WikiLeaks Cables Show US Diplomats Promote Genetically Engineered Crops Worldwide

Discussion in 'Wikileaks' started by The Wrong Guy, Aug 28, 2011.

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  1. Anonymous Member

    Farms replace the natural diversity of an acre with a planted crop. This is a disaster for wildlife.
    • Like Like x 2
  2. Anonymous Member

    You haven't heard of the green revlolution, have you?
  3. 00anon00 Member

    Thats how you grow food. It's not a disaster to cultivate.
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  4. 00anon00 Member

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  5. Stickman Member

    can't silver spoon you a perfect doc explaining it, but HGT is a very common amongst bacteria and gmo gene transfer has been observed in the GI tract.

    GMO genes can be neutral or even beneficial, no one knows. we just know that the gmo foods will introduce HGT opportunities throughout the gut, HGT is prevalent amongst bacteria and archaea, and every creature or human fed modern soy or corn is going to get exposure. It will definitely take years to quantify any results, but the USDA sure should be testing, no?

    (SDSU) ... because they are unable to reproduce sexually, bacterial species have acquired several mechanisms by which to exchange genetic materials.
    1. Transformation - the uptake of naked DNA is a common mode of horizontal gene transfer that can mediate the exchange of any part of a chromosome; this process is most common in bacteria that are naturally transformable; typically only short DNA fragments are exchanged.
    2. Conjugation - the transfer of DNA mediated by conjugal plasmids or conjugal transposons; requires cell to cell contact but can occur between distantly related bacteria or even bacteria and eukaryotic cells; can transfer long fragments of DNA.
    3. Transduction - the transfer of DNA by phage requires that the donor and recipient share cell surface receptors for phage binding and thus is usually limited to closely related bacteria; the length of DNA transferred is limited by the size of the phage head.
    Each of these methods of genetic exchange can introduce sequences of DNA that share little homology with the remaining DNA of the recipient cell. If there are homologous sequences shared between the donor DNA and the recipient chromosome, the donor sequences can be stably incorporated into the recipient chromosome by genetic recombination.
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  6. Anonymous Member

    Thank you for an intelligent post on this thread. You are a mensch.

    Is there any evidence, though, that this kind of gene transfer (which would seem to occur with natural as well as GMO products) is actually harmful to humans or, more to the point, that GMO products present measurably more danger than others?

    I think a lot of anti-GMO hysteria, especially in Europe, is more protectionism disguised as environmentalism. Many of the products made with this technology are from America, and the technology allows them to be sold more cheaply, representing a competitive threat to their domestic products. European attempts to exclude GMOs simply on the basis of dislike have been consistently rejected by World Trade Organization panels as illegal under trade agreements. However, if protectionist interests can defame the products effectively, nobody will buy them.

    I would also note that most harmful mutations or gene insertions like those you describe actually simply lead to a nonviable embryo that doesn't even implant. Something like a third of all conceptions have something wrong enough with them that the body rejects them.

    People have been eating GMO products for a considerable period of time. I would think that if they led to mutant human-tomato hybrids, to be facetious, that the effect would already be measurable, and GMO foods would already be medically recognized as a menace.

    I'm not saying any of the facts you cited are incorrect, I'm just wondering how they show harm to humans.
  7. Anonymous Member

  8. OneofFive Member

  9. 00anon00 Member
    Even under close supervision, genes inserted into human genomes cause death. IDK if plant DNA can enter human cells.
  10. OneofFive Member

    There is some talk that it can. I'll need to do some more digging.
  11. MochaKush Member

    Well put. Definitely agree, what a way to solve a problem.
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  12. Anonymous Member

    Gene therapy to treat disease doesn't have anything to do with genetically modified crops.

    Everything you eat is genetically modified at least indirectly, through generations of selective breeding. Selective breeding increases the frequency of certain genes.

    GMO foods aren't anymore likely to do stuff to your DNA than non GMO foods.
  13. Anonymous Member

    So one death 12 years ago == "zOMG!!1!!! STOP IT ALL!1!1!1!"? If that were the case, we would still be in the stone age because... No we wouldn't even be that because science would still think the sun is some burning tree or some shit like that.

