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Organic Consumers Association

New Study Renews Roundup 'Weedkiller' Toxicity Concern

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

A new study published in the January issue of International Journal of Toxicology titled, "Glyphosate Commercial Formulation Causes Cytotoxicity, Oxidative Effects, and Apoptosis on Human Cells: Differences With its Active Ingredient," raises renewed concern that formulations of the world's most popular herbicide glyphosate (e.g. Roundup), used primarily in the production of GM food, represent a serious human health threat.

Researchers studied the effects of a glyphosate-based formulation on human cells, at dilutions far below agricultural applications. The researchers discovered that while glyphosate and its amino acid metabolite, aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA), showed little to no observable toxic effects in isolation, a glyphosate-based formulation containing adjuvants produced a variety of adverse effects on cellular oxidative balance, including the following signs of oxidative stress:

  • Increases in reactive oxygen species
  •  
  • Increases in nitrotyrosine formation
  •  
  • Increases in superoxide dismutase activity
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  • Increases in glutathione levels


  • The glyphosate formulation studied also triggered two 'death proteins' in human cells known as caspase 3/7, inducing pathways that activate programmed cell death (apoptosis), a clear sign of significant toxicity.

    Most importantly, the researchers concluded: "These results confirm that G [glyphosate] formulations have adjuvants working together with the active ingredient and causing toxic effects that are not seen with acid glyphosate."           


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