Thursday, December 12, 2013

MONSANTO'S DARK HISTORY - 1901 to 2013 - CONCLUDING PART


2000: 5 pesticide companies, including Monsanto, controlled over 70% of all patents
 on agricultural biotechnology. Monsanto had the largest share of the 
global GMO crops market.

2000: Since the inception of Plan Colombia, the US has spent hundreds of millions of dollars in funding aerial sprayings of Monsanto's Roundup herbicides in Colombia. The Roundup is often applied in concentrations 26x higher than what is recommended for agricultural use. Additionally, it contains at least one surfactant, Cosmo-Flux 411f, whose ingredients are a trade secret, has never been approved for use in the US, and which quadruples the biological action of the herbicide. Not surprisingly, numerous human health impacts have been recorded in the areas affected by the sprayings, including respiratory, gastrointestinal and skin problems, and even death, especially in children. Additionally, fish and animals will show up dead in the hours and days subsequent to the herbicide sprayings.
2000-2002: Monsanto merges with Pharmacia & Upjohn, and changes its name to Pharmacia Corporation. Monsanto Company restructures in deal with Pharmacia & Upjohn Inc; separates agricultural and chemicals businesses and becomes stand-alone agricultural company. By 2000 the current Monsanto had emerged from various transactions, including a merger for a time with Pharmacia, as a legally different corporation from the Monsanto that had existed from 1901-2000. This was despite the fact that both Monsantos shared not just the same name, but the same corporate headquarters near St. Louis, Missouri, and many of the same executives and other employees, not to mention much of the responsibility for liabilities arising out of its former activities.

2001: Retired Monsanto chemist William S. Knowles was named a co-winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his research on catalytic asymmetric hydrogenation, which was carried out at Monsanto beginning in the 1960s until his 1986 retirement.

2001: Monsanto GMO crops accounted for 91% of the total area of GMO crops planted worldwide.

2002: Monsanto entered into an important agreement with DuPont. As a result of this "agreement" both companies agreed to drop a raft of outstanding patent lawsuits against one another and to share their patented GMO crops technologies. Some commentators see this ‘agreement' as constituting a pseudo-merger by stealth of the two companies' GMO crops monopolies which are too large to be permitted to merge.

August 13, 2002: Monsanto had sales of $4,673,000,000. Based on 2001 figures Monsanto was the second biggest seed company in the world, and the third biggest agrochemical company. The infamous agrochemical and biotechnology division, still known as Monsanto, was spun off as a nominally separate company with Pharmacia originally retaining an 85% share. Monsanto Company became completely separate and independent from Pharmacia on August 13, 2002, when Pharmacia distributed its remaining Monsanto shares to Pharmacia's stockholders.

2002: Events in Argentina also affected the company in other ways: Monsanto's Argentine unit lost $154 million in the 2002 fiscal year, due to the collapse of the Argentine economy and a deepening recession which forced the government to default on most of its public debt, and devalue the peso in January 2002. The government also converted what was a dollar economy into a peso economy and, as a result, Monsanto received devalued pesos for products it had sold in dollars, slashing its sales income.

2002: The Washington Post ran an article entitled, "Monsanto Hid Decades Of Pollution, PCBs Drenched Alabama Town, But No One Was Ever Told" about PCBs. Monsanto share price plummeted in the second half of 2002 following its sell off by former parent company Pharmacia and this was compounded by the departure of Monsanto's CEO at the end of 2002.

December 2002: CEO Hendrik Verfaillie resigned after he and the board agreed that his performance had been disappointing and the company had faced extensive criticism for failing to deal more honestly and effectively with its difficulties. "This is a company that has been optimistic on the borderline of LYING," said Sergey Vasnetsov, senior analyst with Lehman Brothers in New York. "Monsanto has been feeding us these FANTASIES for two years, and when we saw they weren't real, its stock price fell."

2003: Jury fines Monsanto and its former chemical subsidiary, Solutia, Inc. (now owned by Pharmacia Corp.), agreed to pay $600 million in August to settle claims brought by more than 20,000+ residents of Anniston, Alabama - over the severe contamination of ground and water by tons of PCBs dumped in the area from the 1930s until the 1970s. Court documents revealed that Monsanto was aware of the contamination decades earlier.

