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.
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
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.
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.
In September 2015, two U.S. farm workers filed suit against Monsanto claiming that exposure to Roundup caused them to develop 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.
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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The Pompeii of palaeontology. Aaron Hunter, Author provided<h2></h2><p>Although starfish might appear very robust animals, they are typically made up of lots of hard parts attached by ligaments and soft tissue which, upon death, quickly degrade. This means we rely on places like the Fezouata formations to provide snapshots of their evolution.</p><p>The starfish fossil record is patchy, especially at the critical time when many of these animal groups first appeared. Sorting out how each of the various types of ancient starfish relate to each other is like putting a puzzle together when many of the parts are missing.</p><h2>The Oldest Starfish</h2><p><em><a href="https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/216101v1.full.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Cantabrigiaster</a></em> is the most primitive starfish-like animal to be discovered in the fossil record. It was discovered in 2003, but it has taken over 17 years to work out its true significance.</p><p>What makes <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> unique is that it lacks almost all the characteristics we find in brittle stars and starfish.</p><p>Starfish and brittle stars belong to the family Asterozoa. Their ancestors, the Somasteroids were especially fragile - before <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> we only had a handful of specimens. The celebrated Moroccan paleontologist Mohamed <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2016.06.041" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Ben Moula</a> and his local team was instrumental in discovering <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0031018216302334?via%3Dihub" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">these amazing fossils</a> near the town of Zagora, in Morocco.</p><h2>The Breakthrough</h2><p>Our breakthrough moment came when I compared the arms of <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> with those of modern sea lilles, filter feeders with long feathery arms that tend to be attached to the sea floor by a stem or stalk.</p><p>The striking similarity between these modern filter feeders and the ancient starfish led our team from the University of Cambridge and Harvard University to create a new analysis. We applied a biological model to the features of all the current early Asterozoa fossils in existence, along with a sample of their closest relatives.</p>
Cantabrigiaster is the most primitive starfish-like animal to be discovered in the fossil record. Aaron Hunter, Author provided<p>Our results demonstrate <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> is the most primitive of all the Asterozoa, and most likely evolved from ancient animals called crinoids that lived 250 million years before dinosaurs. The five arms of starfish are a relic left over from these ancestors. In the case of <em>Cantabrigiaster</em>, and its starfish descendants, it evolved by flipping upside-down so its arms are face down on the sediment to feed.</p><p>Although we sampled a relatively small numbers of those ancestors, one of the unexpected outcomes was it provided an idea of how they could be related to each other. Paleontologists studying echinoderms are often lost in detail as all the different groups are so radically different from each other, so it is hard to tell which evolved first.</p>
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