These 3 Women Attend Monsanto's Annual Shareholder Meeting Demanding Answers
Three generations of women attended Monsanto's shareholder meeting Friday and presented multiple reasons why Monsanto should mitigate risks from Roundup, support labeling of genetically-engineered foods and change the direction of their business.
Anne Temple, mother and midwest leader of Moms Across America representing John Harrington of Harrington Investments, went to the meeting with Rachel Parent, 16-year-old and founder of Kids Right to Know from Canada who representing Moms Across America, and Beth Savitt, grandmother and president of the Shaka Movement of Maui representing and As You Sow.
“Our loved ones are getting sick and dying at alarming rates," Temple said at the shareholder meeting. "We find however that our families' health improves when they eat organic to avoid GMOs and toxic chemicals."
In fact, Moms Across America posted this billboard in west St. Louis County, Missouri, in Creve Coeur, near Monsanto headquarters, stating just that:
At the shareholder meeting, Parent explained that “nearly two decades after genetically engineered crops have been incorporated into our food, no long-term human health studies have been performed. However, feeding studies have been done on animals and the results are sobering: organ damage, digestive disorders, tumors, infertility and stillbirths."
Then Savitt pointed out that “the president's cancer panel of 2008 recommended the precautionary principle in relation to pesticides. Can we stop and test? Can we practice the hippocratic oath and first do no harm? That's all we are asking for."
Savitt's Shaka Movement passed a GMO moratorium in Maui, requiring that the planting of GMOs stop until safety testing is concluded that shows the chemical combinations used were safe. Monsanto spent more than $9 million to fight the passing of the moratorium, far more than would have been spent on the testing. The moratorium passed anyway, but a local judge overturned the law. Currently, an appeal is in process. The concern by the three women is that in the meantime, Monsanto is allowed to continue to poison our food, water and planet.
Savitt insists, “Maui is an open air experiment and the land and people are paying a price, our health. We assert our right to health."
John Harrington of Harrington Investments said, “It's truly amazing to me that Monsanto is allowed to continue endangering public health and safety."
The choices of Monsanto are not without repercussions, however. Monsanto has experienced heavy losses over the past year due to several factors including:
1. The increase of more than 250 super weeds on 300 million acres resisting Roundup
3. Growing consumer resistance
Although considered safe for nearly 40 years, serious evidence regarding the health risks of glyphosate in Roundup has recently surfaced, including the destruction of the gut bacteria which leads to a weakened immune system, neurotoxicity, hormone disrupting effects which can lead to endocrine disruption (birth defects and miscarriage) at very low levels, non Hodgkin's Lymphoma, breast cancer cell growth and placental cell death.
These three women went to the shareholder meeting because they do not see how Monsanto can ignore the risks associated with Roundup and knowingly continue down a path that will lead to decreased profit margins and job loss.
During the shareholder meeting, Monsanto CEO and board chair Hugh Grant extolled the virtues of GMOs and glyphosate, declaring them safe and the tools needed to solve the problem of feeding a hungry world.
Parent, who has been speaking up for GMO labels since she was 11 years old, said, “If you truly believe your GM technology is safe, if you truly believe it has the potential to feed the world, why are you treating it like a dirty little secret that can't be shown on food labels? Why, if it's such proven technology, are you fighting it, rather than promoting it?"
Grant went on to say that Monsanto is for voluntary GMO labeling and supports QR codes.
Temple pointed out that the QR code option is “discriminatory because not everyone can afford a smartphone."
Listen here to the full recording of the meeting:
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
The ghoulishly named ogre-faced spider can "hear" with its legs and use that ability to catch insects flying behind it, the study published in Current Biology Thursday concluded.
"Spiders are sensitive to airborne sound," Cornell professor emeritus Dr. Charles Walcott, who was not involved with the study, told the Cornell Chronicle. "That's the big message really."
The net-casting, ogre-faced spider (Deinopis spinosa) has a unique hunting strategy, as study coauthor Cornell University postdoctoral researcher Jay Stafstrom explained in a video.
