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posted by janrinok on Monday January 23 2017, @10:57PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the positively-RATified dept.

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2017/01/study-linking-herbicide-disease-fuels-debate-170116140401709.html

UK scientists say they have conducted an unprecedented, long-term study showing a link between Roundup - one of the most widely used herbicides in the world - and severe liver damage in test rats.

The research sparked further debate in the international scientific community over the potential health hazards to people caused by exposure to the well-known weed killer.

Scientists from King's College London, whose findings were published in the journal, Nature , earlier this month, said their tests used cutting-edge technology to demonstrate that "extremely low doses" of the herbicide administered to rats through their drinking water had caused "non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)" over a two-year period.

NAFLD can lead to more serious liver disease such as cirrhosis, and increases the risk of other illnesses including diabetes, heart attacks and strokes.

"The study is unique in that it is the first to show a causative link between consumption of Roundup at a real-world environmental dose and a serious disease condition," the report said.

In recent years, there have been an increasing number of studies alleging links between herbicides - used to help grow genetically modified crops - to a wide range of health issues including birth defects, reproductive and neurological problems, cancer, and even DNA damage. Monsanto, the maker of Roundup, has repeatedly denied the accusations , insisting the product is safe for humans. A number of scientists and researchers say there has been insufficient evidence to prove herbicides cause health problems for people.

Related articles:


Original Submission

Related Stories

Monsanto No More 52 comments

Monsanto, a brand name activists love to hate, will disappear as Bayer takes over:

These days Monsanto is shorthand for, as NPR's Dan Charles has put it, "lots of things that some people love to hate": Genetically modified crops, which Monsanto invented. Seed patents, which Monsanto has fought to defend. Herbicides such as Monsanto's Roundup, which protesters have sharply criticized for its possible health risks. Big agriculture in general, of which Monsanto was the reviled figurehead.

And soon Monsanto will be no more. Bayer, the German pharmaceutical giant and pesticide powerhouse, announced in 2016 it would be buying Monsanto in an all-cash deal for more than $60 billion. Now, as the merger approaches, Bayer has confirmed what many suspected: In the merger, the politically charged name "Monsanto" will be disappearing. The combined company will be known simply as Bayer, while product names will remain the same. The move is not exactly a surprise — it makes sense that Bayer might want to weed out some of the intense negative associations associated with the Monsanto brand. In a way, it's an indication of how successful anti-Monsanto protesters have been in shaping public perception.

In the company's latest statement, Bayer implicitly acknowledged how hostile debates over genetically modified crops and other agricultural products have become. "We aim to deepen our dialogue with society. We will listen to our critics and work together where we find common ground," the chairman of Bayer's board of management, Werner Baumann, said in the statement. "Agriculture is too important to allow ideological differences to bring progress to a standstill. We have to talk to each other. We need to listen to each other. It's the only way to build bridges."

Also at Reuters.

Previously: Bayer AG Offers to Buy Monsanto
Bayer Purchases Monsanto for Around $66 Billion

Roundup: Monsanto Ordered to Pay $93M to Small Town for Poisoning Citizens
RoundUp Glyphosate Found to Cause Kidney Failure and Elude Tests
Cancer Hazard vs. Risk - Glyphosate
Use of Dicamba-Resistant Monsanto Crops Leads to Soybean Death
GMO Grass That 'Escaped' Defies Eradication, Divides Grass Seed Industry
Glyphosate Linked to Liver Damage


Original Submission   Alternate Submission

Monsanto Ordered to Pay $289 Million in Glyphosate Cancer Trial 49 comments

Monsanto ordered to pay $289 million in California Roundup cancer trial

A California jury on Friday found Monsanto liable in a lawsuit filed by a man who alleged the company's glyphosate-based weed-killers, including Roundup, caused him cancer and ordered the company to pay $289 million in damages.

The case of school groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson was the first lawsuit alleging glyphosate causes cancer to go to trial. Monsanto, a unit of Bayer AG following a $62.5 billion acquisition by the German conglomerate, faces more than 5,000 similar lawsuits across the United States.

The jury at San Francisco's Superior Court of California deliberated for three days before finding that Monsanto had failed to warn Johnson and other consumers of the cancer risks posed by its weed killers.

It awarded $39 million in compensatory and $250 million in punitive damages.

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/08/10/monsanto-ordered-to-pay-289m-in-california-roundup-cancer-trial.html

Monsanto Ordered to Pay $289 Million to Man Who Claimed Glyphosate Caused His Cancer

Monsanto ordered to pay $289m damages in Roundup cancer trial

Chemical giant Monsanto has been ordered to pay $289m (£226m) damages to a man who claimed herbicides containing glyphosate had caused his cancer.

