Another Reason to Say "No" to Monsanto

Pesticides are killing farmers around the world. A new study in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health says there's a connection between Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer and a fatal chronic kidney disease epidemic. GreenMedInfo is reporting that this illness has affected many poor farming areas across the planet. According to the Center for Public Integrity, in the last five years, this kidney disease has killed more people just in El Salvador and Nicaragua than diabetes, AIDS and leukemia combined.

The disease was first seen at rice paddy farms in Northern Central Province of Sri Lanka in the mid-1990s, however, it has rapidly spread to farming areas throughout the world. According to this study, kidney disease is responsible for at least 20,000 deaths in Sri Lanka, which means the world-wide impact of this poison could be astronomical. If we know that Monsanto's poisonous chemical is killing people, why aren't we doing something to stop it? And, why are we even considering allowing the use even stronger pesticides?


Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 13 weeks ago

I hate the 21st Century!!!

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 9 years 13 weeks ago

What do you think about the terminator gene all the seeds that all the poor farmers in the world (like in India and now Iraq) are forced to buy have? They don't want there to be a tree, plant or bush in the world unless it was bought from them and within that generation of that plant. .

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 13 weeks ago

I think Monsanto is a dangerous, fascist, farm-destroying, health-destroying, toxic entity the world would be vastly better off without. The sooner they crash & burn, the better. And this "terminator gene" you mention, Mark, sounds like something out of a science fiction horror movie. The mere mention of Monsanto is enough to raise my blood pressure by double-digits. - Aliceinwonderland

ckrob's picture
ckrob 9 years 13 weeks ago

Isn't it interesting that conservatives would require farmers to buy patented, man-made, artificial plants/seeds because a corporation can make a buck instead of supporting cultivation of that which is God-given. Oh, my bad, their God is the dollar!

FractionallyUnnerved's picture
FractionallyUnnerved 9 years 13 weeks ago

Self regulation rockefeller style! 450 billion to service the 17 trillion debt given to private others!! you could build 500 Hospitals a Year and heal those folks! Know any Shrinners .

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 9 years 13 weeks ago

The logical extension and logical and inevitable conclusion of private property rights. What do Native Americans and what would their forebears think of all of this?

BMetcalfe's picture
BMetcalfe 9 years 13 weeks ago

Thanks for letting us know the terrible statistics. I didn't know the percentage had become this high.

What I have known for several years is that domestic pets who are allowed to play outside on properties upon which Round-Up has been sprayed, suffer far greater kidney disease problems and premature deaths than pets raised without being exposed to Round-Up. Also, trees and bushes grow more heartily and live much longer when Round-Up isn't used on the property to control weeds.

You'd think we would have known better, after Malathion was advertised so robustly in the 1970s as a flea deterent for yards and as an additive to animal baths. Pets and children suffered tremendous kidney problems back then, and although it took about ten years to learn the truth, we finally realized it was harming wildlife, domestic pets AND all of the rest of us.

Monsanto has known how deadly Round-Up is for at least three decades. I think a lot of farmers have known it too, but sadly, the bottom line has always been "cheap help is expendable." And once again we're all paying the price, because the poison comes up via the roots of the crops, and we're eating it alongside the pickers who are dying from it, and their offspring whose immune systems are far weaker than normal. But Monsanto isn't going to take it off the market unless they're sued and found guilty.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 13 weeks ago

Mark, if I had a penny for each time those thoughts have crossed my mind, I'd be a one-percenter myself. Being as human as us, Native Americans were no angels. But spiritually, their cultures were WAY superior to ours. No contest. - AIW

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 13 weeks ago

Ms. Metcalfe, you are spot-on. Monsanto and its products and business practices are our gift from hell. I'm way more afraid of them than the Taliban or Al Qaeda. - AIW

leighmf's picture
leighmf 9 years 13 weeks ago

Don't forget everyone that Monsanto is just DuPont in hiding.....they have been raping the nation since the first "Ditch-Digging and Canal Companies" of the 1800's.

tomcalwriter1's picture
tomcalwriter1 9 years 13 weeks ago

Weren't GMOs developed to make plants immune specifically to the hazards of Ready Roundup? And this is one of the arguments against GMOs. Furthermore, because Ready Roundup can be used in the production of GMOs, then traces of the chemical would also be passed in our diet if we consume GMO products, and after time buildup in our system -- which could lead to an upsurge in kidney disease.

