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Intro: "In some circles, it would be called a bribe, at best. Evidence revealed last week shows that Monsanto's former Chief Financial Officer admitted that the agrichemical corporation planned to spend $150 million in cash and trade incentives in Latin America, North America and Europe to spur the uptake of the pesticide glyphosate, better known as RoundUp. $150 million is no small change - and surely that's not all that's been spent."

Anti-Monsanto crop circle. (photo: file)
Anti-Monsanto crop circle. (photo: file)



Monsanto Cash Incentives Under Federal Investigation

By Kathryn Gilje, Pesticide Action Network

16 July 11

 

n some circles, it would be called a bribe, at best. Evidence revealed last week shows that Monsanto's former Chief Financial Officer admitted that the agrichemical corporation planned to spend $150 million in cash and trade incentives in Latin America, North America and Europe to spur the uptake of the pesticide glyphosate, better known as RoundUp. $150 million is no small change - and surely that's not all that's been spent.

The news came to light last week as part of an investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Sadly, small farmers around the world know all too well the carrot and stick approaches that Monsanto and other pesticide giants use to lure farmers (and nations) toward industrial agriculture and onto the pesticide treadmill.

The consequences have been devastating. Farmers are forced to use more and more - and increasingly toxic - chemicals to control insects and weeds that develop resistance to pesticides. Very bad for the pocketbook, driving farmers into dependence on global pesticide corporations (and sometimes bankruptcy). Bad for the health of farm families, who suffer from exposure to toxic pesticides. And bad for the planet, driving the vitality out of resilient ecoystems that have supported food and life for millennia.

According to Jack Kaskey, reporting in Bloomberg,

Monsanto said the SEC probe involves customer-incentive programs relating to glyphosate products, the generic name for Roundup, in fiscal years 2009 and 2010. The company planned to spend as much as $150 million “of incremental price concessions or trade incentives” in the Roundup business to establish the brand in Latin America, North America and Europe, Carl M. Casale, Monsanto's former chief financial officer, said in a February 2010 conference call.

Pesticide Action Network (PAN) partners across the globe have long documented such illegal and unfair practices, which spurred, in part, the creation of an entire set of international standards to deal with these problems. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization Code of Conduct on the Distribution and Use of Pesticides, developed in 1985 and most recently updated in 2002, establishes standards for "all public and private entities engaged in or associated with the distribution and use of pesticides, particularly where there is inadequate or no national legislation to regulate pesticides." Yes, that means Monsanto.

Unfortunately, violations run rampant. PAN's most recent global report, Communities in Peril, documents the realities in the voices of more than 2000 farmers and farmworkers in 13 countries around the world, who, despite such a global standard as the FAO Code, continue to experience pesticide poisonings and violations of the standard on a daily basis.

While a global standard is critically important, its enforcement lies in the hands of people who together push for ever stronger, legally binding mechanisms for liability and accountability. And who rebuild food communities together, from the ground up. What's needed, and what PAN seeks to be part of, is a robust and vital food democracy: eaters, workers and farmers coming together across the food chain to reclaim farming and food, creating a fair, productive and resilient system for us and for the earth.

We can no longer allow our eating dollars and our political capital to continue feeding giant agribusiness corporations.

 

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+3 # Waterwatcher 2011-07-16 12:18
Roundup is an herbicide, not a pesticide.Eithe r way, it's still bad for the environment.
 
 
+2 # maveet 2011-07-16 16:53
Bad for more than the environment:

“Obviously there’s a limit to what’s appropriate in terms of testing poison on humans,” said Jeffrey Smith, executive director of the Institute for Responsible Technology, which advocates against genetically modified food. “But if you look at the line of converging evidence, it points to a serious problem. And if you look at the animal feeding studies with genetically modified Roundup ready crops, there’s a consistent theme of reproductive disorders, which we don’t know the cause for because follow-up studies have not been done.”

“More independent research is needed to evaluate the toxicity of Roundup and glyphosate,” he added, “and the evidence that has already accumulated is sufficient to raise a red flag.”
http://tinyurl.com/63fbplg
 
 
+2 # Merschrod 2011-07-16 12:20
Focus on the bribery claims, let's have the details - the rest is philosophy of how ecosystems and farming systems should work.
 
 
+1 # Miss American 2011-07-16 15:50
I suppose they think weeds ARE pests.
 
 
0 # Texas Aggie 2011-07-17 21:52
They are. And herbicides are classified as pesticides.
 
 
+2 # Texas Aggie 2011-07-17 22:01
There are sure to be those who interject GM into this, but the only relation to GM is that having resistance conveyed by GM allows the use of environmental pesticides. As for any evidence that GM itself is harmful in the absence of some outside factor, like using RoundUp, no reliable evidence exists. The ones that are offered by the Luddites have been shown to either be the result of fraudulent data analysis (the one showing that rats livers were affected by GM foods) or wishful thinking (reproductive studies using just GM foods.)

But there is no question that RoundUp (or any other pesticide for that matter) is not something that you want to go spraying into the environment willy nilly. The stuff is toxic not just to plants, but to animals as well.
 

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