“Monsanto has been lying and covering up the truth about glyphosate’s harmful effects on public health and the environment for decades. The increases in multiple chronic diseases, seen since its introduction into the food supply, continue to rise in step with its use. Monsanto’s Roundup glyphosate based herbicides have a ubiquitous presence as residues in the food supply directly associated with its crop use. Nations must stand together against Monsanto and other chemical companies who continue to destroy the biosphere. We are all part of that biosphere and we are all connected. What affects one affects us all.” – Dr. Anthony Samsel
By Jeff Kirkpatrick
Updated August 15, 2018
“Future historians will look back on our time and write not about how many pounds of pesticides we do or don’t apply, what they’ll write about is how willing we are to sacrifice our children and jeopardize future generations just for this massive experiment that we called genetic engineering that’s based on failed promises, flawed science – just to benefit the bottom line of a commercial enterprise.” – Dr. Don Huber
This blog post is intended to provide information about some aspects of glyphosate so that anyone who is interested in doing more research can use this as a source to assist in that process. It is not meant to be a full report about glyphosate and its many issues.
This is the featured article: “Why Glyphosate Should Be Banned,” by Dr. Mae-Wan Ho and Dr. Eva Sirinathsinghji, Institute of Science in Society; October 10, 2012
This article also preceded a much more detailed report also published by the Institute of Science in Society. See below for more details on “Banishing Glyphosate,” by Dr. Eva Sirinathsinghji & Dr. Mae-Wan Ho et al, Institute of Science in Society; August 2015 – updated on September 15, 2015.
This article was published in 2012, three years before the International Agency for Research on Cancer’s review concluded glyphosate was a probable carcinogen, Group 2A (see: “Monograph Volume 112 – GLYPHOSATE,” by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC); March 2015). Recently Monsanto’s CEO Hugh Grant has declared that Roundup is not cancerous1 – one cannot help but consider this in the context of the history of Monsanto’s previous declarations: “DDT is safe” and “PCBs are safe.” This is the ongoing spin that has lasted not just for years, but decades. One product after another has been declared safe by the corporation and its devoted religious followers, yet over time, one by one the public eventually has learned that these declarations of safety were lies.
Corporations are legally bound to make a profit for their shareholders but even so, the question must be asked: at what expense – and, at whose expense? This need to fulfill insatiable greed is the driving force behind the lies and disregard for the environment and the health of the public. An absence of ethics is glaringly obvious. Yes, corporations are supposed to turn a profit, but – is it imperative for a company to try to reach that goal while incorporating a callous disregard for the environment and without any consideration whatsoever for the health of the people who are exposed to these chemicals? No. That’s the result of a series of choices that are made over time that reflect the true nature of the corporate personhood personality: a sociopath without empathy, guilt, or remorse. There exists no moral compass that inhibits the repetitive lies.
Although the 2012 article does not have the most up to date information on this subject, it covers many aspects of glyphosate that remain valid and are worth highlighting:
Excerpt from the article:
Evidence of harm to health
- Monsanto and the European Commission (EC) have known about birth defects since the 1980s. Industry studies found statistically significant skeletal and/or visceral abnormalities as well as reduced viability and increase in spontaneous abortions in rats and rabbits exposed to high doses of glyphosate. Lower doses were later shown to cause dilated hearts. The EC dismissed all the findings.
- Independent studies have since found caudal vertebrae loss in rats treated with sub-lethal doses of the herbicide; as well as craniofacial abnormalities, increased embryonic mortality and endocrine disruption, abnormal onset of puberty, and abnormal sexual behavior and sperm count in male offspring of mothers exposed during gestation.
- GM soybean-fed female rats gave birth to excessive numbers of severely stunted pups, with over half of the litter dead by three weeks, and the surviving pups were sterile.
- Non-mammalian animals exposed to glyphosate resulted in increased gonad size, increased mortality, craniofacial abnormalities correlating with abnormal retinoic acid signaling, and reduced egg viability.
- In vitro exposure to glyphosate resulted in endocrine disruption and death of cells of the testis, placenta, and umbilical cord.
- A long term in vivo study on rats found females exposed to Roundup and/or Roundup Ready GM maize were two to three times as likely to die as controls and much more likely to develop large mammary tumors, while males presented large tumors four times controls and up to 600 days earlier.
- Clinical data from Argentina are consistent with lab findings of increases in birth defects and cancers in regions with large areas cultivating glyphosate-tolerant soybean.
- Endocrine disruption has been observed in both in vivo and in vitro studies in the laboratory, including abnormal levels of testosterone, aromatase enzyme, testosterone and estrogen receptors, luteinizing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone. Endocrine disruption can lead to cancers and reproductive problems.
- Epidemiological studies have found links to cancer including non-Hodgkin lymphoma and increased plasma cell proliferation. Cancer rates have risen in in glyphosate-use zones in Argentina. Lab studies found significant increases in interstitial cell tumor incidence in rats as well as skin tumor-promoting activity. Numerous lab studies including those performed by industry showed glyphosate damages DNA of cells in culture as well as in humans living in glyphosate-sprayed regions of Argentina. Non-mammalian studies found defects in cell cycle checkpoints and DNA damage repair machinery. DNA damage is a major prelude to cancers. AMPA, the glyphosate metabolite, also has genotoxic effects.
- Neurotoxicity effects include Parkinsonism have emerged following acute exposure. Exposure to glyphosate resulted in oxidative stress in lab animals and death of neuronal cells, correlating with Parkinsonian pathology. Acute exposure in fish resulted in acetylcholine esterase (AChE) inhibition. An epidemiological study linked glyphosate -exposure to Attention-Deficit-Hyperactive disorder in children, a disorder associated with AChE inhibition. The original neurotoxicity studies carried out by industry were ruled invalid by the US Environment Protection Agency and urgently need re-examining by independent scientists.
- Internal organ toxicity has been documented in animal feeding studies with glyphosate-tolerant soybean. Rats suffered kidney abnormalities including renal leakage and ionic disturbances, and liver pathology including irregular hepatocyte nuclei, and increased metabolic rates.
- Acute toxicity of glyphosate is officially declared low by government agencies; however agricultural workers have reported many symptoms including skin irritation, skin lesions, eye irritation, allergies, respiratory problems and vomiting. Ingestion of large volumes causes systemic toxicity and death.
Glyphosate toxicity can no longer be ignored. While evidence of its harm to health and the environment grows, Monsanto is proposing to raise permitted residual levels in lentils by 100 fold in the EU. This is clearly unacceptable. Brazil has recently proposed a new bill that will ban many environmental toxins including glyphosate. A global ban or phase-out of glyphosate use is a matter of urgency, and with that, widespread adoption of non-GM sustainable agriculture. [Citations omitted, emphasis added]
Read the full article here: “Why Glyphosate Should Be Banned,” by Dr. Mae-Wan Ho and Dr. Eva Sirinathsinghji, Institute of Science in Society; October 10, 2012
This is the best overall report about glyphosate: “Banishing Glyphosate,” by Dr. Eva Sirinathsinghji & Dr. Mae-Wan Ho with Dr. Medardo Ávila-Vázquez, Dr. Don M. Huber, Dr. Rosemary Mason, Ib Borup Pederson, Prof Peter Saunders & Dr. Nancy Swanson, Institute of Science in Society; August 2015 – updated on September 15, 2015 (90 pages). The authors strongly advocate for a ban on glyphosate based herbicides.
Although this report was first published in August 2015, it was republished a month later in September after the authors reviewed more studies including those that the IARC (International Agency of Cancer Research, a division of WHO) reviewed. They decided to update the report after concluding that glyphosate is cancerous – not probably cancerous (as classified by the IARC). They updated the report to include these new findings. In an article explaining why they revised their report, two of the authors explained:
The WHO expert panel reclassified glyphosate as ‘probably carcinogenic’ more than 40 years after it was brought to market, but the range of available evidence is sufficient to classify it definitely carcinogenic. Glyphosate’s carcinogenic potential has been known to Monsanto and the US Environment Protection Agency from long term animal experiments since the early 1980s, but repeatedly dismissed. This has resulted in two decades of people and planet being poisoned by glyphosate herbicides on a misclassification of ‘noncarcinogenic’ that has allowed the manufacturer to claim it is ‘safe’ and perpetrating many other falsehoods to promote its ubiquitous and liberal use…
Regarding carcinogenicity in humans, we have reviewed the main evidence presented in the glyphosate part of the IARC Monograph 112, which showed that glyphosate exposure is associated with increased risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma from several large epidemiological studies as well as smaller studies, and single studies have found non-significant RRs or ORs for glyphosate exposure and several cancer sites. In addition, we have presented further relevant evidence from the formal scientific literature as well as reports from non-government organizations…
We have added a study published in 2015 (not included in the IARC report), which found that children living within 500 m of spraying areas have over 66 % more cells with micronuclei in in the cells lining the inside of the mouth than those living more than 3 000 m away, and 40 % of the exposed children suffer from persistent conditions that may be associated with chronic pesticide exposure. This study highlights the extensive area (500 km) affected by aerial spraying.
Further, we have elaborated on a published study dealing with an aspect ignored in the IARC report, i.e., synergistic effects of mixtures of herbicides most likely to be encountered in the environment. The study investigated the genotoxicity of mixtures of glyphosate and atrazine (the world’s top two herbicides) and their breakdown products AMPA and desethyl-atrazine (DEA) before and after photoactivation in hamster ovarian CHO K1 cells. It found that the mixture of 4 pesticides exhibited a very powerful genotoxic activity 20 times that of AMPA (the most genotoxic agent) and 200-fold that of atrazine after metabolic activation, and which was further enhanced 100-fold by light. The genotoxicity of the herbicides and mixtures was accompanied by corresponding level of oxidative stress induced.
We suggest that the additional evidence – had it been taken into proper account – would have been sufficient to classify glyphosate as definitely carcinogenic. [Footnotes omitted, emphasis in bold red added].
To read the full article, see: “Glyphosate is Carcinogenic,” by Dr. Mae-Wan Ho and Prof Peter T. Saunders, Institute of Science in Society; September 9, 2015
The full revised report: “Banishing Glyphosate,” by Dr. Eva Sirinathsinghji & Dr. Mae-Wan Ho et al, Institute of Science in Society; September 15, 2015 (90 pages)
See the report with a 20 page supplement added: “Banishing Glyphosate (with supplement),” by Dr. Eva Sirinathsinghji, Dr. Mae-Wan Ho, et al., Institute of Science in Society; September 2015 (110 pages)
Excerpt: One argument for the safety of GM food and their associated pesticides is that the US has been consuming them for years without ill effect. However, in the absence of labeling GM foods, it is illegitimate to make such a claim. On the contrary, there has been a drastic deterioration of public health in the US since GM crops were introduced…
There is clearly a strong correlation between the conditions on the one hand and GMOs and glyphosate use on the other. This does not by itself prove there is a causal relationship, but it is certainly evidence in favor of one. When we add to it the evidence that glyphosate has led to birth defects in humans, that it has been found to harm laboratory rats, cattle on farms, and other animals as well, that it interferes with an important metabolic pathway in animals, that it adversely affects beneficial gut bacteria, that it acts as an endocrine disruptor, and more besides, the case against glyphosate becomes very strong indeed…
The toxic agrochemicals affect everyone, but it is the poor people, the laborers, their wives and children, who are the least likely to be protected and to recover their health…
There is already evidence that glyphosate is an endocrine disrupting chemical, but the extent of the problem is far greater than it appears. Different glyphosate formulations vary in toxicity, mainly because some of them contain adjuvants that are either toxic by themselves, or else exert synergistic effects with glyphosate. It has long been known that Monsanto’s formulation Roundup, the most widely used glyphosate herbicide, is far more damaging than glyphosate itself.
It is worth noting that – as reported by Claire Robinson (GMWatch), “Glyphosate narrowly missed being classed as a known human carcinogen.” The article states that Aaron Blair, the scientist who headed the IARC group, was “an epidemiologist who spent thirty years at the National Cancer Institute.” He is paraphrased by another author (Andrew Cockburn*) about the IARC’s decision to classify glyphosate as a probable carcinogen (Group 2A); “Cockburn paraphrases Blair as follows,” (Claire writes):
“According to Blair, there were good grounds to declare that glyphosate definitely causes cancer” – in other words, it should be classed in category 1 as a known human carcinogen. But “This did not happen, [Blair] said, because ‘the epidemiologic data was a little noisy’. In other words, while several studies suggested a link, another study, of farmers in Iowa and North Carolina, did not. Blair pointed out that there had been a similar inconsistency in human studies of benzene, now universally acknowledged as a carcinogen. In any case, this solitary glitch in the data caused the group to list glyphosate as a probable (instead of a definite) cause of cancer.”
Read the full article here: “New revelation about glyphosate-cancer link genotoxic,” by Claire Robinson, GMWatch; August 13, 2015
*Andrew Cockburn’s article is here: “Weed Whackers: Monsanto, glyphosate, and the war on invasive species,” by Andrew Cockburn, Harper’s Magazine; September 2015
“Historic Ruling Against Monsanto Finds Company Acted with ‘Malice’ Against Groundskeeper with Cancer,” by Democracy Now! August 14, 2018
“How Monsanto Plants Stories, Suppresses Science & Silences Dissent to Sell a Cancer-Linked Chemical,” by Democracy Now! August 14, 2018
“How Monsanto Plants Stories, Suppresses Science & Silences Dissent to Sell a Cancer-Linked Chemical” (13:42) Democracy Now! August 14, 2018
“Monsanto ordered to pay $289m as jury rules weedkiller caused man’s cancer,” by Sam Levin and Patrick Greenfield, The Guardian; August 11, 2018
“One man’s suffering has exposed Monsanto’s secrets to the world,” by Carey Gillam, The Guardian; August 11, 2018
“Monsanto’s ‘cancer-causing’ weedkiller destroyed my life, dying man tells court,” by Sam Levin, The Guardian; July 23, 2018
“Monsanto ‘bullied scientists’ and hid weedkiller cancer risk, lawyer tells court,” by Sam Levin, The Guardian; July 9, 2018
“Commercially formulated glyphosate can kill non‐target pollinator bees under laboratory conditions,” by John Abraham, Grace Senami Benhotons, Isaac Krampah, Jehoshaphat Tagba, Carlos Amissah &Janice Dwomoh Abraham, Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, published online July 5, 2018 (8 pages)
“Glyphosate and atrazine in rainfall and soils in agroproductive areas of the pampas region in Argentina,” by Lucas L Alonso, Pablo M Demetrio, M. Agustina Etchegoyen & Damian Marino, Science of the Total Environment, Vol. 645; July 14, 2018 (8 pages); a summary article is here (Google translation) “Agrotoxins detected in rain samples in Argentina,” by Patricio Eleisegui, Elfederal; July 26, 2018; the original article is published HERE.
“Glyphosate and AMPA, ‘pseudo-persistent’ pollutants under real-world agricultural management practices in the Mesopotamic Pampas agroecosystem, Argentina,” by Jezabel E. Primost, Damián J.G. Marino, Virginia C. Aparicio, José Luis Costa, Pedro Carriquiriborde, Environmental Pollution, Vol. 229, October 2017 (9 pages)
“Occurrence of glyphosate and AMPA in an agricultural watershed from the southeastern region of Argentina,” by Leonardo Lupi, Karina S.B. Miglioranza, Virginia C. Aparicio, Damian Marino, Francisco Bedmar, Daniel A. Wunderlin, Science of the Total Environment, Vol. 536; July 2015 (8 pages)
“Behavioral impairments following repeated intranasal glyphosate-based herbicide administration in mice,” by Carlos Javier Baier, Cristina Eugenia Gallegos, Rita Raisman-Vozari and Alejandra Minetti, Neurotoxicology and Teratology, Vol. 64 November-December 2017 (10 pages)
“Urinary Excretion of the Herbicide Glyphosate in Older Adults, 1993-2016,” by Paul J. Mills PhD, Izabela Kania-Korwel PhD, John Fagan PhD et al, JAMA, Vol. 318, No. 16; Oct. 24-31 (2 pages)
Related summary articles are here: “Weed Killer Roundup Is Increasingly Showing Up in People,” by Alice Park, Time; October 24, 2017
“We May Be Consuming More Glyphosate than ever before,” by Jeneen Interlandi, Consumer Reports; October 24, 2017
“Exposure to Glyphosate, Chemical Found in Weed Killers, Increased Over 23 Years,” by Yadira Galindo, UC San Diego Health; October 24, 2017
“Distribution of glyphosate and aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA) in agricultural topsoils of the European Union,” by Vera Silva, Luca Montanarella, Arwyn Jones, Oihane Fernández-Ugalde, Hans G.J. Mol, Coen J. Ritsema and Violette Geissen, Science of The Total Environment, October 15, 2017 (8 pages) [In Press, Corrected Proof] doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.10.093
This publication is also HERE in HTML format.
A summary article is here: “New Study Shows Glyphosate Contaminates Soils – Half of Europe at Risk,” by Ruchi Shroff, Navdanya International; October 19, 2017
Excerpt: The publication of the study by the French biologist showing the devastating effects of glyphosate caused a shock wave at Monsanto – and the company has not stopped denouncing the publication by all means possible.
