Institute of Science in Society Special Report 10/10/12
Why Glyphosate Should Be Banned
Glyphosate has contaminated land, water, air, and our food supply;
the maximum permitted levels are set to rise by100-150 timesin the
European Union if Monsanto gets its way as damning evidence of serious harm
to health & the environment piles up Dr Eva
Sirinathsinghji and Dr Mae-Wan
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2 Regulators and industry both culpable
3 How glyphosate works
4 Health impacts
4.1 Teratogenicity and reproductive effects
4.2 Endocrine disruption
4.6 Internal organ toxicity
4.7 Acute toxicity
5 Environmental and agronomic effects
5.1 Glyphosate resistant weeds
5.2 Effects on crop and plant health
5.3 Effects on soil ecology
5.4 Effects on ecosystems
5.5 Diseases of livestock
5.6 Widespread contamination of water supplies
6 To conclude
use of glyphosate-based herbicides, especially Monsanto’s Roundup formulation,
has increased dramatically since the introduction of genetically modified (GM)
glyphosate-tolerant crops, resulting in the contamination of our food,
environment and water supplies.
herbicides are now the most commonly used herbicides in the world. It is still promoted as ‘safe’, despite damning
evidence of serious harm to health and the environment.
Evidence of harm to health
and the European Commission (EC) have known about birth defects since the
1980s. Industry studies found statistically significant skeletal and/or
visceral abnormalities as well as reduced viability and increase in spontaneous
abortions in rats and rabbits exposed to high doses of glyphosate. Lower doses
were later shown to cause dilated hearts. The EC dismissed all the findings.
studies have since found caudal vertebrae loss in rats treated with sub-lethal
doses of the herbicide; as well as craniofacial abnormalities, increased embryonic
mortality and endocrine disruption, abnormal onset of puberty, and abnormal sexual
behaviour and sperm count in male offspring of mothers exposed during
soybean-fed female rats gave birth to excessive numbers of severely stunted
pups, with over half of the litter dead by three weeks, and the surviving pups
animals exposed to glyphosate resulted in increased gonad size, increased
mortality, craniofacial abnormalities correlating with abnormal retinoic acid
signalling, and reduced egg viability.
to glyphosate resulted in endocrine disruption and death of cells of the testis,
placenta, and umbilical cord.
long term in vivo study on rats found females exposed to Roundup and/or
Roundup Ready GM maize were two to three times as likely to die as controls and
much more likely to develop large mammary tumours, while males presented large
tumours four times controls and up to 600 days earlier.
data from Argentina are consistent with lab findings of increases in birth
defects and cancers in regions with large areas cultivating glyphosate-tolerant
disruption has been observed in both in vivo and in vitro studies
in the laboratory, including abnormal levels of testosterone, aromatase enzyme,
testosterone and oestrogen receptors, leutinising hormone,
follicle-stimulating hormone. Endocrine disruption can lead to cancers and
studies have found links to cancer including non-Hodgkin lymphoma and increased
plasma cell proliferation. Cancer rates have risen in in glyphosate-use zones
in Argentina. Lab studies found significant increases in interstitial cell
tumour incidence in rats as well as skin tumour-promoting activity. Numerous
lab studies including those performed by industry showed glyphosate damages DNA
of cells in culture as well as in humans living in glyphosate-sprayed regions
of Argentina. Non-mammalian studies found defects in cell cycle checkpoints and
DNA damage repair machinery. DNA damage is a major prelude to cancers. AMPA,
the glyphosate metabolite, also has genotoxic effects.
effects include Parkinsonism have emerged following acute exposure. Exposure to
glyphosate resulted in oxidative stress in lab animals and death of neuronal
cells, correlating with Parkinsonian pathology. Acute exposure in fish resulted
in acetylcholine esterase (AChE) inhibition. An epidemiological study linked
glyphosate -exposure to Attention-Deficit-Hyperactive disorder in children, a
disorder associated with AChE inhibition. The original neurotoxicity studies
carried out by industry were ruled invalid by the US Environment Protection
Agency and urgently need re-examining by independent scientists.
organ toxicity has been documented in animal feeding studies with
glyphosate-tolerant soybean. Rats suffered kidney abnormalities including renal
leakage and ionic disturbances, and liver pathology including irregular
hepatocyte nuclei, and increased metabolic rates.
toxicity of glyphosate is officially declared low by government agencies;
however agricultural workers have reported many symptoms including skin
irritation, skin lesions, eye irritation, allergies, respiratory problems and
vomiting. Ingestion of large volumes causes systemic toxicity and death.
of negative environmental and agronomic impacts
of glyphosate has led to the evolution of glyphosate-resistant weeds covering
an estimated 120 million hectares globally in 2010. So far, 23 species of weeds
have been recorded, forcing Monsanto to acknowledge
the problem and protect their profits by declaring that their warranty does not
cover yield losses. Glyphosate-resistant weeds are threatening the utility of
glyphosate and glyphosate-tolerant crops. Resistant weeds are likely
responsible for increased herbicide use. Argentinian use went from 2 to 20
litres per hectare between 1996 and 2010.
crops, as well as other crops grown subsequently in the same fields are
affected by glyphosate’s metal chelating properties. Chelation and
immobilisation of metal micronutrients such as manganese damages physiological
processes in the plant including disease resistance and photosynthesis. Numerous
diseases including Goss’ wilt, Fusarium wilt, and Take All are now widespread
in the US. More than 40 diseases have been linked to glyphosate use. Reduced
lignin content in glyphosate-tolerant crops leads to reduced water retention,
requiring more water, and severely compromising yields during drought years.
biology is strongly disrupted by glyphosate, which is toxic to many beneficial
micro- and macro-organisms including earthworms. It harms a wide range of microbes,
those producing indole-acetic acid (a growth-promoting auxin), responsible for mycorrhizae
associations, phosphorus & zinc uptake; microbes such as Pseudomonads and
Bacillus that convert insoluble soil oxides to plant-available forms of
manganese and iron; nitrogen-fixing
bacteria Bradyrhizobium, Rhizobium; and other organisms involved in the
biological control of soil-borne diseases.
may be retained and transported in soils, with long-lasting cumulative effects
on soil ecology and fertility, especially in northern ecosystems with long
biologically inactive winters.
high water solubility makes aquatic wild-life very vulnerable. Lab studies showed
extreme toxicity, killing many frog species. Roundup decreased the survival of
algae and increased toxic bloom-forming cyanobacteria, hence accelerating the
deterioration of water quality especially in small water systems.
effects through habitat disruption are also a concern, as highlighted by the
major decline of Monarch butterfly populations whose larvae feed on milkweed
that are largely destroyed by glyphosate applications in the US.
illnesses are linked to GM diets, and include reproductive problems, diarrhoea,
bloating, spontaneous abortions, reduced live births, inflamed digestive
systems, and nutrient deficiency. This has translated into much reduced profit
of ground water supplies as well as rain and air has been documented in Spain
and the US, threatening our drinking water, leaving people vulnerable to
exposure. Berlin city residents were recently shown to carry glyphosate levels
above permitted EU drinking water levels.
The serious harm to
health and the environment caused by the use of glyphosate herbicides is clear.
There is a compelling case for banning or phasing out glyphosate-based
in favour of a global transition to non-GM, herbicide-free organic agriculture
(see Food Futures Now *Organic *Sustainable
*Fossil Fuel Free , ISIS Report).
A feeding trial lasting two years on rats showed that females exposed to Monsanto’s glyphosate formulation
Round-up and/or Roundup-tolerant genetically modified (GM) maize were 2 to 3
times as likely to die as controls and much more likely to develop large
mammary tumours. In males, liver congestions and necrosis were 2.5 to 5.5 times
as frequent as the controls, while kidney diseases were 1.3-2.3 times controls.
Males also presented large kidney or skin tumours four times as often as the
controls and up to 600 days earlier. Biochemical data confirmed
significant kidney chronic deficiencies for all treatments and both sexes.
