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Monsanto Tribunal

By Fran Murrell

Monsanto Tribunal: how to stop companies poisoning people, intimidating critics and destroying environments.

Companies must be held accountable for human rights abuses, Monsanto Tribunal judges stated in their legal opinion, released last night. “Radical advancements” in the rights of companies granted by the WTO, trade treaties, investment law and Investor State Dispute Settlements (ISDS) clauses mean people’s fundamental rights to food, health, a safe environment and freedom of expression are effectively being ignored. Companies can sue governments but, as non-state actors, are not directly required to uphold human rights, which are voluntary and unenforceable.

The Monsanto Tribunal judges heard the testimony of twenty eight witnesses from around the world in October 2016. For decades Monsanto has manufactured and promoted the use of dangerous substances including PCBs, Agent Orange, GM crops and glyphosate-based-herbicides like Roundup. Monsanto’s chemicals have resulted in the mass poisoning of people and communities. Its aggressive promotion of GM seeds and the use of patents has denied farmers access to seed, interfered with the ability of people to feed themselves, threatened biodiversity and undermined food sovereignty.

GM crops have vastly increased the use of Roundup, which the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer found to be a probable carcinogen in March 2015. The Tribunal was extremely concerned about the corporate capture of science and the intimidation of scientists. They noted a current court case in the US last month revealed allegations that Monsanto manipulated science and regulators to retain approval for Roundup. Freedom of information and science are basic to the ability of people and communities to know what they are exposed to and how to protect themselves. Monsanto’s bullying tactics, as exposed by scientist witnesses, put this at risk. Roundup has been found in food, water, air and the bodily fluids of most people tested. Its use has rapidly increased and it is likely that a huge proportion of the world’s population is exposed to this chemical making this a global human health and rights concern.

The Tribunal’s judges strongly encouraged legal and civil society to use the Advisory Opinion to advance international law to put human rights above corporate rights. Just as the Nuremberg Trials were created to bring war criminals to justice, International law needs to be expanded to make corporations like Monsanto accountable for their actions. The Tribunal recommended that the crime of Ecocide be added as the fifth Crime Against Peace in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.


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  1. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Thanks Fran, for this article.

    I would totally support the introduction of the legal classification of Ecocide, as a crime for which Monsanto would be deregistered, broken up and its senior executives and executives for the past 4 decades all charged with Crimes Against Humanity and then gaoled.

  2. 1petermcc

    Thank you for the link Weary. Now that folk are becoming aware of fake news, we should see more accountability expected from fringe groups. I’m sure there will be violent reactions at first but eventually Science should win out. The recent claim by Greenpeace that they should be allowed to lie about claims made against a Canadian timber company, show a certain lack of respect for those of us concerned with the Environment, and are very damaging for the environmental movement overall.

    Like PETA before them, they are doing more harm than good and make our task just that much harder.

  3. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I don’t pretend to know everything about best activist strategies but I support PETA and it’s preparedness to tell people like me the nasty, inconvenient truths of what horrible cruelties are happening to animals.

  4. Brian Duggan

    Well linked Weary. This whole ‘court case’ was a farce from the get-go. The charlatan Vandana Shiva was paid 40,000 Euros to attend, the evidence of Percy Schmeiser was allowed despite the fact he is a convicted criminal by the Supreme Court of Canada (, people who tried to attend to give evidence on behalf of the accused (Monsanto) had their registration cancelled and were forcibly removed ( and the judges were hand picked. After six months of deliberation they presented a brief report that a Grade 6 teacher would had back with the comment of ‘see me after class!’ The anti-GM technology movement has only embarrassed itself with this pantomime. They’ve had their 15 minutes in the sun now please let the scientists get on with the business of feeding the world sustainably.

  5. Fran Murrell

    Hi Brian Duggan, Vandana Shiva was paid nothing to attend. Monsanto was invited to attend and declined. The head judge Francoise Tulken was a judge in the EU Court of Human Rights for 14 years, she was Vice President when she left. Percy Schmeiser was a farmer sued by Monsanto because GM canola was blown onto his land and he was contaminated. The Tribunal originally intended to report on 10th December 2016 but decided that the amount and seriousness of the evidence they had heard and received meant they needed more time to consider their Advisory Opinion. This is just one step in bringing companies like Monsanto to justice for their abuses of human rights and international law. It is also interesting that you do not declare yourself as an employee of Nufarm, a seller of pesticides.

  6. Frederick Froth

    Among other things this website gives a unique understanding of the the intrinsic liabilities of genetically modified “foods”.
    Hooray for Vandana Shiva – a thousand times over.

  7. Brian Duggan

    Hi Fran Murrell. The charlatan Vandana Shiva was paid 40,000 Euros to appear at the Monsanto Tribunal and this was pointed out to you several times. Even the Monsanto Tribunal admits to this fact!
    As I pointed out to you while Monsanto declined to attend (hey why attend a court where not only are the judges handpicked, the verdict is already determined!), academics did try to present evidence but were denied entry and the judges decided that evidence from farmers who grow GM crops was denied as they were considered ‘not trust worthy’. Percy Schimesier was not sued for contamination but CONVICTED BY THE FULL BENCH OF THE SUPREME COURT OF CANADA for knowingly obtaining seed without a license. He sprayed volunteer seed with glyphosate to select for Roundup Ready plants. Why he is the darling of the anti-GMO lobby I will never know. He WANTED to be a GM farmer, just not have to pay for it I think we can all agree that the anti-science lobby has embarrassed themselves enough with this little pantomime.
    End the war on science Fran. Support GM technology. 🙂

  8. Brian Duggan

    Over 10 years of studies culminating in 1783 peer reviewed journal articles, funded by the European Union, could find no evidence of the ‘intrinsic liabilities of genetically modified food’ Frederick Froth.
    No credible scientific research organisation in the world can find issue with GM crops.

  9. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I hate Monsanto because it produces insecticides that kill our precious insects which are the natural pollinators.

  10. Brian Duggan

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith please name me one insecticide that Monsanto produces. Just one. I think you will find that Monsanto doesn’t produce any synthetic pesticides. You have been fooled by the anti-science lobby. GM crops that produce the BT toxin (used extensively by organic farmers as a spray known as ‘Dipel’) are fantastic for pollinators like bees as they have no effect. They only kill Lepidopterean insect pests like Helicoverpa armigera and H. punctigera. People like Fran Murrell try to deceive you but if you take the time to properly investigate you will see that GM crops are fantastic for the environment and the general well-being of the planet.

    Exactly Kaye Lee. Very well said.

  11. Fran Murrell

    Hi Brian,

    I asked both Vandana Shiva and one of the organisers of the Tribunal in The Hague whether Vandana was paid any money to attend. The answer from both of them was no. Am I expected to instead believe a Facebook post of unknown provenance? Strange as it may appear the purpose of the Monsanto Tribunal and the concurrent People’s Assembly was not to make money from appearing but to give a voice to the voiceless: the poisoned farmers and babies, the scientists and regulators who are harassed and threatened, the sick and dying plants and animals. Monsanto was invited to appear and declined. People trying to sneak in at the last minute and disrupt an event that took huge amounts of courage and effort for many people to attend and organise is reasonable.

    As you are so clearly showing, the supporters of GM routinely make repeated, excessive, unsubstantiated claims that are bounced around the media and the net in echo chambers. If you want to see how this is done read the “Spinning Food” report. The tactics are similar to Big Tobacco and Climate Change Denial. The Nicolia link you give is designed to support the people who have already decided that GM food is safe and that ‘science’ says it is so, but who do not actually read what the studies say. The Nicolia review claims to have 1700 studies showing the safety of GM crops. Most of the 1700 studies are irrelevant to human, animal and environmental health, some of the studies show harm but Nicolia ignores this and Nicolia has decided to not include other important studies for reasons they do not state.

    I think you are finding it hard to realise that people who have been poisoned, harassed, dispossessed, bankrupted and silenced are still capable of working together to show they are willing to act for justice and the wellbeing of all. Being at the Tribunal made me realise the wonderful spirit of so many people. One of the Paraguayians said they thought that it was only them that were being poisoned, however having listened to a French, Australian, US, Sri Lankan, Bukino Faso and Indian farmers they realised they were not alone. I was extremely humbled and inspired by the people from around the world who worked so hard to come and tell their stories and reach out to transform tragedy into fertile healing.

  12. Kaye Lee

    Fran please read the summary of the report by the APVMA I linked to above. It addresses all the studies you may have heard of. To produce harmful effects in lab rats and rabbits they gave them enormous doses. They also used a strain of rat prone to tumours without mentioning that and did not compare to a control group.

    “The APVMA currently has no data before it suggesting that glyphosate products registered in Australia and used according to label instructions present any unacceptable risks to human health, the environment and trade.

    The weight and strength of evidence shows that glyphosate is not genotoxic, carcinogenic, or neurotoxic”

  13. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Brian Duggan,

    why does Monsanto control seed production and patents? Monsanto represents corporatisation of food resources and the bigger they get, the more dangerous they are.

  14. Kaye Lee

    This is from the CSIRO…..

    Just as medical researchers work to unlock the role our human genes play in disease, CSIRO investigates how plant genes can be used to boost the health benefits of food, increase crop yields and prevent plant disease.

    Our scientists are researching genes that control the root systems in wheat to improve uptake of nitrogen from the soil to reduce fertiliser use, we are researching how changing the digestibility of the starch in grains such as wheat can lower the biomarkers that indicate colon cancer and improve their glycaemic index. Most Australians with insulin dependent diabetes inject themselves daily with insulin produced using GM technology.

    Across the very extensive and prolonged use worldwide, there has been no evidence of harm to human health associated with the use of GM technology.

    In Australia we’ve been growing and consuming GM products for at least 15 years, with GM cotton and carnations grown commercially since 1996 and GM canola since 2008.

    The global challenge is to produce 70% more food in the next 40 years.

    To meet that food demand we need to increase our agricultural yields and increase the efficiency of how plants take up nutrients. It means growing plants that use less water to produce the same output and improving resistance to disease and pests.

    GM technology is just one of several technologies we employ in our research programs which are designed to deliver on this future. CSIRO will continue to conduct research on the genes of plants and investigate GM solutions, given the vital contribution this technology can make to Australia and humanity.

  15. Kaye Lee


    The patent on glyphosate ran out in 2000.

