Historical control data used to cancel out harmful effects of glyphosate
Below is an excerpt from an interesting article detailing the contents of a large cache of Monsanto toxicological studies on glyphosate. These studies have hitherto been kept secret, but researcher Anthony Samsel says he has managed to get hold of them.
After examining the studies, Samsel concluded, “Monsanto misrepresented the data and deliberately covered up data to bring the product [glyphosate] to market.”
Monsanto’s sealed documents reveal the truth behind Roundup’s toxicological dangers
Richard Gale and Gary Null
PRN FM, 15 Sept 2015
[Excerpt only reprinted below]
... There is now an enormous cache of evidence on both scientific and legal grounds that Monsanto in fact conducted numerous studies in the 1970s and 1980s on glyphosate’s toxicity and health risks and intentionally sealed this research from independent and public review and scrutiny. As with Big Tobacco’s proprietary claims that prevented the FDA from publicly warning Americans about the dangers of smoking, the EPA has sat on Monsanto’s own deleterious data for decades.
Anthony Samsel is an independent research scientist working internationally in the interest of public health and the environment. He is a member of the Union of Concerned Scientists, and a former scientist and consultant at Arthur D. Little, one of the world’s leading management consulting firms. Now retired, Samsel has devoted much of his independent research on Roundup’s toxicological characteristics and bioactivity. Unable to gain access to research reports and data Monsanto submitted to the EPA through FOIAs, he turned to his senator’s office, who assisted in the procurement of studies and reports he sought. Months later he received a hoard of scientific documents, over 15,000 pages worth, covering Monsanto’s complete glyphosate research.
With his co-investigator Dr. Stephanie Seneff at MIT the two have been reviewing Monsanto’s data. Their conclusion is Monsanto’s claims about glyphosate’s safety are patently false. The company has known for almost 4 decades that glyphosate is responsible for a large variety of cancers and organ failures. Clearly it was for this reason that Monsanto demanded the data and reports to be sealed and hidden from public scrutiny as proprietary trade secrets.
During an exclusive interview on the Progressive Radio Network on September 4, Samsel stated that Monsanto used an industry trick to dismiss evidence about glyphosate’s risks in its own research. “Monsanto misrepresented the data,” says Samsel, “and deliberately covered up data to bring the product [glyphosate] to market.”
In order to minimize and cancel out its adverse findings, Samsel explained that Monsanto had relied upon earlier historical animal control data, toxicological research with lab animals afflicted with cancer and organ failures, and completely unrelated to glyphosate. In some cases the control animals displayed kidney, liver and pancreatic diseases. Many of Monsanto’s own studies required the inclusion of extraneous studies in order to cancel out damaging results. This is not an uncommon industry habit, particularly in toxicological science. It enables corporations to mask undesirable outcomes and make claims that observable illnesses and disease are spontaneous occurrences without known causal factors. Frequently, Monsanto would have to rely on three external control studies to negate the adverse effects of a single one of its own. Samsel found other incidences in Monsanto’s data where 5, 7, and, in one case, 11 unrelated studies were necessary to diminish the severity of its own findings. In effect, glyphosate received licensure based upon a platform of junk tobacco science. By ignoring cause and effect relationships behind the onset of multiple cancers and other life-threatening diseases throughout many of its research trials, Monsanto engaged in a radical scientific denialism that has since raked in tens of billions of dollars.
But the cache of Monsanto documents, after Samsel’s and Seneff’s review, reveals much more that we should be worried about.
In addition, Monsanto’s studies included doses from low to high range. Samsel observed that low glyphosate doses were equally if not more toxic than higher doses. The company later discontinued low dose trials, relying only on higher levels because it is customarily assumed to have greater toxicological risks. Samsel’s observation has recently been confirmed by a study published in the August issue of the Environmental Health Journal by scientists at Kings College London and the University of Caen in France. The two year study found that glyphosate administered at an ultra low dose of 0.1 ppb (the EU’s safety limit) in drinking water altered over 4000 gene clusters in the livers and kidneys of rats. These alterations, the study reports, “were consistent with fibrosis, necrosis, phospholipidosis, mitochondria membrane dysfunction and ischemia”. Consequently low doses of Roundup are far more toxic than US EPA limits.
