1.Roundup is toxic - Glenn Ashton
2.Multiple studies show Roundup toxicity - Mark Wells
1.Roundup is toxic
Cape Times, March 16 2007
Hans Lombard, media spinner for genetically modified crops and agricultural chemicals, provides several fine examples of the nonsense he claims others speak, in his letter "Herbicide safe for soil" (March 14).
He insists no information exists to indicate that the active ingredients of Roundup, the most widely used herbicide on earth, are either persistent in the soil or dangerous. He asks for peer-reviewed science to disprove him:
The Danish government banned the use of Roundup as it was found to have polluted groundwater, backed up by data in the Journal of Environmental Quality (issue 34, 2005). Monsanto, manufacturers of Roundup, attempted to dispel such fears. However it has been demonstrated that the components of Roundup are indeed persistent in ponds and water, having a half-life of nearly three months. The ingredients are also toxic to frogs, fish and other aquatic life, as many other peer-reviewed studies show.
The California Pesticide Illness Surveillance Programme found Roundup ranked as the highest cause of pesticide-induced illness or injury to people in California in 1997. It is not only the active ingredient, glyphosate, that is dangerous but also so-called "inert ingredients".
A letter in Nature ["letters" in Nature are peer reviewed scientific papers - ed] stated that POEA, one such chemical, constituting 15% of Roundup, was responsible for nine deaths in Japan. Lombard has much in common with the tobacco lobby in days of yore, with their tired insistence there was nothing wrong with their products.
His apparently solid facts are as full of holes as a mad cow's brain.
2.Multiple studies show Roundup toxicity
[Extract from another letter submitted to the Cape Times by Mark Wells]
Hans Lombard's claim as to the safety of Roundup Ready herbicide is a bad case of deja vu as Monsanto's spin doctors spun a similar yarn by claiming that the both PCBs and agent orange were safe, citing numerous self-sponsored 'scientific' studies in a multi-million dollar attempt to prevent these incredibly toxic chemicals from being banned. History is repeating itself with the glyphosate based roundup herbicide.
Monsanto first marketed roundup as environmentally safe until a New York court of law forced the company to withdraw this spurious claim in the 1990s. As to Hans claims that there is no peer reviewed evidence on roundups chronic and endocrine toxicity at low level exposure, there are numerous independent peer reviewed studies that have been published. These studies are conveniently summarised with detailed references in the Glyphosate Factsheet online at http://www.mindfully.org/Pesticide/Roundup-Glyphosate-Factsheet-Cox.htm.
More recently, the peer reviewed journal, Environmental Health Perspectives 113, 2005, published an independent scientific study entitled Differential Effects of Glyphosate and Roundup on Human Placental Cells and Aromatase by Richard, Moslemi, Sipahutar, Benachour & Seralinia of the Laboratoire de Biochimie et Biologie Moleculaire, Universite de Caen, France, which shows that at concentrations of less than 100 times recommended for agricultural use, roundup is a disruptor of mammalian cytochrome P450 aromatase activity affecting human placental cells and aromatase gene expression. Further proof of the endocrine disrupting effects of roundup's glyphosate and its toxic surfactants are presented in another independent peer reviewed study which shows that extremely low level exposures of roundup may result in 90% less production of the male sex hormones (Roundup inhibits steroidogenesis by disrupting steroidogenic acute regulatory (StAR) protein expression, Welsh, L.P. et al. 2000, Environ. Health Persp. 108).
Of course Hans Lombard and Monsanto would rather not like consumers to know about this information as at least 70% soya that we eat and 20% of our maize is contaminated with GM crops that are likely to contain high concentrations of this roundup herbicide which can persist for up to two years in the soil and is absorbed by plants. The World Health Organisation (WHO) report (Mensink H. et al.1994. Glyphosate. Environmental Health Criteria 159, WHO, Geneva) shows that roundup herbicide is systemically absorbed into the seeds and fruits of plants and thus will enter the human food chain and furthermore that no amount of washing and baking will reduce these levels in contaminated food. The fact that the popular Nestle Nan baby feeding supplement is made from predominantly GM herbicide contaminated soya (in South Africa) is cause for alarm as babies are particularly at risk to permanent sexual, cognitive, physical and immune system developmental abnormalities when exposed to synthetic endocrine disrupting chemicals.
Go to a Print friendly Page
Email this Article to a Friend
Back to the Archive