Extensive study into glyphosate welcomed by GM Free NZ (23/7/2003)

More via GE Free NZ on studies linking glyphosate-based herbicides, like Roundup which is used with Monsanto's GM herbicide-resistant crops, to problems such as an increase in fusarium, a black fungus that has been linked in animal toxicology studies to acute and chronic liver injury progressing to cirrhosis and cancers. The second item shows unintended increases in the level of shikimic acid produced by glyphosate in wheat.
NZFSA study to help establish safety of herbicides
GE Free New Zealand, Press Release, 22 July 2003

GE Free NZ in Food and Environment is pleased to see that an extensive study is being undertaken into glyphosate by the consumer forum of the NZ Food Safety Authority and the ESR (Institute of Environmental Science and Research Ltd).  At the FSA consumer forum meeting recently the issue of herbicides was discussed in detail and the forum was notified that the herbicide glyphosate was being safety tested in grains and potatoes. ESR has now outlined a proper and detailed testing programme for ascertaining chemical residue levels in these foods.

 A UK House of Commons agriculture committee NFU president Stewart Wells said studies link glyphosate-based herbicides to an increase in fusarium, a black fungus.

 Laboratory feeding studies on rats caused acute liver injury, chronic liver injury progressing to cirrhosis, and sometimes terminating in hepatocellular carcinoma or cholangiocarcinoma cause serious concerns over this link.

 A Danish study has also reported that glyphosate (Roundup) has contaminated drinking water up to five times above the acceptable level. This refutes the assumption that glyphosate is bound in soil and questions the safety of glyphosate use as a herbicide.

 "At last the Authority is allowing topical issues to be discussed with input from leading scientists and advisors" said Claire Bleakley of GE Free (NZ) " The GE issue is of great concern and GE foods must be kept out of the diet until they have been clinically trialled to assess levels of safety. Many GE foods have increased herbicide residue levels, yet another reason that they should be proven safe before children and other susceptible people eat them".

A proposal for the next FSA meeting will look in detail at the GE issue and foodborne illness.

Claire Bleakley (06) 3089842

Poisonous Spray [Roundup] on a Course Towards Drinking Water
SOURCE: Politken, Denmark, by Anders Legarth Schmidt
English translation sent by NGIN, UK
http://www.mindfully.org/Pesticide/2003/Roundup-Danish-Water 10 May 03.htm

Histopathology and gene expression changes in rat liver during feeding of fumonisin B1, a carcinogenic mycotoxin produced by Fusarium moniliforme. Lemmer ER, de la Motte Hall P, Omori N, Omori M, Shephard EG, Gelderblom WC, Cruse JP, Barnard RA, Marasas WF, Kirsch RE, Thorgeirsson SS. MRC/UCT Liver Research Centre, University of Cape Town, Observatory, Cape, South Africa.

Fumonisin B1 (FB1) is a carcinogenic mycotoxin produced by the fungus Fusarium moniliforme in corn. Feeding of FB1 to rats causes acute liver injury, chronic liver injury progressing to cirrhosis, and sometimes terminates in hepatocellular carcinoma or cholangiocarcinoma. This study describes the histolopathology and changes in gene expression in the rat liver during short-term feeding of FB1. Male Fischer rats were fed either FB1 250 mg/kg or control diet, and were killed weekly for 5 weeks. FB1 caused a predominantly zone 3 'toxic' liver injury, with hepatocyte death due to necrosis and apoptosis. Hepatocyte injury and death were mirrored by hepatic stellate cell proliferation and marked fibrosis, with progressive disturbance of architecture and formation of regenerative nodules. Despite ongoing hepatocyte mitotic activity, oval cell proliferation was noted from week 2, glutathione S-transferase pi-positive hepatic foci and nodules developed and, at later time points, oval cells were noted inside some of the 'atypical' nodules. Northern blot (mRNA) analysis of liver specimens from weeks 3 to 5 showed a progressive increase in gene expression for alpha-fetoprotein, hepatocyte growth factor, transforming growth factor alpha (TGF-alpha) and especially TGF-beta1 and c-myc. Immunostaining with LC(1-30) antibody demonstrated a progressive increase in expression of mature TGF-beta1 protein by hepatocytes over the 5 week feeding period.

The overexpression of TGF-beta1 may be causally related to the prominent apoptosis and fibrosis seen with FB1-induced liver injury. Increased expression of c-myc may be involved in the cancer promoting effects of FB1.

PMID: 10334199 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
2.Glyphosate Applied Preharvest Induces Shikimic Acid Accumulation in Hard Red Spring Wheat (Triticum aestivum)
Gail A. Bresnahan,* Frank A. Manthey, Kirk A. Howatt, and Monisha
Department of Plant Sciences and Department of Cereal and Food Sciences
North Dakota State University, Fargo, North Dakota 58105
J. Agric. Food Chem. 51 (14), 4004-4007, 2003

Glyphosate is a nonselective herbicide used as a harvest aid in a variety of crops. Glyphosate is absorbed into the foliage and translocated to metabolically active regions in the plant where it interferes with the shikimic acid pathway. Experiments were conducted to determine the accumulation and distribution of shikimic acid in wheat treated with glyphosate at soft and hard dough stages of kernel development and to determine the fate of shikimic acid during milling and bread making. Elevated levels of shikimic acid were detected throughout the wheat plant. Shikimic acid concentrations peaked 3-7 days after treatment and then declined until harvest. Shikimic acid content was 3-fold greater in flour and 2-fold greater in the bread derived from treated wheat than nontreated wheat. Similarly, elevated levels of shikimic acid were found in the crumbs and crust of bread made with flour from glyphosate treated wheat. Glyphosate applied preharvest resulted in shikimic acid accumulation in hard red spring wheat and subsequent end-use products.

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