Is glyphosate, used with some GM crops, dangerously toxic to humans?

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Is glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Round-up used in conjunction with many GMO crops, dangerous to humans? If your primary source for news is the Internet, you’d almost certainly come away a little frightened. A Google search with the keywords “glyphosate” and “dangers” turns up headlines like “How Glyphosate Worsens Modern Diseases,” by Joseph Mercola, the founder of a website that sells unregulated vitamins and supplements, and “Health Hazards of Roundup and Glyphosate,” by well-known anti-GMO group Earth Open Source.

These and other groups that oppose GMOs or campaign against chemicals whether they are considered dangerous or not claim that glyphosate has been wrongly marketed as a “safe” herbicide, citing studies that they say “confirm” glyphosate poses serious health hazards. According to Earth Open Source, the effects of glyphosate can be found at low doses as herbicide residues in foods, and the “safe” dose set by regulators is “not based on up-to-date objective evidence.”

One heavily used report was by Stephanie Seneff and Anthony Samsel claiming that glyphosate was supposedly causing all sorts of diseases from inflammatory bowel disease to Parkinson’s to depression. Another report by a group of French scientists led by Gilles-Eric Séralini claimed that glyphosate was toxic to human cells. Both reports have been heavily criticized and deconstructed. Seneff and Samsel have no expertise in toxicology or agriculture: Seneff is a computer scientist while Samsel is a retired science consultant. Their report had no supporting data; they basically “made up” their report. Séralini is notorious for authoring a retracted publication that inconclusively linked GMOs to cancer and his report on glyphosate was based on flawed experimental design – glyphosate is not directly exposed to human cells in the real world. Both studies appeared in pay-for-play journals and mainstream scientists have rejected them.

It is easy to find scary information like that on the web, whereas the findings of independent science and regulatory agencies are often buried deep in Google searches. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, glyphosate is “of relatively low oral and dermal acute toxicity.”

Toxicity is all about dosage; this applies to all substances. Some chemicals like aflatoxin and botulin are toxic in small doses, while others like vitamin D and caffeine have low toxicity, becoming dangerous only at higher doses.

Let’s take a closer look at glyphosate. Glyphosate is derived from an amino acid, glycine. It acts against plants by suppressing an essential biochemical mechanism commonly found in plants, but not in animals. According to the Extension Toxicology Network, a joint pesticide information project by Cornell University, Michigan State University, Oregon State University and University of California at Davis, and funded by US Department of Agriculture, glyphosate is non-volatile, minimizing exposure through inhalation, and undergoes little metabolism in the human body. If accidentally consumed, glyphosate is excreted mostly unchanged in feces and urine, so it doesn’t stay in the body and accumulate.

The EPA has also determined that glyphosate has “minimal” ecological effects. Glyphosate is only slightly toxic to birds and fish, and it binds tightly to the soil, reducing the possibilities of leaching. Microbes in the soil then break glyphosate down so it doesn’t accumulate in the soil. According to plant pathologist Steve Savage, glyphosate has also replaced mechanical tillage to destroy weeds, which is “a substantial positive for the environment because of reduced erosion and retention of soil carbon.”

So how toxic is glyphosate exactly? To examine toxicity, one must look at the LD50 value given to the chemical in question. LD50 is a standard measure of acute toxicity for chemicals, expressed in the amount of chemical (milligrams) per body weight (kg) that it took to kill fifty percent of a population of test animals. Because LD50 is a standard measure, it is used to compare toxicities of compounds; the lower the number, the more toxic it is.

Glyphosate has a LD50 of 5600 mg/kg based on oral ingestions in rats, according to EPA assessments (PDF), placing it in Toxicity Category III. The EPA ranks chemicals in four categories, I being the most toxic and IV being the least. The EPA has also found that glyphosate does not cause cancer. To compare, caffeine has a much lower LD50 of 192 mg/kg based on oral ingestions in rats.toxicity-table4

Caffeine is over ten times more toxic than glyphosate. Is this cause for concern? Should we stop drinking coffee? No, the main reason being that a typical dosage of caffeine is not high enough to cause toxicity. Let’s look at the numbers. With LD50 of 192 mg/kg, it would take 12192 mg of caffeine to kill an average 140 lb human being. A typical 8 oz cup of coffee only contains 95 mg of caffeine, much lower than the dose required for acute toxicity. The same reasoning applies to glyphosate. Following the same calculations, it would take 12.5 oz of glyphosate to kill an average 140 lb human being. That means drinking about three gallons of Roundup Original.

But what about long-term exposures to glyphosate? Given its widespread use, there is a good chance that we are eating some residues in our food. The EPA considered this too by setting maximum safe levels of residues called tolerances. The USDA tests crops each year to make sure that herbicide residues do not exceed tolerance levels. If any crops contain residue amounts higher than tolerance levels, the USDA reports the information to the FDA, who has the regulatory power to recall foods, levy fines and take other actions to prevent the foods from reaching consumers. The EPA also made sure that the tolerances were conservative:

EPA conducted a dietary risk assessment for glyphosate based on a worst-case risk scenario, that is, assuming that 100 percent of all possible commodities/acreage were treated, and assuming that tolerance-level residues remained in/on all treated commodities. The Agency concluded that the chronic dietary risk posed by glyphosate food uses is minimal.

A reference dose (RfD), or estimate of daily exposure that would not cause adverse effects throughout a lifetime, of 2 mg/kg/day has been proposed for glyphosate, based on the developmental toxicity studies described above.

Which means that a 140 lb human being can be exposed to as much as 127 mg of glyphosate per day for a lifetime without adverse effects, according to EPA standards. To put this in perspective, the daily upper limit for vitamin D supplements is 4000 IU per day, or 0.1 mg.

The EPA’s efforts to ensure that glyphosate is used at safe levels did not put the matter to rest. In an attempt to get out their message that glyphosate is dangerous, anti-GMO activist scientists have turned to pay-for-play journals to publish work that would never be accepted in mainstream science journals, like the two studies by Samsel, Seneff and Séralini. However, uncritical media coverage of these type of studies has lent credibility to them and the anti-GMO activist groups.