2003: Solutia, Inc. (now owned by Pharmacia Corp.) files Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

2004: Monsanto forms American Seeds Inc holding company for corn and soybean seed deals and begins brand acquisitions.

2004-2005: Monsanto filed lawsuits against many farmers in Canada and the U.S. on the grounds of patent infringement, specifically the farmers' sale of seed containing Monsanto's patented genes. In some cases, farmers claimed the seed was unknowingly sown by wind carrying the seeds from neighboring crops, a claim rejected in Monsanto Canada Inc. v. Schmeiser. These instances began in the mid to late 1990s, with one of the most significant cases being decided in Monsanto's favor by the Canadian Supreme Court. By a 5-4 vote in late May 2004, that court ruled that "by cultivating a plant containing the patented gene and composed of the patented cells without license, the appellants (canola farmer Percy Schmeiser) deprived the respondents of the full enjoyment of the patent." With this ruling, the Canadian courts followed the U.S. Supreme Court in its decision on patent issues involving plants and genes.

2005: Monsanto has patent claims on breeding techniques for pigs which would grant them ownership of any pigs born of such techniques and their related herds. Greenpeace claims Monsanto is trying to claim ownership on ordinary breeding techniques. Monsanto claims that the patent is a defensive measure to track animals from its system. They furthermore claim their patented method uses a specialized insemination device that requires less sperm than is typically needed.

2005: Environmental, consumer groups question safety of Roundup Ready crops, say they create "super weeds," among other problems.

2006: In January, the South Korean Appeals Court ordered Dow Chemical and Monsanto to pay $62 million in compensation to about 6,800 people.

2006: Organic farmers, concerned about the impact of GMO alfalfa on their crops, sued Monsanto (Monsanto Company vs. Geertson Seed Farms). In response, in May 2007, the California Northern District Court issued an injunction order prohibiting farmers from planting Roundup Ready alfalfa until the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) completed a study on the genetically engineered crop's likely environmental impact. As a result, the USDA put a hold on any further planting of Roundup Ready alfalfa.

2006: the Public Patent Foundation filed requests with the United States Patent and Trademark Office to revoke 4 patents that Monsanto has used in patent lawsuits against farmers. In the first round of reexamination, claims in all 4 patents were rejected by the Patent Office in 4 separate rulings dating from February through July 2007. Monsanto has since filed responses in the reexaminations.

2006-2007: Monsanto buys several regional seed companies and cotton seed leader Delta and Pine Land Co. - Competitors allege Monsanto gaining seed industry monopoly.

2007: Monsanto's biotech seeds and traits (including those licensed to other companies) accounted for almost 90% of the total world area devoted toGMOseeds.

2007: California Northern District Court issued an injunction order prohibiting farmers from planting Roundup Ready alfalfa until the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) completed a study on the genetically engineered crop's likely environmental impact. As a result, the USDA put a hold on any further planting of Roundup Ready alfalfa.

2007: USDA Dairy Survey estimated rBGH use at 15.2% of operations and 17.2% of cows.

2008: Monsanto sells Posilac business to Eli Lilly (polio vaccine manufacturer) amid consumer and food industry concerns about the dairy cow hormone supplement.

2008: Acquires sugarcane breeding companies, and a Dutch hybrid seed company.

2008-2009: U.S. Department of Justice says it is looking into monopolistic power in the U.S. seed industry.

2009: Monsanto posts record net sales of $11.7 billion and net income of $2.1 billion for fiscal 2009.

2009: Monsanto announces a project to improve the living conditions of 10,000 small cotton and corn farmers in 1,100 villages in India (keep in mind that 100,000 small cotton farmers in India commit suicide by drinking Roundup AFTER massive GMO crop failures bankrupted their families); donates cotton technology to academic researchers.

2010: Monsanto introduces their new brand Genuity

2010: Farmers in South Africa report 80% of the GMO corn was SEEDLESS at harvest time!

2010: Monsanto was named company of the year by Forbes magazine in January.

