TO SIGN THE PETITION TO BAN THE USE OF GLYPHOSATE IN RANGITIKEI’S URBAN PUBLIC AREAS CLICK HERE
(Photo Credit for Header Image: Marian Sutherland, NZ)
The GE-Glyphosate Connection
“Glyphosate was made in 1964 as a strong metal chelator. In 1970, it was patented as a herbicide. In 2000, it was patented as an antibiotic. 85% of our genetically engineered crops are engineered in order to accept RoundUp herbicide with glyphosate as its primary agent” (Greenmedinfo website)
It was “supposed” to be harmless to humans and animals—the perfect weed killer. Now a groundbreaking article just published in the journal Entropy points to Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, and more specifically its active ingredient glyphosate, as devastating—possibly “the most important factor in the development of multiple chronic diseases and conditions that have become prevalent in Westernized societies.”
That’s right. The herbicide sprayed on most of the world’s genetically engineered crops—and which gets soaked into the food portion—is now linked to “autism … gastrointestinal issues such as inflammatory bowel disease, chronic diarrhea, colitis and Crohn’s disease, obesity, cardiovascular disease, depression, cancer, cachexia, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and ALS, among others.”
Enjoy this videotaped guided tour of Jeffrey Smith interviewing co-author Stephanie Seneff, PhD, a Senior Research Scientist at MIT.
Glyphosate Use in New Zealand
Technically we don’t have GE crops in NZ, I say technically because in 2000 they were grown here without the public’s knowledge… and allowed to mature to harvest (Seeds of Distrust by Nicky Hager. See also the TV3 ‘Corngate’ interview). Helen Clarke, Prime Minister at the time, originally ordered them pulled up, however with time and corporate persuasion we ended up with a slightly raised bar of acceptability for GE crops and the corn was allowed to mature. The point about GE crops, if you are not familiar, is that whoever eats them gets to ingest the glyphosate sprayed on them. The plants have been genetically altered to withstand the effects of the herbicide Roundup which contains glyphosate which of course is why they’re called ‘Roundup Ready’. This gives the farmer a nice weed free crop. Ingesting glyphosate would be fine for the consumer if it was safe, except who in their right mind wants to purposely ingest any herbicide? We now know there are many risks associated with ingesting glyphosate as the two year experiment by French Professor Séralini’s team has demonstrated (see below). Other research has also demonstrated it is not safe and yet it is in our foods, particularly corn and soy products.
When a US Tertiary level lecturer of 55 years experience in agriculture, Professor Emeritus of Plant Pathology (Dr Don Hubert) calls Glyphosate one of the most toxic substances on the planet, you would think folks would sit up and take notice. Even NZ Medical Doctors and Scientists warn of its dangers. Nevertheless, it is still widely used on NZ pastures with at least one agricultural tertiary level textbook promoting its use. Add to this the aforementioned two year Séralini experiment with lab rats that resulted in huge cancerous tumours (see video & transcript below) and thinking people must agree it is time to examine this research. Instead, sadly, I find folks are not willing to even look at it. Were we not taught in school to examine the evidence? To weigh it up and decide for ourselves? Instead folks continue to blindly trust the say-so of a company that it’s been proven has been misleading the public.
A French court ruled in 2009 that Monsanto has lied about the safety of Roundup (ie it is not biodegradable as claimed) . This has resulted in its ban by the French government with multiple other nations following suit. To add to these disturbing facts, be aware that the US government, where this product originated, is quite, should we say, overly peopled, by Monsanto personnel. A glaring conflict of interest. Predictably the Séralini experiment has been greatly criticized and vilified by its opponents, citing the type of rats used for instance as being prone to tumours, when the rats used were the same strain Monsanto used. (The Séralini team and others have addressed these criticisms on their website). Monsanto only tested their rats in the early 1970s for the required 90 days, not long enough for tumours to develop, and were granted long term approval as ‘safe’, a status they’ve enjoyed ever since. In weighing all of this up, the reader should bear in mind that Monsanto also created DDT (now banned) and Agent Orange, sprayed on Vietnam in the ’60s, that continues to produce birth defects more than five decades later. This is also a company that is set to ensure that the entire planet is forced to buy their GM seeds by making the saving of heirloom seed illegal. Do you really trust this company with your farming and food production needs? With cancer rates now in the vicinity of one in three, the governments of the world need to follow the lead of nations like France and other countries in protecting their citizens by considering environmental causes for this health epidemic. Russia has placed a ban on GE crops until more research has been done, and yet ‘Clean Green’ NZ continues to slather glyphosate over everything. Even if the research were only half right, there is enough reason right there to desist from its use until further independent research is in.
“We don’t want to wait until we have exposed enough people to a chemical in order to prove that it’s carcinogenic. When we hit that point, we have hit a failure in the regulatory process.” – Dr. Lynn Goldman,
National Research Council Report Review Committee Member
To be fair, New Zealand farmers and others who use Roundup are very hard workers and probably don’t have time to be pouring for hours over research data about toxic substances … they rely on what used to be a reliable source … a person’s word … the manufacturer’s guarantee, and as noted, the endorsement of University textbooks. Farmers I speak with about this say with pride that their stock can eat the sprayed grass with no detrimental effects, failing to acknowledge the possibility that the effects are not yet visible. In the case of cancer a tumour, a tumour may have been present from 5-15 years prior to discovery. And yet we have been told Roundup is safe. Sadly in today’s corporate world, studies of corporations demonstrate that these conglomerates are not averse to lying at all. There is also a clear conflict of interest regarding those who approve this this product, referred to recently by Dr Meriel Watts:
1) No critical study in these vital toxicity assessment areas, that form the parameters used to approve our daily consumption, our RfDs / ADI’s, are ever supplied by an independent organisation like, say a university or public interest group.
