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JohnyCanuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-11 02:23 PM
Original message
Roundup and birth defects. Is the public being kept in the dark?
Edited on Thu Jul-07-11 02:27 PM by JohnyCanuck
Concerns about the best-selling herbicide Roundup are running at an all-time high. Scientific research published in 2010 showed that Roundup and the chemical on which it is based,glyphosate, cause birth defects in frog and chicken embryos at dilutions much lower than those used in agricultural and garden spraying. The EU Commission dismissed these findings, based on a rebuttal provided by the German Federal Office for Consumer Protection and Food Safety, BVL. BVL cited unpublished industry studies to back its claim that glyphosate was safe.


The Commission has previously ignored or dismissed many other findings from the independent scientific literature showing that Roundup and glyphosate cause endocrine disruption, damage to DNA, reproductive and developmental toxicity, neurotoxicity, and cancer,as well as birth defects. Many of these effects are found at very low doses, comparable to levels of pesticide residues found in food and the environment.

The need for a review of glyphosate is particularly urgent in the light of the shortcomings of the existing review of the pesticide, on which its current approval rests. In this report, we examine the industry studies and regulatory documents that led to this approval.We show that industry and regulators knew as long ago as the 1980s and 1990s that glyphosate causes malformations but that this information was not made public. We demonstrate how EU regulators reasoned their way from clear evidence of glyphosates teratogenicity (i.e. possessing the ability to induce birth defects /JC) in industrys own studies (the same studies that BVL claimed show the safety of glyphosate) to a conclusion that minimized these findings in the EU Commissions final review report.

The German government and its agencies played a central role in this process. As therapporteur member state for glyphosate,Germany was responsible for liaising between industry and the EU Commission and reporting the findings of industry studies. We show how Germany played down findings of serious harm in industry studies on glyphosate. It irresponsibly proposed a high safe exposure level for the public that ignored important data on glyphosates teratogenic effects. This level was accepted by the Commission and is now in force
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sharp_stick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-11 02:53 PM
Response to Original message
1. Who are scribd?
my browser won't open it for some reason.
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JohnyCanuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-11 03:05 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Who are scribd?
This online platform lets you publish and discover documents on the Web. works like YouTube, but you browse and upload texts instead of videos. You find and share documents in a neat Flash format that loads quickly and is easy to read. Navigating through the site gets messy, but if you're into browsing and sharing quirky and intriguing documents, Scribd has what you're looking for. Company reps claim that you'll find more information than on Wikipediaabout 5 billion words versus 2 billion. I haven't actually counted the words on either, but I certainly found plenty of content.

Although Scribd lets you post your writings, it's not at all like a blog. The site is a user-generated library for documents, not a personal online journal you update periodically. Unlike a blog, Scribd lets you upload richly formatted text, so documents preserve the font effects and graphics you intended them to have. And because you get unlimited storage, you can manage all your documents online. According to the company, at least one college professor uses the site to collect papers and give feedback to his students over the Web.


Note that scribd publishes texts from various sources. It is not the originator of the document claiming Monsanto's Roundup is dangerous because it induces birth defects and DNA damage.
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JohnyCanuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-11 03:24 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. If you can't open scribd, Huffington Post also posted an article on the same topic.
The report posted on has also been summarized on Huffington Post.

Roundup: Birth Defects Caused By World's Top-Selling Weedkiller, Scientists Say

A comprehensive review of existing data released this month by Earth Open Source, an organization that uses open-source collaboration to advance sustainable food production, suggests that industry regulators in Europe have known for years that glyphosate, originally introduced by American agricultural biotechnology giant Monsanto in 1976, causes birth defects in the embryos of laboratory animals.

Founded in 2009, Earth Open Source is a non-profit organization incorporated in the U.K. but international in scope. Its three directors, specializing in business, technology and genetic engineering, work pro-bono along with a handful of young volunteers. Partnering with half a dozen international scientists and researchers, the group drew its conclusions in part from studies conducted in a number of locations, including Argentina, Brazil, France and the United States.

Earth Open Sources study is only the latest report to question the safety of glyphosate, which is the top-ranked herbicide used in the United States. Exact figures are hard to come by because the U.S. Department of Agriculture stopped updating its pesticide use database in 2008. The EPA estimates that the agricultural market used 180 to 185 million pounds of glyphosate between 2006 and 2007, while the non-agricultural market used 8 to 11 million pounds between 2005 and 2007, according to its Pesticide Industry Sales & Usage Report for 2006-2007 published in February, 2011.

The Earth Open Source study also reports that by 1993 the herbicide industry, including Monsanto, knew that visceral anomalies such as dilation of the heart could occur in rabbits at low and medium-sized doses. The report further suggests that since 2002, regulators with the European Commission have known that glyphosate causes developmental malformations in lab animals.
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sharp_stick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-11 03:31 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. thx
I'll check later.
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JohnyCanuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-11 09:55 PM
Response to Original message
5. Jeez, where have I heard this sorry story before.....

The EPA is hardly the only industry regulator that relies heavily on data supplied by the agrochemical industry itself.

The regulation of pesticides has been significantly skewed towards the manufacturers interests where state-of-the-art testing is not done and adverse findings are typically distorted or denied, said Jeffrey Smith, of the Institute for Responsible Technology. The regulators tend to use the company data rather than independent sources, and the company data we have found to be inappropriately rigged to force the conclusion of safety.

We have documented time and time again scientists who have been fired, stripped of responsibilities, denied funding, threatened, gagged and transferred as a result of the pressure put on them by the biotech industry, he added.

Hmm, let me think; I guess it was right here on DU:

Scientist: GM food safety testing is woefully inadequate

According to Judy Carman, Ph.D., very little safety testing is done on genetically modified foods, and when it is done, biotechnology companies conduct minimal testing.

Dr. Carmen says that more extensive independent testing of GM foods is needed to ensure they are safe. Her recommendations seem prophetic in light of a recent Austrian government study that found reduced fertility in mice fed GM corn.

Dr. Carman is director of the Institute of Health and Environmental Research, Inc., a non-profit research institute based in Australia focusing on the safety of genetically modified food. She earned a doctorate degree in medicine from the University of Adelaide in the areas of metabolic regulation, nutritional biochemistry, and cancer. She has investigated outbreaks of disease for an Australian state government.

Ken Roseboro, editor of The Organic & Non-GMO Report, interviewed Dr. Carman during her recent visit to the United States.

Can you tell me a about your research on the health impacts of GM foods?
We are conducting one of the very few first long-term, independent animal feeding studies with GM foods. To date, most of these types of studies have been done by biotechnology companies or scientists associated with biotechnology companies.

Of the few independent studies being done, a study by the Austrian government recently made public found reduced fertility in mice fed GM corn. Another recent study done in Italy showed immune system problems in mice fed GM corn.

The studies done by biotechnology companies tend to show no health problems associated with eating GM food. The independent studies are finding adverse effects.

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