Glyphosate is a Significant Public Health Threat — Doses Previously Considered Safe Now Shown as Harmful in New Study

Glyphosate (found in the dangerous Monsanto Roundup) is a carcinogen that’s now being shown to be harmful in other ways too. It shouldn’t be allowed to be used, and it has already contaminated such large amounts of food supplies.

A chemical found in the world’s most widely used weedkiller can have disrupting effects on sexual development, genes and beneficial gut bacteria at doses considered safe, according to a wide-ranging pilot study in rats.

Glyphosate is the core ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide and levels found in the human bloodstream have spiked by more than a 1,000% in the last two decades.

The substance was recently relicensed for a shortened five-year lease by the EU. But scientists involved in the new glyphosate study say their results show that it poses “a significant public health concern”.

One of the report’s authors, Daniele Mandrioli, at the Ramazzini Institute in Bologna, Italy, said significant and potentially detrimental effects from glyphosate had been detected in the gut bacteria of rat pups born to mothers, who appeared to have been unaffected themselves.

“It shouldn’t be happening and it is quite remarkable that it is,” Mandrioli said. “Disruption of the microbiome has been associated with a number of negative health outcomes, such as obsesity, diabetes and immunological problems.”

Prof Philip J Landrigan, of New York’s Icahn School of Medicine, and also one of the research team, said: “These early warnings must be further investigated in a comprehensive long-term study.” He added that serious health effects from the chemical might manifest as long-term cancer risk: “That might affect a huge number of people, given the planet-wide use of the glyphosate-based herbicides.”

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EU Set to Approve Monsanto-Bayer Merger

Monsanto is among the most dangerous corporations in history. The EU granting it even more power is a disconcerting possibility.

Of course, the strong public opposition to this merger is an example to see how democratic a society is. In an actual democracy, strong majority public opinion support will have a significant impact on policy. Contrast that with what’s often been seen in practice.

“The planned merger between these giant agribusiness corporations has very little public support,” noted Adrian Bebb, a food and farming campaigner at Friends of the Earth Europe. “EU competition chief Margrethe Vestager has built her reputation on holding powerful corporations to account, and she must seize the opportunity to block this dangerous and unpopular merger.”

Opponents have sent more than 50,000 emails and more than 5,000 letters to Vestager, according to Reuters. More than 200 advocacy groups have come out (pdf) against the merger, and more than a million people have signed a pair of petitions by SumOfUs and WeMove.eu.

Friends of the Earth Europe, on Twitter, highlighted a YouGov poll that found a majority of respondents from Germany, France, Spain, Denmark, and the U.K. believe it is “very” or “fairly important” for the European Commission to block the merger.