Patrick Moore, a Canadian scientist and environmentalist and the former president of Greenpeace Canada, recently came into contact with a journalist from a premium French cable station. The journalist identified Moore as a Monsanto lobbyist and asked him to drink a glass of Roundup Herbicide, the world’s most popular and widely used weed-killer.
According to an article published by Forbes, Moore is not a Monsanto lobbyist. However, in the same article, Forbes provides a link to Moore’s Wikipedia page, which states that he is “a paid spokesman for the nuclear industry, the logging industry, and genetic engineering industry.” And other sources would seem to concur. For example, the Asian Pacific Post quotes Greenpeace as saying that he “exploits long gone ties with Greenpeace to sell himself as a speaker and pro-corporate spokesperson, usually taking positions that Greenpeace opposes.”
Nevertheless, it’s no secret that Moore is a big supporter of GMO foods and the biotech industry in general. It was his stance on these issues that raised friction between him and Greenpeace in the first place, since Greenpeace does not support genetically modified organisms. He has openly supported GE foods and pesticides on numerous occasions, so the issue of whether or not he is paid by the industry is, quite frankly, irrelevant.
What The Science Says About Glyphosate
Mr. Moore clearly has no idea what he is talking about. The dangers of this chemical are, at this point, incontrovertible. In 1991, for example, a paper reported that 93 patients intentionally ingested RoundUp at its 41 percent concentration. Seven of them died, 66 percent of them sustained damage to their gastrointestinal tract, and 43 percent of them reported sore throats. (source)
These aren’t the only reports of people dying after ingesting glyphosate, or feeling its ill effects. It is clearly not safe for consumption, and considering the fact that people are required to wear goggles, masks, and protective gear to handle it, this much should be obvious.
The other problem is that glyphosate has been found in the urine of a significant portion of the population. It has been linked to multiple diseases, which is why countries are banning its use entirely.
For example, Sri Lanka recently banned the substance because a study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health suggested that Roundup, or glyphosate, becomes highly toxic to the kidney once mixed with “hard” water or metals like cadmium and arsenic. These metals often exist naturally in the soil or are added via the fertilizer. (source)
“An investigation carried out by medical specialists and scientists has revealed that kidney disease was mainly caused by glyphosate. President Mahinda Rajapaksa has ordered the immediate removal of glyphosate from the local market soon after he was told of the contents of the report.” (source)
The study also noted that even the World Health Organization (WHO) found that Chronic Kidney Disease (CKDU) is caused by exposure to pesticides.
The list of countries to ban this chemical is lengthy and it continues to grow, yet the makers of glyphosate remain obstinate in their assurances that the product is safe, even in the face of such clear resistance.
Glyphosate has also been linked to birth defects. A group of scientists put together a comprehensive review of existing data which shows how European regulators have known that Monsanto’s glyphosate causes a number of birth malformations since at least 2002. The review was lead by Dr M. Antoniou, Head of the Gene Expression and Therapy Group from the Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics at King’s College London School of Medicine, UK. Dr. Antoniou was joined by 6 other doctors who have similarly impressive credentials. The report provides a thorough review of the peer-reviewed scientific literature documenting the serious health hazards posed by glyphosate and Roundup herbicide formulations. You can read the entire document here.
Here is another study that shows glyphosate can cause abnormalities. It was published in 2010 by the American Chemical Society, and the research was conducted at the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Antoniou’s report also claims that regulators misinformed the public about glyphosate’s safety, and we need only look at a recent study published in the journal Biomedical Research International — it demonstrates that Roundup herbicide is 125 more toxic than its active ingredient (glyphosate) studied in isolation — to see the proof of that.
“It is commonly believed that Roundup is among the safest pesticides. . . . Despite its reputation, Roundup was by far the most toxic among the herbicides and insecticides tested. This inconsistency between scientific fact and industrial claim may be attributed to huge economic interests, which have been found to falsify health risk assessments and delay health policy decisions.” – R. Mesnage et al., Biomed Research International, Volume 2014 (2014) article ID 179691
Did you know that adjuvants in pesticides are usually declared as inerts? Or that because of this, they are not tested for longterm safety? It is “thus very surprising that they amplify up to 1000 times the toxicity of their Active Principles in 100% of the cases where they are indicated to be present by the manufacturer.” – R. Mesnage et al., Biomed Research International, Volume 2014 (2014) article ID 179691
Not too long ago, a groundbreaking study revealed that glyphosate is responsible for fuelling breast cancer by increasing the number of breast cancer cells through cell growth and cell division. It was also determined that glyphosate can potentially cause Autism, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
The World Health Organization has also admitted recently that glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic to humans.” The announcement comes after decades of research had already been saying this very thing.
“Glyphosate currently has the highest global production volume of all herbicides. The largest use worldwide is in agriculture. The agricultural use of glyphosate has increased sharply since the development of crops that have been genetically modified to make them resistant to glyphosate. Glyphosate is also used in forestry, urban, and home applications. Glyphosate has been detected in the air during spraying, in water, and in food. The general population is exposed primarily through residence near sprayed areas, home use, and diet, and the level that has been observed is generally low.” (source)
They went on to state that the evidence is “convincing” that glyphosate can cause cancer in laboratory animals.
“Several more recent positive results in concluding that there is sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals. Glyphosate also caused DNA and chromosomal damage in human cells, although it gave negative results in tests using bacteria. One study in community residents reported increases in blood markers of chromosomal damage (micronuclei) after glyphosate formulations were sprayed nearby.” (source)
A study coming out of the University of California Davis determined that pregnant women who live in close proximity to land and farms where chemical pesticides are/were applied experience a two-thirds increased risk of having a child with autism spectrum disorder or some other developmental disorder.
