Monsanto turns the screw on farmers / Roundup hurts babies (1/3/2005)

Comment on item 1 from nlpwessex list:

What took them so long?

"Farmers will be given just enough to keep them interested in growing the crops, but no more. And GM companies and food processors, will say very
clearly how they want the growers to grow the crops." - Friedrich Vogel, head of BASF's crop protection business, Farmers Weekly 6 November 1998

1.GM specialist increases technology fees in USA
2.Roundup hurts babies

1.GM specialist increases technology fees in USA
Farmers Weekly, February 18, 2005
By Andrew Blake

Seed and technology fees for genetically modified crops are on the up in the USA, as companies continue to invest in next generation traits.

Some producers are expecting Monsanto's technology fees to rise 75% this season, as the firm seeks to recoup costs. The main reason for the price rises is the need to fund work on next generation GM varieties, which will offer nutritional benefits to consumers, plus research to defend the existing traits against counter claims from anti-GM lobby groups, says Monsanto USA's technical communications manager Jim Hudson. "We are currently spending about $1.5m a day on such research and that money has to come from somewhere." But with weed populations shifting to species able to resist the total herbicide the company needs to be careful not to price the technology out of the market, stresses North Carolina consultant Billy McLawhorn.

2. via Prof Joe Cummins

Pr. Gilles-Eric SERALINI's group in the University of Caen (Normandy, France) just published original results concerning the toxicity of Roundup. It is one of the most used herbicides worldwide and the most used with genetically modified plants (GMOs).

The majority of GMOs commercialized in the world are designed for food and feed. These plants have been modified to remain alive after herbicide absorption, this herbicide being spread on the cultures.

This greatly facilitates its use, as well as the presence of its residues in the food chain. It is also evoked as a common pollutant in rivers.

It is shown in this work that human placental cells are very sensitiven to Roundup, to concentrations lower than the agricultural use. This could explain miscarriages and premature births in the United States in farmers. Moreover, below toxic levels, the effects of Roundup are measured on the synthesis of sexual hormones; this allow to classify this herbicide in potential endocrine disruptors. Finally, the effects of Roundup are always greater than those of glyphosate, which is known as its active compound.

This work was supported in particular by CRIIGEN ( and by The "Fondation pour une Terre Humaine"

Contact : Pr. Gilles-Eric SERALINI, tel. 33 2 31 56 54 89, [email protected]

Environmental health perspective
Differential effects of glyphosate and Roundup
on human placental cells and aromatase
Sophie Richard, Safa Moslemi, Herbert Sipahutar, Nora Benachour, Gilles-Eric Seralini
doi:10.1289/ehp.7728 (available at
Online 24 February 2005

Roundup is a glyphosate-based herbicide used worldwide including on most genetically modified plants in which it can be tolerated. Its residues may thus enter the food chain and glyphosate is found as a contaminant in rivers. Some agricultural workers using glyphosate have pregnancy problems, but its mechanism of action in mammals is questioned. Here we show that glyphosate is toxic on human placental JEG3 cells within 18 hr with concentrations lower than the agricultural use, and this effect increases with concentration and time, or in the presence of Roundup adjuvants. Surprisingly, Roundup is always more toxic than its active ingredient. We tested its effect on aromatase with lower non-toxic concentrations, the enzyme responsible for estrogen synthesis. The herbicide acts as an endocrine disruptor on aromatase activity and mRNA levels, and glyphosate interacts within the active site of the purified enzyme, but its effect is facilitated by Roundup formulation in microsomes or in cell culture. We conclude that endocrine and toxic effects of Roundup and not only glyphosate can be observed in mammals. We suggest that the presence of Roundup adjuvants enhances glyphosate bioavailability and / or bioaccumulation


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