Glyphosate Accumulates in Roundup Ready GM Soy
A new study in Food Chemistry shows high levels of glyphosate—the active weed-killing chemical in Monsanto's Roundup—are turning up in thousands of nonorganic packaged foods including those labelled 'natural' and in animal feed for livestock like pigs, cows, chickens, and turkeys.
BT Soy is the second largest crop in the US after BT corn. According to the US Department of Agriculture more than 90 percent of the soybeans on farms are genetically engineered to withstand herbicides, like glyphosate based Roundup.In comparison, organic production of soy is marginal accounting for less than 1 percent of total US acreage devoted to soy. While the transgenic legumes are often not eaten directly, we are exposed to them more often than you may think. Post harvest, the majority of transgenic soy is processed into either meal which goes into animal feed that becomes the meat on our dinner plate and fat which is primarly used as cooking oil or in processed food products. According to the US Soy Board, soy accounts for 61 percent of vegetable oil consumption, so we're swallowing it every time we use the transgenic oil laced with glyphosate in food prep. The researchers also discovered that the transgenic legumes were nutritionally inferior.
The Norwegian study detected a whopping 9 milligrams of Roundup per kilogram, on average. That's nearly double what Monsanto—the maker of Roundup—deemed "extreme" in 1999, according to an article in The Ecologist. That explains why the EPA has quietly raised allowable residue limits of glyphosate in soy by 200 percent.
Biotech crop supporters say there is a wealth of evidence that the crops on the market are safe, but critics argue that after only 14 years of commercialized GMOs, it is still unclear whether or not the technology has long-term adverse effects.
What's at issue is glypshoate is systemic -- meaning that when used it can settle not only on the outside of the plant as residue but inside the plant cells where it can't washed off. As soy is in much of our food supply, this new study is worth thinking about. Mounting evidence links glyphosate to infertility, Parkinson's disease, certain cancers and birth defects, yet transgenic soy continues to pop up in foods we wouldn’t dream they would be including baby formula. An increasing number of concerned parents and pediatricians have voiced concerns that using transgenic ingredients in infant formula is far too large of a risk to take. Babies are particularly vulnerable because their digestive and immune systems are not fully developed and transgenic crops like soy, corn and sugar cane have very high exposure to dangerous pesticides such as Roundup. Infant livers do not reach maturity for about two years and are less equipped to process toxins in the body, such as the high levels of chemicals used on genetically modified foods.
“For the infant that is unable to nurse I insist upon an organic commercial formula,” says pediatrician Michelle Perro. “Because of the toxic effects of herbicides, particularly glyphosate (due to its prolific usage) as well as other organophosphates and genetically engineered foods in non-organic commercial formulas, these are not an option for infant feeding. In order to ensure the health of our infants and children, there is no amount of acceptable herbicide or GMO that should be in their diets.”
The main food processors that use transgenic soy are Abbott Laboratories which manufacturers Similac, Mead Johnson Nutrition which manufacturers Enfamil, and Nestlé which manufacturers Gerber Good Start.