Alarming new research published in the journal
Neurotoxicology and Teratology
supports the emerging connection between glyphosate, the
active ingredient in Roundup herbicide, and neurodegenerative
conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and Parkinsonian disorders.
They found that glyphosate inhibited the viability of differentiated
test cells (PC12, adrenal medula derived), in both dose-and-time
dependent manners. The researchers also found that “glyphosate
induced cell death via authophagy pathways in addition to activating
Roundup herbicide is now a ubiquitous contaminant in our air, rain,
groundwater, and food, making complete avoidance near impossible. A
growing body of experimental evidence now indicates that it in
addition to its neurotoxicity it also has the following.
“We were very much surprised by our findings. Until now, it
has been thought almost impossible for Bt proteins to be toxic to
human cells. Now further investigations have to be conducted to find
out how these toxins impact the cells and if combinatorial effects
with other compounds in the food and feed chain have to be taken
into account,” says Gilles-Eric Séralini from the University
of Caen, who supervised the experiments. “In conclusion, these
experiments show that the risks of Bt toxins and of Roundup have
The toxicity of the corn itself may have been a surprise,
but not that of Roundup:
These findings are in accordance with several other investigations
highlighting unexpected health risks associated with glyphosate
including ones by Dr. Séralini,
already showed exposure to glysophate (the active ingredient in Roundup)
to be “a risk factor for developing Non-Hodgkin lymphoma”,
and to be toxic to human umbilical, placental, and placental cells with a
“is far below agricultural recommendations and corresponds to low levels
of residues in food or feed.”
Prof. Andrés Carrasco has demonstrated birth defects in amphibians
and there is increasing evidence of human birth defects.
…consuming genetically modified (GM) corn or soybeans leads to significant
organ disruptions in rats and mice, particularly in livers and kidneys.
…9% of the measured parameters, including
blood and urine biochemistry, organ weights, and microscopic analyses
(histopathology), were significantly disrupted in the GM-fed animals. The
kidneys of males fared the worst, with 43.5% of all the changes. The liver
of females followed, with 30.8%. The report, published in Environmental
Sciences Europe on March 1, 2011, confirms that “several convergent
data appear to indicate liver and kidney problems as end points of GMO
diet effects.” The authors point out that livers and kidneys “are
the major reactive organs” in cases of chronic food toxicity.
And these were the corn and soybeans that people eat.
An insecticide used in genetically modified (GM) crops grown extensively
in the United States and other parts of the world has leached into the
water of the surrounding environment.
The insecticide is the product of a bacterial gene inserted into GM
maize and other cereal crops to protect them against insects such as
the European corn borer beetle. Scientists have detected the insecticide
in a significant number of streams draining the great corn belt of the
The researchers detected the bacterial protein in the plant detritus that
was washed off the corn fields into streams up to 500 metres away. They
are not yet able to determine how significant this is in terms of the
risk to either human health or the wider environment.
The first economic analysis of growing genetically modified crops on a wide scale has found that the biggest winners were the farmers who decided not to grow them.
The study, which looked at maize yields in the corn belt of the United States, found that farmers who continued to grow conventional crops actually earned more money over a 14-year period than those who cultivated GM varieties.
The article then tries to say they nonetheless benefited from genetic modification:
All farmers benefited from the significantly lower level of pests that came about after the introduction of GM maize to the US in 1996, but the conventional farmers who continued to cultivate non-GM varieties also benefited financially from not having to pay the extra costs of purchasing GM seeds.
Um, what about not having to pay for the pesticides that go with the GM seeds?
The study’s author admits they didn’t study that sort of thing:
benefits from corn borer suppression are likely occurring, such as less insecticide use, but these benefits have yet to be documented,” Dr Hutchinson said.
The Telegraph spelled his name wrong. This appears to be the actual report:
The agricultural giant was found to have been selling genetically modified cotton seeds without labeling them as such. Between 2002 and 2007, Monsanto’s seeds were illegally sold in several Texas counties where the seeds are explicitly banned.
The seeds — known as Bollgard and Bollgard II — were genetically engineered to produce the insecticide Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), and Texas officials were concerned that using the seeds would lead to pest resistance.
But that didn’t stop Monsanto from bamboozling buyers into purchasing the illegal seeds.
Here’s the bad news: Monsanto’s market cap is $29.5 billion,
so the fine is less than a hundredth of a percent of that.
Still, the fines keep going up. Maybe eventually they’ll get big enough to sting.
Or we could just trust the company that made Agent Orange and DDT.
It’s a funny thing about monocultures. They’re highly vulnerable to anything
that affects that particular variety.
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho writes:
The scene is set at harvest time in Arkansas October 2009. Grim-faced farmers and scientists speak from fields infested with giant pigweed plants that can withstand as much glyphosate herbicide as you can afford to douse on them. One farmer spent US$0.5 million in three months trying to clear the monster weeds in vain; they stop combine harvesters and break hand tools. Already, an estimated one million acres of soybean and cotton crops in Arkansas have become infested.
The palmer amaranth or palmer pigweed is the most dreaded weed. It can grow 7-8 feet tall, withstand withering heat and prolonged droughts, produce thousands of seeds and has a root system that drains nutrients away from crops. If left unchecked, it would take over a field in a year.
Meanwhile in North Carolina Perquimans County, farmer and extension worker Paul Smith has just found the offending weed in his field , and he too, will have to hire a migrant crew to remove the weed by hand.