The research team, led by Giles-Eric
Séralini of Caen University in France, suggested that the results can be
explained by “non-linear endocrine-disrupting effects of Roundup” and “the
overexpression of the transgene in the GMO and its metabolic consequences.”
The results were dynamite, and the repercussions are still
to be played out . Predictably, the pro-GM brigade around the world launched
a concerted campaign to discredit the scientists and their findings (see
commentary by John Vidal on the Guardian website .
But contrary to the impression given in the popular media, this is
not an isolated study suddenly to reveal that GM feed and the most widely used
herbicide in the world may be toxic. It is the latest in a series of laboratory
experiments backed up by experience of farmers and farm workers around the
world that have found toxicity both for GM crops and for the herbicide. It is
also the most thorough study to be carried out for the longest duration of two
years. Currently, European regulators require companies to do feeding trials
for only 90 days.
Note that the new study found toxicity not just for Roundup
herbicide, but also for the Roundup-tolerant GM maize (NK603) that had not
been sprayed with herbicide. In other words, GM maize has toxicity
independently of the herbicide. As most Roundup tolerant GM crops have been
sprayed and contain substantial amounts of herbicide and herbicide residues,
they may also mask the toxicity of the GM crops themselves.
We review existing evidence on the health and
environmental impacts of glyphosate herbicides and glyphosate-tolerant GM crops
as the maximum permitted levels of the herbicide and herbicide residues in food
are set to rise 100-150 times in the European Union if Monsanto’s new proposal
is approved .
and industry both culpable
food and clean water are fundamental needs and basic human rights, but these
are being compromised by the ever increasing use of synthetic chemicals in agriculture. Glyphosate-based herbicides, originally
developed by Monsanto, are the most widely used in the world and increasing
numbers of studies are documenting its link to
serious illnesses and environmental damage. Most disturbingly, both Monsanto and the European Commission knew that
the chemical could lead to cancer and birth defects prior to its approval for
Europe in the 1980s; despite that, glyphosate
continues to be touted as a ‘safe’ chemical  (see  EU Regulators and Monsanto
Exposed for Hiding Glyphosate Toxicity, SiS 51).
The first glyphosate-based herbicide, Roundup®, was launched by Monsanto in 1974 and its use has risen sharply since the introduction of glyphosate-tolerant genetically modified (GM) crops in 1996. Following the expiry of the glyphosate patent in the US in 1991 and outside the US in 2000, many commercial formulations are available. Based on US data, GM crops have been directly responsible for a 7 % increase in overall pesticide use from 1996 to 2011  (see  Study Confirms GM crops lead to increased Pesticide Use, to appear). This is predicted to increase with the emergence and spread of herbicide-resistant weeds (see section 5.1), and insects resistant to Monsanto’s Bt toxin insecticides, as well as the introduction of GM crops with tolerance to multiple herbicides.
Proponents of industrial chemical agriculture and GM crops argue glyphosate increases crop yields,
providing a more efficient, cost-effective and safe
method of agriculture necessary to tackle hunger and food insecurity across the
world. The US officially recognises glyphosate as a safe chemical with regards
to human health , currently defined as a Toxicity Class III herbicide
(slightly toxic) with no carcinogenic activity. The EU classifies it as
an irritant that can also cause severe ocular damage .
The accumulation of scientific peer-reviewed publications,
clinical observations and witness reports from farmers and residents living
in glyphosate-treated areas however, refutes the official line. Over a hundred peer-reviewed publications show
detrimental effects, proving to the scientific community what farmers in the
global South have known for a long time. Not acknowledging
those studies goes against fundamental scientific and medical principles
as well as the basic human right to a healthy environment, not least because
the evidence challenges the naïve assumption that governments’ primary concern
is to protect our health and not the pockets of multinational corporations.
Brief history of Monsanto – chemical
company turned biotech giant
This review focuses primarily on the scientific effects of glyphosate, but
the context of its production is important when considering Monsanto’s recent
move from chemical production to agriculture. Can we really trust a chemical
company to produce healthy food?
Founded in 1901 by John Francis Queeny in
St Louis, Missouri, Monsanto’s first product was saccharin, an artificial
sweetener. By the 1920s, the company was producing basic industrial chemicals,
including sulphuric acid. During the 1940s they were involved in uranium
research for the Manhattan Project that developed the first nuclear bomb; they
continued running a nuclear facility until the 1980s. In addition, they became
a large manufacturer of synthetic plastics including polychlorinated biphenols
(PCBs) used as a chemical insulator and banned
in 1979 in the US due to carcinogenicity. Lawsuits have been filed against
Monsanto for contaminating residential areas with PCBs that have left whole
towns crippled with cancers and other illnesses. Following the Second World
War, Monsanto expanded into large-scale production of chemical pesticides,
including DDT and Agent Orange, the latter notoriously used as a defoliant
during the Vietnam War. One of the components, dioxin, has now been classified
as a probable carcinogen by the US Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA). It is estimated that Agent Orange killed hundreds of
thousands of Vietnamese civilians and American soldiers. In addition, it caused
cancers and other illness in 2 million people, and birth defects affecting
hundreds of thousands. Monsanto was later sued and forced to pay out $180
million to sick US war veterans. DDT was also banned in 1972 (although its use was permitted under certain circumstances)
mainly due to effects on wildlife, but it was still exported to foreign
countries until 1985. It is now classified by the EPA as a ‘probable
carcinogen’, and has been associated with diabetes, Parkinson’s disease
and endocrine disruption linked to developmental defects. Lasso, another
herbicide manufactured by Monsanto was banned in the EU in 2006. Monsanto was
recently found guilty of chemical poisoning a French farmer who suffered neurological problems
including memory loss, headaches and stammering after inhaling Lasso in 2004 .
The commercialisation of Roundup® in 1974
turned Monsanto into the largest pesticide manufacturer in the world. They
later turned to biotechnology and the production of
GM crops, generating the first GM plant cell in 1982. By 1996, the first GM
crop tolerant to glyphosate – Roundup Ready (RR) soybean - was on the market. Today,
there are many glyphosate-tolerant crops, including corn, canola, sugar beet,
cotton, wheat and alfalfa. Similar varieties made by Bayer CropScience, Pioneer
Hi-Bred and Syngenta AG are termed Gly-Tol TM, Optimum ® GAT ® and Agrisure ®
GT, respectively. The generation of plants tolerant to glyphosate allows
farmers to apply glyphosate while crops are growing, theoretically killing every
plant but the crop. The consequence is that crops now contain residual levels,
directly exposing consumers and livestock to glyphosate. Not only that, glyphosate
tolerant crops accumulate the herbicide and transport it to the roots,
excreting it into the root zone (rhizosphere) of the soil, harming the next
crop to be planted in the same field (see main text).
3 How glyphosate works
or N-(phoshonomethyl) glycine (molecular formula
- C3H8NO5P) acts
through inhibiting the plant enzyme –
EPSPS (enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase) in the shikimate
pathway  (see  Glyphosate Tolerant
Crops Bring Diseases and Death, SiS 47). It catalyses the
transformation of phosphoenol pyruvate (PEP) to shikimate-3-phosphate, required for making essential aromatic amino
acids phenylalanine, tyrosine and tryptophan. Amino acids are essential
building blocks for all proteins. This metabolic pathway exists in all plants,
fungi, and some bacteria. Animals do not have the shikimate pathway, and depend
on getting the essential amino acids from their diet. Inhibition of protein
synthesis leads to rapid necrosis (premature cell death) in the plant. As the
EPSPS enzyme is present in all plants, glyphosate can effectively kill all
plant species. The high solubility of glyphosate formulations allows it to be
taken up by the plant where it acts systematically from roots to leaves.
