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Mark Ruffalo: 'Monsanto Chief is Horrible'

Food

Monsanto chief is horrible ... And I got to tell him that to his face after his interview on CBS This Morning.

Approaching someone like this isn’t really my thing. But being so well behaved all the time doesn’t seem to be helping people. It made me really uncomfortable to do it. But that’s how we change. We must become uncomfortable. We must act out of our comfort zones for things to change. We must call out the people who are doing horrible things when they do them.

Hugh Grant (Monsanto CEO not the actor) must be made to feel uncomfortable for what he allows his company to do in the world. That is why I told him what I did and why I am sharing it with you.

Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant on the left. Photos from Mark Ruffalo / Tumblr

Before a segment I was doing for the movie Spotlight with Mike Rezendes on Dec. 2, I was waiting in the green room watching Grant worm his way through the strong questions he was getting from the CBS team. His handlers clearly have been working very hard with him to give him every slippery non-answer to every question he was asked. I was beside myself watching this guy who is responsible for so much misery and sickness throughout the world slime his way through his interview. I could not hold my tongue. He came through the Green Room door ready to do high fives with his press agent and I simply told him this:

"You are wrong. You are engaged in monopolizing food. You are poisoning people. You are killing small farms. You are killing bees. What you are doing is dead wrong."

A bead of sweat broke out on his head. "Well, what I think we are doing is good," Grant replied.

"I am sure you do," I told him.

When people get paid the kind of money he gets paid their thinking becomes incredibly clouded and the first thing to go is their morality.

He says Monsanto needs to do a better job with their messaging.

Hugh, it’s not your messaging that makes you and your company horrible. It’s the horrible stuff you guys do that makes you and your company horrible. People don’t walk around making horrible stories up about good companies because they got nothing else better to do with their time. People like you and your company are horrible because … you are horrible. No matter how much jumping around you do on morning shows (where no one can really nail you down for the horrible stuff you do), you will still always be horrible and people will always greet you the way I did, when you go around trying to cover up the fact that you are horrible.

Want to know more about the real Monsanto and Hugh Grant? Watch this:

There is a lot more horrible stuff to look at here:

Monsanto’s greatest hit jobs.

In 2003, Monsanto settled a lawsuit for $700 million with 20,000 Anniston, Alabama residents who claimed that a Monsanto plant contaminated local rivers, lakes, soil and air with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Plaintiffs reported a range of health issues including cancer, birth defects and neurological disorders.

New York Times: $700 Million Settlement in Alabama PCB Lawsuit

CBS News: Toxic Secret: Alabama Town Never Warned of Contamination

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In 2012, Monsanto settled a lawsuit with tens of thousands of plaintiffs in West Virginia for $93 million. Residents of Nitro, West Virginia claimed they had been poisoned by decades of contamination from cancer-causing chemicals used in the manufacturing of Agent Orange produced in a Monsanto plant.

The Guardian: Monsanto Settles ‘Agent Orange’ Case with US Victims

In March 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), an arm of the World Health Organization, concluded in a study that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s widely used weedkilling product Roundup, was “probably carcinogenic to humans.”

Shortly after the IARC’s study was made public, France took steps to limit the sale of Roundup. France has also banned the cultivation of genetically modified crops.

Reuters: Frances Bolsters Ban on Genetically Modified Crops

Newsweek: Frances Bans Sale of Monsanto’s Roundup in Garden Centers After UN Names it Probable Carcinogen

In September 2015, a French appeals court in Lyon upheld a decision that held Monsanto liable for poisoning a French farmer. The grain farmer, Paul Francois, developed neurological damage after inhaling Monsanto’s weedkilling product Lasso.

Reuters: French Court Confirms Monsanto Liable in Chemical Poisoning Case

Le Monde: Monsanto Condamné pour L'Intoxicite d'un Agriculteur Francais

In September 2015, two U.S. farm workers filed suit against Monsanto claiming that exposure to Roundup caused them to develop cancer.

Reuters: U.S. Workers Sue Monsanto Claiming Herbicide Caused Cancer

You can find reports of Monsanto products being linked to cancer and other health issues all over the world, for example:

Argentina is the world’s third largest soy-producing country.

According to Mother Jones, nearly 100 percent of the soy crop is genetically altered and Monsanto’s Roundup is very widely used. As the use of pesticides and herbicides in Argentina has increased, cancer clusters have begun to develop around farming communities. A 2010 study at the University of Buenos Aires also found that injecting glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup) into chicken and frog embryos caused the same sort of spinal defects that doctors have found to be increasingly prevalent in communities where farm chemicals are used.

Mother Jones: Argentina is Using More Pesticides than Ever. And Now It Has Cancer Clusters

On Monsanto suing small farmers:

The Guardian: Monsanto Sued Small Farmers to Protect Seed Patents

Vanity Fair: Monsanto’s Harvest of Fear

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A volcano erupts on New Zealand's Whakaari/White Island on Dec. 9, 2019. Michael Schade / Twitter

A powerful volcano on Monday rocked an uninhabited island frequented by tourists about 30 miles off New Zealand's coast. Authorities have confirmed that five people died. They expect that number to rise as some are missing and police officials issued a statement that flights around the islands revealed "no signs of life had been seen at any point,", as The Guardian reported.

"Based on the information we have, we do not believe there are any survivors on the island," the police said in their official statement. "Police is working urgently to confirm the exact number of those who have died, further to the five confirmed deceased already."

The eruption happened on New Zealand's Whakaari/White Island, an islet jutting out of the Bay of Plenty, off the country's North Island. The island is privately owned and is typically visited for day-trips by thousands of tourists every year, according to The New York Times.

Michael Schade / Twitter

At the time of the eruption on Monday, about 50 passengers from the Ovation of Seas were on the island, including more than 30 who were part of a Royal Caribbean cruise trip, according to CNN. Twenty-three people, including the five dead, were evacuated from the island.

The eruption occurred at 2:11 pm local time on Monday, as footage from a crater camera owned and operated by GeoNet, New Zealand's geological hazards agency, shows. The camera also shows dozens of people walking near the rim as white smoke billows just before the eruption, according to Reuters.

Police were unable to reach the island because searing white ash posed imminent danger to rescue workers, said John Tims, New Zealand's deputy police commissioner, as he stood next to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in a press conference, as The New York Times reported. Tims said rescue workers would assess the safety of approaching the island on Tuesday morning. "We know the urgency to go back to the island," he told reporters.

"The physical environment is unsafe for us to return to the island," Tims added, as CNN reported. "It's important that we consider the health and safety of rescuers, so we're taking advice from experts going forward."

Authorities have had no communication with anyone on the island. They are frantically working to identify how many people remain and who they are, according to CNN.

Geologists said the eruption is not unexpected and some questioned why the island is open to tourism.

"The volcano has been restless for a few weeks, resulting in the raising of the alert level, so that this eruption is not really a surprise," said Bill McGuire, emeritus professor of geophysical and climate hazards at University College London, as The Guardian reported.

"White Island has been a disaster waiting to happen for many years," said Raymond Cas, emeritus professor at Monash University's school of earth, atmosphere and environment, as The Guardian reported. "Having visited it twice, I have always felt that it was too dangerous to allow the daily tour groups that visit the uninhabited island volcano by boat and helicopter."

The prime minister arrived Monday night in Whakatane, the town closest to the eruption, where day boats visiting the island are docked. Whakatane has a large Maori population.

Ardern met with local council leaders on Monday. She is scheduled to meet with search and rescue teams and will speak to the media at 7 a.m. local time (1 p.m. EST), after drones survey the island, as CNN reported.

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