For example, Reuters’ Carey Gillam, known for her anti-GMO bias, publicized the Samsel and Seneff work, conveying a false sense of credibility:

Heavy use of the world’s most popular herbicide, Roundup, could be linked to a range of health problems and diseases, including Parkinson’s, infertility and cancers, according to a new study.

The mainstream science community was left wondering. Andrew Kniss, an agronomist at the University of Wyoming tweeted: “Why are they [Reuters] calling it a ‘study’? There was absolutely no data.” Discover journalist Keith Kloor responded that the study was “so obviously absurd that I was sure it  would be ignored by media,” but Gillam’s coverage gave it “a veneer of legitimacy to readers.”

When GMO critics spread fear and claims of glyphosate’s toxicity, one thing is commonly overlooked: today’s herbicides and insecticides are far safer than those used in the past. The agrochemicals displaced by glyphosate, such as MCPA, a herbicide for controlling annual and perennial weeds, have much lower LD50 values and bigger problems with bioaccumulation. Savage noted that glyphosate was “probably already the biggest single pesticide product even before biotech crops.” Farmers need to control pests,  “to not control pests to a reasonable degree is problematic for the environment,” Savage wrote. For them, glyphosate is a much safer option compared to many other agrochemicals.

Addtional Resources:

  • Peter

    Good article, too bad it won’t be read by those who should read it.

    • ksn2020

      You’re right. The world is full of psuedo-information thanks to groups like the ones mentioned above. And science fact isn’t as sexy or attention grabbing as most of the fictional garbage out there.

    • Tip Reburn

      I read it, and it is still rife with the stench of money. None of the arguments ring true. Have you ever had glyphosate on your skin? I have. It is not pleasant. I immediately because nauseated and the exposed skin began to tingle, similar to pins and needles. This was from a few drops. I wonder what soaking your skin, or putting it down your throat would do? Personal experience by far exceeds the legitimacy of the pseudo-science behind this article. Try it. Put some Round-up on your skin. Guaranteed you won’t like it. Also, why do spray technicians wear gloves, masks, long pants, long sleeves, goggles, anything they can to protect themselves from what they are spraying? Maybe the men and women who actually apply this chemical should be the ones who decide its future. Me, who has been forced to spray glyphosate and 2-4, D and a myriad of other chemicals, is strongly against their use anywhere, anytime, for the sake of my fellow human beings and myself.

  • MikeB

    Beautifully done! As a small–that is really small–farmer, I’m sick of hearing all the hysteria about pesticides.


    • rkt9

      The article is about a herbicide.

      • Casca2

        A herbicide is a pesticide.

        • MikeB

          Yes, thanks. This definition is the first thing you learn in training as a pesticides applicator: the term is a blanket term for insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, miticides, and agaricides.

        • Prism

          Not the same.

          • Guest

            A herbicide is a specific type of pesticide meant to kill plants.

        • Roberta

          Sorry but herbicide is for weeds and pesticide is for insects – the level of this discussion is pathetic

          • Casca2

            Frank ignorance with a snarky peroration, perfect.

          • Warren Lauzon

            You keep saying that, but you apparently have not bothered to even learn the meanings of basic terms like “pest” “herb”, etc. Your ignorance is bad enough, but being pathetic about it is even worse.

    • Prism

      Not all pesticides are safe. Some of them can kill a human being in a few minutes like monocrotophos. So dont blanket them. Glyphosate has been blown out of proportion by anti-GMO people so has some very very safe biopesticides like BT toxin which is actually a protein that is 100% safe for humans. But it is always the vocal minority that gets their voice heard..unfortunately.

  • ele

    But LD50 is the lethal dose, not an effective dose. Three cups of coffee don’t kill me but they do make me jittery. Can’t we assume a similar effect from glyphosate?

    • Sure, if anyone is crazy enough to drink three cups of glyphosate, I’m sure they’d get dizzy. Thankfully, glyphosate is applied at the rate of about one gallon per acre max, so it’s toxic effects on food residue are virtually non existent.

      • Drew

        People tested by the Public Health Service had higher than allowable amounts of glyphosate in their blood.
        The alarming thing is there’s a media blackout on this and other facts about glyphosate.

        • First Officer

          Link please?

          • Alayne

            I am walking proof that glyphosate is dangerous. I’ve been extremely ill for over two years, and after having numerous tests done, it has been discovered that I have very high levels of this herbicide in my system, from drinking tap water contaminated with glyphosate. It has caused permanent damage and scarring to my liver and pancreas, leaving me nearly bedridden, and I am not the only one. To anyone who tries to say it is not dangerous, I can only shake my head in disbelief at your ignorance.

          • @Alayne—This is fascinating. Please would you tell us exactly what test was used. Also, can you share with us the actual levels of glyphosate found, both in your system and drinking water? Finally, how rapidly did your levels decrease once you stopped consuming the substance? This is important information that needs to be shared with the EPA.

          • Eric Bjerregaard

            First Officer, There obviously can’t be a link. There is a black out. Drew is one of the very few insiders that can find this guarded information.
            @Drew, If there is a black out. How did you find out?

      • First Officer

        And typically at 12 oz per acre.

    • David Smith

      Basically, pure glyphosate has an LD50 of 5000 mg/kg. So a 100 kg person would have to ingest 500 grams of pure glyphosate for acute toxicity. The average commercial formulation of glyphosate contains about 360 grams/L of glyphosate. In order to get to acute toxic levels a person would have to drink about 1.4 L of glyphosate formulation.

      However, a study by Roberts found that ingesting just 200 mL of glyphosate formulation (containing about 72 grams of glyphosate) – was in their own words “fatal” (resulting in death). They also found that 19 grams of glyphosate resulted in “moderate to severe effects

      So this means that the LD50 of glyphosate is actually lower than that reported.
      The question is whether really low doses will have an effect? We don’t know but in a letter by Bellé et al. (2012). http://dx.doi.o…rg/10.1080/1093…rg/10.1080/1093…
      They found effects of glyphosate herbicide at a level of “8 mM affecting 100% of the individual cells at short time exposure below the usage concentration (20 mM) of the herbicide.”

