The study that triggered it all at the end of October 2020
Researchers Gilles-Eric Séralini and Gerald Jungers published a new damning study at the end of October in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology. The scientists analyzed 14 glyphosate-free herbicide formulations by mass spectrometry. The results of these analyses are appalling because they show the frequent presence of very dangerous substances ... which are not indicated on the product labels!
Heavy metals and metalloids such as Arsenic, Copper, Lead, Nickel. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons have also been detected in 12 of them; some of them are carcinogens recognized by the IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer), such as benzo(A)pyrene.
The study concludes that "the complete formulation is used in the field, and not only the declared active ingredient, which to date has been studied alone for long-term toxicity. Future work on pesticide toxicity for regulatory assessments should include the study of complete commercial formulations. »
Creation of an alliance of organizations that decide to file a complaint
Following the release of the study by G.E. Séralini and G. Jungers, 3 associations, Générations Futures, Glyphosate Campaign and Nature et Progrès, published a press release on November 9 to denounce the presence of hidden toxins in pesticides and to question their marketing authorizations. 17 associations joined them for this action.
But they won't stop there. On December 1, 2020, 8 NGOs launch the "Toxic Secrets" campaign to support the complaint they are filing at the Health Unit of the Paris Court of Justice. Among them, Generations Futures, Glyphosate Campaign, Nature and Progress, PIG BZH file a complaint:
- against X for labeling fraud, endangering the lives of others, and harm to the environment in order to demand as soon as possible the withdrawal of these products, and the condemnation of those responsible;
- against the French State for faulty deficiencies in order to question the current systems of evaluation of the pesticides that we find in our stores, on our vegetables, in our water, our urine, and the blood of our children! In order to correctly assess the risks related to the use of pesticides, European regulations have recognized since 2019 the need for an evaluation of the complete composition. This work has apparently not been done for these 14 pesticides, and for how many others?
The objective of this complaint is to denounce the fraudulent and irresponsible practices of certain pesticide manufacturers and to question the evaluation system of the latter in order to protect the health of our farmers and our fellow citizens.
What's at stake? If the fraudulent declarations are proven, this would allow the prohibition of marketing authorization, and therefore the withdrawal of the products concerned, from one day to the next. But also, given the scale of the products concerned, the current system for evaluating and approving pesticides on the market would be called into question.
To support the complaint and not miss out on the news, join us!
The 3 NGOs initiating the project
Secrets Toxiques is supported by 3 French associations that have been working and campaigning for years to move towards a more sustainable and environmentally friendly agriculture, more transparent to citizens and stakeholders in agriculture, and better for our health. Générations Futures, Nature et Progrès, and Campagne Glyphosate France are notably fighting for a total ban on Glyphosate in France, a component of Monsanto's Roundup classified as a "probable carcinogen" by the IARC and marketed since 1974. In 2017, Emmanuel Macron has undertaken to ban its total use within three years. To date, its ban has still not been implemented.
Founded in 1996, Générations Futures is an environmental defense association that denounces the dangers of synthetic pesticides for health and the environment and promotes alternatives to the use of these dangerous products, particularly during the Week for Alternatives to Pesticides, whose hundreds of actions it coordinates every year at the end of March. The association has recently extended its action to the general issue of 'environment and health', notably through its 'Desintox' campaign on toxic chemicals.
Campagne Glyphosate France was created in 2017 following the five-year renewal of marketing authorizations for glyphosate-based pesticides. With the aim of banning these pesticides, the Glyphosate Campaign launched a vast urinalysis operation (nearly 6,800) in 68 departments, resulting in the filing of nearly 6,000 complaints for endangering the lives of others, damage to the environment, and aggravated deception.
Nature & Progrès is an association of consumers, farmer-producers, and artisanal processors founded in 1964. It is the historical actor of the promotion of the development of agrobiology in France and Belgium. At the origin of the first specifications of organic agriculture, Nature & Progrès still bears its name today with the strong commitment of its members for a peasant agroecology. At the origin of IFOAM (International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements), ITAB (Technical Institute of Organic Agriculture), RSP (Peasant Seed Network) ..., Nature & Progrès continues its militant involvement in Toxic Secrets to say, like its founders in 1964, no to synthetic pesticides. For our health and that of the earth.
