Urgent action alert: EPA about to raise allowable concentrations of glyphosate on food crops, edible oils and animal feed
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of NaturalNews.com (See all articles…)
(NaturalNews) This is an urgent action alert from Natural News and the Health Ranger. Public comments are due by July 1 to object to new EPA regulations which are already in place, allowing glyphosate contamination of food crops, edible oils and waterways at concentrations which are thousands of times higher than the amount needed to cause cancer.
The new regulation, which can be viewed HERE, sets the following regulations regarding glyphosate residues on crops:
• It allows forage and hay teff to contain up to 100 ppm glyphosate (that’s over one million times the concentration needed to cause cancer according to a recent study). See PubMed source here:
• Allows oilseed crops (flax oil, canola oil, soybean oil, olive oil, etc.) to contain up to 40 ppm glyphosate (which is over 100,000 times the concentration needed to cause cancer)
• RAISES the allowable glyphosate contamination level of root crops (such as potatoes) from 200 ppb to 6000 ppb.
• Allows glyphosate contamination of fruits at anywhere from 200 ppb to 500 ppb.
Importantly, the EPA says no one even commented on all this when it was initially filed! "There were no comments received in response to the notice of filing." Since then, a total of just 396 people have posted a public comment at the time of this story being published.
You can post your comments with the EPA at this page:
EPA declares glyphosate to be perfectly safe
Borrowing a page right out of Monsanto’s quack science playbook, the EPA says:
A chronic feeding/carcinogenicity study in rats found no systemic effects in any of the parameters examined (body weight, food consumption, clinical signs, mortality, clinical pathology, organ weights, and histopathology).
The EPA even offers this utterly absurd, false statement as justification for its allowable contamination levels of glyphosate: "EPA has concluded that glyphosate does not pose a cancer risk to humans. Therefore, a dietary exposure assessment for the purpose of assessing cancer risk is unnecessary." (SOURCE)
Huh? Do you understand this? The EPA is saying glyphosate is so incredibly safe that it is not even necessary to study its possible carcinogenic effects in humans. No science needed! The EPA simply waves a magic (Monsanto) wand and says, "Shazam! Glyphosate is safe enough to EAT!"
The EPA, of course, is sadly mistaken. It is apparently not aware of two crucial facts to consider in all this:
1) The Seralini study released last year showed an alarming increase in cancer tumors in rats that were fed glyphosate in their drinking water.
2) Monsanto has already been found guilty of committing scientific fraud by altering the results of "scientific" studies in order to trick regulators.
The "scientific" data proving glyphosate to be "safe" has been fabricated! And the EPA is basing its conclusions on fabricated, corporate-quackified junk science that has one purpose: trick regulators into thinking the deadly poison is safe, thereby vastly increasing the usage of the chemical by farmers.
ACTION ITEM: Post your comments to protest the EPA’s glyphosate poisoning of the American people
It is crucial that We the People let the EPA know that raising the allowable levels of glyphosate in foods is unacceptable. This is especially true given the recent studies linking glyphosate to breast cancer, a disease that is ravaging women across America and has reached epidemic levels.
Post your comments in the following ways:
METHOD #1 – POSTING ONLINE
1) Go to this page:
2) Click the "Comment Now!" button on the top right.
3) Enter your information and comment, then click "Submit." Be sure to include reasons WHY you believe the EPA should not allow such high levels of glyphosate in foods, edible oils and animal feed. You can quote pages like GMOevidence.com:
You can also quote this excellent article from GM Watch which explains why the corporate-controlled media (and industry) so viciously attacked the Seralini rat study, trying to discredit it:
METHOD #2 – MAIL IT IN
1) Write your letter of protest. To ensure proper receipt by EPA, you must identify docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2012-0132 on the first page of your letter.
2) Mail it to: (all mail must be received by July 1st)
Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), (28221T)
1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW.
Washington, DC 20460–0001
METHOD #3 – EMAIL ANDREW ERTMAN
Please use Method #1 or #2 if you want your comments to actually count. But if you also wish to email or phone the EPA person from the Office of Pesticide Programs, you may contact:
Andrew Ertman, Registration Division, Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency
Telephone number: (703) 308-9367
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: If you choose to email Andrew Ertman, please be polite in your email. Do NOT send stupid things like death threats or emails full of profanity. Make your case clearly and politely, and ask him to review the full breadth of the scientific evidence now available instead of just the selected subset Monsanto wants EPA scientists to be aware of.
Over 200 million pounds of glyphosate poison is a chemical attack on America
The following map, compiled by the USDA, shows the use of glyphosate across America:
This is also a map of the mass poisoning of America with a chemical that has been scientifically linked to an increased risk of cancer.
Compare it to this map showing the rates of cancer by state:
By the way, Monsanto has already been caught committing scientific fraud in attempting to fake safety studies on glyphosate. The company also engaged in wildly false advertising, claiming RoundUp was "safer than table salt" (implying that it’s safe to eat in high doses).
Now the EPA is about to allow glyphosate in animal feed at concentrations that are one million times the concentration needed to cause cancer.
At the same time, the EPA continues to allow glyphosate at 700 ppb in public drinking water, too.
We are all being mass poisoned by this deadly chemical, and the EPA is actively conspiring with the chemical industry to downplay the real dangers of glyphosate, pretending it’s safe enough to eat in quantities that are orders of magnitude larger than should be allowed.
Allowing 100 ppm of glyphosate in animal feed is equivalent to allowing 1000 ppm of lead in children’s candy. It’s a deadly poison that inundates our food supply at such high concentrations that it’s guaranteed to cause deadly diseases in huge numbers of people.
EPA document is a blueprint for the mass euthanasia of Americans
This EPA regulation document is a blueprint for billions of dollars in profits for the cancer industry. It’s also a death sentence for America’s soils, farmers and food consumers. And it is insane policies like this that will ultimately lead to the downfall and collapse of modern human civilization… a civilization so stupid that it poisons its own food, water, soils and even its own children… all to make a quarterly profit on the selling of a deadly poison.
Humanity is being mass-euthanized by GMOs and glyphosate, and the EPA is standing by and openly allowing it to happen. This is an agency that did tremendous good back in the 1970’s but has since become nothing more than a corporate sellout and a purveyor of poison.
The EPA wants you to eat glyphosate. There’s no harm, they say. Lick it up!
What concentration of glyphosate should be allowed in foods? No more than 10 ppt
There is no safe level of exposure to glyphosate. The chemical has now been shown to promote cancer cell proliferation at ppt concentrations. This demands that glyphosate be eliminated from being sold in the USA — BANNED for life.
Remember: Glyphosate is the new DDT. But it’s much worse than DDT because its toxic effects kick in at far lower concentrations. If a "safe" level of glyphosate exposure were based on legitimate scientific studies that weren’t faked by Monsanto, it would have to be set no higher than 10 ppt.