N Z Sarah's picture
N Z Sarah 9 years 13 weeks ago

Please all read this article. Just one of many. YOU are being poisoned as well. Crops such as grain and soya beans are sprayed with round up to 'dry' them just before harvest and this carries over into YOUR food. Not to mention the regular use of glyphosate in the school yard and parks.

INTERNATIONAL WOMENS DAY Saturday 8th March. Think about EQUAL GENDER GOVERNMENTS and what a change that could make to our world.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 13 weeks ago
Quote Mark Saulys: What do you think about the terminator gene all the seeds that all the poor farmers in the world (like in India and now Iraq) are forced to buy have?

Mark Saulys ~ To answer your question, in my opinion, GURT (Genetic Use Restriction Technology) is an abomination of science, an aberration of nature, a moral and ethical cardinal sin, and a crime against humanity, the world, and God. There simply is no way to explain or justify creating or altering life so that it is permanently sterile, other than tyranny. After all, part of the definition of life is the ability to reproduce. Without it, there is no life. It is a sign that some of us have completely lost our moral compass. I can only agree with Aliceinwonderland that the entire world would be far better off if Monsanto--and any other like minded people--were to unceremoniously fall into a black hole and disappear into another universe.

What really bothers me is that the TPP would have made it criminal to do anything about this outrage. That whole fiasco would add a lot more names to our bandwagon to the singularity. We live in a very surrealistic time, indeed.

Bob Hearns's picture
Bob Hearns 9 years 13 weeks ago

This is the extension of WWII deaths. When the war ended, the chemical industry found a new use for their deadly chemicals - spray it on our crops. Now we have Monsanto putting the poison INTO our crops. Just another example of how we are destroying the environment which, of course, includes ourselves.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 13 weeks ago

Death to Monsanto!!!

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 9 years 13 weeks ago

Alice, the Native Americans might've been no angels but I think there are some ways of life that bring out the best in people and some that bring out the worst and that ours is of the latter category.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 13 weeks ago

Agreed, Mark.

FractionallyUnnerved's picture
FractionallyUnnerved 9 years 13 weeks ago

Six nations link history about interaction of Founding fathers such as Ben Franklin and oldest democracy The Six Nations: Oldest Living Participatory Democracy on Earth enjoy no GMO's or msg Maybe Angels a Sheryl Crow song lol

FractionallyUnnerved's picture
FractionallyUnnerved 9 years 13 weeks ago

Evironmental protection agency have become shills for the rockefeller's

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 13 weeks ago

Rockefucker Senior is to blame for the tyrannical wars and mindless plundering linked to a fossil fuel scourge now threatening all life on this planet. Isn't it amazing how much upheaval, suffering, death and devastation can be caused by one itsy-bitsy, self-serving little prick with deep pockets! A century later, the world continues to suffer the consequences of his actions. If there's a hell, I hope he's burning in it. - AIW

humanitys team's picture
humanitys team 9 years 12 weeks ago

Only a race of beings with limited understanding could create such insanity's.

We have to see ourselves or some of ourselves as primitive beings still caught in our belief system of separation and survival of the fittest.The profit survival mentality is killing us all and the planet at the same time ! But there is hope as all the truth comes out we get to look at ourselves and what we are creating as human beings on this planet Earth.

Chemicals that we spray on our food we now know limit our bodies to function properly and have negative effects on our long term health as Thom,s above post clearly shows .So we are fighting a war against nature which cannot be won.Nature is there for our benefit to cooperate with it and understand it,s wonders to keep it in balance .Nothing is more cruel to nature than mankind and there are consequences to our actions as we are finding out .

The problem is one of beliefs and the cultural story we tell ourselves .We need to write a new cultural story that is based on reality and has life as it,s prime value .Create different guiding principles to steer humanity to a higher evolutionary path.

humanitys team's picture
humanitys team 9 years 12 weeks ago

Alice there is no hell ,that is part of the problem .There is only life ! but there are consequences for ones actions .The life we are living is the mirror of the combined consciousness of all the beings on Earth .So to change the existing reality we have to raise the onsciousness of humans .Do what works ? And say whats so ?

This is what Thom is doing and being .If you get a chance read Tommorows God by Neale Donald Walsch .It,s a breathtaking look at what the next 20 -50 years could be like - it gives us hope .Never give up sometimes things get a lot worse before breakthrough happens.

Magicl blessings .

The human race is inherently good despite what the culture or religions say.They are misinformed and will eventually disappear if they do not change their belief system to acommadate a unity consciousness.

