World’s number one herbicide ‘Glyphosate’ is now found in breast milk of women across America
The result of a recent study conducted by Moms Across America and Sustainable Pulse, with support from Environmental Arts & Research, shows that the active ingredient in world’s number one herbicide ‘Roundup’ is now found in the breast milk of women across US.
The results of the study shows that the levels of glyphosate in women’s breast milk can bio-accumulate and exceed the safe levels allowed by US regulatory agencies.
The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) has sent an urgent request to the U.S. regulatory agencies, including FDA, EPA and USDA to ban the use of glyphosate as an herbicide. Disturbingly, in U.S. alone, homeowners and farmers use about 100 million pounds of Roundup herbicide every year and from 1994 to 2005, the use of glyphosate has increased by 1,500 percent.
The shocking results show that glyphosate levels can build up in human tissues over a period of time:
Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Monsanto’s popular weedkiller Roundup. So far, both global regulatory authorities and the biotech industry have been claiming that Roundup is safe because its residue cannot accumulate in human tissues.
Last year, Dan Goldstein (Monsanto’s senior scientist) released a statement saying that glyphosate would not accumulate in human tissues and will be excreted rapidly if it’s ingested since glyphosate is structurally related to the amino acid glycine and is readily soluble in water.
However, the result of the new study shows that the levels of glyphosate in American women’s breast milk are 760 to 1600 times higher than what the European Drinking Water Directive allows for individual pesticides.
The results also show that glyphosate levels are 700 times higher than the maximum contaminant level (MCL) set for glyphosate by EPA. However, the safe limit set by EPA doesn’t seem correct since the whole assumption was based on biotech theory that glyphosate would not be bio-accumulative in human’s tissue.
Moms Across America Founder and Director, Zen Honeycutt says that “When I was told by several doctors and labs that I could not test my own or my children’s urine for the most widely used herbicide in the world over a year ago, I became determined to find a way. Parents and citizens deserve the ability to be able to take care of themselves and their families by finding out if herbicides could be impacting their health. The purpose of this glyphosate testing project is to shed light upon the presence of glyphosate in our water, children’s bodies and mother’s breast milk, hopefully inspiring further scientific studies to support the world in being a healthy, safe place to live”.
“The mothers tested are mostly familiar with GMOs and glyphosate. Most of them have been trying to avoid GMOs and glyphosate for several months to two years, so the levels of mothers who are not aware of GMOs and glyphosate may be much higher,” says Honeycutt.
GE crops resistant to Monsanto’s popular weedkiller Roundup have not been feeding the world, but Monsanto’s shareholders:
More than 50% of Monsanto’s income comes from selling Roundup. In fact, sales of glyphosate jumped 73% to $371 million in 2013 because of increase in use of Roundup on GMO crops. In fact, top selling herbicides in the world are glyphosate-based herbicides and are sold under trademarks such as Monsanto’s ‘Roundup’.
Didn’t biotech companies once promised that GMOs will be taking us towards a less chemical-dependant agriculture?
However, the reality cannot be any further from the truth, since report by Charles Benbrook shows that over the last 16 years (since introduction of GMOs), the use of herbicides have increased by 527 million pounds.
“Most genetically engineered soybeans now moving through trade channels worldwide contain 2 ppm to over 10 ppm of glyphosate plus its major metabolite, AMPA. These are extraordinarily high residues that raise concerns, given that many people are exposed to glyphosate through drinking water, the air, and a variety of foods. I am particularly worried by exposures during pregnancy and through the first years of a child’s life, when the risk of harm to developing organ systems is greatest. More research is urgently needed on glyphosate’s capacity to disrupt normal development,” Benbrook says.
Studies have also shown that both levels of glyphosate and formaldehyde in GM corn are toxic. In fact, the US Environmental Protection Agency requires that the level of glyphosate in drinking water not to exceed 0.7 ppm and animals have had organ damages if their exposure to glyphosate has exceeded 0.1 ppm. However, the US water levels have 7,000 more glyphosate than the amount allowed in Europe for animal organ damage.
