Battle of titans: Monsanto v. EPA. Round 1 on Round-up. The EPA says the eight-year-old Monsanto mine in southern Idaho is producing illegal pollution, and has since it began operation. Of course, during the Bush Administration there was slim chance that any anti-pollution laws would be enforced against a major American corporation like Monsanto. After all, there were not any visible dead human bodies. This matters beyond what effects it may have on Monsanto's profits. Round-up weed killer is widely used in agriculture and gardening. All ovefr the planet. The guy working on our garden just used some to kill the crab-grass before we re-plant with more xeric and sustainable plants. He uses Round-up frequently, swears by it. The birds did not keel over when they ran around the newly sprayed plants. Monsanto swears it's safe and degrades quickly, not builidng up in the soil or ground water. So we've become Round-up enablers. The South Rasmussen mine in Idaho produces phosphate ore needed to make Round-up. Through open pit mining it also exposes heavy metal compounds, including selenium. The EPA says these metals have been leaching from storage ponds for years. Even under the Bush Admin the EPA in 2007 ordered Monsanto to cease the selenium leaks from their mining operation. But the leaks continue today. And Monsanto is seeking permission to open a second mine nearby because Rasmussen will play out eventually. Peak phosphate may be similar to peak oil. No resource can be exploited endlessly. Entropy, etc. etc. Of course, THIS TIME, Monsanto promises they have the right tech to prevent any leaching at the new, proposed mine. They said the same sort of thing before South Rasmussen opened. No worries, they promised. How important is Round-up to Monsanto? Well, their whole genetecially-modified seed business is built around plants engineering to survive in fields sprayed with Round-up.
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