    It is called a "calculated risk". Sometimes shit happens during a trial and somebody will die. Granted, even one death is too many. Still if we don't break a few eggs, how would we make an omelet? The trick is to know when the risk is too high and when it is within acceptable range. Hopefully that acceptable range is nobody dies and things get cured. Otherwise if one death, which happened in 1999 and science is way different now than it was then, killed a study we would be going nowhere fast.
  14. 00anon00 Member

    Tell me when the risk is within acceptable range for GMOs. Oh can't
  15. 00anon00 Member

    non GMO foods do stuff to your DNA- epigenetics. The question is what do GMO foods do? Oh wait...
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  16. Anonymous Member

    Fuck the health risks - global agriculture should NEVER be controlled, managed, exploited by US companies like Monsanto.

    Ever. Keep your shit crops in USA, your fucking lawyers have no say in any other nation state.

    GM crops are the plant equivalent of scientology - it can fuck off and die.
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  17. Anonymous Member

    If you buy a product from Microsoft which has a licensing agreement, are you "controlled" by Microsoft?

    Genetic engineering is practiced in many countries by many companies.
  18. Anonymous Member


    Genes code for proteins. The proteins in the plants you eat are broken down in your gut into amino acids, which you absorb into your bloodstream.

    "Epigenetics" like the word "quantum," is often thrown about by pseudoscientists to justify improbable claims.
    • Winner Winner x 1
  19. Anonymous Member

    At least GMO crops don't phone home to check to see if they are Genuine Monsanto. (Not yet.)
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  20. Anonymous Member

    LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL There are real scientists here.
  21. Stickman Member

    Yeah, I think if there had been that definitive study done showing a direct transfer from round-up ready soy to human cells, more govt action would have been take. But I'm not saying the horizontal gene transger is primarily into the cells in our body containing human dna, the HGT seems more likely to cause reproducible mutations in the GI bacteria and archaea, modifying those host colonies that live in a symbiotic relationship with us all. The damage would likely first show as a change from a mutualistic relationship to a commensalistic or parasitic one in the GI tract, but I'm not a expert. I'm a concerned person who eats food and likes the precautionary principle applied to untested technologies.

    My issue is I've never heard of any reason food needs to be transgenic. Now if life-saving medicines are, I've no issue with that at all. But starvation and food security are political and economic issues, not biological or agricultural ones. GMOs make the food security situation worse, not better (please don't ask for dox, I could, in 4-6 hours, but sometimes its nice just to give a considered opinion). I would also say that this is being imposed on people, not chosen by us with fully informed consent. A lot of the GMO argument would be different if these processes were moving slower at a University or research facility level and not being driven by a profit-motivated firm seeking market share and ROI for its patents.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  22. Anonymous Member

    Wrong. At least if the nation is a party to the WTO treaty. Then the WTO has jurisdiction to decide trade disputes and impose sanctions. The nation can't refuse to pay sanctions, since they are in the form of giving the nation that wins the suit a license to retaliate against the nation that loses. When the United States loses, sometimes the WTO imposes the sanction by basically giving the affected country a license to infringe American copyrights for free.

    No nation has won a GMO exclusion case, and the EU has spectacularly lost one. Don't like it? Get your country out of the WTO. Good luck with that.
  23. The Wrong Guy Member

    From!/OpMonsanto comes this February, 2010 article:

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  24. OneofFive Member

    Nice find!
  25. DeathHamster Member

    Mike Adams is a kook and friend to Scientology. (I forget if he is a Scientologist or not.)
  26. The Wrong Guy Member

    Sorry, I posted the link to the video without knowing that. I've deleted it.
  27. The Wrong Guy Member

    Why is the State Department Using Our Money to Pimp for Monsanto? | Truthout

    The State Department is using taxpayer money to help push the agenda of Monsanto and its friends all across the world. Here's a recent example: Assistant Secretary of State Jose W. Fernandez, addressing an event of high-level government officials from around the world, agribusiness CEOs, leaders from international organizations, and anti-hunger groups said, "Without agricultural biotechnology, our world would look vastly different. One of our challenges is how to grow more crops on the same land. This is where biotechnology plays a role."

