A study conducted on soybean plants grown on various Iowa farms has found unusually high levels of Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide on the genetically modified crops.
The researchers looked at the accumulation of pesticides and herbicides on plants that had either been genetically engineered as “Roundup Ready” tolerant to glyphosate, the main herbicide in Monsanto’s Roundup; or they had been conventionally produced, but not GMO; or, they were soybeans that had been produced from organic seeds and growing practices.
According to the study’s findings, which are published in the June issue of the journal Food Chemistry, high levels of Monsanto’s Roundup were found on 70 percent of the GMO soy plants. The scientists recorded average levels of 9 milligrams of glyphosate per kilogram in the study samples, which is almost double what’s considered an “extreme level” of contamination.
“Who says when Roundup contamination can be considered ‘extreme’?” asks the Environmental Working Group, “Monsanto itself. In 1999, the chemical giant defined an “extreme level” of the herbicide as 5.6 milligrams per kilogram of plant weight.”
EWG says superweeds—plants that have developed resistance to Monsanto’s Roundup may be to blame. “[S]ome farmers use yet more Roundup to try to kill those hardy weeds. This leads to more Roundup chemicals being found on soybeans and ultimately in the food supply.”
“This study demonstrated that Roundup Ready [GE]-soy may have high residue levels of glyphosate … and also that different agricultural practices may result in a markedly different nutritional composition of soybeans,” the study authors wrote. “Lack of data on pesticide residues in major crop plants is a serious gap of knowledge with potential consequences for human and animal health.”
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