EU Regulators and Monsanto Exposed for Hiding Glyphosate Toxicity
The European Commission approved glyphosate knowing, as Monsanto did, that it causes birth defects, while the public were kept in the dark, the herbicide must now be banned. Dr Eva Sirinathsinghji and Dr. Mae-Wan Ho are calling for people to please forward this fact widely to your political representatives and demand a worldwide ban on glyphosate herbicides
A damning report co-authored by an international group of scientists and researchers for non-government organisation Open Earth Source (OES) reveals that studies from industry including those from Monsanto since the 1990s showed glyphosate caused birth defects and the European Commission approved the herbicide in full knowledge of those finding . Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup herbicide and over a hundred other commercial formulations. It is the cause of great concern as evidence of its harmful effects keep piling up from independent scientific studies in recent years, including endocrine disruption, DNA damage, reproductive and developmental toxicities, neurotoxicity, cancer, and birth defects (see  Glyphosate Toxic and Roundup Worse, SiS 26;  Death by Multiple Poisoning, Glyphosate and Roundup, SiS 42;  Ban Glyphosate Herbicide Now. SiS 43;  Lab Study Establishes Glyphosate Link to Birth Defects, SiS 48).
Monsanto's Roundup formulation is the biggest selling herbicide in the world, and its use has dramatically increased since the company introduced glyphosate- tolerant genetically modified (GM) crops such as RR (Roundup Ready) soybean. Today, almost 80 percent of the world's soy production takes place in the US, Brazil and Argentina, and in 2009, RR soybean accounted for 91 percent, 99 percent and 71 percent respectively of total soybean acreage in those countries. Since 1997, RR soy production has increased from 5 to 30 million hectares of land in the US alone .
Soybeans have been found to contain glyphosate residues up to 10 times as high as the doses that caused foetal malformations in chick and frog embryos. With such widespread use of the herbicide, and the EU considering approval of GM crops tolerant to glyphosate for cultivation in Europe, there is an urgent need for a proper review of the herbicide, which is in line with the more stringent new EU pesticide regulation that came into force in June 2011. Indeed, just such a review was due to take place in 2012. But shortly after the EC was notified of the latest research on glyphosate causing birth defects (which the EC dismissed), it delayed the review on glyphosate and 38 other dangerous pesticides to 2015 . Furthermore, the 2010 review will be under the old, less stringent regulations. The official reason for the delay is that they have 'too much workload'. This means that the safety of glyphosate may not be reviewed under the new regulations until 2030.
The review delay is being challenged in a lawsuit brought against the EC by Pesticides Action Network Europe and Greenpeace. The co-authors of the OES report are also calling on the EC to conduct a prompt review without delay, and to withdraw glyphosate and Roundup from the market.
Evidence of birth defects from industry and independent studies. The OES report reveals that studies carried out by industry in the 1990s showed embryonic lethality and birth defects in laboratory animals, including dilation of the heart in rabbits at low doses of glyphosate. Higher doses were shown to cause defects in independent studies as far back as 1980. Monsanto has responded by denying its own findings : "Regulatory authorities and independent experts around the world agree that glyphosate does not cause adverse reproductive effects in adult animals or birth defects in offspring of these adults exposed to glyphosate, even at doses far higher than relevant environmental or occupational exposures." However, the 'independent experts' cited by Monsanto were mired in conflicts of interests, both financial and professional, and rely almost entirely on studies carried out by industry . Independent studies have revealed links to cancer, genetic damage and endocrine disruption, as well as developmental defects, for example, craniofacial and vertebrae abnormalities in rats  as well as craniofacial and mouth deformities, eye abnormalities and bent, curved tails in frog tadpoles . The most recent study by Carrasco and colleagues found a mechanistic link between glyphosate and abnormal retinoic acid signalling in embryonic development [5, 9] Astonishingly, these and numerous other studies cited by the OES report were dismissed by the European Commission (EC) and the German Federal Office for Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL), which is responsible for liaising
between industry and the EC. BVL's conclusion, communicated to the EC via Germany's 1998 'draft assessment report' (DAR), was ''no evidence of teratogenicity" for glyphosate.
Draft assessment report contained damning evidence Read the rest of this report here
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