Monday, August 21, 2017


We update our meetings regularly on the Town Hall Meeting Calendar:

August 26, 2017
Mebane, North Carolina
Contact: Ken Sellers – 336-253-1113
Rossie Nance – 910-465-0683

September 23, 2017
Chicago, Illinois
Contact: Pat O'Brien 847.403.4676
Roger McGill 773.203.3353

September 2017
The Villages, Florida
Daytona Beach, Florida
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Port Charlotte, Florida
St Petersburg, Florida
To be updated

Report: Monsanto Skipped Important Testing On Weed Killer That’s Now Killing Crops

There’s a problem in farm country this year: Acres of crops are unexpectedly withering away, but it’s not due to drought or natural blight. Instead, the crisis seems to be related to a new herbicide from Monsanto. Users of the recently released plant-killer didn’t realize it would spread beyond their fields, because — according to a new report — Monsanto skipped over tests that would have highlighted this problem.
The product is a new formulation of the chemical dicamba, which Monsanto sells as XtendiMax with VaporGrip. And Reuters reports today that Monsanto went to significant lengths to avoid submitting XtendiMax to testing that would determine how much drifting on the wind it would do.
University Researchers Barred From Looking
Reuters spoke with several of the independent researchers — at universities in Arkansas, Missouri, and Illinois — who had contracts with Monsanto to test pre-release samples of XtendiMax.
These contracts are common, Reuters explains. When a company like Monsanto is developing a new agricultural product, it commissions tests from independent labs and then submits the results and data to regulators. A company will also provide samples to universities for more testing.
University researchers say they asked permission to study the volatility of XtendiMax — that is to say, how likely it is or isn’t to vaporize and drift across fields on the wind — but were denied. In fact, their contracts with Monsanto explicitly forbade doing volatility testing, several researchers said.
One added that being blocked from doing some certain kind of test was extremely unusual. “This is the first time I’m aware of any herbicide ever brought to market for which there were strict guidelines on what you could and could not do” in testing, a scientist from the University of Arkansas told Reuters.
Monsanto told Reuters that the company blocked the testing because they did not feel it was necessary — and because it would hold up their release schedule.
“To get meaningful data takes a long, long time,” a Monsanto executive told Reuters. “This product needed to get into the hands of growers.”

Thursday, August 17, 2017

A Vietnam Veteran's plea

Navy personnel served in the offshore waters on battle stations providing continuous naval gunfire support, search and rescue, and aircraft carrier support and protection.
In January of 1991, the United States Congress, by unanimous consent of both House and Senate, passed a law acknowledging that components of herbicides (mainly Agent Orange) extensively sprayed over the Vietnamese countryside were the cause of major health problems to all of the men who fought that war.
In 2002, without consulting Congress, the Department of Veterans Affairs revoked the eligibility for Vietnam War veterans who did not set foot in Vietnam to receive VA benefits for service-connected disabilities granted by that law.
These offshore veterans are dying in poverty because of medical bills that should have been covered by their VA benefits. They are dying without the dignity and respect they deserve as disabled American veterans.
This is an issue the American public needs to know about, so they can demand their congressional representatives support legislation currently before the House (HR-299) and Senate (S-422) that would restore these lost VA benefits.
Kirk Johnson, Vietnam veteran, Visalia, California

Seize the time!

What are we waiting for?