Science proves the toxicity of Monsanto's Roundup

From ToxicLeaks

Monsanto's poisonous herbicide, Roundup, has been widely criticized for years. However, Monsanto kept hammering that it was safe according to every test, even though cases of people getting sick multiplied. The answer to that paradox has been given in a recent paper published in the journal Environmental Health, that analyses the safety assessment that Roundup has underwent. The way Roundup has been tested up to now is completely ill-adapted to the way it's been used in American agriculture. This confirms last year's assessment of the WHO that glyphosate is"probably carcinogenic to humans." This is finally opening the way to the ban of Roundup and potentially to the conviction of Monsanto for its crimes.

Paper proves that current tests are not adapted to current uses of Roundup[edit | edit source]

The Paper proves that the Roundup's dangerous composition has been hidden by the shortcomings of scientific testing. Roundup was first sold in 1974 but its use has dramatically increased. Over the last forty years, American farmers use 100 times more Roundup than in the 1970's, and they combine its use with GM crops that are glyphosate-tolerant, such as soy or corn. Roundup residues are everywhere, from streams to wastewater and even rainwater ! The problem is that the testing is still adapted to a time when Roundup was not used as much, which meant that there was much less glyphosate lying around and contaminating our environment. A case in point is that glyphosate is not on the list of the pesticides that the US Department of Agriculture monitors in the food. In other words, the government has no clue how much glyphosate is in the food that we eat, because he just doesn't test the food for that chemical.

This is precisely what Laura Vandenberg, assistant professor of environmental health sciences at the University of Massachusetts, and her team are condemning in their paper “Concerns over use of glyphosate-based herbicides and risks associated with exposures”. "When these chemicals are approved for safety it's based on assumptions of how they'll be used," including "at what time of year and at what quantities" said Laura Vandenberg. "Even if this was a completely benign chemical, it's shocking to know how much its use has increased". So what these researchers are saying is that the tests conducted on the hypothesis that Roundup would be used in small quantities are useless to estimate the toxicity of Roundup now that it's used on a huge scale. So when Monsanto claims that all the tests have proven that Roundup was safe, that company is lying because those tests are not adapted to the use of the herbicide anymore. And actually, there are more and more concerns that glyphosate exposure is toxic.

This report on the “Concerns over use of glyphosate-based herbicides and risks associated with exposures” confirms the fears that glyphosate is dangerous for people's health[edit | edit source]

Indeed the report doesn't only point out that the amounts of Roundup that are being used warrant improved testing, it also highlights the adverse effects of glyphosate exposure on human health. "Glyphosate," says Vandenberg, "is not an overtly toxic chemical, which in part is why glyphosate use has soared." However, she adds that "glyphosate may contribute to more subtle diseases."The paper indicates that the herbicide has a negative effect on the liver and kidneys and may alter the hormonal system.

These effects could all contribute to development of chronic diseases. The researchers also suspect the chemical to be harmful to the immune system and the neurological system. "We don't know a lot but what we do know suggests harm," explains Bruce Blumberg, co-author of the paper. The researchers point out that toxicity tests usually expose lab animals to increasing amounts of the chemical to see if/when it will kill them. However, this can only prove the safety or the danger of a temporary exposure, it says nothing of the risks of a chronic exposure to the chemical, in our food or our water. This confirms the results of the International Agency for Research on Cancer that classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans” in March 2015. These groundbreaking discoveries are unsurprisingly being attacked by Monsanto. The corporation brazenly reaffirmed the same old lies, to make sure nobody would take away its bread and butter, getting rich by making people sick.

Which makes Monsanto's lies all the more despicable[edit | edit source]

Given the growing scientific evidence that Roundup just isn't safe and is making people sick, it takes a lot of nerve to keep repeating that there is nothing wrong with that herbicide. A lot of nerve and huge market shares and profits, which is why Monsanto is adamant that Roundup is perfectly safe and that the scientific studies that have proven the contrary must be wrong. On its website, Monsanto claims that the EPA hasn't found any sign of toxicity in the tests it conducted on glyphosate and that it was therefore put in Category E : “evidence of non-carcinogenicity for humans.”

So basically, Monsanto disregards the fact that the EPA tests are ill-adapted to measure the actual risk glyphosate may causes human health. The lies were exposed when a notorious Roundup and GMO advocate Patrick Moore claimed to a French journalist that glyphosate was so safe he would have no problem drinking a quarter of a litre of it. Only when the journalist handed a glass of glyphosate to Moore he refused to drink it. The debacle for Monsanto was so complete that the company felt like it needed to publicly state that Patrick Moore didn't work for them. Whatever. Moore was part of Monsanto's system and if he didn't work for them, it was for another dirty agrichemicals company. And that system showed its true face on that day, it's “do as I say, not as I do” .

And victims of Monsanto are rising all around the world to demand justice[edit | edit source]

People are not doing as Monsanto says and that's a good thing. Agricultural workers that have suffered from Monsanto's Roundup exposure are suing the company, and it's not only happening in the United States. One of the workers, Enrique Rubio, worked for years spraying Roundup on cucumber, onion and other vegetable crops, but he contracted cancer in 1995. He is suing Monsanto on two grounds. The first one is the toxicity of the herbicide he was exposed to everyday and that made him sick. The other ground is that Monsanto deliberately hid the danger of its product and lied consistently to make people buy it despite its toxicity. Enrique Rubio rightly believes that Monsanto should at least have warned customers that Roundup could be dangerous.

Judi Fitzgerald is also suing. She was diagnosed with leukemia in 2012 after being exposed to Roundup in a horticultural products company in the 1990's. There are also some lawsuits against Monsanto in other countries. For instance, in France, a grain grower called Paul François has won his appeal trial against Monsanto. Even though the company claims it will appeal to the French Supreme court, it's a telling sign that judges are recognizing the scientific evidence that Monsanto has poisoned farmers and lied about it. Robin Greenwald, Enrique Rubio's attorney, said this was just the beginning : "I believe there will be hundreds of lawsuits brought over time."

Scientific studies are gradually proving what environmental defenders have been saying for a long time: Monsanto's products are not only toxic for the environment, they are also unsafe for people's health. What's worse, Monsanto has been consistently lying about it and has thus exposed numerous people to an even bigger danger by not warning them that they should be careful when they use Roundup. Now that these lies have been exposed, they have to be communicated to the public and all those who have suffered from Monsanto's abuse must know that they can demand justice.