Glyphosate Causes Liver Disease?

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A new cutting edge study from Kings College, London has found that residues of popular weedkiller glyphosate found in food can cause fatty liver disease. This is another huge blow for glyphosate, but is it the final nail in the coffin?

Glyphosate is the world’s most widely sold weedkiller, commonly found in Monsanto’s Roundup, and we’re fighting to ban it as a pre-harvest treatment. Glyphosate is sprayed on our wheat and other cereals just before harvest – mainly to allow machines to go a little faster. From there it follows the grain into our bread; recent testing by the Defra Committee on Pesticide Residues in Food (PRiF) found that almost two thirds of wholemeal bread sampled contained glyphosate. Supermarkets and bread manufacturers say this is quite OK as Roundup is usually below official safety levels.

However, this new peer-reviewed study, led by Dr Michael Antoniou at King’s College London, has found that weedkillers like Roundup cause non-alcoholic fatty liver disease at very low doses, thousands of times below levels permitted by regulators worldwide. This research is the first evidence of a clear causative link between consumption of Roundup – at levels that are found in the real world – and a serious disease. It follows previous findings from the World Health Organisation’s International Agency for Research on Cancer, who concluded that glyphosate is a ‘probable carcinogen’.

It is extraordinary that glyphosate, in use for decades, has only now been recognised as a cause of the liver disease NAFLD (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease), which can cause fatigue, weakness, weight loss, loss of appetite, nausea, abdominal pain, spider-like blood vessels, yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice), itching, fluid build-up and swelling of the legs and abdomen, and mental confusion.

The study was conducted over two years, where rats were administered a very low daily dose of four nanograms per kilogram of bodyweight per day. To put that into perspective that is 75,000 times below the levels of glyphosate permitted by the EU in our food. According to lead researcher Dr Michael Antoniou, previous studies on human urine found that we often consume around a thousand times the amount of glyphosate the rats consumed. Regulators globally accept toxicity studies in rats as indicators of human health risk, making this a significant, and truly disturbing, discovery.

The news about Roundup comes just as France announces an official ban on the use of all harmful chemicals in outdoor places where young children, crucial pollinators and the general public frequently gather – the ban covers all public parks, gardens and forests including famed Parisian green spaces like Jardin des Tuileries, Bois de Vincennes and Jardin de Luxembourg. Only French cemeteries and sports stadiums are exempt. In 2019, the law will be extended to private gardens. These national moves follow cities like Lyon, France’s third-largest, and Strasbourg, which have kept all their public parks and gardens (300 in Lyon alone) pesticide-free since 2008.

We need to get this poisonous weedkiller out of our bread, and out of our bodies. We are calling for an end to spraying Glyphosate on crops just before they are harvested, and you can join the fight by joining us or writing to your local MP. This new study raises serious concerns for human health and must be taken seriously by Monsanto and the government; with enough pressure we can ensure it is the final nail in the coffin for glyphosate.

LINK: https://www.soilassociation.org/blogs/2017/january/glyphosate-weedkiller-causes-liver-disease/

STUDY: http://www.nature.com/articles/srep39328

 

Glyphosate, 2,4-D And Dicamba Herbicides Cause Antibiotic Resistance

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Scientists have discovered that exposure to three widely used herbicides including Monsanto’s Roundup and Kamba causes pathogenic bacteria to develop resistance to medically important antibiotics.

This is a very important scientific discovery. The study shows that the use of herbicides in intensive farming may be one of the reasons that antibiotic resistance has been increasing so rapidly in recent years.

A team of researchers from universities in New Zealand and Mexico have discovered that three herbicides (weed killers) widely used in agriculture and in gardens can make disease causing bacteria resistant to antibiotics.

Their paper, published in the online journal MBio, offers a new perspective on the problem of antibiotic resistance, which may help to explain why it has been increasing so rapidly in recent years.

The three herbicides they looked at were glyphosate, the world’s most widely used pesticide (formulations are sold by Monsanto as ‘Roundup’), dicamba (Kamba), which is proprietary to Monsanto, and 2,4-D, the active ingredient of the notorious ‘agent orange’ herbicide used by the US military to ‘defoliate’ rainforests in Vietnam and Cambodia in the 1960s.

