New Study Shows Why Roundup Herbicide (Glyphosate) Should Be Banned

Sayer Ji, Green Med Info
Waking Times

A growing body of research indicates that Roundup herbicide and its metabolite, AMPA, are vastly more toxic than the public is being told. Activist sentiment aside, the scientific research itself increasingly points to banning this herbicide as the only logical solution.

A concerning new study published in Chemosphere shows that the classical toxicology model, based on the testing of individual molecules, is incapable of accurately estimating the global environmental and health risks of mixtures of agrochemicals like glyphosate (aka Roundup) and its degradation byproduct AMPA, which are now ubiquitous environmental and food contaminants and much more harmful than previously believed.

Following closely on the heels of a study showing that Roundup herbicide is 125 times more toxic than its active ingredient glyphosate studied in isolation, the new study adds to an increasingly damning body of evidence that reveals agrochemicals used in GMO food production are vastly more harmful than their manufacturers, regulators and proponents will admit.

  • The study, titled, “Genotoxicity of mixtures of glyphosate and atrazine and their environmental transformation products before and after photoactivation,”evaluated the light-induced cell-damaging toxicity (i.e. photo-inducible cytogenetic toxicity) of glyphosate, atrazine, aminomethyl phosphoric acid (AMPA), desethyl-atrazine (DEA), and their various mixtures.

    Glyphosate (aka Roundup) is the world’s most popular pesticide, used primarily in GMO farming as a systemic herbicide. When glyphosate is metabolized within plants or within the liver of animals, it produces AMPA, a substance that while classified as inert and/or harmless by regulators, has been known for some time to be at least as toxic as glyphosate, the latter of which has been linked to over 30 adverse health effects.[1] Atrazine is used to control weeds in crops such as corn and surgarcane, and is used widely in residential lawns and golf courses. It was identified as the most commonly detected pesticide contaminating drinking water in the United States,[2] and is believed to a potent endocrine disrupter affecting animal hormonal systems.[3][4]

    Herbicide Mixtures And/Or Metabolites 20-1,000 Times More Toxic Than Regulators Believe

    The new study demonstrated that the cell-damaging (cytogenetic) potentials of pesticides greatly depended on their physicochemical environment. Also, it was found that the mixture made with the four pesticides was not only 20-fold more toxic to tested cells than those of the most active compound AMPA, but that the toxicity increased 100-fold after light-irradiation, which would be a common reaction given that these chemicals persist and accumulate in the environment.

    Additionally, researchers discovered that, “AMPA displayed a direct cytogenetic toxicity which was 1000 fold higher than that of its parent compound [glyphosate].” Since AMPA – the breakdown product of glyphosate — is a ubiquitous toxicant, found in all glyphosate exposed plant food, and is known to persist for prolonged durations in the environment (76–240 days in soil), and is even produced in the mammalian liver following consumption of glyphosate contaminated food, the significance of this finding can not be underestimated.

    When you consider that glyphosate is presently allowed in human food at levels up to six orders of magnitude higher than research has revealed may be harmful to the human body,[5] AMPA’s potential for being 1,000 times more toxic than glyphosate implies that present day ‘acceptable levels’ may be up to 9 orders of magnitude — 1,000,000,000 times — too lax than required to protect exposed populations from significant bodily harm.

    Given the growing body of evidence suggesting that glyphosate and its metabolite, AMPA, are extremely toxic, the precautionary principle should be implemented and unnecessary exposure should be avoided. If Roundup herbicide use is not restricted or banned until undergoing review, at the very least, consumers deserve the right of informed consent. The choice to avoid non-GMO and non-Roundup laden foods must be made available through truthful labeling of food products. Failing to make this choice possible, or worse, levying massive financial and political resources against such a right through industry front groups like the Grocery Manufacturers Association, amounts to forced chemical poisoning, an egregious crime against humanity.


    [1], Glyphosate Adverse Health Effects

    [2] A Valuable Reputation: Tyrone Hayes said that a chemical was harmful, its maker pursued him” by Rachel Aviv, The New Yorker, 10 February 2014

    [3] Atrazine: Chemical Summary. Toxicity and Exposure Assessment for Children’s Health(Report). U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 4/24/2007.

    [4] Hayes, Tyrone B.; Anderson, Lloyd L.; Beasley, Val R.; de Solla, Shane R.; Iguchi, Taisen; et al. (2011). “Demasculinization and feminization of male gonads by atrazine: Consistent effects across vertebrate classes”. The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 127 (1–2): 64–73. doi:10.1016/j.jsbmb.2011.03.015. PMID 21419222.

    [5], Roundup May Be Carcinogenic in the Parts-Per-Trillion Range, 2013

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