Monsanto’s nightmare. Gilles-Eric Séralini, professor of biology at the University of Caen, became exactly that on September 19, 2012. This evidence surfaced from the latest release of “Monsanto papers” – the internal documents of the agrochemical multinational made public in the context of a class action lawsuit against it in the United States. They show that employees of the firm maneuvered behind the scenes over several weeks to obtain the retraction of the controversial study by the French biologist. And that they achieved their aim.
We recall that on that day, Séralini published a study with global resonance in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology. Rats fed with GM maize and/or glyphosate (the active ingredient of Roundup) had developed enormous tumours, which were immediately splashed over one of the newspapers. The media coverage, which was considerable, was disastrous for the image of Monsanto and its products, even if the study was judged inconclusive by all scientific organisations – including the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of the United Nations. Then, in November 2013, an event took place that was unprecedented in the history of scientific publishing: the study was retracted by the journal – that is, it was disowned after publication.
Many researchers expressed their unease: the work of the French researchers had not been found fraudulent or to contain unintentional errors, which usually the only reasons for withdrawing a publication from the scientific literature. In an editorial published later in January 2014, the editor of the magazine, Wallace Hayes, justified this decision on the basis that “No definitive conclusions could be drawn from the inconclusive data”. The Séralini study was therefore the first – and only – study to have been deleted from archives of a scholarly journal for its lack of “conclusive evidence”.
But what Wallace Hayes does not mention is that he was bound by a consultancy contract to Monsanto. Well known in the world of toxicology and a researcher affiliated with Harvard University, he spent most of his career in the chemical industry and at the cigarette firm R. J. Reynolds, where he was a vice-president. The “Monsanto Papers” reveal that Mr. Hayes was a consultant for the agrochemical firm from the middle of August 2012. His mission was to develop a network of South American scientists to participate in a symposium on glyphosate, and his fees were set at “$400 [340 euros] per hour” within a limit of “$3,200 per day and a total of $16,000”. At no time was this conflict of interest between Monsanto and the editor-in-chief of the journal disclosed.
“Monsanto’s Toxic Tricks” (19:15) Greens EFA, April 13, 2018
“Whitewash – The Story of a Weed Killer, Cancer, and the Corruption of Science,” by Carey Gillam, Island Press (October 10, 2017); this book is also available through Island Press HERE.
It’s the pesticide on our dinner plates, a chemical so pervasive it’s in the air we breathe, our water, our soil, and even found increasingly in our own bodies. Known as Monsanto’s Roundup by consumers, and as glyphosate by scientists, the world’s most popular weed killer is used everywhere from backyard gardens to golf courses to millions of acres of farmland. For decades it’s been touted as safe enough to drink, but a growing body of evidence indicates just the opposite, with research tying the chemical to cancers and a host of other health threats.
In Whitewash, veteran journalist Carey Gillam uncovers one of the most controversial stories in the history of food and agriculture, exposing new evidence of corporate influence. Gillam introduces readers to farm families devastated by cancers which they believe are caused by the chemical, and to scientists whose reputations have been smeared for publishing research that contradicted business interests. Readers learn about the arm-twisting of regulators who signed off on the chemical, echoing company assurances of safety even as they permitted higher residues of the pesticide in food and skipped compliance tests. And, in startling detail, Gillam reveals secret industry communications that pull back the curtain on corporate efforts to manipulate public perception.
Whitewash is more than an exposé about the hazards of one chemical or even the influence of one company. It’s a story of power, politics, and the deadly consequences of putting corporate interests ahead of public safety. [Quoted from Amazon]
An excerpt from the book: “Weed killer for breakfast,” by Carey Gillam; Environmental Health News; October 11, 2017
“You’re Probably Consuming This ‘Probable Carcinogen’ Every Single Day,” by Carey Gillam, Alternet; October 13, 2017
“Is Roundup Poisoning the Planet?” by Jonathan Hahn, Sierra Club; October 14, 2017
Excerpt: “Outrage” is the only word that captures the experience of reading Carey Gillam’s Whitewash: The Story of a Weed Killer, Cancer, and the Corruption of Science. Her exhaustive examination of the history of glyphosate—the main ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup – reveals that a herbicide as common as laundry detergent is the health and environmental calamity of modern agriculture.
“Did Monsanto Ignore Evidence Linking Its Weed Killer to Cancer?” by Rene Ebersole, The Nation; October 12, 2017
Excerpt: Monsanto also hired an outside consulting firm, -the Intertek Group, to orchestrate a so-called “independent” review of glyphosate’s health effects to refute the IARC’s cancer assessment. A disclosure accompanying the review, which was published in Critical Reviews in Toxicology, reported that Intertek was paid by Monsanto but claimed that “neither any Monsanto company employees nor any attorneys reviewed any of the Expert Panel’s manuscripts prior to submission to the journal.” In fact, internal e-mails indicate that Heydens and other Monsanto employees reviewed and edited drafts before the report was published. “I have gone through the entire document and indicated what I think should stay, what can go, and in a couple spots I did a little editing,” wrote Heydens in a February 2016 e-mail to Ashley Roberts, senior vice president in Intertek’s food and nutrition division. Partridge defended the review’s independence: “It did not amount to substantial contributions, editing [or] commenting—nothing substantive to alter the scientists’ conclusions.”
“Doubt is our product,” a cigarette-company executive once wrote, “since it is the best means of competing with the ‘body of fact’ that exists in the mind of the general public. It is also a means of establishing a controversy.” For 50 years, Big Tobacco manufactured uncertainties about the health impacts of cigarettes, with ads featuring smoking physicians and a media campaign claiming that there was “no proof” of any health concerns caused by smoking. In defending glyphosate, plaintiffs say, Monsanto is following a familiar playbook: hire scientists to produce friendly results, fund front groups—Monsanto has contributed to the American Council on Science and Health, which defends glyphosate and other chemicals from “junk science”—and use the media to sway public opinion.
“It appears as though we are seeing the unraveling of a very carefully crafted corporate narrative about the safety of a well-known product used around the world, just as we saw when the dark and dirty secrets of the tobacco industry came to light,” said Carey Gillam, research director for US Right to Know and the author of a new book, Whitewash: The Story of a Weed Killer, Cancer, and the Corruption of Science. “Monsanto’s own internal communications indicate that it has worked long and hard to suppress scientific research showing dangers with its herbicide while at the same time setting up secret networks of straw men to push product propaganda.”
Monsanto has also tried to undermine the credibility of scientists on the IARC committee. “The basic strategy is: Attack people who’ve done the research you don’t like—mercilessly,” said epidemiologist Devra Davis, a former appointee to the US Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board and president of the nonprofit Environmental Health Trust. “They go after the researcher, they go after their funding…. Even the scientists who reported the formation of the ozone hole were vilified before they got their Nobel Prize” in chemistry.
“Monsanto’s ‘Jaw-Dropping’ Deception Exposed in ‘Whitewash’,” by Stacy Malkan, EcoWatch; October 10, 2017
“Reporting on the World’s Most Controversial Farm Chemical,” by Steve Holt, Civil Eats; October 10, 2017
“Monsanto’s campaign for glyphosate comes under scrutiny,” by FERN’s Ag Insider; October 12, 2017
“Proteomic analysis of the soil filamentous fungus Aspergillus nidulans exposed to a Roundup formulation at a dose causing no macroscopic effect: a functional study,” by Florence Poirier & Céline Boursier, Robin Mesnage, Nathalie Oestreicher, Valérie Nicolas & Christian Vélot, Environmental Science and Pollution Research, Sept. 23; 2017 (14 pages) doi: 10.1007/s11356-017-0217-6
A summary article is here: “New research challenges assumption of substantial equivalence for Roundup-tolerant GMOs,” by GMWatch; October 5, 2017
“Complex Outcomes from Insect and Weed Control with Transgenic Plants: Ecological Surprises?” by Thomas Bøhn and Gabor L. Lövei, Frontiers in Environmental Science, Vol. 5, No. 60; September 2017 (8 pages); This publication is also HERE in HTML format.
Summary articles are here: “Are there surprising ecological effects of genetically modified plants?” by GenØk; June 10, 2017
“Nasty ‘surprises’ from insect and weed control with GM plants,” by GMWatch; October 9, 2017
“The Toxic Story of RoundUp: Freedom from the Poison Cartel through Agroecology,” by Navdanya, September 2017 (82 pages); this publication can also be found HERE.
A summary news release is here: “Launch of the Report ‘The Toxic Story of RoundUp: Freedom from the Poison Cartel through Agroecology,’” by Navdanya International; September 6, 2017
UPDATE regarding the report, “Glyphosate and cancer: Authorities systematically breach regulations – How industry strategized (and regulators colluded) in an attempt to save the world’s most widely used herbicide from a ban,” by Peter Clausing, GLOBAL 2000 published on July 2017 – the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) responded to the report unfavorably. The author and editors responded to that agency as cited below:
“Author and editors of glyphosate report challenge ECHA to scientific debate over cancer link,” by GMWatch; July 19, 2017
Excerpt: GLOBAL 2000 has replied to the European Chemicals Agency’s initial response to the NGO’s recent report on glyphosate, “Glyphosate and cancer: Authorities systematically breach regulations” by challenging ECHA to a public scientific debate on glyphosate’s cancer-causing potential.
GLOBAL 2000’s report, authored by the toxicologist Dr. Peter Clausing, accused the EU authorities of breaking their own rules and brushing aside evidence of cancer to keep glyphosate on the market.
In its response, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) said it welcomed “the scientific content of the report and the challenges it poses”, but that it “most strongly refute[s] the allegation made in [the] title of the report and the pejorative language used within it”. It added, “We also regret the contribution such language makes to maligning the trust of citizens in science and public servants.”
Also see: “Author and editors of glyphosate report reply to ECHA,” by Helmut Burtscher (Global 2000), Peter Clausing, and Claire Robinson; July 17, 2017 (2 pages)
“Glyphosate and cancer: Authorities systematically breach regulations – How industry strategized (and regulators colluded) in an attempt to save the world’s most widely used herbicide from a ban,” by Peter Clausing, GLOBAL 2000 (Friends of the Earth Austria); July 2017 (31 pages)
This publication can also be found HERE.
Also see: “Summary: A failure in regulatory assessment,” by Claire Robinson MPhil & Helmut Burtscher-Schaden PhD, GLOBAL 2000 (Friends of the Earth Austria); July 2017 (4 pages)
These publications can also be downloaded from HERE.
A summary article is here: “EU authorities broke their own rules and brushed aside evidence of cancer to keep glyphosate on the market,” by GMWatch; July 13, 2017
“Monsanto (MON) is defending its weed killer, saying farm use does not cause cancer. The Trump EPA will decide,” by Chase Purdy, Quartz; July 15, 2017
“Fears mount as herbicide-cancer link comes to light,” by Sheree Bega, IOL; July 15, 2017
Excerpt: Johannesburg – From the age of 3, Quade Bowen liked to ride with his father, Johnny, on the tractor across their family farm in Utah, in the US.
Every spring and summer, Quade would help him tend the fields. Sometimes, the child would hold the sprayer wand to kill the weeds infiltrating their alfalfa and hay crops.
In 2014, when he was 11, Quade was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer that starts in white blood cells called lymphocytes, and form part of the immune system.
His family believes Quade has “suffered the affects as a direct and proximate result of the unreasonable and defective nature of RoundUp”.
The Bowen’s claims are contained in one of more than 1,100 lawsuits spanning farming communities, and gardeners, in the US who allege they contracted the blood cancer after using RoundUp, the most popular herbicide in the world, produced by global seed and chemical giant Monsanto.
In the Bowen’s court papers, filed earlier this year, they allege they did not know of an association between exposure to RoundUp and the increased risk of developing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma until well after the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the specialized cancer arm of the World Health Organization, classified glyphosate (the main ingredient in RoundUp) as a probable human carcinogen in early 2015.
This classification sparked global controversy – and an avalanche of litigation – amid fierce denials from Monsanto that the chemical, introduced in 1974, was unsafe.
“Industry edited EFSA’s Glyphosate evaluation ahead of publication,” by Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO); July 12, 2017
“EU authorities broke their own rules and brushed aside evidence of cancer to keep glyphosate on the market,” by GMWatch; July 13, 2017
“Did EFSA lie to the press on its glyphosate assessment?” by Corporate Europe Observatory; June 30, 2017
“Industry spinning glyphosate tales,” by Emily Marquez, Pesticide Action Network; June 29, 2017
“Weed Resistance to Glyphosate on GMO Crops: EPA Needs to Do Better,” by Marion Nestle, EcoWatch; June 28, 2017
“California to list glyphosate as cancer-causing; Monsanto vows fight,” by GMWatch; June 27, 2017
“Reuters story attacking IARC researcher is biased and selective,” by GMWatch; June 21, 2017
“Monsanto Accuses IARC Scientist of Withholding Glyphosate Data in Cancer Risk Assessment,” by Lorraine Chow; June 16, 2017
“Monsanto Spin Doctors Target Cancer Scientist in Flawed Reuters Story,” by Carey Gillam, HuffPost; June 16, 2017
Also see: “Roundup Revealed: Glyphosate in our Food System – Executive Summary,” by As You Sow; June 2017
A summary article is here: “Roundup Revealed: Glyphosate in Our Food System,” by Austin Wilson, EcoWatch; June 7, 2017
A resource called Children’s Environmental Health Network (CEHN) has created an ongoing study/project, “Herbicide Use and Birth Outcomes in the Midwest – A CEHN Healthy Kids Project”:
The Children’s Environmental Health Network (CEHN) is a national multi-disciplinary organization whose mission is to protect the developing child from environmental health hazards and promote a healthier environment. Today, CEHN is the voice of children’s environmental health in the nation’s capital, one that is uniquely informed by a strong basis in pediatric and environmental health science. For more on CEHN’s ongoing projects and activities, see: http://cehn.org/
This soon-to-be-published study has been written about in a number of articles:
“Researchers find glyphosate in pregnant women, worry about impact on infants,” by Rene Ebersole, FERN’s Ag Insider; April 7, 2017
“New study finds Roundup weed killer linked to premature and underweight infants,” by Ken Roseboro, The Organic & Non-GMO Report; April 5, 2017
“Assault on Midwest Women & Children on the Rise,” by Melody Meyer, Huffington Post; April5, 2017
“Moms Exposed To Monsanto Weed Killer Means Bad Outcomes for Babies,” by Carey Gillam, Huffington Post; April 4, 2017
“High Glyphosate Levels in Mothers Leads to Shorter Pregnancies and Smaller Babies – New Ongoing Study,” by Sustainable Pulse; April 5, 2017
“California EPA becomes first US agency to declare that Roundup causes cancer,” by GMWatch; March 30, 2017
“WHO Glyphosate Report Ends Thirty Year Cancer Cover Up,” by Sustainable Pulse; March 26, 2015
“Is it time to reassess current safety standards for glyphosate-based herbicides?” by Laura Vandenberg, Bruce Blumberg, Michael Antoniou, Charles Benbrook, Lynn Carroll, Theo Colborn, Lorne Everett, Michael Hansen, Philip Landrigan, Bruce Lanphear, Robin Mesnage, Frederick vom Saal, Wade Welshons & John Peterson Myers, Journal of Epidemiology Community Health, doi:10.1136/jech-2016-208463; March 20, 2017 (7 pages)
Excerpt: In this commentary, we have identified factors that heighten concerns over the adequacy of safety assessments, and by extension, permitted levels of exposure to glyphosate and GBHs. These factors include increased use of GBHs on crops and for non-crop weed control, leading to measurable concentrations of glyphosate and AMPA in foodstuffs and likely increases in human exposures. The lack of biomonitoring data and epidemiological studies remain important data gaps. A small number of controlled laboratory studies using contemporary scientific approaches have identified adverse effects of glyphosate and GBHs at much lower doses than those used to make risk assessment decisions. Although there is controversy and debate regarding the carcinogenic and endocrine disrupting potential of these compounds, conclusions such as those drawn by IARC call into question the safety of GBHs beyond ‘reasonable certainty of no harm’. Considering what is now known about glyphosate from studies published over the last three decades, as well as the knowledge gaps that continue to raise concerns, we conclude that current safety standards for GBHs are outdated and may fail to protect public health and the environment.
“Glyphosate and cancer: Buying science – How industry strategized (and regulators colluded) in an attempt to save the world’s most widely used herbicide from a ban,” by Helmut Burtscher, Peter Clausing and Claire Robinson, GLOBAL 2000 (Friends of the Earth Austria); March 2017 (72 pages)
A summary article is here: “New report shows glyphosate producers are ‘buying science,’” by GMWatch; March 23, 2017
This publication is cited in these related articles:
“Green NGOs blame Monsanto for ‘buying science’ to save glyphosate,” by Sarantis Michalopoulos, EURACTIV; March 24, 2017
“European regulators ‘didn′t even read’ risk studies on Monsanto pesticide glyphosate,” by Fabian Schmidt, DW.COM; March 23, 2017
“New European Report Shows Glyphosate Producers are ‘Buying Science,’” by Sustainable Pulse; March 23, 2017
“Glyphosate and the crucial battle for independent science,” by Heidi Hautala, Philippe Lamberts, Michèle Rivasi, Bart Staes and Benedek Jávor, EURACTIV; March 24, 2017
“Roundup Weed Killer: Herbicide May Cause Cancer,” by Justin Worland, Time; March 24, 2017
“Latest Roundup lawsuits rope a new defendant into the fray,” by Bryce Gray, St. Louis Post-Dispatch; March 24, 2017
“Monsanto’s Four Tactics for Undermining Glyphosate Science Review,” by Genna Reed, Union of Concerned Scientists; March 23, 2017
“Monsanto’s Four Tactics for Undermining Glyphosate Science Review,” by Genna Reed, Union of Concerned Scientists; March 23, 2017
“USDA Drops Plan to Test for Monsanto Weed Killer in Food,” by Carey Gillam, Huffington Post; March 23, 2017
This publication was also published by EcoWatch and can be found HERE.