    Regarding Shiva’s seed monopoly claim…

    “Though the activist has repeatedly denounced companies like Monsanto for holding IP rights to patented seeds, which she dubs a “seed monopoly” her assertion is demonstrably deceptive. Either Shiva, who promotes organic agriculture, is disingenuous, or doesn’t know that there are thousands of patented crop varieties not created with molecular genetic engineering techniques, many of which can be grown and sold as organic.”

  16. Claire Bleakley

    The Monsanto Tribunal was very disappointed that Monsanto did not come to the hearing and put its case forward. This shows that monsanto was willing to be convicted on proof and recognises that there was no use arguing about the facts. Recently, the US court unsealed documents that show there is doubt over the safety of the Roundup studies submitted to regulators as emails from Jess Rowland showed. ( A very clear point was made by Seralini and other scientists regarding the science of Roundup is that glyphosate is not the only active ingredient in glyphosate based pesticides. The full formulations contain adjuvants. These adjuvants increase the toxicity of the pesticide they are mixed with. My understanding on the Monsanto Tribunal was not looking at glyphosate only but the formulations that are in the proprietary end product. In NZ, the APVMA does not assess safety of the product but the end use of the formulation on workers and in work situations. In other words, the APVMA manages potential risks posed by agvet chemicals by, among other things, imposing conditions on approvals or registrations.

  17. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Brian Duggan,

    kindly address my comment @5.29pm and Fran’s last paragraph @5.03pm.

  18. Kaye Lee

    Claire, Roundup is a herbicide, not a pesticide. Why would the APVMA be working in NZ? It’s an Australian government body whose role is very much to assess safety by looking at the relevant research.

    Australians need access to safe and effective agricultural and veterinary (agvet) chemicals to control pests and diseases on animals and plants. Because of the potential risks from the incorrect use of agvet chemicals, the Australian Government has, for many years, played a key role in the regulation of pesticides and veterinary medicines. Regulatory measures are in place to ensure these chemicals work, but are also safe for humans, non-target animals and plants, and the environment.

  19. Freethinker

    Kaye, are you aware that the pesticides sold to the public on the supermarkets and hardware stores are more dangerous than many of those used by a qualified pest controllers operators?
    The regulatory measures are in place to ensure these chemicals work, but are also safe for humans, non-target animals and plants, and the environment are drafted by a bunch of pen pushers bureaucrats like many other laws including many in the transport industry.

  20. Kaye Lee

    ” a bunch of pen pushers bureaucrats ” ?

    APVMA Science Fellows are eminent national and international scientists who have been appointed because of their recognised expertise.

  21. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Maybe eminent scientists but who are they answering to and are their government positions clouding their integrity especially under this LNP bunch of bastards?

  22. Brian Duggan

    Jennifer, you consider 12% market share ‘dominance’? Wow! Now, answer my question posed earlier; which insecticides does Monsanto produce? ?

    As for Vandana Shiva being paid 40,000 Euros Fran, if you can’t believe Monsanto tribunal’s own page then who can you believe! ?

  23. Brian Duggan

    The APVMA is apolitical Jennifer. Same scientists, same scientific based decision making under an ALP government. Hissy fits don’t help your argument.

  24. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Having turned 60 recently, Brian,

    I thank you for thinking I could still have hissy fits.

    Nonetheless, I don’t trust Monsanto and whether APVMA is apolitical or not, I don’t automatically accept there is no political pressure on those scientists from corporate lobbying and political clandestine directives.

  25. Frederick Froth

    Brian Duggan -there is of course no evidence that GM “foods” are safe either. And besides which for how long have they been in existence? At most 2-3 decades, which is hardly a long enough time line to prove that they are safe.
    And anyone who pretends that Monsanto or any of the other giant corporations that now control the seed and pesticide industry have any intentions to feed the mal-nourished and starving billions is seriously deluded, or a corporate propaganda hack.
    And why is Monsanto (quite rightly) considered to be the world’s most evil corporation?
    The evidence is all there on the public record.

  26. Freethinker

    Kaye Lee, I hope that they are not the ones that are allowing to be dangerous chemicals for a domestic pest control use.
    The ones that I am referring are the ones that have done that.

  27. Freethinker

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith, I agree with your comment. m
    Many years ago, when I was doing the Bachelor in Agricultural Mechanszation at the Uni during our studies in minimum tillage for soil conservation Round Up was used to suppress Kikuyo on the pastures in dairy farms .
    Those specialist in soil conservation not only were poisoning the soil but also feeding the dairy cows with grasses contaminated with glyphosate.

    Just because people have a University degree does not mean that they know all or teaching the right thing.

  28. Brian Duggan

    Jennifer, that is called ‘cognitive dissonance’. Now, please answer my question.

    Frederick, clearly you took no notice of the summary article I posted. Please do so before embarrassing yourself again.

    Fran, given we are in fierce agreement that Shiva is a liar (look at the porky pies she has told over Indian cotton farmers commiting suicide just because they grew BT cotton when we know suicide rates fell with the introduction of BT cotton AND that suicide rates amongst French (non-GMO) farmers are higher), why would you believe her when she said she wasn’t paid to give evidence? ?

    As for the other ‘witnesses’, now we must question if they were paid too?!? Also, I bet I could find 20 people around the world who would deny the Jewish Holocost. That doesn’t mean it didn’t happen? None of the 18 million GM crop farmers were allowed to give evidence, nor were the hundreds of millions of farmers who use glyphoste. I bet they would provide the very type of evidence that the Monsanto Tribunal organisers didn’t want at their pantomime.

  29. Brian Duggan

    And now Freethinker we know that glyphosate is even safer than when it was commercially released back in 1974. It doesn’t bioaccumulate in the body and is rapidly degraded by soil bacteria. Happy days. ?

  30. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    What??? Brian!!!

    You might want to state my comment was cognitive dissonance but I might raise you two and say the same about you!

    Now prove why Monsanto has not borne pressure upon the current LNP bunch of idiots and before them the Labor bunch of idiots who no doubt your bastard company has targeted.

  31. Kaye Lee

    Wow that facebook page is a doozy Brian.

    Monsanto Tribunal International
    July 19, 2016 ·
    There is the unique opportunity to make donations to a court and pay the judge and prosecutor in such a way that in the end the expected just result comes out.
    This is the unique opportunity to sponsor a court and to fund judges and prosecutors with enough money.

    Monsanto Tribunal International
    July 19, 2016 ·
    German Green MP Renate Künast, former Federal Minister of Consumer Protection, Food and Agriculture, is supporting our # MonsantoTribunal International # Monsanto ‘s # glyphosate will give all children # autism by 2045. . Thank god, eminent French scientist Gilles-Eric Séralini has a homeopathic remedy, so it might not happen. But Monsanto is on the way to the International Court in Den Haag.

    The scandalous story: Chemtrails have contaminated our soils with aluminum for years. At some point there will be no growth. Then Monsanto comes with long-patented aluminum-resistant seeds around the corner and makes huge gains. That is why we condemn Monsanto in the autumn at our tribunal before the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

  32. Freethinker

    Brian also Monsanto’s DDT, Dioxin, Agent Orange, were harmless.
    Not to mention the other ” safe” products like rBGH, aspartame, PCB, etc.
    You can keep your believes Brain and I wish you happy days as well

    On the good news, where the brown paper bag was not taken,quote:
    A tentative ruling last week by Fresno County Superior Court Judge Kristi Culver Kapetan moves California closer to listing glyphosate (Roundup) as a carcinogen under the state’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986

    Judge Rules Against Monsanto, Allows California to List Glyphosate Products as Cancer Causing

  33. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    The Monsanto problem is indicative of where false science and false politics meet at a mutually beneficial intersection.

    Monsanto is nothing to defend, Kaye Lee. I’m surprised you don’t see that.

    Just like pseudo-democratic bourgeoise Labor politics is nothing to defend.

  34. Michael Taylor

    I wouldn’t say that DDT was harmless. I almost died from DDT poisoning as a kid.

  35. Freethinker

    I agree with you Michael, but for many DDT, Aldrin/Dieldrin were harmless and bought on shops to use in the houses as insecticides.
    The same argument is now with Round Up and other chemicals.
    Some people never learn.
    Just image what can happens if Monsant, Bayer and Dow get together!!

  36. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    100% true, Freethinker.

  37. Freethinker

    I read this and my Latin blood pressure goes up, quote:

    Joint Statement: Monsanto, Bayer CEOs meet with new administration
    Werner Baumann, Bayer CEO, and Hugh Grant, Monsanto Chairman and CEO, had a very productive meeting last week with President-Elect Trump and his team to share their view on the future of the agriculture industry and its need for innovation. The driving force behind the Bayer-Monsanto combination is increasing and accelerating innovation to help growers around the world address challenges like climate change and food security. This becomes increasingly important as we all work together to feed a growing population in a sustainable way.

    The United States is a global leader in agriculture, and the combination of Bayer-Monsanto will underscore that role and ensure the United States retains a pre-eminent position as the anchor of the industry. The combined company expects to spend approximately $16 billion for R&D in agriculture over the next six years with at least half of this investment made in the United States. This is an investment in innovation and people that will create several thousand new high-tech, well-paying jobs after integration is complete, jobs that will keep America at the forefront of agricultural innovation and that serve U.S. farmers by delivering better products and services faster.

    More specifically, this is an investment in the U.S. heartland with global seeds and traits research and development for the combined company being headquartered in St. Louis, along with its agriculture North American commercial headquarters and additional research and commercial locations throughout the United States. These high-tech jobs will drive future innovation in agriculture: geneticists, roboticists, satellite imagery specialists, engineers, data scientists, advanced breeders and statisticians.

  38. Brian Duggan

    Freethinker, DDT and Agent Orange weren’t developed by Monsanto Monsanto was required bybthe US government to produce Agent Orange for the Vietnam War. It warned the US government of the dangers but was ignored.

    As for IARC, which was chaired by an anti-pesticide lobbiest, Christopher Portier, it also claimed that pickled vegetables, sunlight, working the night shift, and aloe vera were all possible carcinogens along with glyphosate. The parent body, the World Health Organization, was so embarrassed it released this statement on glyphosate stating unequivocally that glyphosate is non-carcinogenic.

    You antis really need to start putting some objectivity into your thinking. Actually, just starting thinking….well…try…. ?

  39. Brian Duggan

    Ohh Kaye Lee, the depths of depravity of this antis knows no bounds. I heard one claim once that Monsanto invented nuclear bombs! Next, Monsanto shot JFK! And faked the moon landing! ?

  40. Michael Taylor

    I’ll tell you what, Brian, if DDT is harmless then why don’t you try some.

