Is Roundup on my food?

Screenshot from the Codex Alimentarius site.

Screenshot from the Codex Alimentarius site.

Yes, glyphosate based herbicides are on your food. Even if your country has very strict regulations that look safe - imported food usually comes under Codex Alimentarius Maximum Residue Limits - MRLs. These permitted high residues ensure that glyphosate based herbicides can be sprayed on the crops during the growing season.

RITE and Mothers Across the World are petitioning the international agency - the FAO - that recommends MRLs to Codex - to GET GLYPHOSATE OFF OUR FOOD.

NO country in the world is testing across all the staple food commodities for presence of glyphosate, and every country is importing food that can have the levels the FAO recommend on them - called Codex residue levels. Individuals, sick of the lack of regulatory control, have started testing, and glyphosate is being found at levels in the human body, in breastmilk and urine that are of concern.

The IARC has condemned glyphosate as a probable carcinogen and advised there is strong evidence glyphosate and its formulations are genotoxic.  Scientists have found that the levels of glyphosate in our food that our regulators (Eg. EFSA, US EPA etc) say are safe - have been found by independent scientists to be unsafe - to cause harm.

A task force has evaluated the IARC findings and advised that 'IARC and JMPR had used “significantly different” databases and that “many studies, mainly from the published peer reviewed scientific literature", that had not been evaluated by JMPR were available to IARC.'

The 2011 JMPR evaluation was a minor toxicological evaluation of glyphosate's metabolites: AMPA, N-acetyl-glyphosate and N-acetyl-AMPA. Referred to as 'Glyphosate (addendum) 375–388 JMPR 2011'  - the slim range of studies supplied were submitted to WHO by E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, Wilmington, DE, USA. 

No other research was consulted.

The previous WHO JMPR Toxicological evaluation was in 2004, and studies submitted for risk assessment was predominantly supplied by glyphosate producers and marketers, published data was excluded. The new WHO glyphosate ADI that came out of that was from a ancient unpublished corporate study Atkinson et al 1993b - a  2-year study in rats (salivary gland effects) that went on to be the NOAEL that established the ADI of 1.0mg/kg bw (pp127-129). The private, unpublished ten year old study was submitted to WHO by Cheminova A/S, Lemvig, Denmark. It was already old when it was submitted.

How does this impact you?

It impacts regulatory decision making. As an example, the New Zealand government dismissed consumer groups calling for more rigorous risk assessment and monitoring, stating 'Glyphosate’s toxicity and dietary risk has been reviewed in detail by the Joint World Health Organization/Food and Agriculture Organization Meeting on Pesticide Residues (JMPR), who concluded it is of very low toxicity. MPI has adopted this conclusion in our assessment of the dietary risk of glyphosate to New Zealand and international consumers.'

As we see above - the NZ government's rationale is based on narrow unpublished science and ignores all recently released published and peer reviewed research. I bet their risk assessment arm has little funding and the scientists are simply unable to undertake a thorough evaluation. Fair enough. But the NZ government does not consider glyphosate toxic despite a barrage of science indicating we should not be exposed to it and logically, it should not be sprayed on our food and animal feed crops.

The science does not stack up and our regulators are sitting on a false stack of cards. 

We're now at a stage where the science will simply not go away. A recent study demonstrated that glyphosate based herbicides can be toxic to the kidney and liver at PARTS PER TRILLION. 

 Regulators dismiss all science concerning the full formulation. Yet frequently, scientists research the full formulation - because this is how the pesticides industry intend us to consume these toxic products. Roundup is much more toxic than its active ingredient glyphosate for several reasons. And your children are consuming all of them. They're call adjuvants, penetrants and there is no requirement for these to undergo risk assessment, yet they are just as critical as the active ingredient when it comes to effectiveness, or toxicity of the pesticides. 

Until our regulators - including the FAO who recommend the international levels for glyphosate that 99% of countries in the world subscribe to - look at the full formulation of these neurologically damaging, endocrine disrupting, carcinogenic and genotoxic formulations - our food is unsafe.

PLEASE sign this Avaaz community petition asking the FAO Director General to Get Glyphosate Off Our Food. Please understand that it is not the type of Avaaz petition that gets mailed to millions of people - so without your support it will go nowhere.


WHO IARC Monograph Vol 112 Glyphosate.