The disturbing breaking news this week: Bee-killing pesticide giant Bayer is seeking to buy Monsanto, Frankenfood father of GMOs and RoundUp, among others.
It’s a marriage made in hell. In fact, I can’t even conceive of a merger of two companies that would be more damaging to the health of our planet and our individual health. It’s impossible to underestimate the deadly potential this diabolical marriage represents.
German-owned chemical giant Bayer has recently been castigated for its neonicotinoid pesticide that is responsible for bee colony collapse disorder, posing a serious threat to pollinators that are essential to food production. Neonicotinoids are used in almost all of the corn crops in the United States, covering nearly 100 million acres. Neonics, as they are commonly called, are also heavily applied to vegetable and fruit crops, pasture grasses and hay, orchards, wheat, cotton and soybeans. Translation: They are applied to almost every crop we eat.
Neonicotinoids are banned by the European Union, although Great Britain lifted the ban on British land last summer.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has confirmed that neonicotinoids cause bee deaths, but has not banned the pesticide.
In addition to a wide range of consumer garden products, some of which contain neonics, Bayer has a huge line of consumer products, including the well-known Bayer aspirin And such household standard names as Alka-Seltzer, Aleve, Claritin, Xantac and One-A-Day vitamins.
Now let’s add in Monsanto, the agrochemical giant that brought us genetically modified organisms (GMOs) that have led to a host of health problems, including contributing to the worldwide epidemic of gluten sensitivity. Add in their red-haired stepchild, RoundUp, a broad spectrum herbicide, and we add in another laundry list of health problems that include endocrine disruption, obesity diabetes, heart disease and, yes, Virginia, cancer. The World Health Organization has confirmed that glyphosate, the active ingredient in RoundUp is “probably carcinogenic to humans.”
In addition, in recent years, Monsanto (the wonderful folks who brought you the devastating Agent Orange exfoliant during the Vietnam War), has bought controlling interest in numerous seed companies and gobbled up patents on commonly used garden seeds that many of us plant every year.
If this merger succeeds, we are facing a giant, unprincipled conglomerate that will completely dominate the agriculture market and have control over nearly everything we eat. Even organics are threatened because of drift of herbicides and pesticides applied from airplanes.
What can we do?
The activist group SumOfUs.org recommends approaching shareholders of Bayer, top rally big investors who are concerned about Monsanto’s poor reputation in the agricultural sector.
Mobilizing massive pressure against elected officials to put bans on glyphosate and neonicotinoids will go a long way toward stopping the merger and the further contamination of our food stream.
SumOfUs.org plans anti-trust lawsuits in the U.S. and in Europe. They’re soliciting contributions — a contribution that I consider well worthwhile.
I’ve written about GMOs and other environmental toxins extensively in my most recent book, Our Toxic World: A Survivor’s Guide.
I’ll be adding a free bonus chapter on neonicotinoids in the coming week.