  41. Freethinker

    Brian, educate yourself, be informed, Monsanto manufactured controversial products such as the insecticide DDT, PCBs, Agent Orange and recombinant bovine growth hormone.
    I do not say that Monsanto developed DDT but sold it under their label.
    DDT was developed by a Swiss chemist back in the early 1974 to control malaria and typhus.
    Your arguments are the same as are used by the climate change denial groups.

    PS: this site is not the best if you like to start with arrogant posts, we are at different level, there are other sites for that.
    Have a nice dreams.

  42. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Brian Duggan,

    I would advise you not to confuse Kaye Lee’s desire for scientific and political balance and authenticity with support for your employer, Monsanto.

    Now, please answer Michael @ 9.31pm, me @5.29pm and Fran’s last paragraph @5.03pm.

  43. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Scary isn’t it, Freethinker

    … that Brian Duggan, the mouthpiece for Monsanto, thinks he can belittle commenters on social media to ram home propaganda about Monsanto and its concealed abuses on the environment.

    The mind boggles how he must get away with all sorts of depravities on other social media sites.

  44. Brian Duggan

    How am I the mouth piece of Monsanto Jennifer? Now enough of the constant demands for me to answer more and more of you questions. You answer mone; which insecticides does Monsanto produce? Don’t worry about me, it is an easy hobby mocking tinfoil hat wearing, science deniers. Tell me, which of the following boxes do you tick?
    Climate change denier?
    Ptolmaic belief in the solar system structure?
    Gravity is a toxin? And just a ‘theory’?
    The moon landing was fake?
    Chinese frogmen abducted Harold Holt?
    Elvis is alive and working at a 7-11 in Adelaide?

    Come on Jennifer, it’s almost Friday, give me a laugh! ?

    As for you Freethinker your claim that you are on another level is the only intelligent comment you’ve typed all day! I have no doubts about that comment AT ALL! ?

    Now please kids put the tin foil away when you’ve finished with it. Night!

  45. Matters Not

    Yes JMS, please explain how Brian Duggan is the mouthpiece for Monsanto. What do you know that I can’t establish from this discussion?

  46. Freethinker

    Jennifer, it is a shame that the site does not have a filter to stop some posters.
    They will benefit more by educating themselves by reading the articles and comments instead of participating on them.

  47. Freethinker

    I hope that this news will affect Nufarm Australia. They are looking with interest at the possible merge between Monsanto and Bayer.
    Some people in Nufarm do not like the ” Monsanto bashing”

  48. Brian Duggan

    Oh come on Freethinker, encourage Jennifer to read. Just don’t threaten to bock her. That just shows your inability to argue because you have no basis for your argument and all you havevto rely on is personal attacks. ?

  49. Freethinker

    Look Brian, it is well known that the product is in category 2A, at the very least so if you like to take the risk it is your call but not try to dispute something that it is evident.
    As I said it will be like a climate change denier or have the argument that coal it is good for humanity.
    I think that we have to leave it as is.

  50. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Brian Duggan,

    your attempt at pseudo-scientific authenticity does not work.

    Freethinker is right to show that Monsanto and Bayer are planning to form a conglomerate which will be a major threat to everyone and everywhere.

    You obviously don’t know my political stance on many subjects or you wouldn’t challenge me with your stupid list of non-possibilities.

    Instead, I challenge you to divorce yourself from Monsanto and Bayer, which promise to threaten us and our planet.

    Can you take that challenge or are you too scared to forego your lucrative paypacket?

  51. Brian Duggan

    And Jennifer I challenge you to take off the tin foil. Come on, you can’t accept the science behind climate change but deny the science behind GM technology. By denying the benefits of GMO’s you are putting yourself in the same camo as the climate change deniers. And you are ytilising b the same tactics as Big Tobacco used to use; mock up bogus little studies to say that smoking is safe (you folks do the same to ‘show’ GMO’s are bad), try and create doubt i the publics mind regarding peer-reviewed journal evidence), convene some meeting with some ‘scientists’ with overhyped credentials that support your stance). Kudos to the anti-GMO lobby. You have parrotted Big Tobacco superbly. But, it only buys you time. In the end, truth wins. ?

    As for glyphosate’s ‘probable carcinogen’ status Freethinker (ironic name by the way), I hope you are chastising the aloe vera growers with the same fervour! Not one pesticide regulatory agency in the world classifies glyphosate as carcinogenic. Not the Canadian pesticide regulatory agency, the US EPA, Australian APVMA, New Zealand pesticides regulator nor Japanese pesticides regulator. The European Chemical Safety Authority last month gave it a clean bill of health, and it looks like glyphosate will be reregistered for (yet another) 10 years in Europe. Now you have conveniently overlooked that, but I bet if one of them claimed any issue with glyphosate you’d get all excited and happy and shout it from the roof tops. Folks a skeptic is someone who starts off challenging hypothesis, but can be won over to the convincing sude of the argument. A denier is someone who despite all the evidence refuses to change their stance. You are both ensconsed in the later. I pity you. Step outside your eco-chamber. You’ll find it refreshing, and a lot less scary. ?

  52. Brian Duggan

    No I don’t know (nor care) about your political stance Jennifer. I am simply trying to ascertain how far off the dial you really are. Come on, name me Monsanto’s insecticides. Then answer my question about Harold Holt?! And Elvis! ?

  53. LOVO

    Brian, …does it pay well…what you do?
    “We” only go round once……love your choices, Brian.?
    *message to mods* “One wonders if’n Monsanto has an litigious mindset ” …un-jest sayin’ ?

  54. Helen Bates

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith as I’m just a casual reader here could you answer=
    Why do you never answer quesions and how is it you can continually make outlandish claims without ever giving proof or links.
    As Matters Mot and others have asked where is your proof Brian Duggan is a Monsanto mouthpiece or on their payroll?
    I think if you cannot offer proof your statements should be deleted
    You asked Brian Duggan “Can you take that challenge or are you too scared to forego your lucrative paypacket?”
    Can you take the challenge of providung proof of your statements regarding Brian Duggan or are we to assume you just make up little yarns as you go along
    Now I notice Lovo is on the same track.
    What is AIMN policy of allowing unsubstantiated ccomments to remain on the site particularly when they make unfounded accusations against a commenter

  55. Brian Duggan

    Does what pay well Lovo? Being a scientist? Well it’s OK I guess. 8 years at University eats into your earning years. Long hours reading and reviewing research papers. What do you do for a living?

  56. Kaye Lee

    There are around 500 products containing glyphosate registered for use in Australia. Glyphosate has been registered for use for over 40 years.

    As for the International Agency for Research on Cancer report……

    The IARC assessment looked at the intrinsic toxicity potential or ‘hazard’ of the chemical glyphosate as a cancer-causing agent only. Indoor emissions from burning wood and high temperature frying, some shift work, and consumption of red meat are also classified as probably carcinogenic to humans and are in the same category as glyphosate. Agents classified by IARC in the highest category (carcinogenic to humans) include all alcoholic beverages, consumption of processed meat, solar and ultraviolet radiation (ie sunlight), engine exhaust (diesel), post-menopausal oestrogen and oestrogen-progestogen therapy, outdoor air pollution, occupational exposure as a painter, and soot and wood dust.

    Please read this report which details the many studies and government bodies who have concluded that glyphosate used as directed is not carcinogenic or teratogenic.

    PS Belligerence towards each other does not help the discussion

  57. Johno

    Kaye Lee
    You wrote yesterday ‘The global challenge is to produce 70% more food in the next 40 years.’
    There could be a global challenge to stop this… Roughly one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year — approximately 1.3 billion tonnes — gets lost or wasted.

  58. Kaye Lee

    Very true Johno.

    I am surprised there is not more emphasis on recycling, reusing, and reduction of waste in general but food wastage is a very important area that needs addressing. 20 million people in Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and Nigeria face starvation and famine as we throw away thousands of tonnes of food every day.

  59. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    My apologies to Brian Duggan for accusing you of being an employee of Monsanto. I misread Fran Murrell @3.26pm on 20/4/17: “It is also interesting that you do not declare yourself as an employee of Nufarm, a seller of pesticides.”

    However, that doesn’t shift my suspicions about your support for Monsanto and its role in harmful environmental products and practices, and Monsanto’s unhealthy mega-control global corporatisation (with Bayer), which is a threat for diverse human communities and ecologies.


    Helen Bates, now that I have cleared up my error, what have you got to say about Monsanto’s dubious business products and practices or are you just here to pick on commenters, who have something to say?

  60. Johno

    If glyphosate or GM is all so good why would Denmark want to go 100% organic ??

  61. Brian Duggan

    Your only suspicion Jennifer is why I support a herbicide which is proven safe and claimed to be so by the World Health Organisation, every pesticide regulator in the world and used very safely by millions and millions of farmers every day. Clearly fact checking and reading are not so important to you and you rely on the statements of disingenuous people like Fran for your information. You should stop doing that. She is quite happy to spread lies and misinformation to support her dogma. Again, you can’t show that Monsanto produces insecticides, yet you blame them for using their insecticides for killing bees. Fact checking is important Jennifer.

  62. Fran Murrell

    Brian and his Minime’s are doing their usual best to claim everything is safe, that regulatory bodies only approve things that are safe and that there is masses of evidence to show GM is safe….all of them are wrong. The GM and pesticide industry pays many, many people to inhabit social media and produce this stuff. It is the same tactics as Big Tobacco and Climate Change Denial. Who benefits from Climate Change Denial? Fossil fuel industries. Which industry is claimed to produce between 25-50% of Greenhouse Gas Emissions? Big Industrial GM agriculture. 60% of the gas fracked in the US goes to produce nitrogen fertilizer for fields that are dying due to GM and industrial agriculture. Pesticides (which includes the class of insecticides and herbicides) are made from fossil fuel. So the distinction between ‘believing the science of climate change and GM’ is a false distinction. If Brian really paid attention to the science, as opposed to the spin, he would see that GM is dangerous and unneeded. Agroecological methods of farming like the System of Rice Intensification have doubled yields without the use of chemicals or GM. It uses less seed and water. However Brian doesn’t champion this as it needs no chemicals for him to sell.

    The APVMA does no testing themselves and repeatedly dismiss harm shown by peer-reviewed science. If you watch the Monsanto Tribunal videos, on their site, you can watch regulators Peter Clausing (Germany) and Shiv Chopra (Canada) explain the pressure regulators are put under by the companies, with the complicity of government.

