Death by Multiple Poisoning, Glyphosate and Roundup

ISIS Press Release 11/02/09

Scientists pinpoint how very low concentrations of the herbicide and other chemicals in Roundup formulations kill human cells, strengthening the case for phasing them out, and banning all further releases of Roundup-tolerant GM crops Dr. Mae-Wan Ho and Brett Cherry

This article was submitted to the USDA on behalf of ISIS

Four different Roundup formulations of the herbicide glyphyosate manufactured by Monsanto are highly toxic to human cells, and at concentrations far below the recommended agricultural use levels. Researchers at the Institute of Biology in Caen, France published their latest results in the current issue of Chemical Research in Toxicology [1].

Roundup formulations are lethal cocktails

The four Roundup formulations are mixtures of glyphosate with various adjuvants. (An adjuvant is ‘helper’ substance added to aid the effect of the active ingredient.) The Roundup formulations are currently the top non-selective herbicides worldwide and increasing, as more than 75 percent of genetically modified (GM) crops are Roundup tolerant. Glyphosate and its major metabolite, aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA) are main contaminants in rivers. The adjuvants, not often measured in the environment, are usually considered ‘inert’ and protected as trade secret in manufacturing. Among them, the predominant one is polyethoxylated tallow amine (POEA). POEA is used as a surfactant in Roundup formulations to improve solubility and penetration into plants. Three human cell lines were tested: primary cell line HUVEC from umbilical cord vein epithelium, embryonic cell line 293 derived from kidney, and placenta cell line JEG3. All cells died within 24 hours of exposure to the Roundup formulations. The Roundup formulations (Rs) contain different amounts of the active ingredient glyphosate: Roundup Express, 7.2 g/L (R7.2); Roundup Bioforce, 360 g/L (R360); Roundup Grand Travaux, 400 g/L (R400); and Roundup Grand Travaux Plus, 450 g/L (R450). They were compared with glyphosate (G), AMPA, and POEA. All Roundup formulations in the study, along with individual chemical ingredients, were tested at concentrations from10 ppm (parts per million) to 2 percent (the recommended agricultural usage level), which means that the Roundup formulations were diluted up to 100 000 times or more. The researchers found that the presence of the other chemical ingredients in Roundup formulations, such as POEA, actually amplified glyphosate’s toxic effects. The toxicities of the Roundup formulations were not proportional to the amount of glyphosate they contained, and are most likely due to POEA and other as yet undisclosed ingredient(s) present in all the formulations. POEA by itself is much more toxic than the Roundup formulations, while AMPA is more toxic than glyphosate.

Read the rest of this article here //www.i-sis.org.uk/DMPGR.php



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