Wednesday, September 30, 2015 by Chris Draper
Exposure to small amounts of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s infamous RoundUp herbicide, can lead to kidney and liver damage over time, according to a recent study led by Dr. Michael Antoniou at King’s College London.
The study examined the gene expression of liver and kidney tissue in rats. The results of the study were in accordance with a previous 2012 study, which found a link between cancer in rats fed varying amounts of glyphosate.(1)
The 2012 study was polarizing in the academic sphere. So much so that it was retracted and later republished last year. In the current study, the researchers compared the gene expression of female rats fed glyphosate in the 2012 study to rats which were not fed glyphosate.(2)
“’There were more than 4,000 genes in the liver and kidneys whose levels of expression had changed’ in the dosed rats compared to the non-dosed rats, “ Dr. Antoniou said, as reported by Environmental Health News (EHN).
EHN further reported: “Genes serve as the body’s switches, controlling different functions. Turn one gene off at the wrong time, or fail to turn it on at the proper time, and serious consequences could happen. Different patterns of gene function are known to underlie the health and disease status of organs.”(2)
Scientists have long suspected a link between glyphosate and liver/kidney damage. In particular, there has been a kidney and liver failure epidemic in parts of South Asia and Central America. Rats were exposed to chemicals in the study in order to determine how the chemicals impact human health. The results proved sobering.(2)
“The findings of our study are very worrying as they confirm that a very low level of consumption of Roundup weedkiller over the long term can result in liver and kidney damage. Our results also suggest that regulators should re-consider the safety evaluation of glyphosate-based herbicides,” said Dr. Antoniou.(1)
What is more sobering is the amount of glyphosate permitted in U.S. drinking water. The study administered half the pure glyphosate permitted drinking water in the EU, 20,000 times lower than levels permitted in Australia, and 14,000 times lower than levels permitted in the U.S.(2)
Glyphosate has been bolstered as the poster child in the anti-GMO campaign. Grassroots organizations and concerned health experts have called on countries to issue bans on the toxic substance since the World Health Organization classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic” to human health.
Big biotech companies originally pushed for genetically engineered crops on the grounds that they would require less herbicide and produce higher yields. The opposite has been shown to be the case. Over the past four decades, the amount of glyphosate used on United States crops has increased by over 28,000 percent. This is because weeds growing near genetically engineered crops have become more resistant to the RoundUp herbicide.(2)
Monsanto has not commented on the results of the study. Nevertheless, they continue to bolster glyphosate as perfectly safe to human health, despite an overwhelming body of evidence which suggests otherwise.
“Our results suggest that chronic exposure to a GBH in an established laboratory animal toxicity model system at an ultra-low, environmental dose can result in liver and kidney damage with potential significant health implications for animal and human populations,” the authors of the study conclude.(1)
Meanwhile, the rest of us can call out glyphosate for what it really is: rat poison.