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Pushing Toxic Chemicals and Climate Denial: The Dark Money-Funded Independent Women’s Forum

By Stacy Malkan

The Independent Women's Forum is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that has taken money from tobacco and oil companies, partners with Monsanto, defends toxic chemicals in food and consumer products, denies climate science and argues against laws that would curb the power of corporations.

IWF began in 1991 as an effort to defend now Supreme Court Justice (and former Monsanto attorney) Clarence Thomas as he faced sexual harassment charges. The group now says it seeks to "improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty."

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PBouman / Shutterstock

EPA Limits Use of Problematic Herbicide Dicamba—But Is That Enough?

By Dan Nosowitz

Dicamba has been in use as a local pesticide for decades, but it's only recently that Monsanto has taken to using it in big, new ways. The past two years have seen the rollout of dicamba-resistant seed for soybean and cotton, as well as a new way to apply it: broad spraying.

But dicamba, it turns out, has a tendency to vaporize and drift with the wind, and it if lands on a farm that hasn't planted Monsanto's dicamba-resistant seed, the pesticide will stunt and kill crops in a very distinctive way, with a telltale cupping and curling of leaves, as seen above. Drift from dicamba has affected millions of acres of crops, prompting multiple states to issue temporary bans on the pesticide. Farmers have been taking sides, either pro-dicamba or anti, and at least one farmer has been killed in a dispute over its use.

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Food
Michael Kappel / Flickr

Ben & Jerry's to Introduce Glyphosate-Free Ice Cream

Ben & Jerry's announced it will stop using ingredients made with crops that are chemically dried with glyphosate—the primary ingredient in Monsanto's widely used Roundup weedkiller—and will source 100 percent organic dairy following reports that several of its flavors tested positive for the controversial chemical.

In a statement, the company said it was "disappointed" to learn of the test results even though only very low and "safe levels" were detected.

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GMO

Monsanto's 'Jaw-Dropping' Deception Exposed in 'Whitewash'

By Stacy Malkan

Carey Gillam's new book is available now from Island Press: Whitewash: The Story of a Weed Killer, Cancer, and the Corruption of Science.

Gilliam's Whitewash is a hard-hitting investigation into the most widely used agrichemical in history, based on 20 years of research and scores of internal industry documents. For decades, glyphosate has been lauded as the chemical that's "safe enough to drink," but a growing body of scientific research ties glyphosate to cancers and a host of other health and environmental threats.

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Climate
The European Parliament's debating chamber. CC BY-SA 3.0

EU to Livestream Public Hearing on Monsanto Papers

By Jennifer Sass

Without much fanfare on this side of the Atlantic, the European Union is actively and effectively pushing back on one of the biggest bullies in the corporate sandbox, Monsanto.

This week in Brussels the European Parliament's Environment and Agriculture committees will hold a public hearing on The Monsanto Papers, documents released through lawsuits in the U.S. brought against Monsanto by over 250 people alleging that exposure to Roundup herbicide is responsible for their cancers.

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Campact / Flickr

EU Parliament Bans Monsanto Lobbyists

By Jon Queally

Monsanto lobbyists were officially barred by the European Parliament on Thursday after refusing requests to participate in hearings about the U.S. corporation's efforts to influence regulations of its controversial glyphosate within the 28-nation bloc.

The ban was announced by the parliament's presidential council under rules designed to combat misbehavior by those lobbying the EU's lawmaking body. It is the first time, the Guardian noted, that "MEPs have used new rules to withdraw parliamentary access for firms that ignore a summons to attend parliamentary inquiries or hearings."

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Soybean pod and seed damage caused by dicamba. jwolf7447/Instagram

Scientists Skip Monsanto Dicamba Summit as Controversies Mount Over Damaging Herbicide

Several U.S. weed scientists have turned down an invitation to attend Monsanto's dicamba summit near St. Louis this week, as controversies unfold over the company's new Xtend Crop System, Reuters reported.

Experts have linked the highly volatile and drift-prone herbicide to the damage of 3.1 million acres of crops that are not genetically engineered to resist the powerful chemical. Arkansas, which has logged the most dicamba-related complaints, is a step away from banning the chemical (again) next summer. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is also consulting with state officials and scientists, including ones in Arkansas, on potential regulations.

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Mike Mozart/Flickr

France to Vote Against Glyphosate Reauthorization in Europe

The French government intends to vote against and block the European Commission's proposal to reauthorize use of the controversial chemical in the European Union.

"The European Commission has proposed renewing its approval for glyphosate for another 10 years. This is far too long, given the concerns that remain over this product, and France will vote against the proposal, as clearly laid out previously in July," Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced Monday.

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GMO
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Arkansas Plant Board Backs Dicamba Ban Next Summer in Blow to Monsanto

The Arkansas Plant Board has approved new regulations that prohibit the use of dicamba from April 16 through Oct. 31, 2018 after receiving nearly 1,000 complaints of pesticide misuse in the state.

Arkansas, which temporarily banned the highly volatile weedkiller in July, could now face legal action from Monsanto, the developers of dicamba-resistant soybeans or cotton and the corresponding pesticide, aka the Xtend crop system.

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