HomeMonsanto’s Round Up

Glyphosate, the active ingredient in the weed killer Round-Up®, is the most widely produced herbicide in the world today. By 2015, 9.4 million tons of this chemical were sprayed worldwide. The compound has an analogous structure to the amino acid glycine, which is a common building block for large, physiologically relevant proteins in nature. Glyphosate was originally purported for use as a herbicide because it inhibits growth and metabolism by disrupting biochemical pathways in plants – pathways that do not exist in humans or other animals. For that reason, scientists hypothesized that it would not be toxic to humans, but instead would kill plants and plants alone.

In 1996 Round-Up Ready seeds were introduced to the market. Those seeds are genetically engineered to resist the effects of glyphosate and are able to grow normally in its presence, which was very appealing to farmers. Round-Up ready seeds include varieties of corn, soybeans, cotton, canola, sugar beet and alfalfa, among others. More than 90% of all soybeans and over than 70% of all corn grown in the U.S. are genetically modified. Today, more than 60 countries use GMO crops around the world with the US, Canada, Brazil, Argentine and India being the largest growers. GMO crops are treated with much higher rates of glyphosate since they can resist it. But, also, other non-GMO crops such as oats and wheat are sprayed with glyphosate to cause the plants to dry faster for harvesting.

An independent, FDA-approved analytical laboratory (Anresco) tested 29 common food substances in the U.S. diet and found alarming levels of glyphosate in such brands as Cheerios, Ritz Crackers, Oreos and Doritos, among others. Levels found in Cheerios were greater than one part per million (i.e., 1 milligram per kilogram food substance). [1]

Glyphosate has also been detected in the urine of cattle at levels up to 146 parts per million and in organ meat of cattle up to 108 parts per million. In this same analysis, it was shown that both humans and animals fed organic (GMO-free) diets excrete substantially lower levels of glyphosate in their urine. [2]

In a survey of the open literature, there are over 200 scientific papers covering the toxicity of glyphosate in human tissues.

Glyphosate at current environmental levels has exhibited an “estrogenic” effect on human breast cancer cells, meaning that it essentially enhanced the growth of certain types of tumor cells (Thongprakaisang et al. 2013). [3]

Another publication by Mesnage et al. 2015 revealed that glyphosate levels in the range of the acceptable daily intake cause chronic health effects including teratogenic, tumorigenic, and hepatorenal effects. The authors hypothesize that adjuvants in the pesticide that enhance the toxicity and uptake of glyphosate by plants also augment the toxic effect of glyphosate in humans. This would serve to invalidate any previous safety study completed on glyphosate alone, which would be meaningless unless all the pesticide components were present.[4]

Toxic foodsClear evidence that specific formulations which include glyphosate are toxic to human cells at concentrations deemed safe for human consumption in the U.S. was available as early as 2009 (Gasnier et al. 2009). [5]

These formulations were shown to cause endocrine disruption, cellular toxicity, and DNA damage. Another study linked glyphosate exposure to occupational lung disease (Kumar et al. 2014). [6]

It seems that the most impactful recent study completed is the “Global Glyphosate Study“by the Ramazzini Institute in Italy that was published in May 2018 in the journal Environmental Health. In the study, laboratory rats were fed 1.75 mg of glyphosate per kg body weight every day (the U.S. EPA acceptable daily intake) over a 13-week time period. Changes were seen, as compared to the control group of animals, in biochemical parameters related to sexual development, genotoxicity, and the alteration of the intestinal microbiome. [7]

In another study conducted in France in 2012, Glyphosate was found to induce necrosis and apoptosis in mature rat testicular cells in vitro, and testosterone decrease at lower levels. [8]

Given myriad studies showing harm to human tissues by glyphosate and glyphosate-containing herbicide formulations, it seems reasonable to severely limit human exposure to this substance. In fact, in 2015, glyphosate was added to the list of probable human carcinogens by the World Health Organization after a review of its current toxicology literature. [9]

 

However, Monsanto, agriculture industry insiders, and even the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) repeatedly claim that “glyphosate is safe.” In 2017, the U.S. EPA rejected the notion of glyphosate toxicity despite the warnings by the World Health Organization. Following the history of the EPA’s position on glyphosate, it was first classified as a suspected human carcinogen in 1985, then delisted in 1991 due to the EPA’s new position that glyphosate was considered non-carcinogenic. In the state of California, glyphosate has also been a thorny issue, where for the latter part of 2017 the herbicide was listed as possibly carcinogenic, until a federal judge temporarily struck down the state’s warning in February 2018, just to later have that decision overturned.

 

Monsanto brings in approximately $7 billion annual revenues related to glyphosate and has been shown to have undue influence over the federal government regarding its toxicity. One report suggests that the EPA delisted glyphosate as a suspected human carcinogen in 1991 to ready the agricultural market for the eventual introduction of Round-Up Ready® (glyphosate resistant) crops. In 2013, Congress shockingly enacted what has been called the “Monsanto Protection Act” as a part of a federal spending bill, which barred federal courts from halting the sale of genetically modified crops (such as Round-Up Ready® crops) regardless of any existing or new science showing safety concerns. Many of the representatives voting on the spending bill did not even know of the provision, which was written by Monsanto lobbyists along with Congressional representatives including Roy Blunt (R-MO). Fortunately, the act was repealed about 6 months later. [10]

Court documents in the Dewayne Johnson case have shown that Monsanto exerted undue influence over EPA deputy director Jess Rowland, who chaired a committee that found insufficient evidence to conclude glyphosate is carcinogenic and left his job just days after his report was leaked to the press in May 2016.

 

Our food supply and even our vaccines are steeped in glyphosate, which must be dealt with as a grave danger. An alarming study has shown that 93% of individuals tested in the U.S. show levels of glyphosate in their urine. Average levels of glyphosate in the urine of children in this study eclipsed 3.5 parts per billion.[11]

Some of the popular bards of cereal in the US are subsidiaries to Monsanto, and others besides being GMOs, they are shown to contain Glyphosate levels. [12]

This is highly disconcerting given that one of the studies above shows glyphosate-related damage to the liver and kidneys of rats at levels as low as 0.05 parts per billion.

 

Despite all this evidence, the U.S. EPA and the FDA stick to their claim that glyphosate is safe for consumption. As is the case with CDC and vaccines and other medical products. The Influence of big money has been for long influencing and impacting our governments and in this case compromise the entity that should protect us from corporates greed. Now, how can we trust our government on anything they deem safe for our health?

 

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[1] https://www.ecowatch.com/monsanto-glyphosate-cheerios-2093130379.html

[2] https://www.omicsonline.org/open-access/detection-of-glyphosate-residues-in-animals-and-humans-2161-0525.1000210.pdf

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23756170

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26282372

[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19539684

[6]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25172162

[7] https://ehjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12940-018-0393-y

[8] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22200534

[9] https://www.iarc.fr/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/MonographVolume112-1.pdf

[10] https://www.nrdc.org/experts/jennifer-sass/atsdr-report-confirms-glyphosate-cancer-risks

[11] https://www.ecowatch.com/glyphosate-found-in-urine-of-93-percent-of-americans-tested-1891146755.html

[12] https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/news/20180815/roundup-chemical-in-your-cereal-what-to-know

 

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