Renewable Farming

Two-year feeding trial reveals connection between Roundup and liver disease

“The weedkiller Roundup causes non-alcoholic fatty liver disease at very low doses permitted by regulators worldwide, a new peer-reviewed study shows. The study is the first ever to show a causative link between consumption of Roundup at a real-world environmentally relevant dose and a serious disease.”

Jan. 9, 2016 — That’s the lead in a GMWatch news report today. The data comes from tissues of lab rats exposed to very low levels of the standard, field-applied combination of glyphosate, surfactants and adjuvants which make up the complete commercial Roundup product.

The forensic analysis shows evidence of liver damage, even though the exposure levels are far below allowable levels considered “safe.”  Most studies done for EPA approval are short-term, such as 90 days.  This one was for two years.  EPA claims it has required “long-term” studies from registrant companies, but they can’t be disclosed because they are “proprietary.”

We suggest you review the GMWatch article, which can lead you to the full scientific paper. 

Ironically, the EPA will probably not consider this study significant for regulatory purposes because it primarily considers only technical glyphosate alone in the safety trials it requires of manufacturers. Not the actual product as manufactured and sold in the market.  There may be long-term health impact studies of glyphosate submitted by manufacturers to EPA — studies as long as two years — but the agency is not free to disclose them.

The only non-government scientist we’re aware of who has seen those studies is Dr. Anthony Samsel. who says, “I have all of the Monsanto glyphosate studies on file and Monsanto never did any long-term 2-year studies with the formulations. There were short term 90 day or less studies done with the formulations by Monsanto. The only long-term studies done by Monsanto used Glyphosate Technical Acid alone. Two-generational studies in rats were also done by Syngenta (2000) and the others in the UK (2007). But they were with Glyphosate alone.”

Some scientific observers maintain that it’s the combination of adjuvants with glyphosate which dramatically increase glyphosate’s impact on cell metabolism. The implication is that the surfactant itself may be toxic. However, independent researcher Anthony Samsel points out that the primary surfactant used by Monsanto in Roundup, 0818 POEA, does not undergo significant movement from the point of application on leaves. He says, “During radio-labeled C-14 surfactant studies, the surfactants remained at the point of treatment and were not translocated.”
Samsel goes on to say: “You will not find MON 0818 in our biology from glyphosate products, but you will find Glyphosate, potassium glyphosate, isopropylamine glyphosate, ammonium glyphosate, sodium glyphosate, N-acetylglyphosate, N-nitrosoglyphosate, AMPA, N-acetylAMPA and other metabolites and manufacturing contaminants in vivo.”