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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: 3, Informative) by frojack on Wednesday July 30 2014, @10:03PM

    by frojack (1554) on Wednesday July 30 2014, @10:03PM (#75722) Journal

    This is Sri Lanka.

    Rice. Not corn. As far as I know, there are no roundup ready crops grown in that country.

    Therefore, the roundup would have been used (likely to excess) well before planting season. You would never put that on crops near harvest, because it pretty much kills everything that hasn't had roundup tolerance engineered in.

    It breaks down very quickly. (days). So the exposure window is during application, and probably contamination of the drinking water, (which again would only last days).

    Because it is a poor country application is likely to be done via backpack sprayers/foggers rather than aerial or mechanized. So the exposure could be intense since they are out there in the field spraying and breathing it before the planting season.


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