GMO SCRAPBOOK: LOS ANGELES VS IG FARBENSANTO
Ms. K.M. spotted this story and passed it along, and my bet is that it has the folks over in Germany at I.G. Farbensanto burning a little midnight oil, and it should. After all, Bayer - a former component of I.G. Farben, as I always enjoy reminding people - purchased the American "agribusiness" giant Mon(ster)santo, a company with a reputation that's right down there at the bottom of the list of nasty things along with the (out)House of Saud. When Bayer bought Mon(ster)santo (with cash incidentally), I along with many other people was puzzled, for in doing so, Bayer also bought Mon(ster)santo's reputation, and impending lawsuits. I suppose that for a company that was a component of I.G. Farben, that reputation is no big deal, but the lawsuits? That's another matter. And they keep piling up, along with more and more reports that the whole GMO-glyphosate thing is not the great panacea that Mon(ster)santo claimed it was. Perhaps Bayer liked the "company action plan", which included pressure on local, state, and the federal goobernments, fighting tooth and nail against GMO labeling laws, and for those of us who remember the "bad old days", suing farmers for breaches of license if so much as the tiniest sprout of their GMO plants was spotted on their land, even if the farmers didn't plant any. Or perhaps Bayer liked the use of corporate spies to go out and find those fields of "inadvertent GMO planting." All of it had that "I.G. Farben feel" to it, which is why I like to call the Bayer-Mon(ster)santo buy-out merger "I.G. Farbensanto."
Thus far, the attempts of the agribusiness industry to quash genuine GMO labeling on foods has been more or less successful, witness only the story from Hawaii a fear years ago, where one county attempted to to prohibit and then label GMOs, but was slapped down in a higher court by a judge who - surprise surprise - had connections to the "industry." Well, that may be about to change, as this story indicates:
Los Angeles bans Monsanto’s Roundup after latest jury ruling in cancer trial
Now, like a broken clock, even Nuttyfornia can get things right twice a day, and to quote a famous American senator who shall remain nameless, even incompetence can be expectedly, by a matter of simple statistics, to act in people's best interest occasionally. And Los Angeles has done so:Los Angeles county authorities have banned all use of notorious weed killer glyphosate – the herbicide better known by its Monsanto/Bayer trade name, Roundup – after a second court ruling linking it to a man’s cancer.
“I am asking county departments to stop the use of this herbicide until public health and environmental professionals can determine if it’s safe for further use in L.A. County and explore alternative methods for vegetation management,” Kathryn Barger of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors said.
The motion follows a San Francisco court’s ruling that Roundup was a “substantial factor” in 70-year-old Edwin Hardeman’s non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which he developed after using the herbicide on his Sonoma property for decades. The verdict was the second such unfavorable ruling for Germany’s Bayer, which was fortunate enough to acquire Monsanto just last year.
What this presages may be another "perfect nightmare" for I.G. Farbensanto, for as everyone knows, Nuttyfornia is a "trend setter" like it or not, and the trend being set here is simple: city and or county ordnance against glyphosate, the principal ingredient in Mon(ster)santo's herbicide, Roundup. And that herbicide in turn is designed to be used in conjunction with its other product line, GMOs. Think you have lawsuit problems now? Just wait until various local, county, and state governments start lawsuits...
So imagine this "revolt of the cities" spreading through California, and from there to Houston, Dallas, Denver, Kansas City... you get the idea. And let it be noted that this "revolt of the cities" also runs counter to the early assurances from the FDA and bought and paid for corporate science that all of this was "ok" and "perfectly safe," a process begun on the G.H.W. Bush administration's watch in the late 1980s and early 1990s. So it may also be seen as a revolt against the federal bureaucracy and its early-on findings.
Granted, all of this currently concerns only the herbicide itself, which brings me to my high octane prediction of the day: what happens when these larger cities realize that they can also require proper labeling of GMO foods? Sooner or later it will happen, and efforts to buy off a local or regional court will fail, and at that moment the real financial wake-up call for Bayer begins. If I were Bayer, I'd start looking for another buyer (rhyme is entirely unintentional), and I wouldn't bet on the Chinese.
They have lots of cash, but they're just not that stupid.
See you on the flip side...
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