Glyphosate is widely known for its role in agriculture due to the domination of GMO crops modified to resist this toxic herbicide. But it also has a significant role in industrial forestry.
(Beyond Pesticides, April 23, 2018) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is accepting comments on its human health and environmental risk assessments of glyphosate (sold as Roundup™, Rodeo™, and many other products) until April 30. Evidence is mounting that glyphosate products cause cancer and many other human health and environmental problems.
Despite the prevalent myth that this widely used herbicide is harmless, glyphosate is associated with a wide range of illnesses, including non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, genetic damage, liver and kidney damage, and endocrine disruption, as well as environmental damage, including water contamination and harm to amphibians. Researchers have also determined that the “inert” ingredients in glyphosate products, especially polyethoxylated tallow amine or POEA –a surfactant commonly used in glyphosate and other herbicidal products— are even more toxic than glyphosate itself. Monsanto, manufacturer of glyphosate, formulates many products (such as Roundup™ and Rodeo™) and markets formulations exclusively used on genetically engineered (GE) crops. Glyphosate is one of the most widely used herbicides in the world, due in large part to the increased cultivation of GE crops that are tolerant of the herbicide.
This petition summarizes the reasons glyphosate should be banned. More information can be found in Beyond Pesticides’ comments.
For even greater effectiveness, use the information in this petition and Beyond Pesticides’ comments to submit your own comments at Regulations.gov.
Docket No. EPA-HQ-OPP-2009-0361
EPA must cancel registrations of products containing glyphosate, based on information in the agency’s risk assessments and other available research. Glyphosate poses unreasonable adverse effects on humans and the environment, as outlined below and explained in greater detail in comments submitted by Beyond Pesticides.
Despite the prevalent myth it is harmless, glyphosate is associated with a wide range of illnesses, including non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, genetic damage, liver and kidney damage, and endocrine disruption, as well as environmental damage, including water contamination and harm to amphibians. Researchers have also determined that the “inert” ingredients in glyphosate products, especially polyethoxylated tallow amine or POEA –a surfactant commonly used in glyphosate and other herbicidal products— are even more toxic than glyphosate itself. Monsanto, manufacturer of glyphosate, formulates many products (such as Roundup™ and Rodeo™) and markets formulations exclusively used on genetically engineered (GE) crops. Glyphosate is one of the most widely used herbicides in the world, due in large part to the increased cultivation of GE crops that are tolerant of the herbicide.
Exposure to glyphosate has been increasing steadily. As a result of its widespread use, glyphosate residues are detected in tissues and excretions of farm animals, as well as human urine. Glyphosate accumulates in Roundup Ready® soybeans, which are genetically engineered to be herbicide-tolerant, and exhibit a nutritional profile different from that of organic and non-GE soybeans.
EPA must take a precautionary approach when considering continued and expanded uses. Although EPA’s assessment focuses only on the active ingredient, glyphosate, EPA must investigate the totality of glyphosate formulations and their potential for adverse impacts, which have the most relevance to human and environmental health. Glyphosate formulations are more toxic than the active ingredient alone, a fact recognized by EPA in its ecological assessment, which includes formulated glyphosate products in its review.
Although EPA considers glyphosate to be “of relatively low oral and dermal acute toxicity,” some glyphosate products are of higher acute toxicity, primarily due to eye and/or skin irritation. Symptoms following exposure to glyphosate formulations include: swollen eyes, face, and/or joints; facial numbness; burning and/or itching skin; blisters; rapid heart rate; elevated blood pressure; chest pains, congestion; coughing; headache; and nausea. In developmental toxicity studies using pregnant rats and rabbits, glyphosate caused treatment-related effects in high-dose groups, including diarrhea, decreased body weight gain, nasal discharge, and death.
As documented by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in 2015, glyphosate causes cancer. IARC classifies glyphosate as a Group 2A “probable” carcinogen, which means that the chemical is probably carcinogenic to humans based on sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals. As of July 7, 2017, glyphosate is listed as a cancer-causing chemical under California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (Proposition 65). This requires that cancer warning labels be placed on end-use glyphosate products in California. Glyphosate has been specifically linked to non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and multiple myeloma.
Glyphosate causes DNA and chromosomal damage in human cells. Glyphosate and its formulated products adversely affect embryonic, placental, and umbilical cord cells, affect fetal development, and increase the risk for spontaneous abortion. Chronic, ultra-low-dose exposure to glyphosate in drinking water results in adverse impacts on the health of liver and kidneys. Glyphosate is considered to be an endocrine disruptor. It can cause changes to DNA function, resulting in the onset of chronic disease.
Glyphosate disrupts a crucial pathway for manufacturing aromatic amino acids in plants and bacteria. It has been patented as an antibiotic. The destruction of bacteria in the human gut is a major contributor to disease, and the destruction of soil microbiota leads to unhealthy agricultural systems with increasing dependence on agricultural chemicals. Disturbing the microbiota contributes to a whole host of “21st century diseases,” including diabetes, obesity, food allergies, heart disease, antibiotic-resistant infections, cancer, asthma, autism, irritable bowel syndrome, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and more. The rise in these same diseases is closely correlated with the use of glyphosate herbicides, and glyphosate exposure can produce inflammation that is at the root of these diseases. Glyphosate appears to have more negative impacts on beneficial bacteria, allowing pathogens to flourish. Its use –like use of all antibiotics— increases antibiotic resistance.
Glyphosate has the potential to contaminate surface waters and is not broken down readily by water or sunlight. Surveys detect glyphosate and its degradate aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA) in surface water, as well as in rain, in soil and sediment samples, in ditches and drains, and in wastewater treatment plants.
Residues of glyphosate may persist in soils and cause harmful changes, potentially reducing crop yields. Concerns for soil health from long-term glyphosate use include reduction of nutrient availability for plants and organisms; disruption of organism diversity, especially in the areas around plant roots; reductions of beneficial soil bacteria; increases in plant root pathogens; disturbed earthworm activity; reduced bacterial nitrogen fixation; and compromised growth and reproduction in some soil and aquatic organisms.
Glyphosate use directly impacts a variety of non-target animals, including insects, earthworms, amphibians, and fish, and indirectly impacts birds and small mammals.Please cancel the registrations of glyphosate products.