In other words, it would need to be virtually undetectable even by the most precise laboratory equipment available today.
Glyphosate has no place in a civilized nation. I call it "Satan’s Molecule" because it is a destroyer of life and a destroyer of worlds.
No wonder it was invented by a scientist working for — guess who? — MonSatan.
Take action today. Comments are due by July 1, and if the EPA doesn’t hear from the People, it’s going to do whatever Monsanto tells it to do. Heck, it will probably do that anyway, but at least if you post a comment, when all of us die from cancer you will know that you did not willfully participate in the mass murder of Americans.
…to cause breast cancer in women
June 17, 2013
Late last week, a story broke that revealed glyphosate — the chemical name of Roundup herbicide — multiplies the proliferation of breast cancer cells by 500% to 1300%… even at exposures of just a few parts per trillion (ppt).
The study, published in Food and Chemical Toxicology, is entitled, “Glyphosate induces human breast cancer cells growth via estrogen receptors.” You can read the abstract here.
There’s a whole lot more to this story, however, but to follow it, you need to understand these terms:
ppm = parts per million = 10 (-6) = number of parts out of a million
ppb = parts per billion = 10 (-9), which is 1,000 times smaller than ppm
ppt = parts per trillion = 10 (-12), which is 1,000 times smaller than ppb and 1,000,000 times smaller than ppm
The study found that breast cancer cell proliferation is accelerated by glyphosate in extremely low concentrations: ppt to ppb. The greatest effect was observed in the ppb range, including single-digit ppb such as 1 ppb.
This news, all by itself, sent shockwaves across the ‘net all weekend. Women were asking things like: “You mean to tell me that glyphosate residues on crops in just ppt or ppb concentrations can give me breast cancer?” It doesn’t exactly translate like that. It depends on how much you eat vs. your body mass (nanograms of glyphosate per kilogram of body weight). But with ridiculously small amounts of this chemical now being correlated to cancer cell proliferation, you don’t have to eat much at all in order to put yourself at risk.
But it’s not just eating glyphosate that’s the problem. You’re also DRINKING it.
California allows 1,000 ppb of glyphosate in drinking water
In December of 1997, California released its Glyphosate in Drinking Water California Public Health Goal (PHG) document. You can view the document yourself at:
The document openly admits:
Glyphosate is a non-selective systemic herbicide used in agriculture, rights-of-way and aquatic systems. Exposure to glyphosate may occur from its normal use due to drift, residues in food crops and from runoff into potential drinking water sources.
It then goes on to state something borrowed straight from Monsanto’s quack science team: “Glyphosate is not mutagenic or teratogenic and there is no evidence for reproductive toxicity in multigeneration studies in rats.”
Based on this blatant lie, California set an upper limit of “1.0 mg/L (1,000 ppb) for glyphosate in drinking water.”
Yes, that’s 1,000 times higher than the amount now shown to cause a 500% to 1300% increase in cancer cell proliferation.
What’s even more shocking is that California’s allowable exposure level was nearly 50% HIGHER than the federal (EPA) level — 700 ppb.
Yes, California — the state where more people are concerned about GMOs than seemingly anywhere else — actually used Monsanto-sounding language in its “official” report that set a higher water contamination level than the federal government!
Glyphosate carcinotoxicity was documented years earlier
Even though California released this document in 1997, the state was already willfully ignoring a growing body of scientific evidence documenting glyphosate toxicity. For example, a study published two years earlier — in 1995 — in the Journal of Pesticide Reform (Volume 15, Number 3, Fall 1995) written by Caroline Cox concluded:
Glyphosate-containing products are acutely toxic to animals, including humans. …In animal studies, feeding of glyphosate for three months caused reduced weight gain, diarrhea, and salivary gland lesions. Lifetime feeding of glyphosate caused excess growth and death of liver cells, cataracts and lens degeneration, and increases in the frequency of thyroid, pancreas, and liver tumors.
Glyphosate-containing products have caused genetic damage in human blood cells… reduced sperm counts in male rats… an increase in fetal loss…
In other words, California knew — or should have known — that glyphosate was harmful to humans. But the California government willfully ignored this evidence and seemingly went out of its way to incorporate deceptive Monsanto spin into its “Public Health Goal” documents, thereby allowing 1,000 times higher levels of glyphosate in drinking water than we now know to cause cancer cell proliferation.
Ten years later, California lowers its level by just 10%
Fast forward to 2007. After a public comment period which was no doubt dominated by disinfo-spewing Monsanto trolls, the state of California issued an updated Public Health Goal (PHG) document.
You can view that document here:
It concludes that the allowable glyphosate exposure for all Californians should be lowered to 900 ppb — still nine hundred times higher than the amount needed to accelerate cancer cell growth as we see in the study released last week.
This 2007 document from the California government also borrows language that sounds like it’s right out of Monsanto’s P.R. department: “Based on the genotoxicity and carcinogenicity study results, glyphosate is not likely to pose a cancer hazard to humans,” it says.
Now the evidence is becoming clear: Monsanto’s chemicals are killing women
Now it’s 2013. We’ve seen the horrific results of the GMO rat study revealing the growth of massive tumors in rats exposed to GMOs and Roundup (glyphosate). We’ve also now seen the “parts per trillion” studyshowing cancer cell proliferation being caused by ultra-low concentrations of glyphosate.
We also know the biotech industry has gone to ridiculous lengths to spread disinfo on all this — to try to discredit scientists who speak out against GMOs and glyphosate, to get scientists blackballed from the industry, and to buy off politicians and members of the press to make sure there is no coverage granted to any scientific studies reporting the dangers of genetically modified crops (and their related chemical herbicides).
Glyphosate is the new DDT
Based on what we’re seeing now, I believe glyphosate is the most toxic chemical that has ever been widely deployed across our food supply. Glyphosate is the new DDT, and it’s contaminating our waterways, soils, food and bodies.
Furthermore, the California government has clearly been complicit in allowing extremely high levels of glyphosate to contaminate the public drink water, thereby causing tens of millions of Californians to be poisoned with concentrations of glyphosate that promote cancer cell growth.
And what will the California government tell you now that the truth has come out? Now that they’ve allowed their own population to be exposed to a thousand times the concentration needed to accelerate the growth of cancer tumors?
“Run for the cure!” And don’t label GMOs, either, because you don’t have a right to know whether you’re eating deadly poison in your food.
Join the Monsanto Video Revolt, July 24, 2013
Take part in the global video revolt against Monsanto. Learn more at:
Glyphosate – GlyphoSatan
Glyphosate, Part 1: Toxicology.
Caroline Cox. Journal of Pesticide Reform, Volume 15, Number 3, Fall 1995. Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides, Eugene, OR.
