Public kept in dark on Roundup link with birth defects
NOTE: The following EU parliamentary question to the EU Commission about the safety of glyphosate has been asked by Greek Green MEP, Michalis Tremopoulos. The question refers to the report, Roundup and birth defects: Is the public being kept in the dark?

The report is available here.

Between the day it went online (7 June 2011) and today (21 June), it's had 52,600 'reads'.
Michail Tremopoulos (Verts/ALE)
Public kept in the dark on Roundup link with birth defects
Written question to the Commission, European Parliament

Date:  14/06/2011

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 recently [1]. The report reveals that industry's own studies 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" for glyphosate, it reviewed industry's studies for the EU approval of the herbicide. The European Commission has known since 2002, when it signed off on glyphosate's approval. 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" for glyphosate. BVL made this comment in its rebuttal [2] of an independent study published last year showing that Roundup and glyphosate cause birth defects in frogs and chickens at concentrations much lower than those used in agricultural spraying [3]. 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 new report shows that those industry studies do not prove the safety of glyphosate but rather confirm that glyphosate causes birth defects in laboratory animals. Glyphosate was due to be reviewed in 2012. But last year, the Commission delayed the review of glyphosate until 2015 [4].
Glyphosate, N-phosphonomethyl glycine, is broad-spectrum herbicide, sold under the brand name RoundUp. It is "the most widely used broad-spectrum herbicide on [a] global scale."[1] Commercial formulations of glyphosate were first sold in 1974.[2] Some genetically engineered crops, called Roundup Ready Crops, have their DNA altered to allow them to withstand glyphosate. These include Roundup Ready soybeans, corn, canola, sugarbeets, and alfalfa.


Indian Pet Journal Issue February' 2010Volume-4 http//
Pathobiological studies on induced Glyphosate (Herbicide)
Toxicity in rats
Y. Dhanarajam, Debasish Niyogi, Subha Ganguly1, Indira Paul2 and
Sunit Kumar Mukhopadhayay*
Department of Veterinary Pathology, Faculty of Veterinary & Animal Sciences, West Bengal University of Animal and Fishery Sciences (WBUAFS), Kolkata-37 (WB).
1Department of Veterinary Microbiology, Faculty of Veterinary Science & Animal Husbandry, Birsa Agricultural University, Ranchi – 834 006, Jharkhand.
2Department of Veterinary Microbiology, WBUAFS.
*Author for correspondence: E-mail:
The present study was conducted to evaluate the toxicopathological, haematobiochemical, reproductive and teratogenic potential of glyphosate herbicide. Effect of glyphosate administration in rats by oral gavage at the dose level of 0, 400 mg and 800 mg was studied in total 36 rats of equal number of males and females aged 8 to 12 weeks. The duration of experiment was 28 days in males and 21 days in females. Cesarean section were performed in pregnant females and foetal body weight, litter size, sex ratio were recorded. Blood and tissue samples were collected for blood parameters and histopathology.
Animals showed symptoms of lethargy, pasty diarrhea, red nasal and ocular discharge, severe dehydration, reduced feed and water intake. Symptoms were more severe in T2 group. There was significant reduction in body weight between treatment groups at both dose level and control group. In pregnant females there was reduction in body weight in FT2 treatment group. Blood parameters showed significant decrease (P<0.05) in Hb and TEC and slight decrease in TLC and PCV in T2 group when compared to the control. Serum AST, ALT, Alkaline phosphatase showed significant (P<0.05) increase in all treated groups as compared to control. Total protein, albumin, globulin showed significant (P<0.05) decrease in all treated groups when compared to the control. Glucose level increased significantly (P<0.05) in both the treatment groups when compared to control groups. Sodium level showed significant (P<0.05) decrease in both T1 and T2 groups. Serum potassium showed significant (P<0.05) increase in both the groups. BUN level showed significant (P<0.05) increase in all treated groups.
At necropsy, the glyphosate treated groups revealed mild reduction in the size of spleen and epididymis and dark appearance of liver and kidneys.
Histopathologically, marked changes were observed in T2 group. In liver, congestion of central vein, vacuolization of hepatocytes and necrosis were mainly observed. Changes in kidneys included dilatation of the Bowman’s space, atrophy and distortion of glomeruli, presence of hyaline droplets in the tubule and hemorrhages in the interstitial areas. Lungs showed congestion of blood vessels, emphysema of alveoli and hyperplasia of bronchial epithelium. Depletion of lymphocytes in spleen, vacuolization of spermatids in the testes and hyperplasia of goblet cells in intestine were also observed.
The daily sperm count showed significant (P<0.05) decrease in both the treated groups compared to the control. Abnormal sperm count also found decreased significantly (P<0.05) between the treated groups.
During pregnancy, there were significant (P<0.05) decrease in body weights when compared to the control. Two pups from FT1 group and 3 rats from FT2 group were died during pregnancy. No significant changes were found in the weights of the fetuses. Sex ratio of fetuses were 15 males and 21females in Fc group, 5males and 23 females in FT1 group and 3males and13 females in FT2 group respectively.
Litter size showed reduction in number when compared to the control. Corpus lutea showed no significant difference between the control and the treatment groups.
Based on present investigation, it could be concluded that glyphosate at different dose levels of 400 and 800 mg/kg body weight produced varying degree of toxicity in rats.
Proposed New Corporate Logo For Monsanto Company, a stunning new photograph by Chris Jordan, is made of 200,000 immaculately placed heirloom agricultural plant seeds. According the the artist’s website, the amount of seeds is “equal to the number of farmers in India who have committed suicide since 1997, when Monsanto introduced its genetically modified cotton seeds containing terminator technology into that region.”
Chris Jordan - Proposed New Corporate Logo For Monsanto Company (detail)
Just as I was preparing this post, however, a mysterious thing happend: all traces of this work disappeared from Chris Jordan’s website. Monsanto is known to play hardball with its critics — even going to far as to hire the mercenary film Blackwater to infiltrate activist organizations — so I wonder if the biotech giant is behind the missing artwork.
I’ll get in touch with Chris’ studio and will let you know if I hear back from them.
Over the past several years, entities closely linked to the private security firm Blackwater have provided intelligence, training and security services to US and foreign governments as well as several multinational corporations, including Monsanto, Chevron, the Walt Disney Company, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and banking giants Deutsche Bank and Barclays, according to documents obtained by The Nation. Blackwater's work for corporations and government agencies was contracted using two companies owned by Blackwater's owner and founder, Erik Prince: Total Intelligence Solutions and the Terrorism Research Center (TRC). Prince is listed as the chairman of both companies in internal company documents, which show how the web of companies functions as a highly coordinated operation. Officials from Total Intelligence, TRC and Blackwater (which now calls itself Xe Services) did not respond to numerous requests for comment for this article.