    Next Brian is dancing around semantics claiming that Monsanto doesn’t produce synthetic insecticides. They took the soil bacteria bacillus thuringensis which is a naturally occurring insecticide used by organic and other farmers. In its natural state it is only active once in the alkaline stomach of an insect. It is only required to be sprayed when there is an insect attack. Rain and water will wash it off and it degrades in sunlight within two weeks. Monsanto took this and engineered it into their GM bt crops. To work they needed to engineer it to be active immediately so it doesn’t need to be in an alkaline environment. This means it will be active in humans acid stomach. Since it works by attacking the stomach it is deeply worrying. The GM bt plant expresses the stomach destroying toxin in all bits of the plant and it can’t be washed off. When the plant dies and decomposes in the field the bt harms soil and water organisms. Brian ignores all of this.

    What can you do? Be aware that GM and the associated pesticides are very lucrative and so companies benefitting from them go to extreme lengths to protect their profits. Watch the Monsanto Tribunal to see the extent of the human rights abuses they sink to. To avoid GM, avoid processed foods, learn to cook, buy from farmers markets and join a community garden. The Fair Food movement is growing, support the farmers and producers.This is a vital thing to be part of and your voice and your actions matter.

    Ring up your MPs and say you want all GM food labelled. Ring David Gillespie, Federal Junior Minister for Health, to say you want the new GM technologies (CRISPR, gene editing etc) not to be deregulated. This is another subject I’d be happy to write on. New, even more risky, plant breeding will be released with no pre-market testing, labelling or monitoring if the GM industry gets its way. Brian works for a company selling pesticides. It appears that most of his time is spent on forums like this. This is what the GM industry funds, spin and nastiness.

    David Gillespie’s contact details:

    ( t ): (02) 6583 2077

    ( f ): (02) 6584 1022

    ( e ):

    Taree Office: 144 Victoria Street, Taree, NSW 2430

    ( t ): (02) 6557 8910

  63. Brian Duggan

    Beats me Johno. I guess they ignore all the science that is presented to them. Democracy is fantastic, but unfortunately people can be hookwinked by special interest groups. As demonstrated above the anti-GMO lobby is conducting a campaign of misinformation straight out the playbook of Big Tobacco. Sri Lanka banned glyphosate, but within 6 months recognised the error in its ways and as their medical authorities could not show any adverse effects on human health from glyphosate they are fortunately looking at overturning the ban. Denmark could learn a lot from Sri Lanka.

  64. Brian Duggan

    Fran, it is Big Organic which is using the tactics of Big Tobacco – trying to create doubt, dubious scientific reports to support their stance, fear mongering about what may happen if the opposition wins… The science behind GM technology is well documented in the scientific literature. The Pew Foundation conducted a survey of American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) members and found the same percentage (88%) believed that climate change was real AND that GMO’s were safe.

    The issue is that while scientists know that GMO’s are safe and that climate change is real, anti-technology activists manipulate the public into believing that they are unsafe. Education is the answer, not fear mongering.

    What to do? Listen to people who are educated and have worked with GM crops. Who have experience. Who see the benefit they have to the environment through reduced pesticide use and safer pesticides being used. Not people like Vandana Shiva who pockets $US40,000 appearance fee ever time she speaks. Or people who go on junkets to Europe to attend mock courts which even the organisers admit will only offer an opinion, not a legally binding verdict (read the Monsanto Tribunal’s letter to Hugh Grant, CEO of Monsanto).

    Finally, we need to end the war on science, and support GMO’s. Fran has taken a leaf out of Trumps book and is happy to spread ‘Fake News’. We need to stop listening to pseudo-science. Remember, fear motivates short term, but hope is a much longer lasting and motivating emotion. Let’s live in hope, not fear 🙂

  65. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Brian Duggan,

    I would trust the Fran Murrell’s of this world on this matter more than people such as you who represent Big Biz.

    Call me naive and not particularly scientific in my approach but beside the realistic threats of Monsanto’s products, there is the inconvenient truth that Monsanto is too big and is a socio-economic threat to our countries through corruption of political processes.

  66. Roswell

    So what is killing the bees then, Brian?

    While I’m at it, what’s killing the fish?

  67. Johno

    ‘Sum of Us’ have been running a campaign about the plight of bees for many years now. They would have plenty of stats to be sure.

  68. Kaye Lee

    The prevailing theory among scientists in EPA, USDA and the global scientific and regulatory community is that the general declining health of honey bees is related to complex interactions among multiple stressors including:

    Pests (e.g., varroa mite), pathogens (e.g., the bacterial disease American foulbrood) and viruses.
    Poor nutrition (e.g., due to loss of foraging habitat and increased reliance on supplemental diets).
    Pesticide exposure.
    Bee management practices (e.g., long migratory routes to support pollination services).
    Lack of genetic diversity.

    As for the fish, my son killed quite a few yesterday. Kingfish sashimi…yummmmmm

  69. Johno

    Basically the not so recent application of monoculture on a very very large scale is not that great for the wee bee.

  70. Kaye Lee

    The Monsanto Trinbunal was not in any way independent.

    As the CSIRO says…..

    “There is a gap between community concerns and the knowledge of our scientists around genetic research. That gap requires scientists and food producers to understand community views and share their scientific knowledge to earn community trust. We must bridge this gap if scientific developments in plant genetics are to improve health and support global food supply.”

    In the most comprehensive meta-analysis (of 147 publications) to date, researchers from Goettingen University have concluded that the adoption of GM technology has:

    Reduced pesticide use by 37%
    Increased crop yield by 22%
    Increased farmer profits by 68%.

    The yield and profit gains are considerably higher in developing countries than in developed countries, and 53% of GM crops are grown in developing countries.

    In 2012, a joint Chinese-French study on GM cotton showed that insecticide usage more than halved, and the survival of beneficial insects had a positive impact on pest control. Since they adopted genetically modified Bt cotton, India has been producing twice as much cotton from the same land area with 65% less insecticide.

    There can be other benefits in GM crops, beyond yield and resistance. Rice produces 10% of the world’s methane emissions so imagine if somebody could reduce emissions by 90%, and make plants with larger seeds containing more energy.

    Chuangxin Sun’s group at Swedish Agricultural University has done precisely that by transferring a single gene from barley to rice.

    If all the world’s rice used this technology, it would be the equivalent of closing down 150 coal-fired power stations or removing 120 million cars from the road annually.

  71. Brian Duggan

    Jennifer, you are naive and not particularly scientific. Thank you.

  72. Brian Duggan

    Roswell, given that in North America European honeybee populations are at an all time high I am not sure what you are referring to.

    As for Australia’s European honeybee population they are the healthiest in the world according to CSIRO.

    Apiarists that I have spoken to in North America state that their biggest enemy is varroa mite. They have to spray acaricides (pesticides that kill mites) regularly which is why you never see organic honey there. Australia is free of varroa mites, hence we don’t get colony collapse disorder. But we use glyphosate. And neonicotinoids. Hmmm. Funny thing though; copper sulphate, a commonly used organic pesticide, is highly toxic to bees. One more reason why we should ban organics.

  73. Brian Duggan

    Oh and Jennifer, Monsanto recently accepted a buyout offer of $66 billion ($126US per share) from Bayer. That makes it about the same size as Westfarmers in an Australian context. Tiny for a global company. The organic supermarket chain ‘Whole Foods’ in the US has the same sales revenue. Again with the lack of facts!

  74. Kaye Lee

    Interesting update on bees Brian. Thanks.

  75. Matters Not

    Brian Duggan seems to know what he is talking about when it comes to matters scientific. Somewhat of an expert, I believe.

    Is ‘expertise’ allowed?

  76. Brian Duggan

    Thanks Matters Not and Kaye Lee. Much appreciated. You too seem knowledgeable too. Cheers

  77. Roswell

    Brian, thank you for the update on the bees. I shall read later today.

    As for this:

    I am not sure what you are referring to

    Haven’t you heard all the talk about bee populations being under threat? If it’s wrong, just say so. I was asking a simple question and I appreciate that you’ve addressed it, however I really don’t like little digs that question my intelligence. Your comments are littered with them. I don’t think it’s necessary.

    As Matters Not would say …

    “Just sayin'”

  78. Kaye Lee

    Roswell, I agree about the digs but Brian has also been copping them.

    It seems the bees hit a low in 2006 but good hive managment has seen them improve. We are also lucky in Australia because we don’t have a few of the nastier diseases and pathogens though with Barnaby Joyce trying to take over biosecurity and cut funding and red tape, I am sure we will face ongoing challenges exacerbated by climate change and free trade.

  79. Fran Murrell

    Hi Brian,
    There is no scientific consensus on the safety of GM crops. See ENSSER statement signed by hundreds of scientists. Instead let’s talk about you and the way you are constantly spreading misinformation and how you are employed by a pesticide company. Why don’t you talk about the latest UN report by the Special Rapporteurs for Food and Toxics? They report 200,000 people die a year from acute pesticide poisoning, millions of people are affected by pesticides and they are especially harmful to babies and children and that pesticides do not increase crop yield.

    Your whole industry is based on manipulation of the science, regulatory bodies and spin. Watch the Sri Lankans’ testimony in the Monsanto Tribunal. 26,000 Sri Lankans have died due to the introduction of Roundup causing kidney disease. 60,000 people are ill. The northern part of Sri Lanka did not have Roundup as the government were afraid it would be used to make bombs. They are not suffering from this kidney disease despite having the same climate and rice growing farming.

    Watch Christine Sheppard and her lawyer give evidence on how she developed cancer due to Roundup. There is currently a class action in the US by people who have developed cancer suing Monsanto. It has revealed an employee of the Environmental Protection Agency was in collusion with Monsanto to squash an inquiry into the carcinogenicity of the pesticide and to bury scientific evidence. It is amazing that you defend this sort of behaviour.

  80. Fran Murrell

    Brian Duggan is Global Innovations Manager for Nufarm in Melbourne. The behaviour he (and his supporters) indulge in on this comment string is consistent and appears on Facebook pages and articles all over the net, locally and internationally. He has harassed me so much I had to block him from the MADGE Australia Facebook page I run. I did this partly as people reading the page felt attacked and upset. The feedback I got from people about how much he angered and upset them was illuminating. He took photos off my personal Facebook page and doctored them and reposted mocking me personally. He came to a stall I ran earlier this year, while I was giving a speech, and asked the people on the stall to speak to me and gave his name. When the person staffing knew who he was he ran off. Then he and others made Facebook posts claiming I was too afraid to meet him. I have offered to meet him for a coffee but he has declined. Note that his ‘science’ is PR corporate science and that he resorts to attacking people personally, diverting the conversation into dead ends or trivialities and he never can engage with the evidence presented, denying it exists.

