Glyphosate’s toxicity is currently being debated at an international level by regulatory and health authorities, but other formulants in Glyphosate-based herbicides (such as Monsanto’s Roundup), are rarely considered. The formulants used with glyphosate are declared as inert and confidential by the pesticide industry.
Find the full peer-reviewed paper here.
Prof. Gilles-Eric Séralini from the University of Caen Normandy, France, and his colleagues Dr. Nicolas Defarge and Dr. Joël Spiroux, have discovered several new findings which crush the pesticide industry’s claim that the ‘inert’ ingredients in glyphosate-based herbicides do not need regulating:
- Glyphosate-based herbicides are shown to contain heavy metals such as arsenic. These are not declared and are normally banned due to their toxicity.
- Tested on plants, herbicide formulants such as POEA are toxic in isolation, while glyphosate alone is not toxic to plants at normal agricultural levels, but apparently only at higher levels.
- Tested on human cells, formulants composed of petroleum residues have a more endocrine disruptive effect and are more toxic than glyphosate.
The comparative effects of glyphosate alone and 14 of its formulations were studied by Seralini’s team. Glyphosate was clearly shown to not be the major toxic compound in the herbicide formulations – Petroleum-based compounds in the herbicide formulations were more toxic than glyphosate.
Seralini and his team also searched for other known toxic and endocrine-disrupting elements in 22 pesticides, including 11 glyphosate-based herbicides. They discovered several heavy metals in most formulations, in particular arsenic, chromium, cobalt, lead and nickel, which are known to be toxic and endocrine disruptors. All diluted formulations except one contained a cocktail of these metals.
This phenomenon thus appears to be widely distributed in the world, as the pesticide samples mainly came from the European Union and North America. In Asia, large amounts of Arsenic were found in the glyphosate-based herbicides previously sold in Sri Lanka before the country banned such herbicides due to concerns about CKDu – Chronic kidney disease.
Prof. Séralini stated Sunday: “These results show that the declarations of glyphosate as the active principle for toxicity are scientifically wrong, and that the toxicity assessment is also erroneous: glyphosate is tested alone for long-term health effects at the regulatory level but the formulants – which are composed of toxic petroleum residues and arsenic – are not tested over the long term. We call for the immediate, transparent and public release of the formulations and above all of any health tests conducted on them. The acceptable levels of glyphosate residues in foods should be divided immediately by a factor of at least 1,000 because of these hidden poisons. Glyphosate-based herbicides should be banned.”
Sustainable Pulse Director, Henry Rowlands, concluded; “These results show that the difference between “active ingredient” and “inert compound” is a regulatory assertion with no demonstrated toxicological basis and thus an immediate ban on glyphosate-based herbicides is the only way to protect public health. It is clear that glyphosate is a serious health concern but it is now also clear that glyphosate-based herbicides, to which we are all exposed, are an even greater risk to human health than glyphosate alone. We all now urgently need a comprehensive safety study on glyphosate-based herbicides”
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