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Organic Consumers Association

Roundup and Glyphosate Toxicity Underestimated, Study Says

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Genetic Engineering page and our Millions Against Monsanto page.

The true toxicity of glyphosate-the active ingredient in Monsanto's broad-spectrum herbicide Roundup-is becoming increasingly clear as study after study is published demonstrating its devastating effects. In June, groundbreaking research was published detailing a newfound mechanism of harm for Roundup.

This was immediately followed by tests showing that people in 18 countries across Europe have glyphosate in their bodies, while yet another study revealed that the chemical has estrogenic properties and drives breast cancer proliferation in the parts-per-trillion range.

This finding might help explain why rats fed Monsanto's maize developed massive breast tumors in the first-ever lifetime feeding study published last year. Other recently published studies demonstrate glyphosate's toxicity to cell lines, aquatic life, food animals, and humans.

Glyphosate Toxicity Underestimated, Study Concludes

One such study, published in the journal Ecotoxicology, found that glyphosate is toxic to water fleas (Daphnia magna) at minuscule levels that are well within the levels expected to be found in the environment.

According to regulators, glyphosate is thought to be practically nontoxic to aquatic invertebrates. The water flea is a widely accepted model for environmental toxicity, so this study throws serious doubt on glyphosate's classification as environmentally safe. According to the study:

"To test the acute effects of both glyphosate and a commercial formulation of Roundup (hereafter Roundup), we conducted a series of exposure experiments with different clones and age-classes of D. magna.... Roundup showed slightly lower acute toxicity than glyphosate IPA alone... However, in chronic toxicity tests spanning the whole life-cycle, Roundup was more toxic.

...Significant reduction of juvenile size was observed even in the lowest test concentrations of 0.05 mg a.i./l, for both glyphosate and Roundup. At 0.45 mg a.i./l, growth, fecundity and abortion rate was affected, but only in animals exposed to Roundup.

At 1.35 and 4.05 mg a.i./l of both glyphosate and Roundup, significant negative effects were seen on most tested parameters, including mortality. D. magna was adversely affected by a near 100% abortion rate of eggs and embryonic stages at 1.35 mg a.i./l of Roundup.

The results indicate that aquatic invertebrate ecology can be adversely affected by relevant ambient concentrations of this major herbicide. We conclude that glyphosate and Roundup toxicity to aquatic invertebrates have been underestimated and that current European Commission and US EPA toxicity classification of these chemicals need to be revised."




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