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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: 2) by Reziac on Friday August 01 2014, @02:51AM

    by Reziac (2489) on Friday August 01 2014, @02:51AM (#76219) Homepage

    Until ivermectin came along, arsenic-based insecticides (well, helminthicides -- would you call it that if it kills blood-borne worms?, but anyway) were all that stood between your dog and a heartworm infection. Yes, it had bad side effects (low-grade liver damage which mainly manifested as reduced tolerance for certain drugs), but in a heartworm area, not-using it had worse effects (heartworm infection is nearly always fatal if untreated, and not trivial or risk-free to treat). Arsenic-based drugs are still used to treat advanced infections, as the alternative is proving worse: []
    (go down to "Ivermectin only")

    So while arsenic-based insecticides might be a bad thing, whether they should be banned depends whether there is a better alternative, or if not-using them might be worse.

    And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
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