2010: Demand for milk without using synthetic hormones has increased 500% in the US since Monsanto introduced their rBST product. Monsanto has responded to this trend by lobbying state governments to ban the practice of distinguishing between milk from farms pledged not to use rBST and those that do.

2011: Monsanto posts net income of $1 billion for fiscal 2010. OUCH! a 50% loss from 2009.
Today, over 80% of the worldwide area devoted to GMO crops carries at least one genetic trait for (Monsanto's Roundup) herbicide tolerance. Herbicides account for about one-third of the global pesticide market. Monsanto's glyphosate-resistant (Roundup Ready) seeds have reigned supreme on the biotech scene for over a decade - creating a near-monopoly for Monsanto's Roundup herbicide - which is now off patent. Roundup is the world's biggest selling pesticide and it has helped make Monsanto the world's 5th largest agrochemical company.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

NETHERLANDS SHOWS URINALS TURN PEE INTO FERTILZER FOR LOCAL FOOD

Amsterdam's urine alone can fertilize 10,000 football fields' worth of plants. 

Drink some water, quick!Peeing in public isn’t usually a government-sanctioned activity. But a few weeks ago, Dutch officials lined up some not-so-private urinals in an Amsterdam park and invited local men to come and, well, partake. It was all in the name of the environment: Instead of sending urine straight down drains, the local water district wants to turn it into fertilizer for local farms.

Phosphorus extracted from the temporary park urinals will go to a green roof in the city. And today, the water utility will launch a new recovery plant designed to mine the phosphorus out of all of the wastewater in the region. Amsterdam's pee alone can fertilize 10,000 football fields' worth of plants, according to officials.


The idea all began because the phosphorus from urine was causing problems--it forms crystals, which were clogging local pipes. "We thought, if we have to remove it, why not do it in a proper way," said Peer Roojimans, who serves on the board of the water authority. "Phosphorus is needed for survival for everything in life, but it’s a limited product, and the mines are exhausted. Since everyone takes it with us every day--and supplies it to our sewage treatment plant when we go to the toilet--we wanted to develop a device that could reuse it."

After wastewater goes to the new recovery plant, the phosphorus and nitrogen from the urine will be separated, cleaned, and transformed into struvite, a slow-release fertilizer. New Dutch laws allow it to officially be used on farms starting on January 1.


Lest it seem that poo has been left out of the plan, Roojimans points out that the entire wastewater treatment plant for the Amsterdam area--which serves a million people--runs entirely on electricity that is produced from solid waste.

Though some question whether there's a truly a phosphorus shortage in mines, it seems pretty clear that reusing it from waste is a better way to have a sustainable supply. And now Amsterdam residents can be proud to know they're recycling every time they flush.

Cris Toala Olivares Photography

COURTESY: http://www.fastcoexist.com/3022496/these-urinals-turn-pee-into-fertilizer-for-local-food

 

Friday, December 6, 2013

ORGANIC INSECTICIDE: HOMEMADE: SIMPLE & EASY TO MAKE

Soak Hot Peppers (Dry Red Chillies + Green Chillies), Garlic & Onions (you may add NEEM Leaves also) in water for an hour or two... then take them out from the water (please don't throw the water... it will come handy to boil the paste later) and grind them into paste form...




Add a tablespoon Dish Soap into the Concoction & boil them...



HAPPY SPRAYING !





Friday, November 29, 2013

MY MAGICAL TERRACE ORGANIC VEGETABLES' GARDEN


The First Lauki / Bottle Gourd...


The Baby Lauki / Bottle Gourd...



Cabbages & Cauli Flowers transplanted in a bigger space...


 Cabbages & Cauli Flowers...



Onions...  


Blooming Lettuce...


Brinjals... / One Cauli Flower...


Red cabbages...


Garlic...


My Small Organic Vegetables' Garden in My Magical Terrace...


Tomatoes are growing well...


Tomatoes are fast multiplying...


Compost Tea maturing well in hot Sun...

Start growing your own Vegetables in your Balcony, Terrace, Backyard or Front yard... With the prices soaring & escalating day after day... a small Vegetables' Garden will give you Pure Chemical Free Healthy Vegetables for your good health... and a lot Cheaper !!!

What are you waiting for???






