology it is. But then all of GMO agriculture is really only pseudo-advanced. It’s really all retrograde, backward, reactionary. It’s a jalopy on blocks, but with a flashy new paint-job, and those who fall for the hype are the kind of morons who would fall for any scam like that.
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*Looks like another dotcom bubble in the making. This provides some insight into the fundamentally fictive, socially engineered character of agribusiness. It plunges ahead not just in the regular bubble manner [i.e. unrelated to the real, productive economy, like the recent dotcom, tech, and housing bubbles, or today’s fracking bubble and general stock bubble] but in direct defiance of the real fundamentals of the sector. We see the basic lack of connection with reality which has always been evident with agricultural GMOs and genetic engineering in general. When an ideology has such direct contempt for science and reality, although corporate profiteering via government subsidies can prop it up and keep it going for awhile, it’s also bound to collapse quickly like any other bubble. Indeed, it wouldn’t surprise me if the erosion of the fundamentals for the agrochemical sector don’t go hand in hand with a bubble centered on the idea of “hi-tech agriculture”. Along with everything else that’s stupid, shoddy, and harmful about GMOs, I’ve always seen them as an aspiring tech bubble. Maybe someone who had a few extra bucks lying around who was thinking of dabbling in stocks might consider Monsanto along with some of these start-ups. These stocks have been disparaged for awhile now, but they might be ready to temporarily surge. The current mainstream excitement over mergers and further oligopoly consolidation, which ought to tell us how creatively bankrupt and decadent the sector is, can readily be transformed into the typical bubble irrationality. Just don’t be one of the idiots who buys high right before the bubble bursts. And for the divestment movement, if these stocks do start rising, make sure to tell the pension funds that it’s a bubble, hype over an idea which has no basis in reality and no staying power.
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January 15, 2016

GMO News Summary January 15th, 2016

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*Soon, maybe next week, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will hold his secret conference of “stakeholders” to hammer out a plan to prevent Vermont’s GMO labeling law from going into effect in July and destroy the labeling democracy movement (the state-level movement) once and for all. Campbell’s timed its public call for FDA “mandatory” labeling in order to coincide with the Vilsack conference and push this proposal as a major subject at the conference. It’s peculiar how many people purport to stick up for Vermont at the same time they’re saying “Go Campbell’s!”
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Meanwhile Mark Lynas says the Campbell’s plan is a great thing. NOW we know it’s anti-GMO!

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Lynas’ position on labeling has been clear for a long time. He thinks Dark Act Plan A won’t work and is bad politics, but that a weak and fraudulent, but “mandatory”, FDA policy which preempts real labeling at the state level (DARK Act Plan B) would not only destroy the labeling movement but destroy the rising trend of advocacy beyond labeling toward outright bans. He thinks this will help normalize and maximize GMOs in our food. Campbell’s is the first big industry “stakeholder” to agree completely with this position in public. There is a perfect consensus among establishment types – politicians, industry, insider NGOs. Wherever else they may sometimes disagree, they’re all firm that the #1 purpose of any federal standard is to preempt the labeling democracy movement and forestall the abolition movement.
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*Word is there’s worry within the EFSA about how they’re squandering what little credibility they have left faster than a Roundup Ready pigweed grows. Meanwhile EC’s health commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis replied to 96 scientists who sent him an Open Letter demolishing the lies of the BfR and EFSA and calling upon him to support the IARC and uphold the science. Andriukaitis begged off in a shame-faced way, claiming he has no legal authority to reject the EFSA dictate. Meanwhile EFSA chief Bernhard Url continues with his exercises in public buffoonery. He keeps admitting that the IARC assessed glyphosate formulations which are actually used in the real world while the EFSA assessed only fantasyland pure glyphosate which is never used. Yet he’s so stupid he continues to think this is a good point for his EFSA, rather than absolutely shattering for its credibility.
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*At a workshop held at the University of Agricultural Sciences at Raichur in India’s Karnataka state, government and university officials joined farmer representatives in condemning the “Green Revolution” and its technology focus for economically ruining vast numbers of farmers and rendering farming the extremely precarious profession it has become in India. Well over 300,000 farmer suicides can attest to that. Destroying farmers and driving millions off the land was always one of the core goals of the Green Revolution and remains so today.
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*The record of Bt cotton remains perfect. Except where bolstered with massively subsidized inputs (and even then often just for a little while), the crop never performs well and quickly fails. Today Pakistan is hitting rock bottom as the world’s fourth largest cotton producer is suffering a 22% yield collapse and having to resort to importation for basic cotton needs. According to the USDA 95% of Pakistan’s cotton crop is GM. The industry’s own International Cotton Advisory Committee tells the story: “…adverse weather [i.e. climate chaos inducing drought], increased pest pressure from whitefly and pink bollworm [both secondary and target pests enjoying the feast], and the high cost of inputs discouraging farmers from better crop management.”
