Genetic modification has always been a heavily written and debated topic, with Monsanto at the forefront leading in the production of GM products. As we have seen often in the news, genetic modification has been riddled with indiscriminate problems; be it environmental or health. A new report compiled by several notable heads, professors and researchers from the collaboration group “Earth Open Source” has revealed evidence linking GM with human birth defects.
The report includes the results of a study conducted by professor Andrés Carrasco, lead researcher of the Argentine government research body CONICET. The study has revealed that the highly popular herbicide, Roundup, product of Monsanto caused malformations in frog and chicken embryos. The embryos were given a dosage considerably lower than what is used to be sprayed onto crops and such. The malformations found were mostly the craniofacial and neural crest type. This means that is affects the skull, midline (bilateral symmetry of body) as well as developing brain and spinal cord. Andrés Carrasco then quickly went on to conduct a similar study based on reports of areas in Argentina that have high rates of birth defects that are dedicated to growing Roundup ready Soy. The results were the same as Carrasco’s embryo study.
The problem is that the Roundup Ready crops as well as other crops are not resistant to Roundup or glyphosate (herbicide) but rather tolerant. This means that they absorb the herbicide and survive, which then makes them potent in Roundup and glyphosate. This information was made public as of August 2010. Roundup and glyphosate are known to cause endocrine disruption, damages to DNA, reproductive and development toxicity, neurotoxicity, cancer and birth defects. The dosage that caused these problems are much lower than pesticide residue found in food and the environment.
With this list of obvious flaws to the wondrous product Roundup and glyphosate, how is it that they are still in use? The EU have been notified of this report and have decided to hold a commission of the product. The review was to be conducted in 2012, but then postponed till 2015 and now pushed back again until 2030.
The authors of the Earth Open Source report have said that “our examination of the evidence leads us to the conclusion that the current approval of glyphosate and Roundup is deeply flawed and unreliable,” and that “they say that the approvals of numerous pesticides rest on data and risk assessments that are just as scientifically flawed, if not more so.”