A new report summarizes many of the findings regarding glyphosate's negative impact on human health and the environment.
New Review Shows Glyphosate Destroys Human Health and Biodiversity
Sustainable Pulse, 7 September 2013
In a new review paper written by Dr. Rosemary Mason and prepared to be sent to the Scottish Parliament, Glyphosate is shown to destroy both human health and biodiversity.
In the review paper titled "Glyphosate: Destructor of Human Health and Biodiversity", Dr. Mason compiled information from a global network of independent scientists, toxicologists, beekeepers, environmentalists, Governments, Industry, and Regulators.
Below is the summary of the paper:
The Full Paper can be found here: gmoevidence.com
Glyphosate, the most widely used herbicide, is destroying human and animal health as a result of disruption of gut bacteria.Two key problems caused by glyphosate in the diet are nutritional deficiencies, especially minerals and essential amino-acids, and systemic toxicity.
We present graphs from the US which correlate glyphosate application and the percentage of GE soy and corn crops to the incidence and prevalence of various diseases in those on a Western diet. The Pearson’s correlation coefficients are very strong and highly significant for obesity, diabetes, autism, thyroid cancer, liver cancer, deaths from Parkinson’s, Senile Dementia and Alzheimer’s, inflammatory bowel disease, and acute kidney failure. We present Cancer Research UK graphs of upward trends in cancer incidences between 1975 and 2009, which are in line with the US graphs. Other consequences are gastrointestinal disorders, heart disease, depression, infertility, birth defects, and other cancers. The data for the amount of non-agricultural use of glyphosate in the UK appear to be confidential. Parts of South Wales, in former mining areas, invasive plants such as Japanese knotweed and Himalayan Balsam abound. The local Council does not hold annual records of glyphosate application to these invasive weeds. It has a contract with a commercial organisation to supply industry-approved vegetation management techniques. A quote from the contractor: “The glyphosate we use called round up has a hazard-free label”.
Monsanto Corporation has been repeatedly convicted in Law Courts around the world for not telling the truth about the safety of its best-selling weed-killer, Roundup®. In 2010, in a document on glyphosate use in Europe, Monsanto continues to promote the myth. It is described as “environmentally benign”…“has an excellent safety profile to operators, the public and the environment”…”uses to benefit mankind and the environment.”
The level of glyphosate in one Welsh river draining from areas of Japanese knotweed spraying was 190 parts per trillion (ppt) and local tap water was 30 ppt. These were of the order of concentrations found in a study in 2013 which showed that breast cancer cell proliferation is accelerated by glyphosate in extremely low concentrations: “The present study used pure glyphosate substance at log intervals from 10-12 to 10-6 M. These concentrations are in a crucial range which correlated to the potential biological levels at part per trillion (ppt) to part per billion (ppb) which have been reported in epidemiological studies.” In the UK the incidence of breast cancer almost doubled between 1975 and 2010.
Glyphosate sales in Europe are increasing because industry is continually finding new uses. It is recommended throughout the crop cycle, including as a drying agent 7-10 days before harvest. This leaves glyphosate residues on crops which enter the food chain of animals and humans. On non-agricultural land it is sprayed “around structures on farms, amenity and industrial areas and on railways.” In urban areas it is sprayed on vegetation on streets, pavements and major highways. Japanese Knotweed, Bracken and Rhododendron and are amongst many invasive weeds for which Roundup® is promoted. It is “approved for weed control in forestry and aquatic areas”. In the US its use has increased dramatically on GE crops because of super-weeds. Massive amounts of GM soya is being imported into Europe for animal feed and some foods, and Regulators have been allowing the industry to increase the Maximum Residue Limits for glyphosate in food and feed in imports.
Independent scientists have measured glyphosate in soil, air, and rainwater. During flooding events, run-off is particularly high after urban use. The effects of pesticides are manifest at water catchment areas. However, levels of glyphosate and the neonicotinoid insecticides are not monitored in surface water, groundwater, or drinking water by the US Geological Survey National Water Quality Assessment Program, under the European Water Frame Directive, or by the UK Environment Agency.
Regulators and Industry have only tested the "active" ingredient glyphosate. The commercial formulations contain an untested adjuvant which is toxic to human cells. The work of independent scientists has been rejected or suppressed by Industry, Regulators or Rapporteur Member States. Industry data are hidden on the grounds of commercial confidentiality. When scientists have exposed the dangers of GMOs many have been vilified or have lost their jobs.
Glyphosate and aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA) residues were found in soy bean plants, leaves and grains; higher levels were found when glyphosate was sprayed several times during the crop year. In 2013, glyphosate and AMPA residues were found in the urine of more than one third of urban dwellers in 18 countries in Europe. Glyphosate must be in our food and/or drinking water. Regulators have increased the Maximum Residue Levels in food and feedstuffs of glyphosate, neonicotinoid insecticides and many other pesticides.