      • @David—Toxicology studies in experimental animals are used as a MODEL to give an indication of possible toxicity in humans. It makes no sense to try to extrapolate EXACTLY from one species to another. These kinds of studies are one of the few tools that we have at our disposal, since experimenting on humans is obviously unethical.

        Feeding rats high doses of toxins is an accepted, useful model for likely effects in humans. (And yes, we know that models aren’t guaranteed to be predictive—they just provide supportive evidence).

        While treating cultured animal cells with chemicals is a useful tool for trying to address basic research questions, as far as I can tell, this is not a valid predictor of toxicity in a whole animal (or human). (For example, which kind of cells should be used, and under what conditions?) Plant leaves are exposed to high levels of herbicides, but this is irrelevant to what cells in the human body are exposed to; so picking a concentration of 8 mM is a curious choice. In any case, as you point out, Belle’s claim is a letter, not a peer-reviewed article.

      • First Officer

        LD50 means one half of the subjects will die as a result of the dose. So, you’ll have outliers of deaths at comparatively low doses and survivors at comparatively high doses.

        The study also reports a half life of glyphosate levels of about 3 hours in the blood. Given the typical concentrations of glyphosate found in foods, could you even eat fast enough, let alone great enough, to even approach the equivalent of a 19 gram straight dose?

        • Emerald Triangle News

          FIRST OFFICER works for MONSANTO…. He is another one of the BIO-TECH
          paid “SOCIAL MEDIA REPRESENTATIVES” who are paid to go to as many
          articles as possible everyday and make negative remarks against the
          communitites which don’t want to be poisoned by Monsanto Poisons….
          Check out “First Officers” page…. GMO PAID COMMENTERFIRST OFFICER works for MONSANTO…. He is another one of the BIO-TECH
          paid “SOCIAL MEDIA REPRESENTATIVES” who are paid to go to as many
          articles as possible everyday and make negative remarks against the
          communitites which don’t want to be poisoned by Monsanto Poisons….
          Check out “First Officers” page…. GMO PAID COMMENTER

          • Eric Bjerregaard

            I suspect emerald took all the talk of drinking caffeine and glyphosate a teeny bit too seriously.

  • Maggotpunk

    The article ignores scientific research which shows glyphosate aids in the growth of breast cancer cells:

    • hyperzombie

      Here is one that says that it inhibits cancer cell growth, cant be both can it? Or is it far more likely that it is neither?

      • Maggotpunk

        Actually it can, I suggest you read the study you link to.

        • hyperzombie

          I did, and both studies are in vitro using high doses, I am sure if folks start drinking Glyphosate with their morning tea, there will be problems. But no one does that, so we are good to go.

          • Maggotpunk

            I’m guessing you didn’t, and you ignored the levels of glyphosate in breast milk. Thanks for finally coming around to admitting that consumption of roundup is a bad idea.

          • hyperzombie

            I am guessing you didn’t read the study, and there is no glyphosate in breast milk

          • Maggotpunk

            There’s no point in wasting more time with an internet troll.

          • hyperzombie

            Sure you could call me a troll or you could actually post some evidence of your ridiculous claims.

          • Warren Lauzon

            “I have no evidence and I am just making this shit up as I go” = “You are a troll”.

          • Maggotpunk

            The anti-science crowd has nothing but insults to post. Typical.

          • Eric Bjerregaard

            Whoa ….Whoa ..Slow down son. You call hyper a troll. Then accuse him of insults??? Either you have a very bad memory or don’t read your own posts.

          • Maggotpunk

            Another troll from a post 8 months old. You guys have nothing better to do clearly.

          • Eric Bjerregaard

            8 months ? and still you have no facts to post? Still learned nothing? Pathetic you are.

          • Maggotpunk

            Perhaps if you anti-science kooks spent more time in university rather than trolling the internet you wouldn’t look so foolish. Do you really think I’m going to waste a bunch of time providing facts for someone who goes through old posts looking for someone to troll?

          • Eric Bjerregaard

            Wrong again maggot. I get an e-mail notification if someone responds to an article I have commented on. probably same as you did. So you already knew I was not trolling. Therefore accusing me of that is not only fact free it is lying. Just what I would expect from a punk.

          • Maggotpunk

            Sorry troll, my comment was 8 months ago, the one you responded to was over a month ago. It’s pretty obvious you are lying but that’s what you anti-science clowns have, nothing but lies. You don’t get an e-mail notification to replies to my comments. When you tell lies at least try to tell believable ones. Thanks for advertising yourself as a waste of time.

          • @Maggotpunk—Any published data for G in breast milk? (Please tell me you’re not referring to MomsAcrossAmerica).

          • Maggotpunk

            So you don’t like the results so you ignore it? That’s scientific credibility for the GMO crowd.

          • @Maggotpunk—Please show the data. (Request #2).

            GLP is about literacy, which means that we discuss evidence and reasoning. Save the barbs and distractions for a different website.

          • Maggotpunk

            Peter, perhaps you heard of the internet. Don’t expect me to change your diapers because you choose to be ignorant on a subject. And GLP is a propaganda arm of the GMO industry, if you are really this naive you’ve proven yourself to be a waste of time, nobody forced you to reply to my post so quit your pathetic whining. You internet trolls are just so pathetic.

          • @Mp—Data?
            Request #3. Three strikes and you’re out. Bye.

    • For people without access to this paper, can you summarize the main conclusions, and give your opinion on how using this cell culture system applies to potential human toxicity? THX.

      • Maggotpunk

        It’s amusing that something I posted 6 months ago suddenly has been garnering attention. Here’s an article on the subject:

        And following from the study hyperzombie linked to, it doesn’t take much to damage healthy cells (although he apparently didn’t read that far into his own article).