The regulatory agencies have miserably failed to do their job: There is currently no limit for glyphosate level in breast milk anywhere in the world since biotech has been insisting that glyphosate is not bio-accumulative:
It is concerning that levels of glyphosate in breast milk are much higher than any reported results for urine samples, especially if you consider the possibility of glyphosate accumulating in human’s tissues.
According to Earth Open Source Research Director Claire Robinson “Regulators and industry always say it is the dose that makes the poison, and even the increasing levels of glyphosate currently found in food and feed and the environment are not a problem. However, that argument only holds true if glyphosate doesn’t build up in the human body and is excreted as fast as we take it in. These breast milk results suggest glyphosate may bio-accumulate. That means that our body tissues might be exposed to higher levels than the so-called safe levels set by regulators. So the regulations are not protecting us.”
Dr Angelika Hilbeck, senior scientist at the Institute of Integrative Biology in Zurich says, “If confirmed in a full investigation, it seems that glyphosate has become a ubiquitous chemical in terms of presence and persistence. This data also offers a first indication of potential accumulation in the human body, giving newborns a substantial dose of synthetic chemicals as a ‘gift’ for their start into life, with unknown consequences. This is reckless and irresponsible conduct in a democratic society, which still has a living memory of previous reckless chemical contaminations, such as DDT. It seems we either did not learn, or we have forgotten, our lessons from Rachel Carson!”
Jessica M. from Virginia, one of the mothers who tested positive for glyphosate in her breast milk, said, “It is frightening to see any glyphosate in my body, especially in my breast milk that will then contaminate my son’s growing body. It’s particularly upsetting to test positive for glyphosate because I go to great lengths to eat organic and GMO free. I do not consume any meats or seafood and only very rarely eat dairy. This really shows me, and should show others, just how pervasive this toxin is in our food system.”
High levels of glyphosate in the body can affect the body’s ability (especially children) to detox itself from accumulation of toxins and heavy metals. As a result, certain brain disorders and behavioral problems such as ADD and ADHD can happen in children.
According to Moms Across America Founder and Director, Zen Honeycutt, “Moms Across America feels very strongly that breast milk should still be the number one choice for mothers and certainly preferred over GMO soy formula ingredients. We just urge all mothers to eat as organic as possible, especially avoiding meat, dairy, oils and grains that are sprayed with glyphosate at harvest as a drying agent.”
“What we have found encouraging is that the women who have been eating organic and non-GMO very strictly, for several months to two years, did not find detectable levels of glyphosate in their breast milk” says Honeycutt.
The results of the study shows that in US, maximum glyphosate levels in urine is over 10 times higher than those found in Europe, so why don’t we simply ban Roundup?
In 2013, the results of a test by Friends of The Earth Europe showed that people in 18 different countries had traces of glyphosate in their urine. Shockingly, the study results conducted by Moms Across America and Sustainable Pulse shows that 35 urine samples and 21 drinking water samples from across the US had 10 times higher level of glyphosate than those found in a similar survey by Friends of the Earth Europe back in 2013.
Thanks to biotech greed and incompetence of US regulatory agencies, glyphosate is now everywhere, even the air that we breathe and the water we drink. The results of studies have shown that glyphosate and pesticides like atrazine are now raining down on us: http://seattleorganicrestaurants.com/vegan-whole-food/roundup-herbicide-glyphosate-atrazine-pesticide-found-in-rain-air-samples.php
According to Sustainable Pulse Director Henry Rowlands, “Regulatory bodies and governments worldwide need to act fast to ban all glyphosate-based herbicides as a temporary measure, while further long-term testing is completed by both them and independent scientists. This is the only way that they can regain the trust and protect the health of mothers, infants and the general public as a whole.”
“It was a huge mistake by both the U.S. government and the biotech industry to promote and release products without long-term independent studies. What we are now looking at with glyphosate-based herbicides is a similar situation to what we all faced in the 20th Century with PCBs, DDT and Agent Orange,” Rowlands concluded.