    Remember that the GM and pesticide industry (which are the same) need you to keep buying their products. This is why buying fresh food, contacting companies and supermarkets and politicians and asking for GM-Free food and labels on GM products (ask for labelling that shows whether an ingredients comes from a GM crop or process or is one of the new GM breeding techniques CRISPR, gene editing etc). Without your unknowing complicity in buying their foods, their industry is lost. The site has a page about how to shop GM-Free.

  81. Michael Taylor

    I wouldn’t trust Monsanto as far as I could throw them.

  82. Kaye Lee

    There is a problem with kidney disease in parts of Sri Lanka…that part is true. However, there is not one skerrick of evidence showing a link to Roundup.

    “Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena banned the import of glysophate, after a theory was put forward that it was responsible for chronic kidney disease in mostly rice growing areas in the country.

    However no animal studies were done to prove the theory, which the researchers said was because Sri Lanka was a country where most were followers of Bhuddism.”

    As for pesticides, and I reiterate Roundup is NOT a pesticide, GM crops are significantly reducing pesticide use.

  83. Brian Duggan

    Hi Fran, I have posted this here before but yet again cognitive dissonance seems to restrict you from seeking out the truth/preventing any facts that counter the truth. 1783 peer-reviewed studies into GMO’s over 10 years summarised into one paper that demonstrate that GMO’s are safe. Funded by the European Union.

    On numerous occasions this has been pointed out to you and on every occasion you have not even acknowledged it.

    I have also posted the WHO/FAO joint report that demonstrates that glyphosate is safe and non-carcinogenic. Still you ignore.

    As for people dying of pesticides, yes, they do. This is a wonderful advertisement for the need for GMO’s which on numerous occasions have been pointed out to you use LESS pesticides than non-GMO crops. Again, you guessed it, you ignore these peer-reviewed studies. By fear-mongering you are preventing the developing world accessing this technology. They are forced to use pesticides and as they can’t read safety instructions on pesticide labels they put themselves in harms way

    There is zero evidence of glyphosate causing kidney disease or cancer in the peer-reviewed literature. Zippo. Nada. Nunca

    Not sure how you have contrived that glyphosate can be used to make bombs but I guess we can expect the next batch of tinfoil wearers to make this their mantra now.

    Really Fran, I don’t know how the anti-GMO movement can live with yourselves. How does it feel knowing that you are encouraging the use of residual pesticides and unsustainable farming practices and denying the use of technology to people in the developing world who need this the most? You refuse to read scientific literature written by independent scientists yet extol the quackery and sharmanism of whoever tells you what you want to hear. Shame on you and your fundamentalist dogma!

  84. Roswell

    I use a very effective herbicide: my hands. But they are useless as a pesticide.

    I gave up chasing flies when I was 4.

  85. Kaye Lee


    I have nothing to do with the industry and none of the many links I have provided do either. Are you accusing publicly funded scientific bodies world wide including the CSIRO of acting in collusion with Monsanto to poison their produce and their people?

    I am most disturbed by your accounts of Brian’s behaviour which amounts to stalking in my opinion. However, the science is very much on his side. Anecdotal evidence is one thing, scientific evidence another.

    It seems to boil down to this….scientists agree something is safe because all of the tests have shown it to not be harmful, opponents say something is unsafe because no amount of testing can prove it is safe. One side is working with facts, the other with fears.

  86. Roswell

    There are those digs from Brian again.

  87. Brian Duggan

    I doctored no photos MADGE, I simply pointed out that you were indulging in known carcinogens whilst you were demonising products known and universally acknowledged to be non-carcinogenic. I did not run from any stall. I asked to meet with you but you were off swanning it with celebrities. From what I saw you stall was largely unmanned the several times I passed it. All I do is point out all the lies you tell to promote your fundamentalist dogma.

    I started this campaign after you rudely interrupted a conference which I was attending regarding biotechnology. Medical and pharmaceutical biotechnology took up 95% of the conference time but you chose to violently protest the agricultural biotechnology session until you were evicted by security for disturbing the peace. You seem very good at demanding you have your say, but are happy to try and silence those who oppose your dogma. Fortunately after you were evicted the conference continued and ideas shared amongst scientists. Kaye Lee is correct, you have stalked me on several occasions to the point where I considered calling the police as I feared for my and my family’s safety. You have a track record from what I saw at the conference.

    I work for a company in the role of making pesticides more efficient and reducing their environmental footprint. Constantly your lies are corrected by people who know much more on the subject of pesticides and GMO’s than you know. Like Trump you spread fake news. And this needs to be mocked and people like yourself exposed. Either way it matters not. GMO’s are becoming more common and those that oppose them, over time, are being shown up as conspiracy theorists as their ‘hellfire and brimstone’ prophesies amount to nothing and the benefits promised by scientists (reduced pesticide use, preservation of beneficial insects, improved nutritional value for consumers) comes to fruition. Live in hope, not fear. 🙂

  88. Kaye Lee

    And from Fran. Whilst demanding that Brian should have revealed his industry connection, she had not volunteered her connection to the MADGE group.

    It seems their history has made this a personal argument which I am ignoring.

    The evidence does not support Fran.

  89. Fran Murrell

    Hi Brian, I have responded previously to your presentation of the Nicolia link which shows up as http://www.tandfonline etc link you have posted. It appears you haven’t even opened the link to find the lead author’s name which is Nicolia. As I stated before most of the 1700 studies are irrelevant to human and environmental health, some studies show harm, which is ignored or dismissed by Nicolia and key studies showing harm are not included for reasons not stated. This link is not the ’10 years of EU looking at GM” group of studies, which is a different piece of work. Interestingly the EU 10 years of work is not a compilation of studies showing GM is safe for humans to eat, as you might expect. Instead it was intended to develop safety assessment approaches but not to do the actual studies to show safety. In the section of the report devoted to food safety there were only 5 published animal feeding trials referenced. None were on commercialised GM foods that we are eating. None lasted longer that 90 days and all showed differences between the GM and non-GM fed animals. I think the taxpayers of the EU should be angered that they money was used for so long to produce nothing to protect them and their health but instead to create a document to be used by the GM industry to pretend independent scientific investigation has been done into GM food.

    Conveniently you avoid any discussion of your employment or the on-going harassment of me and others. Jeering, condescension, unfamiliarity with the evidence you are posting and ignoring what I am saying and the evidence I am producing is typical of your behaviour. I think it is so you sow doubt in people’s mind as to my truthfulness and knowledge. If people want to make up their own minds I suggest they go to the multimedia page on the Monsanto Tribunal website and hear the evidence from 30 witnesses from around the world.

  90. Fran Murrell

    Hi Kaye,
    I have mentioned MADGE. If anyone wants to know more go to our website, We are a group of self funded, volunteer mothers and others (anyone who eats) founded in 2007. I am a founder member and we formed the group as the Victorian Government was considering allowing the ban on growing GM canola to lapse. I felt that people, especially mothers, have a right to know what they are eating. If GM food is so wonderful and safe then the GM industry should enthusiastically label their product. Instead they have turned the argument into people wanting to know what they are eating into haters of science! The spin involved in this is breathtaking.

  91. Kaye Lee


    I looked into that US provision. All it says is that if a crop was legal when you planted it then you get to harvest it. It doesn’t stop something from being banned and only applies to that one year’s harvest, not ongoing crops. It seems to be a (one year) safeguard for farmers rather than Monsanto though I am not sure who they could sell a crop to if it was found to be unsafe. Government compensation for that one year’s crop perhaps? I didn’t get that far.

    The point is, once again, there is no proof of harm, just fear about what if it turns out to be harmful in the future.

  92. Brian Duggan

    Hi Fran. I have also pointed out multigenerational studies showing no harm from GMO’s.

    As for the 10 year study I showed, yes, I know some of the authors, and have talked to them. Never did I say that the lead author was not a woman. Infact, none of what you say is true. If people want the truth, the ramblings of a lunatic nor of a farcical kangaroo court even the organiser admit was nothing more than a publicity stunt are not the best places to go for information!

    Interesting that you choose not to address my comments about you being thrown out for your unauthorised presence and violent disruption of scientific conferences. But maybe you do that often enough that you don’t recall that specific event?

    As for MADGE, after your unsuccessful attempt at preventing GM canola being grown in Victoria can you tell me of any success you have had? All cotton in Australia is now GM, GM canola is grown in all mainland states except SA (though that is set to change with the Productivity commission recommending that the moratorium be overturned) and even the WA Labor party FINALLY got voted into power but only after it abandoned its anti-GM populist position. Not sure what metric you use to measure success but I’d classify it as a massive failure.

    Again, it flabbergasts me that you steadfastly refuse to concede the overwhelming evidence of safety and benefits to human health and the environment of GM crops. I honestly don’t know how you live with yourself.

  93. Brian Duggan

    Yeah will do Kaye Lee, fair enough. Infact, I think I’ll take my leave as I think we’ve shown up the Monsanto Tribunal for what it was. Have a great weekend folks. I have some field that need spraying with glyphosate and 2,4-D before sowing. Great start to the season here in Victoria! Let’s just hope the wheat price goes up and the canola price is at least maintained. 🙂

  94. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Off you go, Brian and enjoy your spraying. Your PR job is done here – or maybe it has been undone.

  95. Fran Murrell

    The devil is in the detail Kaye. The GM labelling we have in Australia is deeply flawed so that canola oil made from 100% GM canola will not need a label. This is because our labelling laws decided that if there are no GM DNA or protein in the final product it doesn’t need a label. In fact the approval documents from FSANZ (our food standards body) show there is GM DNA and protein in the oils. This is the opposite to the EU where if an ingredient comes from a GM crop it is required to be labelled. So this is yet another deceptive practice on the Australian public, claiming every GM ingredient is labelled when in fact virtually none are, despite the Australian Food and Grocery Council saying that if all GM ingredients required labelling nearly every packaged good on the supermarket shelves would need one. If you are concerned about this contact David Gillespie, the Junior Minister for Health and let him know you do not like being deceived.

    David Gillespie’s contact details:

    ( t ): (02) 6583 2077

    ( f ): (02) 6584 1022

    ( e ):

    Taree Office: 144 Victoria Street, Taree, NSW 2430

    ( t ): (02) 6557 8910

  96. Matters Not

    Fran Murrell, do you (personally) have any qualification(s) in a science related field?