“More farmers claim that Monsanto’s leading weed killer product caused them cancer,” by Eli Chen, St. Louis Public Radio; March 22, 2017
“Monsanto Faces Hundreds of New Cancer Lawsuits as Debate over Glyphosate Rages On,” by Lorraine Chow, EcoWatch; March 22, 2017
“Why is the EPA Delaying Release of Glyphosate Information?” by WhoWhatWhy; March 22, 2017
“US Congressman Calls for DOJ Investigation into EPA-Monsanto Glyphosate Collusion,” by Sustainable Pulse; March 17, 2017
“Monsanto Weed Killer Deserves Deeper Scrutiny As Scientific Manipulation Revealed,” by Carey Gillam, Huffington Post; March 17, 2017
“Unsealed Court Documents Suggest Monsanto Ghostwrote Research to Diminish Roundup Cancer Risk,” by Reynard Loki, EcoWatch; Match 16, 2017
“Monsanto and the EPA have been lying to us for years about Roundup,” by Zen Honeycutt, The Hill; March 16, 2017
“Monsanto Manufactured Scientific Studies and then used those studies to influence EPA, Other Regulators,” by Ed Mierzwinski, Huffington Post; March 15, 2017
“New emails complicate debate over safety of Monsanto’s weed killer,” by Eli Chen, St. Louis Public Radio; March 15, 2017
“EPA Official Accused of Helping Monsanto ‘Kill’ Cancer Study,” by Joel Rosenblatt, Lydia Mulvaney and Peter Waldman, Bloomberg; March 14, 2017
“California Judge Enables Cancer Warning on Monsanto’s Roundup,” by Sustainable Pulse; March 11, 2017
“Adverse Effects of Glyphosate on the Soil and Environment after 20 Years,” by Robert Kramer, Advances in Plants & Agriculture Research, Volume 6 Issue 5; March 7, 2017 (3 pages)
A summary article is here: “Adverse Effects of Glyphosate on the Soil and Environment after 20 Years,” by Third World Network, March 28, 2017
Excerpt from the article: Although glyphosate use has increased nearly 15-fold since 1996 when glyphosate-resistant GE crops were first introduced, it is only within the last 5-10 years that assessment of its detrimental effects on soil and environmental health have become the focus of intensive research efforts … Research reveals numerous potential adverse effects on biological organisms and their functions such as: immobilization of nutrients essential for metabolic processes in microorganisms and plants; disruption of microbial diversity in plant rhizospheres; disruption of earthworm activity; and reduction in growth and reproduction of numerous aquatic organisms including Daphnia spp.
Also see these earlier related publications:
“The impact of glyphosate on soil health: The evidence to date,” by Soil Association; March 2016 (9 pages)
“The Environmental Impacts of Glyphosate,” by Friends of the Earth Europe; June, 2013 (20 pages)
“Detection of Transgenic Cp4 EPSPS Genes in the Soil Food Web,” by Miranda M. Hart, Jeff R. Powell, Robert H. Gulden, David J. Levy-Booth, Kari E. Dunfield, K. Peter Pauls, Clarence J. Swanton, John N. Klironomos and Jack T. Trevors, Agronomy for Sustainable Development, Vol. 29, No. 4; October-December 2009 (5 pages)
Conclusion: We found evidence for large concentrations of transgenic DNA in animals from the food web associated with RoundUp Ready corn. This indicates that the transgene does not significantly degrade within the food web. Further, the guts of these animals may provide opportunity for genetic transformation into native soil bacteria. It remains to be determined how far down the food web the transgene is detectable and whether or not the identified gene is available for transformation. It may be that animals associated with the soil food web provide an excellent starting spot for detecting genetic transformation in the natural environment.
“Association between Cancer and Environmental Exposure to Glyphosate,” by Medardo Avila Vazquez, Eduardo Maturano, Agustina Etchegoyen, Flavia Silvina Difilippo and Bryan Maclean, International Journal of Clinical Medicine, Vol. 8, No. 2; February 21, 2017 (13 pages); This publication is also HERE in HTML format.
“Multiomics reveal non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in rats following chronic exposure to an ultra-low dose of Roundup herbicide,” by Robin Mesnage, George Renney, Gilles-Eric Séralini, Malcolm Ward & Michael N. Antoniou, Scientific Reports Vol. 7, Article 39328; January 9, 2017 (15 pages)
This publication is also HERE in HTML format.
Some related summary articles are here:
“Roundup causes non-alcoholic fatty liver disease at very low doses,” by Claire Robinson, GMWatch; January 9, 2017
“Groundbreaking Study Shows Roundup Herbicide Causes Liver Disease at Low Doses,” by Sustainable Pulse; January 9, 2017
“Glyphosate’s link to liver damage exposed,” by Staff Report, Beyond GM; January 10, 2017
This article has an interview with one of the authors of the study: “Scientist’s ground-breaking research uncovers new risks of GMOs, glyphosate,” by Ken Roseboro, The Organic & Non-GMO Report; January 26, 2017
This study was debated by the authors of the study and Monsanto – the maker of the most commonly used glyphosate-based herbicide, Roundup: “Study linking Roundup to serious disease fuels debate,” by Ryan Rifai, Al Jazeera; January 21, 2017
“Roundup: A new environmental risk factor for liver disease,” by David Schubert, PhD, GMWatch; January 29, 2017
“Optimization of an Enrichment and LC-MS/MS Method for the Analysis of Glyphosate and Aminomethylphosphonic Acid (AMPA) in Saline Natural Water Samples without Derivatization,” by Dana Pupke, Lea Daniel and Daniel Proefrock, Journal of Chromatography & Separation Techniques, Vol. 7, No. 5; October 3, 2016 (8 pages)
This publication is also HERE in HTML format.
“Multiple effects of a commercial Roundup® formulation on the soil filamentous fungus Aspergillus nidulans at low doses: evidence of an unexpected impact on energetic metabolism,” by Valérie Nicolas, Nathalie Oestreicher & Christian Vélot, Environmental Science and Pollution Research, Vol. 23, Issue 14; July 2016 (12 pages); This publication can also be found HERE.
A related summary article is here: “Roundup toxic to soil fungus at doses well below agricultural dilution,” by Claire Robinson, GMWatch; May 3, 2016
More great resources:
“GMO and Glyphosate Resources – A Partial list of Studies, Reports and Papers,” by Moms Across America
GMO Free USA has a list of over 1900 studies: “GMO Science – Studies & Research” with studies categorized and listed accordingly. In particular, a list of several hundred glyphosate related stated can be found here: “Glyphosate Studies,” by GMO Free USA.
More information about glyphosate from Dr. Rosemary Mason, one of the authors of “Banishing Glyphosate”
“Roundup and birth defects: the public has been kept in the dark,” by Rosemary Mason, January 3, 2017 (44 pages)
“Open Letter to the US Environmental Protection Agency about glyphosate and the International Monsanto Tribunal,” by Rosemary Mason; October 20, 2016 (15 pages)
Excerpt: It is outrageous that US EPA is bowing to pressure from a corrupt and criminal pesticides industry that pays lobbyists to assess their products: THE WORLD IS NOW WATCHING
The US EPA, EFSA [European Food Safety Authority], the European Commission and the UK Chemicals Regulation Directorate should study carefully the evidence given to the Monsanto Tribunal from witnesses about Monsanto’s violation of human rights.
It is possible that they might end up being prosecuted in the International Criminal Court in The Hague for crimes against humanity and for assisting Monsanto in ecocide and genocide. In the International Criminal Court, ignorance is no defense against prosecution. [Emphasis in original]
A related summary article about this letter is here: “Agrochemicals and the Cesspool of Corruption: Dr. Mason Writes to the US EPA,” by Colin Todhunter, Counterpunch; October 26, 2016
“Written testimony to the Judges of the Monsanto Tribunal: Roundup has poisoned our Nature Reserve,” by Rosemary Mason, August 23, 2016 (25 pages)
Also see: “How Roundup® Poisoned my Nature Reserve,” by Dr. Rosemary Mason; September 17, 2014 (6 pages)
This publication can be viewed and downloaded from HERE.
Another version in HTML format can be found HERE. “How Roundup® Poisoned my Nature Reserve,” by Dr. Rosemary Mason, Institute of Science in Society; September 17, 2014
“British journalists, politicians and farmers are being used as guinea pigs,” by Rosemary Mason; April 24, 2016 (15 pages)
This publication can also be found HERE.
“The British Medical Journal is unaware of the links between Cancer Research UK and the Pesticides Industry,” by Rosemary Mason; April 12, 2016 (18 pages)
“Open letter to the Director General of the BBC and the former Defra Minister Lord de Mauley about Monsanto,” by Rosemary Mason; April 5, 2016 (99 pages)
“A Letter from America about the dangers of GM Crops and glyphosate,” by Rosemary Mason, March 2, 2016 (34 pages)
This publication can also be viewed and downloaded from HERE.
“Glyphosate Causes Cancer and Birth Defects,” by Dr. Rosemary Mason; February 2016 (98 pages)
“Open Letter to the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed,” by Dr. Rosemary Mason; December 7, 2015 (11 pages)
“Open Letter to the European Commission and European Food Safety Authority,” by Dr. Rosemary Mason; October 12, 2015, 2015 (16 pages)
“The sixth mass extinction and chemicals in the environment: our environmental deficit is now beyond nature’s ability to regenerate,” by Rosemary A. Mason, Journal of Biological Physics and Chemistry, Vol. 15, No. 3, 2015 (17 pages)
“How Roundup® Poisoned my Nature Reserve,” by Dr. Rosemary Mason; September 17, 2014 (6 pages)
Another version in HTML format can be found here: “How Roundup® Poisoned my Nature Reserve,” by Dr. Rosemary Mason, Institute of Science in Society; September 17, 2014
“German Glyphosate Reassessment is fraudulent: reply to the CMO for Scotland 30/07/2014,” by Dr. Rosemary Mason; July 30, 2014 (9 pages)
This publication can also be viewed and downloaded from HERE.
Excerpt: The entire process of risk assessment for re-approval was flawed and corrupt to the core. It is rife with conflict of interest, non-transparent and heavily biased towards unpublished, non-peer reviewed studies from industry. The RAR is worse than useless, and should be rejected outright. All available evidence including studies on commercial formulations of glyphosate herbicides should be seriously considered in any risk assessment, and by a truly independent, unbiased panel free from any conflict of interest.
“Conflicts of interest and fraud in the re-assessment of glyphosate in the EU, the UK and the US,” by Rosemary Mason; July 13, 2014 (42 pages)
“Glyphosate: Destructor of Human Health and Biodiversity,” by Dr. Rosemary Mason; September 2013 (54 pages)
This publication can also be found HERE.
“Corporate Espionage: The Séralini Affair and Beyond,” by Dr. Rosemary Mason; December 13, 2013 (46 pages)
This publication can also be viewed and downloaded from HERE.
Another version in HTML format can be found here: “Corporate Espionage: The Séralini Affair and Beyond,” by Dr. Rosemary Mason, Farm Wars; December 17, 2013 [Note that references have a separate link on the bottom of the post]
“Human Health and Global Biodiversity Lies in the Hands of the Pesticide Industry: The Silent Killers,” by Dr. Rosemary Mason; September 2012 (56 pages)
This publication can also be found HERE.
This publication can also be viewed and downloaded from HERE.
“How glyphosate is being whitewashed for its review in the EU and the US,” by Dr. Rosemary Mason; December 4, 2013 (5 pages)
This publication can also be viewed and downloaded from HERE.
Another version in HTML format can be found here: “How glyphosate is being whitewashed for its review in the EU and the US,” by Dr. Rosemary Mason, Farm Wars; December 17, 2013 [Note that references have a separate link on the bottom of the post]
“Human Health and Global Biodiversity Lies in the Hands of the Pesticide Industry: The Silent Killers,” by Dr. Rosemary Mason; September 2012 (56 pages)
Did WHO contradict their own agency’s findings about glyphosate?
Major media outlets claim that the WHO/FAO meeting members contradicted and reversed the conclusion of the IARC’s classification of glyphosate as a probable carcinogen – but this is incorrect.
It has been reported that a joint group by members of the World Health Organization (WHO) and Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) reversed the conclusion by the IARC regarding the classification of glyphosate as a probable carcinogen2 in 2015 made by the IARC. The IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) is a division of WHO. The reports by the major media outlets led the public to believe that WHO contradicted the findings of its own agency (IARC). However, it appears that this has been wrongly reported by major media outlets and this perception was compounded by the failure of the members of the WHO/FAO group to clarify the results of their meeting, which is referred to as JMPR (joint meeting on pesticides residues).
It should be highlighted that the members of the IARC did not reverse their opinion at all. It should also be noted that the JMPR members from the World Health Organization were never part of the IARC and are accused of conflicts of interest.
To review – in March 2015 the IARC classified glyphosate as a Group 2A probable carcinogen. Then in May 2016, according to major media outlets, members from WHO and the FAO held a joint meeting of on pesticides residues (JMPR) and stated that glyphosate was not cancerous – when digested. Because of the way the media reported this story, this declaration appears to contradict the IARC’s findings (however, according to GMWatch, this is inaccurate and therefore an incorrect understanding – see below). Note that the JMPR group did not assess the potential for cancer due to other environmental exposures. Following the declaration by JMPR as reported by the media, it was revealed that obvious conflicts of interests existed in some JMPR group members. For example, some members belonged to International Life Science Institute (ILSI) which received donations from Monsanto ($500,000) and Croplife International ($528,500). Croplife is listed as a front group for Monsanto and other biotech corporations, according to Friends of the Earth. (See: “Spinning Food – How Food Industry Front Groups and Covert Communications are Shaping the Story of Food,” by Kari Hamerschlag, Anna Lappé, & Stacy Malkan, Friends of the Earth, June 2015 – 62 pages).
Furthermore, the FAO itself has come under criticism as well due to an increasing bias in favor of the biotech industry over the past several years, and have failed to act as an independent organization. One publication signed by dozens of international organizations has outlined many of the criticisms: “The biotechnology industry runs the show,” a Joint Statement to the FAO at the Symposium on Biotechnology; February 2, 2016 (6 pages):
Excerpt: We are concerned as to why FAO has decided to hold this Symposium, and why now. We remember the disastrous last attempt by FAO to act as an undercover agent for biotechnology companies, by organizing the International Technical Conference on Agricultural Biotechnologies in Developing Countries in Guadalajara, Mexico, in 2010.
We are alarmed that FAO is once again fronting for the same corporations, just when these companies are talking about further mergers amongst themselves, which would concentrate the commercial seeds sector in even fewer hands. FAO should act as a knowledge center, rather than as a promoter of the ideological approach of the private sector. Unfortunately the program for this symposium is designed to showcase the “benefits” of GMOs, artificial genetic constructs created with possibly even more dangerous technologies, and other biotechnologies held by a handful of TNCs [Trans-National Corporations]…
It is clear that, through the FAO, industry wants to re-launch their false message that genetically engineered crops can feed the world and cool the planet, while the reality is that nothing has changed on the biotech front. GMOs don’t feed people, they are mostly planted in a handful of countries on industrial plantations for agrofuels and animal feed, they increase pesticide use, and they throw farmers off the land. The industrial food system that it promotes is one of the main drivers of climate change…
It is high time that FAO gets its priorities clear. Rather than allowing corporations to push their biotechnology agendas, FAO should forcefully pursue agroecology and food sovereignty as the path to feed the world and cool the planet! [Citations omitted; emphasis in original].
In the context of these revelations, it is not surprising at all that a group whose members are associated with organizations that are supporting the biotech industry (and which receive donations from that industry and its representatives) appears to have decided that glyphosate was not cancerous (despite the findings of a group of international experts on cancer research). However, although the way mass-media has reported this “conclusion” is misleading, what is troubling and disturbing is the absence of any clarification by members of the JMPR group about what their decision actually means (see the article by GMWatch below). Such a misrepresentation of facts is consistent with the corruption and deception and overall spread of disinformation associated with the history of GMOs in general.
Here are relevant articles about the sequence of events regarding this cancerous dispute:
“Roundup weedkiller ‘probably’ causes cancer, says WHO study,” by Staff, The Guardian; March 21, 2015
EXCERPT: Roundup, the world’s most widely used weedkiller, “probably” causes cancer, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) – WHO’s cancer agency – said that glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide made by agriculture company Monsanto, was “classified as probably carcinogenic to humans”.
It also said there was “limited evidence” that glyphosate was carcinogenic in humans for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Monsanto, the world’s largest seed company, said scientific data did not support the conclusions and called on WHO to hold an urgent meeting to explain the findings. “We don’t know how IARC could reach a conclusion that is such a dramatic departure from the conclusion reached by all regulatory agencies around the globe,” said Philip Miller, Monsanto’s vice-president of global regulatory affairs.
“Glyphosate unlikely to pose risk to humans, UN/WHO study says,” by Arthur Nelson, The Guardian; May 16, 2016
EXCERPT: Glyphosate, the key ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller brand, has been given a clean bill of health by the UN’s joint meeting on pesticides residues (JMPR), two days before a crunch EU vote on whether to relicense it.
