Monsanto’s Roundup a health risk to dairy cows and to the consumer.

roundupAnother study has demonstrated the devastating impact of the chronic ingestion of Roundup contained in genetically modified crop. Dairy cows from eight  were tested for the presence of  in urine. All cows tested who ingested genetically modified crops excreted  in urine. As milk is excreted by the cows as well, the assumption is that  will also be present in the dairy cow milk product.

The tests confirm the cytoxity of due to elevated levels indicative of liver and damage, with high urea levels pointing to the potential for also appears to have a chelation effect as low levels of Magnesium and Cobalt were detected in all cows, with Copper, Zink and Selenium unaffected.

Obviously the study raises the concern that is also excreted in the milk that dairy cows produce and which is used by consumers and manufacturers in a wide variety of application. is the most extensively used worldwide. The intensive use of  has led to its wide-spread contamination of different ecosystems where it influences plants, , animals and many components of the .

Numerous studies to date have documented the toxicity of commercial Roundup. Severe malformations have occurred in embryos of the South African clawed and chickens. In frogs, dilutions of 1/5000 of the formulation (equivalent to 430 μM of ) were sufficient to induce malformations, including shortening of the anterior−posterior axis, microcephaly, microphthalmia, , and at tadpole stages. Embryos injected with pure showed similar phenotypes, suggesting that itself, was responsible for these developmental abnormalities. Roundup produced similar effects in chicken embryos, which showed a loss of rhombomere domains, reduction of the optic vesicles, and microcephaly.

The confirmed that the mechanism by which and Roundup caused the observed teratogenic effects in Xenopus embryos was via disruption of the retinoic acid signalling pathway. This resulted in dysregulation of the shh, slug and otx2 regulatory genes, which are crucial to the development of the central nervous system [1]. The study, while not a classical toxicological study, is relevant to human risk assessment because the retinoic acid signalling pathway is a central signalling pathway in embryonic development that operates in virtually all vertebrates, whether amphibians, birds, or mammals.

Jayawardena et al. (2010) found nearly 60% malformations in tadpoles of the tree frog Polypedates cruciger treated with an environmentally relevant concentration of 1 ppm Roundup. Effects included kyphosis, scoliosis, and edema [2]. Relyea (2012) found that environmentally relevant concentrations of Roundup induced relatively deeper tails similar to the adaptive changes caused by the presence of a predator in the tadpoles of the wood frog (Rana sylvatica or Lithobates sylvaticus) and leopard frog (R. pipiens or L. pipiens) [3]. A study on tadpoles of Scinax nasicus (Lajmanovich et al., 2005) found that exposure to caused craniofacial and mouth deformities, eye abnormalities and bent, curved tails, as well as mortality. Malformations and mortality increased with dose and time of exposure. A 2-day exposure to 3.07 mg/l caused only 10% mortality but caused malformations in 55% of the test animals [4].

Malformations have also been found in mammals treated with herbicides. A toxicological study by Dallegrave et al. (2003) found that the offspring of pregnant rats dosed with 500, 750 and 1000mg/kg Roundup on days 6–15 after fertilisation had increased skeletal abnormalities, including at doses that were not maternally toxic. Malformations consisted of the absence of bones or parts of bones, shortened and bent bones, asymmetry, fusions, and clefts. The percentage of altered foetuses increased with dose. The authors concluded that the formulated product was more toxic than the technical evaluated by the World Health Organisation [5].

Scientific and political debate has continued for many years over the public health, environmental, and socioeconomic consequences of GM soy cultivation in producer countries [7]. More recently, concerns expanded to include potential risks to animal and human health posed by residues in the animal feed and human [8,9]. Residues of up to 17 mg/kg of have been found in harvested soybean crops [10].

Two mammalian toxicological studies suggest that the LOAEL for should be even lower than the ADI of 0.1 mg/kg bw/d that we derive from the industry-sponsored studies.

Romano et al. (2010) found that Roundup is a potent endocrine disruptor and disturbed the reproductive development of rats with exposure during puberty. Adverse effects, including delayed puberty and reduced testosterone production, were found at all dose levels, including the LOAEL of 5 mg/kg. There was a clear dose-response relationship.

Benedetti et al. (2004) found that -Biocarb caused “irreversible” damage to rat liver cells, including at the LOAEL of 4.87 mg/kg, with a clear dose-response relationship.

Several studies specify that herbicides are genotoxic and thus have the potential to increase the risk of birth defects and cancer. Cytogenetic monitoring of crop sprayers in Cordoba, Argentina revealed that the number of chromosomal aberrations in peripheral blood cells was significantly higher in the exposed group in comparison to the unexposed group. The pesticides most commonly used by the exposed group were , cipermetrine, and atrazine.

An epidemiological study on Ecuadorian populations showed that people exposed to aerial spraying showed a higher degree of DNA damage than a control population living 80 km away. Mañas et al. found that was genotoxic in the comet assay in Hep-2 cells and in the micronucleus test at 400 mg/kg in mice.

herbicides and ’s main metabolite, AMPA, altered cell cycle checkpoints in sea urchin embryos by interfering with the DNA repair machinery. The failure of cell cycle checkpoints is known to lead to genomic instability and cancer in humans. and AMPA have also been found to cause irreversible damage to DNA that may increase the risk of cancer. AMPA damaged DNA in human cells at doses of 2.5-7.5mM and caused chromosomal breaks at 1.8mM.

The surfactants and other adjuvants in formulations enhance the toxic effects of , as they enable it to penetrate more easily through the cell membrane. The adjuvants alone are also toxic.

Any evaluation and recommendations of the effects of pesticide exposures must take into consideration the effects of repeated and continuous exposures. Bolognesi (2003) found that chromosomal damage caused by pesticides was temporary in short or time-limited exposures but cumulative in continuous exposures to agrochemicals.

The safety of herbicides has been successfully challenged in several court cases. In New York in 1996, a court ruled that Monsanto was no longer allowed to market Roundup as safe, non-toxic, biodegradable or environmentally friendly. In France in 2007, Monsanto was forced to withdraw advertising claims that Roundup was biodegradable and leaves the soil clean after use. In March 2010, in a case brought by residents, a court in Santa Fe province, Argentina instituted a regional ban on the spraying of  and other agrochemicals in populated areas on grounds of “severe damage to the environment and to the health and quality of life of the residents”.

In June 2012 criminal charges were brought by affected residents against two soy producers and a crop-spraying airplane pilot, in a case heard by a court in Cordoba, Argentina. Plaintiffs charged the defendants with malicious contamination over the spraying of and other agrochemicals in Ituzaingó, an area on the outskirts of Cordoba reportedly characterized by a high incidence of cancer and birth defects.



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40.Field Investigations of in Urine of Danish Dairy Cows
Monika Krüger1, Wieland Schrödl1, Jürgen Neuhaus1 and Awad Ali Shehata. Krüger et al., J Environ Anal Toxicol 2013, 3:5

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