Roundup, the most popular herbicide in the world marketed by GMO seed and chemical giant, Monsanto, may be more toxic than previously believed, according to new research published in the recent issue of the scientific journal Toxicology.
According to GMWatch, Researchers Robin Mesnage, Benoît Bernay and Professor Gilles-Eric Séralini, from France's University of Caen, looked at nine Roundup-like products for the study. The team found that while glyphosate, the active ingredient most often assessed in the herbicide and in its own right quite toxic, another and often unlabeled ingredient called POE-15 (polyethoxylated tallowamine) present in the herbicide products has shown to be also a toxin and threat to human health, complicating concerns over herbicide products that contain glypohsate.
Called adjuvants, other ingredients, inlcuding POE-15, are added to pesticides and herbicides to stabilize the glyphosate and help it to better penetrate plants to kill weeds—but the industry considers these compounds to be "inert" ingredients. The researchers found that the adjuvants in the POE-15 family were actively toxic to human cells, warranting further study, regulatory assessments and proper labeling. GMWatch concluded: "This study demonstrates that all the glyphosate-based herbicides tested are more toxic than glyphosate alone," adding that because of the new discovery, "their regulatory assessments and the maximum residue levels authorized in the environment, food, and feed, are erroneous."
Study author Professor Gilles-Eric Séralini recently came under fire for publishing research in which he connected malignant tumors in rats with the consumption of a strain of Monsanto's Roundup Ready corn. The research, while highly criticized, led to a swell of concern across the globe. As a result of the study, Russia banned the import of Monsanto products connected with the risk.
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