Glyphosate, Part 1: Toxicology
by Caroline Cox
Glyphosate is a broad-spectrum herbicide widely used to kill unwanted plants both in agriculture and in nonagricultural landscapes. Estimated use in the U.S. is between 19 and 26 million pounds per year.
Most glyphosate-containing products are either made or used with a surfactant, chemicals that help glyphosate to penetrate plant cells.
Glyphosate-containing products are acutely toxic to animals, including humans. Symptoms include eye and skin irritation, cardiac depression, gastrointestinal pain, vomiting, and accumulation of excess fluid in the lungs. The surfactant used in a common glyphosate product (Roundup) is more acutely toxic than glyphosate itself; the combination of the two is yet more toxic.
In animal studies, feeding of glyphosate for three months caused reduced weight gain, diarrhea, and salivary gland lesions. Lifetime feeding of glyphosate caused excess growth and death of liver cells, cataracts and lens degeneration, and increases in the frequency of thyroid, pancreas, and liver tumors.
Glyphosate-containing products have caused genetic damage in human blood cells, fruit flies, and onion cells.
Glyphosate causes reduced sperm counts in male rats, a lengthened estrous cycle in female rats, and an increase in fetal loss together with a decrease in birth weights in their offspring.
It is striking that laboratory studies have identified adverse effects of glyphosate or glyphosate-containing products in all standard categories of toxicological testing.
Two serious cases of fraud have occurred in laboratories conducting toxicology and residue testing for glyphosate and glyphosate-containing products.
Advertised as herbicides that can "eradicate weeds and unwanted grasses effectively with a high level of environmental safety,"1 glyphosate-based herbicides can seem like a silver bullet to those dealing with unwanted vegetation. However, an independent, accurate evaluation of their health and environmental hazards can draw conclusions very different than those presented by these advertisements. The following summary of glyphosate’s hazards is intended to serve that purpose. It will appear in two parts: Part 1 discusses the toxicology of glyphosate, its metabolites, and the other ingredients of glyphosate products and Part 2 will discuss human exposure to glyphosate and its ecological effects.
Glyphosate, N-(phosphonomethyl) glycine (Figure 1), is a post-emergent, systemic, and non-selective herbicide used to kill broad-leaved, grass, and sedge species.2 It has been registered as a broad spectrum herbicide in the U.S. since 1974 and is used to control weeds in a wide variety of agricultural, lawn and garden, aquatic, and forestry situations.3
Most glyphosate herbicides contain the isopropylamine salt of glyphosate. A related chemical, the sodium salt of glyphosate, acts as a growth regulator in sugar cane and peanuts and is marketed for that purpose. The monoammonium salt of glyphosate is also marketed as an herbicide and growth regulator.4
Glyphosate products are manufactured by Monsanto Company worldwide. The herbicide is marketed under a variety of trade names: Roundup (including Roundup D-Pak, Roundup Lawn and Garden Concentrate, and Roundup Ready-to-Use) and Rodeo are the most common U.S. trade names.2 The sodium salt is sold as Quotamaster. The monoammonium salt is sold as Deploy Dry.2 Other brand names used for the isopropylamine salt are Accord,5 Vision, Ranger, and Sting.2
As an herbicidal compound, glyphosate is unusual in that essentially no structurally related compounds show any herbicidal activity.6
Glyphosate is the eighth most commonly used herbicide in U.S. agriculture and the second most commonly used herbicide in nonagricultural situations. Estimated annual use according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is between 15 and 20 million pounds in agriculture and between 4 and 6 million pounds elsewhere.7 The largest agricultural uses are in the production of soybeans, hay and pasture, corn, and oranges.4
About 25 million applications per year are made in U.S. households; most of these are made on lawns or outdoor areas where a total vegetation kill is wanted.8
In California, where pesticide use reporting is more comprehensive than in other states, about 3.4 million pounds were used in 1992; about 25 percent of this was used along rights-of-way, while 15 percent was used on almonds and 10 percent was used on grapes.9
Mode of Action
The mode of action of glyphosate is "not known at this time,"4 according to EPA. However, "herbicidal action probably arises from the inhibition of the biosynthesis of aromatic amino acids."10 These amino acids (phenylalanine, tyrosine, and tryptophan) are used in the synthesis of proteins and are the essential for growth and survival of most plants. One particular enzyme important in aromatic amino acid synthesis, called 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3- phosphate synthase, is inhibited by glyphosate.10 Glyphosate also "may inhibit or repress"4 two other enzymes, chlorismate mutase and prephrenate hydratase, involved in other steps of the synthesis of the same amino acids. These enzymes are all part of what is called the shikimic acid pathway, present in higher plants and microorganisms but not in animals.11
Two of the three aromatic amino acids (tryptophan and phenylalanine) are essential amino acids in the human diet because humans, like all higher animals, lack the shikimic acid pathway, cannot synthesize these amino acids, and rely on their foods to provide these compounds. Tyrosine is synthesized in animals through another pathway.12
Glyphosate can affect enzymes not connected with the shikimic acid pathway. In sugar cane, it reduces the activity of one of the enzymes involved in sugar metabolism, acid invertase. This reduction appears to be mediated by auxins, plant hormones.13
Glyphosate also affects enzyme systems found in animals and humans. In rats, injection into the abdomen decreases the activity of two detoxification enzymes, cytochrome P-450 and a monooxygenase, and decreases the intestinal activity of the enzyme aryl hydrocarbon hydroxylase (another detoxification enzyme).14
"Inert" Ingredients in Glyphosate-containing Products
Virtually every pesticide product contains ingredients other than what is called the "active" ingredient(s), those designed to provide killing action. Their purpose is to make the product easier to use or more efficient. These ingredients are called "inert," although they are often not biologically, chemically, or toxicologically inert. In general, they are not identified on the label of the pesticide product.
In the case of glyphosate products, many "inerts" have been identified. Roundup contains a polyethoxylated tallowamine surfactant (usually abbreviated POEA), related organic acids of glyphosate, isopropylamine, and water. Both Rodeo and Accord contain glyphosate and water.15 (However, label instructions usually require adding a surfactant during use.15) See "Toxicology of ‘Inert’ Ingredients of Glyphosate- containing Products," p. 17, for basic information about these "inert" ingredients.
Many of the toxicology studies that will be summarized in this factsheet have been conducted using glyphosate, the active ingredient, alone. Some have been conducted with commercial products containing glyphosate and "inert" ingredients. When toxicology testing is not done with the product as it is actually used, it is impossible to accurately assess its hazards.
We will discuss both types of studies, and will identify insofar as is possible exactly what material was used to conduct each study.