Monday, November 25, 2013

MONSANTO'S DARK HISTORY - 1901-2013 - PART VIII


1990: EPA chemists allege fraud in Monsanto's 1979 dioxin study, which found exposure to the chemical doesn't increase cancer risks.

1990: Monsanto spends more than $405,000 to defeat California's pesticide regulation Proposition 128, known as the "Big Green" initiative. The initiative is aimed at phasing out the use of pesticides, including Monsanto's product alachlor, linked to cancer and global warming.

1990: With the help of Roundup, the agriculture division of Monsanto was significantly outperforming Monsanto's chemicals division in terms of operating income, and the gap was increasing. But as Glover notes, while "such a blockbuster product uncorks a fountain of revenue", it "also creates an uncomfortable dependency on the commercial fortunes of a single brand. Monsanto's management knew that the last of the patents protecting Roundup in the United States, its biggest market, would expire in the year 2000, opening the field to potential competitors. The company urgently needed a strategy to negotiate this hurdle and prolong the useful life of its 'cash cow'."

1991: Monsanto is fined $1.2 million for trying to conceal discharge of contaminated waste water into the Mystic River in Connecticut.

1993: By April, the Department of Veterans Affairs had only compensated 486 victims, although it had received disability **CLAIMS** from 39,419 veteran soldiers who had been exposed to monsanto's Agent Orange while serving in Vietnam. No compensation has been paid to Vietnamese civilians and though some compensation was paid to U.S. veterans, according to William Sanjour, who led the Toxic Waste Division of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), "thousands of veterans were disallowed benefits" because "Monsanto studies showed that dioxin [as found in Agent Orange] was not a human carcinogen." An EPA colleague discovered that Monsanto had apparently falsified the data in their studies. Sanjour says, "If [the studies] were done correctly, they would have reached just the opposite result."
 
1994: the first of Monsanto's biotech products to make it to market was not a GMO crop but Monsanto's controversial GMO cattle drug, bovine growth hormone - called rBGH or rBST, Monsanto granted regulatory approval for its first biotech product, a dairy cow hormone. Monsanto developed a recombinant version of BST, brand-named Posilac bovine somatropin (rBST/rBGH), which is produced through a genetically engineered GMO E. coli bacteria. Synthetic Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH), approved by the FDA for commercial sale in 1994, despite strong concerns about its safety. Since then, Monsanto has sued small dairy companies that advertised their products as free of the artificial hormone, including Ben & Jerry's ice cream and most recently bringing a lawsuit against Oakhurst Dairy in Maine.
 
1995: Genetically engineered canola (rapeseed) which is tolerant to Monsanto's Roundup herbicide was first introduced to Canada. Today 80% of the acres sown are genetically modified canola.

1995: Monsanto is sued after allegedly supplying radioactive material for a controversial study which involved feeding radioactive iron to 829 pregnant women.

1995: Monsanto ranked 5th among U.S. corporations in EPA's Toxic Release Inventory, having discharged 37 million pounds of toxic chemicals into the air, land, water and underground. Monsanto was ordered to pay $41.1 million to a waste management company in Texas due to concerns over hazardous waste dumping.
 
1995: The Safe Shoppers Bible says that Monsanto's Ortho Weed-B-Gon Lawn Weed Killer contains a known carcinogen, 2,4 D. Monsanto officials argue that 'numerous studies have found no link to cancer'.

1996: Monsanto introduces its first biotech crop, Roundup Ready soybeans, which tolerate spraying of Roundup herbicide, and biotech BT cotton engineered to resist insect damage.
As Monsanto had moved into biotechnology, its executives had the opportunity to create a new narrative for Monsanto. They begun to portray genetic engineering as a ground-breaking technology that could contribute to feeding a hungry world. Monsanto executive Robb Fraley, who was head of the plant molecular biology research team, is also said to have hyped the potential of GMO crops within the company, as a once-in-a-generation opportunity for Monsanto to dominate a whole new industry, invoking the monopoly success of Microsoft as a powerful analogy. But, according to Glover, the more down-to-earth pitch to fellow executives was that "genetic engineering offered the best prospect of preserving the commercial life of Monsanto's most important product, Roundup in the face of the challenges Monsanto would face once the patent expired."

