Creator of Hank D and the Bee. Environmental cartoons found in/on: Yes! magazine, PBS's Urban Conversion, Center for Media and Democracy, Greenpeace, Planetsave, NaturalPapa, Elephant Journal and more…
(Sources and much more info, linked below this text)
In putting together this infographic (I have a larger version of the image if anyone wants it) it struck me that nearly all of the Monsanto endeavors I chose to highlight here, rode the same wave of public opinion. In regards to nuclear weapons, DDT, PCBs, Agent Orange and aspartame the talking point was that each was beneficial to America/Americans. It wasn’t until time (life’s best teacher) taught us that these were all highly toxic and deadly endeavors with the same two outcomes. People got sick/died and Monsanto got rich.
I am confident that GMOs will (eventually) follow suit.
The company’s toxic and deadly past is enough to make any Monsanto supporter turn coat. Yet it’s the case of the PCB cover up in Anniston, Alabama that highlights their lowlights and scares me most:
(excerpt from SourceWatch “Monsanto’s Global Pollution Legacy”)
“In 1966, Monsanto managers discovered that fish submerged in a creek (in Anniston, Alabama) turned belly-up within 10 seconds, spurting blood and shedding skin as if dunked into boiling water. They told no one. In 1969, they found fish in another creek with 7,500 times the legal PCB levels. They decided “there is little object in going to expensive extremes in limiting discharges.””
“Sylvester Harris, 63, an undertaker who lived across the street from the plant, said he always thought he was burying too many young children. ‘I knew something was wrong around here,’ he said.”
There was a 1969 Monsanto directive to “a committee the company formed to address controversies about PCBs”, it was to have “only two formal objectives: ‘Permit continued sales and profits’ and ‘protect image of . . . the corporation'”. “We can’t afford to lose one dollar of business”.
The next year Monsanto secretly agreed that “any written effluent level reports [on PCBs] would be held confidential by the Technical Staff and would not be available to the public until or unless Monsanto released it”. And that was apparently the final word because nothing changed for decades. According to the Washington Post article (2002) the public did not become fully aware of the problem until 1993 when, “after a local angler caught deformed largemouth bass [in a local creek] … the first advisories against eating fish from the area” were issued. This was “27 years after Monsanto learned about those bluegills sliding out of their skins”.
Monsanto’s PCB monopoly had been netting them $22 million dollars a year.
From Sourcewatch (and ALEC Exposed):
Monsanto company profile
Monsanto’s Global Pollution Legacy
Monsanto and the Campaign to Undermine Organics
From the Organic Consumer Association:
Agribusiness, Biotechnology and War
SOS Campaign (Safeguard Organic Standards)
From Sierra Club: CONSPIRACY OF SILENCE (Monsanto’s PCB cover up)
From PublicIntegrity.org: The Superfund document (pdf) sited in the infographic
From Cornucopia Institute: Take action to safeguard organic standards
…Oh, I almost forgot this from Grist: (Monsanto’s) Roundup weed killer is showing up in air and water
Awesome! No weeds in my lungs, EVER!