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Is Monsanto Poisoning Consumers
with Pesticide Residues

ISIS Report, 1 August 2002
Acrylamide In Cooked Foods: The Glyphosate Connection
Recent health alert over toxic acrylamide in cooked foods is linked to
glyphosate, Prof. Joe Cummins reveals.

Acrylamide is a building block for the polymer, polyacrylamide, a
material well-known in molecular biology laboratories as a gel matrix
for resolving DNA fragments in sequence analysis and identifying
proteins, both under electric fields. In the world at large,
polyacrylamide is used in water purification to flocculate suspended
organic matter. Recently the world health organization (WHO) had a
closed meeting to review the finding that cooked vegetables had
significant levels of acrylamide [1]. The finding received worldwide
attention because acrylamide is a potent nerve toxin in humans and also
affects male reproduction, and causes birth defects and cancer in
animals. The WHO press releases implied that the acrylamide finding was
a surprise and that the pollutant probably arose from cooking the
vegetables.

Strangely, the WHO releases did not mention the fact that polyacrylamide
is a well known additive to commercial herbicide mixtures (25% to 30%
solutions) to reduce spray drift and to act as a surfactant [2]. The
glyphosate (ie Roundup) herbicides of Monsanto Corporation are of
particular concern because the herbicide interacts with the polymer
[2-4]. Experiments showed that heat and light contribute to the release
of acrylamide from polyacrylamide, and glyphosate was found to influence
the solubility of polyacrylamide, so care was advised in mixing the two.

The evidence seems compelling, therefore, that acrylamide is being
released from polyacrylamide in the environment, one of the main sources
of which is in glyphosate herbicide formulations. Cooking vegetables
that had been exposed to the glyphosate herbicide used with
herbicide-tolerant crops, or used during soil preparation for normal
crops would result in the releasing more acrylamide. Worse yet,
additives such as polyacrylamide are designated 'trade secrets' in North
America and information on the contents of herbicide preparations are
not available to the public.

I am surprised at WHO's feigned ignorance of the
polyacrylamide -herbicide connection. WHO should make more effort to
consult experts independent of the giant herbicide corporations for a
change, so the public could be told the whole truth.

Weiss G. Acrylamide in food: Uncharted territory. Science 2002, 297,27.
Smith E, Prues S and Ochme F. Environmental degradation of
polyacrylamides:Effect of artificial environmental conditions.
Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 1996, 35,121-35.
Smith E, Prues S and Ochme F. Environmental degradation of
polyacrylamides: II Effects of outdoor exposure. Ecotoxicology and
Environmetal Safety 1997, 37,76-91.
Fischer K, Kotalik J and Kettrup A. Determination of acrylamide monomer
in polyacrylamide degradation studies by high performance liquid
chromatography. Journal of Chromatographic Science 1999, 37,486-94


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