Extreme levels of herbicide found in Monsanto’s genetically modified soy

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Genetically engineered soybeans, manufactured by American biotechnology corporation Monsanto, contain ‘extremely’ high levels of glyphosate, an active ingredient of Roundup herbicide, showed a study by Norwegian scientists.

Extreme levels of herbicide found in Monsanto's genetically modified soy

“This study demonstrated that Roundup Ready [GE]-soy may have high residue levels of glyphosate. Lack of data on pesticide residues in major crop plants is a serious gap of knowledge with potential consequences for human and animal health,” said the report coming out in June’s issue of Food Chemistry and already published online.

Monsanto’s genetically modified soybeans, created to withstand its own herbicide Roundup, contain nine milligrams of glyphosate per kilogram, the scientists found out.

In 1999, the biotechnology corporation said that that residue levels of up to 5.6 milligrams per kilogram of plant weight in genetically modified soy represent “extreme levels, and far higher than those typically found,” according to The Ecologyst.

A review conducted in the US in 2000 showed that there is no potential for Roundup herbicide to pose a health risk to humans but some other independent studies showed opposite.

Glyphosate-based herbicides may cause fatal chronic kidney disease when combined with ‘hard’ water or heavy metals like arsenic and cadmium, either naturally present in the soil or added through the spread of fertilizer, said a study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health in February.

Another research conducted by Institute of Biology in France in 2008 showed that glyphosate can kill human cells. Monsanto brought glyphosate to market under the trade name Roundup in the 1970s.

In 2007 glyphosate was the most used herbicide in the US agricultural sector, with 180 to 185 million pounds (82,000 to 84,000 tonnes) applied, and the second most used in home and garden market where users applied 5 to 8 million pounds (2,300 to 3,600 tonnes), according to data published by US Environmental Protection Agency.

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