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Yes, with GM cotton especially the costs of inputs are indeed extremely high. But that’s a peculiar variation on farmer scapegoating – high input cost is what’s causing their “poor management”? But if your technology is too expensive for those to whom you make such a hard-sell marketing pitch, isn’t that the fault of yourselves and your technology, not the buyer who’s financially unable to use it? Indeed I’d call that consumer fraud myself. A massive, Nuremburg-level case of it.
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*Armed with an eviction order procured from a corporate-friendly judge, Monsanto is trying to drive off the Malvinas community camp blockading the company’s attempt to build a chemical seed factory. If built this factory would spew vast clouds of toxic fumes and leave regular spills of the neonics, fungicides, and the many other poisons it would be applying as seed coatings. This would add to the already devastating poison burden the people of the soy zone must endure every day. Citizen groups are rallying to the support of the people of Malvinas.
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As the people of Argentina continue their growing fight to take back their country from the tyranny of agribusiness, the poison industry has a friend in the new president: “President Mauricio Macri has also shown his support for big agribusiness in his first month in office. In a move he promoted as a boost to agricultural production, Macri scrapped export taxes on big agricultural corporations producing corn, wheat, and beef, and lowered taxes on soybeans.”
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This contradicts what has always been the number one argument offered in favor of the Argentine “soy republic” and other branches of agribiz, that these commodity export taxes are the basis of Argentina’s allegedly vibrant economy, playing the same role as oil does for Saudi Arabia. I.e., Argentina is the equivalent of a petro-state. Indeed, since industrial agriculture is 100% dependent on cheap fossil fuels, we can call Argentina a meta-petro-state, essentially reselling oil in a rudimentary value-added form. Now they’re admitting that the alleged economic need for all this was always a lie.
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*Here’s a state of the union for Bt toxins, and things are looking quite nullific. In Brazil Cry1AB (MON810) and Cry1F (1507) are both failing against the target armyworm. A new study is unable to conclude whether the longstanding trend of resistance to Cry1F is now becoming cross-resistance to Cry1AB, or whether the resistance to Cry1AB is evolving on its own. Whatever, the researchers who just proved failure recommend more failure: The poisons should simply be stacked ever higher. The cool-sounding term for this is the “pyramid” strategy. They don’t tell you that the pyramid is constructed upside-down, and is just as structurally stable as you’d expect. Doug Gurian-Sherman explains why stacks are already failing and why cross-resistance is likely to become more prevalent. He also explains why RNAi insecticidal GMOs are likely to fail for the same reasons. Just like herbicide tolerant GMOs, insecticidal GMOs are a failed product genre. Reality has completely refuted them. Only cartel monopoly and government power keep them in existence at all.
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*As if Bt cotton doesn’t have enough problems with its inherent shoddiness and great vulnerability to anything less than maximum irrigation (Australian cotton has been a victim of climate chaos drought in recent years), in Australia it’s also being destroyed by 2,4-D drift. 2,4-D and dicamba are among the most highly volatile and drift-prone herbicides, causing massive damage to wild plants and other crops every year. If Dow and Monsanto are able to go through with their plan to commercialize on a mass scale GMOs tolerant of 2,4-D (Dow) and dicamba (Monsanto), the collateral destruction will surge exponentially. This is one of several reasons we must find a way to stop this deployment before it really gets rolling. Of course the EPA and USDA ardently back this great escalation of the Poison War.
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In the piece linked, note the notion “incorrect spraying”. This is false – 2,4-D drifts unpredictably, often for great distances, even when the user adheres to the label directions with the utmost vigilance. That’s part of why drift and superweeds/bugs are allowed to be acknowledged in the mainstream media. The farmer’s alleged “incorrect use” or “overuse” is always scapegoated. (I also noted above the Pakistan industry group’s absurd attempt to blame the farmers.) The other reason is that the proposed answer is always escalated poison technology. Drift is the problem? Dow’s patented formula is non-drift. Roundup Ready superweeds? The answer is Agent Orange crops. Superbugs? As the researchers I mentioned above recommended, stack more Bt toxins, and then it’ll be gene silencing to the rescue.
