August 20, 2014

Ingredient in Roundup Weed Killer Found in Food

CropSprayingA peer-reviewed study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), published in Entropy, has found that residues of glyphosate, the main ingredient in the weed killer Roundup, have been found in food. Glyphosate is used on crops that are genetically engineered (GMO foods) to be “Roundup Ready”.

Monsanto scientists have claimed for years that Roundup is safe and non-toxic because it targets the shikimate pathway in plants, which is absent in animals. But this pathway is present in bacteria that live in human guts, which play an important role in human physiology, from immunity to synthesizing vitamins.

The study’s authors say that glyphosate does induce disease and is a “textbook example of exogenous semiotic entropy.” Glyphosate inhibits detoxification of xenobiotics and interferes with cytochrome P450 enzymes, which enhances the damaging effects of other chemical residues and toxins, and very slowly damages cellular systems in the body through inflammation. Residues of glyphosate are found in sugar, corn, soy, and wheat, some of the main components of the Western diet.

Inflammatory bowel diseases have substantially increased in the last 10 years in the U.S. and Western Europe; glyphosate may be to blame. In addition, female rats are very susceptible to mammary tumors following chronic exposure to glyphosate, which means “something else may be going on”, according to researchers. Researchers said that the systematic search of the literature “has led us to the realization that many of the health problems that appear to be associated with a Western diet could be explained by biological disruptions that that have been attributed to glyphosate, including digestive issues, obesity, autism, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, Parkinson’s disease, liver disease, and cancer, among others.”

The effects of glyphosate can take 40 years to manifest as symptoms of disease, which make them very hard to trace and attribute to the chemical. And this isn’t the first time an issue has been raised with glyphosate. In 2005, a study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives showed that glyphosate is toxic to human placental cells and concluded that the “endocrine and toxic effects of Roundup, not just glyphosate, can be observed in mammals.” The toxic effects were found when glyphosate concentrations used in the study were 100 times lower than the recommended use in agriculture.

Another problem is that in from 2001 to 2007, since Roundup Ready crops have been used in this country, the use of Roundup doubled to 185 million pounds in the U.S. alone. Now, 80% of genetically modified crops are specifically targeted to be Roundup Ready. And Roundup resistant weeds, known as “superweeds” are appearing in more than half of the farm fields in the country.

The study’s authors conclude by saying, “given the known toxic effects of glyphosate reviewed here and the plausibility that they are negatively impacting health worldwide, it is imperative for more independent research to take place to validate the ideas presented here, and to take immediate action, if they are verified, to drastically curtail the use of glyphosate in agriculture.”

Comments

  1. Liz Brightman says:

    We need to put pressure on our elected officials locally and nationally to PAY ATTENTION to these studies and issues. There is so much money and power in Big Ag that we won’t see any changes to laws until this happens.

  2. Zaph Mann says:

    There’s a huge hole in this posting. I am seeking information to deter users of Roundup and have recommended horticultural strength (20%) acetic acid to people – but that is arguably more toxic and potentially dangerous to handle. “A peer-reviewed study” is what I hope for – so what study is this? where are the links?? who conducted the study? ETC.

    A non-alarmist, factual, scientific assessment of the alternatives needs to be presented – people (unfortunately in my opinion) are not prepared to let weeds grow in and beside their driveways and flowerbed edges. They will use roundup unless there’s a solid case not to.

    • Linda Larsen says:

      Follow the first link that is in the first sentence of the story to see the peer-reviewed study. Click on the word “Entropy” that’s in a different color. You can download the complete study at that site.

      And as far as getting rid of weeds goes – what’s wrong with pulling them? If that’s too difficult, there are plenty of organic methods to rid your lawn of weeds. Care2 also has some good advice.

      • Zaph Mann says:

        Thanks for the explanation on source, peer review is now necessary, but it’s a valuable input, unfortunately the alternatives linked to are alternatives for gardeners with good attitudes, not farmers with crop pressures nor people like myself trying to change the habits of those with mile long gravel driveways and manicured gardens/landscapes.

        I look forward to more links to follow up on the one study cited.

        • Linda Larsen says:

          I agree that changing attitudes is hard, and that it’s so much easier to just spray than to do work. I am hopeful that scientists are working on herbicides that are not so damaging to the environment and animals, including human beings.

  3. Debi Daniels says:

    Another problem they will find is persistence. Monsanto always claimed its not persistent but I can prove otherwise. We are an organic farm, so I don’t use it on our u pick trees, but one year about 8 years ago, I had an infestation of dandelions just starting and wanted to nip it in the bud early so did some spot spraying in the lilac field and in one area not used by the u pick crowd. One plum tree there got some on it and turned the typical yellow color. We fed it nitrogen to pull it out and save it. It was a rare Alaska hardy plum which I was trying to get cuttings off of. Every year it has been yellow and sick, even last summer, eight years later. This stuff doesn’t go away. Thankfully I didn’t use it on the orchard.

  4. It would be much better if they banned glyphosate and Roundup until they are proven to be safe. There are so many chemicals and other substances that have never been proven to be safe, yet are allowed to be unleashed on an unsuspecting and unwilling public. We are lab rats for many different industries, yet are ignored when we complain about the chemicals, drugs, foods, etc., making us sick. Don’t let the cart be put before the horse, when it comes to the health of people, and our environment. Test first, prove safe, then approve for use. Oh yeah, don’t take industry’s word for the safety of their own products. That’s not the smartest thing. Use studies from researchers with absolutely no ties to industry. That is the most common sense approach.

    • Linda Larsen says:

      I agree. One of the problems is that Monsanto and other companies are allowed to dictate the terms of the research. The GMO study last year that found tumors in rats, for instance, was completely trashed without the main point getting through – that Monsanto stopped their research after only three months. The French researchers found tumors at four months. Independent research is absolutely key.

    • Danny van der Walle says:

      It’s easy to crucify Roundup, or any G.M. crop, but the reality is that the world has far too many people to support through any purely “organic” farming. We have gotten ourselves into this situation by not addressing the root cause which is population. People have the option of growing their own .

      • Here we go, let’s hear the fearmongering propaganda.Let me ask you something…Look at the map of the world and let me know how much room do you need to grow food to feed the entire population of the planet earth?Any idea?Much less than size of Australia.Whoever told you that we are running out of food told you that to scare you into accepting GMOs as the solution so stop listening to what mainstream media tells you and start thinking with your head and on your own.Fly across the US or Europe for that matter on a clear day and see how much areable land is actually being cultivated then tell me that we are running out of food.In US alone $160 billion worth of food gets wasted evety year so please do some reading before you start posting comments like this one.

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