Ingredient in Roundup Weed Killer Found in Food

31/05/2013 02:10

A peer-reviewed study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), published in Entropy, has found that residues of glyphosate, the main ingredient in the weed killer Roundup, have been found in food. Glyphosate is used on crops that are genetically engineered (GMO foods) to be “Roundup Ready”.

Monsanto scientists have claimed for years that Roundup is safe and non-toxic because it targets the shikimate pathway in plants, which is absent in animals. But this pathway is present in bacteria that live in human guts, which play an important role in human physiology, from immunity to synthesizing vitamins.

The study’s authors say that glyphosate does induce disease and is a “textbook example of exogenous semiotic entropy.” Glyphosate inhibits detoxification of xenobiotics and interferes with cytochrome P450 enzymes, which enhances the damaging effects of other chemical residues and toxins, and very slowly damages cellular systems in the body through inflammation. Residues of glyphosate are found in sugar, corn, soy, and wheat, some of the main components of the Western diet.

Inflammatory bowel diseases have substantially increased in the last 10 years in the U.S. and Western Europe; glyphosate may be to blame. In addition, female rats are very susceptible to mammary tumors following chronic exposure to glyphosate, which means “something else may be going on”, according to researchers. Researchers said that the systematic search of the literature “has led us to the realization that many of the health problems that appear to be associated with a Western diet could be explained by biological disruptions that that have been attributed to glyphosate, including digestive issues, obesity, autism, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, Parkinson’s disease, liver disease, and cancer, among others.”

The effects of glyphosate can take 40 years to manifest as symptoms of disease, which make them very hard to trace and attribute to the chemical. And this isn’t the first time an issue has been raised with glyphosate. In 2005, a study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives showed that glyphosate is toxic to human placental cells and concluded that the “endocrine and toxic effects of Roundup, not just glyphosate, can be observed in mammals.” The toxic effects were found when glyphosate concentrations used in the study were 100 times lower than the recommended use in agriculture.

Another problem is that in from 2001 to 2007, since Roundup Ready crops have been used in this country, the use of Roundup doubled to 185 million pounds in the U.S. alone. Now, 80% of genetically modified crops are specifically targeted to be Roundup Ready. And Roundup resistant weeds, known as “superweeds” are appearing in more than half of the farm fields in the country.

The study’s authors conclude by saying, “given the known toxic effects of glyphosate reviewed here and the plausibility that they are negatively impacting health worldwide, it is imperative for more independent research to take place to validate the ideas presented here, and to take immediate action, if they are verified, to drastically curtail the use of glyphosate in agriculture.”

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