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*A judge issued a $53.5 million judgement against GM tree company ArborGen and its corporate parents International Paper, MeadWestvaco (now WestRock) and New Zealand-based Rubicon for defrauding ten “employees”. The plaintiffs, judged to have been defrauded out of their equity position, are evidently the genetic engineers themselves:
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While working for ArborGen, Plaintiffs were productive. It is undisputed that, as one
former ArborGen officer testified at trial, Plaintiffs were “good employees” when they worked for
ArborGen. TT 224:1-7 (Mann). ArborGen’s Chief Technology Officer Maud Hinchee testified by
way of her deposition that the secunded employees, particularly the senior scientists including
Plaintiff Shujun Chang, were instrumental in making ArborGen successful by generating
intellectual property and technology when ArborGen was starting out. SeePX 530 (Hinchee Depo.
25:2-11). Indeed, several Plaintiffs made key contributions to the intellectual property of
ArborGen that helped ArborGen’s value grow over time. See, e.g., PX 487 & 489 (relating to
somatic embryogenesis patents generated for ArborGen by Plaintiffs Nehra, Clark and Stout). Dr.
Nehra testified that the number of patents held by ArborGen that had been originated by its
scientists probably numbered in the hundreds. 1-1 471:17-22 (Nehra). Mr. Clark testified he alone
has 10 patent applications from his tenure at ArborGen. TT 1226:14-18 (Clark).

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I’m not sure who I would’ve preferred to see lose the case. That the corporation defrauded the engineers is certainly poetic justice and an occasion for schadenfreude. In researching my TTIP posts I noted that, according to the BIO’s submitted comments, they’re hoping the TTIP will increase “labor mobility”, i.e. drive down engineer salaries. Couldn’t happen to nicer guys.
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*A USDA study confirms the agency’s own original forecast that GM alfalfa would promiscuously the contaminate non-GM crop. This follows upon years of contamination incidents and China’s rejection of many hay shipments from the US. It contradicts the USDA’s own lies about “co-existence” and confirms that one of the goals of Roundup Ready alfalfa is to render organic meat and dairy production, which is heavily dependent upon non-GM hay, impossible.
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*The USDA continues to refuse to monitor glyphosate residues in food. Therefore, as per rational method where dealing with any such cover-up on the part of a derelict regulator, we must assume: 1. The USDA believes many common foods contain very high levels of glyphosate residue. 2. The USDA believes this causes cancer and many other health detriments. 3. That’s why they don’t want to know. “Plausible deniability.” If they were honest and self-confident, they would test. The same is true at every point of the entire system.
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Instead, they play their usual games of regulatory whack-a-mole (“the EPA says it’s safe, and anyway is currently conducting its own reassessment, so let’s wait for that”) and pleading that testing would be too expensive. Well, of course Monsanto, which should have to pay for the testing but NOT conduct it, would say it’s expensive. But why would a regulator allegedly concerned with the “public interest” be parroting Monsanto’s position? Why indeed.
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*When Monsanto hires a PR firm is that tax-deductible? And is that income tax-exempt for the firm? I’d think not. But when the company launders the same operation through a university, it’s tax-exempt and probably tax-deductible. Yet the money was handed over to Kevin Folta to use at his own discretion as a publicist, dirty trickster, and whatever else he felt like doing. This sure looks like what the IRS would call tax fraud if any small fish got caught doing it.
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*A new study in Nature traces the climate change denial propaganda network. It’s organized in the same way as the pro-GMO propaganda machine and overlaps to a large extent. The same professional liars often hired for both purposes, and in general there’s a very strong correlation of climate change deniers with pro-GMO activists and a strong anti-correlation of climate deniers and GMO critics. The new report (behind a paywall, so I couldn’t see the whole thing yet) undoubtedly traces many denier figures who are also GMO propagandists, and zero who are critics.
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Anthropogenic climate change represents a global threat to human well-being and ecosystem functioning. Yet despite its importance for science and policy, our understanding of the causes of widespread uncertainty and doubt found among the general public remains limited.

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I can help them with that. The general public sees lots of politicians and insider NGO types issuing the most dire warnings about climate change, yet without exception these persons continue to advocate economic Business As Usual, as we just saw in Paris. The vast majority of them also live the most gluttonous personal lifestyles and have huge personal carbon footprints. So it makes perfect sense that members of the public would take an attitude, if not denying the actual physical science, still denying the political contention that this is really a crisis. After all, the actions of the likes of Obama, his negotiators at Paris, the Big Green environmental groups, all directly contradict their rhetoric. Clearly they’re liars when they claim to believe climate change is a growing crisis that must be faced honestly, rationally, morally, and without sham.
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Those who do recognize the full magnitude and peril of the crisis know there’s only one path: Greatly reduce GHG emissions, stop destroying carbon sinks, rebuild carbon sinks. All else is vanity and sham.
