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Glyphosate is a systemic herbicide used to kill weeds. It is a post emergent herbicide that is non-selective. Meaning it will kill all green plants that you apply it to including grass, broad leaf weeds and some woody plants.

Commercial glyphosate is composed of other chemicals all with the purpose of making the herbicide more easy to use. These products are generally not placed on the label. Estimates are that over 99% of the product is composed of these inert products, of which little research has been conducted.

The toxicity of glyphosate alone is much less than the toxicity of commercial glyphosate used by consumers, due to the so-called “inert” ingredients in the commercial formulation. For example the surfactanct polyethoxylated tallowamine has an acute lethal dose three times that of glyphosate alone and destroys red blood cells. Yet toxicity studies used to regulate the product only examine the “active” ingredient only and not the formulation.

Examinations of the effects of Roundup™ on human lymphocytes have shown an increase in the frequency of sister chromatid exchanges, genetic exchanges during cell division resulting in point mutations. A 2008 scientific study has shown that Roundup formulations and metabolic products cause the death of human embryonic, placental, and umbilical cells in vitro, even at low concentrations. The effects were not proportional to the main active ingredient concentrations (glyphosate), but dependent on the nature of the adjuvants used in the Roundup formulation

Commercial Glyphosate Trade Names
  • Roundup
  • Buccaneer
  • Razor Pro
  • Genesis Extra II
  • Roundup Pro Concentrate
  • Rodeo
  • Aquaneat
  • Aquamaster

Non-target Damage

Glyphosate has been shown to kill beneficial insects including parasitoid wasps, lacewings and ladybugs. Other insect populations have been drastically reduced by glyphosate applications, which negatively impacts on birds and small insect-eating mammals. These changes in plant communities impact birds’ sources of food, shelter and nest support.

Glyphosate in its commercial form is 20 to 70 times more toxic to fish than glyphosate alone. It is also increasingly toxic at higher temperatures. This is significant when one considers that glyphosate is a defoliant and the lack of plant cover increases the temperature of waterways. Sublethal effects on fish include erratic swimming, gill damage, and changes in liver structure.

Glyphosate also impacts non-target plant species in several important ways. In low doses it decreases both the number of seeds germinating and the seedling weight as compared to untreated plants. It also affects the ability of bacteria located on the nodules of leguminous plants to perform nitrogen fixation, an essential process converting nitrogen from an unusable form to a compound that is able to be used by the plant. Studies have shown that at typically application rates, glyphosate inhibits up to 70% of nitrogen fixation.

Corn and soybeans, are some of the food crops that have been genetically modified with genes that convey resistance to the herbicide Roundup™. The subsequent development of resistance in some weed species is now emerging as a costly problem.

Early Symptoms of Glyphosate Poisoning

According to the World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization, early symptoms of glyphosate poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea and other flu-like symptoms. Both organizations also advise that poisoning can occur by absorption through the skin or eye contact, therefore the area of absorption may also be irritated. The individual may develop a rash or an itchy, red patch where the chemical originally made contact. If ingested, the poisoning would mimic food poisoning and cause stomach cramps and possible throat irritation.

Acute symptoms of glyphosate exposure include, destruction of red blood cells, lung dysfunction, low blood pressure, kidney damage, erosion of gastrointestinal tract, dizziness, fever, and nausea.

In our food: a recent study found that Glyphosate residues in the main foods of the Western diet – sugar, wheat, and genetically modified corn and soy – inhibit critical enzymes in mammals [which] manifests slowly over time, as inflammation damages cellular systems throughout the body.
Source: http://www.mdpi.com/1099-4300/15/4/1416

A study done in Germany in 2012 found glyphosate in all of the urine samples it took from non-agricultural workers in Berlin, at levels 5-20 times the limit for drinking water.
Source: http://www.ithaka-journal.net/herbizide-im-urin?lang=en

In humans: in June 2013, another study found traces of glyphosate in the urine samples of individuals across 18 countries in Europe.
Summary: http://gmoevidence.com/dr-hans-wolfgang-hoppe-glyphosate-found-in-human-... Original Study Report: http://gmoevidence.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/glyphosate_studyresult...

Glyphosate is a genotoxic endocrine disruptor to human cells and gut bacteria
Human Cells: http://www.barnstablecounty.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/gasnier-toxic...

Gut Bacteria: our gut bacteria was recently discovered to contain the very same metabolic pathway in plants that is being targeted and disrupted by Glyphosate—in direct opposition to Monsanto’s claims that the human body did not contain this pathway:
http://www.mdpi.com/1099-4300/15/4/1416 (watch a full video presentation on this topic).

