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Monsanto Roundup is An Endocrine Disruptor At Levels Allowed In Drinking Water

Monsanto Roundup is An Endocrine Disruptor at Levels allowed in Drinking Water.

A recent study has found that Monsanto’s Roundup is an endocrine disruptor and is toxic to human cells in vitro (tested in culture dishes in the laboratory) at levels permitted in drinking water in Australia

GM watch reports: This is the first study to examine the effects of glyphosate and Roundup on progesterone production by human female cells in an in vitro system that models key aspects of reproduction in women.

Glyphosate alone was less toxic to human cells than glyphosate in a Roundup formulation; both glyphosate and Roundup caused cell death which resulted in decreased progesterone levels – a form of hormone/endocrine disruption. Endocrine disruption did not precede the toxicity to cells but occurred after it. The decreases in progesterone concentrations were caused by reduced numbers of viable cells.

A 24h exposure to a concentration of glyphosate (in Roundup) similar to that recommended as an acceptable level for Australian drinking water caused significant toxicity to the cells in vitro, which supports a call for long-term in vivo (in live animals) studies to characterise the toxicity of Roundup.

The possibility that Roundup has endocrine disrupting activity independent of its ability to kill or disable cells needs further study.

Endocrine disruption and cytotoxicity of glyphosate and roundup in human JAr cells in vitro

Fiona Young, Dao Ho, Danielle Glynn and Vicki Edwards
Department of Medical Biotechnology, Flinders University, Adelaide, South Australia
Integr Pharm Toxicol Genotoxicol, 2015 Volume 1(1): 12-19
doi: 10.15761/IPTG.1000104

Abstract

The toxicity of the active molecule in herbicides has been used to determine safe concentrations, because other components are considered inert. Roundup, which contains the active molecule Glyphosate, was described as an endocrine disrupter because non-cytotoxic concentrations inhibited progesterone synthesis in vitro. Human chorioplacental JAr cells synthesise progesterone, and increase synthesis when stimulated by chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG), or the transduction molecule cAMP.

JAr cells were exposed to two Roundup formulations, and compared with the same concentrations of glyphosate ± cAMP, or ± hCG for 1, 4, 24, 48 or 72h. The surviving viable cells were quantified using an MTT assay, and progesterone was measured in an ELISA. hCG and cAMP stimulated progesterone synthesis by cells in vitro as expected. In contrast to previous reports, JAr cell death preceded decreased progesterone synthesis, and steroidogenesis was unaffected by low, non-cytotoxic concentrations of Roundup or glyphosate. Roundup was more cytotoxic than glyphosate alone; the 24h EC50 was 16mM for glyphosate, but 0.008mM when glyphosate was in a 7.2g/L Roundup formulation. Significant cytotoxicity was caused by glyphosate in Roundup (p<0.01) after 24h, and cytotoxicity was observed in vitro after exposure to a range of concentrations comparable to the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines.

Endocrine disruption effects were secondary to cytotoxicity. Roundup was more cytotoxic than the same concentration of glyphosate alone, indicating that the other constituents of the herbicide are not inert. There is a compelling need to conduct in vivo studies to characterise the toxicity of glyphosate in a Roundup formulation, to facilitate re-evaluation of existing public health guidelines.

  • Benjamin Edge

    This is shoddy journalism, or willful ignorance. From the paper:

    “Endocrine disruption effects were secondary to cytotoxicity. Roundup was more cytotoxic than the same concentration of glyphosate alone, indicating that the other constituents of the herbicide are not inert.”

    That statement from the paper completely contradicts the headline of this article. Glyphosate did not kill the cells, even at high levels. Roundup, which contains glyphosate plus a surfactant (detergent), kills cells in culture at high levels, which any detergent will do, as will pure water. So what is happening in this paper is that the surfactant is killing the cells, and there is no endocrine effect to be seen.

    Endocrine
    disruption effects were secondary to cytotoxicity. Roundup was more
    cytotoxic than the same concentration of glyphosate alone, indicating
    that the other constituents of the herbicide are not inert. – See more
    at:
    http://yournewswire.com/monsanto-roundup-is-an-endocrine-disruptor-at-levels-allowed-in-drinking-water/#sthash.nLodrUu4.dpuf
    Endocrine
    disruption effects were secondary to cytotoxicity. Roundup was more
    cytotoxic than the same concentration of glyphosate alone, indicating
    that the other constituents of the herbicide are not inert. – See more
    at:
    http://yournewswire.com/monsanto-roundup-is-an-endocrine-disruptor-at-levels-allowed-in-drinking-water/#sthash.nLodrUu4.dpuf

    • SageThinker

      Benjamin, i see how in a technical sense you’re correct here, that that statement in the story may have implied that glyphosate was toxic to the human cells while the study did not show that.

      On the other hand, glyphosate is toxic to some degree to the microbes in the human gut microbiome, who do have the shikimic acid pathway which glyphosate blocks, which is the same mode by which it kills plants, of course.

      In that regard, the amounts we ingest in our diet may not be miniscule, for 100 micrograms per day *could* be significant in terms of affecting the population balance and the functioning of the human gut microbiome.

  • SageThinker

    Glyphosate alone disrupts the EPSPS enzyme in microbes in our gut. That is a key vector that needs to be researched further.