GMO crops were approved by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) after 90-day feeding studies on rats by Monsanto. Séralini’s team at CRIIGEN argued that 90 days was too short to evaluate chronic toxicity of glyphosate and GM crops. His team did a 2-year study and found Roundup®-tolerant maize and Roundup® provoked chronic hormone and sex dependent pathologies. Female mortality was 2–3 times increased mostly due to large mammary tumours and disabled pituitary. Males had liver congestions, necrosis, severe kidney nephropathies and large palpable tumours. Tumours started to occur in male rats at 4 months, one month beyond the time for which GMs were tested. When the paper was published in October 2012, industry and GMO scientists cried “fraud!” However, EFSA has eventually agreed on 2-year feeding studies for new GMOs. Here is a 12-minute YouTube video made by Séralini’s team over the 2-year period of testing in rats.
Evidence was published in 2013 (a combined study from Australia and the US) that pigs fed a GM diet had abnormal organs, compared with those on a non-GM diet. GM-fed females had on average a 25% heavier uterus than non-GM-fed females and the level of severe inflammation in stomachs was markedly higher in pigs fed on the GM diet. This confirmed the experiences of some farmers that mortality was higher in sows on GM feed compared with non-GM. Sows had digestive problems, some died and the piglets had diarrhea. Reproductive problems were manifested by abortions, deformities in new born pigs and smaller litters. They required more antibiotics. Studies of the effects on pathogens in farm animals showed that glyphosate destroys beneficial bacteria and allows harmful ones, such as salmonella and clostridium, to flourish. This could account for outbreaks of food poisoning in humans that continue to occur. In the search for the causes of serious diseases of entire herds of animals in northern Germany, especially cattle, glyphosate has repeatedly been detected in the urine, faeces, milk, and feed of the animals.
Glyphosate causes environmental damage to earthworms, songbirds, small mammals, and bees. Glyphosate, an endocrine-disrupting herbicide, and the systemic neonicotinoid insecticides, cause immune suppression in insects and mammals. Both are highly toxic to aquatic organisms, amphibians, bees, and fish.
US Kid’s Health Report October 2012. A Generation in Jeopardy: How pesticides are undermining our children’s health & intelligence p 26
“Our current system of industrial agriculture and pest control relies on chemical inputs sold by a handful of corporations. These multinational corporations wield tremendous control over the system, from setting research agendas to financing, crop selection and inputs throughout the production and distribution chain. Not surprisingly, these same corporations also hold significant sway in the policy arena, investing millions of dollars every year to influence voters, lawmakers and regulators at both the state and federal level to protect the market for pesticides. The result is agriculture, food and pest control systems that serve the interests of these corporations well. It does not, however, serve farmers, who have lost day-to-day control of their operations and are putting themselves and their families in harm’s way. Farmworker interests are not served, as workers are continuously exposed to chemicals known to harm human health. And the health of children across the country is compromised by exposure to pesticides used to control pests in agriculture and where they live, learn, and play. In short, the system is broken”.
The above statement from Pesticides Action Network North America applies equally well to the UK. The British Government played its part in suppressing the dangers of GM Crops. In 1998 Prime Minister Tony Blair received a phone call from the White House. A Senior GM Scientist Dr Arpad Pusztai working in Scotland had shown that rats fed GM potato had sustained immune damage. Dr Pusztai’s Department at the Rowett Research Institute in Scotland was closed down, Dr Pusztai was suspended, he was silenced and he was banned from working on GMO. Likewise, in 2012, the BBC Science Media Centre did its best to discredit Prof Gilles-Eric Séralini when his 2-year feeding study in rats showed tumours, liver and kidney damage. The BBC Science Media Centre and the Department of Health played down the advice of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists for pregnant patients to avoid exposure to pesticides, some of the most toxic of which are marketed for home and garden use. GM Roundup® Ready crops are lethal to human health and the environment, yet the Defra, Science and Environment Ministers are trying to force them on an unwilling public.
As well as working closely with the Agrochemical Corporations, the British Government’s
Strategy for UK Life Sciences is dependent on funding from the Pharmaceutical Corporations and the Pesticides Industry. Syngenta’s parent company is AstraZeneca. Syngenta and AstraZeneca are represented on the UK Advisory Committee on Pesticides and the Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Foods, Consumer Products and the Environment. The founder of Syngenta is the Chairman of Cancer Research UK (CRUK). CRUK is giving money (£450 million/year) to the Government’s Strategy for UK Life Sciences and AstraZeneca is providing 22 compounds to academic research to develop medicines. AstraZeneca manufactures six different anti-cancer drugs mainly aimed at breast and prostate cancer. The Corporation has links in Asia, including Hospitals in China, Japan, Korea, and collaborators in Russia. AstraZeneca’s Oncology Website has the following prediction: “Cancer claims over 7 million lives every year and the number continues to rise. Deaths are estimated to reach 12 million by 2030.