Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • This is Monsanto’s RoundUp.

  • It’s in cookies, breads, corn, crackers, chips, breakfast cereals, and beer.

  • The list goes on, and on, and on.

  • The active ingredient in RoundUp is called glyphosate, and it’s used by backyard gardeners

  • and industrial farmers alike to kill invasive weeds.

  • And whether glyphosate is harmful to humans or not

  • is something of a 66 billion dollar question

  • But first: What is glyphosate?

  • Commercial: There’s never been a herbicide like it before.

  • Glyphosate was originally introduced in 1974 by Monsanto.

  • Its use in American agriculture has soared nearly tenfold since Monsanto introduced the

  • first genetically-modified RoundUp Ready seeds in 1996.

  • Glyphosate is now used in more than 160 countries, with more than 1.4 billion pounds applied per year.

  • And while Monsanto lost patent protection over glyphosate herbicides in 2000, the company

  • still has about 40 percent of the 8 billion dollar global herbicide market because of

  • what is called thevirtuous cycle”:

  • Monsanto sells its genetically modified RoundUp-ready seeds to produce cotton, corn and other commodities

  • to make them resistant to glyphosate’s herbicidal effects.

  • More sales of the GMO seeds beget more use of Roundup; more herbicide use drives up demand

  • for Monsanto's GMO seeds.

  • For 25 years that cycle has enjoyed an unblemished run in our crops, soil, and food.

  • Until now.

  • Now Monsanto has its own invasive species creeping in: doubt.

  • On its website, Monsanto says glyphosate isabout half as toxic as table salt and more

  • than 25 times less toxic than caffeine."

  • More than 1,000 farmers and herbicide applicators stricken with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma disagree.

  • Hundreds of plaintiffs with cancer have filed a class-action lawsuit against the company.

  • In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, known as IARC, determined glyphosate

  • to be a “probable carcinogen.”

  • Remember that 66 billion dollars?

  • That’s where this comes in. It’s how much Bayer is offering to buy Monsanto for, but

  • if glyphosate is thought of as cancer-causing, it may back out of the deal completely.

  • But what would life without glyphosate look like?

  • According to Bloomberg agriculture expert Christopher Perrella, it wouldn’t be pretty.

  • The alternative would be a step back.

  • And it would definitely affect farmers, income, their profitability, the way they do business.

  • Eventually filters down to the consumer in terms of higher prices for meatsfor all food products.

  • The question now, after the EPA's own hand-picked experts have also voiced concerns, is what

  • the Trump EPA will do about it.

  • But with administrations from Clinton to Bush to Obama promoting GMOs, it seems unlikely

  • Trump’s EPA will be any different.

This is Monsanto’s RoundUp.

Subtitles and vocabulary

Operation of videos Adjust the video here to display the subtitles

B2 US monsanto roundup cancer bloomberg genetically modified billion dollar

Bloomberg - Does the World’s Top Weed Killer Cause Cancer?

  • 49 2
    Tina Hsu posted on 2017/07/17
Video vocabulary