In a landmark case, a Californian jury found that Monsanto knew its Roundup and RangerPro weedkillers were dangerous and failed to warn consumers. It's the first lawsuit to go to trial alleging a glyphosate link to cancer.

Monsanto denies that glyphosate causes cancer and says it intends to appeal against the ruling. "The jury got it wrong," vice-president Scott Partridge said outside the courthouse in San Francisco.

The claimant in the case, groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson, is among more than 5,000 similar plaintiffs across the US.

Monsanto? Never heard of it. Did you mean Bayer AG?

Previously: Cancer Hazard vs. Risk - Glyphosate
Monsanto Faces First US Trial Over Roundup Cancer Link
Monsanto Cancer Trial Begins in San Francisco

Related: Glyphosate Linked to Liver Damage


Original Submission #1Original Submission #2

Glyphosate May Contribute to Bee Colony Collapse Disorder 29 comments

Study: Roundup Weed Killer Could Be Linked To Widespread Bee Deaths

The controversial herbicide Roundup has been accused of causing cancer in humans and now scientists in Texas argue that the world's most popular weed killer could be partly responsible for killing off bee populations around the world.

A new study [open, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1803880115] [DX] by scientists at the University of Texas at Austin posit that glyphosate — the active ingredient in the herbicide — destroys specialized gut bacteria in bees, leaving them more susceptible to infection and death from harmful bacteria.

Researchers Nancy Moran, Erick Motta and Kasie Raymann suggest their findings are evidence that glyphosate might be contributing to colony collapse disorder, a phenomenon that has been wreaking havoc on honey bees and native bees for more than a decade.

Also at Science Magazine.

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Original Submission

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 23 2017, @11:12PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 23 2017, @11:12PM (#457850)

    I try to use as little as possible of these sorts of things. I planted a grass that is aggressive and likes to strangle out other plants. It also goes dormant in the winter. So in the spring when the weeds show up they are easy to spot. Then I spend a bunch of time pulling weeds. Which sucks balls but does not involve semi nasty chemicals. I still have a jug of the stuff. Every once and awhile you come across a weed that just will not die. A small splotch at the base is usually enough. The one I wish I could find a better substitute for is fertilizer. Most are petroleum based. The type of grass I planted fortunately needs little of it. Now if I could just get my neighbors to realize dog urine is not fertilizer I will be so happy.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by bob_super on Monday January 23 2017, @11:24PM

      by bob_super (1357) on Monday January 23 2017, @11:24PM (#457856)

      My yard is a free-for-(almost)all experiment in natural selection. Basic rules are: greenish, survivability to hot summer with random infrequent watering, not being scratchy/itchy, not being a dandelion, and resilience to those rare times when a mower comes by.
      I'm highly popular with my neighbors, but at least I don't slow-poison their dogs/cats/kids with products designed to alter essential chemical functions in living organisms.
      Plus it's f--ing SoCal people, not green England...

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by Sulla on Tuesday January 24 2017, @12:06AM

        by Sulla (5173) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 24 2017, @12:06AM (#457863) Journal

        I think this is a good way to go, probably because I do pretty much the same with the exception of my veggie garden. I am more concerned with pests than I am with weeds. Have been using the age old usage of plants that keep the bugs away. Have done great with a border of nastursiums, tobacco, sage, and dalpheniums (spelling need not apply).

        Tobacco is wonderful. When watered enough it gets a nice sticky sap along the stem, this draws in the aphids. Aphids die and attract yellow jackets. Yellow jackets die and life is wonderful.

        --
        Ceterum censeo Sinae esse delendam
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 24 2017, @12:23AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 24 2017, @12:23AM (#457867)

        You may be better off with a drought resistant sort of grass such as zoysia or creeping fescue. I went with zoysia as it comes out thicker and much less scratchy. Took about 10 years to from about 2sqft to covering 1/2 acre. Think the last time I had to actually water my yard was 3 years ago.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Nerdfest on Tuesday January 24 2017, @12:25AM

        by Nerdfest (80) on Tuesday January 24 2017, @12:25AM (#457868)

        I do the same here in Canada. My yard is primarily a mix of various grasses, clovers, and wildflowers, although about probably 10% in one area is Oregano. Smells great when O mow the lawn, although it's rarely required. It does make my neighbours lawn look neat and clean, but I never have to water it and only mow it about one quarter of the times he does, perhaps less. As with software, monocultures are bad.