The co-analysis by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and World Health Organisation found that the chemical was “unlikely to pose a carcinogenic risk to humans from exposure through the diet”.
This finding flatly contradicts an assessment by the WHO’s cancer agency last year that the herbicide solution was “probably carcinogenic to humans”.
Harry van der Wulp, a senior policy officer at the FAO, said the latest analysis was the most comprehensive yet, but probably not the final word on the subject.
“These conclusions relate to exposure through the diet – that is very important,” he said. “It is not a general conclusion because anything beyond the diet was not in our mandate. It remains less clear what the situation is with occupational exposure.”
Also see: “U.N. experts find weed killer glyphosate unlikely to cause cancer,” by Kate Kelland, Reuters; May 16, 2016
“UN/WHO panel in conflict of interest row over glyphosate cancer risk,” by Arthur Nelson, The Guardian; May 17, 2016
EXCERPT: A UN panel that on Tuesday ruled that glyphosate was probably not carcinogenic to humans has now become embroiled in a bitter row about potential conflicts of interests. It has emerged that an institute co-run by the chairman of the UN’s joint meeting on pesticide residues (JMPR) received a six-figure donation from Monsanto, which uses the substance as a core ingredient in its bestselling Roundup weedkiller.
Professor Alan Boobis, who chaired the UN’s joint FAO/WHO meeting on glyphosate, also works as the vice-president of the International Life Science Institute (ILSI) Europe. The co-chair of the sessions was Professor Angelo Moretto, a board member of ILSI’s Health and Environmental Services Institute, and of its Risk21 steering group too, which Boobis also co-chairs.
In 2012, the ILSI group took a $500,000 (£344,234) donation from Monsanto and a $528,500 donation from the industry group Croplife International, which represents Monsanto, Dow, Syngenta and others, according to documents obtained by the US right to know campaign.
As mentioned above, GMWatch states that the “Verdict does not contradict IARC conclusion that glyphosate is a probable carcinogen – and is fatally undermined by conflicts of interest with industry.” It appears that the media has incorrectly reported the findings:
Excerpt: The FAO/WHO Joint Meeting on Pesticide Residues (JMPR), a UN body, has released an assessment concluding that the weedkiller glyphosate is “unlikely to pose a carcinogenic risk to humans from exposure through the diet”.
Reuters misleadingly reported this story with the headline, “UN experts find weed killer glyphosate unlikely to cause cancer”.
The Reuters reporter wrote, “The conclusions appear to contradict a finding by the WHO’s Lyon-based International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which in March 2015 said glyphosate is ‘probably’ able to cause cancer in humans and classified it as a ‘Group 2A’ carcinogen.”
But Reuters’ interpretation of the JMPR verdict is incorrect. JMPR was only addressing risk, the likelihood that actual exposures to glyphosate will cause cancer, and specifically through diet. IARC, for its part, also addressed risk, because it considered that glyphosate causes cancer at real-life exposure levels. But in addition it addressed hazard, the potential for glyphosate herbicides to cause cancer due to their intrinsic properties.
So first, the JMPR’s verdict does not in any way contradict the verdict of the IARC.
Second, and most importantly, Europe’s pesticide Regulation 1107/2009 is hazard-based, not risk-based, when it comes to carcinogenicity. If a substance is potentially carcinogenic, it is a priori not allowed to be approved – subject to two narrow exceptions (negligible exposure or serious danger to plant health that cannot be controlled by any other means).
No arguments are allowed along the lines that the doses people are exposed to through diet or by any other route are probably safe.
This means that, based on IARC’s primarily hazard-based verdict and under Regulation 1107/2009, and quite regardless of JMPR’s verdict, glyphosate should not be marketed at all in Europe.
JMPR does not say that glyphosate is not carcinogenic (hazard-based assessment), but that” glyphosate is unlikely to pose a carcinogenic risk to humans from exposure through the diet”.
That is a risk-based statement, and moreover only deals with risks via diet.
So the JMPR statement is not relevant to the question of whether the substance is carcinogenic or not. If glyphosate is carcinogenic, it is not allowed to be approved in Europe and EU member states should vote against its re-approval. End of story.
The article by GMWatch continues with more information about conflicts of interest within the JMPR members. To read the full article, see: “What does the JMPR’s verdict on glyphosate really mean?” by GMWatch; May 17, 2016
Related to the conflict of interest aspect of this story, also see: “Industry ties raise questions about UN body assessing glyphosate cancer risk,” by Greenpeace EU Unit; May 16, 2016
Another recent development:
In what appears to be a feeble and perhaps cynical attempt to sway the public’s view on Roundup and glyphosate, and ultimately influence governmental policy worldwide, Monsanto published five studies that “prove” glyphosate is not cancerous. What better title than the one by GMWatch than this:
“Surprise! Monsanto-funded papers conclude glyphosate not carcinogenic or genotoxic,” by Claire Robinson, GMWatch; October 3, 2016
Excerpt: Five papers defending the safety of glyphosate herbicides were published last month in the journal Critical Reviews in Toxicology.
As stated in the declarations of interest at the foot of each paper, all are funded by Monsanto via the industry consultancy firm Intertek. Many of the authors have links to Monsanto, other chemical companies, and industry consultancy firms.
An accompanying comment piece by the journal’s editor explains that the Monsanto-funded papers are designed to counter the World Health Organisation cancer agency IARC’s evaluation of glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen and as genotoxic (damaging to DNA). The IARC’s conclusions were, according to the editor, “a surprise to many scientists who had followed the literature on the potential health hazards of glyphosate over many decades”.
The editor describes what happened next: “Following the IARC carcinogenic hazard classification of glyphosate, the Monsanto Company engaged Intertek, a scientific and regulatory consulting firm, to convene an independent scientific panel to evaluate and synthesize the scientific evidence of the potential carcinogenic hazard of glyphosate. The activities and conclusions of the independent panel are reported in the five papers in this special issue.”
It will come as no surprise that the “independent panel” gave glyphosate herbicides a clean bill of health, deciding that the scientific data do not support a verdict of carcinogenicity or genotoxicity. A summary of their reasoning and why it’s invalid is at the foot of this article. [Footnotes and links omitted; please refer to the original publication by GMWatch].
Well everyone probably remembers when Gilles-Eric Séralini was attacked and his reputation was smeared because he dared to publish a study about the potential dangers of GMOs and glyphosate. [A list of relevant studies by Séralini and his team can be found HERE]. For the first time in scientific publishing history a study was retracted due to pressure from the industry and its supporters rather than based on the guidelines that dictate when retractions are recommended. The entire episode showed the depths of depravity and extraordinary sliminess of the world that pro-GMO supporters inhabit. The story is somewhat complex and detailed, and I don’t intend to cover it all here. There is a good article that gives some background on this here: “The Goodman Affair: Monsanto Targets the Heart of Science,” by Claire Robinson and Jonathan Latham, PhD, Earth Open Source; May 20, 2013. Another version of this article can be found here: “The Goodman Affair: Monsanto Targets the Heart of Science,” by Claire Robinson and Jonathan Latham, PhD, Independent Science News; May 20, 2013. Also see: “Smelling a corporate rat,” by Jonathan Matthews, Spinwatch; December 11, 2012.
UPDATE: Also see “The Séralini affair – or the secret history of a torpedo – How Monsanto scrambled to suppress the Séralini long-term study on GM maize and Roundup herbicide,” by GMWatch; October 16, 2017
Meanwhile, Séralini’s study was re-published to the horror of GMO lovers everywhere. They not only condemned the fact that it was re-published, but then went on to disparage the publication company in every way.
Then in 2015, an international group awarded Séralini a whistleblower award – not only for the findings of his study, but for the strength of his character too. He persevered through relentless attacks on his character which STILL continue to this day. The numerous mini-puppets, those little sheep followers of the biotech spin machine spew the same lies as the ones years ago. The level of stupidity is profound.
The Jury for the 2015 Whistleblower Award released the following statement:
“(Full) Reasoning of the Jury for the 2015 Whistleblower Award to Professor Gilles-Eric Séralini,” by the Whistleblower Award Jury; September 2015 (14 pages)
(Full) Reasoning of the Jury for the 2015 Whistleblower Award to Professor Gilles-Eric Séralini, by the Whistleblower Award Jury; September 2015 (14 pages)
Excerpt: A more recent well-known example of this practice of result-triggered criticism of methodologies is a review article that is often cited in connection with the Séralini feeding study “Assessment of the health impact of GM plant diets in long-term and multi-generational animal feeding trials: A literature review.” Like the Séralini study, this review was also published in 2012 in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology. For Séralini’s critics, this review is regarded as the ‘crown witness’ or authoritative source, since it concludes that in numerous other long-term studies there was no evidence of negative effects from GM feed plants on laboratory animals. However, in their analysis of 24 feeding studies the authors of this review list in fact numerous methodological weaknesses and even obvious errors. For example, only ten of the studies actually used the isogenic parent plants of the transgenic feed plants as the proper control feedstuff, which means the results of the other 14 studies have only low validity since they do not make a scientifically sound comparison.
Remarkably, Snell et al. only highlight these methodological weaknesses and errors in order to disqualify studies whose results were negative for the supporters of GM plant diets but not for the studies that found no effects on health. Where a study delivered no argument against the application of genetic engineering, serious errors in its methodology were ignored and accepted nonchalantly, even if there should be a pressing suspicion that these errors could have led to it missing harmful effects, resulting in a ‘false negative.’ Based on this approach, which is obviously unscientific, the review concludes that the long-term studies prove that GM plants are nutritionally equivalent to their non-GM counterparts and that they can be used safely in food- and feedstuffs. This biased review, founded on an unscientific double standard, was not retracted by the journal but instead held up as evidence to ‘counter’ Séralini’s research results…
In spite of the sustained attacks on his personal and scientific integrity by representatives of ‘interested parties,’ Prof. Séralini did not back down in the conflicts triggered by his papers. He defended himself against defamation, even taking some accusers to court, such as in his successful 2011 case against Marc Fellous from the French Association for Plant Biotechnology (AFBV).
Regarding the objections raised against the results of his feeding study, with great stamina and decisiveness he maintained his professional ethics and countered the arguments at a high scientific level, furthering the necessary public and scientific discourse in a variety of ways. In doing so, in many countries he inspired and enabled a public debate on the risks associated with glyphosate and the herbicide products based on it, which are sold in many markets under many different brand and product names…
With the results of his feeding study published in 2012, as well as his other studies and publications, Prof. Séralini has made significant contributions to the disclosure of risks to important legally protected goods (Rechtsgüter) such as life and health associated with, or at least possibly associated with, the glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup, especially in combination with genetically modified NK603 maize. In doing so he turned not only to his scientific colleagues but also to the general public, in order to draw attention to the risks he saw in an open and easily understandable way.
As the Whistleblower Award Jury, by investigating and stating this, and in particular by resisting the severe attacks on the personal and scientific integrity of Prof. Séralini, we are defending the freedom of scientific discourse and the professional ethical responsibility of scientists. However, we do not wish to position ourselves on one side or the other of the substantive scientific controversy between Prof. Séralini and his critics. We have neither the intent nor the competence to decide which side is ‘right’ regarding the evidence of increased frequency of tumors as well as liver and kidney damage in the test rats observed by Prof. Séralini in the feeding study. Nonetheless, we have to and can expect German and European agencies to follow up in every relevant way the evidence observed and the questions raised by Prof. Séralini and his research team regarding the risks and hazards to life and health associated with the use of the glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup. Their decisions cannot be made primarily or exclusively on the basis of expertise from ‘interested parties.’ [Citations omitted, emphasis added].
A related summary article is here: “Whistleblower award goes to Prof Gilles-Eric Séralini,” by GMWatch; October 15, 2015
Two related videos on YouTube discuss issues relevant to this case; the first focuses on Séralini’s study and was filmed prior to the retraction of his study. The second is about glyphosate in general and the regulatory process in the EU responsible for determining the “safety” of glyphosate. Séralini is also featured towards the end of the second video. Séralini has been vindicated.
“GMO, Global Alert” – YouTube (12:49) published by François Le Bayon on September 19, 2012
“Poisoned Fields – Glyphosate, the underrated risk? (HD 1080p)” – YouTube (video 52:50) published by wocomoDOCS on January 25, 2016
More publications from and about Gilles-Eric Séralini:
“An integrated multi-omics analysis of the NK603 Roundup-tolerant GM maize reveals metabolism disturbances caused by the transformation process,” by Robin Mesnage, Sarah Z. Agapito-Tenfen, Vinicius Vilperte, George Renney, Malcolm Ward, Gilles-Eric Séralini, Rubens O. Nodari & Michael N. Antoniou, Scientific Reports, Vol. 6, Article number: 37855; December 2016 (14 pages)
A related summary article is here: “GMO maize NK603 is not substantially equivalent to its non-GMO counterpart,” by Claire Robinson; GMWatch; December 19, 2016
Excerpt from the article: A new analysis using cutting-edge molecular profiling methods shows the genetic engineering process caused large increases in two potentially toxic compounds in a Monsanto Roundup-tolerant maize.
A GMO maize variety that has been in the food and feed supply for years is not substantially equivalent to its non-GMO counterpart, the results of a new peer-reviewed study show.
The study, published in Scientific Reports, also shows that the changes in the GMO maize resulted from the genetic engineering process and could have implications for the health of people and animals that eat the maize.
Yet these changes were not taken into account in the European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA’s) risk assessment – suggesting that a new evaluation must be performed on the basis of up-to-date science.
EFSA’s conclusion on NK603 is false
The basis of GMO approvals worldwide is the concept of substantial equivalence, meaning that the GMO maize is compositionally the same as the non-GMO counterpart (nearest relative).
In 2009 the EFSA GMO Panel concluded that “maize NK603 is compositionally equivalent to conventional maize”, except for the intended change – the presence of extra proteins that make the maize tolerant to glyphosate herbicides such as Roundup.
However, the new study, by a team of researchers led by Dr. Michael Antoniou at King’s College London, shows that EFSA’s conclusion is false and that the genetic engineering process has had far-reaching unintended effects on the composition of NK603 maize.
Major differences caused by the GM process
The researchers’ in-depth analysis of the types of proteins (“proteomics”) and small biochemical molecules (“metabolomics”) revealed major differences between NK603 maize and its non-GMO counterpart.
A total of 117 proteins and 91 small molecule biochemicals (metabolites) were found to be significantly altered in NK603 corn by the GM transformation process. The GMO and non-GMO maize were grown in the same location and under the same conditions, ruling out the possibility that environmental factors such as the spraying of Roundup or different growing soils caused the differences.
The results of the analysis showed disturbances in energy utilization and oxidative stress (damage to cells and tissues by reactive oxygen) in the GMO maize. There were also, in Dr. Antoniou’s words, “worryingly large increases” in substances called polyamines…
As Dr. Antoniou concluded, “Our study clearly shows that the GM transformation process results in profound compositional differences in NK603, demonstrating that this GMO maize is not substantially equivalent to its non-GMO counterpart. Our results call for a more thorough evaluation of the safety of NK603 maize consumption on a long-term basis.” [Citations omitted]
“Co-Formulants in Glyphosate-Based Herbicides Disrupt Aromatase Activity in Human Cells below Toxic Levels,” by Nicolas Defarge, Gilles-Eric Séralini, et al, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health , Vol. 13, No. 3; February 26, 2016 (17 pages)
Excerpt: (pages 12-13) – Most co-formulants belong to chemical families of detergents with different chain lengths. Indeed, their CAS numbers refer to classes with common chemical structures rather than single components. They are considered as inert and are often kept confidential by manufacturers.
In this study we measured the differential toxicity of the declared active ingredient and the co-formulants of various GBHs [glyphosate-based herbicides], the major herbicides in the world. Experiments were performed after 24 [hour] exposure on JEG3 human placental cells.* Briefly, all co-formulants inhibited aromatase and disrupted mitochondrial respiration (and membranes) at higher concentrations. APG [alkyl polyglucoside] and POEA [polyethoxylated tallow amine pure] were 15–18 times and 1200–2000 times more cytotoxic than G [glyphosate], respectively.
[* JEG3 are a commercially available line of human cells often used in a variety of studies, also known as “Homo sapiens placenta cells”; See “JEG-3 (ATCC® HTB-36™)” – JK].
These above cited studies were challenged by industry-linked scientists in a review that was itself challenged. The main claim was the non-suitability of in vitro models. In fact, cell cultures replace, whenever possible, animal experimentation. Furthermore, our model may underestimate real toxicity, since cell lines are less sensitive than primary cells, and because a 24 [hour] exposure does not anticipate possible bioaccumulation, and it is a necessary primary approach to understand mechanistic effects ….