Two decades after the advent of “RoundUp Ready” crops and their dominance in the agricultural marketplace, the evidence of their falsehoods abound: multiple studies have found significant levels of glyphosate in streams, soil, air, rainwater, and groundwater:
Wastewater: http://toxics.usgs.gov/highlights/glyphosate_wastewater.html
Rain and Streams: http://www.usgs.gov/newsroom/article.asp?ID=2909
Groundwater: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22101424
Soil: http://www.docstoc.com/docs/124999079/Effects-of-Glyphosate-and-Foliar-A... (slideshow; see presentation here; view report here)
Atmosphere, Soil and Surface Water: http://environment.gov.ab.ca/info/library/6444.pdf
Mississippi and Iowa Streams: https://gsa.confex.com/gsa/2009AM/finalprogram/abstract_162346.htm
Mississippi Air and Rain: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24549493

According to the USGS, more than 88,000 tons of glyphosate were used in the United States in 2007, up from 11,000 tons in 1992. Since the advent of “super weeds,” the use of glyphosate (and other even stronger weed killers) has risen significantly.
Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/08/31/us-glyphosate-pollution-idUSTR...

Superweeds: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/04/business/energy-environment/04weed.html
International Database on Glycines (Glyphosate family): http://www.weedscience.com/summary/MOA.aspx?MOAID=12
Iowa State: http://www.extension.iastate.edu/CropNews/2011/0120hartzler.htm
University of Arkansas: http://bumperscollege.uark.edu/test_cses2012/1946.php
National Academy of Sciences Report: http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=12804

Three studies linking glyphosate exposure with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma:

2001: http://cebp.aacrjournals.org/content/10/11/1155.long
2002: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12148884
2003: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1740618/

Recent study linking glyphosate exposure to kidney disease in multiple countries:
2014: http://www.lankabusinessonline.com/news/sri-lanka,-kidney-disease-linked...

Glyphosate Detected in Pregnant Women: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22261298
EPA Study Outline and Schedule: http://pesticidetruths.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Reference-glyphosa...

Glyphosate causes DNA damage: Inhalation of glyphosate was observed to cause DNA damage after short exposure to concentrations that correspond to the 450-fold dilution of spraying most commonly used in agriculture:
Study: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22331240

Additional Resources
1]Franz, J.E., M.K. Mao, and J.A. Sikorski. 1997. Glyphosate: A unique global herbicide. ACS Monograph 189. Washington, D.C.: American Chemical Society.

[2] Sawada, Y., et al. 1988. Probable toxicity of surface-active agent in commercial herbicide containing glyphosate. Lancet 1(8580):299.

[3] Tominack, R.L. et al. 1991. Taiwan National Poison Center: Survey of glyphosate-surfactant herbicide ingestions. Clin. Toxicol. 29(1):91-109.

[4] Talbot, A.R. et al. 1991. Acute poisoning with a glyphosate-surfactant herbicide (“Roundup”): A review of 93 cases. Human Exp. Toxicol. 10:1-8.

[5] Savitz, D.A. et al. 1997. Male pesticide exposure and pregnancy outcome. Am. J. Epidemiol. 146: 1025-1036.

[6] Vigfusson, N.V. and E.R. Vyse. 1980. The effect of the pesticides, Dexon, Captan, and Roundup on sister-chromatid exchanges in human lymphocytes in vitro. Mut. Res. 79:53-57.

[7] Bolognesi, C. et al. 1995. Mutagenicity testing of nine herbicides and pesticides currently used in agriculture. Environ. Mol. Mutagen. 25:148-153.

[8] Hassan, S.A. et al. Results of the fourth joint pesticide testing programme carried out by the IOBC/WPRS working group “Pesticides and Beneficial Organisms”. J. Appl. Ent. 105:321-329.

[9] Santillo, D.J., D.M. Leslie, and P.W. Brown. 1989. Responses of small mammals and habitat to glyphosate application

[10] Folmar, L.C., H.O. Sanders, and A.M. Julin. 1979. Toxicity of the herbicide glyphosate and several of its formulations to fish and aquatic invertebrates. Arch. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 33:355-361.

[11] Liong, P.C., W.P. Hamzah, and V. Murugan. 1988. Toxicity of some pesticides towards freshwater fishes. Malaysian Agric. J. 54(3):147-156.

[12] Neskovic, N.K. et al. 1996. Biochemical and histopathological effects of glyphosate on carp, Cyprinus carpio L. Bull. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 56:-295-302.

[13] Locke, D., J.A. Landivar, and D. Moseley. 1995. The effects of rate and timeing of glyphosate applications on defoliation efficiency, regrowth inhibition, lint yield, fiber quality and seed quality. Proc. Beltwide Cotton Conf. National Cotton Council of America: 1088-1090.

[14] Eberback, P.L. and L.A. Douglas 1983. Persistence of glyphosate in a sandy loam. Soil Biol. Biochem. 15(4):485-487.