Monsanto eventually achieved this by introducing into crop plants genes that give resistance to glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup). This meant farmers could spray Roundup onto their fields as a weedkiller even during the growing season without harming the crop. This allowed Monsanto to "significantly expand the market for Roundup and, more importantly, help Monsanto to negotiate the expiry of its glyphosate patents, on which such a large slice of Monsanto's income depended." With glyphosate-tolerant GMO crops, Monsanto was able ├Čto preserve its dominant share of the glyphosate market through a marketing strategy that would couple proprietary "Roundup Ready" seeds with continued sales of Roundup.

1996-1999: Monsanto sold off its plastics business to Bayer in 1996, and its phenylalanine facilities to Great Lakes Chemical Corporation (GLC) in 1999. Much of the rest of its chemicals division was spun off in late 1997 as Solutia. This helped Monsanto distance itself to some extent not only from direct financial liability for the historical core of its business but also from its controversial production and contamination legacy.
 
1997: Monsanto introduces new GMO canola (rapeseed), GMO cotton and GMO corn (maize), and buys foundation seed companies.

1997: Monsanto spins off its industrial chemical and fibers business into Solutia Inc. amid complaints and legal claims about pollution from its plants. Solutia was spun off from Monsanto as a way for Monsanto to divest itself of billions of dollars in environmental cleanup costs and other liabilities for its past actions - liabilities that eventually forced Solutia to seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy. According to a spokesman for Solutia, "(Monsanto) sort of cherry-picked what they wanted and threw in all kinds of cats and dogs as part of a going-away present," including $1 billion in debt and environmental and litigation costs. Some pre-bankruptcy Solutia equity holders allege Solutia was set up fraudulently as it was always doomed to fail under the financial weight of Monsanto's liabilities.

1997: The New York State Attorney General took Monsanto to court and Monsanto was subsequently forced to stop claiming that Roundup is "biodegradable" and "environmentally friendly".

1997: The Seattle Times reports that Monsanto sold 6,000 tons of contaminated waste to Idaho fertilizer companies, which contained the carcinogenic heavy metal cadmium, believed to cause cancer, kidney disease, neurological dysfunction and birth defects.

1997: Through a process of mergers and spin-offs between 1997 and 2002, Monsanto made a transition from chemical giant to biotech giant. Monsanto's corporate strategy led them for the first time to acquire seed companies. During the 1990s Monsanto spent $10 billion globally buying up seed companies - a push that continues to this day. It has purchased, for example, Holden's Foundations Seeds, Seminis - the largest seed company not producing corn or soybeans in the world, the Dutch seed company De Ruiter Seeds, and the big cotton seed firm Delta & Pine. As a result, Monsanto is now the world's largest seed company, accounting for almost a quarter of the global proprietary seed market.
 
1998: Monsanto introduces Roundup Ready corn (maize).

1998: In the UK, Monsanto purchased the seed company Plant Breeding International (PBI) Cambridge, a major UK based cereals and potato breeder, which Monsanto then merged with its existing UK agri-chemicals and GMO research businesses to form Monsanto UK Ltd. Monsanto UK has carried out field trials of glyphosate-tolerant sugar / fodder beet, glyphosate-tolerant oilseed rape, and glyphosate-tolerant and male sterility / fertility restorer oilseed rape.

1998: "Survey of aspartame studies: correlation of outcome and funding sources," unpublished: Ralph G. Walton found 166 separate published studies in the peer reviewed medical literature, which had relevance for questions of human safety. The 74 studies funded by industry all (100%) attested to aspartame's safety, whereas of the 92 non-industry funded studies, 84 (91%) identified a problem. 6 of the 7 non-industry funded studies that were favorable to aspartame safety were from the FDA, which has a public record that shows a strong pro-industry bias.

1999: After international criticism, Monsanto agrees not to [PUBLICLY] commercialize "Terminator" seeds.

1999: Monsanto opens its Beautiful Sciences exhibit at Disneyland.

1999: Monsanto sells their phenylalanine facilities to Great Lakes Chemical Corporation (GLC) for $125 million. In 2000, GLC sued Monsanto because of a $71 million dollar shortfall in expected sales.