Most of the adverse (toxic and endocrine-disrupting) effects measured here with formulations of GBHs could be attributed to the co-formulants they contain, and none of the co-formulants tested here were found to be inert in human cells. Our results and others compiled in Mesnage et al. (2015) show that the distinction between “active ingredient” and “inert compound” is a regulatory assertion with no toxicological ground. Indeed, the toxicity of co-formulants in pesticides is increasingly well documented. High volumes of co-formulants (also called surfactants) are used; thus, they (or their breakdown products) can be found in the environment and food. All the honey, pollen, and wax samples monitored in a recent study were contaminated with high levels (up to 10 ppm) of nonylphenol polyethoxylates (NPEOs), a major class of surfactants in pesticides. Their absorption by living beings and placental transfer into serum and brain were evidenced. A regulatory assessment claiming to investigate the safety of a formulation should take into account the toxicity of the co-formulants, which currently is poorly studied, with only their acute ocular and dermal properties being investigated. This confusion between G and GBH underestimates the real toxicity and endocrine-disrupting properties of pesticides as sold, sprayed, and found in the environment, water and food. This has important regulatory consequences because the Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) value is defined according to the threshold of toxicity calculated with the dAI [declared active ingredients] alone. The ADI value does not take into account the co-formulants present in the formulations.
Up to now, endocrine-disrupting effects of pesticides have been studied mostly based on tests on their declared active ingredient. Here we report for the first time that, below their toxicity thresholds, the co-formulants, generally classified as inerts and kept confidential, act as endocrine-disrupting chemicals at levels up to several hundred times below the level at which the declared active ingredient demonstrates the same activity. Glyphosate is never used alone, but always with its co-formulants. Thus the physiological effects of co-formulants should be more thoroughly tested and declared. We also recommend that the calculation of the ADI for pesticides should be based on toxicity tests of the commercial formulations rather than solely the declared active ingredient. [Emphasis added, Citations omitted]
“Pathology reports on the first cows fed with Bt176 maize (1997–2002),” by Gottfried Glöckner and Gilles-Éric Séralini, Scholarly Journal of Agricultural Science Vol. 6, No. 1; January 2016 (8 pages); this publication can also be found HERE.
“A challenge to scientific integrity: a critique of the critics of the GMO rat study conducted by Gilles-Eric Séralini et al. (2012),” by Ulrich E. Loening, Environmental Sciences Europe, Vol. 27, No. 1; June 2015 (9 pages); this publication is also HERE and HERE in HTML format.
A related article is here: “The Goodman Affair: Monsanto Targets the Heart of Science,” by Claire Robinson and Jonathan Latham, PhD, Independent Science News; May 20, 2013
“Why glyphosate is not the issue with Roundup – A short overview of 30 years of our research,” by Gilles-Eric Séralini, Journal of Biological Physics and Chemistry, Vol. 15, No. 3; 2015 (9 pages); this publication can also be found HERE.
A summary article is here: “Glyphosate is not the only issue with Roundup,” by admin, GMO Séralini; November 14th, 2015
“Transcriptome profile analysis reflects rat liver and kidney damage following chronic ultra-low dose Roundup exposure,” by Robin Mesnage & Gilles-Eric Séralini et al, Environmental Health, Vol. 14, No. 1; August 2015 (14 pages); this publication can also be found HERE. This publication is also HERE and HERE in HTML format.
A related summary article is here: “Gene expression analysis confirms Roundup causes liver and kidney damage at very low doses,” by GMWatch; August 26, 2015
“Conclusiveness of toxicity data and double standards,” by Gilles-Eric Séralini, Robin Mesnage, Nicolas Defarge and Joël Spiroux de Vendômois, Food and Chemical Toxicology, Vol. 69; July 2014 (8 pages); this publication is also HERE in HTML format.
“Republished Study: Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize,” by Gilles-Eric Séralini, Emilie Clair, Robin Mesnage, Steve Gress, Nicolas Defarge, Manuela Malatesta, Didier Hennequin and Joël Spiroux de Vendômois, Environmental Sciences Europe, Vol. 26, No. 1; June 2014 (17 pages); this publication can also be found HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE; this publication is also HERE in HTML format. This publication is also here in a different format: “Republished Study: Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize,” by Gilles-Eric Séralini, Emilie Clair, Robin Mesnage, Steve Gress, Nicolas Defarge, Manuela Malatesta, Didier Hennequin and Joël Spiroux de Vendômois, (25 pages)
“Conflicts of interests, confidentiality and censorship in health risk assessment: the example of an herbicide and a GMO,” by Gilles-Eric Séralini, Robin Mesnage, Nicolas Defarge and Joël Spiroux de Vendômois, Environmental Services Europe, Vol. 26, No. 13; 2014 (6 pages); this publication can also be found HERE.
“Corporate Espionage: The Séralini Affair and Beyond,” by Dr. Rosemary Mason; December 13, 2013 (46 pages); this publication can also be viewed and downloaded from HERE. Another version in HTML format can be found here: “Corporate Espionage: The Séralini Affair and Beyond,” by Dr. Rosemary Mason, Farm Wars; December 17, 2013 [Note that references have a separate link on the bottom of the post]
“Ethoxylated adjuvants of glyphosate-based herbicides are active principles of human cell toxicity,” by Robin Mesnage, Benoit Bernay & Gilles-Eric Séralini, Toxicology, Volume 313, Issue 2; November 16, 2013 (7 pages); this publication can also be found HERE and HERE; this publication can also be downloaded from HERE.
“Answers to Critics: Why there is a Long Term Toxicity Due to a Roundup Tolerant Genetically Modified Maize and to a Roundup Herbicide,” by Gilles-Eric Séralini, Robin Mesnage, Nicolas Defarge, Steeve Gress, Didier Hennequin, Emilie Clair, Manuela Malatesta and Joël Spiroux de Vendômois, Food and Chemical Toxicology, Vol. 53; March 2013 (8 pages); this publication can also be found HERE. This publication is also HERE in HTML format.
“Letter to the Editor,” by Jack A. Heinemann, Food and Chemical Toxicology, Vol. 53; March 2013 (1 page)
Excerpt: I have carefully read the paper entitled ‘‘Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize’’. I am very familiar with historical publications on this topic.
I performed a quick review of papers on rat feeding studies using genetically modified feed components also published in this same journal. In addition to the paper by Seralini et al., I found seven studies between 2004 and now all published in Food and Chemical Toxicology in which Sprague–Dawley rats were fed diets supplemented with material from GM plants. All of these papers were published by those companies who developed the GM plant used in the study. One paper was from Monsanto, and the others from DuPont/Pioneer. None of the papers extended beyond 90 days.
These studies used approximately the same number of rats as the study by Seralini et al. All of them used the same kind of rat as the Seralini et al. study. The 2004 study by Hammond used marginally more rats in the relevant control group, but was in my opinion less powerful statistically because of the inclusion of ‘reference’ control lines that were not fed on the near-isogenic non-GM diet. The power gained by the additional rats (20/sex vs. 10/sex) was offset by the noise introduced by irrelevant variables ….
Where the Seralini et al. study has no peer in this group of papers is in its duration. No number of 90 day feeding studies can refute the findings of a long term study when the effects are largely those that appear after 90 days.
Some critics have attempted to disparage the most recent findings by drawing doubt on the nature of the response, pointing out that the severity of the effect did not uniformly increase with dosage. I am aware of a number of toxicological studies that report similar phenomena. For example, Welshons et al. (2003) said in their article in Health Perspectives: ‘‘Furthermore, receptor-mediated responses can first increase and then decrease as dose increases, contradicting the assumption that dose–response relationships are monotonic.’’ The effect fits perfectly well with receptor-mediated or saturated effects and within the hypotheses presented by Seralini et al. While there is always room for more science on any topic, in my opinion the Seralini et al. study stands shoulder to shoulder with the best of those published by others on this same issue. Importantly, it explores hypotheses that industry-based authors largely did not and therefore these earlier studies are in no way evidence against the most recent findings. The proper pathway forward is for any uncertainty in the findings to be put to rest through: the establishment of a consensus protocol developed through a transparent and openly peer-reviewed methodology; definitive study using this protocol to be conducted by industry-independent scientists of appropriate qualifications, such as Seralini et al., with reasonable access for observation by those nominated by the industry and regulatory communities.
In the meantime, it is my view that the recent study is a valuable contribution to the scientific literature, debate and process of evaluating technologies. I trust your journal to publish quality science and you have vindicated my trust.
“Letter to the Editor: Developmental and Reproductive Outcomes of Roundup and Glyphosate in Humans and Animals,” by Nicolas Defarge, Robin Mesnage, Gilles-Eric Séralini, Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part B 15, No. 7; October 2012 (8 pages)
“A glyphosate-based herbicide induces necrosis and apoptosis in mature rat testicular cells in vitro, and testosterone decrease at lower levels,” by Émilie Clair, Robin Mesnage, Carine Travert and Gilles-Éric Séralini, Toxicology in Vitro, Volume 26, Issue 2; March 2012 (11 pages)
The major herbicide used worldwide, Roundup, is a glyphosate-based pesticide with adjuvants. Glyphosate, its active ingredient in plants and its main metabolite (AMPA) are among the first contaminants of surface waters. Roundup is being used increasingly in particular on genetically modified plants grown for food and feed that contain its residues. Here we tested glyphosate and its formulation on mature rat fresh testicular cells from 1 to 10000 ppm, thus from the range in some human urine and in environment to agricultural levels. We show that from 1 to 48 h of Roundup exposure Leydig cells are damaged. Within 24–48 h this formulation is also toxic on the other cells, mainly by necrosis, by contrast to glyphosate alone which is essentially toxic on Sertoli cells. Later, it also induces apoptosis at higher doses in germ cells and in Sertoli/germ cells co-cultures. At lower nontoxic concentrations of Roundup and glyphosate (1 ppm), the main endocrine disruption is a testosterone decrease by 35%. The pesticide has thus an endocrine impact at very low environmental doses, but only a high contamination appears to provoke an acute rat testicular toxicity. This does not anticipate the chronic toxicity which is insufficiently tested, and only with glyphosate in regulatory tests.
“Séralini and Science: an Open Letter,” by Brian Wynne, et al (over 100 signatures), Independent Science News; October 2, 2012
“Genetically Modified Crops Safety Assessments: Present Limits and Possible Improvements,” by Gilles-Eric Séralini, Robin Mesnage, Emilie Clair, Steeve Gress, Joël Spiroux de Vendômois and Dominique Cellier, Environmental Sciences Europe, Vol. 10, No. 10; 2011 (10 pages); this publication can also be found HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE. This publication is also HERE and HERE in HTML format.
“Debate on GMOs Health Risks after Statistical Findings in Regulatory Tests,” by Joël Spiroux de Vendômois, Joël Spiroux de Vendômois, Dominique Cellier, Christian Vélot, Emilie Clair, Robin Mesnage, and Gilles-Eric Séralini, International Journal of Biological Sciences, Vol. 6, No. 6; 2010 (9 pages); this publication can also be found HERE. This publication is also HERE in HTML format.
Excerpt: We summarize the major points of international debate on health risk studies for the main commercialized edible GMOs. These GMOs are soy, maize and oilseed rape designed to contain new pesticide residues since they have been modified to be herbicide-tolerant (mostly to Roundup) or to produce mutated Bt toxins. The debated alimentary chronic risks may come from unpredictable insertional mutagenesis effects, metabolic effects, or from the new pesticide residues. The most detailed regulatory tests on the GMOs are three-month long feeding trials of laboratory rats, which are biochemically assessed. The tests are not compulsory, and are not independently conducted. The test data and the corresponding results are kept in secret by the companies. Our previous analyses of regulatory raw data at these levels, taking the representative examples of three GM maize NK 603, MON 810, and MON 863 led us to conclude that hepatorenal toxicities were possible, and that longer testing was necessary. Our study was criticized by the company developing the GMOs in question and the regulatory bodies, mainly on the divergent biological interpretations of statistically significant biochemical and physiological effects. We present the scientific reasons for the crucially different biological interpretations and also highlight the shortcomings in the experimental protocols designed by the company. The debate implies an enormous responsibility towards public health and is essential due to nonexistent traceability or epidemiological studies in the GMO-producing countries.
“Glyphosate Formulations Induce Apoptosis and Necrosis in Human Umbilical, Embryonic, and Placental Cells,” by Nora Benachour and Gilles-Eric Séralini, Chemical Research in Toxicology, Vol. 22, No.1; 2009 (9 pages); this publication can also be found HERE.
Miscellaneous sources of information:
A good source about glyphosate and Roundup with links and videos: “Glyphosate,” by Pam Vernon, Rangitikei Environmental Health Watch
“Glyphosate: Unsafe on Any Plate,” by David Murphy (Food Democracy Now) and Henry Rowlands (Detox Project); November 2016 (29 pages)
This publication can also be found HERE.
A summary article is here: “Alarming Levels of Glyphosate Contamination Found in Popular American Foods,” by Food Democracy Now; November 14, 2016
“New Evidence about the Dangers of Monsanto’s Roundup,” by Sharon Lerner, The Intercept; May 17, 2016
“The Case for Banning Monsanto’s Roundup,” by Dr. Jeffrey Ritterman, East Bay Express; April 15, 2015
“More Evidence of Roundup’s Link to Kidney, Liver Damage,” by Brian Bienkowski (Environmental Health News), Truthout; September 1, 2015
Excerpt: “There were more than 4,000 genes in the liver and kidneys whose levels of expression had changed” in the dosed rats compared to the non-dosed rats, Antoniou said. Genes serve as the body’s switches, controlling different functions. Turn one gene off at the wrong time, or fail to turn it on at the proper time, and serious consequences could happen. Different patterns of gene function are known to underlie the health and disease status of organs.
Given that they “used very low dose levels in drinking water, as a country that uses a lot of glyphosate and it’s found widely across US streams, this study should have some kind of public health influence,” said Nichelle Harriott, science and regulatory director at Beyond Pesticides, a Washington DC-based nonprofit organization that advocates against toxic pesticides.
“Monsanto’s Roundup: Enough to Make You Sick,” by Alexis Baden-Mayer (Organic Consumers Association), Truthout; February 1, 2015
Excerpt: Monsanto has falsified data on Roundup’s safety, and marketed it to parks departments and consumers as “environmentally friendly” and “biodegradable,” to encourage its use it on roadsides, playgrounds, golf courses, schoolyards, lawns and home gardens. A French court ruled those marketing claims amounted to false advertising.
“Glyphosate and Cancer Risk: Frequently Asked Questions,” by the Center for Food Safety (Fact Sheet); May 2015 (3 pages)
Excerpt: In 1985, EPA classified glyphosate as a possible carcinogen based on experiments showing tumors in glyphosate-treated rodents. Input from Monsanto led to a dubious reinterpretation of these studies by EPA, and reclassification of glyphosate as non-carcinogenic in 1991.
IARC is the world’s leading authority on cancer. Its glyphosate determination was made by unanimous decision of 17 qualified scientists led by Dr. Aaron Blair, a distinguished epidemiologist recently retired from the U.S. National Cancer Institute. IARC’s assessment is up-to-date, analyzing all the relevant available research, while EPA’s last comprehensive assessment of glyphosate occurred in 1993. IARC considered a broad range of evidence, including human epidemiology and other peer-reviewed studies, while EPA did not assess epidemiology and relied almost entirely on unpublished industry studies. IARC is an independent agency whose sole mission is human health. While EPA is charged with protecting human health as well, it is also subject to considerable pressure from pesticide companies whose products it regulates. [Emphasis added].
“Concerns over use of glyphosate-based herbicides and risks associated with exposures: a consensus statement,” by John Peterson Myers, Michael N. Antoniou, Bruce Blumberg, Lynn Carroll, Theo Colborn, Lorne G. Everett, Michael Hansen, Philip J. Landrigan, Bruce P. Lanphear, Robin Mesnage, Laura N. Vandenberg, Frederick S. vom Saal, Wade V. Welshons and Charles M. Benbrook, Environmental Health, Vol. 15, Issue 19; February 17, 2016 (13 pages); this publication can also be found HERE and also HERE in HTML format.
Excerpt: Initial risk assessments of glyphosate assumed a limited hazard to vertebrates because its stated herbicidal mechanism of action targeted a plant enzyme not present in vertebrates. In addition, because GBHs [glyphosate based herbicides, such as Roundup] kill nearly all actively growing plants, farmers had to apply GBHs early in the year, before crop germination or post-harvest, and so it seemed unlikely that there would be residues in harvested crops and the food supply. However, these assumptions ignored the possibility that glyphosate and its metabolites might act via other pathways, including those present in vertebrates, as well as the profound consequences of major increases in the area treated and volume applied, coupled with changes in how and when GBHs are used by farmers (e.g., on GE, herbicide-tolerant crops, and as a pre-harvest desiccant to accelerate harvest).
Evidence has accumulated over the past two decades, especially, that several vertebrate pathways are likely targets of action, including hepatorenal damage, effects on nutrient balance through glyphosate chelating action and endocrine disruption. Other early assumptions about glyphosate, for example that it is not persistent in the environment, have also been called into question, depending upon soil type. In addition, the prediction that glyphosate would never be present widely in surface water, rainfall, or groundwater has also been shown to be inaccurate.
Existing data, while not systematic, indicate GBHs and metabolites are widely present in the global soybean system and that human exposures to GBHs are clearly rising. Tolerable daily intakes for glyphosate in the U.S. and Germany are based upon outdated science.
“Compositional differences in soybeans on the market: Glyphosate accumulates in Roundup Ready GM soybeans,” by Thomas Bøhn, Marek Cuhra, Terje Traavik, Monica Sanden, John Fagan, Raul and Primicerio, Food Chemistry, Vol. 153; June 15, 2014 (9 pages). This publication can also be found HERE and HERE. This publication can also be viewed and downloaded from HERE. This publication is also HERE in HTML format.
