Monsanto have been in the press constantly since late last year, and not for good reasons either. Just what is it about Monsanto, their product Roundup, and all the negative press about them?
Monsanto, a rich multinational, has been aggressively pushing its products worldwide, and Europe is no exception. Despite concerns about the impact their products have on the food we eat, they persevere, claiming their product is bio-degradable, good for the crops it is sprayed on, and harmless to people who eat them.
Some beg to differ however. A few years ago a court in France ruled that their claims of safety amounted to false advertising. Grain grower Paul Francois claimed he suffered from problems including memory loss, headaches and stammering after inhaling Monsanto’s Lasso weed killer in 2004. He claimed further that the labelling did not indicate any such side effects.
The Dutch don’t seem too comfortable with their products either, banning Round-up last September. If a country is prepared to ban the products and a farmer can suffer so badly from just putting it on his crops, then we really need to think about what is in this stuff. What goes into our bodies if we consume crops that have been treated with Round-up or any other Monsanto products? How can we be sure that their claims of harmlessness are true? The truth is we probably can’t be sure, and because we are not involved in that part of the food supply chain, we can’t prevent it from being a part of what we eat either.
As consumers, we need to make decisions about how much risk we are willing to take with our food, and what we give our families. Shop local, ask questions, and if you are not comfortable with what a producer is telling you, vote with your wallet. A fall in profits is truly the only way that that humble consumer can make a difference – good luck!