Figure 1 Chemical Structure
Glyphosate-tolerant crops are either engineered to carry extra
copies of the EPSPS gene isolated from the soil bacterium Agrobacterium
tumefaciens, or glyphosate intolerant versions of EPSPS. These GM crops are
therefore tolerant to the herbicide, but are not
engineered to metabolise or get rid of it, resulting in GM crops with the
herbicide and its residues throughout the plant destined to become food or
In addition to inhibition of EPSPS, glyphosate disrupts many
physiological functions of plants. Glyphosate was first patented as a general metal
chelator and strongly chelates micronutrients such as manganese, which is an
important co-factor of the EPSPS enzyme (see ). This is suggested to be the
mechanism by which glyphosate kills plants. Manganese is a co-factor in over 25
plant enzymes. Other macro and micronutrients are also chelated by glyphosate
such as Ca2+, Mg2+, Cu2+, Fe2+, Co2+,
Ni2+ and Zn2+. This interference with biochemical
pathways goes on to compromise biological functions including the immune system
as well as crop productivity (see  USDA scientist
There is a wealth of evidence on the health hazards of glyphosate.
Its approval, along with other hazardous chemicals, relies on systematic flaws
in the EU and US regulatory processes, which to this day, do not require
evaluation by independent research, and instead rely solely on the industry’s
own studies. Approval is therefore often based on data not available to the
public or independent research scientists. Nevertheless, raw data have been
obtained from the industry through the law courts, which, when re-analysed by
independent scientists, also provide evidence of toxicity.
Taken together, glyphosate is implicated in birth and
reproductive defects, endocrine disruption, cancers, genotoxicity,
neurotoxicity, respiratory problems, nausea, fever, allergies and skin
4.1 Teratogenicity and reproductive effects
of teratogenicity (birth defects) and reproductive problems stretches back to
the 1980s . Observations made by Monsanto were acknowledged by the German
government (and its agencies), acting as the “rapporteur” state on risk
assessment to the European Commission. The German bodies concluded that high
doses (500 mg/kg) led to significant skeletal and/or visceral (internal organ) abnormalities in rats and rabbits including the
development of an extra 13th rib, reduced viability, and increased
spontaneous abortions. Low doses (20 mg/kg) were later shown to cause dilated
hearts. The questionable analysis and interpretation of the data
by Germany (including claims that dilated hearts had
unknown consequences and sample sizes were too small and lacking dose-dependent
results) meant that the findings were not considered relevant to human risk
assessment. This argument has been comprehensively rebutted in a report by
Open Earth Source (see ). Most importantly, the
findings have been corroborated subsequently.
Independent studies confirmed birth defects in laboratory
animals. Defects in frog development were first observed with lethal doses of Roundup® (10mg/L, roughly equivalent to 0.003% dilution of Roundup®) that were still below agricultural concentrations.
Effects were 700 times more pronounced with Roundup® compared to another
formulation lacking the surfactant polyoxyethyleneamine (POEA), which is
added to maximise glyphosate’s leaf penetration, and is thought to increase
glyphosate penetration of animal cells as well . POEA may also have
independent toxic properties.
It is important to note
that regulatory approval does not require assessment of the risk of commercial
formulations, and instead relies on testing glyphosate alone. Sub-lethal
doses also led to a 15-20 % increase in gonad size and reduced egg viability in
Leopard frogs and catfish respectively [16, 17].
study conducted by Andrés Carrasco and his colleagues in Argentina found
neural and craniofacial defects in frogs exposed to sub-lethal doses (1/5,000
dilutions) of glyphosate and Roundup®  (see  Lab Study
Establishes Glyphosate Link to Birth Defects, SiS 48). These
effects correlated with over-active retinoic acid
(RA), a well-known regulator of the posterior-anterior axis during development
(Figure 2). RA is an oxidised form of vitamin A and women are already advised
against taking excess vitamin A during pregnancy. It also regulates the
expression of genes essential for the development of the nervous system
during embryogenesis (shh, slug, otx2), which were inhibited
following glyphosate exposure. Inhibition of RA signalling prevented the teratogenic effects of glyphosate, further confirming its
involvement in the observed abnormalities.
The craniofacial defects in frogs are
similar to human birth defects linked to retinoic acid signalling such as
anencephaly (neural tube defect), microcephaly (small head), facial defects,
myelomeningocele (a form of spina bifida), cleft palate, synotia (union or
approximation of the ears in front of the neck, often accompanied by the
absence or defective development of the lower jaw), polydactily (extra digit),
and syndactily (fusion of digits) ; these diseases are on the rise in
pesticide-treated areas such as Paraguay .
Figure 2 Effect of
glyphosate injection; left to right: control embryo not injected with
glyphosate; embryo injected in one cells only; and embryo injected in both
cells. Note the reduction of the eye, adapted from 
Findings in mammals are consistent with
those in amphibians. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the
administration of high doses of glyphosate (3 500 mg/kg per day) to pregnant
rats resulted in an increased incidence of soft stools, diarrhoea, breathing
rattles, red nasal discharge, reduced activity, increased maternal mortality
(24% during the treatment period), growth retardation, increased incidence of early
resorptions, decrease of total number of implantation and viable foetuses, and
increased number of foetuses with reduced ossification of sternebra .
Rats orally treated with sub-lethal doses of Roundup®
also showed dose-dependent reductions in craniofacial ossification (bone
development), caudal vertebrae loss, and increased mortality , consistent with amphibian data and RA
signalling defects. Prepubescent exposure led to disruption in the onset of
puberty in a dose-dependent manner, reduced testosterone production, and abnormal
testicular morphology . Reproductive effects were transgenerational, with
male offspring of exposed pregnant rats suffering from abnormal sexual
increased sperm count, early puberty as well as endocrine disruption (see
In a feeding trial, senior scientist of the
Russian Academy of Sciences Irina Ermakova found that female rats fed rat chow
plus Roundup Ready soybean gave birth to an excess of stunted pups: 55.6 %
compared with 6.8% in litters from control rats fed rat chow only and 9.1 % of
litters from control rats fed rat chow supplemented with non-GM soybean. The
stunted rats were dead by three weeks, but the surviving rats in the exposed
litters were sterile
[25, 26] GM Soya Fed Rats: Stunted,
Dead, or Sterile (SiS 33). The experiment was
repeated with very similar results. Unfortunately, Irmakova did not succeed in
her attempt to get the Roundup Ready soybean analysed for herbicide and
herbicide residues, so the effects could be due to a mixture of the GM soya and
herbicide/herbicide residues. The second experiment included a group of females
fed rat chow plus GM soya protein did not do as badly as those exposed to GM
soybean; the mortality rate of pups at three weeks was 15.1 % compared with 8.1
% for controls fed rat chow only, 10 % for controls fed rat chow plus non-GM
soybean, and 51.6 % for litters of females fed rat chow plus Roundup Ready
soybean. This suggests that extra deaths and stunting were due to the GM
soybean; as consistent with the new findings by Séralini and colleagues .
Irmakova too, was fiercely attacked, and
attempts to discredit her continued for years afterwards, orchestrated by the
journal Nature Biotechnology (see  Science and
Scientist Abused, SiS 36).
Dr Irina Ermakov with the
Occupy Monsanto demonstration 17 September 2012
Cell culture models offer insight into a possible
mechanism of glyphosate reproductive toxicity. Death of testicular cells [28, 29]
(see  Glyphosate Kills
Rat Testes Cells, SiS 54) as well as embryonic, placental and umbilical cells occurs at
levels 10 times below agricultural dilutions and is exacerbated by the presence
of POEA in commercial formulations. Endocrine disruption was also noted
at lower concentrations (see below).
Clinical and epidemiological data gathered
by The Network Of Physicians Of Drop-Sprayed Towns in Argentina show a 2- and
3-fold increase in congenital and musculoskeletal defects respectively between
1971 and 2003, while another doctor noted an increase in birth defects of
around 50 % among his patients. Argentina dedicates vast areas of land to RR
soybean production, and as a result, an estimated 12 million people in
rural/semi-urban areas are exposed to glyphosate. Increases in miscarriages,
difficulty in conceiving as well as spontaneous abortions were documented. Many
were also suspected to have arisen as a result of pesticide spraying (see  Pesticide Illnesses
and GM Soybeans. Ban on Aerial Spraying Demanded in Argentina, SiS 53). The local physicians confirmed
that Carrasco’s laboratory results on amphibians (see earlier) were
consistent with the illnesses of their patients.