More than 11 associations have joined the campaign to support citizen mobilization. Thanks to them!
To join the coalition, contact [email protected]
Gilles-Eric Séralini is an international researcher working on the effects of pollutants on our health, including pesticides and GMOs. In 2012, he initiated a study on transgenic NK603 corn and its resistance to glyphosate as well as RoundUp (Monsanto's world's best-selling glyphosate herbicide) demonstrating the long-term toxicity of these components. Pictures of rats with large tumors travel around the world, and the study is being undermined by the manufacturer of the famous herbicide. Professor Séralini is a victim of defamation by the lobbies but he won his 7 trials from 2011 to 2017. In 2017, the "Monsanto papers", these internal documents of the firm made public in the context of a class-action lawsuit against him in the United States, prove the industry giant's relentlessness towards Seralini and his study.
The "Monsanto papers"
On October 4, 2017, Le Monde published an article on the "Monsanto Papers" affair, revealing how the multinational influenced the scientific and media world to protect the safety of its products. Monsanto had its own scientists write supposedly independent studies signed by eminent researchers in exchange for big bucks. This method, "ghostwriting", is a common and illegal lobbying practice. This is how Seralini's study was discredited by a French expert in 2013, following its publication. We will also learn later why the study was unpublished, as the editor was working for the firm at the same time.
The links between pesticides and health degradation
Pesticides really developed during the Second World War and became global in scope at the beginning of the industrial era. At that time, as a citizen, we did not yet make the link between these chemicals and our health. Today, thanks to the work on these subjects by many university researchers and organizations including Inserm (now Public Health France), IARC, and WHO (World Health Organization), its parent company, we know that pesticides and especially some of these components, in addition to contaminating our soil and endangering biodiversity, can be harmful to us and promote the development of chronic diseases such as cancer, impair child development, promote diseases such as Parkinson's disease ...
Recently, several lawsuits have been won in the United States by farmers suffering from cancer due to pesticide inhalation and thousands of legal proceedings have been launched.
Although we do not yet know the impact of certain pesticides on our health, many marketing evaluations are carried out for each product marketed in Europe. Evaluations that are controversial because they are based on existing studies and particularly those carried out internally by the manufacturers themselves.
To learn more about the links between pesticides and our health, you can consult this summary brochure produced by Generations Futures.
Pesticide evaluation systems
Since 2009, European regulations have required that the evaluation system, previously based solely on toxicity studies delivered by manufacturers, now be carried out on all existing studies. While this measure was considered good news at the time, several NGOs, including Generations Futures, are questioning this evaluation system today: not all independent public studies are cited, are never used in the final opinion, and only a small proportion of independent studies are included in these evaluations ;
the relevance of scientific studies is rated according to a scale established by the industry itself;
the tests carried out by industry only take into account acute effects and not the chronic effects linked to prolonged exposure to low doses of these toxic products.
The weight of lobbies in political decisions
There is every reason to believe that the powerful in the chemical industry have an open door on regulations and the institutions that make the decisions. This is revealed by more than 600 confidential documents that the NGO Pesticide Action Network has obtained for publication. It reveals how some people have tried to weaken the criteria for defining endocrine disruptors in order to lighten the authorization of pesticides. Unfortunately, this evidence is not surprising. We are regularly informed of the intervention of certain industrialists (or their agencies) in legislation and political decision-making, as well as the techniques used to achieve their ends.
French People don't want pesticides any more
If the industrialists try hard to keep pesticides in our fields and on the shelves, the French, on the other hand, tend not to want them on their plates anymore. According to an Ifop poll commissioned by the association Agir pour l'Environnement in 2019, 89% of respondents want a total ban on chemical pesticides in Europe within 5 years. We also learn about their attachment to organic and pesticide-free agriculture (73% of respondents are in favor of public subsidies, particularly those of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) going primarily to organic producers). In France, more than one million people recently signed the Poppy Callcalling for the removal of pesticides!
How about you, are you part of this 89%? Do you want a world where industries do not regulate laws? Then we propose you to support our complaint by signing this petition to call even more people around this fraudulent affair!