        • @Mp—It’s a sign of desperation when someone cites the greenmedinfo site to support an argument. (Perhaps you missed one of Sayer Ji’s typical articles, “Pineapple Enzyme Kills Cancer Without Killing You”. What’s next, “Tooth Fairy abducted by aliens”?)

          No, the article by Thongprakaisang et al. you mentioned, about the effect of glyphosate on cultured cancer cells, presents some interesting observations that are worth discussing. What they failed to discuss was the substantial activity of natural phytoestrogens present in soy. The issue is, if this cellular assay is truly an indication of potential human risk, then the obvious action would be an immediate precautionary ban on all consumption of all soy-based products. I haven’t followed this field closely, but it seems that Asian populations relying on soy-based foods could be most at risk.

    • JoeFarmer

      Prove your claim, genius!

      Use your personal farming experience to tell the audience about how hand-picking weeds is best!


      • This is a non-profit. If you have a chip on your shoulder regarding science truth that is your problem.

        You invite all flavors of ridicule by the profoundly arrogant assumption that you know more than the world community of scientists who find no issues with GMOs. How absurd.

        • JoeFarmer

          It doesn’t take much to discredit you.

          You don’t know shit about farming.

        • What appeal to authority? Science fact is beyond any authority. It simply is.

        • I can only repeat the fact that this is a non-profit site dedicated to genetic literacy.

          I sincerely hope that some rubs off on you.

          • JoeFarmer

            Is it a full moon?

            GLP has been invaded by a bunch of fucktards today. But the moderator has been effective in nuking their bullshit.

            Reginabee, Claude William Incest, “Me”, etc.

            Makes you wonder if Ted Miner is branching out…

          • I just dared Turd Miner to come here an pull his act.
            So far I am seeing no evidence of any of his multiple IDs here.

            The BBC action is making them antsy I think.

          • JoeFarmer

            Ted and his inbred kin don’t know whether to shit or go blind.

            The Brits have tanked what little was left of the anti-GMO movement this week.

            Maybe Gary Ruskin of, “USRTK” will finally release the smoking gun info he got from the public scientists.

            They ain’t got much left.

      • JoeFarmer

        Please seek a tuition refund.

        • JoeFarmer

          OK, genius.

          No one ever used glyphosate pre-emergence. A pre-emerg herbicide has residual activity by definition. Glyphosate doesn’t have residual activity.

          Yeah, before HT crops, glyphosate was used pre-plant. Still is.

          Try learning something about real pre-emerg herbicides like dinitroanilines. The good old Group 3 herbicides that you’d have to till in. Why were they nicknamed, “yellows”?

          This is why you need a tuition refund. You know nothing about farming.

          • JoeFarmer

            This is how you announced your dull presence: “That is because the GLP defends GMOs and pesticides at all costs through
            cherry picking articles and presenting logical fallacies as valid

            How about you man up (or girl up, in your case) and prove your claim, genius?

          • JoeFarmer

            No, I just pointed out how you’re a stupid fuck with no farming experience.

  • David Smith

    “Glyphosate is only slightly toxic to birds and fish…”

    This is not a scientific statement! Can a woman be slightly pregnant?

    And if glyphosate is “slightly toxic to birds and fish…” what is it to humans?

    • hyperzombie

      “Glyphosate is only slightly toxic to birds and fish…”

      so is soap, yet you brush your teeth with it every morning, or at least I hope you do.

      • Tip Reburn

        You brush with soap? While this strikes me as strange, we all have our own customs and quirks. My quirk is that I watched by father die of an auto-immune disease and know the horrors. How many more people have to suffer the effects of environmental toxicity before the assholes of the world relent and give up their quest to make everyone sick with their half-assed products that are in the market after half-baked studies? Sorry, I’m becoming angry and should not post anything more. Environmental toxicity is killing me, and it is killing you, too. Let Peace on Earth Reign.

        • hyperzombie

          “You brush with soap?”

          Toothpaste contains soap, so yes I brush my teeth with soaps.

          Sorry to hear about your father, but Glyphosate and Roundup are very low in environmental toxicity, less than many everyday products, like household cleaners, even some foods, vinegar and salt.

          “Let Peace on Earth Reign.”

          The planet is getting more peaceful, and one of the reasons is more food for everyone.

    • @David—You don’t seem to have read the post: it’s ALL about relative toxicity. Toxicity is a continuum, not back-or-white. The overall risk of exposure is the consequence of four factors: inherent toxicity, route of exposure, dose and duration.

      BTW Giving yourself an “upvote” doesn’t amount to much in the scheme of things.

      • Steve Funk

        The duration is all our life if we eat corn, soy or canola. Has anybody tested it for 80 years of exposure?

        • Sorry, Steve, I don’t understand your point here.

          • Steve Funk

            By duration, I think you are talking about continuing long term exposure. Since roundup resistant corn, soy and canola are pretty ubiquitous, almost everyone has a long-term, low level exposure.

          • RJB

            Please elaborate.

          • AzSandrat

            Glyphosate does not disperse in the environment. Exposure will increase over time, and prolonged exposure may have unforeseen consequences. Clear enough?

      • Tip Reburn

        Put a little Round-up on your skin. It will immediately make you feel sick and the skin will begin to tingle. Those warning labels on the containers are not written for the sake of literature. They are written to prevent people from coming into contact with what is inside. I have had glyphosate on my skin and immediately began to feel nauseated and the exposed flesh felt hot and began to tingle. A group other than one funded by the GMO industry needs to conduct relative toxicity tests before this article has an inkling of validity. I trust personal experience over Ivory Tower crockery any day of the week. A wise individual would, too.

  • Tito Castillo

    I’m curious, if it is so safe, safer than coffee as this paper suggests, then how about we conduct a test with two live subjects. I volunteer to drink the coffee… the other, preferably a chemical company scientist hired to defend their industry, can drink a cup of roundup and lets see what happens?