4.2 Endocrine disruption
The endocrine system consists of various glands that release
hormones into the bloodstream, acting as chemical messengers affecting many
functions includingmetabolism, growth and development,tissuefunction, behaviour
andmood. Disruption of the
endocrine system does not commonly result in cell death, or acute toxicity. Instead,
endocrine disruption can have serious health effects through interference in
cell signalling and physiology, resulting in a range of developmental impacts including sexual and other
cell differentiation, bone metabolism, liver metabolism, reproduction,
pregnancy, behaviour, and hormone-dependent diseases such as breast or prostate
cancer. Endocrine disruption may well underlie many of the reproductive,
teratogenic, and carcinogenic effects of glyphosate.
The synthesis of sex
hormones is disrupted by glyphosate and Roundup® in both males and females.
Mouse and rat testicular Leydig cells (testosterone producing cells) have
reduced testosterone levels as well as increased levels of aromatase, an enzyme
complex that converts testosterone into oestrogen [28, 29]. Human placental
cells, on the other hand, showed decreased aromatase expression .
All these imbalances were observed with concentrations well below agricultural
dilutions, and effects were more pronounced with commercial formulations
Abnormal expression of
testosterone and/or oestrogen receptors as well as oestrogen regulated genes
has been documented in human liver cells exposed to both glyphosate alone or
four commercial formulations, and breast cancer cells exposed to glyphosate [33,
Other hormones were shown
to be dysregulated in the presence of glyphosate, including increased
expression and serum concentration of leutinising hormone and increased
expression of follicle-stimulating hormone. These are both gonadotropin
hormones secreted by the pituitary glands that regulate growth, sexual
development and reproduction .
Rats exposed to Roundup
and/or Roundup-tolerant maize over two years exhibited a range of endocrine
disruption effects that, typically, differ between the sexes . Thus mammary
tumours were rife in exposed females while liver pathologies predominated in
exposed males. Similarly, pathology of the pituitary was more significantly
increased in exposed females; and big kidney and skin tumours were confined to
Epidemiological studies found that glyphosate exposure increased
risk of developing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a blood cancer of the lymphocytes [35,
36], with one study showing a dose-dependent correlation with exposure to
commercial formulations . A rise in plasma cell proliferation associated
with multiple myeloma was documented in exposed agricultural workers . The
Network of Physicians of Aerial Sprayed Towns in Argentina has implicated glyphosate
(see Figure 3), along with other pesticides, in the startling increase in both
childhood and adult cancers in pesticide-treated regions, particularly in the
vicinity of GM soybean plantations . Increased incidence of interstitial
testicular cell tumour at low doses of 32 mg/kg was documented in a two- year
rat feeding study . Mouse experiments also showed that glyphosate promotes
skin cancer, although not sufficient to initiate tumours by itself . These
findings make the latest results from Séralini’s team  all the more
significant, as the mammary cancers in herbicide-exposed females and kidney and
skin cancers in males are further corroboration of glyphosate’s carcinogenic
potential suggested by the earlier findings.
Further epidemiological and
clinical studies are urgently needed to assess glyphosate’s carcinogenic
activity considering the growing evidence of its genotoxic properties.
Figure 3 Aerial spraying of
herbicides, Eugene Daily News
Genotoxicity refers to damage of DNA. DNA damage can result in
mutations that lead to adverse health effects including cancer, reproductive
problems, and developmental defects. Evidence of genotoxicity not only relates
to glyphosate, but also to its principle metabolite
2-amino-3-(5-methyl-3-oxo-1,2- oxazol-4-yl)propanoic acid (AMPA).
Epidemiological data gathered in both Argentina  (exposure to glyphosate
among other pesticides) and Ecuador  (exposure only to glyphosate) showed
DNA damage in blood samples taken from exposed people.
Unpublished industry studies from the 1980s
showed that Roundup® causes chromosomal aberrations and gene mutations in mouse
lymphoid cells . Increased frequency of DNA adducts (covalently bound chemicals
on DNA) in the presence of glyphosate has been documented in the liver and
kidney of mice in a dose-dependent manner . This was consistent with the
research team’s previous study showing increased frequency of DNA adducts in Italian
floriculturist workers exposed to pesticides . Chromosomal and DNA damage was
noted in bone marrow, liver, and kidney of mice acutely exposed to sub-lethal
doses of Roundup®. Significant effects with glyphosate alone were also observed
in the kidney and bone marrow . Human epithelial cells derived from the
buccal cavity suffer DNA damage at levels well below agricultural dilutions (20
mg/L), these are the cells likely to be affected by exposure through
inhalation (see  Glyphosate
Toxic to Mouth Cells & Damages DNA, Roundup Much Worse, SiS 54).
Among non-mammals, glyphosate caused cell
division dysfunction and alterations in cell cycle checkpoints in sea urchins
by disrupting the DNA
damage repair machinery [46, 47]. The failure of cell cycle checkpoints can lead to genomic instability and cancer in humans. Glyphosate is also genotoxic in goldfish, European
eels, and Nile tilapia [48-50]. Moreover, fruit flies showed increased
susceptibility to gender-linked lethal recessive mutations as a result of
exposure to glyphosate .
Not much is known regarding glyphosate’s
main breakdown product AMPA; one study suggested it has acute genotoxic effects
 and should be investigated further.
Emerging evidence suggests that glyphosate is neurotoxic,
including two published cases of Parkinsonism in humans. A 54 year old man in
Brazil was diagnosed with Parkinsonism following accidental spraying; he
developed skin lesions six hours after being exposed to spraying, and a month
later he developed Parkinson’s disease symptoms . The other case involved a
woman in Serbia who ingested 500 millilitres of glyphosate solution and
developed Parkinsonism along with lesions of the brain’s white matter and pons
(part of brain stem), and altered mental status. The woman suffered additional
non-neurological symptoms (see acute toxicity section) and eventually died .
Consistently, increased oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction and loss of
cell death markers were found in the substantia nigra, the brain region most
affected in Parkinson’s disease, of rats exposed chronically to glyphosate at sub-lethal
levels [55, 56]. Oxidative stress represents an imbalance between the
production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), also known as free radicals, and
the body’s ability to detoxify these reactive intermediates or repair the
damage caused by them. ROS are a natural by-product of oxygen metabolism such
as mitochondrial respiration, and have important roles in signalling and metabolism.
Excess amounts however, can have damaging effects on many components of the
cell including lipids in cellular membranes, DNA and proteins. Excess ROS has
been implicated in the aetiology of a wide array of diseases including Alzheimer’s
disease, Parkinson’s disease (PD), atherosclerosis, heart failure, myocardial
infarction and cancer (see  Cancer a Redox
Disease, SiS 54). Activation of the tightly regulated apoptotic
and autophagic cell death pathways is also
implicated in neurodegenerative diseases and has been observed in rat neuronal
cell lines exposed to glyphosate in a dose-dependent manner .
Other mechanisms of neurotoxicity include
the inhibition of acetylcholine esterase (AChE), an enzyme that metabolises the
excitatory neurotransmitter acetylcholine. AChE inhibitors such as
organophosphate pesticides are potent nerve agents. Symptoms of AChE inhibition
include miosis (closing of the eyes), sweating, lacrimation, gastrointestinal
symptoms, respiratory difficulties, dyspnea, bradycardia, cyanosis, vomiting,
diarrhoea, personality changes, aggressive events, psychotic episodes,
disturbances and deficits in memory and attention, as well as coma and death. Further,
increased risk of neurodevelopmental, cognitive and behavioural problems such
as Attention-Deficit Hyperactive disorder (ADHD), deficits in short-term
memory, mental and emotional problems have been associated with exposure to glyphosate-based
herbicides in children and the newborn . Although glyphosate is an
organophosphate, it is not an organophosphate ester but a phosphanoglycine, and
therefore not been assumed to inhibit AChE. New studies suggest otherwise. Catfish
and another fish species, C. decemmaculatus, showed AChE inhibition at
environmentally relevant concentrations of Roundup® and glyphosate respectively
[60, 61]. Furthermore, these effects were seen following acute exposure of up
to 96 hours. A tentative association between glyphosate and ADHD in children
has been made in an epidemiological study .