“One Nation, Under Monsanto,” by Paul Craig Roberts, CounterPunch; February 26, 2013
Excerpt: The soil’s fertility is damaged, and crops require large quantities of chemical fertilizers. The soil is polluted with an endless array of toxic substances and now with glyphosate, the main element in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide with which GMO crops are sprayed.
Glyphosate now shows up in wells, streams and in rain.
Air is polluted with a variety of substances, and there are many large cities in which there are days when the young, the elderly, and those suffering with asthma are warned to remain indoors.
All of these costs are costs imposed on society and ordinary people by corporations that banked profits by not having to take the costs into account. This is the way in which unregulated capitalism works.
Our food itself is polluted with antibiotics, growth hormones, pesticides, and glyphosate.
Glyphosate might be the most dangerous development to date. Some scientists believe that glyphosate has the potential to wipe out our main grain crops and now that Obama’s Secretary of Agriculture, Thomas Vilsack, has approved genetically modified Roundup Ready alfalfa, maintaining sustainable animal herds for milk and meat could become impossible.
In 2016 France announced intentions to place a ban on glyphosate based herbicides; see:
“France to Ban Glyphosate Weedkillers Due to Health Risks,” by Lorraine Chow, EcoWatch; April 8, 2016
“France to ban some glyphosate weedkillers amid health concerns,” by Gus Trompiz and Karl Plume, Reuters; April 8, 2016
“Scientists call for new review of herbicide, cite ‘flawed’ U.S. regulations,” by Carey Gillam, Reuters; August 19, 2015
Excerpt: U.S. regulators have relied on flawed and outdated research to allow expanded use of an herbicide linked to cancer, and new assessments should be urgently conducted, according to a column published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday.
There are two key factors that necessitate regulatory action to protect human health, according to the column: a sharp increase in herbicide applied to widely planted genetically modified (GMO) crops used in food, and a recent World Health Organization (WHO) determination that the most commonly used herbicide, known as glyphosate, is probably a human carcinogen.
… “We believe that the time has therefore come to thoroughly reconsider all aspects of the safety of plant biotechnology,” the column states.
The authors also argue that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has erred in recently approving a new herbicide that uses glyphosate because it relied on outdated studies commissioned by the manufacturers and gave little consideration to potential health effects in children.
“Lost in the Mist: How Glyphosate Use Disproportionately Threatens California’s Most Impoverished Counties,” by Nathan Donley, Scientist at the Center for Biological Diversity; November 2015 (6 pages)
“Genetically Engineered Crops, Glyphosate and the Deterioration of Health in the United States of America,” by Nancy L. Swanson, Andre Leu, Jon Abrahamson and Bradley Wallet, Journal of Organic Systems, Vol. 9, No. 2; November 2014 (32 pages); this publication can also be found HERE.
[The following Monographs by the Pesticide Action Network (PAN) are not the same as the IARC’s (which is here: “Monograph Volume 112 – GLYPHOSATE,” by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC); March 2015 (92 pages)]
“Glyphosate Monograph,” by Dr. Meriel Watts et al, Pesticide Action Network International; October 2016 (96 pages)
“Glyphosate Monograph,” by Dr. Meriel Watts, Pesticide Action Network Asia and the Pacific; November 2009 (50 pages)
“ADDENDUM to the Glyphosate Monograph,” by Dr. Meriel Watts, Pesticide Action Network Asia and the Pacific; November 2012 (12 pages)
“Glyphosate Fact Sheet – A Special Release,” by Dr. Meriel Watts, Pesticide Action Network Asia and the Pacific; June 2012 (5 pages)
“Rocky Road For Roundup,” by Britt E. Erickson & Melody M. Bomgardner, Chemical & Engineering News, Vol. 93, Issue 37; September 21, 2015
“USDA Scientist Reveals All – Glyphosate Hazards to Crops, Soils, Animals, and Consumers,” by Dr. Eva Sirinathsinghji, Institute of Science in Society; January 9, 2012
“A Roundup of Roundup® Reveals Converging Pattern of Toxicity from Farm to Clinic to Laboratory,” by Dr. Eva Sirinathsinghji, Institute of Science in Society; January 19, 2015
Also in pdf format here: “A Roundup of Roundup® Reveals Converging Pattern of Toxicity from Farm to Clinic to Laboratory,” by Dr. Eva Sirinathsinghji, Institute of Science in Society; January 19, 2015 (16 pages)
“Teratogenic Effects of Glyphosate-Based Herbicides: Divergence of Regulatory Decisions from Scientific Evidence,” by Michael Antoniou, Mohamed Ezz El-Din Mosta a Habib, RC Jennings, Carlo Leiert, Rubens Onore Nodari, Claire Robinson & John Fagan, Journal of Environmental and Analytical Toxicology; 2012, S 4, No. 006 (13 pages)
“Roundup and Birth Defects – Is the public being kept in the dark?” by Michael Antoniou, Mohamed Ezz El-Din Mosta a Habib, C. Vyvyan, Howard Richard, C. Jennings, Carlo Leiert, Rubens Onore Nodari, Claire Robinson and John Fagan; Earth Open Source; June 2011 (52 pages)
Relatively few Americans realize that the amount of glyphosate residue allowed on food for sale in the market has steadily increased over the years. It is apparent that the EPA’s decision to allow for these higher amounts has more to do with Monsanto’s influence and the predicament of the inevitable growth of superweeds (weeds that grow tolerant to the application of glyphosate based herbicides, in this context). The EPA is mandated to regulate pesticides in a way that incorporates economic factors and availability of any alternatives, but also take into consideration the potential adverse health events and environmental damage. It is clear that the emphasis on the decision making process has less to do with health and environmental harm. For example, the EPA has never incorporated into its assessments the cumulative effects of allowing more and more glyphosate based herbicides into the marketplace. (In fact, no agency does).
“Another win for Monsanto: US raises allowable levels of company’s pesticide in crops,” By RT USA; July 3, 2013
Excerpt: Through the EPA’s new standards, the amount of allowable glyphosate in oilseed crops such as flax, soybeans and canola will be increased from 20 parts per million (ppm) to 40 ppm, which GMWatch acknowledged is over 100,000 times the amount needed to induce breast cancer cells. Additionally, the EPA is increasing limits on allowable glyphosate in food crops from 200 ppm to 6,000 ppm.
“US EPA hikes glyphosate limits in food and feed – again,” by GMWatch May 3, 2013
Excerpt: In obedience to a demand from Monsanto, the US EPA is proposing to hike the allowed residue limits — yet again — of the herbicide glyphosate in various food and feed crops. The allowed level in teff animal feed will be 100 parts per million (ppm); and in oilseed crops, 40 ppm. Allowed levels in some fruits and vegetables eaten by humans will also rise.
“Despite Irrefutable Evidence of Toxicity and Death, Monsanto’s Friends at the EPA Raise Allowable Glyphosate Levels,” by Daisy Luther, The Organic Prepper; June 19, 2013
Excerpt: [Note – there are petitions that are linked to which are no longer active]
Great news! You no longer have to worry about excessive levels of glyphosate, the toxic chemical found in Monsanto’s Round-up pesticide, in your food or in the feed that livestock consumes. Why not? Well, the Environmental Deception Protection Agency has looked over the situation, and in their infinite wisdom, raised the safety threshold of glyphosate that is allowed to be in consumable goods.
The EPA’s change of heart means that the allowed glyphosate level in animal feed will rise to 100 parts per million (ppm) and 40 ppm in oilseed crops. Thankfully, there’s no need for us to worry because they’ve assured us that the new allowable levels are only “minimally toxic” to humans…
Please understand, the system is irrevocably corrupted. Only by shedding light on this corruption can we make a change. People are being lulled into compliance, all the while, feeling that there are measures in place to ensure that what they consume from the grocery store is not poison.
Food safety should not be in the hands of the highest bidder.
Also see: § 180.364 Glyphosate; tolerances for residues on food [Code of Federal Regulations]
And: Glyphosate; Pesticide Tolerances – A Rule by the Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Register; May 1, 2013
“Forty Years with Glyphosate, Herbicides – Properties, Synthesis and Control of Weeds,” by András Székács and Béla Darvas, Chapter 14 of the book “Herbicides – Properties, Synthesis and Control of Weeds,” edited by Dr. Mohammed Nagib Hasaneen, InTech; 2012 (39 pages)
Excerpt: In fact, Villeneuve et al. (2011) adjudge glyphosate to be one of the herbicides most often found in freshwater ecosystems worldwide, and state that AMPA is the most often detected and glyphosate is the third most frequent pesticide residue in French streams. Elevated glyphosate levels were detected in surface water, soil and sediment samples due to intensive herbicide applications in a GM soybean cultivating area in Argentina (Peruzzo et al., 2008). These studies are warning signs indicating that this herbicide active ingredient of intensive use, that is expected to further expand with the commercial cultivation of GM crops, became an ubiquitous contaminant in surface waters, and therefore, a permanent pollutant factor, which deserves pronounced attention by ecotoxicology. (Page 16)[Emphasis added] … It is not difficult to predict, that prolonged cultivation of GT crops will necessitate supplemental herbicide administrations with active ingredients other than glyphosate. (Pages 267)
“Monsanto’s Sealed Documents Reveal the Truth behind Roundup’s Toxicological Dangers,”by Richard Gale and Gary Null, Progressive Radio Network; September 15, 2015
The Gary Null Show – 09.04.15 – By the Gary Null Show, Progressive Radio Network; September 4, 2015 [The interview does not start until 25:10]
Summary of the interview: Anthony Samsel is an independent research scientist and consultant deeply concerned with public health. In the past he was a research chemist for Arthur D Little and has consulted for JBF Scientific and the US EPA. In recent years Anthony has focused his independent research into the adverse risks of agricultural chemicals, particularly Monsanto’s glyphosate or Roundup, and publishing his findings, in collaboration with Dr. Stephanie Seneff at MIT, on its relationship to cancer and other diseases. Their collaboration has produced 3 research papers published in the journal Entropy on the roundup-cancer relationship and a fourth paper will be published this month.
Dr. Stephanie Seneff is a senior research scientists at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. She holds four degrees from MIT including degrees in Biophysics and a PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. She is a fellow of the International Speech and Communication Association for her research in human auditory and language processing, and has published over 170 science papers during her career. In recent years, Dr. Seneff’s research has returned medical and health issues, micronutrient deficiencies and the negative health consequences of aluminum, glyphosate and statin drugs including their relationship to Alzheimer’s, autism, adverse vaccine reactions and other illnesses.
This is a follow-up interview from the earlier radio show (The Gary Null Show – 09.04.15); in many ways, this interview is superior for revealing more details about the allegations that Monsanto withheld evidence that glyphosate is carcinogenic:
Leid Stories – 09.08.15 – By Leid Stories (radio show), Progressive Radio Network; September 8, 2015
Summary of the interview:
Feeding Us Lies: The Roundup on AgriGiant Monsanto
On its Web site, agribusiness giant Monsanto touts Roundup—a herbicide and pesticide product it developed in 1974 and in varying formulations is used by farmers, landowners, homeowners and parks departments worldwide—as “important tools in their toolboxes for controlling weeds.”
The key active ingredient in Roundup and Roundup-based products is glyphosate, developed by Monsanto in 1970. Monsanto and several companies in China dominate the production of glyphosate, now the largest-selling agrochemical product worldwide, commanding 25 percent of the market and forecast at 1.35 million metric tons of production by 2017.
For years Monsanto has been dogged by questions about the safety of glyphosate for humans, animals and the environment, and for years the company has denied or dismissed claims of its products’ links to a range of serious side effects—including birth defects, cancer, autism, non-Hodgkins lymphoma, kidney disease, wildlife and aquatic abnormalities and death, and even the deaths of butterflies and bees.
But new information has come to light that shows Monsanto not only knew of the biochemical hazards of glyphosate, but did not reveal the results of its own studies that corroborated several scientific challenges to its product.
Dr. Gary Null, who broke the story on PRN’s “The Gary Null Show,” and leading scientist-researchers who unearthed and examined Monsanto’s secret reports discuss what they found.
“Monsanto Knew of Glyphosate Cancer Link 35 Years Ago,” by Sustainable Pulse; April 9, 2015
Excerpt: With Monsanto continuing to protest that glyphosate and Roundup are effectively harmless if used according to instructions, in spite of accumulating evidence to the contrary, we undertook a search through Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) records with a view to finding out what was known about glyphosate at the time of its initial registration. This followed up earlier investigations by Sustainable Pulse which highlighted a sudden change in the EPA view on toxicity in 1991. What was discovered was very revealing…
Speaking for GM-Free Cymru, Dr. Brian John says: “The evidence shows that by 1981 both Monsanto and the EPA were aware of malignant tumors and pre-cancerous conditions in the test animals which were fed small doses of glyphosate in the secret feeding experiments. Although concerns were expressed at the time by EPA committees, these concerns were later suppressed under the weight of conflicting evidence brought forward by Monsanto, some of it involving the inappropriate use of historical control data of dubious quality. None of these studies is available for independent examination. That is a scandal in itself. There has been a protracted and cynical cover-up in this matter. Glyphosate is a ‘probable human carcinogen,’ as now confirmed by the WHO Working Group, and no matter what protestations may now come from Monsanto and the EPA, they have been fully aware of its potential to cause cancer for at least 35 years. If they had acted in a precautionary fashion back then, instead of turning a blind eye to scientific malpractice, glyphosate would never have been licensed, and thousands of lives might have been saved.”…
Research scientist Dr. Anthony Samsel says: “…Both Monsanto and the EPA knew of the deleterious effects of this chemical in 1980 at the conclusion of their multiple long-term assessments, but the EPA hid the results of their findings as ‘trade secrets.’ Monsanto has been lying and covering up the truth about glyphosate’s harmful effects on public health and the environment for decades. The increases in multiple chronic diseases, seen since its introduction into the food supply, continue to rise in step with its use. Monsanto’s Roundup glyphosate based herbicides have a ubiquitous presence as residues in the food supply directly associated with its crop use. Nations must stand together against Monsanto and other chemical companies who continue to destroy the biosphere. We are all part of that biosphere and we are all connected. What affects one affects us all.” [Emphasis added].
“WHO Glyphosate Report Ends Thirty Year Cancer Cover Up,” by Sustainable Pulse; March 26 2015
“Newly Unsealed Documents Reveal EPA & Monsanto Always Knew Round-Up Was Deadly Toxic,” by Justin Gardner, The Free Thought Project; October 7, 2015
“The glyphosate toxicity studies you’re not allowed to see,” by GMWatch; July 2, 2014
“Does glyphosate cause cancer?” by Testbiotech; April 15, 2015
“Does Glyphosate Acting as a Glycine Analogue Contribute to ALS?” by Stephanie Seneff, Wendy Morley, Michael Hadden and Martin Michener, Journal of Bioinformatics and Proteomics Review, Vol. 2, Issue 3; November 21, 2016 (21 pages)
“Glyphosate pathways to modern diseases V: Amino acid analogue of glycine in diverse proteins,” by Anthony Samsel and Stephanie Seneff, Journal of Biological Physics and Chemistry Vol. 16; March 2016 (38 pages)
“Glyphosate, Pathways to Modern Diseases IV: Cancer and Related Pathologies,” by Anthony Samsel and Stephanie Seneff, Journal of Biological Physics and Chemistry, Vol. 15, No. 3; Nov. 4, 2015 (39 pages)
Excerpt: In this paper, we have reviewed the research literature on glyphosate and on the biological processes associated with cancer, and we have provided strong evidence that glyphosate is likely contributing to the increased prevalence of multiple types of cancer in humans. Monsanto’s own early studies revealed some trends in animal models that should not have been ignored. Forty years of glyphosate exposure have provided a living laboratory where humans are the guinea pigs and the outcomes are alarmingly apparent.
“Glyphosate, pathways to modern diseases III: Manganese, neurological diseases, and associated pathologies,” by Anthony Samsel & Stephanie Seneff, Surgical Neurology International, Vol. 6, No. 1; March 24, 2015 (27 pages)
“Glyphosate, pathways to modern diseases II: Celiac sprue and gluten intolerance,” by Anthony Samsel & Stephanie Seneff, Interdisciplinary Toxicology, Vol. 6, No. 4; December 2013 (26 pages)
“Glyphosate’s Suppression of Cytochrome P450 Enzymes and Amino Acid Biosynthesis by the Gut Microbiome – Pathways to Modern Diseases,” by A. Samsel & Stephanie Seneff, Entropy, Vol. 15, Issue 4; April 2013
“Glyphosate Nontoxicity -The Genesis of a Scientific Fact,” by Marek Cuhra (GenØk – Centre for Biosafety), Journal of Biological Physics and Chemistry, September 2015 (8 pages)
Excerpt: Repetition of a 1978 experiment on the toxicity of glyphosate chemicals in water-flea Daphnia magna showed surprising results. In the 31 years which had passed between the two series of experiments, the toxicity of glyphosate had apparently become 300 times stronger! Further investigation into this enigmatic paradox discloses unfortunate aspects of laboratory researcher cultures as well as fundamental challenges in current regulatory approval of chemicals and the epistemology of risk-assessment.
Page 90: The following case concerns the risk assessment of a chemical compound that has gradually become the most important agrochemical globally. The case is based on data from hitherto confidential product information in the archives of the US EPA, extracted from 21 individual safety studies and related documentation, which was obtained through a recent Freedom of Information Act request.