    • If you were to volunteer to drink a cup of some inert but unpleasant substance — maybe vegetable oil, hopefully something worse-tasting — with 95 mg of caffeine in, it would be a closer comparison. Or equivalently, Dr Straw Man can drink some (decent) decaf coffee with a splash (0.1g) of glyphosate in… but why should they have to encounter all the unpleasantness? We can put a drop of emetic in your coffee, too.

      This is not to say that glyphosate tastes nice, or that it would be more *pleasant* than an untainted coffee, but that has nothing to do with toxicity and is a less ridiculous image than tipping a bucket of labelled herbicide down your throat.

      Equivalently, compare smoking a cigarette to ingesting 0.1g of glyphosate (which this website suggests is about the right amount of nicotine ). Many non-smokers would find either option similarly unpleasant, but based on the data the glyphosate is by far the lesser of the two evils — although of course both options are way below any real world clinical toxicity threshold.

      I would certainly rather drink glyphosate than one of the much nastier herbicides that it replaced, as the article makes clear. (Replaced, except in organic agriculture where several are permitted to continue, because demonizing “chemicals” is apparently sometimes more important than minimising environmental impact… *sigh*)

      The reason for the common-sense revulsion to the idea of drinking herbicide is mainly to do with social norms and psychology. That’s normal, natural, etc. — but is also exactly why the *data* is all that should actually matter.

    • Nicola

      Great idea! The only thing which would convince me (scientist). There is things that can be done about unpleasant tastes etc. But all the words instead, that is and remains only blablablabla…..

    • hyperzombie

      It says that it is safer than CAFFEINE, not coffee. You drink a cup of pure caffeine (equivalent to 190 cups of coffee), and I will drink a cup of roundup. I will call the ambulance for you after i finish rinsing out my mouth (tastes like weird soap). You will most likely be very ill or die, i will be fine.

      Only about 8% of people that try to commit suicide with glyphosate actually die, baby aspirin is more effective.

      • AzSandrat

        Gee… only 8 out of 100 dead? Well that sounds perfectly safe.

        • hyperzombie

          Yep, and remember these people were trying to kill themselves. Paraquat one of the herbicides that roundup replaced is almost 100% fatal if even a tiny amount is ingested.

          Even simple household cleaners are almost 10x more deadly…

          Here are some more stats for you.

          • AzSandrat

            “Less deadly” isn’t really the same as “safe”, is it?

          • hyperzombie

            Well nothing is really “safe” , table salt, household cleaners, caffeine, and soaps are more deadly than glyphosate. They are accepted as generally safe.

            You ingest 100s of chemicals every day that are hundreds of times more deadly than glyphosate, why worry about this herbicide?

          • AzSandrat

            Salt is required in your diet. Small quantities of caffeine offer a positive benefit. Soap cleans us, removing dirt, oil and bacteria from our skin. Herbicide kill the plants that bees and other animals depend upon to live, disrupting the ecosystem and degrading our food production overall. So, aside from Monsanto profits, explain how it’s a good thing.

          • hyperzombie

            Herbicide kill the plants that bees and other animals depend upon to live

            All agriculture does this, weeds compete with the crop. All farming methods remove weeds from row crops, including Organic farmers.

            disrupting the ecosystem

            Agriculture disrupts the ecosystem, not herbicides. If you really want more nature, you should support more modern farming practices. The more food that you can produce on the same amount of land means more room for nature.

            degrading our food production overall

            Modern safe herbicides increase food production, record yields again this year.

          • kmtte

            Hi, hyperzombie. Thank for sharing those information with us, it is very helpful.

          • hyperzombie

            No problem, if you have any other Ag related questions. I will try to answer them.

          • Hey everyone its okay, Captain Monsanto has assured us all its safe. No need to panic, no need to have any doubts because ‘HyperZombie’ ( the absolute worst name, do they teach you how to cherry pick popular internet usage terms for your ‘handles’? ) _ has laid all our fears to rest with his company sponsored drivel Thanks Captain Monsanto, why can’t every corporate shill be as concise and condescending as you?

            By the way, genius, I own, work and live on a farm, ANY time you want to pop over here and quaff a litre of my pesticides I’ll pay your air fare and hold the camera while you die in writhing agony.

            mm’kay schnookums. toodles

          • hyperzombie

            the absolute worst name, do they teach you how to cherry pick popular

            It was my nickname in Jr high school.

            By the way, genius, I own, work and live on a farm,

            Me too..

            ANY time you want to pop over here and quaff a litre of my pesticides

            I will do Glyphosate or 2-4-D at field applied concentrations, but no Organic pesticides or any insecticides… Where do I send my personal info to get my free plane ticket?

          • Andy James

            He is right and i will back him on this as a reviewer
            glyphosate is safe and you are wrong. Sorry but you should research more.

          • Brian_Ansorge

            I call bullshit.

            You’re just another tin foil hat wearing conspiracy monger.

            Maybe you *will* actually put up—or shut up.

            I live in Hilo.

            Get my ticket ready. If you aren’t just blowing smoke.

    • Kyle Ness

      it tastes like drinking saltwater….. so who would want to?

  • Dr A. Omin

    This article (and entire site) is bordering on Lunatic Fringe – Glyphosate is an endocrine disruptor, kills gut bacteria and is killing our soil system. Anyone who has ever worked in science knows this.

  • I don’t know what you are a “doctor” of, but it’s not in anything scientific. Glyphosate is absolutely NOT an endocrine disruptor. According to the National Pesticide Information Center and other independent agencies, including the federal government: “Researchers reviewed the scientific literature on glyphosate, its major metabolite AMPA, formulated Roundup® products manufactured by Monsanto, and the surfactant POEA. They found no evidence of endocrine effects in humans or other mammals.” (

    Moreover, substances that are endocrine disruptors are not necessarily harmful (ED is not a chemical ‘end point”). Soy and nuts are endocrine disruptors and are not harmful, for example. So, not only is glyphosate NOT an ED, even if it was, it would not necessarily be harmful. Glyphosate has an LD 50 toxic profile less harmful than table salt.