During its years investigating glyphosate’s bioactivity, Monsanto conducted hundreds of trials on mice, rats, beagle dogs, rabbits and other life. Among the many cancers and diseases Monsanto’s own research found associated with glyphosate are:
* Adenoma cancer in the pituitary gland
* Glioma tumors in the brain
* Reticular cell sarcomas in the heart
* Malignant tumors in the lungs
* Salivary mandibular reticular cell carcinoma
* Metastatic sarcomas of the lymph gland
* Prostate carcinoma
* Cancer of the bladder
* Thyroid carcinoma
* Adrenal reticulum cell sarcomas
* Cortical adenomas
* Basal cell squamous skin tumors
In female mammals there were cancers of the lung, liver, thymus, stomach, bladder adrenal glands, ovaries, colon, uterus, parathyroid, and mammary glands.
Samsel and Seneff also noticed that Monsanto had conducted many long-term studies, as much as two years, on mice and rats. When Gilles-Eric Seralini and his French team reproduced and extended the length of Monsanto’s 3-month GMO maize rat-fed study for the life of the animals, they observed profuse cancer and tumor development started after the 4th month of the study. Monsanto continues to stand by its 3-month study as sufficient proof of GM maize’s safety. Yet the thoroughness and variety of Monsanto’s research operations should give strong reason to suspect that Monsanto has likewise conducted long term studies and knows all too well the deleterious effects of its pesticides, herbicides and genetically modified crops.
One of Monsanto’s claims is that glyphosate doesn’t bio-accumulate in tissues, rapidly bio-degrades and is excreted from the body readily. Contrary to this claim, Monsanto carried out meticulous studies to determine levels of accumulation and the organs, tissues and cells glyphosate reaches. Glyphosate was radio labeled with carbon 14 and given in 10 mg doses to seven groups of animals, male and female. After only 24 hours, the toxic chemical was found in the lungs and all body fluids: lymph, blood, urine, and cerebral spinal fluid. Glyphosate also accumulated in the bone by 30 ppm and in the bone marrow by 4 ppm. Monsanto’s studies were comprehensive. It found an accumulation of the chemical in red cells, thyroid, uterus, colon, testes and ovaries, shoulder muscle, nasal mucosa, heart, lung, small intestine, abdominal muscle, and the eyes.
Samsel and Seneff noted that the bioaccumuilation in the pancreas was not reported. Why would such meticulous efforts be made to measure radio labeled carbon 14 laced glyphosate levels in all the other organs, tissues and bodily fluids and then ignore the pancreas? The scientists believe this was deliberate.
Samsel notes that glyphosate does a “particular number on the lungs”. According to a 2014 report by the National Cancer Institute, lung cancer rates have been declining. The decline is largely due to the national decrease in smoking. However, other lung cancers such as adenocarcinomas are on the rise. The NCI is unable to account for this anomaly. Yet the Institute is not considering that Americans are increasingly being exposed to glyphosate in their food, water and environment?
During the PRN interview, Dr. Seneff stated that the pancreas may be driving glyphosate to gather in the lungs. The pancreas is responsible for the release of the enzyme trypsin. which in turn infiltrates the lungs. A study published by Brazil’s Universidade Federal de Santa Maria in the medical journal Ciencia Ruralmeasured glyphosate’s reactivity with digestive enzymes including trypsin. Trypsin activity was found to increase in parallel to higher glyphosate concentrations. Seneff suggests that this may be contributing to the increase of glyphosate in the lungs that is contributing to the dramatic rise in COPD and asthma conditions, as well as lung cancers.
The occurrence of cataracts is rising rapidly, particularly in Mid-Western states such as ND, SD, NB, IA, KS, and MO. According to Prevent Blindness America’s statistics, 17% of adults over 40 years have cataract problems. The NIH projects the rate will reach nearly 40% by 2030. Monsanto’s study showing glyphosate activity in the eye may be contributing to this epidemic. Dr. Seneff stated that the eye’s exposure to sunlight reacts with glyphosate residue thereby potentially making the chemical more toxic. Farmers often apply glyphosate on crops when it is warm, moist and when there is plenty of sunlight in order for the chemical to activate more effectively. These are similar conditions to our eyes during the day.