The only question would be .What would love do now ?

nora's picture
nora 9 years 12 weeks ago

One of the most beautiful places on Earth was physical perfection preserved by a people who were in tune with nature and worked perfectly with nature. BALI.

In Bali they did not use pesticides. The Balinese followed "...a traditional farming system called Subak Abian, which is based on the Hindu philosophy of "Tri Hita Karana". According to this philosophy, the three causes of happiness are good relations with God, other people and the environment." [  ] For example, they herded flocks of ducks to their fields to eat troublesome insects.

But that all changed. Corporate/Finance thugs descended on Bali and forced the farmers to use the Western Agricultural Technology/Techniques and pesticides.

This successful, happy culture in balance with nature has now changed, been wounded, and all for the worse profit motives. What a great loss to the Balinese and all the world which could have learned so much from them.

This about Bali--

Elioflight's picture
Elioflight 9 years 12 weeks ago

I live to see Monsanto destroyed.

I live in the middle of Ohio grain farm country. Our house is surrounded by farm fields. The local farmers have taken out ALL of the fencerows--for an extra bushel of corn/soybeans. They offered to take out our fencerows--I said over my dead body and told them to leave my property. The soil blows away and up against our house and outbulidngs and the chemicals fly--we keep bees and garden organically--or TRY to do do. Our home is surrounded by thick fencerows and forest to keep out the majority of chemicals. Several of our dogs have died from cancer from drinking our water--we don't drink our water and the animals don't drink our water anymore--as farm run-off flows onto our property and into our well--no doubt--and no amount of complaint has helped.

Many of our neighbors have cancer or have died from it--lung (non-smoker), brain, liver, pancreatic, and hormonal cancers. I developed estrogen breast cancer with NO risk factors--I am the healthiest most prevention prone person in my family. The Cleveland Clinic recently bought our small cancer clinic. Scarey that there must be more than enough to pay the bills to interest a large hospital system like the Clinic.

Monsanto and its evil disreguard for human life and the environment is criminal.

mrrob's picture
mrrob 9 years 12 weeks ago

Not being critical, but just wanted to point out that Round-Up is a herbicide, not a pesticide.

The most frustrating thing about Round-Up is that the end result of widespread use is herbicide resistant weeds. Yes, just like cockroaches have adapted to the pesticides we use for them, the weeds have become herbicide resistant, just like the GMO corn and soybean.

In my opinion, these large agribusinesses are going to destroy our food supply by upsetting the balance of nature. We may die of starvation before climate change kills us.

How can we combat this? By buying locally produced food from farmers that are willing to do it the right way. Be prepared, it will be more expensive. We produce true-organic, free-range eggs on our small farm. Our production costs exceed the selling price of factory farm eggs found at the local grocery store.

Grow as much of your own food as possible. Even if it's a container garden on your apartment window sill.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 12 weeks ago

Reading Elioflight's post, I have to wonder just how far people will be pushed before they're pushed right over the edge. I'm not a violent person, yet I find myself fantasizing about violent uprisings against the likes of Monsanto when all else fails. Living under the constant threat of lawsuits and financial ruin if the wind contaminates your crop with Monsanto's patented crap, not being able to drink your own water, suffering from cancer, watching your dogs and your neighbors die of cancer... my god, how bad does it have to get?!! - Aliceinwonderland

WilliamManners's picture
WilliamManners 9 years 12 weeks ago

Better living through modern chemistry!

It's time we all became environmentalists and activists so our our politicians will court the environmentalist vote! It's the only way we will ever get the strong EPA action required. Then we need to spread it to other countries so the G8 will move on environmental issues and ban the export of these dangerous chemiclas and ideas like geneticly modified crops


WilliamManners's picture
WilliamManners 9 years 12 weeks ago

DAnneMarc made a good point! It IS a "Crime against humanity" and they should be prosecuted for such!

News Junkie 9 years 12 weeks ago

In answer to your question "If we know that Monsanto's poisonous chemical is killing people..." the answer is that we don't know that this renal disease is positively linked. I actually read the article which you did not reference, and the hypothesis is very provocative, indeed, but is just that: a hypothesis. This is why you should leave science to scientists. There are preliminary experiments and excellent suggestions for follow-up. There is strong epidemiological correlation. There are also ten other common rice pesticides mentioned, all with known toxicities, many renal, and many known to form complexes with metal ions, not to mention published renal toxity data. Monsanto didn't make glyphosate; they acquired it from Staufer. There are manufacturers from all quadrants of the globe involved in the researchers' "compound X". The report is very interesting, and will be followed up on by professional pesticide and toxicology researchers to the tunes of millions of research dollars. This is no exageration. Research is extremely expensive.

