Glyphosate from field to table

Glyphosate is the active substance in herbicides such as Roundup. Roundup is used in higher concentrations on GMO crops that have been genetically modified to tolerate glyphosate. The amounts of herbicides with glyphosate have been in increasing use over the past 40 years. The global market for glyphosate is expected to reach USD 8.5 billion by 2020. Annual demand could be as high as 1000 million kg by 2020. Much of this is spent on high-risk GMO crops genetically modified to be resistant to higher concentrations of glyphosate . Examples of this are cotton, soya, rapeseed, maize, alfalfa, sugar beet and potato. The agent is also used in connection with weed control before sowing, and to dry out crops before harvesting. This applies to crops such as oats, wheat and sunflower. Much of this is found as traces of herbicides in processed foods, eg breakfast mixes made with oats.

After 40 years, it has again been shown that glyphosate probably damages the gut microbiome worldwide. It has now been documented that rat pups born to adult individuals fed with safe concentrations of glyphosate can have significant changes with potentially harmful effects from glyphosate traces in the mother's milk in their microbiome. Long-term exposure can alter sexual development and promote the formation of tumors. The highest consumption of glyphosate in the world is on genetically modified glyphosate-resistant crops such as soy, maize, oilseed rape and cotton. On a global basis, the total consumption of glyphosate has become large enough to treat up to a third of all the world's cultivated crops.

There are significant differences in the overall microbiome diversity and composition, compared between Roundup and glyphosate. These differences suggest synergistic effects in Roundup between adjuvants that may increase the toxic effects of glyphosate. The results suggest that glyphosate transferred from mother to newborn through breast milk is sufficient to negatively change the microbiome in the gut. In other words, the microbiome in the offspring is damaged due to the unnaturally high concentrations of the herbicide Roundup and glyphosate.

Glyphosate is registered in Group 2A by the World Health Organization (WHO). This means that it is a substance that is probably carcinogenic to humans. The Group 2A category is used when there is limited evidence of carcinogenic properties in humans and sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in laboratory animals. In some cases, an agent may be classified in this category when there is insufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in humans, sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in laboratory animals, and strong evidence that carcinogenesis is mediated by a mechanism that also operates in humans.

Products in the store may contain traces of glyphosate. Traces of glyphosate in some foods made from oats. Breakfast mixes made from oats can have alarmingly high levels of glyphosate in them. Scary because they can contain values of glyphosate that are higher than some of the values of vitamins with which the package is stamped. When these values with glyphosate and vitamins are compared with each other, it becomes more visible that the values with glyphosate imply a too high presence of herbicide in the above-mentioned foodstuffs. If there are also traces of glyphosate in the milk, the concentrations may be at odds with accepted levels of glyphosate in breakfast.



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Baudry J., Assmann KE, Touvier M., Allès B., Seconda L., Latino-Martel P., Ezzedine K., Galan P., Hercberg S., Lairon D., & E. Kesse-Guyot, 2018. Association of frequency of organic food consumption with cancer risk. Findings from the NutriNet-Santé prospective cohort study. JAMA Internal Medicine, Original investigation October 22. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2018.4357


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