These are new product announcements from my main website (Open 24/7/365). We have a life-time warranty / guarantee on all products. (Includes parts and labor). Here you will find a variety of cutting-edge Surveillance and Security-Related products and services. (Buy/Rent/Layaway) Post your own comments and concerns related to the specific products or services mentioned or on surveillance, security, privacy, etc.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Breaking News: 3-20-2015: World Health Agency Declares Monsanto's Round-up Herbicide Carcinogenic!

Breaking News: 3-20-2015

Glyphosate, a herbicide widely marketed by Monsanto Co. and other companies, likely has the potential to cause cancer in humans, a World Health Organization agency said Friday.

The determination, published by researchers for the International Agency for Research on Cancer in a U.K. medical journal, is likely to fuel further debate over the safety of the heavily used agricultural chemical, which Monsanto sells under the Roundup brand.

Monsanto Is Starting to Feel The Pressure From Consumers, Farmers and The US Government

Agribusiness giant Monsanto Co. is confronting some of its stiffest challenges in years, as it contends with consumer criticism of biotech foods, farmers tightening their belts, and a global health agency that has labeled its trademark weed killer as a potential carcinogen.

The latest and most prominent threat came from a World Health Organization agency’s classification last week of glyphosate—which Monsanto sells under the Roundup brand—as likely having the potential to cause cancer in humans. The finding marks the highest-profile critique of Roundup, a product the U.S. agriculture industry has long touted as a safe way to protect cornfields and lawns.

Monsanto has angrily rebutted the claims. In a sign of how serious it is taking the issue, the company has mounted a broad counter campaign, marshaling academics and farm-group officials in an effort to cast doubt on the finding March 20 by the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer.

The challenge to Roundup adds to a pile of other woes. Monsanto’s stock is roughly flat over the past 12 months)—lagging behind the S&P 500 index’s 11% rise and far underperforming its own 65% increase from 2009 to 2014. Back-to-back bumper harvests in 2013 and 2014 in the U.S. have also been bad for Monsanto, as prices of corn and soybeans are down to their lowest level in years, prompting some farmers to choose cheaper seeds and skimp on other farm supplies. Currency shifts have also made seeds and chemicals more expensive for farmers abroad in agricultural countries including Brazil, analysts said.

Monsanto and other biotech seed companies meanwhile have spent heavily to combat efforts to label foods made with genetically modified ingredients, part of a movement that has fueled sharp growth in sales of non-GMO food products. Meanwhile, farmers are battling hard-to-kill weeds and bugs that have evolved to resist sprays of glyphosate and the insect-killing proteins produced by some biotech crops.

“They just can’t catch a break,” said Mark Connelly, analyst with brokerage firm CLSA Ltd. The IARC classification, he said, “is very significant because it’s the first time a relatively credible agency has taken aim at glyphosate.”

Monsanto shares have declined 2.9% over the past week.

The steep drop in crop prices may be Monsanto’s biggest challenge, analysts say. Corn futures prices have dropped 47% over the past two years, and soybeans 33%, crimping spending by farmers Monsanto relies on to pay for high-tech seeds and farming services. The U.S. Department of Agriculture in February projected that U.S. farm incomes will drop by nearly one-third this year to the lowest level since 2009, amid a third straight year of lower prices for major agricultural commodities.

St. Louis-based Monsanto grew to dominate the agricultural seed business by jumping aboard the biotech bandwagon in the early 1980s. It hit upon a method to insert genes into plant seeds that enabled them to withstand glyphosate, which Monsanto had patented and launched in the early 1970s. Since the first “Roundup Ready” seeds hit the market in 1996, such products have become pervasive in the U.S. Farm Belt, with genetically modified crops planted on 93% of corn acres and 94% of soybeans last year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Farmers embraced the crops partly because glyphosate made it simple to eradicate weeds—which can choke out crops and diminish yields—but also because of the product’s safety versus older, harsher chemicals, according to academics.

Monsanto’s agricultural productivity segment, which includes Roundup sales, generated $5.1 billion in revenue for fiscal 2014, representing about one-third of total sales. Stiff competition from rival glyphosate makers, however, means the division is only about 63% as profitable as Monsanto’s core seeds business, and some analysts believe Monsanto may eventually spin off the division. Monsanto declined to comment.

