Why is the Bayer-Monsanto Merger Dangerous

The Center for Food Asfety

By now you’ve seen the ominous headlines: The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) just approved the merger of two chemical corporate giants, Monsanto and Bayer. With Bayer buying out Monsanto for $62.5 billion, this is the largest all-cash buy-out in history.

Why is this deal so dangerous?

This megamerger and others by transnational chemical companies signify an even greater effort to promote and push pesticide-dependent GMO crops around the world, and ever greater amounts of toxic pesticides on the market and in our food.

But the problems don’t stop there.The new chemical giant, Monsanto/Bayer, will own about 1/3 of all the world’s commercial seeds. They will have a virtual lock on vegetable seeds, own 3/4 of corn seeds and almost the same percentage of cotton seeds. Now only 10 companies own 73% of the entire world’s commercial seed supply.

This monopoly on seeds means that Monsanto/Bayer and these other mega-corporations can raise the prices of seeds at will, wreaking havoc on farm communities in the US and internationally. Moreover, Monsanto/Bayer gets to decide which seeds to make available to farmers, gardeners and the public. And since these corporations sell pesticides in addition to seeds, they will try to provide and promote only genetically engineered (GE) seeds to farmers, seeds designed to use Monsanto/Bayer brand pesticides, and make it difficult to find and purchase non-GE and organic seeds.

The result? Monsanto/Bayer controls our food supply! And because it’s pushing GE crops, this monopoly creates a massive reduction in seed diversity and availability of seeds around the world. This is especially tragic because we desperately need that seed diversity to have food security, decrease hunger, and deal with the changing agricultural conditions created by climate change.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Overview

A Poem by Stefanie Bennett

–After Monsanto & Dow Chemicals

Watching the storm
Roll up its sleeves
Above the serialized
Of an ever-onward
Changing tide

The Thunderbird
Dives For cover.

Posted in Stefanie Bennett | Leave a comment

Popular Beer and Wine Brands Contaminated With Monsanto’s Weedkiller, Tests Reveal

An Article by Zen Honeycutt

The past few years have revealed some disturbing news for the alcohol industry. In 2015, CBS news broke the announcement of a lawsuit against 31 brands of wines for high levels of inorganic arsenic. In 2016, beer testing in Germany also revealed residues of glyphosate in every single sample tested, even independent beers.

Moms Across America released test results of 12 California wines that were all found to be positive for glyphosate in 2016. We tested further and released new findings last week of glyphosate in all of the most popular brands of wines in the world, the majority of which are from the U.S. and in batch test results in American beer.

What do these events all have in common? Monsanto’s Roundup.

French molecular biologist Gilles-Éric Séralini released shocking findings in January of 2018 that of all the Roundup products they tested, over a dozen had high levels of arsenic—over five times the allowable limit along with dangerous levels of heavy metals.

Roundup is commonly sprayed in vineyards to keep the rows looking tidy and free of so-called weeds and on grain crops (used in beer) as a drying agent just before harvest. Glyphosate herbicides do not dry, wash or cook off and they have been proven to be neurotoxic, carcinogenic, endocrine disruptors and a cause of liver disease at very low levels.

The wine brands tested included Gallo, Beringer, Mondavi, Barefoot and Sutter Home. Beer brands tested included Budweiser, Busch, Coors, Michelob, Miller Lite, Sam Adams, Samuel Smith, Peak Organic and Sierra Nevada.

Some of the test results were at first confusing. One would expect the organic wines and beers, and the carefully crafted independent beer brands to be free of glyphosate, as the herbicides are not allowed or used in organic farming. Instead, it appears that they are contaminated. Previous testing did show that some organic wines were contaminated, and in this round, one of the organic brands was as low as 0.38 ppb, but conventional wines had glyphosate residues 61 times higher, at 23.30 ppb. Studies have shown only 1 part per trillion to stimulate the growth of breast cancer cells, so any amount is concerning.

Regarding beer, further testing would need to be done (we hope by the brands themselves), but it appears that the batch tests (equal amounts of multiple brands tested in one batch) of independent beer brands had higher levels: up to 13.60 ppb more than conventional beers. The organic batch tested at 2.57. Batch tests of large conventional brands such as Budweiser, Coors and Michelob showed 2.11 ppb collectively.