  97. Fran Murrell

    There has been comment that the Monsanto Tribunal is not independent and that bodies like CSIRO should be heeded. CSIRO has a place close to the hearts of many Australians because they have done some amazing work. However it must be remembered that they have fallen prey to the neoliberal malaise of a lack of public funding, leading them to seek private partnerships. They have also developed GM technologies. They developed the GM bt cotton that Monsanto then profited from. They developed the RNAi that silences genes. Therefore they are not the independent body that they could be seen to be previously. They are developing and profiting from GM technologies and have links with private corporations. This gets to the heart of the rot that is spreading everywhere – when science is privatised then the public lose out. This was addressed in the Monsanto Tribunal. See the evidence from Shiv Chopra, Peter Clausing, Claire Robinson and more.

    The Monsanto Tribunal was established because the wreckage caused by GM and pesticides is huge and growing and yet the media, courts, government and companies either ignore or sabotage the general public learning what is going on. It is an Orwellian world where farmers are poisoned and babies have birth defects and cancer and yet this is branded ‘feeding the world.’. Meanwhile the farming that heals the soil, creates nutritious food, provides a solid basis for rural economic flourishing and reversed climate change is denied research and the ability to flourish. A looking glass world that Brian, his mates and employer is perpetuating.

  98. Fran Murrell

    Hi Matters Not
    Are you saying only scientists can comment on what is happening to our food? Which sort of scientists do you want to comment: epidemiologists, agronomists, toxicologists, cancer researchers, etc etc? There is no ‘scientist’ that can investigate GM all by themselves. It takes a series of investigations by all sorts of scientists. That is why I look at the papers and evidence and scientific discussion. It is appalling that GM has been publicly promoted as ‘safe’ by entomologists and microbiologists who have no qualifications in human or animal health. Science isn’t a simple glob and neither are scientists, we need transparency and discussion to work out what technologies are and to debate whether, where and how to use them and also to investigate the alternatives.

  99. Fran Murrell

    Hi Brian,
    I have never been ejected by security and have no idea what event you are talking about. You are defaming me. You did take photos from my personal Facebook page. I was not ‘swanning with celebrities’ I was one of many speakers at the Long Lunch at the Sustainable Living Festival in Melbourne, 200 people attended and can confirm what I did. I have never stalked you, in fact the reverse is true. Your lies are bizarre.

  100. Matters Not

    Fran Murrell, I’ll take that as a ‘NO’ answer.

    And I am not saying only scientists can comment on what is happening to our food. But I prefer my advice to come from ‘experts’.

  101. Kaye Lee

    “the approval documents from FSANZ (our food standards body) show there is GM DNA and protein in the oils. ”

    Could you provide a link for that please.

    ” both GM and conventional varieties of canola naturally contain erucic acid, and there is a limit on the amount of erucic acid that is allowed in foods derived from canola, such as canola oil. These limits apply whether the food is derived from conventional or GM canola. Unless any toxins present in a conventional food are specifically removed, they will remain in the GM version of the food.”

  102. Kaye Lee

    The “Monsanto Tribunal” was a crowd-funded coming together of conspiracy theorists to share anecdotal fears, somewhat reminiscent of the “Justice in Focus” symposium in New York last year. They have as much proof as wind farm opponents do. It seems its main aim was for lawyers of “victims” to get together.

    Fran, as a matter of interest, did they pay for your flight too?

  103. Matters Not

    Amazing what you find if you do a bit of digging.

    Who is Michael Taylor

    The man in charge of FDA policy, Michael Taylor. He was Monsanto’s former attorney, and later their vice-president. The White House under George H. W. Bush had instructed the FDA to promote the biotechnology industry, and so the FDA created a new position for Michael Taylor.

    .. The Obama administration has re-installed Taylor at the FDA.

    Apparently Michael Taylor moonlights at AIMN as well. A man of many talents.

    I was just checking whether GM products could be halal certified. And apparently there’s no problem labelling them as such Someone should tell Pauline. A

  104. Kaye Lee


    Is this the part of your report to which you are referring?

    ” DNA has been found in refined canola oil (Hellebrand 1998)”

    The FSANZ document you linked to seems to also be from 1998 though I can’t be sure about that?

    Nevertheless, its conclusion does not seem to support your claim. perhaps you can give me the quote on which you are relying?


    ANZFA considers that oil derived from glyphosate-tolerant canola GT73 is as safe for human consumption as oil from other commercial canola varieties, and therefore recommends that the Australian Food Standards Code be amended to give approval to the sale of such food in Australia and New Zealand. Canola meal is not considered a human food fraction, whether or not it is sourced from genetically modified canola.

    ANZFA also considers that as oil derived from glyphosate-tolerant canola is substantially equivalent to oil derived from non-genetically modified canola, no mandatory labelling is required.

    More relevantly…

    Page 7 Given that oil is highly processed and protein is removed from the final food fraction, oil is not considered to contain any protein (or DNA).

  105. Freethinker

    Matters Not, it is Ok to ” I prefer my advice to come from ‘experts’.”
    I know a scientist that told me that it is impossible in his field to read all the research papers that come almost daily to his email box.
    I guess that the best it is to be informed by reading the much of we can to have a reasonable educated knowledge about the topics of our interest.
    I like to add that there is no need to have a university qualification to have a very good knowledge on a specialisation.
    I know many farmers that have more knowledge and experience that many “expert” agronomists.

  106. Fran Murrell

    I paid for my own flights and accomodation as did almost all of the people who attended the Monsanto Tribunal. If you want to decide if mothers of babies with birth defects, scientists harassed by the GM industry, farmers poisoned by Roundup and people suing Monsanto for harm from their products are all delusional conspiracy theorists watch them give their evidence here:

    The lead judge at the Monsanto Tribunal was a judge in the EU Court of Human Rights for 14 years and ended as Vice-President. The panel of judges found that Monsanto had contravened human rights and international law but that as corporations have made investment and trade laws take precedence over human rights law, these actions cannot currently be suitably addressed. That is why it’s up to us (civil society) to make sure human rights and international law have to be followed by companies.

    Companies are profiting from flouting our rights to safe food, freedom of expression, health and a safe environment.

  107. Kaye Lee

    Were the judges invited and paid by the Monsanto Tribunal convenors?

  108. Kaye Lee

    “Many have criticised it as a publicity and fund-raising stunt, given the fact that the tribunal isn’t part of an internationally recognised court and can’t actually punish the corporation.

    However, the Monsanto Tribunal explains that the trial will be used to assess whether or not Monsanto could be eligible for criminal proceedings, and is the first step to prosecution in the future.

    The assumption is that if the tribunal can raise enough evidence to support allegations against Monsanto, a criminal court will decide to pursue the matter further.

    However, it’s proven incredibly difficult to find evidence against Monsanto. Bill Nye, who used to be an outspoken GM critic, even toured the company’s facilities and couldn’t find anything untoward. In fact, since talking with their scientists, he’s announced that he’s a supporter of genetic modification in crops.”

  109. Matters Not

    I know a scientist that told me that it is impossible in his field to read all the research papers

    And I know another who can read all the (peer reviewed) research journals that cross his desk. So where do we go from here?

    Do I take the advice of the one who can ‘keep up’ or the one who can’t by his/her own admission? Or maybe I should look at the scientific consensus and see where the ‘state of play’ is at? Do I follow those who are at the cutting edge or those who think they are but can’t be sure because they can’t keep up ?

    Do I take the advice of Barry with a piece of string and a heavy door or go to a Dentist? Do I go to a faith healer or …

    For my part, I can’t claim any expert knowledge in this field (nor in a whole host of other (hard) scientific pursuits) so I have to choose as to whose advice I take. And I tend to choose those who have demonstrated expertise as verified by other professional practitioners in the field.

    I’d be interested in what guides your decision making?

  110. Fran Murrell

    Hi Kaye,
    You are questioning FSANZ knowing about the presence of GM DNA and protein in oil from GM canola. Here are quotes from their approval document:

    P3 “[The oil] undergoes extensive processing such that all
    protein and DNA are removed.”
    · P7 “… oil is not considered to contain any protein (or
    DNA). ”
    · P18 “As a result of the processing steps, canola oil contains
    negligible protein.”
    · P25 “… all protein is virtually removed upon processing
    canola seed […]”
    · P25 “Total protein present in refined oil of 1992 field
    trial of GT73 – 0.29 ppm [this figure is typical of the
    protein levels in refined oils].
    If FSANZ cannot be certain about the composition of the GM oil can their assessment be considered either scientific or an

    People allergic to peanuts can be allergic to peanut oil as it contains fragments of DNA and protein from the peanut. By FSANZ’s own criteria GM oils should be labelled, but are not.

    If GM is so safe and great the GM companies should be labelling it loudly and clearly.

  111. Freethinker

    Fran, at the end of the day it is “people choice”. If they like to use a product that at the very least is in the category 2A it is up to them.
    Research has been done in mouse and rats like it is done with other products including drugs for medical purposes.
    The constrains about the research on glyphosate is and was limited for lack of time, however some of the result give some positive harm effects and for that reason the category is 2A.
    Regarding GM specially in canola and cotton there are other problems on them not necessary regarding health and it is the intellectual property of the seeds and the specific tolerance to herbicides used to control weeds from the Brassicaceae family.
    Monsanto with Round Up and Bayer with inVigor have control of the majority market with these products (seeds and herbicides)
    This is IMHO unethical.

    On the GM also it is interesting the case of StarLink corn which were never intended for human consumption. It was designed specifically for pig feed but finished in the supermarkets.
    Some GM corn for animal consumption that was declared safe by the experts are now high harmful effects in animal testing unknown effects on human body and unknown effects on environment.

    At the end of the day when there is greed I am suspicious and very careful of what I consume.

  112. Fran Murrell

    Hi Brian,
    My comment on the Nicolia group of studies you continually refer to had no mention as to whether the lead author is a woman or not. I think this is irrelevant. My point is that the studies do not show that GM is safe for humans or the environment. It is a list of mainly irrelevant studies that ignore harm and exclude studies they don’t like. Also the Biofortified site you mention pretends to be an impartial scientific site. In fact it is stacked with pro-GMO scientists who are known for dubious behaviour. Karl Haro Von Mogel attended a seed conference in California last year that I spoke at. He secretly filmed one session and the discussion afterwards. One person asked if she was being filmed and he denied it. It was later shown that he had been secretly recording the session in a ‘spy pen’ in the pocket of his shirt. He was made to apologise to the outraged member of the public. I filmed the whole episode on my iphone. Kevin Folta, another scientist on the site, pretended to be a radio host Vern Blazek and interviewed himself and others while not telling them who he really was. When his deception was uncovered he ‘killed’ off his alter ego by saying he’d choked to death on a gluten-free pizza. He has been involved with other outrageous deceptions that can easily be googled. They include him denying receiving any funding from Monsanto when in fact he had received $25,000. Read more on “Seed Money” on Buzzfeednews. David Tribe is another academic on the Biofortified site. He and US academic Brian Chassey head up “Academics Review” another ‘third party’ site designed to look as if impartial scientists support GM. It has also received funding from Monsanto. Then there is Pam Ronald on the Biofortified site. She has had several scientific papers retracted. The PR spin and erratic behaviour of the scientists and others supporting GM are almost unbelievable.

