Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Public kept in the dark on Roundup link with birth defects - new report
Public kept in the dark about Round Up link with birth defects-new report
*Industry knew since 1980s, regulators since 1990s*
Earth Open Source
Press release for immediate release, 7 June 2011
Industry and EU regulators knew as long ago as the 1980s-1990s that Roundup, the world's best selling herbicide, causes birth defects – but they failed to inform the public. This is the conclusion of a new report, "Roundup and birth defects: Is the public being kept in the dark?" co-authored by a group of international scientists and researchers and released today.
The report reveals that industry's own studies (including one commissioned by Monsanto) showed as long ago as the 1980s that Roundup's active ingredient glyphosate causes birth defects in laboratory animals.
The German government has known about these findings since at least the 1990s, when as the "rapporteur" member state for glyphosate, it reviewed industry's studies for the EU approval of the herbicide. The European Commission has known since at least 2002, when it signed off on glyphosate's approval.
But this information was not made public. On the contrary, regulators have consistently misled the public about glyphosate's safety. As recently as last year, the German Federal Office for Consumer Protection and Food Safety, BVL, told the Commission there was "no evidence of teratogenicity" (ability to cause birth defects) for glyphosate.
BVL made this comment in its rebuttal of an independent scientific study published last year by Argentine scientists. The study showed that Roundup and glyphosate cause birth defects in frogs and chickens at concentrations much lower than those used in agricultural spraying. The study was prompted by reports of high rates of birth defects and cancers in areas of South America growing genetically modified (GM) Roundup Ready soy, which is engineered to tolerate being sprayed liberally with glyphosate herbicide.
In its rebuttal of the Argentine study, BVL cited as proof of glyphosate's safety the industry studies submitted for the Commission's 2002 approval of glyphosate (the approval that is currently in force).
But the authors of the new report obtained the approval documents and found that contrary to BVL's claim, industry's own studies, conducted in the 1980s and 1990s, showed that glyphosate/Roundup causes birth defects in experimental animals. In some cases, these effects occurred at low doses.
The German authorities and the EU Commission's ECCO expert review panel whitewashed the findings and the Commission approved the herbicide.
Claire Robinson, a co-author of the new report and spokesperson for the sustainability NGO Earth Open Source, which published it, said, "This looks like a thirty-year cover-up by industry and regulators and it has certainly placed the public at risk. Roundup is used not only by farmers but by home gardeners and in school grounds and other public areas, in part because of false marketing claims that it is safe."
Commission delays review of glyphosate
A new, more stringent pesticide regulation comes into force in the EU this June. An objective review of glyphosate under this new regulation would almost certainly result in a ban. This is because under the regulation, independent studies have to be taken into consideration. Many of these studies, summarised in the new report, show that glyphosate and Roundup cause birth defects, cancer, genetic damage, endocrine disruption, and other serious effects, often at very low doses.
Glyphosate was due to be reviewed in 2012. But late last year, the Commission quietly passed a directive delaying the review of glyphosate and 38 other pesticides until 2015.
Thankfully we have education and action:
Institute For Responsible Technology
Those are two main sites that I follow, but there are many more.
Say No TO GMOS
Center For Food Safety
Millions Against Monsanto
And this does not just affect what is being sprayed. Round Up has been entering the water systems and soil of the world for years. Running off into waterways, effecting soil and other species and is one of many toxic substances causing larger dead zones in the Gulf Of Mexico along with all of the other toxic ingredients (and I suspect androgenous effects on fish, frogs and who knows what else.)
Imagine all of the illnessses these past years that could not be attributed to this because it was being kept secret by industry and government. Not only that, but any residual RoundUp remaining on GM crops as they head to your supermarkets.
This is the crux of the corporate greed and government collusion that has poisoned not only our waterways, food and bodies, but the agenices that claim to work to keep us safe! This is the ultimate betrayal. But again, you won't see this on your nightly news. So I guess it will be people like myself who will just have to do their job for them.