    • Frank Cannon

      Just to be fair here, I believe Jon here is correct. I get most of my information on endocrine disruption from one of the major sites which publishes findings and results, where Theo Colborn is one of the major researchers on this and I have to admit, here is no mention of Glyphosate as a disruptor that I have found.

      • Julie Rollins’Dougherty
        • Did you post this link as a joke? The story reads like a satire of the truth in The Onion. It’s in one of the LOL websites on the Internet and written by one of the most well known quacks in the world of science. You posted this to make the anti-GMO side look foolish and ignorant yes? You succeeded.

          • Julie Rollins’Dougherty

            So its one out of many articles out there..It all boils down to this,,Our food supply is full of dangerous chemicals Our fish are becoming tainted & Our water is full of chemicals due to the run off from these pesticides,herbicides & fungicides.And I live where its worse then most places “Oregon” where We have lots of GM Farming so I see how these Chemicals are affecting People Who work @ the seed companies..Blah blah blah I posted a article from a quack…The funny thing is I would listen & form My own opinion over a quack before I would even listen to one of the many flocks of sheep out there!

  • Alex Reynolds

    hm maybe if Monsanto, with its sordid background and all removed itself from the GMO field, they’d be more accepted. Even GMO supporters dont like Monsanto, its background or its tactics.

    While GMO have been proven not to be dangerous overall, Monsanto and their prior history and agenda IS in question. Especially since glyphosate is no longer as effective as it once was (for the same reason that bacteria have gained immunity against many antibiotics and we need to get them out of our farms). Even GMO supporters see the dangers of a Monsanto monopoly, and want no part of it. I took this off of Monsanto’s own website (dont they ever read?) while the article is pro GMO it does poke holes in Monsanto’s propaganda that their products need less dangerous pesticides. As a matter of fact, Dow and Monsanto could have used much less dangerous pesticides than one of the two main ingredients of Agent Orange, but they chose to use the one they can make the most money from (patent):

    But less than 20 years later, over a dozen weeds have developed resistance to glyphosate, meaning that farmers have to use more of it, as well as other more hazardous chemicals such as 2,4-D, a powerful herbicide linked to reproductive problems and birth defects, says Chuck Benbrook, PhD, a research professor at Washington State University’s Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources. On the basis of 16 years of pesticide data, collected since GMOs were introduced, Benbrook predicts that use of 2,4-D will increase more than fourfold in the next decade, spurred by new GMO crops. “Twenty years from now we will look back and deeply regret the misuse and mismanagement of current-generation GMO technology,” he says.

    This is Agent Orange, the same carcinogen that Monsanto, Dow, Bayer, et. al, poisoned Vietnam and our soldiers with. Now they are trying to patent it as their new pesticide- this is the part everyone should be paying attention to

    These are also interesting reads- illustrative of what may happen in the future

    Note how scientists differed with Monsanto’s assessments and guess who the “regulators” listened to (and you can probably guess why- conflict of interest when they are allowed to be on the regulatory agencies.)

    But critics of the products say that is not the last word on the issue.

    Some international scientists are challenging the assertion and say many scientific studies show concerns with crops whose DNA has been spliced in ways not seen in nature.

    On Tuesday, a group with backing from institutions in Russia, the United States and Europe said it would undertake the longest, largest and most definitive study of GMOs to date to try to settle the debate once and for all.

    The $25 million study of 6,000 rats to be fed a GMO corn diet is designed as an independent examination of the health impacts of GMO corn and the herbicide used on it. The research is to be done in Russia and western Europe over two to three years. (

    “The science on these GMOs is not settled by a long shot,” said Bruce Blumberg, an endocrinology expert at the University of California, Irvine, who sits on the study review board. “Studies that were done by the manufacturers are the main ones showing safety, and those have an inherent conflict of interest.”

    • @Alex—You seem to have missed the title of the post. Or are you just using it as an excuse for a rambling rant about GMO’s, Monsanto etc.?

      Last February, the E.U. completed its 10-year review of the safety of glyphosate. This involved over 1000 toxicology studies, reports and peer-reviewed scientific articles The review confirmed the previous conclusion about the safety of glyphosate.

      It has been described as “a once-in-a-century molecule”, and I think rightly so, If one had to design a pesticide from scratch, it would be hard to design a better molecule (human safety, potency, selectivity, water-solubility, rapid excretion, simple metabolites, environmental persistence, simple synthesis, cost, etc.). It’s no surprise that it’s the world’s most widely used herbicide, with over a hundred companies that manufacture and formulate it (not just Monsanto!).

      An added benefit is that glyphosate has been used for over half a century, so there is a wealth of experience in the benefits and limitations of the molecule—unlike most of the other substances we are exposed to.

      • Guest

        Looks like more Monsanto branded snakeoil to me. Comments from a guy who sells snakeoil (really? Ultimate gluten free?) for a living, no one is impressed.

      • Alex Reynolds

        I think you missed my point- I was talking about Glyphosate resistance becoming so rampant that it’s being replaced with something far more toxic, something also mentioned in Scientific American and Nature.

        Hm it seems, like you are the one with the agenda, Pal 😉 I’m fine with transgenics, as long as Monsanto is driven out of the industry. Remove Bayer and Dow and any other chemical warfare company also. Other GMO proponents agree with me.

        Here’s the funny and ironic thing about that Fitness magazine article, it was a pro GMO puff piece Monsanto listed on their own Discover website- haha! Their own dumb commercials condemned them.

        And if the above aren’t good enough for you, perhaps Scientific American, Nature and the New York Times and Washington Post will be- unless you have a political agenda of your own.

        You mean peer reviewed or Monsanto reviewed? Because the conclusions are completely different. The point I made that you dont seem to understand, is that just like antibiotics resistance is growing, so is pesticide resistance. The newer pesticides (like 2-4.D aka Agent Orange) is FAR more dangerous and scientists are alreadty decrying its usage. There IS a FAR better way, just like there is a new emerging alternative to antibiotics.