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BTW, bona fide climate change deniers are proportionally more common among the more highly formally educated, and especially among STEM types, than among the general public. (Just as Christian fundamentalists and evolution deniers are more common among engineers than among the public.) I just wanted to point that out, apropos of the implied elitism of the abstract quoted above.
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*Public health author Pam Killeen eulogizes Joe Cummins: “He didn’t keep his mouth shut, and that made him the renegade scientist, the renegade professor.” Very high praise in the time of the dominion of corporate science. He died of the cancer he spent his life fighting, in forms from PCBs to GMOs.
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*Alaska senator Lisa Murkowski is threatening to block FDA nominee Robert Califf until he pledges that FDA will require that GM salmon be labeled. The Alaska delegation cares so much about this particular GMO only because they want to protect Alaska’s wild salmon industry, and indeed they should be concerned. But just as we suspected, Murkowski is quick to stipulate that she doesn’t want labeling for any other GMOs, offering a completely unscientific and irrational distinction between genetically engineered crops and a genetically engineered animal. Is there any such distinction? No one knows, and there’s zero reason to think that anything unsafe about GM salmon wouldn’t also be unsafe about GM plants.
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*One thing Campbell’s confirms once and for all, though common sense always knew it and studies proved it – GMO labeling will have zero effect on food prices. The piece is better than many. While “thanking” Campbell’s it makes clear that the company is saying these things only under duress from consumer pressure, the state-level movement, and Vermont. That’s the same state-level movement so many “labeling advocates” have suddenly shown such eagerness to throw overboard, the moment a so-called “mandatory” FDA policy is on the table.
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January 4, 2016

The Regular “Regulation” of Agricultural Poisons At the US EPA

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Always start with the consciousness: For the corporate state system and its religious believers, the project of poison-based agriculture must go forward. Nothing may ever be allowed seriously to hinder this. This Poisoner campaign is at the core of all corporate profit, corporate/government power, and techno-cultism.
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Although under legal pressure EPA temporarily withdrew approval of Dow’s Enlist Duo herbicide formulation, we mustn’t expect this to be more than a temporary delay. Dow expects to ship the poison for the 2016 season. A more typical indicator of EPA’s relationship with Dow and Enlist was its active collusion with Dow in falsifying data in order to suppress Dow’s own trial results finding health dangers from Enlist. EPA “scientists” changed the agency’s rules for data analysis midstream in order to invalidate Dow’s own data showing that 2,4-D (one of the two main poisons contained in Enlist Duo, the other being glyphosate) causes kidney damage in rats. As the Environmental Working Group pointed out, EPA ”contradicted standard scientific practice” in order to set an alleged “no observed adverse effect level” (NOAEL) dose at a level which the company’s own tests showed to cause toxic effects in rats, including kidney lesions, thyroid damage, and reproductive organ changes. This puts the NOAEL concept in an even blacker light. The concept is already bogus in principle in the case of endocrine disruptors, including almost all pesticides. And now we see how, even where toxic effects are found at an inconveniently low dosage, EPA and other regulators will simply change the rules in the middle of the game. This puts in perspective the sanctimonious claims of regulators that in order to be considered in regulatory assessments, scientific work must adhere punctiliously to certain officially designated rules (which never have anything to do with scientific quality but do always favor big corporate labs). As we see, for the regulators such adherence is only for real scientists, never for the corporations or for themselves. For themselves and their corporate clients the only rule is Do What Thou Wilt.
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The EPA did this in order to give itself a pretext to approve the product. The regulator’s job is always to approve the product and claim it to be safe, no matter what. Therefore EPA destroyed the scientific evidence and then lied about it. This is nothing new, but is part of the standard EPA pattern of conduct going back to the 1970s.
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Here we have a case study in how the corporate science paradigm and the regulator template work together.
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I’ve described and applied the template many times, to regulators, pseudo-scientists (the post just linked), system NGOs, etc. Here’s a quick description again.
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1. The corporate prerogative and corporate tasks, profiteering and any other imperatives, are normative. The regulator must always seek to assist the corporations and boost their power.
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2. Given the framework of (1), the regulator may sometimes seek to ameliorate the worst abuses, perhaps even hinder or ban isolated, ad hoc products. Or, more commonly these days, the regulator only pretends to do this. Often, as in the case of EPA and EFSA with glyphosate, or the USDA with GMO approvals, it doesn’t even pretend. Either way, nothing the regulator does must hinder the overall corporate imperative or any significant corporate project. Therefore the pesticide and GMO genres, as well as particular blockbuster products like Roundup, must go forward no matter what.
