Roundup (you know, the stuff that’s sprayed on cotton, soybeans, peanuts, and corn and drifts across the road) causes DNA damage even when diluted down to 450 times less than what’s used in agriculture, according to a scientific study from February 2012.
Cytotoxic and DNA-damaging properties of glyphosate and Roundup in human-derived buccal epithelial cells, by Verena J. Koller, Maria Fürhacker, Armen Nersesyan, Miroslav Mišík, Maria Eisenbauer and Siegfried Knasmueller, Archives of Toxicology Volume 86, Number 5 (2012), 805-813, DOI: 10.1007/s00204-012-0804-8.
Glyphosate (G) is the largest selling herbicide worldwide; the most common formulations (Roundup, R) contain polyoxyethyleneamine as main surfactant. Recent findings indicate that G exposure may cause DNA damage and cancer in humans….
Since we found genotoxic effects after short exposure to concentrations that correspond to a 450-fold dilution of spraying used in agriculture, our findings indicate that inhalation may cause DNA damage in exposed individuals.
It’s probably not even the “active” ingredient, glyphosate, that’s causing this DNA damage, more likely one of its “inert” ingredients.
Sayer Ji wrote for Greenmedinfo 15 October 2012, Research: Roundup Herbicide Toxicity Vastly Underestimated,
But adjuvants in glyphosate formulations do not just increase the toxicity of glyphosate — they are themselves highly toxic. Indeed, a study published in the journal Toxicology September, 2011 [sic: 2012] titled “Ethoxylated adjuvants of glyphosate-based herbicides are active principles of human cell toxicity,” found 24 hour exposures on liver, embryonic and placental cell lines at concentrations as low as 1 ppm — a dose well within “acceptable” environmental and occupational doses — resulted in negative effects on cellular respiration and membrane integrity.[ii] The authors reported their findings as such:
Altogether, these results challenge the establishment of guidance values such as the acceptable daily intake of glyphosate, when these are mostly based on a long term in vivo test of glyphosate alone. Since pesticides are always used with adjuvants that could change their toxicity, the necessity to assess their whole formulations as mixtures becomes obvious. This challenges the concept of active principle of pesticides for non-target species.
What the consumer of GM-contaminated food must understand is that glyphosate, and the many insufficiently tested “inactive” ingredients sprayed on these foods, enter the body and have real, adverse effects that are cumulative, even if mostly subclinical. The only way we can be sure to reduce our exposure to these agrichemicals is through consciously refraining from consuming them. And how do we do that? Get the stuff labeled, and give the consumer a choice not to eat it.
Maybe you should think twice before spraying Roundup on your yard. Maybe we all should think twice before eating food sprayed with Roundup, since pesticides remain in the food, all the way through to urine. Oh, and you do have legal recourse for pesticide drift.
Here’s the more recent journal article: Ethoxylated adjuvants of glyphosate-based herbicides are active principles of human cell toxicity. Mesnage R, Bernay B, Séralini GE. Toxicology. 2012 Sep 21. pii: S0300-483X(12)00345-9. doi: 10.1016/j.tox.2012.09.006. [Epub ahead of print]
Apparently Séralini hit a nerve this time. There’s quite the controversy about that recent study; see the next post.