        The fact is Monsanto, with their grisly background in chemical warfare, tried to hoodwink the scientific community with its promises that glyphosate resistance wouldn’t happen- well they were dead wrong. Makes you wonder what else they were wrong about- and no wonder they are trying to recoup their image with these silly TC commercials no one is buying.

        Sorry, no one buys your plutocratic notion of what science is supposed to be, I prefer my scientists to be free of any corruptive monetary influence, thank you very much.

        npr insect experts issue urgent warning on using biotech seeds

        But less than 20 years later, over a dozen weeds have developed resistance to glyphosate, meaning that farmers have to use more of it, as well as other more hazardous chemicals such as 2,4-D, a powerful herbicide linked to reproductive problems and birth defects, says Chuck Benbrook, PhD, a research professor at Washington State University’s Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources. On the basis of 16 years of pesticide data, collected since GMOs were introduced, Benbrook predicts that use of 2,4-D will increase more than fourfold in the next decade, spurred by new GMO crops. “Twenty years from now we will look back and deeply regret the misuse and mismanagement of current-generation GMO technology,” he says.

        This is Agent Orange, the same carcinogen that Monsanto, Dow, Bayer, et. al, poisoned Vietnam and our soldiers with. Now they are trying to patent it as their new pesticide- this is the part everyone should be paying attention to

        These are also interesting reads- illustrative of what may happen in the future

        Note how scientists differed with Monsanto’s assessments and guess who the “regulators” listened to (and you can probably guess why- conflict of interest when they are allowed to be on the regulatory agencies.)

        But critics of the products say that is not the last word on the issue.

        Some international scientists are challenging the assertion and say many scientific studies show concerns with crops whose DNA has been spliced in ways not seen in nature.

        On Tuesday, a group with backing from institutions in Russia, the United States and Europe said it would undertake the longest, largest and most definitive study of GMOs to date to try to settle the debate once and for all.

        The $25 million study of 6,000 rats to be fed a GMO corn diet is designed as an independent examination of the health impacts of GMO corn and the herbicide used on it. The research is to be done in Russia and western Europe over two to three years. (

        “The science on these GMOs is not settled by a long shot,” said Bruce Blumberg, an endocrinology expert at the University of California, Irvine, who sits on the study review board. “Studies that were done by the manufacturers are the main ones showing safety, and those have an inherent conflict of interest.”

        he program is implemented by farmers to assess non-GMO product performance compared to the dominant GMO products on their farms. “Buying seed is an investment and we understand our seed products must offer additional returns. Last year, based on 120 replications of farmer-generated data, we found non-GMO hybrids out-yielded GMO hybrids by an average of 4.7 bushels per acre,” says Odle. And he adds, “This is why we see our PlotPak™ program as a critical component of our story. The purpose is to empower farmers and re-engage them in the decision making process.”
        Antibiotic resistant bacteria at the meat counter
        May 2013
        The pork chops you buy in the supermarket neatly packaged in plastic and styrofoam may look completely sterile, but are, in fact, likely to be contaminated with disease-causing bacteria — and not with just any old bugs, but with hard-to-treat, antibiotic resistant strains. In a recently published study, researchers with the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System bought meat from a wide sampling of chain grocery stores across the country and analyzed the bacteria on the meat. Resistant microbes were found in 81% of ground turkey samples, 69% of pork chops, 55% of ground beef samples, and 39% of chicken parts. Of course, thoroughly cooking the meat will kill the germs, but if the meat is undercooked or contaminates other food with its bacteria — perhaps via a shared cutting board — the result could be an infection that can’t be cured with common medications. Such infections are a serious health concern — a strain of antibiotic resistant staph was recently estimated to cause nearly 20,000 deaths per year in the U.S. — and the problem seems to be getting worse. An evolutionary perspective helps us understand how antibiotic resistance arises in the first place and why the prevalence of resistant bugs in livestock has health professionals and scientists worried.

        antibiotics alternatives that a new type of treatment had been effective at curing five out of six patients whose skin had been infected with MRSA or methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus — one of the scariest bugs around because it appears to shrug off even the most powerful antibiotics available. The initial trial was small and limited to those with eczema, contact dermatitis and other skin infections but the company said it is beginning clinical trials for other types of infections.

        Antibiotics work by getting inside bacteria, but in recent years many bacteria that cause common illnesses such as tuberculosis or salmonella have mutated to have thicker membranes that stop the medicine from getting inside.

        The new drug — which the company has dubbed Staphefket — works from the outside by latching on to the outer cell wall of bacteria. It uses an enzyme known as endolysins to degrade the wall and thereby kill the bacteria. Scientists theorize that bacteria will be less able to evolve to protect themselves against this type of attack because endolysins tend to evolve with their hosts. They are also believed to have another advantage over antibiotics: They can be targeted to only kill specific types of bacteria while antibiotics tend to kill a whole spectrum of them — both good and bad for the body.

        Micreos said in May that it had tested the drug against 36 strains of bacteria, eight of them MRSA.

        The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology in September issued a long-awaited report on the matter warning that antibiotic resistance threatens to undue all the progress we’ve made in the past century in terms of controlling infectious diseases.

        Tell EPA to Reject the Use of Toxic 2,4-D Herbicide for Dow Chemical’s “Agent Orange” GE Crops

        EPA is deciding whether to allow the use of the herbicide 2,4-D for Dow Chemical’s genetically engineered “Agent Orange” corn and soybeans. Tell EPA to deny approval for these additional uses of toxic 2,4-D.

        The Environmental Protection Agency has just opened a public comment period on the approval of the use of toxic 2,4-D specifically for Dow’s GE corn and soybeans. EPA is timing their approval process with that of USDA, with both agencies proposing approval of the Dow Agent Orange, GE crop system.