Acute Toxicity to Laboratory Animals
Glyphosate’s acute oral median lethal dose (the dose that causes death in 50 percent of a population of test animals; LD50) in rats is greater than 4,320 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg) of body weight. This places the herbicide in Toxicity Category III (Caution).4 Its acute dermal toxicity (dermal LD50) in rabbits is greater than 2,000 mg/kg of body weight, also Toxicity Category III.4
If animals are given glyphosate in other ways, it is much more acutely toxic. When given intraperitoneally (the dose applied by injection into the abdomen), glyphosate is between 10 and 20 times more toxic to rats (with an LD50 between 192- 467 mg/kg)2,16 than it is when given orally. Intraperitoneal injection also caused fever, cessation of breathing, and convulsions.17 While this kind of exposure is not one that would be encountered under conditions of normal use, these studies indicate the kinds of effects glyphosate can potentially cause in mammals.
Commercial glyphosate-containing products are more acutely toxic than glyphosate alone. Two recent (1990 and 1991) studies compared the amount of Roundup required to cause death in rats with the amount of either glyphosate alone or POEA alone that would cause death. The studies found that in combination, the amount of glyphosate and POEA required to kill was about 1/3 of a lethal dose of either compound separately. The Roundup formulation tested was also more toxic than POEA alone.18,19
As with glyphosate alone, glyphosate-containing products are more toxic when administered other ways than orally. Inhalation of Roundup by rats caused "signs of toxicity in all test groups,"20 even at the lowest concentration tested. These signs included a dark nasal discharge, gasping, congested eyes, reduced activity, hair standing erect,21 and body weight loss following exposure.20 Lungs were red or blood-congested.21 The dose required to cause lung damage and mortality following pulmonary administration of Roundup Lawn and Garden Concentrate or Roundup-Ready-to-Use (the glyphosate product is directly forced into the trachea, the tube carrying air into the lungs) was only 1/10 the dose causing damage through oral administration.18
Effects on the Circulatory System: When dogs were given intravenous injections of glyphosate, POEA, or Roundup so that blood concentrations were approximately those found in humans who ingested glyphosate, a variety of circulatory effects were found. Glyphosate increased the ability of the heart muscle to contract. POEA reduced the output of the heart and the pressure in the arteries. Together (Roundup), the result was cardiac depression.22
Eye Irritation: Glyphosate is classified as a mild eye irritant by EPA, with effects lasting up to seven days4 although more serious effects were found by the World Health Organization. In two of the four studies they reviewed, glyphosate was "strongly irritating"2 to rabbits’ eyes and a third test found it "irritating."2 In tests of glyphosate- containing products, all eight products tested were irritating to rabbit eyes, and four of the products were "strongly" or "extremely" irritating.2
Skin Irritation: Glyphosate is classified as a slightly irritating to skin. Roundup is a "moderate skin irritant" and causes redness and swelling on both intact and abraded rabbit skin. Recovery can take more than two weeks.20
Acute Toxicity to Humans
The acute toxicity of glyphosate products to humans was first widely publicized by physicians in Japan who studied 56 cases of Roundup poisoning. Most of the cases were suicides or attempted suicides; nine cases were fatal. Symptoms of acute poisoning in humans included gastrointestinal pain, vomiting, excess fluid in the lungs, pneumonia, clouding of consciousness, and destruction of red blood cells.23 They calculated that the mean amount ingested in the fatal cases was slightly more than 200 milliliters (about 3/4 of a cup). They believed that POEA was the cause of Roundup’s toxicity.23 More recent reviews of glyphosate poisoning incidents have found similar symptoms, as well as lung congestion or dysfunction,24-26, erosion of the gastrointestinal tract,24,26 abnormal electrocardiograms,26 massive gastrointestinal fluid loss,27 low blood pressure,23,26 and kidney damage or failure.24,25,27
Smaller amounts of Roundup also cause adverse effects. In general these include the skin or eye irritation documented in animal studies, as well as some of the symptoms seen in humans following ingestion. For example, rubbing of Roundup in an eye caused swelling of the eye and lid, rapid heartbeat, palpitations, and elevated blood pressure. Wiping the face with a hand that had contacted leaky Roundup spray equipment caused a swollen face and tingling of the skin. Accidental drenching with Roundup (horticultural strength) caused recurrent eczema of the hands and feet lasting two months.25
Different symptoms have been observed when a different type of exposure has occurred. In Great Britain, a study compared the effects of breathing dust from a flax milling operation that used flax treated with Roundup with the effects of dust from untreated flax. Treated flax dust caused a decrease in lung function and an increase in throat irritation, coughing, and breathlessness.28
Experiments in which glyphosate was fed to laboratory animals for 13 weeks showed a variety of effects. In experiments conducted by the National Toxicology Program (NTP), microscopic salivary gland lesions were found in all doses tested in rats (200 – 3400 mg/kg per day) and in all but the lowest dose tested in mice (1,000-12,000 mg/kg per day). Both the parotid and submandibular salivary glands were affected in rats; in mice the lesions were confined to the parotid gland. Based on further experiments, NTP concluded the lesions were mediated by the adrenal hormone adrenalin.29
The NTP study also found evidence of effects on the liver: increases in bile acids as well as two liver enzymes were found in both males and females. Other effects found in this study were reduced weight gain in male and female rats and mice; diarrhea in male and female rats; and changes in the relative weights of kidney, liver and thymus in male rats and mice.29
Other subchronic laboratory tests found decreased weight gains (using doses of 2500 mg/kg per day)30 along with an increase in the weights of brain, hearts, kidney, and livers in mice.2 In rats, blood levels of potassium and phosphorus increased at all doses tested (60-1600 mg/kg/day) in both sexes. There was also an increase in pancreatic lesions in males.4
As in acute toxicity tests, glyphosate-containing products are more toxic than glyphosate alone in subchronic tests. In a 7 day study with calves, 790 mg/kg of Roundup caused labored breathing, pneumonia, and death of 1/3 of the animals tested. At lower doses decreased food intake and diarrhea were observed.2
Glyphosate is also toxic in long-term studies. The following effects were found in lifetime glyphosate feeding studies using mice: decreased body weight, excessive growth of particular liver cells, death of the same liver cells, and chronic inflammation of the kidney. Effects were significant only in males and at the highest dose tested (about 4800 mg/kg of body weight per day). In females, excessive growth of some kidney cells occurred.31 At a lower dose (814 mg/kg of body weight per day) excessive cell division in the urinary bladder occurred.2
Lifetime feeding studies with rats found the following effects: decreased body weight in females; an increased incidence of cataracts and lens degeneration in males; and increased liver weight in males. These effects were significant at the highest dose tested (900-1200 mg/kg of body weight per day).4 At a lower dose (400 mg/kg of body weight per day) inflammation of the stomach’s mucous membrane occurred in both sexes.2