In 1978 a group of scientists at the Analytical BioChemistry (ABC) laboratories in Columbia, Missouri were commissioned by the chemical company Monsanto to test a new, promising chemical…
Using the toxicity categories valid at the time, the researchers concluded that the results “would place technical glyphosate into the category of practically nontoxic.” … … The data produced by ABC were submitted to the US EPA and approved a few years later. The results were actively used by both Monsanto and regulatory authorities as evidence for the nontoxic of glyphosate herbicides for aquatic invertebrates. Along with the results from over 250 other experiments, these results from the ABC laboratories were later compiled into an extensive ecotoxicological risk assessment for glyphosate and Roundup (a commercial herbicide formulation in which glyphosate is the main active ingredient) published in a reputable academic journal.
The nontoxicity of glyphosate had thus become a scientific fact. The problem was, however, that the mentioned data produced by the ABC laboratories could not be subsequently reproduced by other researchers repeating the experiments. The differences were not negligible, since the subsequent research showed these chemicals to be up to 300 times more toxic than reported by ABC.
… Back in the late 1970s several commercial laboratories working for Monsanto were involved in assessing the toxicity of the new flagship herbicide. One of these service providers was Industrial Bio-Test Laboratories (IBT), which at the time was working for several manufacturers of pesticides. But then, unexpectedly, the IBT laboratories were visited by inspectors from the US FDA and exposed as having systematically produced fraudulent data. A few years later Craven Labs, another laboratory working for Monsanto, was exposed by a “pesticide industry task force,” and the US EPA, as having committed scientific fraud. The president of IBT was sentenced to four years in prison, but allegedly never served a day of his sentence, because “his heart was bad.” … In a 2002 report update from the US EPA Laboratory Fraud Work Group, the EPA states; “the ramifications stemming from a laboratory’s falsifications spread far beyond the specific tampered results; once the laboratory’s integrity is compromised, all the data generated by that laboratory is questionable.”…
In 1996 the Attorney General of the State of New York led a legal case against the agrochemical company Monsanto. The case was spectacular and has been described as legal action to stop false advertising of Roundup herbicide, but it must also be seen as a legal case on the interpretation of scientific data.
WHITEWASHING OF DATA
The most important and damaging effect of the misrepresentation of glyphosate toxicity in Daphnia caused by the data presented by McAllister and Forbis has been the subsequent incorporation of these data into the framework of regulation: Not only as universal reference for the alleged low toxicity of glyphosate herbicides in general but, more importantly, by seeping into, and being uncritically incorporated into, the body of scientific evidence on glyphosate and Roundup toxicity. We see that by presenting the data from the ABC testing, authors from the independent scientific community have conferred onto these misleading data the legitimacy of real facts, incorporating them into comprehensive reviews and publishing these reviews in esteemed peer-reviewed scientific journals. Following this, regulators such as the US EPA and EFSA, as well as consultants working in policy document preparation, have absorbed and presented these misleading data as if they were true. Through a process of innumerable reduplication and cross-referencing, the data from a small and highly questionable experiment in a private laboratory working for Monsanto in 1978 have become scientific fact in the present time. … The great majority of this work indicates the same as our own testing of glyphosate and Roundup in Daphnia, namely that the original work by McAllister and Forbis is not representative. Then, why is the work of McAllister and Forbis still being presented as the truth in revision after revision of policy documents on these chemicals? [Emphasis added].
Why is the work of McAllister and Forbis still being presented as the truth in revision after revision of policy documents on these chemicals?
“Faking it – The Case against Industrial Bio-Test Laboratories, PART ONE,” by K. Schneider, The Amicus Journal on PlanetWaves [.net]: 14–26. (Spring 1983)
“Faking it – The Case against Industrial Bio-Test Laboratories, PART TWO,” by K. Schneider, The Amicus Journal on PlanetWaves [.net]: 14–26. (Spring 1983)
“One of the most striking differences between a cat and a lie is that a cat has only nine lives.” – Mark Twain
Denial is not a river in Egypt – it’s just another day in the life of Monsanto and GMO advocates.
There are those who say that glyphosate is not a carcinogen (just as they did with PCBs and DDT). The report below discusses this, and makes interesting observations. (“What Next After a Ban on Glyphosate – More Toxic Chemicals and GM Crops – Or the Transformation of Global Food Systems?”).
GMO proponents like to provide – as proof – a report by the BfR (The Bundesinstitut für Risikobewertung, or Federal Institute for Risk Assessment). The report was submitted to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) which has a well-known reputation for corruption and conflicts of interest. As it turns out, the report was actually not written by the BfR, “but rather by the European Glyphosate Task Force, a consortium of agrochemical firms.” (See “Chemical Reactions: Glyphosate and the Politics of Chemical Safety,” by Patrick van Zwanenberg, The Guardian; May 13, 2015). The next report (“The Glyphosate Renewal Assessment Report: An Analysis of Gaps and Deficiencies,”) is a critical look at the Renewal Assessment Report (RAR) that was submitted by the BfR. Naturally, the IARC received criticism from the biotech industry – Monsanto’s Hugh Grant said that the IARC’s assessment was “junk science.” (Quite a charge: a company with a history of lies, deception and scientific fraud accusing the world’s top experts in cancer research of using junk science).
Several dozen scientists came to defend the IARC in this publication:
“IARC Monographs: 40 Years of Evaluating Carcinogenic Hazards to Humans,” by Neil Pearce et al, Journal of Environmental Health Perspectives, Vol. 123, Issue 6; June 2015 (16 pages)
This publication is also HERE in HTML format. This publication is available in a condensed format that may be harder to read: “IARC Monographs: 40 Years of Evaluating Carcinogenic Hazards to Humans,” by Neil Pearce et al, Journal of Environmental Health Perspectives, Vol. 123, Issue 6; June 2015 (8 pages)
“What Next After a Ban on Glyphosate – More Toxic Chemicals and GM Crops – Or the Transformation of Global Food Systems?” by the African Centre for Biodiversity (ACB), the Network for a GE Free Latin America (RALLT) & TWN; 2015 (20 pages)
Excerpt: Predictably, the IARC’s findings have been met with a fierce backlash from the agrochemical industry. Monsanto claimed to be “outraged” by the assessment and accused the IARC of “cherry-picking” data and having a clear “agenda-driven bias.” A common response has been to cite numerous regulatory agencies around the world that have found glyphosate safe, including the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA), the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the recent German government’s assessment of glyphosate, conducted on behalf of the European Commission (EC).
However, unlike these and other regulatory bodies, the IARC has looked at all available and up-to-date studies in the scientific literature, including studies performed on the formulated product. Large parts of the much recently cited German government review of glyphosate were actually carried out by the European Glyphosate Task Force, an agrochemical industry group. In addition, in 1985 the US EPA had originally classified glyphosate as “possibly carcinogenic to humans,” based on tumors found in mice; a finding which was downgraded to “non-carcinogenicity in humans” in 1991. This re-interpretation reportedly followed input from Monsanto. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), whose findings on glyphosate contradict those of the IARC’s,for years has been accused of conflicts of interest and a lack of transparency.
Interestingly, two of the other pesticides reviewed by the IARC at the same time as glyphosate, i.e. tetrachlorvinphos and parathion, were both classified as “possibly carcinogenic to humans,” which is a level below glyphosate, but both are subject to restricted use, unlike glyphosate. Tetrachlorvinphos is banned in the European Union while the use of parathion has been severely restricted since the 1980s. All authorized uses in both the EU and USA were cancelled by 2003.
It is worrying to note that in response to the IARC classification the Joint FAO-WHO Meeting on Pesticide Residues (JMPR), a body whose primary function is to advise on pesticide MRLs [MRLs = Maximum residue levels] in food, has decided to undertake a review of the data that the IARC used in reaching this new classification. As noted in a recent letter, signed by nine NGOs, the task force set up by the JMPR to this end contains ‘several members with actual or apparent conflicts of interest, including ties to glyphosate users and producers including Monsanto.’ The letter called upon the JMPR to accept the IARC’s classification and ‘not establish a process to second-guess the recent work of IARC.’ [Emphasis added].
“How much glyphosate is on your dinner plate? SA’s food safety compromised by lack of testing,” by African Centre for Biosafety (ACB); August 1, 2012 (14 pages) [SA=South Africa]
This publication can also be found HERE.
A related summary article is here: “How much glyphosate is on your dinner plate?“ by GMWatch; August 2, 2012
“The Glyphosate Renewal Assessment Report: An Analysis of Gaps and Deficiencies,” by Dr. Peter Clausing, PAN Germany & Bewegt Politik Campakt; January 29, 2015 (17 pages) NOTE: Most of page one is in German; after that the report is in English.
Excerpt: The Renewal Assessment Report (RAR) is the basis for the legal decision whether approval should be granted for future use of glyphosate within the European Community. The RAR is supposed to provide the results of the assessment made by the authorities of a dossier that the applicant, i.e. the industry (in our case the Glyphosate Task Force, GTF), is obliged to submit.The analysis at hand provides evidence for serious deficiencies of the RAR in crucial areas of risk assessment. The most important examples are provided in the areas of genotoxicity and carcinogenicity. The deficiencies include neglect and wrong description of important scientific publications, lack of applying up-to-date statistical analyses to the data provided by industry and false statements about historical control data used to dismiss important results from carcinogenicity studies in mice.
Specifically consideration of mechanistic evidence for glyphosate’s carcinogenic effects, i.e. oxidative stress and genotoxicity is missing or insufficient. The report remains mute about oxidative stress as related to genotoxicity and almost one third of the scientific literature on genotoxicity is missing. In addition at least one important study on genotoxicity received a false and distorted description by the BfR. Furthermore, the handling of an important mouse carcinogenicity study by industry (i.e. not applying state-of- the-art statistical methods and wrong claims about historical control data) give the impression that this was done deliberately.
The current analysis demonstrated omissions and distortion of facts in the “Toxicology and Metabolism” part of the draft RAR that was submitted to the EFSA. The Bundesinstitut für Risikobewertung (Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, BfR) which was in charge of this part of the RAR has full responsibility for these gaps and deficiencies. The German Government claims that the BfR , performed a “detailed, quality-assured examination of all … original studies and the studies published in the scientific literature.” The present analysis contradicts this statement by providing evidence that the agency overlooked or ignored important findings and that numerous publications from the scientific literature have not even been taken into consideration. The weakening of evidence by three different processes, i.e. neglect of studies, failure of analysis and distortion of facts, nourishes the suspicion that this was done on purpose. [Emphasis added].
“Testbiotech Comment on the German Renewal Assessment Report (RAR) on the Active Ingredient Glyphosate,” by Andreas Bauer-Panskus, Testbiotech; October 2014 (25 pages) [The first few pages are in German]
› The German authorities overlooked several relevant studies that were available at the time the RAR was being prepared
› A number of new relevant publications have been published since the RAR was completed and need to be taken into account.
› On the basis of these data it is evident that, amongst others, sub-chronic toxicity, long-term toxicity, genotoxicity, endocrine effects, as well as ecotoxicology have to be reassessed and cannot be concluded from the RAR.
› Other data on glyphosate residues and effects on plant metabolism have to be assessed in much more detail.
› The data in the RAR on the effects of glyphosate on the microflora in the gut have not yet been published and appear to only briefly touch upon the relevant questions. Therefore special attention has to be given to the assessment made by Aarhus University in Denmark that concludes further investigations are needed.
› Since glyphosate is the most frequently used herbicide and residues from spraying can be found regularly in food and feed, surface water, soil etc., synergies and additive effects need to be tested systematically with other compounds that often occur with glyphosate (such as residues from spraying with other herbicides).
Overall, the results of the German RAR on glyphosate have to be regarded as preliminary and inconclusive. It has to be emphasized that the studies assessed in the RAR will need further careful re-evaluation, and the data derived from the publications presented here can be useful in re-assessing the conclusions and uncertainties in the RAR.
Excerpt: The IARC’s evaluation presents a dilemma for regulatory institutions. If they explicitly accept the validity of the IARC’s findings (and therefore acknowledge the choice-laden nature of safety evaluation) this might invite scrutiny and criticism of their own assessments, and regulatory decisions. The only alternative is to insist that the IARC’s review is scientifically flawed or politically biased.
This latter tactic has often been adopted when individual scientists criticize a sensitive regulatory consensus, but the IARC is a rather formidable dissenter. It is about as scientifically rigorous and independent* an institution as they come. Its evaluations are conducted by senior academic and regulatory scientists, drawn from around the world, and subject to a strict conflict of interest policy. IARC insists that its evaluations are transparent and so all evidence used to support its evaluations must be publicly available. The evaluation process is guided by published scientific principles and assessment criteria, and is explained in considerable detail in IARC’s monographs…
Readers might be astonished, for example, to learn that much of the German government’s recent evaluation of glyphosate – favorably compared to the IARC’s evaluation by the agrochemical industry – was not actually written by scientists working for the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), but rather by the European Glyphosate Task Force, a consortium of agrochemical firms.
BfR officials explained that due to the quantity of evidence they did not have the time to report the original studies in detail, but instead based their evaluation on descriptions provided by the agrochemical industry. But those descriptions also contained the industry’s assessment of the reliability and interpretation of each study, which involves exactly the kinds of choice-laden decisions described earlier. BfR regulators commented, in italics, on the industry text, but this falls well short of what most people would understand as an independent review. [Emphasis added].
[*] (See below) “IARC Monographs: 40 Years of Evaluating Carcinogenic Hazards to Humans”
“IARC Monographs: 40 Years of Evaluating Carcinogenic Hazards to Humans,” by Pearce, N. et al, Journal of Environmental Health Perspectives, Vol. 123, Issue 6; June 2015 (39 pages)
Excerpt: We conclude that these recent criticisms are unconvincing. The procedures employed by IARC to assemble Working Groups of scientists from the various discipline and the techniques followed to review the literature and perform hazard assessment of various agents provide a balanced evaluation and an appropriate indication of the weight of the evidence. Some disagreement by individual scientists to some evaluations is not evidence of process failure. The review process has been modified over time and will undoubtedly be altered in the future to improve the process. Any process can in theory be improved, and we would support continued review and improvement of the IARC processes. This does not mean, however, that the current procedures are flawed.
Conclusions: For over four decades the IARC Monograph Program has provided evaluations of cancer hazards to humans from many different exposures and agents. These are often the first evaluations of new and emerging threats to public health and, consequently, are subject to intense scrutiny. Although these evaluations are widely respected and used by many organizations, institutions, companies, and government agencies to improve the public’s health, IARC has recently been subject to criticism over conclusions on specific agents, the process that leads to such conclusions, and membership of the Working Groups. Debate and criticism facilitate self-correction and a check on the validity in science. We are concerned, however, that the criticisms expressed by a vocal minority regarding the evaluations of a few agents may promote the denigration of a process that has served the public and public health well for many decades for reasons which are not supported by data.
There has been very broad involvement of the scientific community in the IARC Monograph Program through participation in the Working Groups and service on the IARC Governing and Scientific Councils and ad hoc Advisory Board for the Monograph Program. The long list of scientists who are coauthors of this paper attests to the strong support that IARC has in the scientific community. Many exposures that IARC has evaluated have also been independently evaluated by other institutions, e.g., the U.S. National Toxicology Program; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; National Academy of Sciences; the ACGIH TLV/BEI threshold limit values; the Nordic Expert Group for Criteria Documentation of Health Risks from Chemicals; Institute of Occupational Medicine (IOM), Edinburgh, Scotland; WCRF/AIRC Expert Reports; European Chemicals Agency; Swedish Criteria Group for Occupational Standards;
California Office of Environmental Hazard Assessment; Bureau of Chemical Safety in Canada; Scientific Committee on Occupational Exposure Limits (SCOEL); European Commission, Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion; European Food Safety Authority (EFSA); and European Chemicals Agency (ECHA); and assessments from these groups typically come to conclusions similar to those from IARC. This further indicates broad agreement within the scientific community regarding evidence on carcinogenicity in the scientific literature and expands the number of scientists who do not have a “vested interest,” but who have generally agreed with those conclusions.
Disagreement with the conclusions in an IARC Monograph for an individual agent is not evidence for a failed or biased approach. Some disagreement about the carcinogenic hazard of important agents seems inherent to the scientific enterprise and unavoidable at early stages of the hazard evaluation, where IARC usually operates. Because the evaluations are not, and should not be, static it is difficult to see how such assessments could be addressed any differently. Substances now universally recognized as human carcinogens (e.g., tobacco and asbestos) at one time went through a quite lengthy period of contentious debate (Michaels 2006, 2008). Any process can in theory be improved with fair and constructive criticism, and appropriate reviews may take place from time to time, and we would support continued review and improvement of the IARC processes. However, as a group of international scientists, we have looked carefully at the recent charges of flaws and bias in the hazard evaluations by IARC Working Groups, and we have concluded that the recent criticisms are unfair and unconstructive.
Also see: “Concerns over Use of Glyphosate-Based Herbicides and Risks Associated with Exposures: A Consensus Statement,” by John Peterson Myers et al., Environmental Health, Vol. 15, Issue 19; February 17, 2016 (13 pages)
Some Private Lawsuits against Monsanto regarding Roundup (glyphosate):
Teri Michelle McCall, Plaintiff vs. Monsanto Company, Defendant: Lawsuit against Monsanto regarding Roundup by Michael L. Baum, Esq. et al, March 9, 2016 (52 pages)
This complaint is against Monsanto alleging the wrongful death of Anthony Jackson McCall who, along with his wife, started a farm in 1975. Mr. McCall “served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War as a First Lieutenant, Artillery Forward Observer, in the 101st Airborne Division, where he was awarded the Bronze Star and Distinguished Flying Cross.”