Monsanto’s research was not limited solely to the Roundup compound. It also performed extensive research on glyphosate’s individual metabolites, the intermediate molecules that result after Roundup’s breakdown through metabolic reactions. Many of these metabolites are every bit as toxic as glyphosate. All the glyphosate metabolites in solutions fed to rats were measured before and after feeding. One of Samsel’s more disturbing discoveries was that levels of the metabolite N-Nitrosoglyphosate (NNG) were found in higher concentrations in the rats’ feces and urine excretions than the original amount in the feeding solutions. NNG is a known carcinogen and endocrine disruptor. Samsel postulates that our own body’s natural nitrous acid reacts immediately with glyphosate, without requiring a catalyst, to produce NNG. Both the EPA and the World Health Organization acknowledge that NNG is present in glyphosate during the manufacturing process. The agencies therefore have established safety limits for NNG. However, for any endocrine disruptor, there is no realistic safety limit because such chemical disruptors destroy cells on a molecule to molecule basis.
Nitrous acid naturally occurs in the colon, urinary tract and skin tissue. According to the CDC, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the US, and affects more men than women. The Skin Cancer Foundation estimates that “each year there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and colon.”[18,19] Basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas are the two most common forms, both which have been identified by Monsanto with glyphosate exposure, particularly in males. When glyphosate reacts in the skin along with nitrous acid the metabolites NNG contributes to skin melanomas. Other chemicals are added to Monsanto’s Roundup to increase its effectiveness such as the surfactant POEA (polyethoxylated tallow amine), which also increases its toxicity.
We don’t pay enough attention to these other ingredients, Samsel states, because the EPA permits Monsanto to add anything it wants to enhance Roundup’s potency while identifying these substances innocuously as “inert”. When Monsanto convinces the public that glyphosate breaks down quickly, we are not told that the compound’s metabolic byproducts are equally toxic.
Therefore Anthony Samsel’s unprecedented discovery and review of Monsanto’s actual scientific and toxicological data of Roundup has provided us with information that warrants a thoughtful pause. Samsel and Seneff cover the subject in more detail in a new peer-reviewed paper titled “Glyphosate Pathways to Modern Diseases IV: Cancer and Related Pathologies”. The paper has been approved for publication in October.
During recent years dozens of states are submitting bills to label GMO foods. These food crops are heavily laced with glyphosate residue. Not only GM crops, but even non-GM produce are sprayed with Roundup. According to the Organic Consumers Association, non-organic and non-GM foods such as wheat, barley, oats, flax, peas, lentils, beans, and sugar cane are also being sold to farmers “as a dessicant, to dry out all their crops so they could harvest them faster”. Monsanto, Dupont, Syngenta, Grocery Manufacturers of America and other agro-chemical companies are aggressively combating labeling efforts. The Big Ag lobby is today pushing for a national bill to prevent GMO labeling that would supersede individual state’s rights. We can only wonder what the voting outcome in California, Colorado, Washington and Oregon may have been had Monsanto’s own research been made available to the media and public. Is it therefore not time for full Congressional hearings to learn the truth once for all and make the disclosure of Monsanto’s Roundup research public for all?
Richard Gale is the Executive Producer of the Progressive Radio and a former Senior Research Analyst in the biotechnology and genomic industries. Dr. Gary Null is the host of the nation’s longest running public radio program on nutrition and natural health and a multi-award-winning director of progressive documentary films, including Seeds of Death about GMOs and Poverty Inc.
 Interview with Anthony Samsel and Stephanie Seneff. Gary Null Show, Progressive Radio Network. Broadcast on September 4, 2015. http://prn.fm/the-gary-null-show-09-04-15/
 Mesnage R, Arno M, Costanzo M, Seralini G-E, Antoniou M., “Transcriptome profile analysis reflects rat liver and kidney damage following chronic ultra-low dose Roundup exposure” Environmental Health 2015, 14:70 doi:10.1186/s12940-015-0056-1
 “Lung Cancer Fact Sheet.” American Lung Association. http://www.lung.org/lung-disease/lung-cancer/resources/facts-figures/lung-cancer-fact-sheet.html
 Salbero I, Pretto A, Machado da Silva V, Loro V, Lazzari R, Baldisserotto B. “Glyposate on digestive enzymes activity in piava (Leporinus obtusidens). Cencia Rural Vol. 44 no. 9. September 2014.
 “Vision Problems in the US,” Prevent Blindness America. http://www.visionproblemsus.org/cataract/cataract-map.html
 Skin Cancer Foundation. “Skin Cancer Facts.” http://www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-information/skin-cancer-facts
 “Skin Cancer Statistics,” Centers for Disease Control. http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/skin/statistics/
 Alexis Baden-Mayer, op cit.