2) Every animal study for glyphosate (the pesticide commonly known as Roundup) that the USA EPA and the WHO use to apply the ‘non-carcinogenic to humans’ rating, is sponsored and paid for by an agrichemical company.
3) The toxicity studies for glyphosate (Roundup) are all private, obtained directly from contracted laboratories that only work with industry – Product Safety Laboratories, Dow, ABC and Covance. They are unpublished and unavailable for review by public sector health representatives or individuals.
4) The very studies that provide the parameters that end up being residue levels, within toxicity assessment, are only ever supplied by the very organisations that require the toxicity assessment to be declared safe. In the case of glyphosate, the studies for proving non-carcinogenicity are only ever provided by Syngenta, Monsanto and Cheminova.
5) Furthermore, no study ever uses the stronger, more effective complete formulation of Roundup, (only the weaker active chemical glyphosate is used). And I believe this ‘policy’ has profound ramifications for our health.
To learn more about glyphosate and its widespread application in NZ, visit the Pesticide Action Network, Aotearoa NZ at www.pananz.net. There you will find fact sheets on pesticides including Roundup. There are also resources for sale including books by Dr Meriel Watts.
Another resource is Physicians and Scientists for Global Responsibility found at http://www.psgr.org.nz/ Here is their fact sheet, a pdf file, on Glyphosate. Physicians and Scientists for Global Responsibility wrote of their concerns to all NZ Councils in February 2014.
“The world’s best-selling weedkiller, and a genetically modified maize resistant to it, can cause tumours, multiple organ damage and lead to premature death, a new study has revealed. Its results are published in The Food & Chemical Toxicology Journal in New York. Here, experts discuss the significance of the findings.”
Dr Krüger: Glyphosate is Toxic to Dairy Cows
“Field Investigations of Glyphosate in Urine of Danish Dairy Cows
A new study by a team of scientists led by Dr Monika Krüger has revealed that Glyphosate (Roundup) is toxic to the normal metabolism of dairy cows…”
Here is yet another study revealing the toxicity of Glyphosate. Read the full article HERE, at ‘GMO Evidence’, and/or download the actual study from the Journal of Environmental & Analytical Toxicology.
And in the meantime, from Reuters
WHO’S REPORT ON GLYPHOSATE
Download the report here (PDF file)
“There is sufficient evidence in experimental animals for the carcinogenicity of glyphosate.”
In humans, the evidence drawn from multiple lab studies and population studies over many years concluded two pathways to the “probable human carcinogen” designation:
1. “There is strong evidence that glyphosate causes genotoxicity.” (page 77) This means chromosome damage and the inability of cells to reproduce. Similar genotoxic damage emerged for a breakdown product of glyphosate, AMPA.
2. “Strong evidence exists that glyphosate, AMPA and glyphosate-baed formulations can induce oxidative stress.” (Page 77.) AMPA is aminomethylphosphoric acid, a breakdown product of glyphosate.
(P 77-78 of the report contains a summary; notes here from article by renewablefarming.com)
The Glaring Conflict of Interest When it Comes to Approval of Glyphosate
Health Risks Found to be Associated with Glyphosate:
Lymphoma – Non Hodgkin, DNA Damage, Glyphosate Toxicity, Hormonal Disorders, Low Testosterone, Pesticide Toxicity, Hairy Leukoplakia, Lymphoma, Prenatal Chemical Exposures, Oxidative Stress, neurotoxicity, Blood Diseases, Hemolytic Anemia, Multiple Myeloma, Rhinitis, Parkinsonian disorders, Endocrine Diseases, Male infertility, Liver & Skin Cancer, Aflatoxicosis, Alzheimer’s Disease, Brain Inflammation, Accumulated Environmental Toxins, Low Dopamine levels, Lipid Peroxidation, Mercury Poisoning, Mitochondrial Dysfunction, Botulism, Meningitis: Aseptic, Neurodegenerative Diseases, Vaccine Induced Toxicity, Chronic Kidney Damage & Disease, Genital Diseases, Dysbiosis
IRT Institute for Responsible Technology http://www.responsibletechnology.org/
The World According to Monsanto
Seeds of Death (youtube)
The Séralini Experiment
Transcript: Pay close attention to what you are about to see. These images will be seen around the world. These rats have been fed with transgenic corn during their entire life cycle. The tumours they suffer from are enormous. The study that revealed the effect of these GMOs on the health of these rats has just been completed. It benefited from exceptional financial & technical means. We were able to witness the study in its entirety. It lasted for two years. Following years of doubt and controversies will we finally know the truth about GMOs? Would we then be faced with a health crisis of global proportions?
Paris, December 16th, 2011, Criigen offices, Committee for Research & Independent Information for Genetic Engineering…. Presentation of the results collected by Professor Seralini during his study focused on determining the potential harmfulness of the GMO corn Nk603 for humans and animals….
This is the longest most thorough study to have been carried out on a GMO and we’ve also carried out a joint study on the most used pesticide in the world, the Roundup which is a herbicide. It belongs to the main pesticide category. We spent over a year trying to obtain transgenic corn because no GMO manufacturers were willing to provide them. This is because Monsanto requires contracts to be signed stipulating that the seeds must not be used for testing and an arrangement must be made prior to the testing. We wanted our study to be independent….. read full transcript HERE
Links to Further Research:
The following link provides a list of research that has been done on glyphosate:
Included are the following topics: