New Report Delivers a Blow to Monsanto and Its Most Widely Used Herbicide

March 8, 2016
by Steve Holt for Thrive Market
New Report Delivers a Blow to Monsanto and Its Most Widely Used Herbicide

Ask 10 people on the street about Monsanto, and chances are seven or eight of them will respond with some variation of, “they make the toxic chemicals that we don’t want on our food” or “they genetically modify our food system.”

 And it’s true. Monsanto has become enemy No. 1 for food safety activists and consumers for a reason: the St. Louis–based biotechnology company creates many of the herbicides and pesticides that are sprayed on much of the conventional produce we buy, engineers seeds in laboratories to be resistant to specific chemicals, and even owns patents on many of the non-engineered seeds planted by farmers.

But what if we told you the science used to regulate Monsanto’s flagship product—glyphosate, the main ingredient in the company’s best-selling Roundup herbicide—was horribly out-of-date, and that the chemical is not even being monitored by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention?

That’s precisely what a group of 14 environmental health researchers are saying in a new paper directed to “scientists, physicians, and regulatory officials around the world” and published in the journal "Environmental Health." Glyphosate, they write, was first sold to farmers in 1974 and has seen its use skyrocket, but has not been thoroughly tested, and with a large enough sample size, to merit its safe usage on our food. Independent, up-to-date research studies would almost certainly find that glyphosate contaminates our food and the environment, and harms humans as a result.

The paper lists seven definitive conclusions with which most environmental scientists agree:

  1. Glyphosate-based herbicides (or GBHs) are the most heavily applied herbicide in the world and usage continues to rise.
  2. Worldwide, GBHs often contaminate drinking water sources, precipitation, and air, especially in agricultural regions.
  3. The half-life of glyphosate in water and soil is longer than previously recognized.
  4. Glyphosate and its metabolites are widely present in the global soybean supply.
  5. Human exposures to GBHs are rising.
  6. Glyphosate is now authoritatively classified as a probable human carcinogen.
  7. Regulatory estimates of tolerable daily intakes for glyphosate in the United States and European Union are based on outdated science.

“When these chemicals are approved for safety it's based on assumptions of how they'll be used,” including “at what time of year and at what quantities,” paper co-author Laura Vandenberg, assistant professor of environmental health sciences at the University of Massachusetts, explained to "Truth-Out." “Even if this was a completely benign chemical, it's shocking to know how much its use has increased.”

In November, the Mexican Supreme Court sided with a group of Mayan beekeepers in the Yucatan Peninsula who sued Monsanto to stop the planting of GMO soy in the region, stating the harm various herbicides were having on workers and the environment. The organizations filing the injunctions—which included Greenpeace, Indignación, and Litiga OLE—stated that GMO soy puts honey production and more than 15,000 Maya farm families at risk, as “growing the plant requires the use of glyphosate, a herbicide classified as probably carcinogenic.” Earlier in 2015, the World Health Organization’s cancer-research arm had ruled that glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic,” or cancer-causing.

That should be reason enough for the government to require that the chemical be studied afresh by independent scientists and its residues in water, food, and humans monitored more thoroughly, the authors of the "Environmental Health" paper conclude. The scientists also recommend that the CDC include glyphosate in its biomonitoring program to ensure that it is not toxic to humans.

“The big take away,” says Vandenberg, “is don't throw your hands up in fear, but that something we've been told is safe hasn't been tested in the way that we can draw that conclusion from.”

Photo credit: bottlerocketprincess via Flickr

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This article is related to: Glyphosate, GMO Facts, GMO Foods, GMO News, Glyphosate Toxicity

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  • Norm Bean

    I have blowing the warning trumpet for years on glyphosate & every one said i was nuts !

  • Pat Murray

    Norm, that's because you are seen as "Mr. Bean!" ( Heh heh, just a silly joke! )
    I totally get how you feel dealing with those who grovel in the Cult of the White Coat.
    Glad there is a chance to get some of them off the fence now, but frankly, it's better to look for intelligent allies than waste your time on spineless sheeple.