Further studies need to be done
by independent scientists as original neurotoxicology data presented by Monsanto
was ruled invalid by the EPA .
4.6 Internal organ toxicity
As in the brain (see above), increases in reactive oxygen species
(ROS) have been found in the liver, kidney and plasma of rats exposed to acute
doses of glyphosate. Concomitant decreases in enzymes that act as powerful
antioxidants such as superoxide dismutase occur in the liver (see  The Case
for A GM-Free Sustainable World, ISIS
publication). Liver cells exposed to four glyphosate formulations at low
decreases in oestrogen and testosterone receptor levels, DNA damage and
decreases in aromatase enzyme activity (see  Ban Glyphosate
Herbicides Now, SiS 43). Other studies suggest mitochondrial damage to rat and carp liver cells
in vitro and in vivo respectively at sub-lethal concentrations [66,
A meta-analysis of 19 feeding studies originally
conducted by Monsanto, but later re-analysed by a group of French scientists
led by Séralini, found kidney pathology in animals fed RR soybean, including
significant ionic disturbances resulting from renal leakage (see  GM
Feed Toxic, Meta-analysis Reveals, SiS 52). This is
consistent with previous results from cell
cultures treated with glyphosate (see Death
by multiple poisoning,glyphosate and Roundup,SiS42), suggesting
that glyphosate present in the GM food was responsible. Liver pathology in
animals fed RR soybean included the development of irregular hepatocyte nuclei,
more nuclear pores, numerous small fibrillar centres, and abundant dense
fibrillar components, indicating increased metabolic rates.
4.7 Acute toxicity
Acute toxicity of glyphosate has been classified ‘low’ based on
rat studies performed by industry that only showed effects at concentrations of
5 000 mg/kg. However, agricultural workers exposed at much lower concentrations
have documented various symptoms, highlighted in Argentina (see  Argentina's Roundup
SiS 48). Acute toxicity of glyphosate through
skin contact and inhalation includes skin irritation, skin lesions, eye
irritation, allergies, respiratory problems and vomiting. In cases of
ingestion, severe systemic toxicity and even death has occurred. Ingestion of small amounts can lead to oral ulceration,
oesophageal problems, hypersalivation, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.
Ingestion of larger amounts (usually >85 ml) causes signiﬁcant toxicity including
renal and hepatic impairment, acid–base disturbance, hypotension and pulmonary
oedema, impaired consciousness and seizures, coma, hyperkaliemia, encephalopathy
(global brain dysfunction), Parkinsonism, respiratory and renal failure.
Suicide attempts have been noted as 10-20 % successful with as little as 100 ml ingested.
5 Environmental and agronomic
Agribusiness claims that glyphosate and glyphosate-tolerant crops
will improve crop yields, increase farmers’ profits and benefit the environment
by reducing pesticide use. Exactly the opposite is the case. Pesticide use has
actually increased in successive surveys (see  GM Crops Increase Herbicide Use in the
United States, SiS45). Not
only that, the evidence indicates that glyphosate herbicides and glyphosate-tolerant
crops have had wide-ranging detrimental effects, including glyphosate
resistant super weeds, virulent plant (and new livestock) pathogens, reduced
crop health and yield, harm to off-target species from insects to amphibians
and livestock, as well as reduced soil fertility.
5.1 Glyphosate resistant weeds
Critics long predicted the evolution of weeds resistant to
glyphosate, consistent with all previous herbicides used in the past; and they
are right. This is causing huge agronomic and ecological concern as farmers are
forced to abandon whole fields of crops (see  GM Crops Facing
Meltdown in the USA, SiS 46). So much so that Monsanto has issued a statement saying it is no longer responsible for
the rising costs of weeds under the Roundup® warranty. The Weed Society
of America has now launched free resistance-management courses for farmers,
although the solutions are clearly towing the agribusiness line of dousing
crops in additional pesticides, a terribly flawed solution that will only lead
to more of the same, or worse – weeds resistant to multiple herbicides. Indeed,
some species have already evolved resistance to
two 0r even three types of herbicides. In some cases, these “superweeds” are so
resilient that the only method of destroying them is to pull them out by hand.
Palmer amaranth grows at up to 3 inches a day causing an imaginable headache
for farmers (see Figure 4).
Figure 4 Field infested with
Palmer amaranth ‘superweed’, Agweb
First documented in ryegrass in 1996 in Australia,
glyphosate-resistance has since been observed in 23 separate species across 16
countries by 2010, covering an estimated 120 million hectares worldwide and
continuing to spread .
Up until 2003, 5 resistant populations had been documented worldwide.Since 2007, there has been a
5-fold increase in the spread of resistant weeds (See  Monsanto
Defeated By Roundup Resistant Weeds, SiS 53). So far, resistant
species listed by the WeedScience database include: Palmer
Amaranth, Common Waterhemp, Common Ragweed, Giant Ragweed, Ripgut Brome,
Australian Fingergrass, Hairy Fleabane, Horseweed, Sumatran Fleabane,
Sourgrass, Junglerice, Goosegrass, Kochia, Tropical Sprangletop, Italian
Ryegrass, Perennial Ryegrass, Rigid Ryegrass, Ragweed Parthenium, Buckhorn
Plantain, Annual Bluegrass, Johnsongrass, Gramilla mansa and Liverseedgrass.
all the resistant species, Palmer Amaranth and Common waterhemp have received
the most attention. Waterhemp produces up to a million seeds per plant, making
it difficult to prevent spreading of resistant
populations. It also has a long emergence pattern, which means that multiple
rounds of herbicide treatments are required. Resistant common waterhemp was
first documented in fields in Missouri, US, in 2004 after at least 6 consecutive
years of growing soybeans. The suggested mechanism of resistance in this
population was the amplification of EPSPS genes in the plant, allowing
it to compensate for glyphosate’s inhibition of the
enzyme. According to Bill Johnson, an entomologist from Perdue University in
Indiana US, waterhemp is a serious threat to soybean farming with the
capacity to reduce yields by 30-50 % . Palmer amaranth is estimated to have
infested at least a million separate sites in the US alone. It is a particular
hardy plant, and is considered one of the most destructive weed species in the south-eastern
US. Field experiments have shown its potential to reduce cotton yields by 17-68
%, having important implications for RR cotton farmers .
In order to prolong the utility of herbicide-tolerant GM crops,
agribusinesses are now developing crops with multiple tolerance traits, or
tolerance to old herbicides like 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D). Dow
Agrosciences are ready to roll out 2,4-D-tolerant corn, soy and cotton even
though this year saw the discovery of 2,4-D resistant waterhemp in Nebraska,
making it the sixth mechanism-of-action group to which waterhemp has developed
The emergence of resistant weeds explains the increases in
pesticide use over the last few years, as farmers apply more and more in an
attempt to rid their farms of hardy weeds. As noted by the Network of
Argentinian Physicians of Crop Sprayed Towns, repeated glyphosate use on the
same plots of land rose from 2 litres per hectare in 1996, to almost 20 litres in
2011 , most likely due to the emergence of resistant weeds.
The extent of damage wreaked by glyphosate-resistant weeds has
been further exacerbated by the severe US drought of 2012, which dries out
weeds and makes them less sensitive to herbicides . Global warming and
herbicide resistant weeds may therefore have synergistic effects on crop yield
losses, again highlighting the unsustainable approach of intensive chemical
5.2 Effects on crop
and plant health
Glyphosate use has been
associated with the increased incidence and/or severity of many plant diseases and
the overall deterioration of plant functions such as water and nutrient uptake
As mentioned above,
glyphosate’s mechanism of action is the systemic chelation of metals, including
manganese, magnesium, iron, nickel, zinc and calcium, many of which are
important micronutrients. They act as co-factors for many plant enzymes
including those involved in the plants’ immune system . While
non-transgenic varieties are killed by glyphosate, glyphosate-tolerant crops do
not die; but their physiology can be compromised. Manganese is a co-factor for
25 known enzymes involved in processes including photosynthesis, chlorophyll
synthesis and nitrate assimilation, and enzymes
of the shikimate pathway to which EPSPS belongs. The shikimate pathway is responsible for plant responses to stress and
the synthesis of defence molecules against pathogens, such as amino acids,
lignins, hormones, phytoalexins, flavenoids and phenols. The virulence
mechanism of some pathogens, including Gaeumannomyces and Magnaporthe (which
lead to ‘take-all’ and root rot respectively) involves the oxidisation of
manganese at the site of infection, compromising the plant’s defence against
it. Glyphosate-tolerant crops were found to have
reduced mineral content, confirming glyphosates’ metal chelating activity [81-84].
