Cancer Initiation: Glyphosate (Roundup) is not approved as a food additive

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Glyphosate (Roundup) is not approved as a food additive


  Roundup is a common herbacide that is used in the production of many crops. Typically a genetically modified crop that is resistant to Roundup will be planted, and then application of Roundup will reduce the crop to a mono-culture of the desired product.
  Roundup (glyphosate) is a combination of the amino acid glycine with an extra phosphate group. It looks like a nutrient to the plant but cannot be metabolized. The proposed "beauty" of glyphosate is that after application, it decomposes to natural nutrients, phosphate and an amino acid. For that to be the case, Roundup has to be applied early in the plants life cycle. It has now become apparent that this is not always the case.
   It has been recently recognized that Roundup is also popular "off label". By that I mean that in the case of wheat, glyphosate is applied as a "harvest sweetener" to help dry out wheat before harvest. This novel application of glyphosate has the potential and affect of placing a large amount of un-degraded chemical in the food supply, as a component of flower. Even if the wheat itself is a "non-gmo", it may be harvested with the aid of glyphosate as a "sweetener".


Increasing Toxicological Evidence 

 Because  Roundup was never intended to be in the food supply, there is a dearth of toxicological data. The manufacturers maintain that toxicological data is unnecessary becasue it is not for human consumption. Now that it is on the food supply, more detailed toxicological studiesr are becoming available. [1] The results show that Roundup is liver and kidney toxic in environmentally relevant dosages. The following is a quote from Mesnage[1]

  In an effort to address this gap in commercial GBH toxicity evaluation, a 2-year study was conducted where rats were administered with a Roundup GBH via drinking water at a concentration of 0.1 ppb (0.05 μg/L glyphosate; daily intake 4 ng/kg bw/day), which is an admissible concentration within the European Union (0.1 μg/L) and USA (700 μg/L)18. The results showed that Roundup caused an increased incidence in signs of anatomical pathologies, as well as changes in urine and blood biochemical parameters suggestive of liver and kidney functional insufficiency18.

  Oxidative stress and single-carbon metabolism

   The study be Mesnage et. al. goes on to discuss the contribution of Roundup ( glyphosate  ) to single-carbon metabolism disruption ( oxidative stress) . We have previously noted that disruption of this pathway is the foundation for a number of diseases, currently in epidemic mode, As we mentioned, incidence of coronary artery disease, cancer, lupus and Parkinsons are shown to be connected to methylation capacity ( single carbon metabolism). Of course there are others, including intestinal autoimmune and autism. We should also note that these factors are not necessarily independent. Varibles that affect this  pathway are (non) independent, and may interact strongly with each other in otherwise unpredictable ways, partially as a function of a persons particular genetic makeup.


  The significance of this 2017 study is the term "ultra-low dose".   Notice the abbreviation "ppb" is parts per billion. It really does not take much to get in the parts per billion range. Roundup use at harvest time is threatening for many reasons. Of course less time hurts the ability to decompose, but also cooler temperatures of harvest season could hurt biodegradability.


   Glyhphosate( Roundup )  was never intended to be part of the food supply. It was intended to be a biodegradabale portion of early crop development. With uncontrolled usage it has become a key contaminant in the world food supply.


[1]  Mesnage R1, Renney G2, Séralini GE3, Ward M2, Antoniou MN Multiomics reveal non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in rats following chronic exposure to an ultra-low dose of Roundup herbicide  . Sci Rep. 2017 Jan 9;7:39328.[PubMed Central]

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