  • Steve Yakoban

    "Ask 10 people on the street... they genetically modify
    our food system.” Huh? Most people on the street never heard about or care about monsanto. If they did, things wouldn't be as they are.

  • SageThinker

    This is evidence from Monsanto's own 1990 unpublished study by Stout and Ruecker, as echoed in the 1991 EPA memo on glyphosate and cancer. The data shows glyphosate causing pancreatic and thyroid tumors, and yet they conclude that this "is not compound related" because... because there is money to be made with Roundup and Roundup Ready crops, the "perfect" product combination. Monsanto does this for money, and we suffer the consequences. The industry science is biased junk science, and they don't do any follow-up study to check on the results found here, but rather get the EPA to sign off on a nonsense non-explanation that says the data does <i>not</i> show cancer simply because the rates don't increase with dose. However, all three dose groups are many times higher than the control group with no glyphosate, so that looks the heck like a correlation to me! Not what they "expect" with their rose-colored glasses. They would only accept the picture-perfect evidence of causing tumors that they have in their minds, so even though there's no other explanation for the correlation, they just say "oh, it's not compound-related... yawn..." and let the people of the world eat glyphosate in ever-increasing amounts. And pancreatic and thyroid cancers in humans have been rising since then... and they still don't care. The industry keep pouring money into a disinformation machine to try to extend their product's life by delaying policy change. It's just like climate change denialism -- for a vested interest. They are evil. They are scum of the Earth among humans. They need to be stopped and opened up and dissected. We need to see Monsanto's' internal files for the public good.

  • Anne Temple

    Yep -- and then we have a perfect storm, since many of us will run to the doctor to get the pharmaceuticals that will alleviate some of the SYMPTOMS of the illness suffered because we are unable to create the very things we need to be healthy.

  • reginahairpro

    There is no need to be rude and condescending.. I happen to fully believe in chemtrails as well as I believe MAsanto is the scum of the earth that cares only about power and control, Their ultimate goal is to have have total control of our food supply. And CaptiAN youu may want to develop a bit more of an open mind.. Someday soon you may just have to be thanking people like SageThinker and myself for caring enough to try and do whatever we can to spread awareness and hopefully create change. Monsanto needs to go and the way we achieve that is by not buying there poisonous mutant produce... BUY ORGANIC NON GMO@!!!

  • bsroon

    Got it in one. Maybe you keep having people tell you that YOU should have become an MD too, lol. i keep telling them - "No - i'd rather learn about healing and health than poisons and covering symptoms to make more sickness."

    When you add in the Monsanto "safety study" which showed kidney and liver damage from the GMO corns - NK602, MON 810, and MON 863 - then you have organs of detoxification ALSO compromised......The perfect storm just hit land......

  • Reality of Truth

    I agree wholeheartedly. The proof of corruption is self evident when you notice that biotech cronies are placed into the regulatory agencies that are suppose to monitor, address, and restrict the use of toxins. Instead, the cronies went into the regulatory agencies merely to rubber stamp their own reports without any actual proof-checking! The link between Biotech's collusion with our government becomes even more blatantly obvious when you see the video of George Bush Senior touring a biotech lab and declaring how much he supports it. Financial criminals conspired to create a cancer-monopoly, intentionally giving people cancer so they can be harvested by the sick pharmaceutical system. What is even worse is that they force the taxpayer, whether they support it or not, to subsidize the creation of these toxins and of the produce that is doused in said toxins. You pay the tax and subsidy, you pay again at the store, again at the hospital and they take it all when you go in your grave! What is even worse than that? They adopted all of this from Germany after WW2: Search up IG Farben.

  • Reality of Truth

    Not hard to be banned from industry propaganda portals. Check me, for example, I'm banned from many places merely because I won't censor myself to the industry tune! Oh and I also ream industry trolls like you for fun, but I won't be doing that this time because I don't want to be banned from TM!