Monsanto’s Roundup increasingly found in humans
A recent study on the long-term health effects of the weed killer Roundup – popular with households and big agriculture alike – found that alarming levels of some of its ingredients are ingested by humans. Published on The Jama Network the results were tabulated after testing people’s urine samples over a twenty year period.
Researchers led by professor of family medicine and public health at the University of California San Diego, Paul Mills, found that the levels of the active ingredient in Roundup, glyphosate, increased by over 1200% between 1993 and 2016. Also, the number of people with the chemical in their urine increased five-fold.
The health effects on humans have not been studied much, but here are several on animals that cause concern. One trial from the UK, in which rats were fed low levels of glyphosate, found that the chemical added to a higher risk of fatty liver disease, a condition that contributes to inflammation and scarring of the liver tissue. Mills says that the levels of glyphosate found in the people in his study were 100 times greater than those in the rats.
In a 2009 study, scientists found that Roundup’s inert ingredients amplified the toxic effect on human cells—even at concentrations much more diluted than those used on farms and lawns. One specific inert ingredient, polyethoxylated tallowamine, or POEA, was more deadly to human embryonic, placental and umbilical cord cells than the herbicide itself – a finding the researchers call “astonishing.”
Some believe that by the time the full long term effects on humans is known, it will be far too late for many of them.
Predictably, a Monsanto representative discounted possible health issue related to Roundup. “The amounts reported are consistent with prior reports from the U.S. and Europe and do not raise health concerns. Since food is often grown using pesticides, trace amounts can sometimes be found in people’s urine, which is one way our bodies get rid of non-essential substances.”