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3. Whatever the regulator did or didn’t do, it now bestows its imprimatur of “safety” and any other necessary endorsement upon the product. It engages in taxpayer-funded PR and educational campaigns on behalf of the corporate product. Most of all, it tells the people, implicitly and where necessary explicitly, that they shouldn’t have any concerns, shouldn’t even think about the product, and most of all shouldn’t bother with educating themselves, let alone questioning the official imprimatur. As is typical of bureaucratic ideology, the regulator mindset is anti-democratic in the extreme. This is part of why regulators are so comfortable with fraudulent “secret science” and want to keep as much information from the public as possible. This is on ideological principle, as well as having more mundane corruption origins.
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So it goes: Pro-corporate ideological commitment; farcical and fraudulent “regulating”; propaganda and secrecy.
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In today’s example:
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1. EPA has always been activist toward the corporate task of maximizing poison use. It has always been willing to do whatever’s necessary toward this goal. In the late 1970s a massive scandal in lab testing broke involving IBT Laboratories, a favorite industry contractor. FDA investigators called it “the most massive scientific fraud ever committed in the United States, and perhaps the world”. Years later several executives would be convicted on criminal charges. (This is one of the purposes of corporate outsourcing to smaller contractors. But it’s the oligopolists who dictate the practices, and require the crimes.) Nazi experimenters would’ve been ashamed to work at this place, and the denizens of “Animal House” would’ve fled in horror.
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* New animals routinely substituted – often en masse – for test animals that died, without noting deaths or substitutions in lab reports
* Entire test data and lab reports for one test product copied into reports for other products
* “Magic pencil” studies substituted false data for tests never done or results implicating test products’ adverse or fatal effects
* Signatures of lab techs who had refused to sign false reports were forged by managers on the false reports
* Rats listed as dead and autopsied in one section of a report reappeared alive and breeding in another section of the same report (“Now IBT did some strange and unusual things,” Dr. Adrian Gross, who first revealed the IBT scandal, remarked, “but bringing back the dead wasn’t one of them.”)
* Substitution of unexposed control animals for test animals that died
* Substitution of dogs for rats when all the rats in one test died, then reporting them to be rats
* Wholesale concealment and falsification of cancers, testicular atrophy, death and other effects in test animals
* A laboratory that IBT scientists called “The Swamp”, with a faulty water system that drenched the entire room, cages, rodents and all, in a continuous spray of water, drowning the test animals in droves. “Dead rats and mice, technicians later told federal investigators, decomposed so rapidly in the Swamp that their bodies oozed through wire cage bottoms and lay in purple puddles on the dropping trays.”
* Massive, frequent die-offs of test animals due to staff failing to feed and water them over holidays, rodents dying from unhygienic conditions, rats dying from rat poison fed them by mistake, rodents escaping, rats and mice being shifted from one cage to another, contaminating and eating each other; frequent “search and destroy” hunts for escaped rodents, with scientists and lab techs dashing about squirting chloroform to “slow down” the escapees, often killing the test animals as well
* After Gross’s first visit to IBT in 1976 and before he could return with auditors, the company equipped its offices with paper shredders and “strip filed” huge volumes of raw data, studies and client lists, including all of its studies on 2,4-D, six other herbicides (never identified), artificial sweeteners, cyclamates and plastics components

Almost all of the products tested by IBT, including 2,4-D, glyphosate, atrazine and many of the 66 products banned on California red-legged frog habitat, are still on the market today.

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EPA worked aggressively to cover up the fraud and consulted with the corporations about how EPA would run interference with Congress and the media. As top official Fred Arnold put it to an industry convention, EPA had their backs: “The concept was to try and proceed in an orderly fashion and fill data gaps and not interfere with the ability to market pesticides.” He was referring to how EPA was going to lobby Congress to change the law to allow “conditional registration” of all the poisons which EPA had approved based on the IBT testing. (And testing at other labs; 47 of 82 audits found similar conditions at other labs contracted by the poison manufacturers.) The law required the cancellation of such fraudulent approvals. But in tandem with the poison corporations, EPA convinced Congress to allow it to extend “conditional” grace periods until industry could submit new tests.
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In other words, the proven systematic, premeditated fraudsters were going to be allowed to organize another systematic fraud. That’s always what the Fox Guarding the Henhouse means. Anyone, especially government regulators, who says that proven liars and organized criminals should be allowed to police themselves is really willfully collaborating in those massive crimes.
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Sure enough, the industry never submitted legitimate tests, and EPA never asked again for them. The shared goal of EPA and the corporations, maximizing the production, sales, and use of poisons, continued without flagging. The scandal was just a political speed bump. Just as the current embarrassment over Dow’s poison is intended to be a minor hiccup. Meanwhile, to this day EPA refuses to divulge which poisons were approved based on the fraudulent “studies” at INT and elsewhere. As per our usual rational method for dealing with those who maliciously invoke secrecy, we must assume that ALL EPA pesticide registrations during the years in question were allowed on the basis of those fraudulent studies.