      • (Score: 2) by jelizondo on Tuesday January 24 2017, @04:43AM

        by jelizondo (653) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 24 2017, @04:43AM (#457949) Journal

        I hope you mean NOT highly popular with your neighbors because some years ago I decided to abandon the Western idea of gardens and let it be closer to a natural state, with little intervention, and I definitively am not popular with my neighbors.

        Years ago I had an irrigation system and used plenty of fertilizer and herbicides, but then I realized I was poisoning the ground and wasting water.

        Now, leaves are (almost) left where they fall, there is no watering (I ripped out the irrigation), my two dogs use it for their needs and I do have plenty of flowers and green all year round.

        The fallen leaves serve both as food when decomposing and as a water trap, whenever it rains, moisture gets trapped between the leaves and slowly makes its way into the ground and at the same time helps decompose the leaves, providing both moisture and nutrients.

        I had two citations from City Hall about the ‘cleanliness’ of the place but have been able to strike them out, my ‘garden’ is really a carbon sink, it uses no water and it provides me with shade and flowers. On top of it, there are rarely any weeds to pull out.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 24 2017, @06:44AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 24 2017, @06:44AM (#457977)

          Be careful with the leaves thing. It is a survival mechanism for the trees. They dump leaves that have a slight amount of acidity and natural poison in them. The tree is literally killing out any competitors that live under the tree. They will kill the your yard. I have holly bushes. NOTHING grows under those. Because the bushes leaves and sap kill everything under them. You need to keep in mind what sort of shrubs and bushes you want to encourage to grow. Not all are friendly to each other. You may be fine. But it is just something to keep in mind.

          The city I live in has a leaf recycling thing. They come by and vacuum them up if you have them in a pile at the curb. If you do not have that you can pile them up and compost them. Once composted they can be spread back into the yard. A neighbor I grew up near had a 6-8 ft high 5 ft radius cylinder of cement reinforcing mesh that he would dump them into. Then every couple of years he would turn it over and pull out the stuff from the bottom and spread it evenly into his yard/garden. With special attention to weed areas he wanted to kill off.

        • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Tuesday January 24 2017, @05:21PM

          by bob_super (1357) on Tuesday January 24 2017, @05:21PM (#458156)

          > > highly popular with my neighbors, but at least I don't slow-poison their dogs/cats/kids
          > I hope you mean NOT highly popular with your neighbors

          Yup, they really don't like my yard. I only kill dandelions to avoid all-out war with the most oblivious to the semi-arid nature of the area.
          At least, the perfect-lawn eugenicist finally calmed down and ripped out his grass to put artificial. I'm pretty sure he saves two or three hundred bucks a month (and many many many hours).

          And there I thought that some people had fought a war against the English...

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 24 2017, @12:18AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 24 2017, @12:18AM (#457866)

      Not dog urine. Human shit.

      Mixed with sawdust and left to "mature" for a while makes excellent fertilizer. http://www.aselfsufficientlife.com/compost-toilet-the-sawdust-toilet.html [aselfsufficientlife.com]

  • (Score: 2) by Post-Nihilist on Tuesday January 24 2017, @01:14AM

    by Post-Nihilist (5672) on Tuesday January 24 2017, @01:14AM (#457876)

    I confess that I used Roundup to eliminate certain weeds that were resistant to bleach and boiling water.
    I used gloves, but I did not use a mask when I applied it. Oh welll

    --
    Be like us, be different, be a nihilist!!!
    • (Score: 2) by Post-Nihilist on Tuesday January 24 2017, @01:26AM

      by Post-Nihilist (5672) on Tuesday January 24 2017, @01:26AM (#457882)

      those weeds were toxic hogweeds

      --
      Be like us, be different, be a nihilist!!!
      • (Score: 2) by Post-Nihilist on Tuesday January 24 2017, @01:30AM

        by Post-Nihilist (5672) on Tuesday January 24 2017, @01:30AM (#457885)

        roundup seemed liked the lesser evil but now I not so shure

        --
        Be like us, be different, be a nihilist!!!
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 24 2017, @01:37AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 24 2017, @01:37AM (#457891)

          Note to myself: Typing with the flu is not recommend

          • (Score: 2) by Sulla on Tuesday January 24 2017, @02:05AM

            by Sulla (5173) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 24 2017, @02:05AM (#457896) Journal

            This year has made me decide to actually try out the flu shot, but thats probably what they want me to think. Second time in four weeks.

