It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
(visit the link for the full news article)
Confidential contracts detailing Monsanto Co.'s business practices reveal how the world's biggest seed developer is squeezing competitors, controlling smaller seed companies and protecting its dominance over the multibillion-dollar market for genetically altered crops
With Monsanto's patented genes being inserted into roughly 95 percent of all soybeans and 80 percent of all corn grown in the U.S., the company also is using its wide reach to control the ability of new biotech firms to get wide
Declining competition in the seed business could lead to price hikes that ripple out to every family's dinner table. That's because the corn flakes you had for breakfast, soda you drank at lunch and beef stew you ate for dinner likely were produced from crops grown with Monsanto's patented genes.
Glyphosate is rated least dangerous in comparison to other herbicides and pesticides, such as those from the organochlorine family. Roundup has a United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Toxicity Class of III for oral and inhalation exposure. It has been rated as class I (Severe) for eye irritation. A recent study, on the other hand, has shown that Roundup formulations and metabolic products cause the death of human embryonic, placental, and umbilical cells in vitro even at low concentrations. The effects are not proportional to Glyphosate concentrations but dependent on the nature of the adjuvants used in the formulation.
Endocrine disruptor debate
In vitro studies have shown glyphosate affects progesterone production in mammalian cells and can increase the mortality of placental cells. Whether these studies classify glyphosate as an endocrine disruptor is debated. Some[who?] feel that in vitro studies are insufficient, and are waiting to see if animal studies show a change in endocrine activity, since a change in a single cell line may or may not impact an entire organism. Additionally, current in vitro studies expose cell lines to concentrations orders of magnitude greater than would be found in expected exposures, and through pathways that would not be typically experienced in real organisms. Others[who?] feel that in vitro studies, particularly ones identifying not only an effect, but a chemical pathway, are sufficient evidence to classify glyphosate as an endocrine disruptor, on the basis that even small changes in endocrine activity can have lasting effects on an entire organism that may be difficult to detect through whole organism studies alone. Further research on the endocrine effects of glyphosate is ongoing, including through the EPA endocrine screening program on 73 chemicals, published in 2007.