"You can drink a whole quart of it and it won't hurt you."

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    Mar 25, 2015 3:53 PM GMT


    GMwatch.orgIn the wake of the World Health Organization's designation of the active ingredient {glyphosate} in Monsanto's Roundup herbicide as a "probable carcinogen", the French investigative journalist and film maker Paul Moreira has released a sensational video of an interview with the high-profile GMO advocate Patrick Moore.

    "GMO" in this case stands for "genetically-modified organism," as in the crops grown with Roundup herbicide. Moore was a former Greenpeace member (not a "founder" of the organization, as people like to tell it) who left decades ago to become a popular corporate anti-Greenpeace pro-GMO shill.

    (CANAL+ Video):


    CANAL+ InterviewMoore: Do not believe that glyphosate in Argentina is causing increases in cancer. You can drink a whole quart of it and it won't hurt you.

    Interviewer: You want to drink some? We have some here.

    Moore: I'd be happy to actually... Not, not really, but...

    Interviewer: Not really?

    Moore: I know it wouldn't hurt me.

    Interviewer: If you say so, I have some glyphosate.

    Moore: No, I'm not stupid.

    Interviewer: OK. So you… So it's dangerous, right?

    Moore: No. People try to commit suicide with it and fail, fairly regularly.

    Interviewer: Tell the truth. It's dangerous.

    Moore: It's not dangerous to humans. No, it's not.

    Interviewer: So you are ready to drink one glass of glyphosate?

    Moore: No, I'm not an idiot.

    Interviewer looks puzzled.

    Moore: Interview me about golden rice. That's what I'm talking about.

    Interviewer: Really?

    Moore: OK. Then it's finished.

    Interviewer: Except it's...

    Moore: The interview is finished.

    Interviewer: That's a good way to solve things.

    Moore (getting up to leave): Yeah. You're a complete jerk.

    GMwatch.orgOf course, the interview with Moore was recorded before the World Health Organisation's panel of scientists from 11 countries announced their decision to list glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen. But Moore has subsequently used social media to dismiss the WHO's statement about glyphosate as "anti-science", comparing it to the IPCC's statements on human-induced climate change – something else Moore hotly denies.

    You might conclude from all this that Moore so clearly lacks credibility that he can only be some kind of fringe figure. But in fact he's a darling of the GMO lobby, who love his aggressive attacks on GM critics. They even ran a high-profile campaign to have Moore adopted as an Ambassador for science at the current EXPO 2015 in Milan.

    And Moore has only just returned from a tour of Asia where he met with Bangladesh's Minister of Agriculture, among others. He was there to promote the adoption of golden rice, even though this GMO remains both unproven and unavailable. Other effective approaches to Vitamin A Deficiency (VAD) are not only readily available but have already substantially reduced VAD in for example the Philippines.

    Maybe Moore can upload a daily video of himself washing down some golden rice with a nice flute-full of glyphosate, and let everyone see where he is in a few months! icon_biggrin.gif
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    Mar 25, 2015 4:09 PM GMT
    They're out there.
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    Mar 25, 2015 4:10 PM GMT

    NPRIn fact, the {International Agency for Research on Cancer, or IARC}'s assessment leaves many questions unanswered, including how much risk glyphosate poses.

    "What the IARC performs is hazard assessment," says Aaron Blair, who chaired the group of scientists that prepared the IARC's assessment of glyphosate. Blair is a scientist emeritus at the National Cancer Institute. Hazard assessment, he explains, is concerned with a simple question: Could a substance cause damage "in some circumstance, at some level of exposure?" How commonly such circumstances or exposures actually occur in the real world, he says, is an entirely different question, and not one that IARC tries to answer.

    In other words, the IARC is saying that glyphosate probably could cause cancer in humans, but not that it probably does.

    Blair says that two types of evidence convinced the committee that the glyphosate has the potential to cause cancer. First, there were laboratory studies showing that the chemical can damage DNA and chromosomes in human cells. This type of damage can lead to the emergence of cancer. Second, Blair says, some studies showed increased rates of cancerous tumors in mice and rats that were exposed to glyphosate. These were rare forms of cancer that are unlikely to occur by themselves, adding to the evidence that glyphosate caused them.

    On the other hand, studies of human health records did not turn up convincing evidence of glyphosate's cancer-causing potential. A long-running study of farm workers, for instance, did not show higher rates of cancer among those exposed to the chemical.

    As for the impact of the IARC's assessment, the agency does not have any regulatory authority. The job of calculating the actual danger of glyphosate, taking into account real-world exposure levels, and of regulating its use in the U.S., falls to the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA is currently reviewing the legal status of a host of pesticides, including glyphosate.

    Blair points out that society often chooses simply to accept certain hazards. Among the other things that the IARC says probably cause cancer are burning wood in home fireplaces, disruption of circadian rhythms by working overnight shifts and working as a hairdresser.

    The glyphosate assessment "will be controversial" even among scientists, says David Eastmond, a professor at the University of California, Riverside, and a specialist on the risks posed by agricultural chemicals. "It's conceivable that another group of experts might come to a different conclusion."

    Both Eastmond and Jane Hoppin, an environmental epidemiologist at North Carolina State University, say that they'll be interested in perusing the IARC committee's full report on glyphosate and the other four pesticides that it evaluated. That report, which runs some 400 pages, will be published later.

    Hoppin says the IARC report should remind people that "they should be careful and thoughtful about how they use these chemicals," because some of their biological effects remain uncertain. The risks, whatever they may be, mainly affect the people who work with them or who come in direct contact with areas where they are applied. This includes farmers, gardeners or children who play on lawns where pesticides were used.

    Glyphosate residues on food, however, are not of great concern. The chemical is used in the early stages of growing crops like soybeans, corn, and canola. Those crops, if they even reach human consumers at all, are heavily processed first, destroying any glyphosate residues.

    But if "you drink a whole quart of it", all bets are off! I'm no scientist, though! icon_cool.gif