Monsanto’s New ‘Agent Orange’ – Are You Eating, Breathing & Drinking It?

16th December 2011

By  Sayer Ji, – Wake Up World

In a groundbreaking study published in Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry last month, glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide “Roundup,” is flowing freely into the groundwater in areas where it is being applied. The researchers found that 41% of the 140 groundwater samples taken from Catalonia Spain, had levels beyond the limit of quantification – indicating that, despite manufacturer’s claims, it does not break down rapidly in the environment, and is accumulating there in concerning quantities.

Why Is Groundwater Contamination An Important Finding?

Groundwater is water located beneath the ground surface, that supplies aquifers, wells and springs. If a chemical like glyphosate is mobile enough to get into the groundwater and is intrinsically resistant to being biodegraded (after all, it is being used to kill/degrade living things – not the other way around), significant environmental exposures to humans using the water are inevitable.

Keep in mind that glyphosate is considered by the EPA as a Class III toxic substance, fatal to an adult at 30 grams, and has been linked to over 20 adverse health effects in the peer-reviewed, biomedical literature.

This groundwater contamination study adds to another highly concerning finding from March, published in the journal of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, where researchers found the chemical in 60-100% of all air and rain samples tested, indicating that glyphosate pollution and exposure is now omnipresent in the US. When simply breathing makes you susceptible to glyphosate exposure, we know we are dealing with a problem of unprecedented scale.

Who Is Responsible For The Groundwater Contamination?

Monsanto is a multinational agricultural biotechnology corporation, presently dominating the global genetically engineered seed market, with 90% market share in the US alone. It is also the world’s largest producer of the herbicide glyphosate, marketed as “Roundup,” among other brand names. If you are eating corn and soy, or any of their ten thousand plus byproducts – and it does not have a USDA organic logo – you are getting the Monsanto “double whammy”: the genetic modification (GM) of your health (and gene expression) that follows the consumption of GM food (because we are – literally – what we eat), and ceaseless chemical exposure to glyphosate, as all Monsanto-engineered foods have been designed to be glyphosate-resistant, and therefore are saturated with it.

Is Monsanto’s Herbicide A New Agent Orange?

Roundup is not Monsanto’s first entry into the systemic herbicide market. Monsanto admits it manufactured the herbicide/defoliant Agent Orange from 1965 to 1969, which  Vietnam estimated killed and maimed 400,000 people and resulted in the 500,000 children being born with birth defects.

The true devastation caused by Agent Orange was covered up for many years. We may find that Monsanto’s Roundup, and its primary active ingredient glyphosate, may be causing a similar degree of devastation to both environmental and human health under the lidless, though not very watchful eye (as far as business interests are concerned), of our regulatory agencies.

Indeed, glyphosate is a powerful endocrine disrupter. Exceedingly small amounts are capable of mimicking and/or disrupting hormonal pathways, cell receptor sites and signaling. Research culled from The National Library of Medicine links it to 17 adverse pharmacological actions, including carcinogenicity, genotoxicity, neurotoxicty, hepatoxicity, and nephrotoxicity.

But what is most disturbing, and which may make its comparison to Agent Orange all the more appropriate, is its potential teratrogenicity, i.e. ability to cause fetal malformations.

A 2003 study of pregnant, glyphosate/Roundup-exposed rats indicated the formulation exhibited significant tetragenicity. The researchers commented: “We may conclude that glyphosate-Roundup is toxic to the dams and induces developmental retardation of the fetal skeleton.”

A study published in 2004 revealed that glyphosate exhibits endocrine-disruptive and embryotoxic effects. Researchers found the chemical alters the expression of the enzyme aromatase in both fetal and placental cells and tissue — changes which indicate it may contribute to birth defects and abnormal fetal development.

Another study published in 2009 showed that glyphosate formulations induce cell death and necrosis in human umbilicial, embryonic and placental cells.

Now that glyphosate has been found in the majority of air and rain samples tested in the US, and is now likely contaminating our wells, springs and aquifers, exposure is not only likely, its inevitable — the difference being only a matter of degree.

Eating, Breathing, Drinking … Dying?

The precautionary principle, which is not employed here in the US, would require that if a company produces a novel chemical compound like glyphosate, and would like to use it commercially, it would have to prove its safety to humans before it is released into the environment.

Animal and cell research clearly shows glyphosate is harmful, but because we use a “weight of evidence standard” in this country, the burden of proof that it is harmful to humans is actually on those being harmed by it.

Had Monsanto been required to prove its safety in humans, it is doubtful they would have been able to. There was already enough damning animal research available, and proving a toxic chemical in human studies would require harming them, which is unethical.

This is why the precautionary principle is so powerful and necessary to protect us from corporations like Monsanto. We would not be eating, drinking and breathing glyphosate today, if it had been employed earlier. Instead, chemical companies use animal experiments to determine a LD50 (the dose at which 50% of the animals die), from which an “acceptable level of harm” is extrapolated and applied to humans, in what is called a toxicological risk assessment.

An acceptable level of harm? This way of thinking is abusive, especially when applied to the unborn and infants.

Will it take additional decades of cumulative “acceptable” exposures, and thousands of “mysterious” miscarriages, birth defects, and developmental problems for us to understand how serious the problem is? Or, should we listen to Monsanto, their scientists, and the governmental regulatory agencies that they populate with elected and unelected officials on their payroll, who say it is relatively harmless?

Act Now! Support The California Ballot Initiative

Learn about the California ballot initiative that will force GMO foods to be labeled. This is the front line of the struggle against the continued assault on human and environmental health by corporations like Monsanto.

 


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  • http://Website Chris Higginson

    Basically, it is too late for America to save itself.

    Dr Huber has given evidence that this chemical causes between fifty to eighty percent reduction in fertility in males, over fifty percent miscarriages in pregnant livestock and ageing rates of three to four times normal.

    This means that if you are lucky enough to be born, (about five percent, let’s say) then by age twenty you will be “body aged” between sixty and eighty.

    What is the probability then that someone like Iran will be blamed for the contamination, thus giving an excuse to start a nuclear World War 111?

    It will be confusing to future Alien Archaeologists as to why a successful, viable ecosystem such as Earth self-destructed after millions of years of successful survival, only because one of its species assumed control over all the other species, and then acted so irresponsibly.

  • Kyra Xavia

    This is heartbreaking and it’s criminal that it’s even got to this stage.

    • http://Website Leonardo De Campo Bezerra Costa

      It’s life breaking !!!!

  • http://Website Dennis Anderson

    Why can’t I find a website that tells how to get rid of this Cr@# if it’s so bad for the environment and our health?

    • http://Website Adrien

      It may not be possible to be rid of it.

  • http://Website Altus

    After doing some internet research about the possible dangers of using Roundup recently this is the first article that I have read with some useful information. It is shocking to see how successful these companies are at keeping us in the dark and making sure we don’t know about the dangers.

  • http://Website Paula of Iowa

    The only antidote I know of for this not harming us is if we pray over our food in Jesus Name. Also to believe the scriptures of Psalm 91. If your faith is weak or you have no faith then ask for forgiveness for your sins, invite the Creator of your body, Jesus Christ into your heart and you will be cleansed.

    • http://Website Tom Morgan

      And here’s the other thing holding the world back and allowing us to be walked all over. Oh Jesus will save me, the magical imaginary super man will protect me from all harm, so I don’t have to protect myself….

    • http://Website Religious Fools Be “Damned”

      People who believe in Christianity have profoundly imaginative reasoning abilities. Do you people not realize how you sound?? You sound like you’re performing some forever useless ritual prayer every time something in life doesn’t go your way.. Is ‘god’ or ‘jesus’ supposed to just reach his hand down into the world and fix your problems???? Please get a clue….

  • http://Website Karen

    Take a look at the documentary
    The Future of Food.

  • http://Website Pat Kittle

    Our ecological meltdown is inevitable with 7+ billion apex predators.

    Roundup is merely another ridiculous attempt to enable the humanoid population to TEMPORARILY multiply even more obscenely.

    Too bad “environmentalists” were too timid to keep overpopulation on their agenda — they are just as much to blame as the corporate psychopaths for what’s coming. Seriously.

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