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GM Watch: Roundup Disrupts Sex Hormones

Prof. Seralini's group from CRIIGEN in the University of Caen, in collaboration with Pr. Chagnon's group from the University of Dijon, have just published a new discovery, after having demonstrated Roundup toxicity at infinitesimal doses in particular in umbilical cord cells from newborns. At very low levels, for instance 800 times less than Roundup residues authorized in some GMOs for feed in United States, this kind of herbicide for a formulation sold in drugstores prevents the action of androgens, the masculinizing hormones. Then the action and formation of estrogens are also disrupted. The DNA damages in human cells begin around this level. These effects explain disturbing results of animal experiments and in human epidemiology. It is thus proposed to examine in regulatory instances the classification of Roundup and other glyphosate-based herbicides as reprotoxics and endocrine disruptors. These phenomena have been underestimated up to now because pesticides factories pre sent in majority to authorities studies with glyphosate alone, however the commercialized mixture is a lot more active.

The study is published by the end of June 2009 in the international scientific journal Toxicology by Gasnier et al.  

Q: We use Roundup for weeds on our commercial property. You have written before that it isn't good for you. Is this just opinion or is there evidence to support your statements?

- G.H., San Jose

A: In the July 22 issue of Environmental Health News, a publication of Environmental Health Services, a foundation-funded organization, Crystal Gammon wrote: "Used in yards, farms and parks throughout the world, Roundup has long been a top-selling weed killer. But now researchers have found that one of Roundup's inert ingredients can kill human cells, particularly embryonic, placental and umbilical cord cells."

A study from the University of Caen in France, published in January, says that scientists discovered that the inert ingredients in Roundup amplified the toxic effect on human cells, even at concentrations much more diluted than those used on farms and lawns. The inert ingredient they have focused on is POEA (polyethoxylated tallowamine), an inert detergent in Roundup. They found that POEA is far more dangerous than herbicide itself. It said, "The proprietary mixtures available on the market could cause cell damage and even death (at the) residual levels found on Roundup-treated crops, such as soybeans, alfalfa and corn, or lawns and gardens."

In Gammon's article, Monsanto, the company that makes Roundup, claims the recent study is flawed, but Gilles-Eric Seralini, the molecular biologist who headed the French study, says standard toxicological methods were used.

It's my opinion that Roundup should not be used in any public area. If someone wants to use this stuff on his private property, that is his business, but it should not be used on school grounds, public parks or anywhere else people can unknowingly come in contact with it.