  113. Brian Duggan

    So let me get this straight Fran; Academics who study GMO’s get together and discuss and critique GMO’s makes the whole thing biased. So, according to your paradigm…there would never be an opportunity for people to come to the conclusion that GMO’s are beneficial because as soon as someone raises that possibility…they’re biased. Really?!

    Yet, you can get all the anti-GMO activists (including Vanada Shiva who was paid 40,000 Euros (plus first class airfares as the Monsanto Tribunal website points out)) and that’s completely legitimate?! I don’t want to insult you as Kaye Le has suggested…but how is that not the most banal, crazy, biased thought process EVER?!?!?

  114. Freethinker

    Matters Not, “what guides your decision making?”
    Evaluating the information on hand plus using my 71 years of life, two university degrees plus one diploma.
    Having said that what I have learned is very little to what I really like to know and I willkeep learning until my brain function well.
    Experts that are saying that there is no global warming and coal it is harmless are good reference for you?
    Regarding experts, I had just posted a link regarding some professors papers.
    This is something that I take into consideration:
    Why Europe may ban the most popular weed killer in the world.

    And in the case on Monsanto and expert papers also this:
    Harvard and Monsanto: The $23-Million Alliance.
    Monsanto Renews Ties to Washington University (12 years and $100 millions)

    This perhaps it is of your interest:
    A Growing Threat Down on the Farm

  115. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    This might sound unscientific to you, Brian, but what is the problem with labelling all foods with even a small part GM content in them, so the customers know what they’re getting?

  116. Brian Duggan

    Yes it is unscientific Jennifer. Correct again.

  117. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Is that all you have to say? No wonder your industry has so many critics. You could do with a few lessons in transparency and accountability.

  118. Brian Duggan

    Actually Freethinker, Europe looks set to re-register glyphosate for a further 10 years as there was no scientific basis for not doing so.

    The European Chemical Agency (ECHA) found no evidence of carcinogenicity

    The APVMA likewise found no issue

    And Monsanto pays for independent research to be done by Universities into the safety of their products. Tell me, lets assume that they are safe. How could Monsanto prove that if not paying someone to do the testing for them. Yet if an anti-GMO group, like Greenpeace, paid a University reseacher, like Seralini, do examine it and he found something awry (even though his paper was retracted), you’d accept that study?!? Do you not see the double standard?

  119. Brian Duggan

    It is unscientific Jennifer because ‘GMO’ is not an ingredient. It is a plant breeding technique. ‘Contains GMO’s’ won’t tell you if that GMO was insect resistance, or herbicide resistance, or drought resistance, or enhanced nutrition. You may as well be saying ‘this lettuce was picked by a left handed person’. Stating that it is a GMO tells you nothing about the product, only that a particular plant breeding technique was used. If it was a conventional product would you care if it was breed using the single seed descent or pedigree plant breeding methods? Bet you wouldn’t! 😉

  120. Kaye Lee

    1992 field trials? Nothing more recent?

    Once again, you are misrepresenting what was said all those years ago.

    It is widely accepted that many refined oils, do not contain any protein or only negligible amounts (Tattrie and Yaguchi, 1973; Klurfeld and Kritchevski, 1987). In the 1992 trial, the level of total protein present in canola oil was determined for both glyphosate-tolerant canola line GT73 and Westar. The total protein in both canola lines was present only in trace amounts (0.290 ppm in GT73 and 0.327 ppm in Westar) which was not considerably different to the level determined for an acid blank control sample (0.217 ppm)

    The trace protein in the oil represents less than 0.0001% protein and is at the limit of detection. This amount of protein is considered to be negligible. Given that the novel protein was present in unprocessed seed at very low levels and that all protein is virtually removed upon processing canola seed, the refined oil is not considered to contain any novel protein.

  121. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Brian, don’t let your arrogance and pseudo-scientific superiority get the better of you.

    The point is that whatever techniques and characteristics of the ingredients that might relate to genetic modification, should be identified on the packaging.

  122. Brian Duggan

    Jennifer…but that’s unscientific. I told you that. 🙂 Bachelor of Ag Science, PhD in Crop Physiology, Post-doc in Canada, 20+ years of public and private sector agricultural research, 20+ peer-reviewed papers, associate editor on several scientific journals…not exactly pseudo science just because it disagrees with your unsubstantiated biases. 😉

  123. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Ok, I take back “pseudo-scientific” but not “arrogance”. 😉

    Regardless of my biases, the Public is entitled to know what processes and ingredients have gone into their foods – GM or organic.

  124. Fran Murrell

    Your link to an article claiming there is GM organic wheat growing in the EU is posted on the Genetic literacy website. This is run by Jon Entine who is a PR for hire who has supported pesticides, GM, BPA, fracking and other nasty corporate products. This is, as usual, a PR creation by the GM industry.

  125. Matters Not

    Evaluating the information on hand plus using my 71 years of life, two university degrees plus one diploma.

    Congratulations! But that was not I was referring to. (Modesty prevents me from engaging in such competitions – at both levels.)

    Experts that are saying that there is no global warming and coal it is harmless are good reference for you?

    No! I am talking about real experts in particular fields – not the Malcolm Roberts variety who ‘claim’ expertise but have not published anything of note in the peer reviewed literature. But getting back to expertise, while most love their ‘mothers’ that does not qualify those ‘mothers’ who have no relevant skills, to evaluate ‘scientific findings’ in any reliable way.

    I note Brian Duggan’s citations seem to trump other outdated claims. And yes, I am well aware that scientific findings are always tentative. Just the best we have at any moment in time.

  126. Brian Duggan

    See my comment above Fran. According to you ANYONE who has critically evaluated GMO’s is biased and can’t be trusted. Do you see how it’s impossible under your paradigm for GMO’s to be beneficial to the environment/planet because as soon as someone says ‘well, maybe they are OK’, they are instantly dismissed by you as biased. Yet anyone opposed to them is instantly a hero and a saviour and impeccable credentials. Biased much!

    OK, here’s another source on organic industry growing GMO wheat, not written by Jon, whom you met, and abused, over tea…

    A Genetically Engineered Organic Wheat? It Already Exists

  127. Brian Duggan

    Oh I do agree with you on that Jennifer. Organic food should be labelled with all the pesticides used on it. Rotenone, copper sulphate, pyrethroids (known carcinogen BTW), sodium nitrate (known antimicrobial), all of which are much, much more toxic than glyphosate and all common organic pesticides.

  128. Fran Murrell

    No Brian, I look at the science which is peer-reviewed. The GM industry does not critically review its products. Your continued pretence that un-published, un-peer-reviewed science done by corporations and scientists with a vested interest in the product is credible just does not make sense. It is also not unscientific to require GM foods and ingredients to be labelled. Europe requires this. It;s called being transparent with their customers. I have spent many hours listening to and talking to proponents of GM and am not convinced. If you are so happy with GM, why are you afraid to have it labelled?

    I met Jon Entine for tea in Melbourne. We discussed our families and his holiday. He then said I didn’t understand the science and when I started talking about the birth defects in Hawaii, linked to the spraying of pesticides on GM trial crops and the similarity to the peer-reviewed published studies done by the Argentinian scientist Andres Carrasco he stood up and walked out. He kindly paid for my cup of tea. I find it sad that he could not offer any scientific discussion about this issue or was able to talk about the intense campaign by the people of Hawaii to stop being sprayed with pesticides. I think it is unlikely that anyone would tolerate this willingly.

  129. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    now, now, now, don’t go getting selective with your references again.

    I said GM and organically produced foods should be properly labelled so that the Public knows what they are getting.

  130. Michael Taylor

    I have a correction to make. After checking with an older brother it wasn’t DDT poisoning I had as a child, it was arsenic. I apologise for being unintentionally misleading.

  131. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I’m surprised that this debate about pesticides and their harmful affects on communities has gone on so long. Blind Freddy can see pesticides have traditionally been the source of harmful affects on people, animals, ecosystems, soils, water, etc, etc, etc.

    So Brian, why do you work in an industry that has such a bad reputation?

  132. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Lucky you’re still with us, Michael.

  133. Brian Duggan

    Jennifer, because someone has to feed the world sustainably. Sure as hell won’t be organics! As mentioned earlier, how can you oppose it?

  134. Kaye Lee

    At the risk of repeating myself and being ignored again, GM crops have greatly REDUCED pesticide use and Monsanto’s Roundup is NOT a pesticide.

  135. Brian Duggan

    That’s not how Jon described it to me Fran. He described you as ‘not sane’ quote unquote.

    And I would like you to identify some scientist who you find credible from the pro-science side of the debate. ?

  136. Freethinker

    Yes Brian was in the news on The Guardian here:
    However we have to considering this:

    Brian, I think that I have said before that the product it is in the category 2A.
    I am more concerned in the possible implications in the future because the possible damage can be more severe that the one cause by Dieldrin.
    An example of the unforeseen implications of new products or with limited research is the one by Monsanto when in 2004 (?) stated that glyphosate resistance was unlikely to develop naturally in weeds when the herbicide was used properly.
    Monsanto, said back then:a multi-year study suggesting that rotating crops and chemicals does not help to avert resistance. When applied at Monsanto’s recommended doses, glyphosate killed weeds effectively, and we know that dead weeds will not become resistant.
    Glyphosate-resistant weeds have now been found in 18 countries worldwide, with significant impacts in Brazil, Australia, Argentina and Paraguay, says Ian Heap, director of the International Survey of Herbicide Resistant Weeds, based in Corvallis, Oregon. And Monsanto has changed its stance on glyphosate use, now recommending that farmers use a mix of chemical products and ploughing. But the company stops short of acknowledging a role in creating the problem.
    As you are aware, GM crops encouraging liberal use of glyphosate, were spurring the evolution of herbicide resistance in many weeds called super weeds.
    It is a problem Brian and IMHO we have to stop using the current practices of no rotation and mono crops, We have to complement good tillage and crops management with the minimum chemical use and microbes among other developments.
    Currently we are become aware of antibiotics resistance and we cannot do that in agriculture using GM and chemicals.
    We already have the problem of resistance to conventional pesticides in insects, weeds or microbial pathogens.
    Documents form CropLife International, an industry association based in Brussels, supports efforts that have counted 586 arthropod species, 235 fungi and 252 weeds with resistance to at least one synthetic pesticide.
    It is a worry IMO.
    I know that we have to feed the world and the problem of food productions is very serious. I support science and agree in part with I Potrykus when he said in one of his papers: Not to change GE-regulation to a scientific basis is ‘a crime against humanity’.
    But we have to do it outside of the risk imposed by the greed of few corporations. A government/ Universities non commercial solution? Perhaps
    Interesting topic, by the way.