Pesticides are primitive technology of the 19th and 20th century that we work every day to find alternatives to so that we can feed a hungry planet. Yelling "Monsanto!" at every offence is tiresome for those of us seriously engaged in replacing pesticides. If you're going to raise a ruckus, include all the bad actors, such as Union Carbide, Syngenta, DuPont, Dow, FMC, Bayer, Valent, Sumitomo, BASF, etc. I have no love for Monsanto and their modern recursion to sharecropping courtesy of their onerous Monsanto Technology Stewardship Agreement, but they are only the most visible. They are not the only pony in the GMO stable. They are insignificant in comparison to the public manipulation practiced by the pharmaceutical industry and their synergy with the health insurance industry.

p.s. - Have loved your show for years Thom!

If we know that Monsanto's poisonous chemical is killing people, why aren't we doing something to stop it? - See more at: we know that Monsanto's poisonous chemical is killing people, why aren't we doing something to stop it? - See more at: we know that Monsanto's poisonous chemical is killing people, why aren't we doing something to stop it? - See more at:

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 12 weeks ago

Recursive? It points to itself over and a snake swallowing it's tail. And speaking of snakes swallowing things..have you seen the python that swallowed a crocodile? I think that was in Australia.

But, of course, you are right about: "If you're going to raise a ruckus, include all the bad actors, such as Union Carbide, Syngenta, DuPont, Dow, FMC, Bayer, Valent, Sumitomo, BASF, etc." They are all culpable for poisoning us!

stelleen's picture
stelleen 9 years 12 weeks ago

This tragedy is related to the real reason we should be concerned about GMOs, and points to the danger of considering all GMOs as bad rather than seriously evaluating what is being genetically modified and why. Some genetic modifications have more positive value than others. For example, engineering traits for drought tolerance or better nutrient production or less reliance on fertilizers or (with more caution) direct pest resistance have great value.

What Monsanto has done is to genetically modify certain crop plants (like soybeans) to be resistant to Roundup. The message they sell to the farmer is that if they plant the Monsanto GM seeds they can keep their fields weed free by blanket spraying the field with Monsanto's other product: Roundup. For the farmer this is cheaper than the original way of paying junior high and high school students to pull the weeds out of the beans or more recently having workers spot spray the weeds with Roundup. After all it is better to give those wages to Monsanto than to students or low-educated workers. It frees up these displaced workers' time and gives them an incentive to earn money other ways, like making meth from the nitrogen fertilizer that Monsanto also sells to the farmers. Even the old spot spraying method put orders of magnitude less of the chemical in the environment and was much less likely to make it to the streams and water table in run off. This orders of magnitude increase in field application made possible by their Roundup resistant crop varieties is the reason for the massive and growing problem with the kidney disease.

If one wanted to push a legislative solution the appropriate way to frame it would be to ban more generically the sale of crops that have been engineered for resistance to any pesticide rather than fighting each pesticide individually. Almost any corporate product strategy based on increasing indiscriminate application of a company's pesticide by engineering its resistance into a crop plant is bound to create these larger contamination and health problems. Banning glysophate resistance specifically will only encourage a replacement with another pesticide that may be even more dangerous.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 12 weeks ago
Quote steleen:It frees up these displaced workers' time and gives them an incentive to earn money other ways, like making meth from the nitrogen fertilizer that Monsanto also sells to the farmers.
lol ;-}}}}

nora's picture
nora 9 years 12 weeks ago

mrrob -- I'm moved to correct your correction. I worked in agricultural publishing for awhile and, actually, the folks in that field refer to crop problems as 'pests' -- be they insects, fungus, weeds. So, that means "pesticides" is an umbrella term that includes INSECTICIDES, FUNGICIDES, HERBICIDES. Also, the companies that make herbicides (such as Roundup) also have been known to make other pesticide products.

The pesticide industry has never cared about its products' effects on users or consumers. In the old days, if the mule's skin peeled off after the poison was applied to the crop, paying for another mule was just part of the cost of doing business. And it helped these poison-making companies alot when there were absolutely no consumer protections. And it helps them today when no one does epidemiological studies on migrant farm workers.