The potential of glyphosate to cause cancer has been a controversial subject since the first lifetime feeding studies were analyzed in the early 1980s. The first study (1979-1981) found an increase in testicular interstitial tumors in male rats at the highest dose tested (30 mg/kg of body weight per day).32 as well as an increase in the frequency of a thyroid cancer in females.33 The second study (completed in 1983) found dose-related increases in the frequency of a rare kidney tumor in male mice.34 The most recent study (1988-1990) found an increase in the number of pancreas and liver tumors in male rats together with an increase of the same thyroid cancer found in the 1983 study in females.35
All of these increases in tumor incidence are "not considered compound-related"35 according to EPA. In each case, different reasons are given for this conclusion. For the testicular tumors, EPA accepted the interpretation of an industry pathologist who said that the incidence in treated groups (12 percent) was similar to those observed in other control (not glyphosate-fed) rat feeding studies (4.5 percent).36 For the thyroid cancer, EPA stated that it was not possible to consistently distinguish between cancers and tumors of this type, so that the incidences of the two should be considered together. The combined data are not statistically significant.33 For the kidney tumors, the registrants reexamined slides of kidney tissue, finding an additional tumor in untreated mice so that statistical significance was lost. This was despite a memo from EPA’s pathologist stating that the lesion in question was not really a tumor.34 For the pancreatic tumors, EPA stated that there was no dose-related trend and no progression to malignancy. For the liver tumors and the thyroid tumors, EPA stated that pairwise comparisons between treated and untreated animals were not statistically significant and there was no progression to malignancy.35
EPA concluded that glyphosate should be classified as Group E, "evidence of non-carcinogenicity for humans."35 They added that this classification "is based on the available evidence at the time of evaluation and should not be interpreted as a definitive conclusion that the agent will not be a carcinogen under any circumstances." 35 From a public health perspective, the results of the laboratory tests leave many questions unanswered. An EPA statistician wrote in a memo concerning one of the carcinogenicity studies, "Viewpoint is a key issue. Our viewpoint is one of protecting the public health when we see suspicious data."36 Unfortunately, EPA has not taken that conservative viewpoint in its assessment of glyphosate’s cancer-causing potential.
There are no studies available to NCAP evaluating the carcinogenicity of Roundup or other glyphosate-containing products. Without such tests, the carcinogenicity of glyphosate-containing products is unknown.
Laboratory studies of a variety of organisms have shown that glyphosate-containing products cause genetic damage:
* In fruit flies, Roundup and Pondmaster (an aquatic herbicide consisting of glyphosate and a trade secret surfactant)37 both increased the frequency of sex-linked, recessive lethal mutations. (These are mutations that are usually visible only in males because two damaged genes are required in order to be expressed in females.) In this study, the frequency of lethal mutations was between 3 and 6 times higher in fruit flies that had been exposed to glyphosate products during their larval development than in unexposed flies.38
* A laboratory study of human lymphocytes (one type of white blood cell) showed an increase in the frequency of sister chromatid exchanges following exposure to high doses of Roundup.39 (Sister chromatid exchanges are exchanges of genetic material during cell division between members of a chromosome pair. They result from point mutations.)
* In Salmonella bacteria, Roundup was weakly mutagenic at high concentrations. In onion root cells, Roundup caused an increase in chromosome aberrations.40
Glyphosate alone has rarely caused genetic damage in laboratory tests. None of the mutagenicity studies required for registration of glyphosate have shown it to be mutagenic. Tests included studies of mutations in hamster ovary cells, bacteria, and mouse bone marrow cells.4 Glyphosate was also not mutagenic in other studies of rats, mice,2 and onion cells40 but caused chromosome stickiness and fragmentation in water hyacinth root cells.41
Laboratory studies have demonstrated a number of effects of glyphosate on reproduction, including effects on mothers, fathers, and offspring.
In rat feeding studiess, glyphosate reduced sperm counts (at the two highest doses tested) and lengthened the estrous cycle, how often a female comes into heat (at the highest dose tested).29 Other effects on mother rats in laboratory tests include soft stools, diarrhea, breathing rattles, red nasal discharge, reduced activity, growth retardation, decreased body weights, and increased mortality.2 Effects on offspring included an increase in fetal loss, a decrease in the number of embryos successfully implanted into the uterus, a decrease in the number of viable fetuses, a slight decrease in litter size, a decrease in fetal and pup weights, and an increase in problems with breast bone formation.2 Effects were observed at the highest doses tested (1500 and 3500 mg/kg of body weight per day).2
In a study of rabbits using doses that were lower than those used in the rat studies above, glyphosate caused diarrhea, nasal discharge, and death in mothers.2 The only effect on offspring was a decrease in fetal weight in all treated groups.42
A study in which glyphosate was fed to rats for three generations after which the offspring were examined for birth defects found kidney damage at a relatively low dose (30 mg/kg of body weight). However, a second study (only two generations long) did not find similar effects, and EPA called the damage in the first study "spurious."4 From a public health perspective, however, a new three generation study is crucial.
Toxicology of Glyphosate’s Major Metabolite
In general, studies of the breakdown of glyphosate find only one metabolite, aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA).2 (See Figure 5.) Although AMPA has low acute toxicity (its LD50 is 8,300 mg/kg of body weight in rats)20 and is only slightly irritating to eyes,43 it causes a variety of toxicological problems. In subchronic tests on rats, AMPA caused decreased weight gain in males; an increase in the acidity of urine in both males and females; an increase in the activity of an enzyme, lactic dehydrogenase, in both sexes; a decrease in liver weights in males at all doses tested; and excessive cell division in the lining of the urinary bladder and in part of the kidney in both sexes.20 AMPA is much more persistent than glyphosate; studies in eight states found that the half-life in soil (the time required for half of the original concentration of a compound to break down or dissipate) were between 119 and 958 days.2
Quality of Toxicology Testing
Tests done on glyphosate to meet registration requirements have been associated with fraudulent practices.
Laboratory fraud first made headlines in 1983 when EPA publicly announced that a 1976 audit had discovered "serious deficiencies and improprieties" in toxicology studies conducted by Industrial Biotest Laboratories (IBT).44 Problems included "countless deaths of rats and mice that were not reported," "fabricated data tables," and "routine falsification of data."44
IBT was one of the largest laboratories performing tests in support of pesticide registrations.44 About 30 tests on glyphosate and glyphosate-containing products were performed by IBT, including 11 of the 19 chronic toxicology studies.45 A compelling example of the poor quality of IBT data comes from an EPA toxicologist who wrote, "It is also somewhat difficult not to doubt the scientific integrity of a study when the IBT stated that it took specimens from the uteri (of male rabbits) for histopathological examination."46 (Emphasis added.)
