Alleged collusion between Monsanto and the Environmental Protection Agency.
Posted on March 30th, 2017

Chandre Dhamwaradana.

We should let the courts case against Monsanto and EPA officials take its course before jumping to conclusions. It is Monsanto and EPA officials, and not glyphosate, that is on trial. Litigation  is quite common in the US,  to sue companies for various grievances. Here is is a different case, where due process has been avoided. It is a bit like getting your driving permit or license without a driving test because you are a friend of the Registrar of Motor vehicles. In Sri lanka, a so-called Bio-film fertilizer has been approved without due process and it is even pushed by the SEMA, and the Presidential secretariat website, as a “toxinf-free” alternative. Farmers are alleged to be  taken for a ride, and it is now slowly coming into light, thanks to the efforts of some Sri Lankan scientists to expose the matter. See the article in the Ravaya by Dr. Waidyanatha (attached herewith). Will there be a trail of collusion between the presidential secretariat officials and those of “plenty foods, Sri lanka”, I doubt very much.

Glyphosate or any other substance must be judged on its merits and not on what corrupt EPA officials or alleged actions of  vendors trying to promote their goods have been doing. Similarly bio-film fertilizer should be judged on its merits, and not what corrupt officials of SEMA who push the “Toxin-Free nation” politics,   the presidential secretariat, nor what of Plenty Foods” trying to sell bio-film are alleged to have done.

What we need to go by is the safety or otherwise of Glyphosate as judged by

independent scientists. But suppose experts differ. Then what should we do? Then we should follow the main-stream view and not the view of small groups, be they individual scientists , or “greens”, or “patriots”, or what ever.

In my view, Glyphosate itself is quite harmless, but there is an additive known as Tallowamine that is mixed with it (i.e., about 10% of tallowamine is added)  when they make Roudup,( the substance sold in the market). Tallowamine is indeed toxic. But the many manufacturers (not just Monsanto)  of glyphosate justify it saying that only a millionth part of Roundup gets in to the farmer even (if he does not use gloves and protective gear), and this is not toxic and tolerable by the body. That is indeed found to be true via filed trials. Farmers also prefer the product with tallowamine as it is more effective (it makes the glyphosate stick to the leaves of the weeds).

I have always stated that we should allow Glyphosate, but without talloamine. The British have implemented such a policy and takes effect within an year. It is in effect in Canada. Even Monsanto  sells  a version of Roundup without Tallowamine.

But a bit of Tallowamine is less dangerous than a lot of more common evils and toxins like  drinking alcohol, smoking tobacco,  eating meat as a staple, processed emat, promoting sugared drinks, or driving around in diesel-smoke and dust contaminated streets,  or allowing leaded petrol to be sold, or having coal-fired power stations, or allowing mounds of garbage to rot open to flies, birds, rain and air, or let sewers to overfill at every rainfall and flood the streets with filthy unhealthy water, etc etc.

But we ignore all that and go after some “heroic” thing, e.g., “fighting against a giant capitalist company”. It is like when you are suffering from acute cardiac arrest, instead you worry about specks of dust on your plate. The world has used Glyphosate for at least  four decades and we have not a single definitive case of sickness that we can clearly attribute to glyphosate. It has helped to feed millions of mouths.  It is similar to the fear about cell-phone radiation. Close to 3 billion cell-phone, tablets etc which use such Wi-Fi radiation have been now used for about a decade with no definitive case of an ill effect brought up in courts although a class-action case against cell-phone companies has been launched and is allegedly waiting for evidence; hence the probability of your getting an ill-effect from cell-phone radiation in the next ten years is less than 1 part in 3 billion, or the likelihood of your getting an ill-effect in 30 years is  1 part in a billion (in a linear model). You are more likely to die of getting struck by lightening!

Your odds of being struck by lightning twice in your lifetime are 1 in 9 million.

Glyphosate comes up for periodic review in most countries every two years, and not just in the USA. It has so far passed the scrutiny every time. Things like “bio-filter fertilizer” gets never reviewed, and carried “patriotic” tags like having been created in Sri lanka, for Sri ankans, without toxins etc!

Chandre Dhamwaradana.

2 Responses to “Alleged collusion between Monsanto and the Environmental Protection Agency.”

  1. aloy Says:

    If you are so sure about Glyphosate could you please take a glass full of water with a spoon of it for a month and show our Sri Lankans. Then after six month, if there is no effect we will campaign for Glyphosate.

    Please take this as a challenge.

  2. Christie Says:

    I cannot see a connection between Round Up and BF BF. One is a killing plants the other about feeding plants.

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