Roundup Weed Killer & Birth Defects
07.08.11 Roundup Weed Killer & Birth Defects
A recent article published by the Huffington Post has caught our attention -the focus of which is the controversial chemical, glyphosate, an active ingredient used in Roundup and other popular herbicides.
Earlier this month, Earth Open Source, a non-profit organization, compiled and evaluated existing data and research surrounding the safety of glyphosate. Glyphosate was introduced in 1976 by Monsanto, an American agricultural biotechnology company, and is the most widely used herbicide in the United States. Earth Open Source’s latest report suggests that industry regulators have known for quite some time that glyphosate causes birth defects in the embryos of laboratory animals. And, while the effects of glyphosate on humans remains uncertain, two separate studies found that glyphosate caused the death of human umbilical, embryonic and placental cells.
Soybean, corn and rice crops have been, in large part, genetically modified to be immune to Roundup. Therefore, farmers are able to liberally spray the herbicide onto their crops and kill weeds, but the crop continues to grow and thrive. According to the Institute for Responsible Technology, animal feeding studies that focus on genetically modified crops show a strong correlation to reproductive disorders.
The EPA is currently examining glyphosate and has said that it wants to evaluate the human health risk. However, the agency is relying solely on data provided in large part by the agricultural chemicals industry. Independent research is not being conducted.
We believe in erring on the side of caution. Because the health effects of glyphosate remain unclear, when possible: avoid genetically modified foods, choose organic produce and/or avoid foods with the highest level of pesticide residue. For more information about pesticides and produce, you can refer to the Environmental Working Group’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce.