In a new study the chemical glyphosate, commonly referred to as GLYP, and glyphosate-based products like Monsanto’s Roundup Bioforce®, were found to cause testicular cells in rats to die within 24-48 hours after a dosage that is 10 times below the chemical level in normal agricultural use. This chemical is used on crops that have been genetically engineered to not be harmed by the herbicide. In an earlier August 2011 article, “Where there’s toxins, there’s….What?” we identified a study at the University of Sherbrook Hospital Center in Quebec that showed GLYP was found in the blood streams of the women studied. The unknown of those findings was the physical effects of the exposure in their blood streams. This new study gives us an indication of some of the long term effects of exposure to this chemical.
The lead French researcher, Gilles-Eric Séralini at the Université de Caen Basse-Normandie, released his report at the same time there were reports of GLYP contamination of ground water in Catalonia, Spain, and GLYP found in human urine samples at 4-20 times the level allowed in drinking water of Berlin City (0.1 micrograms per litre, or 0.1 parts per billion [ppb]). An article summarizing these findings stated, “American consumers exposed to glyphosate through residual levels in genetically modified (GM) foods are likely to have even higher levels in their system; although no studies appear to have been done.”
Further the article observed, “The concentration of the herbicides used in the experiments ranged from 0.0001% (1ppm) of Roundup Bioforce®, (corresponding to 0.336ppm of pure glyphosate) to agricultural levels of 1% (10,000ppm)…. Further the permitted level of glyphosate residue on food or feed in the U.S. is 400 ppm or 400 times the lowest concentrations tested by Séralini and colleagues. Thus, the concentrations used in the study are very relevant to human exposure as well as exposure of other animals. Of particular concern is the scarcity of published data regarding the possible bioaccumulation of this herbicide, leaving us only able to speculate how much is in our bodies….Chronic exposure has not been sufficiently tested, and needs to be investigated.”
In another study also led by Gilles-Eric Séralini at the Université de Caen Basse-Normandie, he and his colleagues tested the effects on human tissue of combined exposure to both glyphosate-based herbicides (like Roundup) and pesticides with the Bt toxins of Cry1Ab and Cry1Ac. Human embryonic kidney cell line 293 was the human tissue in the experiment. The study looked at the effects of the combined exposure within a 24 hour period.
Findings were as follows:
- Cry1Ab caused cell death from 100 ppm with no effects detected from exposure to Cry1Ac.
- Roundup, tested alone from 1 to 20,000 ppm, will kill cells from 50 ppm which is far below agricultural dilutions (50% lethal concentration at 57.5 ppm).
The conclusion reached in this research contradicts assertions of the chemical industry over the last 20 years. Unfortunately the dosages administered in a very short time are considered too high to be conclusive. More prolonged exposure to smaller dosages are required. The researchers stated however, “In these results, we argue that modified Bt toxins are not inert on nontarget human cells, and that they can present combined side-effects with other residues of pesticides specific to GM plants.”
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