  137. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Even non-scientists like me can appreciate Freethinker’s approach.

  138. Brian Duggan

    No Freethinker actually they don’t. BT and glufosinate crops are no more resistant to glyphosate than conventional crops. And the standard rate of glyphosate to Roundup Ready crops is 1litre/ha, or 1/10th of a ml per m2. Liberal in no sense of the term. And like all people opposed to GM crops you fail to acknowledge the alternatives; imazamox, pendimethalin, atrazine, trifluralin, paraquat. All have been reduced significantly with the introduction of Roundup Ready crops. And weed resistance is an issue in GM and non GM (and organic!) cropping systems alike. The first herbicide resistance was recorded in Australia in the eatly 1980’s, long before GKO’s. As for rotations they are no more or less likely with GM crops.

  139. Michael Taylor

    He described you as ‘not sane’ quote unquote.

    Brian, one person here could say something less than flattering about you, but do we take the word of one person?

    I have known Fran for a number of years, and she is more than sane in my opinion.

  140. Freethinker

    Brian, I am referring to resistance of pests to syntentic pesticiedes ( one ref is here:, my apologies if I have expressed myself wrong, English it is not my strength.
    Regarding the alternatives, I agree 100% with you, they are deadly in some case.
    Then again, nothing coming good out of this because the dependency in Rounup have increased world wide.
    Good reading for the fellow bloggers here:
    Rotation and intercropping is good practice. Intercropping is not possible in GM crops.

  141. Freethinker

    Kaye Lee, A pest is “a plant or animal detrimental to humans or human concerns (as agriculture or livestock production)”; alternative meanings include organisms that cause nuisance and epidemic disease associated with high mortality (specifically: plague).
    Roundup IT IS a pesticide.
    A pest is any living organism, whether animal, plant or fungus, which is invasive or troublesome to plants or animals, human or human concerns, livestock, or human structures. It is a loose concept, as an organism can be a pest in one setting but beneficial, domesticated or acceptable in another.
    Plain English.
    I would not going to repeating myself.

    Bugger me!! what happens today here!?
    Please do not treat the other people as ignorant when even do not their background.

  142. Brian Duggan

    Yes, I figured you were biased Michael. Thank you for admitting it.

    Freethinker the NY Times article to which you referred was widely panned by the science community. What the author did is showed rates of change in pesticide use between France (non-GMO) and America (GMO). What he failed to disclose is that per hectare France uses 2.5 times the amount of pesticides that America uses. Yes indeed, it supports that data than GMO’s reduce the amount of pesticides used. Lies, damn lies…and statistics. ?

  143. Kaye Lee

    Relying on that IARC report for a court case would be very foolhardy. Glyphosate gets the same ranking as red meat and shift work as a probable carcinogen. Alcohol, bacon, post-menopausal oestrogen and sunlight are much worse, being in the highest category right there beside plutonium as known carcinogens.

    Fair enough on the pesticide definition freethinker. I stand corrected.

  144. Michael Taylor

    Because I think she’s sane, you think I’m biased. How odd. What a subjective fellow you are. I’m really starting to dislike you.

  145. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Brian Duggan,

    whilst in another life, you probably are quite an ok bloke but your insistence of putting down reputable people (who have scientific credentials) and their arguments, makes me suspicious of your motives despite all your academic credentials. You might want to feed the world but your modus operandi is questionable when the environment and future bio-diversity is at stake.

    You need to be less defensive and secretive in your Nufarm practices and more transparent and accountable to people, who question the legitimacy of your and your Big Biz practices @Nufarm and on behalf of Monsanto.

    That’s my suggestion, as a qualified lawyer.

  146. Freethinker

    In 1987, only 11 million pounds of the chemical were used on U.S. farms, but now nearly 300 million pounds of glyphosate are applied each year.
    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has relaxed its rules about what it considers a safe level of glyphosate. Fifty times more glyphosate is allowed on corn grain now than in 1996,
    GM crops have not reduced the use of pesticides, it have reduced the use of other types of chemicals and in turn have caused the creation of the super weeds.

  147. Rossleigh

    Well, I know I’m sane because when I talk to myself, I usually agree with what I say. However, if I talk too loudly some of the nearby chairs start laughing at me and pointing out that while there’s a group of them, I’m the only human in the room…
    Just shows how biased chairs are…

  148. Freethinker

    Brain, you discredit all the articles against the possible negative implications on humans and fauna health and in flora.
    You remind me those (alleged) 31,000 scientists signing the petition stating “There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide will, in the forseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere .

  149. Kaye Lee

    “GM crops have not reduced the use of pesticides”

    A meta-analysis of the impacts of genetically modified crops.

    On average, GM technology adoption has reduced chemical pesticide use by 37%, increased crop yields by 22%, and increased farmer profits by 68%. Yield gains and pesticide reductions are larger for insect-resistant crops than for herbicide-tolerant crops. Yield and profit gains are higher in developing countries than in developed countries.

  150. Freethinker

    Love your humor Rossleigh, we need it in this debate.
    Then again brandy will help as well………

  151. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Rossleigh, are you insinuating I have been talking to chairs? 🙂

  152. Roswell

    Rossleigh, I’ve been talking to your chair. He thinks you’re mad. ?

  153. Kaye Lee

    Freethinker, I have followed everyone’s links and not one has proven any detrimental effect from glyphosate or genetically modified foods. There is a lot of fear but no evidence of harm. There is an enormous body of evidence showing it isn’t harmful when used as directed but I am yet to see one study showing there is any link between its use and health problems.

    “Contradicting the dire picture painted by Hansen and Gurian-Sherman, there’s been no sudden increase in resistance since genetically modified crops were introduced. In fact, as we’ve reported at Genetic Literacy Project, the level has fallen somewhat since glyphosate resistant crops were introduced. Glyphosate has actually improved the situation with herbicide resistant weeds by decreasing the use of atrazine, which was the most popular herbicide before RR crops came along.”

    Anti-GMO groups obsess about superweeds, the non-existent glyphosate-created pest

  154. Brian Duggan

    Bwah ha ha. From the unreal to the surreal! Michael you are biased in favour of Fran because you admit to being her friend! I don’t really care if you don’t like me. What I want you to do is listen to and present facts. You aren’t able to present facts about DDT nor arsenic. DDT has not killed any humans. It does have dreadful effects on many other species (raptors having weak shells for example), but it is still used extensively in the developing world against malarial mosquitoes. Arsenic, as I am sure you know, is perfectly natural. And everything natural is infallible right Michael? Of course not. No doubt it almost killed you. The most toxic substances known to man are natural.

    Freethinker we have already shown GMO’s use less pesticides. Show peer-reviewed journal article evidence to the contrary or accept you are wrong.

  155. Rossleigh

    Jennifer, there was a time when I directed all my remarks through the chair, but then someone moved a motion and the chair could no longer hear me. Which was strange because I was talking even more loudly than before but the chair said that they no longer recognised me and I thought it strange because I hadn’t changed all that much even if my face was redder than Bananaby Joyce on a bad day.
    And Roswell, if the chair thinks I’m mad now, just wait till he hears my thoughts on Peter Dutton

  156. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    now don’t make me dob you in to our almighty Big Biz master for your elusive ability to be biased and to get away with it! 🙂


    Woops! I got Roswell mixed up with Rossleigh! Too many Rossssssssses

  157. 245179

    the foods i eat are / are not contaminated, the water is yes / no safe, the air i breath is yes / no safe…….i’m done for.

  158. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Brian Duggan,

    for you to keep your job and uphold the reputation of your Big Biz company, you need to open your ears to people like Freethinker who have experienced first hand the bad effects of pesticides and have the scientific credentials to back up their arguments.

  159. Freethinker

    Kaye Lee, I have provided links with results regarding pests resistance, super weeds, etc.
    Also I have said that the studies on glyphosate and human health have only based on mouse and rats and because the duration of that tests and the results in mouses only the product was categorised as 2A.
    Regarding resistance, with respects, I dispute the findings in your link , if you have time read Brooke Borel article:

    I think that I have said it before Kaye Lee, i am not against science, on the contrary, I like to read and be informed but in the case of GM, RNAi, CRISPR and other technologies we have to be very careful and do not rush just to please few big corporations.
    I agree with Jonathan G. Lundgren in his article RNAi-Based Insecticidal Crops: Potential Effects on Nontarget Species conclusions when he wrote: The flexibility, adaptability, and demonstrated effectiveness of RNAi technology indicate that it will have an important place in the future of pest management, but these benefits should be viewed in light of the relative environmental risks that the technology poses.
    If we do something bad in the environment and food chain it can be a point of no return.

  160. Freethinker

    I would like to add this link and hope that the scientist in it will be not be discredit.
    After all there are two sides in the argument and it is not like the one about global warming.
    Differences in the carcinogenic evaluation of glyphosate between the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA

  161. Brian Duggan

    Yeah its been discredited Freethinker. Noone considers glyphosate to be carcinogenic. This has been pointed out on numerous occasions here. Moving on…..

  162. Kaye Lee


    They used Sprague-Dawley rats which is a strain that has been shown to develop tumours at greater rates regardless of diet or living conditions – that is why the study was discredited. The untreated rats also developed tumours. Same thing happened with DDT study

    “A 1969 study found a higher incidence of leukemia and liver tumors in mice fed DDT than in unexposed mice, but the World Health Organisation examined the data and found that all of the case and control mice (those that did not receive the insecticide) had alarmingly high cancer rates. This technique of using animals that are innately prone to cancer as models of carcinogenicity, notably Sprague Dawley rats, would also be mimicked by French activist Gilles-Eric Seralini in his war on the herbicide glyphosate.”

    From your link IARC final conclusion (Addendum 1, p.21) “there was no unequivocal evidence for a clear and strong association of NHL with glyphosate”

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