Most of the backlash today against Monsanto comes from the public's growing awareness about the dangers of genetically-modified organisms (GMOs), Roundup (glyphosate), and the systemic poisoning of our food supply with these unlabeled chemical additives. But did you know that the world's most evil corporation actually got its start in the artificial sweetener business?
The following 12 products – we'll refer to these as Monsanto's Dirty Dozen – are included among the other major crimes against humanity besides GMOs that Monsanto has pumped out over the years for consumer use. Some of these products will be familiar to you, but chances are you weren't aware of their Monsanto ties:
1) Saccharin (Sweet ‘N Low). Monsanto's founding was predicated on finding a way to mass produce saccharin, an artificial sugar substitute, for Coca-Cola. With some regulatory arm-twisting, the chemical sweetener, which was shown back in the 1970s to cause cancer in test mice, was a boon for Monsanto, despite its threat to human health, and helped propel the company towards other endeavors.
2) Aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal). An accidental discovery that first emerged from research into chemical weaponry, aspartame, another artificial sugar substitute, gained access to the Monsanto portfolio in 1985. Since then, Monsanto has profited to the tune of tens of billions of dollars, the blood money from a genetically-engineered chemical that's been linked to neurological damage and cancer.
3) Glyphosate (Roundup). Currently the world's most widely used herbicide, glyphosate is the result of Monsanto's aggressive entrance into the agricultural sector following its sweetener successes. Monsanto's Roundup line of glyphosate products maintains a ubiquitous presence in both the commercial and consumer markets, but these chemicals are linked to organ damage, tumors, infertility and cancer.
4) Recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH). Monsanto's obsession with genetic engineering hasn't been limited to just tweaking plants and sweeteners; the company is also responsible for unleashing recombinant bovine growth hormone, or rBGH, a genetically-modified animal bulking chemical that causes cows to produce more milk and grow faster. rBGH also causes serious infections, and has been linked to multiple varieties of cancer in humans.
5) “Terminator” seeds. When left in their natural form, plants produce an endless supply of new seeds from which humanity can grow new food for “free” – minus labor and other inputs. But thanks to Monsanto, much of our processed food supply is now derived from so-called “terminator” seeds that only survive one growing season before self-destructing, enriching the pockets of Monsanto executives at the expense of our agricultural heritage.
6) Petroleum-based fertilizers. Back in the old days, manure, compost and other organic materials served as natural fertilizer for growing food. Today, many farmers apply synthetic, petroleum-based fertilizers produced by none other than Monsanto. Many of these fertilizers deplete soil nutrients and microbes, producing “dead” foods deficient in vitamins and minerals – foods that are making people chronically ill at an alarming rate.
7) Agent orange. Perhaps you're beginning to notice a pattern: Monsanto has mastered the art of producing destructive chemicals that harm the environment and humans. And, if you're at all familiar with the history of Agent Orange, you'll also recognize that many of today's consumer chemicals were previously wartime chemicals. This chemical defoliant-slash-herbicide is what American soldiers sprayed across Vietnam during the Vietnam War, and components of Agent Orange like 2,4-D are still used today in industrial agriculture.
8) Dioxins. Speaking of Agent Orange, dioxins are another noxious byproduct of its manufacture. Dioxins are persistent environmental pollutants present in all sorts of chemical compounds and solutions, and once they enter the body they accumulate in fatty tissue, causing all sorts of chronic health issues over time.
9) DDT (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane). We're often told that the only way to effectively combat pests is to carpet-bomb them with chemicals like DDT, a mosquito repellent of old that's been shown to damage hormones, interfere with reproduction and potentially cause cancer. DDT was banned in the U.S. in 1970, despite years of propaganda from Monsanto claiming DDT was completely safe.
10) The atomic bomb and nuclear weapons. During WWII, Monsanto acquired a chemical company that it incorporated into its “Central Research Department.” This department was responsible for coordinating the efforts of the Manhattan Project, which included the purification and production of plutonium for nuclear weapons and the atomic bomb.
11) PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyl). Another industrial experiment, PCBs were long used in coolant products for cars and electric motors – that is, until toxicity tests conducted some 50 years after their initial use showed serious harm to mammals. Liver disease, neurological disorders and cancer are among the many consequences of PCB exposure.
12) Polystyrene (styrofoam). Despite its immense environmental impact, polystyrene continues to be used in food packaging. Polystyrene contains the toxic substances styrene and benzene, both of which are known neurotoxins and suspected carcinogens. When exposed to hot liquids and foods, polystyrene leaches out these chemicals, which are directly absorbed into the bloodstream and cell tissue.