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A Cancer on Society: Monsanto Claims Right Not to Speak About Roundup


A Cancer on Society: Monsanto Claims Right Not to Speak About Roundup

Alfonso Saldaña, Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap

It's no secret that Monsanto Corporation's trademarked pesticide Ready Roundup has become one of the most widely used herbicides in agriculture since its introduction in the mid-1970s. What might be a surprise to most is that, according to the World Health Organization's (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), glyphosate, the principal ingredient in the herbicide, is a "probable carcinogen." Acting to protect its public, as governments should do, the State of California required that food labels indicate the presence of glyphosate.


Their silence speaks volumes of their guilt.


US District Court Judge Shubb asserts that Monsanto has a “First Amendment right not to speak.” I thought that the First affirms our right to speak, while the Fifth protects our right not to self-incriminate by remaining silent.

With that said, corporations are NOT people; money is NOT speech; and capitalism is NOT democracy. You honorable justices are on notice.


“First Amendment right not to speak”… I’ll have to remember that one next time I’m taken to court.


Translation: “Right” of corpses to poison you.


I’m more angry with the corruption of our government than anything else … It should come as no surprise that Monsanto also rejected the WHO's findings, which predicted the IARC would find carcinogens in its weed killer. Reminiscent of Big Tobacco and Big Oil companies' tactics, they set in motion a plan to discredit the international agency's study in order to continue selling their dangerous product. And thanks to its corporate constitutional rights and deep pockets, Monsanto found a willing shill in climate-change-denier and, ironically, the chairman of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee: Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas). | Throughout his 32 years in Congress, Rep. Smith has received large monetary contributions from fossil fuel, automobile, and pharmaceutical/health industries, including Monsanto. Rep. Smith lashed out against the IARC during a hearing last February, accusing it of conducting “cherry-picked science” and even threatening retaliation by cutting off the U.S. contribution to the international agency. Such biased behavior has been a constant throughout his 5-year tenure as the science committee chairman, while Rep. Smith has made it his personal mission to relentlessly attack the integrity of individual scientists and the scientific community at large.


Roundup and other horrible chemicals have been inundating the world, especially since the start of WW2. There are 60,000-70,000 chemicals dumped into the biosphere every day. This has nothing to do about Monsanto’s (or any other corporation’s) “rights.” It’s about the POWER of the hegemony of the political-economy of capitalism and we better start using accurate and concise words so that the learn how to defend ourselves from the beast – and eventually slay it.

A good place to start is to look at local campaigns that take on Monsanto and other purveyors of poisons. We need to grow the power of these organizations/movements if we are in their domain and work to link them up. That’s how we will learn to make actual revolution to save the biosphere and all of its beings.

In the U.S., we don’t have currently have a clue.



The “right not to speak” is generally taken to be the 5th Amendment, and generally applies to testimony during a trial.

Over and over, one sees that it’s irresponsible to allow these sorts of predatory corporate structures to exist. The for-profit corporate institutional structure has proven itself incapable of making responsible decisions.

We will have to go past banning the products and ban or cripple the institutions.


Monsanto and the other members of the GMO and chemical cartels “speak” with their dollars by being proud owners of the best congress money can buy.


It certainly ignores our right to know what we are buying. Let the buyer beware is certainly the way it works. Keep the public ignorant and you can sell them anything.




Well to be fair, Lamar was picked for that committee because of his anti-science stance. Just like Trump selected people who wanted the destruction of the agency they were to run. The republicans want to make sure that corporations like Monsanto are able to operate freely without being accountable to the citizens.


Every time we think we have won a victory on these corporations about their predatory and destructive practices, they come back even stronger.


I wonder where HoosierPride comes down on this?


You’re right that the 5th protects from self-incrimination in a judicial setting. The Courts have ruled that there also exists a right to not speak within the 1st Amendment. A person may not speak for myriad reasons: the language is self-incriminatory, their silence may provide advantage in the marketplace, is embarrassing, could hurt others, is being paid to remain silent, is fearful of speaking out, or just doesn’t want to. They have been ruling pretty consistently that the government can’t compel private individuals to speak outside of a judicial setting, the reason why Monsanto and others have so successfully avoided labeling products, including country of origin labeling, and have wreaked so much destruction on our environment. They don’t have to speak unless they want to–in or out of a court of law–even when we suspect (or can prove) what they know/do could kill us.


Never is this product, or any other substance in controversy, described as an actual carcinogen, rather than a probable one.
More research must be needed (again).


First of all…there is no such thing as “Ready Round-up” as far as I know, I have been a licensed commercial pesticide applicator for over 20 years. For a couple of people who attempt to know so much about it, seems they are not as informed as they portray. Gasoline, a “known carcinogen”, is dispersed, handled, inhaled, and not a word about it.

I am not defending Monsanto, by any means…as I am opposed to the "Round-up Ready GMO’s. I am very opposed to a corporation being able to inevitably “own” the worlds food supply. It is a shame that farmers have lost their farms, to the gene being involuntary introduced to private, heirloom seed stock. However, glyphosate…is not “evil”. When handled and used properly, with the correct PPE, it is by far the safest chemistry available for weed control.

I believe your intent is well founded, however, your casting your net too broadly. Landscape professionals should not be entangled in a feud over food. “Ready Round-Up”…funny


First Amendment protects the right to “free speech”, that is to speak or not to speak. The 5th Amendment pertains to “court proceedings”. A corporation is made up of people, you cannot speak to a corporation, only the “people designated to represent it”…Every person who has a birth certificate is a corporation, the “all capital letter” version of the name, is in fact a corporation by law…as all laws are laws of commerce, under maritime law. And most importantly, the United States of America is a corporation, and was founded as a “Republic” not a democracy. “…and to the republic for which it stands…”.


In my view, unless the corporation per se is amended or abolished, it will continue to run roughshod over those not protected (coddled) by its power. It is an artificial entity, made up out of nothing.


Such an important story - thank you so much for sharing it. Corporations need privileges, not rights. Today they are superhuman status under the law

Also this link is for reference momsacrossamerica /judge_hides_cancer_causing_chemical_from_public