The report, “Roundup and birth defects: Is the public being kept in the dark?” found regulators knew in 1980 that glyphosate, the primary chemical on which Roundup is based, can cause birth defects in laboratory animals. Despite all of these warnings, and even though the European Commission has known that glyphosate causes malformations since at least the year 2002, the information has been irresponsibly withheld from the public. Gee, I wonder why? Instead the industry regulators have been on a campaign to mislead the public about glyphosate’s safety, according to the report, and as recently as last year, the German Federal Office for Consumer Protection and Food Safety, the German government body dealing with the glyphosate review, told the European Commission that there was not any evidence that glyphosate causes birth defects.
The report comes just months after researchers found that genetically-modified crops used in conjunction Roundup contain a pathogen that may cause animal miscarriages. After observing the newly discovered organism back in February, Don Huber, a emeritus professor at Purdue University, wrote an open letter to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack requesting a moratorium on deregulating crops genetically altered to be immune to Roundup, which are commonly called Roundup Ready crops.
In the letter, Huber also commented on the herbicide itself, saying: “It is well-documented that glyphosate promotes soil pathogens and is already implicated with the increase of more than 40 plant diseases, it dismantles plant defenses by chelating vital nutrients, and it reduces the bioavailability of nutrients in feed, which in turn can cause animal disorders.”
Although glyphosate was originally due to be reviewed in 2012, the Commission decided late last year not to bring the review forward, instead delaying it until 2015. The chemical will not be reviewed under more stringent, up-to-date standards until 2030, which is convenient for Monsanto, and others I would imagine.
In the conclusion for the report, the authors wrote the following: “Our examination of the evidence leads us to the conclusion that the current approval of glyphosate and Roundup is deeply flawed and unreliable. What is more, we have learned from experts familiar with pesticide assessments and approvals that the case of glyphosate is not unusual. They say that the approvals of numerous pesticides rest on data and risk assessments that are just as scientifically flawed, if not more so. This is all the more reason why the Commission must urgently review glyphosate and other pesticides according to the most rigorous and up-to-date standards.”
So this is how the deregulated world works my friends, profit above all else. While Herbicide Roundup is still being used, make sure you truly wash those vegetables!