Various plant diseases have reached epidemic proportions in
the US, now in its fourth year of epidemics of Goss’ wilt and sudden death syndrome and
eighteenth year of epidemic of Fusarium fungal colonisation resulting in
root rot and Fusarium wilt. Not only does glyphosate affect disease
susceptibility, there is also evidence of increased disease severity. Examples
include Take All, Corynespora root rot in
soybean, Fusarium spp diseases, including
those caused by Fusarium species that are ordinarily non-pathogenic.
Head-scab caused by Fusarium spp of cereals increases following
glyphosate application is now prevalent also in
cooler climates when previously it was limited to warmer climates. Nine plant pathogens have been suggested to
increase in severity as a result of glyphosate
treatment of crops, while some 40 diseases are known to be increased in weed
control programmes with glyphosate and the list is growing, affecting a wide range of species: apples, bananas,
barley, bean, canola, citrus, cotton, grape, melon, soybean, sugar beet,
sugarcane, tomato and wheat .
scientist Professor Emeritus Don Huber presented detailed evidence including a
photograph (Figure 5) to the UK Parliament that glyphosate-tolerant crops are
less healthy and yield less. They have a compromised immune system and require
extra water, which are major problems as climate change is likely to increase
infectious diseases and exacerbate water scarcity .
Figure 5 Effects of long-term
glyphosate on crop (wheat) health; left not treated with glysphosate, right,
treated with glyphosate; adapted from Huber’s presentation 
As consistent with previous findings, GM crops are suffering heavy
yield losses in drought-stricken US in 2012 . A farmer
who has grown both GM and non-GM varieties of corn and soybean side by side reported an
average of 100-120 bushels per acre harvested from non-GM corn compared to 8-12
bushels to 30-50 bushels per acre from GM corn.
to a recent report published by the Union of Concerned Scientists, GM crops
have certainly not succeeded in increasing yields ; but there is as yet no
comprehensive peer-reviewed study on GM crop yields.
animal species, endocrine dysfunction has been suggested in plants exposed to
glyphosate (see above), potentially affecting health as well as crop yields. Inhibition of auxins involved in plant growth and
development, as well as reduced methionine levels have been observed;
methionine is a principle substrate for fruit, flower opening and shedding of
aquatic species including microalgae, protozoa and crustaceans are susceptible
to glyphosate, but more so to the surfactant POEA  in Roundup formulations.
5.3 Effects on soil ecology
Soil fertility is fundamental in maintaining plant health and
yields. However, along with the rise in industrial agrochemical farming
practices, there has been a general increase in the number of
plant diseases in the past 15 to 18 years.
Glyphosate has been shown to stimulate the growth of fungi and
increase the virulence of soil pathogens such as Xylella fastidiosa which
causes citrus variegated chlorosis, while also decreasing the presence of
beneficial soil organisms  Scientists Reveal Glyphosate Poisons Crops and Soil (SiS47). Four primary soil fungi, Fusarium, Phythium, Rhizoccccctonia,
and Phytophthora, have become more active with the use of glyphosate;
and concomitantly diseases caused by these fungi have increased, such as head
scab in corn, or root rot in soybeans, crown rot in sugar beets. Fusarium head
blight, which affects cereal crops, is a disease that produces a mycotoxin that
could enter the food chain.
Beneficial micro- and macro-organisms damaged
by glyphosate include earthworms, microbes producing indole-acetic acid (a
auxin), mycorrhizae associations, phosphorus & zinc uptake, microbes such
as Pseudomonads and Bacillus that convert insoluble
soil oxides to plant-available forms of manganese and iron,
nitrogen-fixing bacteria Bradyrhizobium, Rhizobium, and organisms
involved in the biological control of soil-borne diseases that reduce root
uptake of nutrients (see [90, 13] (see Figure 6).
In addition to soil microorganisms, Roundup® but not
glyphosate alone, kills three beneficial food microrganisms (Geotrichum
candidum, Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris and Lactobacillus
delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus) widely used as starter cultures in
the dairy industry . This may explain the loss of microbiodiversity in raw milk observed in recent years.
Figure 6 Interactions of glyphosate with plant and soil
biology; adapted from Huber’s presentation 
It has been assumed that glyphosate is short-lived,
degrading in two weeks, and has low accumulation and drift. However, this
conventional view may only be applicable, if at all, in certain environments.
Studies in northern regions of the globe have demonstrated that glyphosate and
its main metabolite AMPA can remain in the soil even years after the last
spraying . That means the herbicide and its residues can remain active and
accumulate in soils with increasingly devastating effects on soil ecology.
5.4 Effects on ecosystems
use impacts animal biodiversity and health either directly or indirectly
through destruction of habitats. It is considered to be particularly toxic to
aquatic and amphibian species, due to its high
are considered the most endangered animal class on Earth. Recent studies have highlighted glyphosate’s toxicity to frog species, with
exposure killing 78 % of animals in laboratory conditions (see 
Roundup Kills Frogs, SiS 26). A 2012 study found
enlarged tails in exposed tadpoles, similar to the adaptive changes seen in
response to the presence of predators. Tadpoles adapt their body shape to suit
environmental conditions, so any changes not suited to the environment could
put the animals at a distinct disadvantage . Currently unpublished data
from The Department of Herpetology at the Society of Sciences, Aranzad, Spain
suggests that glyphosate concentrations below agricultural levels are
sufficient to kill 10 species of amphibians in the Basque region of Spain .
As mentioned earlier, birth defects in frogs have also been detailed in
laboratory conditions .
aquatic microcosms and mesocosms found that Roundup at 8 mg glyphosate/L
inhibited the growth of green algae at the expense of toxic bloom-forming
cyanobacteria, with potentially drastic impacts on freshwater aquatic
ecosystems [96, 97]. It also accelerates the deterioration of water quality,
which is already jeopardising global water supply  (World Water
Supply in Jeopardy, SiS 56).
effect of habitat destruction is exemplified by the decline of Monarch
butterfly numbers (see  Glyphosate
and Monarch Butterfly Decline, SiS 52) (Figure 7). The larvae of this species feed almost
exclusively on milkweed plants, which are being destroyed through glyphosate
treatment of GM crops. In the Midwest of the US, there has been a 58 % decline
in milkweed plants and a resulting 17-year decline in Monarch butterfly . A
decline in their winter migration to Mexico has been observed stretching back
Figure 7 Monarch butterflies,
University of Arkansas System
5.5 Diseases of livestock
rise of certain diseases in livestock populations has been linked to glyphosate
ingestion from feeding on RR crops. Huber claims that
livestock are suffering a triple whammy of reproductive toxicity caused by
endocrine dysfunction (as described above with regards to human health),
nutrient deficiency, and a novel unknown pathogenic ‘entity’ found in many
reproductive tissues and dead foetuses as well as other body parts .
With regards to nutrient deficiency, manganese deficiencies have been associated with various animal diseases
and reproductive failures, which are becoming increasingly common in livestock.
In Australia, following two seasons of high levels of stillbirths in cattle, it
was found that all dead calves were manganese deficient . Moreover,
63 % of newborn with birth defects were also deficient. Manganese is known to
be important for mobilising calcium into bones, correlating with abnormal bone
formation in these calves.
A Danish farmer recently reversed illnesses in his pigs through
reverting back to a non-GM feed. Illnesses included birth defects, reduced live
births, diarrhoea, bloating and poor appetite disappeared,
resulting in increased profit for his farm (see  GM
Soy Linked to Illnesses in Farm Pigs, SiS 55).