“This study validates the results of earlier research that had reported associations between having a child with autism and prenatal exposure to agricultural chemicals in California. While we still must investigate whether certain sub-groups are more vulnerable to exposures to these compounds than others, the message is very clear: Women who are pregnant should take special care to avoid contact with agricultural chemicals whenever possible.” – Janie F. Shelton, a UC Davis graduate student who now consults with the United Nations; lead author of the study (source)
You can read more about that HERE.
A new study published in the journal PLOS Computational Biology from researchers at the University of Chicago revealed that autism and intellectual disability (ID) rates are linked with exposure to harmful environmental factors during congenital development. (source)
The list literally goes on and on, and I hope I’ve provided a starting point for you to further your research if interested.
GMOs and How They Fit Into This Picture
It is important to remember that many supporters of both genetically modified foods, and their associate herbicides and pesticides, truly believe these substances are safe. What this means is that we can’t assume everyone working for the industry has evil intentions. Many of these people, even those who hold influential positions and who support these products wholeheartedly, are doing so from a genuine belief in their value. We have to remember this if we are ever to open up a genuine dialogue with those who are putting them on the market.
Steven M. Druker, J.D, Executive Director at the Alliance for Bio-Integrity, recently wrote a book about this issue that has the support of various renowned scientists from around the world. It’s called Altered Genes, Twisted Truth: How the Venture to Genetically Engineer Our Food Has Subverted Science, Corrupted Government, and Systematically Deceived the Public.
“Altered Genes, Twisted Truth will stand as a landmark. It should be required reading in every university biology course.” – Joseph Cummins, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Genetics, Western University, London, Ontario
In the book, Druker goes into detail about how the public, along with a number of lobbyists and other influential individuals, is being deceived about GMOs. The book discusses and shows how the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) became a key accomplice in the biotech industry gaining such supremacy, and how it has broken the law and lied in order to bring genetically engineered foods into the market without the appropriate safety testing. It’s a very interesting read.
You may be wondering what GMOs have to do with Roundup herbicide, since at first glance they have nothing in common. But Roundup is the herbicide that GMO crops are engineered to resist, and this has created a situation where farmers are flooding their fields with Roundup. Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, has been found to be accumulated in the soil of various countries around the world. In fact, a new study from the U.S. Geological Survey, titled “Pesticides in Mississippi Air and Rain: A Comparison Between 1995 and 2007,” reveals that Roundup herbicide (aka glyphosate) and its toxic degradation byproduct AMPA were found in over 75% of the air and rain samples tested from Mississippi in 2007. Researchers weren’t surprised, considering 2 million kilograms of glyphosate had been applied statewide in 2007. (source)(source)
A German study that concluded in June 2013 has also discovered a significant amount of glyphosate in the urine of people and animals from all across Europe, and it is just one of many such studies to discover this. The analysis of the urine samples found that all had concentrations of glyphosate at 5 to 20 times more than the limit for drinking water. Apart from being used increasingly in food production, glyphosate-based weedkillers are often sprayed onto railway lines, urban pavements, and roadsides. (source)(source)(source)
“To this day Monsanto continues to advertise its Roundup products as environmentally friendly and claims that neither animals nor humans are affected by this toxin. Environmentalists, veterinarians, medical doctors and scientists, however, have raised increasing alarms about the danger of glyphosate in the animal and human food chain and the environment. The fact that glyphosate has been found in animals and humans is of great concern. In search for the causes of serious diseases of entire herds of animals in northern Germany, especially cattle, glyphosate has repeatedly been detected in the urine, faeces, milk and feed of the animals. Even more alarming, glyphosate was detected in the urine of the farmers.” (source)
The study examined the urine of city workers, journalists, and lawyers — people who had no direct contact with glyphosate – and yet still found it in their urine.
This becomes even more problematic when we consider all the other health problems found to be associated with this herbicide and with GMOs. A study published in 2014 in the journal Environmental Sciences Europe found severe liver and kidney damage as well as hormonal disturbances in rats fed with GM maize in conjunction with low levels of Roundup — levels that were below those permitted in most drinking water across Europe. Results also indicated high rates of large tumors and mortality in most treatment groups.
This study was a replication of the study used by the World Health Organization (WHO) to tell the world that GMOs are safe. The only difference between the two, aside from (obviously) the conclusions, is that the WHO study only examined the effects in the short term. This study (published in Environmental Sciences Europe) was a longterm study. It fed the rats for a period of two years, while the WHO study only lasted three months. Before this study was published in 2014, no study had been conducted to assess the safety of GMOs in the longterm.
A number of studies have emerged in recent years which question the safety of these products — products that we really know little about — and it is concerning that many people remain unaware of this. A new study, published recently in the Journal of Organic Systems last September, examined US government databases, searching for GE (Genetically Engineered) crop data, glyphosate application data, and disease epidemiological data while performing a “correlation analysis” on a total of 22 different diseases, found significant cause for concern. While you may be thinking that correlation does not mean causation, which is true, in this instance, if you apply the Bradford Hill Criteria, a link can still be clearly drawn between this chemical and various diseases.
“As part of the process, they portrayed the various concerns as merely the ignorant opinions of misinformed individuals – and derided them as not only unscientific, but anti-science. They then set to work to convince the public and government officials, through the dissemination of false information, that there was an overwhelming expert consensus, based on solid evidence, that GMOs were safe.” – Jane Goodall, taken from the Forward of Steven Druker’s book, mentioned earlier in this article
This is precisely why so many countries have completely banned GMO crops from their countries, as well as Roundup herbicide. In fact, 19 more countries in Europe recently joined the list, citing health and environmental concerns. You can read more about that in an article we published a few months ago, linked below.
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