You would think that a company who: came up with saccharin to produce diet Coca Cola; contributed to research on uranium which led to the atomic bomb; has been a leading manufacturer of plastics, PCBs and DDTs; sold Agent Orange to the US government during the Vietnam War; has discharged 37 million pounds of toxic chemicals into the air, land, water and underground; paid $41.1 million to a waste management company in Texas due to concerns over hazardous waste dumping in 1995; and sold 6,000 tons of contaminated waste to Idaho fertilizer companies, containing the carcinogenic heavy metal cadmium, would be hiding behind its mama’s skirts. But not so, the magnitude of Monsanto’s sales is both gigantic and global.
Amazingly, the humble, all too familiar herbicide concoction, Roundup, has been the company’s most stable cash cow over the past 50 years. Perhaps that is the explanation behind its name. By the mid 1970s it was being marketed in 115 countries. Its gross profit was $2 billion until their patent expired and competition slashed their sales in half.
When you think about it, there is no reason why every American homeowner would not want to buy Roundup. With just a few squirts, rock pathways, driveways, berry patches, lawns, flowerbeds and the like can be weed free. How convenient is that? Who has time (or backbone) to bend over for every single weed in the way?
Roundup has been touted as safe to use where kids and pets play and that it breaks down into natural material.
On top of that, the public has been told that nothing could be safer. We have been assured that environmentally friendly Roundup herbicide is biodegradable; that it does not build up in the soil. We have heard that Roundup can be used with environmental confidence and that its active ingredient, glyphosate, is less toxic to rats than table salt following acute oral ingestion. Roundup has been touted as safe to use where kids and pets play and that it breaks down into natural material. As a result, it remains the world’s biggest herbicide by volume of sales.
And it shows, literally. The US Geological Survey reported that high levels of glyphosate have been found in rainwater, rivers and even the air
in the Midwest agricultural belt. As tragic as that is, because herbicides are used worldwide, so is the contamination. Even more shocking, German researchers “found significant concentrations of glyphosate in the urine samples of city dwellers… concentrations of glyphosate at 5 to 20-fold the limit for drinking water.”1 This does not fit into my idea of biodegradable.
Not all are buying into Monsanto’s claims and appeasements. Through his investigations, French professor Robert Bellé found that Roundup affects cell division control mechanisms. His team used sea urchin cells to study the impact Roundup might have on the early stages of cancer development. They
When scientists compared the effects of isolated glyphosate and glyphosate in combination with the other chemicals, as contained in Roundup, they found that the additives in Roundup increased, facilitated or enhanced the toxic effects. In other words, Roundup is more toxic than its active ingredient, glyphosate, at least by two-fold.
The synergistic effects of the chemicals found in Roundup were also found to cause greater liver damage in rats than glyphosate alone.
An association between glyphosate use and risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma and multiple myeloma has also been observed and documented.
Referring to herbicides and pesticides, neurosurgeon Russell Blaylock states, “People are spraying their yards with Roundup and all kinds of weed control, herbicides
…human placental cells are very sensitive to Roundup at concentrations lower than that typically used in agricultural settings.
The documented potential impact of Roundup in causing hormonal disturbances in humans is also worthy of our concern.
A doubled risk of late spontaneous abortions was seen in Ontario, Canada farming populations with glyphosate exposure. After becoming aware of this epidemiological observation, a group of scientists led by biochemist Professor Seralini from the University of Caen in France studied the effect of Roundup on the womb. They found that human placental cells are very sensitive to Roundup at concentrations lower than that typically used in agricultural settings. The placenta is attached to the growing baby in the womb and functions as a nutritive, respiratory, excretory and endocrine organ in the womb by the end of the 3rd month of pregnancy. “We show that glyphosate is toxic to human placental JEG3 cells within 18 hr with concentrations lower than those found with agricultural use, and this effect increases with concentration and time or in the presence of Roundup adjuvants. Surprisingly, Roundup is always more toxic than its active ingredient.”4
The placenta is not alone in being impacted. Embryonic cells are apparently even more sensitive at certain stages to chemicals found in Roundup. “One specific inert ingredient, polyethoxylated
Argentina’s Supreme Court has been petitioned to temporarily ban glyphosate use in response to a reported higher incidence of birth defects and cancers in people living near crop-spraying areas.
In 2011, retired professor emeritus of plant pathology of Purdue University, Don Huber,
Dealing with weeds in an environmentally safe way was an accomplishment of the cross. Sin resulted, not only in agricultural terrorists, but the very souls of men became infested. The cross alone provides the safe, eternal, transparent and perfect cure, sufficient for every soul. This is the remedy for sin where Satan has set his throne, where the enemy has planted his seeds, there shall stand the cross of Christ, and sin shall be “cast out,” weeded out for good.
- “Now glyphosate found in people’s urine,” GMWatch (1/20/2012), http://www.gmwatch.eu/component/content/article/13631.
- “New Evidence of dangers of Roundup weedkiller,” Biosafety, (6/25/2012), http://www.biosafety-info.net/article.php?aid=267.
- Somers, Suzanne, Breakthrough, p. 195.
- S Richard, S Moslemi, “Differential effects of glyphosate and roundup on human placental cells and aromatase,” (6/2005), Environ Health Perspective, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15929894.
- Crystal Gammon, “Weed-Whacking Herbicide Proves Deadly to Human cells,” (6/23/2009), Scientific American, http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=weed-whacking-herbicide-p.
- Carey Gillam, “Scientist warns on
safetyof Monsanto’s Roundup,” Reuters, (2/24/2011), http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/02/24/us- monsanto-roundup-idUSTRE71N4XN20110224.
Risë Rafferty, RDN
Risë is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) and has been writing and teaching about health for many years. She loves the health message and takes great pleasure in seeing people thrive by the application of its principles. Her research and down-to-earth manner allow her to offer up the health message in both an intelligent and accessible manner. She and her husband, James Rafferty, have two children.