They hunt only at night using a special kind of web: an A-shaped frame made from non-sticky silk that supports a fuzzy rectangle that they hold with their front forelegs and use to trap prey.
They do this in two ways. In a maneuver called a "forward strike," they pounce down on prey moving beneath them on the ground. This is enabled by their large eyes — the biggest of any spider. These eyes give them 2,000 times the night vision that we have, Science explained.
But the spiders can also perform a move called the "backward strike," Stafstrom explained, in which they reach their legs behind them and catch insects flying through the air.
"So here comes a flying bug and somehow the spider gets information on the sound direction and its distance. The spiders time the 200-millisecond leap if the fly is within its capture zone – much like an over-the-shoulder catch. The spider gets its prey. They're accurate," coauthor Ronald Hoy, the D & D Joslovitz Merksamer Professor in the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior in the College of Arts and Sciences, told the Cornell Chronicle.
What the researchers wanted to understand was how the spiders could tell what was moving behind them when they have no ears.
It isn't a question of peripheral vision. In a 2016 study, the same team blindfolded the spiders and sent them out to hunt, Science explained. This prevented the spiders from making their forward strikes, but they were still able to catch prey using the backwards strike. The researchers thought the spiders were "hearing" their prey with the sensors on the tips of their legs. All spiders have these sensors, but scientists had previously thought they were only able to detect vibrations through surfaces, not sounds in the air.
To test how well the ogre-faced spiders could actually hear, the researchers conducted a two-part experiment.
First, they inserted electrodes into removed spider legs and into the brains of intact spiders. They put the spiders and the legs into a vibration-proof booth and played sounds from two meters (approximately 6.5 feet) away. The spiders and the legs responded to sounds from 100 hertz to 10,000 hertz.
Next, they played the five sounds that had triggered the biggest response to 25 spiders in the wild and 51 spiders in the lab. More than half the spiders did the "backward strike" move when they heard sounds that have a lower frequency similar to insect wing beats. When the higher frequency sounds were played, the spiders did not move. This suggests the higher frequencies may mimic the sounds of predators like birds.
University of Cincinnati spider behavioral ecologist George Uetz told Science that the results were a "surprise" that indicated science has much to learn about spiders as a whole. Because all spiders have these receptors on their legs, it is possible that all spiders can hear. This theory was first put forward by Walcott 60 years ago, but was dismissed at the time, according to the Cornell Chronicle. But studies of other spiders have turned up further evidence since. A 2016 study found that a kind of jumping spider can pick up sonic vibrations in the air.
"We don't know diddly about spiders," Uetz told Science. "They are much more complex than people ever thought they were."
Learning more provides scientists with an opportunity to study their sensory abilities in order to improve technology like bio-sensors, directional microphones and visual processing algorithms, Stafstrom told CNN.
"The point is any understudied, underappreciated group has fascinating lives, even a yucky spider, and we can learn something from it," he told CNN.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
In 'Road Map for a More Sustainable Future,' NY Regulator Tells Banks to Consider Climate Risks in Planning
By Brett Wilkins
Regulators in New York state announced Thursday that banks and other financial services companies are expected to plan and prepare for risks posed by the climate crisis.
There are many different CBD oil brands in today's market. But, figuring out which brand is the best and which brand has the strongest oil might feel challenging and confusing. Our simple guide to the strongest CBD oils will point you in the right direction.
A NASA spacecraft has successfully collected a sample from the Bennu asteroid more than 200 million miles away from Earth. The samples were safely stored and will be preserved for scientists to study after the spacecraft drops them over the Utah desert in 2023, according to the Associated Press (AP).
Exxon Mobil will lay off an estimated 14,000 workers, about 15% of its global workforce, including 1,900 workers in the U.S., the company announced Thursday.
- Will Chevron and Exxon Ever Be Held Responsible for Decades of ... ›
- Exxon Goes on Trial for Lying About the Climate Crisis - EcoWatch ›
- Exxon Sues Massachusetts Attorney General to Block Climate Fraud ... ›