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EPA’s services to Dow regarding Enlist are similar to the services it has performed for Monsanto on behalf of glyphosate (I’ll begin the discussion in this post) and PCBs (a subject for future posts).
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2. The main vehicle of EPA’s pretending to be looking out for the public and environmental good is its review processes for pesticides and other chemicals. These are always completely bogus. The Dow Enlist example is just an unusually egregious one.
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Of course sometimes the regulator will feel enough political pressure to go through the motions of doing something. An example is the recent expedient, mentioned above, of temporarily suspending Enlist registration. We also have the example from earlier in 2015 of sham limitations on glyphosate use. Ostensibly intended to slow the evolution of glyphosate-resistant superweeds, this is really meant to shift more of the political onus and legal risk onto farmers. Same for the whole “refuge” concept, allegedly for slowing the evolution of insect resistance to Bt toxins. EPA never required a meaningful acreage portion for the refuge (entomologists reached a consensus that 50% was the minimum necessary to have any hope of the policy having any effect; EPA never required more than 20%) and never rigorously enforced the policy. With the advent of multiple-toxin stacked products, EPA adopted corporate demands to lower the “required” acreage to 5%. The fact is that the “refuge” idea was never meant to be more than that – an idea, a propaganda theme, for media and pro-GM activist use. Bt refuge idea is one of the best examples of sham pro-corporate “regulation”.
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The EPA’s history with glyphosate cancer assessments gives another example of the regulator pretending to be looking out for the people. Since this has been above all a propaganda effort, especially during the GMO era, I’ll discuss it below.
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3. The final step of the whitewashing template is for the regulator to affirm that the product is safe and encourage the people to go back to sleep and let their government betters do any continued monitoring necessary. (None is ever done.) EPA has already proclaimed the alleged safety of Enlist, and is now waiting for Dow to give it enough of a pretext, even the most flimsy will suffice, to reaffirm this proclamation. For a prior case study, we can compare how EPA knew since at least the early 1980s that glyphosate causes cancer. The evidence was so conclusive that, in spite of EPA’s wishing to give Monsanto the green light and doing all it could to interpret Monsanto’s own test results in the best possible light, it felt compelled to give the poison Classification C – “Suggestive evidence of carcinogenic potential”.
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In terms of market share glyphosate wasn’t yet projected to become a major pesticide at this point, though Monsanto was already contemplating the idea of GMOs engineered to be tolerant of it. They worked on this idea (well, failed at it until they found some bacteria which had already done the main work for them) and by the early 1990s were preparing to bring Roundup Ready crops to market. It was time to whitewash glyphosate’s cancer record more thoroughly. EPA happily complied. With zero new evidence, not even a new round of phony tests, without further ado EPA in 1991 changed the classification to Group E, “Not likely to be carcinogenic to humans.” An even stronger, more politicized and fraudulent construction elsewhere in the regulation phrases this, “Evidence of non-carcinogenicity to humans.”
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This “evidence”, of course, is nothing but a political way of phrasing the real ideological position, that cancer cannot be allowed to stand in the way of the Poisoner imperative. Since, as EPA has known at least since the early 1980s, glyphosate does cause cancer in humans, EPA’s job becomes to deny this, cover it up, lie about it. Perform enough direct denial, and propagate the implicit mindset that giving farmers and consumers cancer is meaningless anyway compared to the great tasks of corporate rule and the Poisoner imperative, and in an ideological sense it does become “true” that “glyphosate does not pose a cancer risk to humans”, as EPA proclaimed again most recently in 2013. If cancer is irrelevant, it may as well not exist. This is the reality of the psychopathic mindset involved here. And this is the psychology and set of priorities which has cohered in the era of corporate rule as the corporate science paradigm. The decisions made about which lines of inquiry to pursue in the first place, the workings of day-to-day science practice, the mindset and party line of the scientific establishment, the STEM fraternity in general, the corporate media, and the cultist fanboys, all follow from the dictates of this dominant paradigm of prostituted pseudo-science. A regulator like the EPA plays a very important role in orchestrating this fraudulent science and disseminating the propaganda of it, a double nimbus of “Science” and “Good Government”. Both are Big Lies.
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January 3, 2016

Europe’s Horsemen of the Roundup

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As the Cancer War begins to be joined, the first priority of Western governments is that Roundup must be sustained, literally at all costs. Some upcoming posts will assess the current status.
