Dr. Mae-Wan Ho and Prof. Joe Cummins call for urgent regulatory review of the most widely used herbicide in the light of new scientific evidence
New research findings are raising serious concerns over the safety of the most commonly used herbicide, and should be sending shockwaves through proponents of genetically modified (GM) crops made tolerant to the herbicide, which now account for 75% of all GM crops in the world.
Worse yet, the most common formulation of the herbicide is even more toxic than the herbicide by itself, and is made by the same biotech giant that created the herbicide tolerant GM crops.
Broad-spectrum herbicide glyphosate (N-(phosphonomethyl)glycine), commonly sold in the commercial formulation Roundup (Monsanto company, St. Louis, Missouri USA) has been frequently used both on crops and non-crops areas world wide since it was introduced in the 1970s. Roundup is a combination of glyphosate with other chemicals including a surfactant (detergent) polyoxyethyleneamine that enhance the spreading of the spray droplets on the leaves of plants. The use of Roundup has gone up especially in countries growing Roundup- tolerant GM crops created by Monsanto.
Glyphosate kills plants by inhibiting the enzyme, 5-enolpyruvoyl- shikimate-3-phosphate synthetase (EPSPS), essential for the formation of aromatic amino acids such as phenylalanine, tyrosine and tryptophan; which leads onto vitamins and many secondary metabolites such as folates, ubiquinones and naphthoquines. It is believed to be rather specific in action and less toxic than other herbicides, because the shikimate pathway is not present in mammals and humans. However, glyphosate acts by preventing the binding of phosphoenol pyruvate to the active site of the enzyme, and phosphoenol pyruvate is a core metabolite present in all organisms; thus it has the potential to affect other metabolic pathways. This is borne out by many reports of toxicities associated with the herbicide reviewed in the Independent SciencePanel Report, The Case for a GM-free Sustainable World .
An epidemiological study in the Ontario farming populations showed that glyphosate exposure nearly doubled the risk of late spontaneous abortions , and Prof. Eric-Giles Seralini and his research team from Caen University in France decided to find out more about the effects of the herbicide on cells from the human placenta.
Bron: I-SIS, Press Release 07/03/2005: Glyphosate Toxic & Roundup Worse