These were tested on E. coli and Salmonella bacteria treated with one of five different antibiotics: Ciprofloxacin, chloramphenicol, ampicillin, kanamycin and tetracycline. E.coli cause more infections that any other type of bacteria. Both E.coli and Salmonella can cause serious, even fatal, infections.

In most cases even low levels of the herbicides had the effect of inducing antibiotic resistance before the antibiotics had time to kill the bacteria. In a few antibiotic / herbicide combinations they actually made the bacteria more susceptible to the antibiotic, while in other cases they had no impact.

The danger is on-farm, not in food

Continue reading “Glyphosate, 2,4-D And Dicamba Herbicides Cause Antibiotic Resistance”

World Health Organisation Says Most Common Weedkiller ‘Probably’ Causes Cancer

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In March, 2015, 17 experts from 11 countries met at the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC; Lyon, France) to assess the carcinogenicity of the organophosphate pesticides tetrachlorvinphos, parathion, malathion, diazinon, and glyphosate (table). These assessments will be published as volume 112 of the IARC Monographs.

Glyphosate is a broad-spectrum herbicide, currently with the highest production volumes of all herbicides. It is used in more than 750 different products for agriculture, forestry, urban, and home applications. Its use has increased sharply with the development of genetically modified glyphosate-resistant crop varieties. Glyphosate has been detected in air during spraying, in water, and in food. There was limited evidence in humans for the carcinogenicity of glyphosate. Case-control studies of occupational exposure in the USA, Canada and Sweden reported increased risks for non-Hodgkin lymphoma that persisted after adjustment for other pesticides. The AHS cohort did not show a significantly increased risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. In male CD-1 mice, glyphosate induced a positive trend in the incidence of a rare tumour, renal tubule carcinoma. A second study reported a positive trend for haemangiosarcoma in male mice. Glyphosate increased pancreatic islet-cell adenoma in male rats in two studies. A glyphosate formulation promoted skin tumours in an initiation-promotion study in mice.

Glyphosate has been detected in the blood and urine of agricultural workers, indicating absorption. Soil microbes degrade glyphosate to aminomethylphosphoric acid (AMPA). Blood AMPA detection after poisonings suggests intestinal microbial metabolism in humans. Glyphosate and glyphosate formulations induced DNA and chromosomal damage in mammals, and in human and animal cells in vitro. One study reported increases in blood markers of chromosomal damage (micronuclei) in residents of several communities after spraying of glyphosate formulations. Bacterial mutagenesis tests were negative. Glyphosate, glyphosate formulations, and AMPA induced oxidative stress in rodents and in vitro. The Working Group classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans” (Group 2A).

Organophosphate_classification

Continue reading “World Health Organisation Says Most Common Weedkiller ‘Probably’ Causes Cancer”

Environment Groups Condemn Plans To Plant RoundUp Ready GM Crops In England

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Joint press release: GeneWatch UK, Greenpeace UK, Friends of the Earth, GM Freeze, Soil Association (Monday 10th March 2014)

Environment groups today wrote to the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister to condemn Environment Secretary Owen Paterson’s support for growing GM crops in Britain (1). Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, GeneWatch UK, GM Freeze and the Soil Association expressed concerns that controversial RoundUp Ready GM crops might be planted in England as early as Spring 2015, leading to harm to the environment.

At the EU’s March Environment Council meeting, Paterson supported a proposal which would fast-track GM crops for commercial cultivation in pro-GM countries, whilst allowing anti-GM countries to opt out (2). The first GM crops in the pipeline for approval that are likely to be grown in England are Monsanto’s RoundUp Ready GM maize NK603 and Syngenta’s GA21. These crops are genetically engineered to withstand blanket spraying with the weedkiller glyphosate (brand name RoundUp). Monsanto has not withdrawn its application to plant NK603 in the EU, despite announcing in July 2013 that it would do so (3).

Previous plans to grow herbicide-tolerant GM crops commercially in the UK were abandoned in 2004, following the Farm Scale Evaluations (FSEs), which showed that blanket spraying with weedkillers destroys important habitats for birds, butterflies and other wildlife (4). These concerns have been borne out in reality in the United States, where widespread planting of RoundUp Ready crops has led to a drastic decline in numbers of the iconic Monarch butterfly, due to the destruction of the milkweed habitat where they lay their eggs (5). ‘Superweeds’ which have evolved resistance to RoundUp  adversely affected nearly half of US farms surveyed in 2013, leading to major economic and environmental problems as spraying with other more toxic weedkillers has increased in response (6). Monopoly control over the seed supply, which is patented, has also led to major seed price hikes for farmers.

