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June 5, 2017

The Regulator/Corporate Interest vs. the People’s Interest

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The Greens/EFA faction of the European Parliament is suing the EFSA because the agency refuses to release secret documents from its 2015 glyphosate review. The EFSA always has proclaimed openly that it depends upon secret documents it is fed by the corporations. In other words, the regulator openly admits that it uses no science in its reviews, but only corporate innuendo. This is in complete contrast to the WHO’s IARC cancer research agency, whose guidelines require it to use only published studies. The IARC requires itself to stay within the bounds of legitimate science, while the EFSA and EPA explicitly disavow science and stay within the bounds of secret corporate decrees.
 
Under public pressure the EFSA did release a fragmentary, heavily redacted version of the corporate materials, and did find collaborators willing to provide political cover for this fraudulent “disclosure”. The EFSA now says no public interest would be served by full disclosure. In addition to being an explicit abdication of the canons of science, which by definition requires public perusal, this is the EFSA’s open admission that it does not view itself as acting in the public interest, since it explicitly avows that the public interest, at best, must be limited by the corporate interest. The Greens/EFA statement partially endorses this, agreeing that there’s a “balance that should be struck.” We abolitionists of course recognize no such fraudulent “balance”, but will never settle for anything less than the full public interest and the full publicity of anything claiming to represent “science”.
 
 
Once again we have the standard state of things:
 
1. The myth of the public interest regulator.
 
2. The reality of the regulator controlled by the corporation and ideologically committed to serving the corporation.
 
3. The regulator lies, claiming to be trying to “strike a balance”. This already partially abrogates the myth of the public interest. In reality, the regulator recognizes no public interest at all, except insofar as this may trickle down from corporate domination.
 
4. “Reformers” have already surrendered that far, and they abet that extent of the lie. So we can assume that over time they’ll continue to surrender ground and abet further lies as the corporate assault advances.
 
 
As the piece points out, the EFSA could, if it really were under legal constraint with regard to publicizing its alleged data, ask the court to order it to publish the data. But of course no regulator would ever make such a request, because they lie about being under such constraint. No regulator ever has its hands tied by intellectual property law. On the contrary, they ardently, actively, ideologically support the poisoner project and all its elements. This includes the “secret science” the regulators require in order to perform their sham reviews.
 
 
As I’ve written many times before, this strong regulator bias on behalf of the corporations and against the public good and against science does not arise primarily from superficial venal corruption. It arises from a far more profound existential corruption, a corruption of all canons of human morality and reason. While de jure 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 EFSA or 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 cancerousness 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.” For the government, just as much as for the corporation, cancer is purely political.
 
This leads to 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 ideology goes, the people should repose implicit trust in the regulator rather than assert themselves democratically in any kind of grassroots way. Most of all, the people must 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.
 
This ideology and method is especially critical for the poisoner campaign, whose continued domination depends upon the people’s opposition remaining strait-jacketed within the bonds of regulator-based reformism. It’s essential that no significant number of people attain an abolitionist consciousness and commit to the abolitionist goal.
 
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.
 
 
 
Help propagate the abolitionist idea.
 
 
 
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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.
 
 
 

May 18, 2016

Three Notes on Communication in the Poison War

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1. Monsanto’s liars keep fighting the bad fight trying to spin their failure in Burkina Faso.
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As a connoisseur of corporate media bias, I found it refreshing that this Bloomberg piece actually was written according to what’s supposed to be journalistic method. As it should be, the reporter doesn’t claim to be able to read anyone’s mind, but only reports what someone said. For example:
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“Steenkamp said Monsanto still believes its technology will bring a benefit to farmers. The company said in the statement that the introduction in Burkina Faso of its Bollgard II cotton in 2009 in local varieties increased yields and export volumes while reducing pesticide use.”
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This bucks the New York Times standard which is followed by most of the mainstream media, which decrees that where an official or flack from an establishment entity like the US government or a big corporation says something, the scribbler should stenograph it. Thus the NYT would’ve written something like this:
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“Monsanto still believes its technology will bring a benefit to farmer. The company’s Bollgard II cotton was introduced in Burkina Faso in 2009 in local varieties in order to increase yields and export volumes while reducing pesticide use.”
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Of course the responsibility of a true journalist goes further than just proper attribution and not claiming to have a crystal ball. A real reporter would also fact-check Monsanto’s claims about yield and pesticide use and debunk those as the proven lies they are.
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2. The emphasis on commercial glyphosate formulations and the illegitimacy of the concept of “inert ingredients” is good for describing the fraudulence of corporate safety trials and regulatory assessments. But outside this context, it’s a distraction from the clear direct fact that glyphosate itself causes cancer and must be banned completely. So a general piece condemning the poison shouldn’t go off on tangents from the main line of attack. It must be glyphosate first, glyphosate last, glyphosate in the middle. For general purposes “Roundup” and “glyphosate” should be considered synonyms.
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This isn’t an academic point. As we speak the pro-glyphosate forces in the EU are expressing willingness to sacrifice POEA as long as they can separate the concept of it from the concept of glyphosate and make it the scapegoat, all toward the goal of rehabilitating glyphosate’s reputation and getting it re-licensed. That’s what happens when points which are good within a specific context are allowed to sprawl out indiscriminately into general communication, because of lack of conceptual and messaging discipline.
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3. We’ve long known that one of the main reasons most pro-GMO activists support the technology is because GMOs increase pesticide use. These activists want to maximize pesticide use but are often too cowardly openly to admit this. In particular, they’ve usually denied being Monsanto flunkeys who are really trying to boost Roundup sales. This lie has become completely transparent since the 2015 WHO cancer declaration forced the pro-GMO activists into overt Roundup shilling.
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Well, it was just a matter of time before they tried to turn this around. Here’s the first example I’ve seen of an implied claim that people are campaigning against glyphosate as some kind of stealth attack on GMOs.
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“Verger said: Every year we evaluate 10-30 compounds, and I can tell you that a lot of them are more dangerous and potent than glyphosate. We are a bit uncomfortable that there is so much interest in this assessment, [just] because this particular pesticide is used for GM crops.”
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This lie is as pathetic as all the rest. The people are rising against glyphosate because it causes cancer and has no constructive use. Contrary to the hack’s lie, to whatever extent there’s cause and effect in our oppositions it’s the other way around: One of the main reasons we oppose GMOs is precisely because GMOs are nothing but poison plants designed and intended to maximize the use of poisons like glyphosate.
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So it looks like we may be seeing this lie more often, but destroying it is easy.
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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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January 11, 2016