Inquiries into the big beer company manufacturing process revealed a possible explanation. Conventional beer producers tend to use cheaper ingredients which include rice, instead of barley, oats, rye and wheat, which are more expensive and tend to be used by independent and organic beer companies who prefer a richer flavor. Cheaper, hulled white rice is expected to have far lower levels of glyphosate residues than whole barley, oats and malt. If they are not organic, these are crops which are commonly sprayed with glyphosate as a drying agent just before harvest.

But one thing that is clear is that the beer and wine industries must—and in many cases are—moving away from Monsanto’s Roundup in order to avoid contamination by this harmful chemical herbicide.

Pam Strayer of Viewpoint-Wines & Vines pointed out that, “In 2016, organic wine grew 11 percent by volume; imported organic wines grew 14 percent, double that of American organic producers at 7 percent.”

“I haven’t used Roundup since 1977,” said Phil Coturri, the Sonoma vineyard manager who was recognized by the Golden Gate Salmon Association earlier this year for his environmentally sound viticulture. “You can’t constantly use a product and think that it’s not going to have an effect. Glyphosate is something that’s made to kill.”

More than 1,000 plaintiffs, most of them farmers, have filed lawsuits against Monsanto, a leading manufacturer of glyphosate, for Roundup exposure leading to non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.

Even big beer brands are seeing the benefit of organic. Anheuser-Busch announced last week that its brand Michelob has launched a new beer made with organic wheat called Ultra Pure Gold.

The Brewers Association, which certifies small independent and craft beers, gave this statement regarding the new MAA glyphosate test results:

“Brewers do not want glyphosate used on barley or any raw brewing material, and the barley grower organizations have also come out strongly against glyphosate. It is clear that the malting and brewing industries are aligned in their opposition to the use of glyphosate on malting barley.”

So how does glyphosate contaminate organic wines and beers? Drift, polluted irrigation water, soil and through a new phenomena: pesticide rains. Glyphosate and other toxic chemical particles remain in evaporated water or dust clouds which form into rain and can contaminate vineyards and grain crops thousands of miles away.

In America, one out of two males and one out of three females are expected to get cancer, one out of five have mental illness, many struggle with infertility, sterility and infant death, and our healthcare costs are crippling. Just last week, a new study revealed that maternal exposure to glyphosate showed significantly higher rates of shortened gestation. Prematurely born babies are at significant risk of infant death.

According to a Save the Children 2013 report, the U.S. has 50 percent more infant deaths on day one of life than all other developed countries combined. Could this be due to the widespread use, drift and contamination of pesticides and herbicides like Roundup? These studies may suggest so. If American policymakers want to lower healthcare costs, eliminating the use of glyphosate herbicides could be one reasonable step to take.

Concerned consumers who don’t want to drink wine and beer contaminated with harmful chemical pesticides and herbicides such as glyphosate have a chance to be heard. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is currently accepting comments until April 30, 2018, on the re-registration or denial of the license for glyphosate. Leave a comment, cite a scientific study found in this article, and protect grape growers and grain farmers, too. Then, when glyphosate is no longer used in farming, we can truly collectively say, “Cheers, to good health!”



Posted in Zen Honeycutt | Leave a comment

The Fix…

A Poem by Stefanie Bennett

…In Spite of Monsanto & Dow Chemicals

Mon dieu! I did not expect to find you splayed out
On the recliner
Exuberant but bewailing

The new Great Recession’s turn
Around, land cheats, and
Government laxity

That’d make a penny squeal
Louder than
Bagged bobcats in midwinter.

‘Go easy’ was the best I could do.
‘Don’t forget
Lumbago flares when…’

You sprang upright, stormed
To the baby grand.
Bach’s “Sleepers Awake”

Set the dog yowling off-key.
Apparition you were! Yet how
I miss your state of grace.

Posted in Stefanie Bennett | Leave a comment


A Poem by Stefanie Bennett

– After Monsanto & Dow Chemicals

You stride the flat of my hand
Egg of the world.
Painfully shy, you stretch out
Your two new legs
Always on sunset.

To tell the rest of it – how
You crow sky high
And exude
A lament most refuse to hear
Will take
A lifetime of telling.

Egg of the world, even this
They’ll say
Is a lie.

Posted in Stefanie Bennett | Leave a comment

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


A Poem by Birtha de Fect



ovation for the face with no nose,
the face with no eyes,
the one with the missing hands,
the one with the missing feet


And so Monsanto sayeth,
God Move Over.
We are now here.

Posted in Birtha de Fect | Leave a comment