    Many scientists would disagree with these statements, which are more controversial than Fernandez let on. The Union of Concerned Scientists found that biotech crops did not lead to reliable yield increases compared to conventional, non-GMO crops and that biotech crops actually required more pesticides than conventional crops. These conclusions are reiterated by the scientists who authored the "International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science, and Technology for Development" (IAASTD) report, a 2008 study written by 400 scientists from around the world concluding that agroecology was the best way to feed the world. And a recent 30-year study by the Rodale Institute found that organic methods provided excellent drought protection, whereas drought-tolerant GMOs are mostly still an idea of the future.

    So why is Fernandez making speeches that sound like Monsanto talking points? His background prior to working at the State Department was as a lawyer specializing in international finance and mergers and acquisitions, particularly in Latin America. Now he heads up the State Department's Bureau of Economic, Energy, and Business Affairs (EEB), which works "to promote economic security and prosperity at home and abroad." And part of such prosperity, according to EEB, includes promoting GMOs around the world.

    Within EEB lies the Office of Agriculture, Biotechnology, and Textile Trade Affairs (ABT), which has worked to promote biotechnology for nearly a decade, at least. The word "biotechnology" was added to the office's name in 2003. ABT seeks to address "barriers and opening markets for American farm products, contributing to the development of effective food aid policies, promoting rural development and increasing agricultural productivity through biotechnology."


    Given the two decades of State Department support for GMOs -- and its bullying behavior toward countries that don't wish to grow them or eat them -- the question isn't why a senior state department official is making a major speech extolling biotechnology, but rather, why the State Department isn't listening to experts, including U.S. citizens, who provide evidence countering the usefulness and safety of biotechnology and supporting alternative methods of agricultural development. For a government department that frequently calls for "science-based" policy, ignoring the totality of evidence on biotechnology is not very science-based.

  28. Stickman Member

    Continuing my argument about dna transfer between humans' GI tract and GMO foods. TL/DR version -- still not a smoking gun that gmo foods cause mutations in human GI bacteria, but another in a long list of reasons to study those interactions more before declaring gmo foods safe or legal.

    Nearness key in microbe DNA swaps

    Proximity trumps relatedness in influencing how often bacteria pick up each other’s genes
    By Tina Hesman Saey
    Web edition : Monday, October 31st, 2011
    Bacteria are more likely to exchange genetic information with their neighbors than with their relatives, a new study shows.

    Researchers also found that bacteria living in and on humans are more likely to swap genes than are bacteria that live in soil, oceans or other environments. Exceptions to the neighborhood-only swap-meet rule are genes that confer an evolutionary advantage, such as the ones that make bacteria resistant to antibiotics.

    Unlike animals, which can share genes only within species, bacteria readily exchange bits of DNA with other kinds of microbes. Previous evidence had indicated that gene swapping (which scientists call horizontal gene transfer) was mostly limited to closely related bacteria. The new finding that environment plays a bigger role than relatedness in determining swapping partners may be important for tracking antibiotic resistance and disease-causing genes among microbes.

    “It’s quite intuitive that bacteria living together would have more chance to exchange,” says Gurvan Michel, a biochemist at the French National Center for Scientific Research marine biological station in Roscoff. “But nobody has really proven this idea before.”

    That doesn’t mean relatedness has no importance. “This is not an either-or story,” says David Relman, a microbiologist and infectious disease specialist at Stanford University and the Veteran’s Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System. It could be that closely related species living in the same ecological niche are even more likely to swap genes than nonrelated organisms are, he says.

    Inspired by a study Michel and his colleagues published last year showing that genes for digesting seaweed could be transferred from marine algae to bacteria in the intestines of sushi eaters (SN: 5/8/10, p.13), MIT evolutionary biologist Eric Alm set one of his students the task of finding other examples of genes recently swapped between unrelated bacteria.

