Sustainable Farm Partners

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September 13th, 2016 by sfp

Glyphosate Studies

GMOs accelerate weed resistance.

Widespread adoption of RoundUp® ready GMOs has caused the rapid development of weeds resistance to the herbicide making weed control even more challenging. The USDA has found 14 weed species that have developed resistance to glyphosate (RoundUp®) affecting 11 million acres in the US and reducing crop yields in some places. Industry sources report more than 20 glyphosate resistant weeds on 70 million acres. In some areas glyphosate has become totally ineffective against weeds and the scale of the problem is accelerating. Editorial. 2014, A Growing Problem. Nature, 510: 187

GMOs drive a higher use of herbicides.

Herbicides-tolerant (RoundUp Ready®) GMOs have brought on an upward spiral of herbicide use. The total volume of herbicide sprayed on US crops annually has grown by more than 500 million pounds from 1996 to 2011. The trend is now accelerating. Glyphosate is being sprayed more frequently at higher doses, on an increasing number of acres each year and still failing to keep up with growing weed pressure. Benbrook, C. 2012. Impacts of genetically engineered crops on pesticide use in the US. – the first sixteen years. Environmental Science Europe 24:24

GMOs cause mold problems in crops.

Research indicates that long-term use of glyphosate use on RoundUp Ready® GMO crops promotes the growth of Fusarium molds in the field that can result in the formation of mold toxins in harvest crops at levels high enough to cause illness in animals who feed on the crops. The problem is growing with increased glyphosate use. G.S. Johal D.M. Huber. 2009.m Glyphosate effects on diseases of plants. European Journal of Agronomy 31: 144-152

GMOs will increase the use of stronger chemicals.

The next generation of herbicide-tolerant GMOs are engineered to tolerate other families of chemicals such as dicamba and 2,4-D. If and when they are grown to scale, these GMOs will likely increase the use of these chemicals which are potential endocrine disruptors. Vandenberg, L et al. 2012. Hormones and Endocrine-Disruptive chemicals: Low-Dose Effects and Nonmonotonic Dose Responses. Endocrine Rev 33 (3):378-455.

Herbicide0tolerant GMOs do not improve yield.

Scientific studies do not show that herbicide-tolerant (RoundUp Ready®) GMO crops provide better yields than conventional varieties. USDA concludes that “GE (GMO) seeds have not been shown to increase yield potentials … In fact, (GMO crop yields) may be occasionally lower than the yields of conventional (non-GMO) varieties …” The USDA also notes that GMO crops, Particularly Bt crops, “can prevent yield loss to pests, allowing the plant to approach its yield potential”. USDA, ERS Report #162.2014.

In the peer-reviewed literature, a comparative study of major commodity crops found stronger yield growth in European countries that use no GMOs, relative to the US and Canada where GMO varieties dominate. Heinemann J, Massaro M, Coray D, Agapito-Tenfen S, Wen J. 2014 Sustainability and innovation in staple crop production in the US Midwest, International Journal of Agriculture Sustainability, 12:1, 71-88

Meta-studies on the health impacts of regular consumption of GMOs reach mixed conclusions.

A 2011 published review of 28 GMO feeding studies found no consensus on the safety of GMOs, with several studies raising “serious concerns” about GMOs While a larger number of studies found no difference from conventional crops. Domingo J and Bordonaba J. 2011. A literature review on the safety assessment of genetically modified plants. Environmental International 37:734-742

A triple-blind meta-study showed that industry-affiliated GMO feeding and nutritional studies virtually always find favorable results (41 out of 41 studies were favorable to GMO safety), while a statistically significant number of independent studies without industry ties find cause for concern (12 out of 39 studies were unfavorable to GMO safety). Diels J, Cunha M, Manaia C, Sabugosa-Madeira B, Silva M. 2011. Association of financial or conflict of interest to research outcomes on health risks or nutritional assessment studies of genetically modified products. Food Policy 36: 197-203

Few independent food safety studies have been done on GMOs

For decades, GMO crops have been commercialized on the basis of industry safety studies that have not been peer-reviewed at the time of FDA approval. Even today, only a few GMO crops have had more than two short-term feeding studies carried out on them; only a handful of long-term feeding studies have been performed on any GMOs, some with concerning results. For some crops few, if any, independent, peer-reviewed food safety studies appear in the scientific literature, including GMO canola, cotton or sugar beets which are in widespread cultivation and use in the food supply.

Glyphosate’s (and RoundUp’s®) safety is in question. Several new studies are showing RoundUp® (and its “active principle” glyphosate) may be more toxic than previously thought; it is the most common pesticide in the world, spraying directly on hundreds of millions of acres of herbicide-tolerant (e.g. RoundUp Ready® GMO corn, soybeans and alfalfa around the world. New areas of concern include:

  1. The World Health Organization’s agency on cancer has determined that glyphosate is “probable carcinogenic”. Guyton, K et al, International Agency for Research on Cancer. 2015Carcinogenicity of tetrachlorvinphos, parathion, malathion, diazinon and glyphosate.

  1. Glyphosate and its metabolite, AMPA, can be found widely in harvest crops, in food and feed, in surface waters and air near croplands and in human and animal urine.

  1. Glyphosate kill beneficial bacteria in animals’ digestive tract. Studies show this effect on cattle and poultry gut flora.

This has not been studied in humans. This has possible implications for a range of animal diseases and potential human diseases. The antibiotic affect of Glyphosate is not in question. Monsanto has patented #7,771,736 on Glyphosate as a broad-spectrum antibiotic. See the U.S. Patent and Trademark office.

  1. Studies link Glyphosate exposure to birth defects and other reproductive problems in rabbits and rats. Some of these studies challenge findings that regulators used to approve Glyphosate in earlier years.

  1. Peer-reviewed study on dairy cattle fed crops with Glyphosate residues show the animals had very low levels of trace minerals, manganese and cobalt in their tissues, both of which are bound (chelated) by Glyphosate with additional toxic effects on liver, kidney and muscle.

  1. A published study indicates that RoundUp®, a commercial formulation of Glyphosate, is 125 times more toxic than glyphosate alone. This is a cause for concern because regulatory tests on pesticides only require testing on the “active principle” (e.g. Glyphosate) which may be grossly understating the toxicity of RoundUp® to mammals.

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