New worries about Roundup®

Sound Consumer February 2012 | From the editors

New worries about the hazards of an herbicide used on genetically engineered (GE) crops are being ignored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Plant pathologist and Purdue University Professor Emeritus, Don Huber says Monsanto’s RoundupĀ® (glyphosate) is allowing plant diseases to flourish and is linked to “severe” reproductive failure in livestock.

Huber has documented that Roundup kills beneficial soil microorganisms, disrupting the natural balance with pathogens. Consequently, with increased use of Roundup we’re seeing an increase of more than 40 plant diseases that either are new or previously were under control. Research shows that the level of Roundup residues allowed in crops for animal feed (and food products) is high enough to kill the biological controls for pathogens in animals. Farmers report that livestock are dying and becoming impaired from botulism.

In addition, Huber reports that a novel organism in GE corn and soy is causing reproductive failure. This organism, previously unknown to science, is not a fungus, bacteria, or virus but is self-replicating and causes infertility and miscarriage in cattle, horses, pigs, sheep and poultry. It first was identified about 10 years ago by a vet investigating very high reproductive failure but is becoming increasingly severe. Infertility is reported to be running as high as 20 percent; spontaneous abortions as high as 45 percent in cattle herds. One dairy recently had 70 percent of its cows abort.

Huber says he wrote USDA a private letter stating these concerns and asked for even one peer-reviewed scientific study that justifies approval of GE products. He’s still waiting, unable to find anyone who can produce such a document.

Less than three weeks after receiving Dr. Huber’s letter, USDA deregulated Monsanto’s Roundup Ready alfalfa and sugar beets.

It remains to be seen whether Washington alfalfa and sugar beet farmers will join the state’s wheat farmers now pushing for mandatory labels on GE crops.

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