5.6 Widespread contamination of water supplies
With all the described toxic effects of glyphosate, it becomes
imperative to assess the level of contamination of the water supplies, our source
of drinking water. Recent research in Catalonia, Spain, revealed widespread
contamination of their groundwater . In the US, glyphosate has been
detected in rain and air samples .
recently performed in Germany detected glyphosate in the urine of all tested Berlin
city residents, including one person who had been eating organic food for over
10 years . Levels reached 5-20 times the
established permitted level in drinking water in the EU. Even those who live
away from farming areas are not protected. Glyphosate was previously found in
urine samples of farm workers at concentrations shown to have cause endocrine
toxicity can no longer be ignored. While evidence of its harm to health and the
environment grows, Monsanto is proposing to raise permitted residual levels in
lentils by 100 fold in the EU . This is clearly unacceptable. Brazil has
recently proposed a new bill that will ban many environmental toxins including
glyphosate . A global ban or phase-out of
glyphosate use is a matter of urgency, and with that, widespread
adoption of non-GM sustainable agriculture  (Food Futures Now *Organic
*Sustainable *Fossil Fuel Free , ISIS
teresa dowden Comment left 12th October 2012 09:09:23 I think this is horrible all the harmful chemicals Monsanto has been able to produce and use and the people who are suppose to be protecting us aren't probably bacause of big payoffs. There's needs to be stop to this. But they have already got so much of in the world it's proably too late to do much about it.
peter homfeld Comment left 13th October 2012 21:09:21 No Teresa, it is never too late. All of us have to fight those criminals and murderer for the sake and health of our loves ones, our children, our grandchildren, the next generations and ourselves.
Monsanto is still responsible for millions of death and genocide with their other toxic waste as DDT, Agent Orange and now with this terrible disastrous Roundup all over the world for long time. We are studying now on international actions to sue Monsanto (and other Big Corporations) for the tremendous damage to mankind and for massive payments of damage.
We think also that they must be brought to the ICC for Crimes against Humanity, mass murder and genocide and they and their minions must be hanged for their massive crimes.
In the meantime DON't eat SALMON. Nearly all Salmon is Farmed Salmon. They are chock full with poisons due to the 70% GM (Roundup) Soy/Corn and 30% toxic fishmeal/oil in their feed which will kill you.
Thank you ISIS and Dr Eva Sirinathsinghji and Dr Mae-Wan Ho for your long time scientific research on this subject (which we follow for longer time) giving a solid base for actions as mentioned.
VIcky Comment left 14th October 2012 08:08:06 Coming up as a child my perception of the USA was a country of integrity and who was the authority of enforcing integrity and what was rightful/lawful... a nation who set an example of morality, prosperity, and humanity. A nation who would have declared war on another country for doing something like this. We all have been very misled.
Well they did nothing to help the poor people in Rawanda did they. THe US Gov. was not even concerned about the poor people in New orleans !! What GEORGE CARLIN left us was right on...that "THEY DON"T CARE ABOUT US/ LIFE/ HUMAN EXISTENCE , the eco-system. They all need to be over thrown If this is not stopped my fear is a mass destruction /genecide.
ThANKS for all the extensive research and most informative article.
John Fryer Comment left 30th October 2012 23:11:33 Professor Seralini last month (2012 Sep) proved the harm from MONSANTO Round Up Ready herbicide and also gave the clue to why its full danger has been covered up for so long. (testing the product without added chemicals to increase its absortion into animals and test of such short duration that nothing useful turns up or worse changing the experiemnt - 100 per cent of animals dying on day 8 reported as all animals fit healthy and alive on a 7 day exposure experiment.)
Having helped to get a worldwide ban on DIAZINON in 2000 and looking at other TERATOGENS such as mercury I was horrified to learn that far from four years to history and good bye we now have increasing DIAZINON use and killing and illness on the increase; DIAZINON being a particularly nasty organophosphate (OP).
Alzheimer Disease is one possible illness from OP's and my current risk of getting this is officially now at 25 per cent risk every year. 100 years ago it was a zero risk for my age group.
We are as humans sadly being led like sheeop to slaughter and also not even as courageous as sheep but more like LEMMINGS.
masipag mindanao Comment left 1st November 2012 08:08:16 Let's intensify the campaign for the banning of Roundup Ready Crops.
William & Katrina Dresbach Comment left 1st March 2013 08:08:32 All these chemicals are harmful to everyones health! Let's go back to the old time farming! It worked fo years! No GM Monsanto!!
stephanie seneff Comment left 28th May 2013 13:01:49 Together with Anthony Samsel, I recently published a peer-reviewed article in the Open Access journal, Entropy, on glyphosate. I was astonished at what we were able to find on potential damaging effects of glyphosate exposure to health. I have been studying autism for many years, and have published several papers on it. I had identified two key comorbidities with autism: disrupted gut bacteria and impaired sulfur metabolism, but I was unable to determine what was causing these problems until I started looking at glyphosate. In the paper, we show how glyphosate would produce these comorbidities, as well as many other problems. Furthermore, through inhibition of cytochrome P450 enzymes, it would impair the liver's ability to detoxify other toxicants. I now believe that glyphosate is the most important factor in the current autism epidemic in America and elsewhere. It should be banned from the market!
charlotte bean Comment left 27th July 2013 07:07:54 a D.finlayson MD recently blogged that glyphosate MIMICS non-essential amino-acid, glycine, interfering in lifes replication at its most fundamental level. Can anyone expand on this or cite a reference, cheers C.
Cindy Lindsey Comment left 17th March 2014 21:09:11 I recently had an "Alcat" food/chemical sensitivity test and the results showed I have a "severe" intolerance to glyphosate. My doctor said out of all the Alcat tests his patients had done, mine was the only one he has seen that said "severe" intolerance. This is all new information to me and I'm stunned and angry. Of course I know I need to watch where my food comes from, but should I go see a neurologist now? What if I have the beginnings of Parkinsons, or...any of a number of other diseases that glyphosate can cause?? I have no idea what to do next. The "doctor" who sent me for the test is a chiropractor/nutritionist, not an MD or a neurologist.
Maewan Ho Comment left 17th March 2014 21:09:18 Hi Cindy Lindsey,
You must seek out non-GMO and preferably organic food in order to avoid glyphosate for a start. Ban GMOs from your diet, and campaign for banning glyphosate herbicides.
Tiffany Pettit Comment left 12th April 2014 08:08:21 I just finished reading this and I have to admit, I'm almost in tears. This is going to be a long post. Sorry in advance. (I'm not really sorry though.)
A "short" background:
I'm 24 years old, a new gardener (I've been gardening for just over a year) who's extremely interested in organic gardening and keeping livestock that feeds on organic food, as well as being in a two year community college taking my /first/ biology class /in college/. (The last time I took biology was in ninth grade in 2004.) In my biology class, we're required to write a "research paper" on a topic of our choice. I'm choosing to write mine on GMOs. Honestly, I'm still new to the whole process of researching GMOs, but I've been wanting to do this research anyway. Might as well knock out two birds with one stone, right? Thus, I started my research and stumbled upon this article through Pintrest post from Organic Consumers Association (I follow all of their boards on Pintrest.) The pin was from their board "Millions Against Monsanto" and the picture that advertises the pin is what caught my eye: "Breaking News: Monsato's Roundup Found in Mother's Milk." At the bottom of the picture followed the words "Study suggests world's most widely used toxin accumulates in human tissue." I had to click on in. It started talking about this toxin called glyphosate. I had no idea what it was. I read it, a little horrified,opened a few links from the article on my phone and left them up to read later. This was page was one of the links that I opened, but didn't think about it again until my last biology class, this past Thursday, April 10, 2014.(Stick with me, a little bit more background to come.)
