At this point, we at DKos are all dreadfully familiar with the evils of Monsanto, but not content with suing farmers with cross-polinated fields and engineering the poisons and poison-resistant plants which crowd out all natural foods in our markets, the Evil Giant has teamed up with its government pal, the EPA, to arbitrarily increase the acceptable levels of Roundup in our diet, as detailed in a post by Tom Laskawy at Grist:
First the bad news: The “safest” herbicide in the history of science may be harming us in ways we’re just beginning to understand. And now for the really bad news: Because too much is never enough, the Environmental Protection Agency just raised the allowable limits for how much of that chemical can remain on the food we eat, and the crops we feed to animals — many of which end up on our plates as well. If you haven’t guessed its identity yet, it’s Monsanto’s Roundup, a powerful weed killer.Laskawy's post is definitely worth reading, and it gets into a good overview of exactly why that "safest herbicide" is probably anything but, as is the NYT Magazine cover story which inspired it.
It just may be that Roundup represents a hitherto unrecognized threat to our health — not because of what it does to our bodies, but because of what it does to our “internal ecology,” a.k.a. our “microbiome.”
My reason for posting, though, is to share that the comment period for the EPA's new approval is still open, through July 1st, and to urge anyone who's concerned to leave their comment here. Below is a copy of my comment on the page:
Choosing regulations of the chemicals people unknowingly and unwillingly put into their body based on the profits of mega-corporations like Monsanto is despicable and unconscionable. As with most things, the true danger in doing so is that "we don't know what we don't know," but as technology and science advance and people begin to awaken to the utter lack of control (or even say) they have in these vast global processes (or some might say conspiracies, if they were so inclined) -- and although not a tin-hatter myself, I see their point: a group of rich mad scientists with a government agency of a captive audience and little knowledge -- or apparent care -- for the damage they're doing to not just the biosphere but especially the microbiome of each individual who consumes glyphosate in the crops with which Monsanto so zealously saturates our markets (crowding out alternative, altogether healthier choices) -- we will and, as this comment attests, are demanding change. Notwithstanding the damage it does to individual plants and animals in the food supply chain, the increasing evidence of damage to the very microorganisms which regulate our health, about which we are only just scratching the surface, is enough to truly make one's head spin as we consider the dangers inherent in such hubris and recognize these dangers will be borne not by the corporations who make them in their quest for profits nor by their captive regulatory agencies, but by the millions of people who will consume them, unspoken for except in probably unnoticed diatribes in comment sections like these allegedly set up to give me a voice in this decision. We'll see about that. Show us that our voices our heard, and reject the unsupported assertion that a little more glyphosate won't kill us, because frankly, the evidence says it's a lot worse for us than you have heretofore acknowledged (again, serving in a role as proxy for Monsanto rather than protecting the people who support you).The progressive fight is hard and fought on multiple fronts, but few battles are as personal and as ubiquitous as those concerning the very constitution of our beings and that of what we put -- or are forced to put -- in our bodies. Only with perseverance and determination do we have any hope of prevailing, so please, take advantage of the comment period and help raise the noise around this important issue. Thank you!
UPDATE: H/t to ActivistGuy and Azazello for the reminder of the Worldwide March Against Monsanto this Saturday! Find a local event near you here and join the movement!
11:28 AM PT: "Microbiome" actually looks to be the wrong term, just FYI. As the above-referenced NYT article explains:
"Researchers use the word “microbiota” to refer to all the microbes in a community and “microbiome” to refer to their collective genes."
Oops! A simple enough mistake though, and it certainly doesn't affect the content (or urgency!) of the diary.