            --
            Ceterum censeo Sinae esse delendam
  • (Score: 2) by Mykl on Tuesday January 24 2017, @01:26AM

    by Mykl (1112) on Tuesday January 24 2017, @01:26AM (#457881)

    As Kenny Rodgers once said - "You gotta know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em"...

    It sounds like Monsanto still feel they have enough plausible deniability to minimise any payout in the event that Roundup does turn out to be dangerous in real-world scenarios. I would've thought that they would be watching this very carefully and studying the playbook of the tobacco industry here.

    I used to use a bit of Roundup around the garden from time to time, but now just rely on doing it the hard way through pulling weeds. A pain too - I spent most of last weekend doing just that.

    • (Score: 2) by fishybell on Tuesday January 24 2017, @02:14AM

      by fishybell (3156) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 24 2017, @02:14AM (#457901)

      The tobacco playbook isn't the best way to go. These days I'd follow the oil industry.

      The tobacco industry got caught lying to the public about the long-term harm they knew their product caused; now they have continually fund ads against their own product.

      The oil industry got caught lying to the public about the long-term harm they knew their product caused; the public continually retells their lie and wins the presidency.

      I think I'll take the latter when it comes to shady-shit-corporations-do playbooks.

      • (Score: 2) by TheReaperD on Wednesday January 25 2017, @01:05PM

        by TheReaperD (5556) on Wednesday January 25 2017, @01:05PM (#458464)

        To be fair, the tobacco industry may have had deep pockets but, they have nothing on the petroleum industry that exceed the GDP of many first world countries. They can buy almost anybody. Hell, they could afford my rates for bribery! (Not that they would have reason to, sadly.)

        --
        Ad eundum quo nemo ante iit
  • (Score: 2) by Appalbarry on Tuesday January 24 2017, @01:31AM

    by Appalbarry (66) on Tuesday January 24 2017, @01:31AM (#457886) Journal

    First of all, I actually really love dandelions, much to the chagrin of the neighbours.

    A few decades ago, when I was young, in the heart of what used to be a major fruit growing region in British Columbia,* the father a friend used to clean out his big pesticide spray tanks by climbing inside with a hose and washing out to inside of the tank.

    Twenty years later when he died of some rare and nasty condition we could see why that was a really bad idea. In what universe is it rational to think that something that kills plants, bugs, and animals isn't going to hurt humans?

    * Now a major strip mall, big box store, and walled senior community region, with nary a fruit tree in sight.

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 24 2017, @02:48AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 24 2017, @02:48AM (#457916)

      Dandelion Wine.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 24 2017, @03:32AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 24 2017, @03:32AM (#457929)

      I'm sure what your neighbors REALLY love about you is how you are growing a wild weed garden full of seeds that blow into their yard forcing the extra work, expense, and general pain in the ass on THEM because you're too lazy to even pull your weeds out by hand which is the green way of doing it. Nah, keep blowing your seeds right onto their lawn, inconsiderate fellow. You are probably increasing your neighbors' herbicide use as a consequence.

      • (Score: 2) by t-3 on Tuesday January 24 2017, @05:24AM

        by t-3 (4907) on Tuesday January 24 2017, @05:24AM (#457956) Journal

        Well... Dandelions are edible (both the leaves and the root, they were introduced to the Americas by European settlers for this reason) they improve soil (the thick taproot breaks up compacted soil and pulls up nutrients from deeper than grass roots go), they provide food for pollinators, and why do you need a grass lawn when you don't own any animals?

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 24 2017, @06:56AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 24 2017, @06:56AM (#457983)
          Well at least you're not using GMO dandelions and suing your neighbours for unauthorized reproduction of intellectual property ;).
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 24 2017, @03:07PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 24 2017, @03:07PM (#458105)

      Roasted dandelion root tea. Tastes very good hot or cold, and is very good for you too.

    • (Score: 1) by tbuskey on Saturday January 28 2017, @12:47PM

      by tbuskey (6127) on Saturday January 28 2017, @12:47PM (#459867)

      Dandelions are one of the 1st things Bees can harvest in the spring when they need it.

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by martyb on Tuesday January 24 2017, @01:37AM

    by martyb (76) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 24 2017, @01:37AM (#457890) Journal
    From TFS:

    Monsanto, the maker of Roundup, has repeatedly denied the accusations , insisting the product is safe for humans. A number of scientists and researchers say there has been insufficient evidence to prove herbicides cause health problems for people.