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Monsanto and Western governments have known since at least the early 1980s that glyphosate causes cancer. The US EPA and the EU’s European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) have been covering up this scientifically documented fact for decades, with little pressure except from some outsider dissidents. In spite of the Monsanto/EPA cover-up, the evidence has piled up for years, along with a strong uptick in cancer and other diseases correlating with the great surge in glyphosate use caused by the rapidly dominant deployment of Roundup Ready GM crops.
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Finally in 2015 the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) rocked the Poisoners’ world when it caught up with the evidence and issued its finding that glyphosate is a “probable human carcinogen”. This is a major threat to the Poisoner campaign in general and to Monsanto in particular, dependent as the company is for the great bulk of its revenue on sales of Roundup and its accessory Roundup Ready GM seeds. Monsanto’s government, academic, and media lackeys have spent the year scrambling. The EFSA is first up to officially attack the IARC.
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The attempts to obfuscate and deny the IARC’s assessment of the scientific evidence are all rooted in a purely political, anti-scientific document, the fraudulent whitewash of glyphosate composed by the industry’s own Glyphosate Task Force (GTF). Germany’s Federal Institute of Risk Assessment (BfR) was already working on its own glyphosate report which it would then submit to the EFSA, in Germany’s capacity as the EU’s “rapporteur state” for glyphosate. When the BfR released a summary of this report later in 2015, it openly admitted that it simply copied wholesale from the GTF, merely adding a few remarks of its own. In other words they did nothing but serve as Monsanto’s stenographer and then put their own name on the result. The report itself, as well as the alleged evidence that went into it, have all been kept secret because transparency would reveal the extent of the scientific fraud involved at every step of the assessment.
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(One of the basic rules of scientific method is that by definition science is transparent and public so that it can be critiqued and perhaps falsified. This publicity is also necessary in order for science to serve as a legitimate part of the input for the political decisions of an open society. “Secret science”, by extreme contrast, is a contradiction in terms. By the definition of science, anything secret cannot be part of science and is anti-scientific. Those who aspire to decide based on secrecy are the apostles of the closed society and enemies of the open, as well as of science.
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Therefore, a basic rule of rational method is that, confronted with secrecy and/or the refusal to perform scientific testing in the first place – the GMO/pesticide cartel and US and EU governments are systematically guilty of both – we must on principle assume the worst. We must assume that whatever secret data they have proves the great harms and dire risks of their products or endeavors. We must assume that wherever they refuse to seek data in the first place, it is because they assume such data would be similarly adverse to them. These are rational facts which apply to any corporation or government which invokes secrecy, and these are the facts we the people must act upon.)
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The EFSA then accepted the GTF/BfR propaganda pamphlet wholesale and, based upon nothing but Monsanto’s uncorroborated claims, declared that glyphosate is not carcinogenic. So we have a direct conveyor belt for Monsanto’s PR department: Monsanto —> Glyphosate Task Force —> BfR —> EFSA. It’s not even a game of telephone. The lies are passed along immaculate, and are then delivered to your doorstep via corporate newspapers declaring, “European regulator finds glyphosate does not cause cancer.”
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Such a Streicher-level crime has not gone unchallenged, of course. Throughout 2015 the IARC has vigorously defended itself and counterattacked its anti-scientific opponents. Doctors and scientists who work for the public interest have also strongly supported the IARC and condemned the BfR and EFSA, bolstered the evidence against glyphosate, and demolished the lies of Monsanto and its government flunkeys.
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The political heat has become so sweltering that we’re seeing some mad dog behavior from the crooks. In particular we have the bizarre public outburst of the EFSA’s director Bernhard Url, who sputtered incoherently about his critics and accused them of engaging in “Facebook science”, by which he meant “You have a scientific assessment, you put it in Facebook and you count how many people like it”.
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This is a typical Orwellianism. As Hannah Arendt and others have often noted, a totalitarian always accuses his opponents of the exact action he himself is perpetrating or intend to perpetrate. It’s standard for the pro-poison, pro-GMO activists, in attacking critics and skeptics, to talk really about themselves when they accuse others of wanting people to starve, of wanting people to become sick, of wanting to hurt farmers, of wanting to make agriculture impossible. These are all the things which poison-based agriculture has been doing for fifty years and more, and these are all the pathologies and crimes which GMOs are designed and intended to aggravate.
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As far as Facebook science goes, it’s always the pro-poison activists who want to have a fraudulent “vote” (but only among “officially” credentialed charlatans and idiots), who make a fetish of phony numbers, who lie incessantly about the non-existent “consensus” about this or that lie about GMOs, or who even will fall back on citing an alleged “majority” of STEM types who support this technology.
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If we reject the self-evident lies of the GTF/BfR/EFSA whitewash and look at the facts, we find that the IARC has looked at the whole science and nothing but the science, while the “regulators” ruled out all the science and issued a fraudulent regurgitation of the lies crafted in Monsanto’s PR department.