Excerpts from the Complaint:
- Monsanto Falsely Advertised Roundup as Being Safe for Decades
- In 1996, the New York Attorney General (“NYAG”) filed a lawsuit against Monsanto based on its false and misleading advertising of Roundup products. Specifically, the lawsuit challenged Monsanto’s general representations that its spray-on glyphosate-based herbicides, including Roundup, were “safer than table salt” and “practically non-toxic” to mammals, birds, and fish.
- Monsanto did not alter its advertising in the same manner in any state other than New York, and on information and belief still has not done so today.
- In 2009, France’s highest court ruled that Monsanto had not told the truth about the safety of Roundup. The French court affirmed an earlier judgment that Monsanto had falsely advertised its herbicide Roundup as “biodegradable” and that it “left the soil clean.”…
- When Mr. McCall returned from the war, he started a farm in Cambria, California in 1975.
- Mr. McCall primarily worked the farmland himself, whereas Mrs. McCall focused on farm administration and management. They mainly grew fruit crops— apricots, peaches, plums, and apples—and also some avocados and vegetables. While working the farm, Mr. McCall would regularly apply Monsanto’s Roundup as an herbicide. As a general matter, Mr. McCall refrained from using other herbicides and pesticides out of a concern they might be hazardous to his own and his family’s health. Mr. McCall used Roundup in areas of the farm that could not be reached by tractor.
- In 2013, the McCall’s dog, Duke, who spent much of his days playing in those areas exposed to Roundup, passed away after developing lymphoma. He was only six years old. At the time, the McCalls did not suspect that the cancer was caused by Roundup exposure.
- In September 2015, Mr. McCall, accompanied by his wife, was admitted to a Veteran’s hospital, complaining of swelling in his neck. During that visit, the treating physicians conducted a biopsy on the affected area and tested it for cancer. It came back positive for a rare and aggressive form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
- Over the next few months, Mr. McCall underwent aggressive treatment for his cancer, including multiple rounds of chemotherapy.
- During this time, Mr. McCall became aware of the potential link between glyphosate and cancer. He and the Plaintiff immediately stopped using the product on their farm, and have not used it since.
- Having had his immune system suppressed with the cancer treatment, on Dec 22, 2015, Mr. McCall was admitted to the Sierra Vista Hospital in San Luis Obispo, sick with fever. He then had a stroke on Christmas Eve, while in the hospital, and passed away on Dec 26, 2015. The stated cause of death on Mr. McCall’s death certificate was “Metastatic Large Cell Lymphoma.”…
- The misrepresentations and/or material omissions that form the basis of this fraud claim are not limited to statements made on the Roundup labeling, as defined under federal law, but also involve Defendant’s representations and omissions made as part of its promotion and marketing of Roundup, including on the Internet, television, in print advertisements, etc. Nothing prevented Defendant from disclosing the truth about the risks associated with Roundup in its promotional efforts outside of the labeling context, using the forms of media and promotion Defendant traditionally used to promote the product’s efficacy and benefits.
- When Defendant made the misrepresentations and/or omissions as alleged in this pleading, it did so with the intent of defrauding and deceiving the public in general and the agricultural community and with the intent of inducing the public and agricultural community to purchase and use Roundup.
- Defendant made these misrepresentations and/or material omissions with malicious, fraudulent and/or oppressive intent toward Decedent and the public generally. Defendant’s conduct was willful, wanton, and/or reckless. Defendant deliberately recommended, manufactured, produced, marketed, sold, distributed, merchandized, packaged, promoted and advertised the dangerous and defective herbicide Roundup. This constitutes an utter, wanton, and conscious disregard of the rights and safety of a large segment of the public, and by reason thereof, Defendant, is liable for reckless, willful, and wanton acts and omissions which evidence a total and conscious disregard for the safety of Decedent and others which proximately caused the injuries as set forth herein. [Emphasis has been added to the excerpted quotes]
To see the full complaint, see: Teri Michelle McCall, Plaintiff vs. Monsanto Company, Defendant; March 9, 2016 (52 pages)
Philip Klein, Plaintiff, v. Monsanto Company, Defendant: Lawsuit against Monsanto regarding Roundup by Weitz & Luxenberg, P.C.; Filed April 1, 2016 (71 pages)
Judi Fitzgerald, Plaintiff, v. Monsanto Company, Defendant: Lawsuit against Monsanto regarding Roundup by Weitz & Luxenberg, P.C.; Filed September 22, 2015 (45 pages)
Enrique Rubio, Plaintiff, v. Monsanto Company, Defendant: Lawsuit against Monsanto regarding Roundup by Weitz & Luxenberg, P.C.; Filed September 22, 2015 (40 pages) [Christopher B. Dalbey & Robin L. Greenwald Representing Rubio work for: Weitz & Luxenberg].
“Lawsuits mounting against Monsanto over alleged cancer-causing ingredients in Roundup,” by Dawn Geske, Madison County Record; August 7, 2016
Excerpt: Several law firms in Illinois are mounting claims against a multinational agrochemical manufacturer, alleging one of the components in its herbicide product causes cancer. In what could become class-actions against Monsanto Co., several law firms are banding together to find clients who allegedly have been affected by the company’s Roundup product, which they claim has caused cancer in several consumers…
Monsanto maintains that glyphosate is safe and said the World Health Organization is wrong in its findings. ‘The contrived claims that glyphosate causes cancer are based on the erroneous conclusions of a French-based, non-governmental agency of the World Health Organization,’ Scott Partridge, vice president of global strategy at Monsanto, told the Record.
Superweeds: Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) that are grown as herbicide tolerant crops (HT) and the ubiquitous use of GBH (glyphosate based herbicides) have resulted in an unprecedented growth and spread of weeds that have become tolerant to glyphosate.
Monsanto & the USDA: Science deniers: This document demonstrates Monsanto’s claim that evolutionary science including the law of adaptation by all species would be exempt from Roundup products and that the use of glyphosate on their GM crops would not result in superweeds:
Monsanto’s “Petition for Determination of Nonregulated Status: Soybeans with a Roundup Ready Gene – Monsanto# 93-089U,” September 14, 1993; (see page 57)
“It is highly unlikely that weed resistance to glyphosate will become a problem as a result of commercialization of glyphosate-tolerant soybeans.”
For more on the Science Deniers, see: “GMO Science Deniers: Monsanto and the USDA,” by Dr. Andrew Kimbrell, Center for Food Safety; March 20, 2015
Excerpt: As government regulators were considering whether to approve these plants in the mid-1990s, they asked Monsanto just that question. No doubt considering the billions they were going to make selling more Roundup, this is a moment when Monsanto’s scientists seemed to find it convenient to their bottom line to deny basic evolutionary science. They stated, “Evolution of weed resistance to glyphosate (Roundup’s active ingredient) appears to be an unlikely event.” They also suggested that massive use of Roundup would lead to “no resistant weeds.” Independent scientists were aghast. They mocked Monsanto’s view that Roundup was somehow “invincible” from the laws of natural selection, and pointed out that the company’s scientists purposely ignored numerous studies that showed there would be weed resistance. But incredibly, despite the strong contrary evidence, the USDA regulators just nodded in science denying agreement with Monsanto.
Of course, adaptation and natural selection did take place. As a result, in less than 20 years, more than half of all U.S. farms have some Roundup resistant “superweeds,” weeds that now infest 70 million acres of U.S farmland, an area the size of Wyoming. Each year we see major expansion of this “superweed” acreage. Texas has gone so far as to declare a state of emergency for cotton farmers. Superweeds are already causing major economic problems for farmers with a current estimate of $1 billion lost in damages to crops so far. [Emphasis added].
“Superweeds: How Biotech Crops Bolster the Pesticide Industry,” by Food & Water Watch; July 2013 (18 pages)
Excerpt: Herbicide-resistant weeds’ costs to farmers can range from $12 to $50 an acre, or as much as $12,000 for an average-sized corn or soybean farm or $28,000 for an average cotton farm … More biotech industry-led solutions will only perpetuate agriculture’s reliance on chemicals as the end-all-be-all solution to weed and insect management. But this approach drives the rise of superweeds, poses risks to human health and threatens critical habitat for wildlife in the process.
“Superweeds” Resulting from Monsanto’s Products Overrun U.S. Farm Landscape – Farmers Need Long-Term Solutions, Not More of the Same,” by the Union of Concerned Scientists; December 11, 2013
Excerpt: Weed species began evolving resistance to glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, in the United States within five years. Fifty percent of U.S. farmers surveyed report glyphosate-resistant weed infestations. In the Southeast, more than 90 percent of cotton and soybean farmers are affected. Today, 24 species of weeds have developed resistance, and as a result, overall herbicide use is far higher than before Roundup Ready crops. If the Roundup Ready crops had never been planted, it is estimated farmers would have eliminated 404 million pounds of pesticides … Some resistant weeds can grow eight feet tall and the tough stems damage farm equipment. Removing them by hand can be the only option, and an expensive one. These weeds steal nutrients from the crops, which reduces yields, overall productivity, and farmers’ profits.
“Facts about Glyphosate Resistant Weeds,” by Chris Boerboom & Micheal Owen, Glyphosate, Weeds, and Crops Group; December 2006 (8 pages)
“Biology and Management of Horseweed,” by Mark Loux et al, Glyphosate, Weeds, and Crops Group; April 2006 (12 pages)
“Genetically Engineered Backslide: The Impact of Glyphosate-Resistant Palmer Pigweed on Agriculture in the United States,” by Edward Hammond, TWN Biotechnology & Biosafety Series 12; 2010 (34 pages)
Congressional Hearing: “Statement of Troy Roush (farmer) – Are Superweeds an Outgrowth of USDA Biotechnology,” Subcommittee on Domestic Policy of the House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform, House of Representatives; July 28, 2010
I would like to emphasize that I only briefly mentioned environmental impacts of glyphosate based herbicides in this post. There is a great deal to say about this aspect of glyphosate. I will cover the ecological impacts in more detail in a future post. I also posted about glyphosate issues in a previous post that did include the issue of superweeds. See GMO Information, May 30, 2016 – Ban GMOs Now. In any case, this post is not intended to be a comprehensive report on the subject, but rather to help inform people about various aspects of this complicated subject and share information that may help others in their pursuit for more research.
Monsanto’s CEO Hugh Grant states that glyphosate is not carcinogenic – citing 40 years of unidentified studies. This kind of statement is utterly and completely misleading and is pure disinformation. The intent is to discredit and create doubt about the scientific findings of the world’s top cancer research team which classified glyphosate as a Group 2A probable carcinogen.
Even if glyphosate has been studied for forty years, this is not an indication that there are 40 years of proper long-term chronic toxicity studies and inter-generational studies; in point of fact, it is extremely unlikely considering glyphosate was patented in 1964 (by Stauffer Chemical Co) as a mineral chelator, typically used to clean pipes. (See: “Patent US 3160632 – Aminomethylenephosphinic acids, salts thereof, and process for their production;” also known as: US 3160632 A). Given that it was used for this purpose, it is highly unlikely that any appropriate long-term chronic toxicity studies were done, and even there is no evidence that extensive legitimate studies on human health were considered or conducted then either.
Monsanto later patented glyphosate in 1974 as an herbicide (see: “Patent 3799758 N-phosphonomethyl-glycine phytotoxicant compositions;” as known as: US 3799758 A).
It is conceivable that Monsanto may have done some kind of safety studies then, but if they did, those studies have never been published in peer-reviewed journals (Monsanto has never published any long-term safety studies on Roundup in peer-reviewed journals). Given the extreme criticism that GMO advocates have towards any scientific studies that demonstrate harm related to GMOs, it is especially unsettling to understand that they apply these absurd and baseless criticisms towards any studies that show harm, whereas at the same time, the supposed safety studies that they rely on don’t comply with any legitimate scientific standards whatsoever. When it comes to corporate science, the reality is, as I have often said: Science based on profits is not the same as science based on evidence.
Monsanto’s patent on glyphosate for use as an herbicide expired in 2000, but they applied for another patent for glyphosate for use as an antimicrobial, or what many people refer to as an antibiotic. In 2010, Monsanto received patent number US7771736. (See: “Patent US7771736 – Glyphosate formulations and their use for the inhibition of 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphatesynthase;” also known as: US 7771736 B2).
According to the patent documentation: “Oral formulations suitable for use in the practice of the present invention include capsules, gels, cachets, tablets, effervescent or non-effervescent powders or tablets, powders or granules; as a solution or suspension in aqueous or non-aqueous liquid; or as an oil-in-water liquid emulsion or a water-in-oil emulsion. The compounds of the present invention may also be presented as a bolus, electuary, or paste.”
Sounds … great.
So the assertion that glyphosate is “not a carcinogen” because it has been studied for 40 years is not just meaningless disinformation, but is actually dangerous. This is because of the kind of power and influence that Monsanto yields over regulatory agencies and politicians; such disinformation can potentially lead to great harm in the long run.
When glyphosate has been studied extensively with appropriate and relevant scientifically legitimate methods, there has been evidence of adverse health events. The international experts at the IARC are the best in the world, and most importantly, their assessment is independent of Monsanto’s will.
We have seen corporate science dispute the dangers of PCBs, DDT, asbestos, tobacco, glyphosate, and GMOs in general. At some point along the way, the corporate propagandists have caused some within the general population to begin to regard all science with skepticism, which is unfortunate. What they peddle is NOT science, but science fiction, and because they present this false authoritative persona of “scientific expertise” they attempt to assume the mantle of absolute opinion: and anyone who disagrees with them is “anti-science.” Nothing about this display represents actual science; it is pure absolute junk science3, propaganda, disinformation and spin. Forty years of glyphosate studies? Hugh Grant also said (in the first part of the audio interview) that in the 20 years since Monsanto’s GMOs have been in the market, there has been “not a single health concern4.” This alone demonstrates, beyond any doubt, the psychopathy of the corporate personality’s ability to lie and show a callous disregard for the safety of the human population and harm to the environment.
It is blatantly false5 – and such assertions endanger our world, our lives and the lives of our children and the lives of future generations. It is well past time for Americans to wake up en masse and realize that a chemical company has been poisoning our food supply (while pretending to be an agricultural business) and demand change from our politicians.
Forty years of research? Give us a break. Here’s something to start with – a list of studies (a 245 page compilation) with abstracts about glyphosate – a 245 pages compilation:
“Glyphosate Research Compilation,” by Dr. Alex Vasquez & Dr. Eva Sirinathsinghji, Institute of Science in Society; Updated November 22, 2015 (245 pages); a list of abstracts of studies related to glyphosate’s adverse effects on the environment & on animal & human health
1 Monsanto CEO – ‘Roundup Is Not a Carcinogen’ (Part two) – Here & Now; March 31, 2016
[The claim that Hugh Grant makes that pesticide use has gone down is not supported by the facts. Evidence shows that the opposite is true, even with Bt crops. Actually, everything he says should be regarded with scrutiny. Nearly all of his statements are dubious, and he does not come across as someone who speaks honestly].
2 “Monograph Volume 112 – GLYPHOSATE,” by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC); March 2015 (92 pages) (GROUP 2A – probable carcinogen classification on page 78) Subtitle: “Some Organophosphate Insecticides and Herbicides: Diazinon, Glyphosate, Malathion, Parathion, and Tetrachlorvinphos” [The IARC or International Agency for Research on Cancer is a division of WHO – the World Health Organization].
For definitions of the various classifications made by the IARC, see: AGENTS CLASSIFIED BY THE IARC MONOGRAPHS, VOLUMES 1–115
Also see: Q & A on Glyphosate: International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC); March 1, 2016 (3 pages)
For more on the classification process and related news about the IARC’s announcement, see: “Glyphosate ‘Probably Carcinogenic to Humans’ Latest WHO Assessment,” by Dr. Mae-Wan Ho, Institute of Science in Society; March 24, 2015
Also see: “Preamble to the IARC Monographs,” by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC); 2016 (24 pages)
Excerpt: The preamble “describes the objective and scope of the IARC program, the scientific principles and procedures used in developing a Monograph, the types of evidence considered and the scientific criteria that guide the evaluations. The Preamble should be consulted when reading a Monograph or list of evaluations.”
“IARC Monographs Volume 112: evaluation of five organophosphate insecticides and herbicides [tetrachlorvinphos, parathion, malathion, diazinon, & glyphosate],” Press Release, IARC; March 20, 2015 (2 pages)
“Carcinogenicity of tetrachlorvinphos, parathion, malathion, diazinon, and glyphosate,” by Kathryn Z Guyton et al, International Agency for Research on Cancer Monograph Working Group, IARC; The Lancet Oncology March 20, 2015
Excerpt: “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.”
3 “Monsanto, RoundUp and Junk Science,” by Michael Hansen, Huffington Post; May 29, 2015
4 Monsanto CEO Talks Crops, Pesticides and Farms (Part one) – Here & Now; March 30, 2016 (Audio file 11:00)
5 “Adverse Impacts of Transgenic Crops & Foods 2nd Edition: A Compilation of Scientific References with Abstracts,” Compiled by Kavitha Kuruganti, Coalition for a GM-Free India; November, 2013 (266 pages)
सत्यमेव जयते – Satyameva Jayate
(Truth Ultimately Triumphs)
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