Since the World Health Organization stamped the “probably carcinogenic to humans” label on Monsanto’s glyphosate, we’ve been researching extensively, trying to determine whether or not there truly is cause for concern. In this first phase of our investigation, we cover 5 Potential Problems with glyphosate, which you can also watch and listen to in GMO Truth Podcast #6.
Before we talk glyphosate specifically, let’s talk about Monsanto and RoundUp for a minute – the original herbicide created with glyphosate as the active ingredient. Roundup hit the market back in 1974 primarily as an indiscriminate weed killer, and eventually became an integral part of all their Roundup-Ready GMO crops. For decades, Monsanto has claimed that the substance is relatively non-toxic, less toxic than table salt, etc., etc.
In fact, “claimed” is a bit of an understatement, as Monsanto aggressively marketed Roundup for its safety, noting it as being “biodegradable” and for “leaving the soil clean.” That was of course until they were hit with false advertising lawsuits – one in the late 90s in New York, and then the final hammer was dropped on their questionable marketing tactics with a lawsuit in France – which went against Monsanto and was upheld by the highest court finally in 2009.
Here’s an interesting excerpt from the New York suit, Exhibit J in the court document:
“Roundup can be used where kids and pets’ll play and breaks down into natural material.” This ad depicts a person with his head in the ground and a pet dog standing in an area which has been treated with Roundup.
It’s still an herbicide folks, did you really think it was a good idea for someone to have their head in the ground in an ad? C’mon now!!!
Alright, let’s summarize Roundup really quickly. Created by Monsanto, marketed all over the place, promoted as practically nontoxic, and then just sent to the stratosphere after Roundup Ready GMO crops hit the market… and actually even more so when glyphosate came off patent in 2000. It’s used at residences, public areas, and in farming, so Roundup is in your world, whether you want it there or not. But is that a problem?
Well, it’s difficult to say. We know there is likely glyphosate residue in multiple places, but there are very few studies on the subject. The National Pesticide Information Center, or NPIC if you will, which is an EPA-sponsored hotline for “a variety of impartial information on all pesticides”, provides this little informational nugget on their Glyphosate Technical Fact Sheet, under the small section heading Food Residue:
Glyphosate was not included in compounds tested for by the Food and Drug Adminstration’s (FDA) Pesticide Residue Monitoring Program (PRMP), nor in the United States Department of Agriculture’s Pesticide Data Program (PDP).
So we have multiple crops likely to contain glyphosate residue, and glyphosate is a regulated substance, yet we’re not even measuring it? I understand that they think it’s less toxic than other herbicides, but this is a new breed of crop that’s designed to resist the herbicide’s effects – don’t you think we should be extensively monitoring it for several years so we have some real, long-term data to go by?
Then on that same fact sheet, a few bullet points above that “Glyphosate isn’t tested” blurb, the NPIC states this regarding plants:
Lettuce, carrots, and barley contained glyphosate residues up to one year after the soil was treated with 3.71 pounds of glyphosate per acre.
Now understand, unlike the Roundup Ready crops where the herbicide was applied directly to the crop in question, the residue appearing on lettuce, carrots and barley was from glyphosate never actually applied directly to the crop, just to the soil beforehand – and yet up to a year later, the lettuce, carrots and barley still had residue.
A ways down, on that same fact sheet, are the actual Regulatory Guidelines set forth by the EPA. First off, they note the reference dose (RfD) for glyphosate, which is declared as 1.75 mg/kg/day. That’s roughly 1.75 milligrams for every 2.2 lbs of your body weight. So basically the EPA says if you weigh 180 pounds, then you can handle roughly 143 mg of glyphosate, everyday, with “no appreciable risk of adverse health effects.” The EPA also declares the maximum contaminant level (MCL) for drinking water to be 0.7 mg/L.
Unfortunately, knowing that we actually have a reference dose, meaning that this substance, per the EPA’s recommendation, should not be ingested more than that, and then combined with concerns over residue, well… we now have FIVE potential problems to deal with. Yes, not just one… FIVE. Let’s break those five concerns down right now.
Glyphosate Concern #1 – If the regulatory agencies aren’t going to tell us how much herbicide residue is in all the roundup ready corn, soy, canola, and sugar beets, which can be in a majority of the food in the United States right now, how are we supposed to know how much we’re even ingesting?
That’s a pretty clear problem. You give us a reference dosage, but you don’t even test for the residue so we can at least have some idea of how much we’re eating.