“Monsanto and other GM companies are desperate to push their GM crops into other countries before the devastating impacts on wildlife and farming destroy existing markets” said Dr Helen Wallace, Director of GeneWatch UK, “The Government should not be caving in to commercial lobbying and putting British birds and butterflies at risk”.

“The Soil Association hope that David Cameron does not want to be remembered as the Prime Minister responsible for the beginning of the end of organic farming in England.  If GM crops spread, GM contamination will make organic farming impossible, and our growing organic market will have to be supplied with imported food”, said Peter Melchett, Soil Association Policy Director.

“British consumers don’t want to eat GM food and both Scottish and Welsh governments have made it clear they are opposed to GM crops. So why are our representatives in Westminster doing their level best to hand over control of our food and our natural environment to big business?” said Liz O’Neill, Director of GM Freeze.

“Ten years ago the UK Government reviewed the scientific, environmental and economic impacts of GM crops and food, and concluded they offered little benefit to the UK. Despite much huffing and puffing from its advocates, little has changed and the propositions on offer from the biotech industry are largely the same as they were. But the UK Government is so in thrall to industry hype that they want to deconstruct the EU single market – previously the only thing about Europe they wanted to keep – in order to grow GM crops that nobody wants”, said Dr Doug Parr, Chief Scientist, Greenpeace UK.

LINK: http://www.genewatch.org/article.shtml?als[cid]=492860&als[itemid]=574352

Dutch Parliament Bans Glyphosate Herbicides For Non-Commercial Use

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From the end of 2015 onward the sale of Glyphosate -based herbicides to private persons, including the World’s number one herbicide ‘Roundup’, will be prohibited in the Netherlands over health fears.

Glyphosate is an ingredient of Roundup, which is sold to private persons as a weed control product. The Dutch Lower House gave consent to a motion by Dutch Member of Parliament Esther Ouwehand, which prohibits the sale of glyphosate to private individuals.

Glyphosate is increasingly associated with health problems such as infertility, birth defects, damage to the nervous system, Parkinson’s disease and several forms of cancer. In addition to health risks for humans, the usage of chemical pesticides can also lead to loss of biodiversity and difficulties with purifying drinking water.

In 2011 the Dutch Lower House asked for a total ban on the use of glyphosate outside the agricultural sector. Municipalities also use this pesticide for weed control and even private persons can buy it everywhere. Contrary to the wish of the Lower House the cabinet made all kinds of exceptions to the requested ban. Private individuals were allowed to use products containing glyphosate in their gardens, but not on their terraces. This is unclear, uncontrollable as well as irresponsible, given all risks to health and environment.

Now that the Party for the Animals motion has been adopted the cabinet has to get pesticides containing glyphosate, such as the commonly-sold RoundUp, off the shelves. Political parties PvdA, CU, 50+, GroenLinks, SP and PVV support the motion by Ouwehand, which she has submitted together with Gerard Schouw (D66).

Esther Ouwehand: “Agricultural pesticides in user-friendly packaging are sold in abundance to private persons. In garden centres RoundUp is promoted as harmless, but unsuspecting customers have no idea what the risks of this product are. Especially children are sensitive to toxic substances and should therefore not be exposed to it.”

The Lower House, led by the Party for the Animals, makes a stand against agricultural pesticides more and more. The Lower House supported motions by Esther Ouwehand for a ban on neonicotinoids, toxins that cause massive bee mortality. Moreover, at the urging of the Party for the Animals measures are being taken to restrict agricultural pesticides in order to protect residents. Ouwehand’s plea has recently been underlined by the Dutch Health Council.

Many people are concerned about the use of glyphosate in their living environment. This is demonstrated by dozens of reports at Gifkikker.nl, the notification centre that the Party for the Animals and foundation Bollenboos launched in April last year. The Dutch Health Council praised this initiative, because up until then civilians who worry about the use of pesticides in their neighbourhood could not turn to anyone with their concerns and complaints.

LINK: http://sustainablepulse.com/2014/04/04/dutch-parliament-bans-glyphosate-herbicides-non-commercial-use/