    To which I would say "The absence of proof of effect is not proof of the absence of effect." For example, it took many years to prove that cigarette smoking was harmful.

    Oh, and can't ignore that though there may be "a number of scientists and researchers" who say there is no proof, how many are there, and how many say the opposite? And where did they get their funding?

    I'll close with what I found to be an outstanding definition of honesty:

    Honesty is the absence of the intention to deceive.

    Though they may be quoting facts, they may be selectively enumerated so as to give the impression of one thing without actually stating a lie. "Hey Boss! Sorry I'm late getting to work today. Did you hear about the big accident on the interstate?" This suggests the accident was the cause for my being late, but the reality may well be that I travelled an entirely different route to work but took my sweet time getting there along with a side trip to a donut shop. But if I can portray things in such a way that my boss thinks that the accident is what kept me from being on time... well, I didn't outright lie — but I was sure as hell being dishonest.

    --
    Wit is intellect, dancing.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 24 2017, @02:44AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 24 2017, @02:44AM (#457915)

      Scientists have been looking for health problems in people, but haven't found a whole lot of increased risk of health problems. The other thing to think about is how the health risks compare to alternative herbicides (possibly not a high bar to pass).

      Workers exposed to glyphosate were about twice as likely to get B cell lymphoma

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glyphosate#Human [wikipedia.org]

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 24 2017, @04:40AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 24 2017, @04:40AM (#457948)

      In consideration of all the lies those lying liars tell, I don't eat anything that isn't grown and labeled organic.
      No surprise organic produce quality is much much better that the GMO garbage crops.
      No brainer here. Monsanto and the rest of em can go fuck themselves. Use the roundup. Do it now.

    • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 24 2017, @06:32AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 24 2017, @06:32AM (#457972)

      yet ciggies are still sold legally to anyone over 16

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 24 2017, @07:03AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 24 2017, @07:03AM (#457985)

      One thing to note is while Roundup contains glyphosate, glyphosate isn't the only chemical it contains. So they can make all sorts of truthful claims that glyphosate isn't that toxic for a pesticide for humans at X concentrations despite Roundup itself being far more dangerous and toxic.

      https://theintercept.com/2016/05/17/new-evidence-about-the-dangers-of-monsantos-roundup/ [theintercept.com]

      Independent scientists have been reporting since at least 1991 that pesticides containing glyphosate along with other ingredients were more dangerous than glyphosate on its own. More recently, two papers — one published in 2002, the other in 2004 — showed that Roundup and other glyphosate-containing weed formulations were more likely to cause cell-cycle dysregulation, a hallmark of cancer, than glyphosate alone. In 2005, researchers showed that Roundup was more harmful to rats’ livers than its “active ingredient” by itself. And a 2009 study showed that four formulations of Roundup were more toxic to human umbilical, embryonic, and placental cells than glyphosate by itself.

      https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/weed-whacking-herbicide-p/ [scientificamerican.com]

      Until now, most health studies have focused on the safety of glyphosate, rather than the mixture of ingredients found in Roundup. But in the new study, scientists found that Roundup’s inert ingredients amplified the toxic effect on human cells—even at concentrations much more diluted than those used on farms and lawns.

      One specific inert ingredient, polyethoxylated tallowamine, or POEA, was more deadly to human embryonic, placental and umbilical cord cells than the herbicide itself – a finding the researchers call “astonishing.”

      “This clearly confirms that the [inert ingredients] in Roundup formulations are not inert,” wrote the study authors

      See also: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3955666/ [nih.gov]

  • (Score: 1) by CZB on Tuesday January 24 2017, @05:19AM

    by CZB (6457) on Tuesday January 24 2017, @05:19AM (#457955)

    Two years of water containing(50 ng/L glyphosate equivalent concentration; 4 ng/kg bw/day) resulted in elevated signs of NAFLD. Its not clear how many rats where studied, possibly ten with ten as a control group. http://www.nature.com/articles/srep39328 [nature.com]

    I use a couple hundred gallons of roundup per year and get probably 12 noticeable topical or inhaled doses annually. Haven't had any problems with roundup myself or with the farmers I'm around, but its a concern worthy of further study.

    Personally I'm looking forward to robotics being a technical solution to all this arguing over about herbicide risks.

  • (Score: 2) by EvilSS on Tuesday January 24 2017, @05:56AM

    by EvilSS (1456) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 24 2017, @05:56AM (#457964)
    Did a patent expire and it's time to start pushing the new, fully patented replacement for Roundup™ now?