In 1991, laboratory fraud returned to the headlines when EPA alleged that Craven Laboratories, a company that performed contract studies for 262 pesticide companies including Monsanto, had falsified test results.47 "Tricks" employed by Craven Labs included "falsifying laboratory notebook entries" and "manually manipulating scientific equipment to produce false reports."48 Roundup residue studies on plums, potatoes, grapes, and sugarbeets were among the tests in question.49
The following year, the owner/president of Craven Laboratories and three employees were indicted on 20 felony counts. A number of other employees agreed to plead guilty on a number of related charges.50 The owner was sentenced to five years in prison and fined $50,000; Craven Labs was fined 15.5 million dollars, and ordered to pay 3.7 million dollars in restitution.48
Although the tests of glyphosate identified as fraudulent have been replaced, these practices cast shadows on the entire pesticide registration process.
1. Monsanto, the Agricultural Group. Undated. Roundup into the twenty-first century. St. Louis, MO.
2. World Health Organization, United Nations Environment Programme, the International Labour Organization. 1994. Glyphosate. Environmental Health Criteria #159. Geneva, Switzerland.
3. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 1986. Pesticide fact sheet: Glyphosate. No. 173. Washington, D.C.: Office of Pesticide Programs. (June.)
4. U.S. EPA. Office of Pesticide Programs. Special Review and Reregistration Division. 1993. Reregistration eligibility decision (RED): Glyphosate. Washington, D.C. (September.)
5. Monsanto Company Agricultural Products. 1992. Accord label. St. Louis, MO. (December 1.)
6. Carlisle, S.M. and J.T. Trevors. 1988. Glyphosate in the environment. Water, Air, and Soil Pollution 39:409-420.
7. Aspelin, A.L. 1994. Pesticide industry sales and usage: 1992 and 1993 market estimates. U.S. EPA. Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances. Office of Pesticide Programs. Biological and Economic Analysis Division. Washington, D.C. (June.)
8. Whitmore, R.W., J.E. Kelly, and P.L. Reading. 1992. National home and garden pesticide use survey. Final report, Vol. 1: Executive summary, results, and recommendations. Research Triangle Park, NC: Research Triangle Institute.
9 California Environmental Protection Agency. Dept. of Pesticide Regulation. Information Services Branch. 1994. Pesticide use report: Annual 1992. Indexed by chemical. Sacramento, CA. (February.)
10. Cremlyn, R.J. 1991. Agrochemicals: Preparation and mode of action. Chichester, U.K: John Wiley & Sons. Pp.257-258.
11. Gilchrist, D.G. and T. Kosuge. 1980. Aromatic amino acid biosynthesis and its regulation. In Miflin, B.J. (ed.) The biochemistry of plants. New York: Academic Press. Pp. 507-513
12. Metzler, D.E. 1977. Biochemistry: The chemical reactions of living cells. Pp. 849-850. New York, NY: Academic Press.
13. Su, L.Y. et al. 1992. The relationship of glyphosate treatment to sugar metabolism in sugarcane: New physiological insights. J. Plant Physiol. 140:168-173.
14. Hietanen, E., K. Linnainmaa, and H. Vainio. 1983. Effects of phenoxy herbicides and glyphosate on the hepatic and intestinal biotransformation activities in the rat. Acta Pharma. et Toxicol. 53:103-112.
15. U.S. Dept. of Agriculture. Forest Service. Pacific Northwest Region. 1994. Glyphosate herbicide information profile. (October.)
16. Olorunsogo, O.O., E.A. Bababunmi, and O. Bassir. 1977 Proc. 1st Intern. Cong. of Toxicol. (Toronto, Canada). Cited in Olorunsogo, O.O., E.A. Bababunmi, and O. Bassir. 1979. Effect of glyphosate on rat liver mitochondria in vivo. Bull. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 22:357-364.
17. Olorunsogo, O.O. 1976. Ph.D. thesis, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria. Cited in Olorunsogo, O.O., E.A. Bababunmi, and O. Bassir. 1979. Effect of glyphosate on rat liver mitochondria in vivo. Bull. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 22:357-364.
18. Martinez, T.T., W.C. Long, and R. Hiller. 1990. Comparison of the toxicology of the herbicide Roundup by oral and pulmonary routes of exposure. Proc. West. Pharmacol. Soc. 33:193-197.
19. Martinez, T.T. and K. Brown. 1991. Oral and pulmonary toxicology of the surfactant used in Roundup herbicide. Proc. West. Pharmacol. Soc. 34:43-46.
20. Agriculture Canada. Food Production and Inspection Branch. Pesticides Directorate. 1991. Discussion document: Pre-harvest use of glyphosate. Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (November 27.)
21. U.S. EPA. Office of Pesticides and Toxic Substances. 1982. Memo from William Dykstra, Toxicology Branch, to Robert Taylor, Registration Division. (April 29.)
22. Tai, T. 1990. Hemodynamic effects of Roundup, glyphosate and surfactant in dogs. Jpn. J. Toxicol. 3(1): 63-68. Cited in World Health Organization, United Nations Environment Programme, the International Labour Organization. 1994. Glyphosate. Environmental Health Criteria #159. Geneva, Switzerland.
23. Sawada, Y., Y. Nagai, M. Ueyama, and I. Yamamoto. 1988. Probable toxicity of surface-active agent in commercial herbicide containing glyphosate. Lancet 1(8580):299.
24. Tominack, R.L. et al. 1991. Taiwan National Poison Center: Survey of glyphosate-surfactant herbicide ingestions. Clin. Toxicol. 29(1):91-109.
25. Temple, W.A. and N.A. Smith. 1992. Glyphosate herbicide poisoning experience in New Zealand. N.Z. Med. J. 105:173- 174.
26. Talbot, A.R. et al. 1991. Acute poisoning with a glyphosate-surfactant herbicide (‘Roundup’): A review of 93 cases. Human Exp. Toxicol. 10:1-8.
27. Menkes, D.B., W.A. Temple, and I.R. Edwards. 1991. Intentional self-poisoning with glyphosate-containing herbicides. Human Exp. Toxicol. 10:103-107.
28. Jamison, J.P., J.H.M. Langlands, R.C. Lowry. 1986. Ventilatory impairment from pre-harvest retted flax. Brit. J. Ind. Med. 43:809-813.
29. U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services. Public Health Service. National Institutes of Health. NTP technical report on toxicity studies of glyphosate (CAS No. 1071-83-6) administered in dosed feed to F344/N rats and B6C3F1 mice. (NIH Publication 92-3135). Toxicity Reports Series No. 16. Research Triangle Park, NC: National Toxicology Program.
