Study on rats said to show that the chemical, found in Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller, poses "a significant public health concern"
A new pilot study has found adverse effects from a glyphosate herbicide in rats at a so-called "safe" dose. The study was carried out at the Ramazzini Institute in Italy.
An article about the study, below, notes, "In 2017, the Ramazzini Institute was criticised by members of the US Congress, which has provided it with funding. US congress members have also probed funding for the IARC", the agency that classified glyphosate as a probable carcinogen.
Some perspective is required on these US Congress attacks on the Ramazzini and IARC. The attacks were led by Lamar Smith, chair of the House Science Committee.
Carey Gillam of US Right to Know has taken apart Smith's attacks, noting that he repeated false narratives planted by Monsanto and chemical industry allies.
According to an article in the Huffington Post, Smith is a climate science denier with "close ties to industrial polluters": "Smith’s top patron during his nearly 30 years in office has been the oil and gas industry, including Koch Industries and Valero Energy, which has plied him with more than $610,000 in campaign contributions. Sure enough, Smith routinely cites the industry’s talking points, questioning the role human activity plays in climate change, for instance, or that anything can be done about it."
An article in The Verge remarks on Smith's anti-progressive tendencies: "Smith’s record on energy and the environment represents one of his most controversial policy arenas. He voted to bar the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases, voted no several times on tax credits for renewable energy and incentives for energy production and conservation, voted against raising fuel efficiency standards, and rejected implementation of the Kyoto Protocol."
In other words, he's a perfect candidate for supporting continued dependency on a toxic agrochemical!
Glyphosate shown to disrupt microbiome 'at safe levels', study claims
The Guardian, 16 May 2018
[links to sources at the URL above]
* Study on rats said to show that the chemical, found in Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller, poses ‘a significant public health concern’
A chemical found in the world’s most widely used weedkiller can have disrupting effects on sexual development, genes and beneficial gut bacteria at doses considered safe, according to a wide-ranging pilot study in rats.
Glyphosate is the core ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide and levels found in the human bloodstream have spiked by more than a 1,000% in the last two decades.
The substance was recently relicensed for a shortened five-year lease by the EU. But scientists involved in the new glyphosate study say their results show that it poses “a significant public health concern”.
One of the report’s authors, Daniele Mandrioli, at the Ramazzini Institute in Bologna, Italy, said significant and potentially detrimental effects from glyphosate had been detected in the gut bacteria of rat pups born to mothers, who appeared to have been unaffected themselves.
“It shouldn’t be happening and it is quite remarkable that it is,” Mandrioli said. “Disruption of the microbiome has been associated with a number of negative health outcomes, such as obesity, diabetes and immunological problems.”
Prof Philip J Landrigan, of New York’s Icahn School of Medicine, and also one of the research team, said: “These early warnings must be further investigated in a comprehensive long-term study.” He added that serious health effects from the chemical might manifest as long-term cancer risk: “That might affect a huge number of people, given the planet-wide use of the glyphosate-based herbicides.”
Controversy has raged around glyphosate since a World Health Organisation agency – the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) – judged it to be a “probable human carcinogen” in 2015.
However, US and European regulators subsequently deemed it acceptable for use, a move campaigners condemned because of regulators’ use of secret industry papers and experts with alleged ties to Monsanto.
The US firm, which recently merged with Bayer in a deal worth more than $60bn, argues that it is being unfairly targeted by activist scientists with ulterior motives.
Scott Partridge, Monsanto’s VP for global strategy told the Guardian: “The Ramazzini Institute is an activist organisation with an agenda that they have not disclosed as part of their crowdfunding efforts. They wish to support a ban on glyphosate and they have a long history of rendering opinions not supported by regulatory testing agencies.”
“This is not about genuine research,” he added. “All the research to date has demonstrated that there is no link between glyphosate and cancer.”
In 2017, the Ramazzini Institute was criticised by members of the US Congress, which has provided it with funding. US congress members have also probed funding for the IARC.
The new crowdfunded pilot study which the Ramazzini Institute compiled with Bologna University and the Italian National Health Institute observed the health effects of glyphosate on Sprague Dawley rats, which had been dosed with the US EPA-determined safe limit of 1.75 micrograms per kilo of body weight.
Two-thirds of known carcinogens had been discovered using the Sprague Dawley rat species, Mandrioli said, although further investigation would be needed to establish long-term risks to human health.
The pilot research did not focus on cancer but it did find evidence of glyphosate bioaccumulation in rats – and changes to reproductive health.
“We saw an increase in ano-genital distance in the formulation that is of specific importance for reproductive health,” Mandrioli said. “It might indicate a disruption of the normal level of sexual hormones.”
The study’s three peer-reviewed papers will be published in Environmental Health later in May, ahead of a €5m follow-up study that will compare the safe level against multiple other doses.