The EPA and Glyphosate

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In 2015 the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) reviewed the entire scientific record on glyphosate and conservatively decided that the herbicide is a probable human carcinogen.
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This finding contradicts decades of public assurances from the US EPA and Monsanto that glyphosate is safe, and in particular that it does not cause cancer. It calls into question the integrity and the competence of the EPA, which as recently as 2013 reaffirmed its position that “glyphosate does not pose a cancer risk to humans” and licentiously raised the tolerance levels for glyphosate residues* in many foods. This is part of the well-worn regulatory path of mechanically raising tolerance levels for pesticide residues in food in accordance with whatever the manufacturer projects will be the result of a new product or use pattern. For example, let’s go back to the original Roundup Ready approvals in the mid-1990s:
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In final conclusion, Monsanto says that ‘the maximum combined glyphosate and AMPA residue level of approximately 40 ppm in soybean forage resulting from these new uses exceeds the currently established tolerance of 15 ppm. Therefore, an increase in the combined glyphosate and AMPA tolerance for residues in soybean forage will be requested.’ They know very well that adoption of herbicide tolerance crop needs higher safety standards. [Edit: “Higher” meaning allowing higher residues; the safety standard is of course lowered.] In effect, the US tolerance standard of combined glyphosate and AMPA in soybean forage was changed to 100 ppm after they approved the genetically engineered soybean.

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(I highly recommend that entire piece for its details on many kinds of corporate and regulatory “scientific” fraud.)
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[*Suffused pesticide such as glyphosate and its breakdown product AMPA in herbicide tolerant GMOs or neonicotinoid insecticide in pretty much any industrial crop these days, is a premeditated food additive which becomes part of the food by the normal procedures of the agriculture and food systems. Therefore the FDA is required by law to assess and regulate it, including requiring its listing in the ingredients. The fact that the FDA refuses to do so is a typical example of how government regulators systematically break the de jure law in addition to their general gross treachery against the public and environmental health they’re allegedly there to safeguard. Capitalist regulators really have a very different mission. This includes lying about the public health, not defending it. Suffused pesticide is also one of the primary refutations of the FDA’s “substantial equivalence” religious dogma.]
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In the same way that the EPA mechanically raises the allowed poison residue levels at the corporations’ command, so it also has a history of changing its assessments of the carcinogenicity of corporate products in response to changing corporate needs. The most notorious example is glyphosate. EPA knew since at least the early 1980s that glyphosate causes cancer. The evidence was so conclusive that, in spite of EPA’s 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 a major pesticide at the time of this 1985 classification. But by the early 1990s Monsanto was preparing to bring Roundup Ready crops to market. It was time to whitewash glyphosate’s cancer record more thoroughly. EPA happily complied. Without further ado, with zero new evidence, not even a new round of phony tests, EPA in 1991 changed the classification to Group E, “Not likely to be carcinogenic to humans”. In an example of a common rhetorical ploy, EPA publicists issued an even stronger, more politicized and fraudulent phrasing: “Evidence of non-carcinogenicity to humans.”
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The EPA hasn’t yet issued a position on the IARC report. But based on this history we can expect it will continue to run interference and falsify the evidence on behalf of Monsanto and glyphosate. We’ve already seen act one of the spectacle of fraud in Europe. We can expect the EPA to do the same because it has an intrinsic imperative to maximize poison manufacture and use, what I call the Poisoner imperative. It also joins other agencies in having a mandate to bolster GMOs as an important “growth” (i.e. corporate domination) sector. Then there’s the usual mundane corruption and revolving door motives. And as I mentioned above, EPA’s entire credibility and legitimacy is on the line. It must double down on its lies and stand or fall with Monsanto. To break with the corporation and admit that glyphosate causes cancer would be a tremendous loss of face.
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There is one other possibility. If specially dedicated action groups could effectively propagate the facts about glyphosate directly to the people, evading the propaganda screen of government and mainstream media, and organize pressure groups upon government bodies which have oversight and/or procurement powers with regard to glyphosate to the point that these agencies felt real political pressure, it’s possible that we could not only continue the momentum of municipalities and retailers dropping or refusing to carry various poison products, but that we could even force the EPA to lose confidence in its lies. The EPA has shown a few slight signs of weakness lately. These two first two retrenchments were the direct result of lawsuits, but this latest change of position on neonics and honeybees has been forced by many years of untiring political pressure. Public interest lawsuits as well cannot exist in a technocratic vacuum but depend for their food and oxygen on a broad and committed political consciousness. In the end political action and resolve will decide the battle. In a soon-to-come post I’ll sketch out what kind of action groups I have in mind.
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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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The IARC has found:
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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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