30. U.S. EPA. Office of Toxic Substances. 1980. EPA Reg. #524-308; glyphosate; 3-month mouse feeding study. Memo from William Dykstra, Health Effects Division, to Robert Taylor, Registration Division. Washington, D.C. (September 29.)
31. U.S. EPA. Office of Pesticides and Toxic Substances. 1985. Glyphosate; EPA Reg.#524-308; Mouse oncogenicity study. Washington, D.C. (April 3.)
32. U.S. EPA. Office of Pesticides and Toxic Substances. 1982. EPA Reg. #524-308; Lifetime feeding study in rats with glyphosate. Memo from William Dykstra, Health Effects Division to Robert Taylor, Registration Division. Washington, D.C. (February 18.)
33. U.S. EPA. Office of Pesticides and Toxic Substances. 1983. Glyphosate; EPA Reg. #524-308; A lifetime feeding study of glyphosate in Sprague-Dawley rats; a preliminary addendum to review dated 2/18/83. Memo to Robert Taylor, Registration Division. Washington, D.C. (February 15.)
34. U.S. EPA. Office of Pesticides and Toxic Substances. 1985. Glyphosate Q Evaluation of kidney tumors in male mice. Chronic feeding study. Memo from L. Kasza, Toxicology Branch, to W. Dykstra, Toxicology Branch. Washington, D.C. (December 4.)
35. U.S. EPA. Office of Pesticides and Toxic Substances. 1991. Second peer review of glyphosate. Memo from W. Dykstra and G.Z. Ghali, Health Effects Division to R. Taylor, Registration Division, and Lois Rossi, Special Review and Reregistration Division. Washington, D.C. (October 30.)
36. U.S. EPA Office of Pesticides and Toxic Substances. 1985. Use of historical data in determining the weight of evidence from kidney tumor incidence in the glyphosate two-year feeding study; and some remarks on false positives. Memo from Herbert Lacayo to Reto Engler (both Office of Pesticide Programs, Health Effects Division). Washington, D.C. (February 26.)
37. Monsanto Co. 1988. Material safety data sheet: Pondmaster aquatic herbicide. St. Louis, MO. (April.)
38. Kale, P.G. et al. 1995. Mutagenicity testing of nine herbicides and pesticides currently used in agriculture. Environ. Mol. Mutagen. 25:148-153.
39. Vigfusson, N.V. and E.R. Vyse. 1980. The effect of the pesticides, Dexon, Capton and Roundup on sister-chromatid exchanges in human lymphocytes in vitro. Mutation Research 79:53-57.
40. Rank, J. et al. 1993. Genotoxicity testing of the herbicide Roundup and its active ingredient glyphosate isopropylamine using the mouse bone marrow micronucleus test, Salmonella mutagenicity test, and Allium anaphase-telophase test. Mut. Res. 300:29-36.
41. Goltenboth, F. 1977. The effect of glyphosate and ametryn on the root tip mitosis of water hyacinth. Proc. Asian Pac. Weed Sci. 6th Conf. 2:255. Cited in Hess, F.D. 1989. Herbicide interference with cell division in plants. Chapter 5 of Bgez, P and Sandmann, G. (eds.) Target sites of herbicide action. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, Inc.
42. U.S. EPA. Office of Toxic Substances. 1980. EPA Reg. #524-308; glyphosate; submission of rat teratology, rabbit teratology, dominant lethal mutagenicity assay in mice. Memo from W. Dykstra, Health Effects Division, to Robert Taylor, Registration Division. Washington, D.C. (Undated.)
43. U.S. EPA. Office of Pesticides and Toxic Substances. 1986. Guidance for the reregistration of pesticide products containing glyphosate as the active ingredient. Washington, D.C. (June.)
44. U.S. Congress. House of Representatives. Committee on Government Operations. 1984. Problems plague the Environmental Protection Agency’s pesticide registration activities. House Report 98-1147. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office.
45. U.S. EPA. Office of Pesticides and Toxic Substances. 1983. Summary of the IBT review program. Washington, D.C. (July.)
46. U.S. EPA. 1978. Data validation. Memo from K. Locke, Toxicology Branch, to R. Taylor, Registration Branch. Washington, D.C. (August 9.)
47. U.S. EPA. Communications and Public Affairs. 1991. Note to correspondents. Washington, D.C. (March 1.)
48. U.S. EPA. Communications, Education, And Public Affairs. 1994. Press advisory. Craven Laboratories, owner, and 14 employees sentenced for falsifying pesticide tests. Washington, D.C. (March 4.)
49. U.S. EPA. Communications and Public Affairs. 1991. Press advisory. EPA lists crops associated with pesticides for which residue and environmental fate studies were allegedly manipulated. Washington, D.C. (March 29.)
50. U.S. Dept. of Justice. United States Attorney. Western District of Texas. 1992. Texas laboratory, its president, 3 employees indicted on 20 felony counts in connection with pesticide testing. Austin, TX. (September 29.)
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June 17, 2013
Historians may look back and write about how willing we are to sacrifice our children and jeopardize future generations with a massive experiment that is based on false promises and flawed science just to benefit the bottom line of a commercial enterprise.” So said Don Huber in referring to the use of glyphosate and genetically modified crops. Huber was speaking at Organic Connections conference in Regina, Canada, late 2012.
Huber is an emeritus professor in plant pathology at Purdue University in the US and has worked with the Department of Homeland Security to reduce the impact of plant disease outbreaks. His words are well worth bearing in mind given that a new study commissioned by Friends of the Earth Europe (FoE) and GM Freeze has found that people in 18 countries across Europe have been found to have traces of glyphosate in their urine (1).
Friends of the Earth Europe commissioned laboratory tests on urine samples from volunteers in 18 countries across Europe and found that on average 44 percent of samples contained glyphosate. The proportion of positive samples varied between countries, with Malta, Germany, the UK and Poland having the most positive tests, and lower levels detected in Macedonia and Switzerland. All the volunteers who provided samples live in cities, and none had handled or used glyphosate products in the run-up to the tests.
The Influence of the Biotech Sector on Safety and Regulation
Although ‘weedkiller in urine’ sounds alarming, Tom Sanders, head of the nutritional sciences research division at King’s College London, says the levels found are unlikely to be of any significance to health because they are 300 times lower than the level which might cause concern. Alison Haughton, head of the Pollination Ecology Group at Rothamsted Research, said that if FoE and GM Freeze want their work to have scientific credibility and provide a genuine contribution to the debate on pesticide residues, they should submit their work for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.
Valid points, you might think. But FoE believes that there is sufficient evidence to suggest environmental and health impacts from glyphosate warrant concern. It wants to know how the glyphosate found in human urine samples has entered the body, what the impacts of persistent exposure to low levels of glyphosate might be and what happens to the glyphosate that remains in the body. New research published in the journal Entropy sheds disturbing light on such concerns (discussed later in this article).