    “We were looking for five to 10, but he came back within a week and said there were 8,000 or something. We thought it was a mistake,” Alm says.

    In the end, Alm and his colleagues scoured the genetic blueprints of 2,235 types of bacteria and found 10,770 recently swapped genes. Bacteria that live in or on humans were 25 times more likely to swap genes than ocean or soil bacteria, the researchers report online October 30 in Nature. And bacteria living on the gums were more likely to exchange genes with other gum bacteria than with those in the nose or vagina. The more the researchers subdivided the niches that bacteria inhabit, the more likely the gene transfer, Alm says. The pattern holds even down to how much oxygen bacteria can tolerate. Bacteria with low oxygen tolerance swap more often with other oxygen-averse bacteria than with oxygen lovers.

    Disease-causing bacteria are more likely to exchange genes with other pathogenic bacteria than with friendly bacteria. The team found 13 genes shared among bacteria that cause meningitis, even though those bacteria are not otherwise related to each other. The finding suggests that researchers looking for new disease-control strategies may be able to look for swapped genes in unrelated microbes that cause similar ailments, Alm says.

    Genes that did make the leap between environments were likely to be ones that make microbes resistant to antibiotics. The team uncovered 42 antibiotic-resistance genes that had recently been transferred between farm animal microbes and human-associated bacteria.
    “Which is kind of scary,” Alm says, “because it means that antibiotic-resistant strains don’t have to make it into humans. They can just transfer genes to human bacteria.”

    Concrete evidence of gene swapping between microbes from farm animals and humans has been hard to find, says Gautam Dantas, a microbial genomicist at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis who studies antibiotic resistance. “To the scientist in the field there has not been much doubt that the abuse of antibiotics in agriculture has exacerbated antibiotic resistance in humans,” he says. “We’ve basically been choosing cheap meat over human health.”
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  29. The Wrong Guy Member

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  30. The Wrong Guy Member

  31. The Wrong Guy Member

    AnonOpsSweden Anonymous Sweden
    The intel arm of Monsanto that keeps track of anti-GMO activists is #BLACKWATER" #anonymous #swgreen #svpol
    2 minutes ago

    Bruce Robinson: Monsanto hangs out with Blackwater

    Posted on November 8, 2011

    I ask that you keep in mind a statement from Don Westfall, an international consultant to the GMO industry:

    “The hope of the industry is that over time, the market is so flooded (with GM) that there’s nothing you can do about it. You just sort of surrender.”

    As a child, I was warned to be very careful about who I hang out with. This quote is a brutal reminder about the less than noble motives of many in the GMO biotech industry. This industry, which is rapidly taking over world agriculture, was built on corruption, bribery, intimidation, government complicity, and falsehood. The Monsantos, Syngentas, etc. are not to be trusted.

    Do our County Commissioners know that the politics that gave the biotech industry its start, that has put it into a position to do massive damage to our health, to our environment, and to world-wide farming, is totally corrupt? That one of our Supreme Court justices, Clarence Thomas, who renders decisions supporting genetic engineering, was an attorney for Monsanto? Do they know that Michael Taylor, the U.S. food czar, was a VP for Monsanto? Do they know that the intel arm of Monsanto that keeps track of anti-GMO activists is BLACKWATER?

    Do they know that five biotech companies threaten the seed supply of the world as they have recently bought 200 independent seed companies and that farmers are now hearing that non-GMO seeds are often not available?

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  32. lulzgasm Member

    FUCK ME RAW!!!!
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  33. The Wrong Guy Member

    Anonymous Strikes and 'Ends' Monsanto PR Firm Bivings Group

    By DJ Pangburn Tuesday, December 06, 2011

    The Bivings Group used to handle PR for businesses such as the multi-national biotech corporation Monstanto. Now, a group of Anonymous hackers are claiming they hit the PR firm until it shut down operations.

    “Operation End Monsanto is still very much up and running. Pwnage will continue indefinitely,” reads the opening statement of a paste at Pastebin from Anonymous.