“We expect our farmer customers will continue to use [glyphosate] and do not expect an impact on our sales,” Brett Begemann, Monsanto’s president, said on a conference call with reporters Tuesday.

Chris Novak, chief executive officer of the National Corn Growers Association, a farmer group, endorsed glyphosate’s safety and said on the conference call that the IARC finding “creates unnecessary fear and confusion.”

Monsanto has sought a meeting with World Health Organization officials on the matter and wants the classification retracted.

Company executives likely will field questions on the matter after the company reports fiscal second-quarter earnings April 1. Monsanto has become a favorite target for consumer groups and activists critical of GMOs and large-scale agriculture, and Monsanto’s swift reaction to the glyphosate classification comes after executives have admitted they were slow to respond to growing public concerns and mistrust over genetically modified crops.

Since the IARC reviewed existing research in classifying glyphosate, rather than conducting any new studies on its safety, pesticide and environmental regulators are unlikely to take action in response to the report, according to Thomas Redick, a lawyer who advises farm groups on regulations.

Brett Wong, an analyst with Piper Jaffray, called concerns over the classification “overblown” in a note to clients this week and said that the IARC has classified alcohol consumption and working night shifts as representing similar potential to cause cancer.

In classifying Round-up as potentially cancer-causing, the international research agency cited studies of occupational exposure to glyphosate in the U.S., Canada and Sweden, which they wrote showed “increased risks for non-Hodgkin lymphoma” along with a positive trend for some ailments in mice in separate studies. The researchers cited evidence that glyphosate was a carcinogen for humans according to the article.

Related Article:

Consumer and environmental groups have long warned of health problems that they say could arise from applying the weedkiller on farms, while agricultural companies have touted the product’s safety and environmental impact as preferable to other, harsher chemicals.


Officials at Monsanto and agricultural-chemical trade groups contested Friday’s finding, saying decades of research had proved glyphosate’s safety.

Glyphosate is the most-used herbicide in the U.S., according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Farmers have ramped up its use over the past two decades with the advent of genetically modified crops, including corn and soybeans, which can withstand sprayings of the chemical.

Herbicide-tolerant biotech plants were grown on 94% of U.S. soybean fields and 89% of U.S. corn fields last year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The assessment followed a meeting this month among 17 experts representing 11 countries, who evaluated the cancer-causing potential of glyphosate and four other pesticides.

The research agency, which hasn’t previously classified glyphosate, monitors global cancer cases while trying to identify causes and responses.

Monsanto, among the world’s largest sellers of glyphosate and the biggest seed maker by sales, contested the finding, saying that glyphosate is safe if used as recommended by its label and that decades of extensive study have proven its safety.

The company said the research agency didn’t establish any link between glyphosate and an increase in cancer, and that IARC researchers disregarded dozens of scientific studies that showed glyphosate poses no human-health risk.

“This has been validated in over 160 countries for over 40 years,” said Philip Miller, vice president of global regulatory affairs for Monsanto.

“They’ve come to the conclusion time and time again that this is non-carcinogenic and safe for human health and the environment.”


The classification, however, may prompt Monsanto to update some safety information for its glyphosate products, which is typically compiled on websites or included when products are sold, Mr. Miller said.

The company has requested a meeting with WHO to discuss the classification, he said.

Wireless Camera Finder

Dana Loomis, deputy head of the monographs section for the IARC (WHO), said the agency’s classification of glyphosate as “carcinogenic” was based on an examination of peer-reviewed research and completed government reports on the herbicide.

Beyond Pesticides, a Washington-based advocacy group that has targeted glyphosate and other agricultural chemicals, plans to use the research agency’s report to push the EPA and USDA to revisit policies on glyphosate and genetically modified crops designed to withstand it, said Nichelle Harriott, science and regulatory director for the group.

The assessment “is basically what we have been saying for years,” she said.


Monsanto Co., a major seller of the weed killer—sought a meeting with senior WHO officials on the findings,  In the meantime, a WHO agency official defended what he called an “exhaustive” review of all eligible data.

Your questions and comments are greatly appreciated.

Monty Henry, Owner


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