In 2011, Earth Open Source said that official approval of glyphosate had been rash, problematic and deeply flawed. A comprehensive review of existing data released in June 2011 by Earth Open Source suggested that industry regulators in Europe had known for years that glyphosate causes birth defects in the embryos of laboratory animals. Questions were raised about the role of the powerful agro-industry in rigging data pertaining to product safety and its undue influence on regulatory bodies (2).
In the same vein, FoE says there is currently very little testing for glyphosate by public authorities, despite its widespread use, and authorities in Europe do not test for glyphosate in humans and tests on food are infrequent. Glyphosate was approved for EU-wide use in 2002, but FoE argues that the European regulatory agencies did not carry out their own safety testing, relying instead on data provided by the manufacturers.
Of course there are certain scientists (usually with links to the agro-industry) who always seem to be strident in calling for peer-reviewed evidence when people are critical of the biotech sector, but then rubbish it and smear or intimidate the scientists involved when that occurs, as has been the case with Dr Arsad Pusztai in the UK or Professor Seralini in France. It is therefore quite revealing that most of the data pertaining to glyphosate safety came from industry studies, not from peer-reviewed science, and the original data are not available for independent scrutiny.
With references to a raft of peer-reviewed studies, FoE also brings attention to the often disturbing health and environmental dangers and impacts of glyphosate-based herbicides throughout the world (1). The FoE study also highlights concerns around the increasing levels of exposure to glyphosate-based weed killers, particularly as the use of glyphosate is predicted to rise further if more genetically modified (GM) crops are grown. It is after all good for business. And the biggest producer of glyphosate is Monsanto, which sells it under the brand name ‘Roundup’.
“The figures don’t lie; GMOs drive glyphosate sales.” (3)
Despite its widespread use, there is currently little monitoring of glyphosate in food, water or the wider environment. The FoE commissioned study is the first time monitoring has been carried out across Europe for the presence of the weed killer in human bodies. FoE Europe’s spokesperson Adrian Bebb argues that there is a serious lack of action by public authorities and indicates that this weed killer is being widely overused.
This certainly needs to be addressed not least because the prediction concerning increasing exposure to glyphosate is not without substance. The introduction of Roundup Ready crops has already resulted in an increase of glyphosate use. Using official US government data, Dr Charles Benbrook, research professor at the Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources at Washington State University, states that since 1996 the glysophate rate of application per crop year has tripled on cotton farms, doubled in the case of soybeans and risen 39 percent on corn (4). The average annual increase in the pounds of glyphosate applied to cotton, soybeans, and corn has been 18.2 percent, 9.8 percent, and 4.3 percent, respectively, since herbicide tolerant crops were introduced.
Glyphosate is used on many genetically modified crops. 14 new GM crops designed to be cultivated with glyphosate are currently waiting for approval to be grown in Europe. Approval of these crops would inevitably lead to a further increase of glysphosate spraying. In the US, biotech crops, including corn, soybeans, canola and sugarbeets, are planted on millions of acres annually.
Evidence suggests that Roundup could be linked to a range of health problems and diseases, including Parkinson’s, infertility and cancers, according to a new peer-reviewed report, published recently in the scientific journal Entropy (5). The study also concluded that residues of glyphosate have been found in food.
These residues enhance the damaging effects of other food-borne chemical residues and toxins in the environment to disrupt normal body functions and induce disease, according to the report, authored by Stephanie Seneff, a research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Anthony Samsel, a science consultant. The study says that negative impact on the body is insidious and manifests slowly over time as inflammation damages cellular systems throughout the body.
In 2010, the provincial government of Chaco province in Argentina issued a report on health statistics from the town La Leonesa. The report showed that from 2000 to 2009, following the expansion of genetically-modified soy and rice crops in the region (and the use of glyphosate), the childhood cancer rate tripled in La Leonesa and the rate of birth defects increased nearly fourfold over the entire province (6).
Professor Huber also notes the health risks associated with the (increasing) use of glyphosate. He says a number of plant pathogens are emerging, which when consumed could impact human health. Based on research that he alludes to (he refuses to make his research public or identify his fellow researchers, who he claims could suffer substantial professional backlash from academic employers who received research funding from the biotechnology industry), Huber notes that the use of glyphosate changes the soil ecology, killing many bacteria, while giving other bacteria a competitive advantage. This makes plants highly susceptible to soil borne diseases. At the same time, glyphosate has a negative effect on a number of beneficial soil organisms (7).
Huber’s concerns about the impact of long term use of glyphosate on soil sterility are similar to concerns expressed by Elaine Ingham, a soil ecologist with the Rodale Institute, and also research carried out in by Navdanya in India (8).
As for GM crops, Huber says they have lower water use efficiency, tend to be nutrient deficient, have increased bud and fruit abortion and are predisposed to infectious diseases and insect damage. He suggests that Roundup Ready crops, treated with glyphosate, have higher levels of mycotoxins and lower nutrient levels than conventional crops.
“… you could say that what you’re doing with glyphosate is you’re giving the plant a bad case of AIDS. You’ve shut down the immune system or the defense system.” Professor Ron Huber (7)
He concludes that, when consumed, the GM crops were more likely to cause disease, infertility, birth defects, cancer and allergic reactions than conventional crops.
Huber claims that consumption of food or feed that was genetically modified could bring the altered genes in contact with the microbes in the guts of the livestock or people who eat them. He feels this increases diseases, such as celiac disease, allergies, asthma, chronic fatigue syndrome, diabetes, gluten intolerance, irritable bowel disease, miscarriage, obesity and sudden infant death syndrome.
While none of these findings conclusively prove that plant (or animal) diseases are caused by the glyphosate, Huber feels safety evaluations have been inadequate, suggesting that previous (GM sector) research was substandard and extremely misleading in its interpretation of results – or worse.
With some hugely powerful players involved here, many of whom have successfully infiltrated important government and official bodies (9), much of the science and the ensuing debate surrounding glyphosate is being manipulated and hijacked by vested interests for commercial gain.
“… publishing in this area can also be difficult. I know from the International Symposium on Glyphosate that they had to find a journal publisher outside this country (the US) to publish the research data and symposium proceedings. It’s pretty hard to get it published in the States. There are also some hazards to publishing if you’re a young researcher doing research that runs counter to the current popular concepts. A lot of research on safety of genetic engineering is done outside of this country because it’s difficult to gain access to the materials, or the statements you have to sign to have access to those materials stating that you won’t publish without permission of the supplier. I think the 26 entomologists who sent their letter to EPA in 2009 stated it aptly when they said that objective data wasn’t available to the EPA because the materials haven’t been available to them or that they’re denied the opportunity to publish their data.” Professor Ron Huber (7)
This original originally appeared at GlobalResearch.