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article imageNew Neil Young album makes Monsanto chemical company mad

By Marcus Hondro     Jun 23, 2015 in Science
On the heels of telling long-shot U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump to cease using his song "Rockin' in the Free World," Neil Young announced he has a new album coming out. Called 'The Monsanto Years,' it has made Monsanto, the company, unhappy.
Rocker denounces Monsanto
The Monsanto Years is due out June 29 and, as the album title suggests, it is at least partially about Monsanto, the giant agrochemical and agricultural biotechnology corporation that has arguably placed more GMOs onto the world's dinner tables than any other entity on the planet.
Upon hearing of the legendary Canadian rocker's upcoming release, Monsanto did not actually respond to it, at least not initially and not of its own volition. But Billboard magazine asked Monsanto — first created in 1901 to make industrial chemicals such as sulpuric acid and food additives like saccharin — for a response and they sent one via email.
“Many of us at Monsanto have been and are fans of Neil Young,” the email told Billboard . “Unfortunately, for some of us, his current album may fail to reflect our strong beliefs in what we do every day to help make agriculture more sustainable.
"We recognize there is a lot of misinformation about who we are and what we do," the Monsanto email continues. "And unfortunately several of those myths seem to be captured in these lyrics.”
Young: Democracy "hijacked"
A criticism Young makes concerns the lack of labeling on genetically modified food items, and he is especially critical of Monsanto, Walmart and Starbucks for their failure to label. Each has responded by saying they won't discuss the issue with media and, beyond their Billboard statement, Monsanto hasn't spoken about the claims Young makes in his lyrics.
In a lengthy statement posted on Facebook, Young writes that "democracy has been hijacked by corporate interests" and denounces Monsanto for its refusal to label foods.
"GMO labeling matters. Mothers need to know what they are feeding their children," he writes. "They need freedom to make educated choices at the market. When the people have voted for labeling...they need our support when fighting these corporate interests trying to reverse laws they have voted for and passed in the democratic process."
Heavy criticisms of Monsanto are also directed at its product called Roundup. First marketed in 1973, it eradicates weeds and allows commercial crops to grow unmolested. However, crop seeds are genetically modified by Monsanto to become Roundup Ready so that Roundup can destroy weeds but not the crop itself.
The main ingredient in Roundup is called Glyphosate and its effect on humans, other animals and the environment is still debated. In March, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), part of the World Health Organization (WHO) released a study that found Glyphosate is "probably carcinogenic to humans."
In addition to creating food containing GMOs, in recent years it's been noted Roundup Ready's destruction of milkweed has reduced dramatically the number of Monarch butterflies in North America, which rely on milkweed for food.
The Monarch is now on the endangered list.
More about Neil young, Donald trump, roundup ready, Gmos, monarach butterfly
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