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posted by janrinok on Wednesday July 30 2014, @07:04PM   Printer-friendly
from the Monsanto-is-having-a-bad-week dept.

Monsanto's RoundUp, a widely used pesticide, uses the active ingredient Glyphosate and it may be up for another serious beating. Medical specialists and scientists in Sri Lanka has found that when glyphosate comes in contact with heavy metals like cadmium, arsenic, manganese and cobalt which exist naturally in the soil or fertilizer, it becomes highly toxic and has a high likelihood of causing fatal kidney disease for anyone that comes into contact with it. And because the substance binds to metals it will not show up in current tests. The report (and another one) is published in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health and has resulted in that the Sri Lanka president to ban glyphosate immediately.

Exposure to glyphosate causes a drop in amino acid tryptophan levels, which interrupts the necessary active signalling of the neurotransmitter serotonin, which is associated with weight gain, depression, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease. The report show that industry and regulators knew as long ago as the 1980's and 1990's that glyphosate causes malformation, but that information was not made public. Glyphosate is also a teratogenic.

Monsanto has been in the news quite recently.

 
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  • (Score: 4, Informative) by frojack on Wednesday July 30 2014, @08:29PM

    by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday July 30 2014, @08:29PM (#75673) Journal

    Pretty much sums up my assessment as well.

    Roundup isn't supposed to be found in drinking water. But then neither is that boatload of metals they mentioned.

    The water is so hard in the areas mentioned that there were significant problems before Roundup.

    (a) The number of villagers who complain that the ground water hardness in CKDu endemic
    area has increased steadily over the last two decades.

    (b) Certain shallow wells (2-5 m), which were previously been used for drinking purposes are
    now abandoned due to high hardness and bad taste.

    (c) There are a few natural springs located in the CKDu endemic area where water is not hard.

    People who consume water from these sources have been determined to be free from the
    disease.

    (d) Individuals who drink treated water from large water supply schemes (especially in the two cities of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa), while living in the same endemic areas,
    do not have the disease.

    (e) In the adjoining farming areas of the Northern Province of Sri Lanka, where the ground
    water hardness level is known to also be hard or very hard, there have not been any
    significant number of CKDu cases reported.

    Oh, and that very hard water in the northern province but no liver disease?

    From later in the study:

    Furthermore, a comparatively low amount of agrochemicals has been used in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka, primarily due to a prohibition imposed by the government in this province. The prohibition was due to the potential of these agrochemicals being used in the production of Improvised Explosive Devices

    So their little built in (but unintended) experiment suggests it wasn't the roundup (Glyphosate is not explosive), it was probably the fertilizer they have been using, to excess, while continuing to drink heavy metal contaminated ground water which has the addition of fertilizer run-off.

    Much as we love to hate on Monsanto, this looks like the it could be a combination of many fertilizer products (as well as pesticides) in combination with water that should not be consumed.

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  • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Friday August 01 2014, @02:31AM

    by Reziac (2489) on Friday August 01 2014, @02:31AM (#76212) Homepage

    Wells of 2 to 5 meters? that's not even groundwater as such; that's percolated runoff. I'd expect a shitload of undesirables in that water (including a more than average pathogen load). If our well here in Montana was that shallow, it'd be full of arsenic, just from natural leeching.

    Betcha their water doesn't pass muster no matter what you test it for, and the Roundup is, if anything, a minor element.

    Here's a hint, folks: don't stop digging when you hit first water. Drill down to 2nd water, and a host of bad-water issues go away.