    The hackers are referring to efforts to strike at the “cyberstructure” of The Bivings Group, a now defunct PR firm which was known to have worked with Monsanto, according to Lobby Watch. Information on Bivings Group is scarce on the internet, but the links supplied by Lobby Watch to Bivings Group’s website no longer exist or now link to a new PR firm The Brick Factory.

    One can still find The Bivings Group’s LinkedIn page, where its most recent post “Moved In” routes users to the new Brick Factory office space in Washington, D. C. (close to the action, as it were).

    Yesterday, the Anonymous hackers claimed they had finally succeeded in taking down Bivings Group, quoting the following (supposed) Bivings Group communication, “Our Cyber Infrastructure has recently been put under attack. We are evaluating the extent of the intrusion, and apologise for any downtime and issues this may cause you. It is not yet determined what the motives behind the attack are, or what, if any data has been compromised. We will continue to keep you up to date, and sincerely apologise for any inconvenience.”


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  34. The Wrong Guy Member

    Commentary: Ivy League loathing
    Angela Bowman, Staff Writer | Updated: December 7, 2011

    In October, a consortium of organic food groups led by the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association filed a lawsuit in federal court for the Southern District of New York against Monsanto Corp., the leading developer of GM crop varieties.

    OSGATA et al. v. Monsanto seeks to prevent Monsanto from suing farmers for intellectual property infringement if their crops become contaminated by traces of patented genetic material from neighboring fields. The plaintiffs include some 80 farming, food and environmental organizations and individual farmers, who are arguing that it is virtually impossible for U.S. farmers to grow corn, soybeans or canola and remain GM-free because of the widespread distribution of GM crops and seeds.

    “Given the difficulties in minimizing GM contamination, farmers are not able to make decisions based on their own and their customers’ interests, but must instead make these decisions with the threat of litigation from a giant corporation looming over their head,” an amicus brief filed by several groups allied to the organic industry stated. “The constant threat of a patent infringement suit by Monsanto creates significant, unquantifiable costs for Plaintiff farmers and similarly situated farmers.”


    Search: Monsanto
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  35. The Wrong Guy Member

    Anonymous hacks Monsanto PR firm Bivings Group

    Tango down: Operation End Monsanto claims first victim.

    The Bivings Group, a public relations firm associated with Monsanto, has been permanently shut down after a devastating attack by those claiming to represent the nebulous and notorious international Internet hacktivist collective known as Anonymous.

    According to the Anonymous hacktivists, The Bivings Group website was defaced, their database was hacked and dumped, hundreds of emails were stolen and are now viewable, and a database of Monsanto documents were acquired.

    On Monday, Anonymous hacktivists released a statement via Pastebinannouncing the successful attack. The following is an excerpt from that release:

    Operation End Monsanto is still very much up and running. Pwnage will continue indefinitely.

    First Victim: Bivings Corporation.

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  36. 00anon00 Member

    Bivings did a Murdoch.
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  37. The Wrong Guy Member

    Monsanto Caught Illegally Planting GM Corn in India

    Ahead of a regulators’ meeting on February 8th 2012, and reacting to the confirmed reports of Monsanto’s illegal planting of Herbicide Tolerant (HT) maize in its GM maize trial, the Coalition for a GM-Free India demanded that Monsanto be blacklisted immediately. The violation was revealed in a response of the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee to an RTI application. “This agri-business corporation has been caught violating the law and norms repeatedly. The Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) has also been caught failing in its duties. GEAC, in spite of violations brought to its notice earlier also, has never taken up any deterrent and penal action against this Multi National Company”, said the Coalition in a press statement issued in Delhi and a Press Conference held in Bengaluru. Monsanto’s illegal planting was known to the regulators (as the information was obtained through an RTI response from GEAC), but they chose not to look into the matter pro-actively and the regulators were in effect protecting Monsanto, alleged the Coalition.

