The Long-Term Effects of Even Low Dosage Glyphosate Exposure Can Wreak Havoc on Your Body Learn
Monsanto’s blockbuster herbicide Roundup (glyphosate) can cause serious health problems even at very low levels of exposure, according to a new study conducted by researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Abacus Enterprises and published in the International Journal of Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine.
Roundup (active ingredient glyphosate) is the top-selling herbicide worldwide. Its growth has ballooned in the past few decades, driven largely by the widespread adoption of Roundup-resistant genetically modified (GM) crops. According to an article published in The New England Journal of Medicine, Roundup use in the United States has increased 250-fold over the course of 40 years.
These high levels of use mean that water supplies around the country are contaminated with Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, thereby exposing more people to the chemical. In addition, GM crops tend to have high levels of residue, as do certain other crops that are deliberately killed with Roundup in order to produce a synchronized harvest.
It is well known that, in large doses, glyphosate can cause pathophysiological changes including metabolic acidosis. Severe glyphosate poisoning can also cause altered consciousness, dehydration, liver dysfunction, pulmonary edema, dysrhythmias, oliguria (low urine output) and pneumonitis.
For the new study, the researchers reviewed reports and records on glyphosate from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“Taken together, this evidence suggests that glyphosate, in the doses equivalent to allowed residues in food ingested over a long period of time, causes a low-grade, chronic acidosis as well as mitochondrial dysfunction,” the researchers wrote.
Because this effect is caused by chronic, low-dose exposure, it has been overlooked, the researchers said.
The researchers also looked at reports in the FDA’s Adverse Event Reporting System database for health problems associated with glyphosate and compared these with the health problems listed in the database for drugs known to cause mitochondrial dysfunction. The symptoms and diseases listed for glyphosate and for the drugs were “startlingly consistent,” they wrote.
Because mitochondrial dysfunction can produce a great many different diseases, the reearchers hypothesize that many diseases of modern life may be caused, in part, by chronic, low-dose exposure to environmental contaminants including herbicides and pesticides, as well as industrial chemicals, pharmaceutical products and food additives.
How much evidence do you need?
Prior studies have also indicated that glyphosate can produce health damage in very low concentrations. A study published in the journal Environmental Health in August 2015 found that long-term consumption of levels of Roundup below those allowed in US drinking water could cause changes in gene expression leading to liver and kidney damage. Another study, conducted by researchers from Flinders University in Australia, found that levels of Roundup present in US and Australian drinking water are able to cause hormone-disrupting effects.
The latter study also found, surprisingly, that the commercial product Roundup was more toxic than the active ingredient (glyphosate) on its own. This calls into question the widespread regulatory practice of assuming that only a product’s “active” ingredient has effects on the body.
In fact, the European Union Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recently admitted that Roundup — though not glyphosate — causes genotoxic effects that may lead to cancer. It is one of the first times that a government agency has admitted that “inactive” ingredients can be dangerous.
Notably, the International Agency for Research on Cancer disagrees with the EFSA’s findings, and considers glyphosate (as well as Roundup) to be a “probable carcinogen.”
Other health concerns with Roundup continue to emerge. Studies have linked it to genetic and cellular diseases in Brazilian farmworkers, while a 2014 study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health implicated the herbicide in a chronic kidney disease epidemic that swept through Sri Lanka as well as Central America.
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