We had just finished learning about Mendel's famous pea experiments and before that we learned about photosynthesis, mitosis, and meiosis, of course and at the end of class our professor reminded us to work on our research papers. I got started reading on the books I had checked out from our school library. I grabbed the smallest book out of the four that I checked out and continued to read where I had previously left off. I was only about five pages into the book. The book is "Genetically Modified Crops" by Nigel G. Halford (from Imperial College Press) and as I continued reading I realized that this book was for the promotion of GMOs. "Alright," I thought. "I have to know why some scientist are for the promotion of GMOs' side too."
I continued reading and boom! A familiar word popped up: Glyphosate. I immediately remembered that I had this article open to read later on my phone, but I continued to read about the multiple ways they splice DNA to create GM plants and the the benefits of GMOs and the use of ghyphosate and how it is safe for use as a pesticide. "Okay. I've heard the "pro" side of the argument to use GMOs and glyphosate, but now I really want to read that article I have open on my phone," I thought to myself.
I went to the tab on my phone and proceeded to read this article. I became more and more horrified as I read and teared up before I even finished reading. I remember hearing about the monarch butterflies starting to disappear when I was younger. I remember hearing about new casts reporting on the increase of a younger on set of puberty. I remember hearing about the increase of breast cancer, Parkinson's, and Alzheimer. I remembered all of those things and more as I continued to read this article.
I'm in disbelief about how this article only has /ten/ comments on it. Ten! More people need to see and learn about these studies and believe me. I'm going to inform people about it whenever I can. I'm going to post this article on my tumblrs, my twitters, my facebook pages, and my wordpress site. More people need to see this. It makes me so angry that we can talk about celebrities and the gossip surrounding them, but we can't talk about how glyphosate is slowly (quickly) killing the world around us. It's utterly frustrating that I know so many of my loved ones are being infected with this stuff and don't even know it. I'm glad, at least, that I've convinced my parents to switch to more organic foods when they shop. It makes me feel safer.
Also, I would like to share my future dream with whoever happens to read this comment, because maybe it'll give hope to whoever sees this that someone who is on the younger side (24 years old) that wants to promote the use of organics and shun the use of GMOs.
My dream is this:
I want to open an organic herbal tea cafe that can gather fresh herbs, fruits and vegetables straight from the garden out back. I also plan on having organic, free range chickens for their eggs and dwarf Nigerian goats for their milk to have organic goat milk and cheese. I want to be able to provide these organic products to customers that want these too. On top of all this, I want to provide a beautiful garden that my customers can spend their time in the beauty of an organic garden and farm. Also, I almost forgot to mention I want this garden to promote /native/ wildlife plants to create a home for pollinators like bees, hummingbirds, butterflies, ladybugs, even spiders, and many other helpful insects.
It's a huge dream, I know. Trust me, I know, but my heart is set on it. Maybe my plan is rough around the edges and is going to cost a lot, but thing is, in my opinion, it's going to be worth it even if I only receive a few customers. I know I'll at least have 10 patrons: my biology professor, my boyfriend, my parents, my four best friends and some of their family. If I can't help a city, or even a neighborhood, I can at least help to keep my friends and family on the healthier side.
I know I rambled on (a lot) in this comment, but I felt it all necessary to say.
Down with glyphosate! Promote organics!
Also, thank you so much for compiling this article, please continue putting out information like this. I look forward to reading more on this site.
mae-wan ho Comment left 12th April 2014 10:10:43 Thank you Tiffany for your personal account of discovery, and your determination to act on it. But please keep up to date with the herbicide. New evidence has been tumbling out after this review. please log onto www.i-sis.org.uk and find the latest reviews.
Tiffany Pettit Comment left 14th April 2014 21:09:33 I will definitely do that! Thank you.
Terry Pollock Comment left 11th June 2014 17:05:53 Many thanks for such a comprehensive article on this insidious glyphosate problem. You do masterful work at ISIS and the planet needs you. I'm a nutrition specialist/medical educator for many years now. I'm stymied as to the most effective way to get out the message to consumers; there is a great learning curve here with complicated background that people need to hear. I'm also a Stephanie Seneff fan (commenter here) but she has not heard from me yet. AND I didn't know that glyphosate reaction is measured on an ALCAT test here in the US?? Anyway, thank you so much for your in-depth information and your integrative mind, Mae-Wan Ho and your colleagues. I am enthralled by your efforts. Terry Pollock, MS
Mae-Wan Ho Comment left 11th June 2014 17:05:55 Terry Pollack and others, please see the more up-to-date version of this article in Ban GMOs Now, which is now free for download via thesparc.net
Also, even that is not up to date because more evidence has been tumbling out regarding kidney disease, cancer and male sterility, all reviewed within the past months, please go to isis homepage and scroll down recent postings.
Plus, we shall be doing an update on Ban GMOs Now, which again shall be available free of charge, within about a month's time.
Please forward all our papers to your regulators and political representative. keep alert, we can win this one!
RG Comment left 19th December 2014 10:10:10 More than 90% of our grains and cereals including rice (UK and abroad) are subject to a pre-harvest spraying of roundup herbicide - a new but insane practice started in 2003. This has massively increased residue levels to 100 PPM and more, of this noxious substance in our bread and cereal. Research has clearly shown that roundup/glyphosate is responsible for cancers, endocrine disruption and cardiac arrythmia. The american government which is in the pocket of the makers of glyphosate last year massively increased the permitted residue levels in farm produce anywhere from 2 times to 25 times depending on the food stuff. Now they want to force this noxious waste and their gmo waste on europe by way of TTIP that is, if you are not already eating this garbage and you easily could be. Are you one of the million+ people who in the UK have atrial fibrillation? Bread or cereal is very possibly the cause.
Russell davies Comment left 17th January 2015 08:08:25 Hi from Canada ,we've sure made big mistakes with GMO and have experienced the decline of the bee population. Due to Roundup.
We have recently started a campaign using street signs to educate, with names like GMONO WAY
WE ARE LOOKING FOR SOMEONE TO TAKE UP THE CHALLENGE IN AUSTRALIA. AND NAME A ROAD.
ROOTROUNDUP ROAD .
Any takers ?
Mac Fairrington Comment left 10th July 2015 10:10:31 I live in UK and write on a regular basis to our Local Council Sunderland, which is in North East England. I became interested after a meeting at the House of Commons last Year chaired by the Countess of Mar. Several medical scientist spoke against the use of Glyphosates' in public areas. Professor Malcolm Hooper who is a eminent Professor of Medical Chemistry spoke of its many dangers including Carcinogens believed by The World Health Organisation and International Agency for research on Breast Cancer. It is also believed to cause another 32 diseases.
Our council when asked under the Freedom of Information tried to prevent me getting the actual chemical information and said i may have to pay £450 but when I agreed I was given the information free as I should have. The Chemical is:
Proliance Quattro. The active ingredients are Glyphosate - Diammonium 34% and D-Glucopyranose, Oligomeric, decyl octyl glycosides10 - 20%. D-Glucopyranose, Oligomeric, decyl octyl glycosides10 - 20%
It is sprayed up to four times a year in children's parks around swings and parent seating. There is no warning and sprayed openly. The operators either Contractors or Council workmen do not wear PPE as I believe they will frighten the public, and don't like been questioned. They also spray against private residents property on land which adjoint council land. There is no sign for about four days when it starts to work and turn Yellow. Prior to that your children and pets could have been caught in their own gardens and inhaled the spray unknowingly. According to the UK HSE and RoSPA permission should be acquired before spraying at private property and signage should be shown before spraying. Resident should be able to refuse their property and family from being contaminated. Managers of the council refuse to answer questions and let their teams continue. I hope once it is finally BANNED as it will they will be prosecuted.
Our MP after seeing the letter fromProfessor Malcolm Hooper wrote stating " Upon reading Professor Hooper's reply, I don't think it unreasonable that spraying of this herbicide - particularly in children's play areas - could cease until safety concerns about this product has been allayed and as you suggest there is still the option of responsible mechanical strimming in these areas in the meantime."
Sunderland council response was "we shall continue to undertake weed treatment as we currently are"
It takes some brave managers who ignore Medical Chemistry professors and MPs and Proof that is being released putting the general public in danger.