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‘Extreme Levels’ of Monsanto’s Roundup Herbicide Found in Soy Plants

For Related Articles and More Information, Please Visit OCA's Genetic Engineering Page, Millions Against Monsanto Page and our Iowa News Page.

A new study led by scientists from the Arctic University of Norway has detected "extreme levels" of Roundup, the agricultural herbicide manufactured by Monsanto, in genetically engineered (GE) soy.

The study, coming out in June's issue of Food Chemistry and available online, looked at 31 different soybean plants on Iowa farms and compared the accumulation of pesticides and herbicides on plants in three categories: GE "Roundup Ready" soy, conventionally produced (not GE) soy, and soy cultivated using organic practices. They found high levels of Roundup on 70 percent of GE soy plants.

Crop scientists have genetically engineered soy to survive blasts of Roundup so farmers can spray this chemical near crops to get rid of weeds. But some so-called "super weeds" resistant to Roundup have developed. In turn, some farmers use yet more Roundup to try to kill those hardy weeds. This leads to more Roundup chemicals being found on soybeans and ultimately in the food supply.

Who says when Roundup contamination can be considered "extreme?" Monsanto itself. In 1999, the chemical giant defined an "extreme level" of the herbicide as 5.6 milligrams per kilogram of plant weight.

Astonishingly, the Norwegian scientists found a whopping nine milligrams of Roundup per kilogram, on average. What it boils down to is this: every time we eat GE soy we are taking a dose of Roundup with it. This is alarming, because Roundup has been found to be hazardous to human health and sometimes kills human cells. The authors conclude:

This study demonstrated that Roundup Ready [GE]-soy may have high residue levels of glyphosate [...] and also that different agricultural practices may result in a markedly different nutritional composition of soybeans [...] Lack of data on pesticide residues in major crop plants is a serious gap of knowledge with potential consequences for human and animal health.     


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