    The approval for the biosafety research level II trial (BRL-II , the penultimate stage before consideration for commercial cultivation) for Monsanto’s herbicide tolerant, insect resistant GM maize with stacked traits (two Bt genes and one herbicide tolerance gene) was granted during the GEAC meetings held on 15th November 2010 and 8th December 2010. This is also the first GM product of Monsanto in India in its own name and not in the name of associate companies like Mahyco. Monsanto and the biotech industry have been claiming that the herbicide tolerant, insect resistant GM maize with stacked traits would be approved soon.

    “Monsanto’s GM maize trials have been going on for several seasons now in various locations around the country. It took a rare scientist in one monitoring team to point out the fact that planting of the herbicide-tolerant GM maize took place without permission from competent authorities! What is more damning is that there is no evidence of any discussion or action by the regulators on this finding. This clearly demonstrates that the regulators are unconcerned about biosafety violations or contamination and are protecting and supporting offenders like Monsanto”, said Kavitha Kuruganti, Member, Coalition for a GM-Free India.

    The RTI response revealed that a team led by Dr Pradyumn Kumar of the Directorate of Maize Research (DMR is supposed to be supervising all the GM maize BRL II field trials), noted the following in its visit report (5th May 2011): “Before planting NK603 event treatment in future, the permission from competent authority may be obtained”. This clearly demonstrates that this field trial consisted of an unapproved, illegal GM herbicide tolerant maize while the trial is supposed to be for the hybrid of Bt genes’ line (MON89034) and herbicide tolerant line (NK603) (HT/Bt maize). A point to be noted is that trial protocols were prescribed by DMR along with GEAC and it was a DMR scientist who recorded the illegal planting of the HT maize line.

    “This appears to be a repetition of an earlier episode of herbicide tolerant cotton (Roundup Ready Flex – RRF cotton) planted by Monsanto’s affiliate, Mahyco, without permission. The GEAC, in that instance, found the clarifications submitted by Mahyco highly unsatisfactory and warned that any non-compliance in future would attract punitive actions under EPA 1986, sought a resolution adopted by the Mahyco Board of Directors expressing regret and reaffirmation that such lapses would not be repeated, and that the data generated during the BRL II trials using the unapproved GMO shall not be considered for regulatory purpose. All of these were decisions recorded in the July 2011 meeting of the GEAC”, reminded the Coalition.

    What is ironic in the case of the GM maize trials of Monsanto is that further field trials have been approved after this visit of the monitoring team on 5th May 2011 recorded the illegal planting!

    Monsanto has also been caught violating several biosafety norms in its GM maize cultivation plot in Bijapur in early 2011, around the same time as this Monitoring Team’s finding of illegal planting inside the University in Dharwad. The Bijapur episode, documented by Greenpeace and a Kannada TV Channel had been brought to the notice of the regulators and no investigation has been completed so far into this complaint. Egregious violations were also found during various other field trials from 2005 onwards.

    In the face of such impunity from these seed corporations and irresponsible inaction by the regulators, it is ironic that when civil society groups try to prevent contamination from these untested GMOs by objecting to such trials like in the case of the Bayer GM rice trial in Patancheru or DuPont GM rice trial in Doddaballapur, they are being treated as criminals! The history of GM crop regulation in India is replete with violations and illegal plantings and repeated failure on the part of the regulators in checking these or even taking serious action post facto. Therefore citizens are forced to step in to uphold biosafety.

    “The Coalition demands that the Minister for Environment & Forests fix accountability on Monsanto and its Indian associates for violating Indian law. It also demands that MoEF take action against the regulators who repeatedly fail to check the violations of the corporations, and call on state governments of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka to drop all charges against activists involved in biosafety protection”, added the Coalition.

    PS: Page 10 to 14 in the scanned document downloadable here do not pertain to the GM maize in question but got inadvertently included in the scanned document. Page 15 to 20 is the relevant monitoring report in this instance.

    • Like Like x 7
  38. lulzgasm Member

    I am now convinced that Monsanto is more evil than my evil twin.
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  39. The Wrong Guy Member

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  40. The Wrong Guy Member

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