And it tells us alot when we learn that these companies' products can be interchangably used between farm use and use as a weapon of mass destruction -- like Round-Up in soybean cultivation and Round-Up as Agent Orange for defoliating whole forests in Vietnam. How many generations will it take for this "belief"/faith-based confidence in the benefits of POISON to play-out so that this Death Cult approach to all aspects of our existence can be rejected?

nora's picture
nora 9 years 12 weeks ago

What's really bizarre about the Monsanto Round-Up Industrial Agriculture Model (spray the weeds away), is that it came out with this horrid concept at the same time developers of more sustainable agricultural practices were refining programs that were low-cost and didn't harm yields -- like something called No-Till farming, where weeds are left to die and nourish the soil and protect the surface of the soil from the eroding effects of wind and water -- that is, adopting a concept about weeds and their life cycle as being a friend to the farmer, not an enemy.

But the I.G. Farber and Friends "better killing through chemistry" crowd just have too much money from their other petro-chemical creations -- industrial materials, plastics, pharmaceuticals, and fertilizers and all manner of household stuff like paints and so on. All that money helps to pay for endless marketing and whitewashing of negative realities, and advertising in the farm press, and schmoozing of the farmers. Finally, when some ag-businesses got so huge to be corporate entities themselves -- corporations at that point are often sharing directors of the board and they don't even have to work at selling their ideas, their products are just accepted; plus, the time comes when farmers and giant ag-business growers only get financing and venture capital if they toe the line -- and it all just becomes a circular head nod no matter how stupid and destructive the products are -- even like Monsanto's Round-Up and Frankensteinseeds.

stelleen's picture
stelleen 9 years 12 weeks ago

mrrob -- regarding your concern about pesticice resistance (pesticide being the generic term for herbicides, insecticides, fungicides) destroying us before global warming does.

If one grows bacteria in a Petri dish with sufficient nutrients they eventually die off not because of starvation but because their own waste kills them. This is rarely taught as a key principle to students, but is likely one of the more important principles the human race should be concerned about today. The earth is our Petri dish and chemicals, heat, radioactivity, etc. are our waste products.

Humans are one species in the fabric of life. If we kill ourselves off it will not very likely be the end of life on earth. Even if only bacteria survive a new ecosystem will evolve to exploit the environment we leave behind. It just won't include humans and probably most or all other large organisms of the types that exist today.

Back in the 1930s the nuclear physicist Fermi hypothesized that we would not find intelligent life anywhere else in the universe. This was not because he believed that intelligent life did not evolve elsewhere in the universe but because he believed that intelligent life kills itself off too rapidly by its ignorant manipulation of its environment, and that this will be our fate as well.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 12 weeks ago

Stelleen, I can't say how many times I've had similar thoughts. I'm no theist but when it comes to karma, I'm a believer. Just as we, as individuals, carry a karmic debt (or surplus), so do we as a species. -AIW

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 12 weeks ago

The cockroaches will survive long after humans are extinct. I wonder if there is a cockroach God? I can't imagine an anthropomorphic god being happy playing sadistic, psychotic little mind games with cockroaches. But I can't even imagine an anthropomorphic god either. I guess I have no imagination! And with that...I hear, in my mind, a favorite Beatles tune. So I bid you all adieu for now.

Thom's Blog Is On the Move

Hello All

Thom's blog in this space and moving to a new home.

Please follow us across to - this will be the only place going forward to read Thom's blog posts and articles.

From Screwed:
"I think many of us recognize that for all but the wealthiest, life in America is getting increasingly hard. Screwed explores why, showing how this is no accidental process, but rather the product of conscious political choices, choices we can change with enough courage and commitment. Like all of Thom’s great work, it helps show us the way forward."
Paul Loeb, author of Soul of a Citizen and The Impossible Will Take a Little While
From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"With the ever-growing influence of corporate CEOs and their right-wing allies in all aspects of American life, Hartmann’s work is more relevant than ever. Throughout his career, Hartmann has spoken compellingly about the value of people-centered democracy and the challenges that millions of ordinary Americans face today as a result of a dogma dedicated to putting profit above all else. This collection is a rousing call for Americans to work together and put people first again."
Richard Trumka, President, AFL-CIO
From Screwed:
"Hartmann speaks with the straight talking clarity and brilliance of a modern day Tom Paine as he exposes the intentional and systematic destruction of America’s middle class by an alliance of political con artists and outlines a program to restore it. This is Hartmann at his best. Essential reading for those interested in restoring the institution that made America the envy of the world."
David C. Korten, author of The Great Turning and When Corporations Rule the World