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1. The epidemiological evidence, although limited (by system-imposed funding constraints, I might add; a good example of the way establishment science chooses which lines of inquiry to pursue, almost always basing this choice on political and economic factors, almost never on scientific or public health factors), indicates glyphosate probably causes cancer in humans.
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2. Lab tests on mammals sufficiently establish that it does cause cancer in mammals.
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3. The experimental evidence also sufficiently establishes that glyphosate is genotoxic and causes oxidative stress. These are both carcinogenic mechanisms.
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So we have proof that glyphosate causes cancer in mammals and the very strong probability that this includes humans. We have two documented mechanisms through which glyphosate causes cancer. We can add a third, that glyphosate is an endocrine disruptor. All pesticides are endocrine disruptors, which means they’re all carcinogens. Since endocrine disruption occurs at very low doses, this also means there’s literally no safe level of exposure to glyphosate or any other pesticide.
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Combining (1), (2), and (3) and in light of the fact that it’s not ethically possible to perform a lab test on human subjects, the IARC has concluded that within the limits of science, the evidence is that glyphosate “probably” (a term of art) causes cancer in humans. The lab evidence is already sufficient, and the WHO is confident that better epidemiological study would reinforce and confirm the existing “limited” evidence.
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In truth the EFSA is in violation of the law. EU law requires that wherever there’s “sufficient evidence” that a product causes cancer in animals, which is exactly what the IARC found, the product automatically classifies as a “presumed carcinogen” and must be banned. Url is so hysterical because he’s not only a criminal against humanity by Nuremburg standards but is breaking the de jure EU law as well.
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The regulatory agencies have done nothing but carry out the imperatives of the corporate science paradigm. In particular they genuflect before the two great frauds and abominations of the whole concept:
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1. The insane notion that the fox can guard the henhouse. According to regulator religion the corporations, who historically are proven to always lie wherever their power and profits are at stake, can be trusted to regulate themselves, while the “official”, “public” regulator’s role is to do nothing but rubber-stamp this fraudulent self-policing. This is self-evidently absurd and insane to any rational, honest person.
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2. That “secret science” not only exists and is valid, but indeed should be considered superior to transparent, legible science. This too is self-evidently absurd and insane.
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The position of these criminal agencies and their criminal cadres is parlous. The more the people learn about the cult of the Fox and His Secret Science, the more the legitimacy and authority of the regulators and establishment “science” as such will be destroyed. The IARC has joined the efforts of civil society to devastate the credibility of these basic elements of the corporate science paradigm. This is a clear and present danger to the Poisoner endeavor, which is the ideology and policy which seeks to maximize the deployment of industrial and agricultural poisons, which deployment is at the core of Western capitalist ideology and all its policy initiatives.
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In the end, the BfR and EFSA have nothing. All they have are the lies they’ve been spoon-fed directly by Monsanto and its industry front, the “Glyphosate Task Force”.
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1. They have literally zero evidence. On the contrary 100% of the direct evidence, as well as the implicit evidence of their own propensity for dereliction, lies, secrecy, and stenography, proves against them.
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2. They’ve been reduced to the Big Tobacco playbook. We know for a fact that anyone who must resort to this most discredited of strategies and tactics, whether it be on behalf of pesticides, GMOs, or any other product, is peddling something at least as toxic and cancerous as cigarettes.
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What to do? (I plan to include at least one suggestion with each piece.)
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The campaigns to end municipal spraying of glyphosate are gradually attaining successes. Two towns which have committed recently to ceasing from municipal spraying in parks and other public places are Barcelona, Spain, and Edinburgh, Scotland. Interestingly, these countries are at opposite ends of the spectrum of support for GMO cultivation. Spain is the only major GMO cultivator in Europe, though the acreage of MON810 cultivated is in some dispute. MON810 is not a Roundup Ready variety, but still the society’s willingness to tolerate it would seem to indicate more support for poisons in general. By contrast Scotland has the closest thing to a broad social consensus against GMO cultivation. So the fact that major cities in both countries are regarding glyphosate with a jaundiced eye is an interesting development.
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Such campaigns, along with pressure on retailers to stop carrying glyphosate formulations for residential and garden use (also finding success in Europe), are a promising start. Of course these don’t touch the vastly larger agricultural market, but they can serve as publicity vehicles toward the broader goal of a total ban on glyphosate. Just as we abolitionists should use support for GMO labeling as an educational and organizational vehicle toward the necessary abolition goals, so we can start small with agitating for glyphosate bans, using every occasion to spread the news about the need for the complete abolition of this extreme cancer-causing poison.
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