        Dow Chemical, the same company that brought us Dursban, Napalm, and Agent Orange, is now in the food business and is pushing for an unprecedented government approval: genetically engineered (GE) versions of corn, soybeans and cotton that are designed to survive repeated dousing with 2,4-D, half of the highly toxic chemical mixture Agent Orange.

        Agent Orange was the chemical defoliant used by the U.S. in Vietnam, and it caused lasting environmental damage as well as many serious medical conditions in both American veterans and the Vietnamese.

        Tell EPA, USDA, and President Obama to stop Dow Chemical’s “Agent Orange” crops!

        Wide scale use of Roundup with Roundup Ready GE crops has already led to an epidemic of resistant weeds, and the next step in the chemical arms race is 2,4-D — a chemical linked to major health problems including cancer, Parkinson’s disease, endocrine disruption, and reproductive problems. Industry tests show that 2,4-D is contaminated with dioxins—often referred to as the most toxic substances known to science.

        EPA has reported that 2,4-D is the seventh largest source of dioxins in the U.S. Dioxin contamination in the rivers and soil around Dow Chemical’s headquarters in Midland, Michigan has led to the highest dioxin levels ever found by the EPA in fish, and has been linked to increased breast cancer rates in the contaminated areas.

        EPA’s approval would lead to a massive increase in the use of this toxic, dioxin-contaminated herbicide on our farms!

        If approved, Dow’s “Agent Orange” crops will trigger a large increase in 2,4-D use–and our exposure to this toxic herbicide—yet the government has completely failed to investigate the harms such increased use would cause. This is part of a growing problem, an escalating chemical arms race going on across America’s heartland.

        Dow Chemical is hyping GE 2,4-D corn, soy and cotton as the “solution” to Roundup-resistant weeds caused by GE Roundup Ready crops. But by driving up 2,4-D use, Dow’s crops will generate even more intractable weeds resistant to 2,4-D and other herbicides. This GE crop system ensures a toxic spiral of ever-increasing chemical use on our land and food, which benefits no one but Dow.

        Tell the government to reject Dow Chemical’s “Agent Orange” crops and the toxic chemicals they rely on!

        SHARE THIS

        For more information:

        CFS’s Dow Campaign website:

        EPA’s Environmental Risk Assessment of Proposed Label for Enlist (2,4-D Choline Salt), New Uses on Soybean with DAS 68416-4 (2,4-D Tolerant) and Enlist (2,4-D + Glyphosate Tolerant) Corn and Field Corn:!docketDetail;D=EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0195

        USDA’s draft environmental impact statement:

        CFS factsheet, “Agent Orange” Corn: The Next Stage in the Chemical Arms Race”:

        CFS report, “Going Backwards: Dow’s 2,4-D-Resistant Crops and a More Toxic Future”:

        • Guest

          Did you seriously just say, “I prefer my scientists to be free of any corruptive monetary influence”, then followed up by a NPR article? Wow. Sorry, this warrants the rest of your text without credibility.

          • Alex Reynolds

            Ha I already went after NPR dont worry, sometimes they do show both sides, on rare occasions….

      • Alex Reynolds

        and feel free to explain these
        Get rights and content

        The cytogenetic effects of pesticide mixtures were evaluated on CHO cells.

        A 20-fold enhanced activity was observed in mixture with the four pesticides.

        It was 100-fold increased after light-irradiation, through oxidative stress.

        It highlighted the importance of cocktail effects in environmental matrices.

        It showed the limits of usual strategies to estimate environmental risks.
        The photo-inducible cytogenetic toxicity of glyphosate, atrazine, aminomethyl phosphoric acid (AMPA), desethyl-atrazine (DEA), and their various mixtures was assessed by the in vitro micronucleus assay on CHO-K1 cells.

        Results demonstrated that the cytogenetic potentials of pesticides greatly depended on their physico-chemical environment. The mixture made with the four pesticides exhibited the most potent cytogenetic toxicity, which was 20-fold higher than those of the most active compound AMPA, and 100-fold increased after light-irradiation. Intracellular ROS assessment suggested the involvement of oxidative stress in the genotoxic impact of pesticides and pesticide mixtures.

        This study established that enhanced cytogenetic activities could be observed in pesticide mixtures containing glyphosate, atrazine, and their degradation products AMPA and DEA. It highlighted the importance of cocktail effects in environmental matrices, and pointed out the limits of usual testing strategies based on individual molecules, to efficiently estimate environmental risks.

        Glyphosate; Atrazine; Pesticide mixture; Pesticide metabolites; Genotoxicity; Photoactivation
        Get rights and content

        Glyphosate at 10−12 to 10−6 M promoted growth of T47D cells via estrogen receptors.

        Glyphosate produced the activation of ERE which can be blocked by ICI 182780.

        Glyphosate altered estrogen receptors by increasing expression ratio of ERα and ERβ.

        Glyphosate had an additive effect with genistein on ERE activation and cell growth.
        Glyphosate is an active ingredient of the most widely used herbicide and it is believed to be less toxic than other pesticides. However, several recent studies showed its potential adverse health effects to humans as it may be an endocrine disruptor. This study focuses on the effects of pure glyphosate on estrogen receptors (ERs) mediated transcriptional activity and their expressions. Glyphosate exerted proliferative effects only in human hormone-dependent breast cancer, T47D cells, but not in hormone-independent breast cancer, MDA-MB231 cells, at 10−12 to 10−6 M in estrogen withdrawal condition. The proliferative concentrations of glyphosate that induced the activation of estrogen response element (ERE) transcription activity were 5-13 fold of control in T47D-KBluc cells and this activation was inhibited by an estrogen antagonist, ICI 182780, indicating that the estrogenic activity of glyphosate was mediated via ERs. Furthermore, glyphosate also altered both ERα and β expression. These results indicated that low and environmentally relevant concentrations of glyphosate possessed estrogenic activity. Glyphosate-based herbicides are widely used for soybean cultivation, and our results also found that there was an additive estrogenic effect between glyphosate and genistein, a phytoestrogen in soybeans. However, these additive effects of glyphosate contamination in soybeans need further animal study.
        Get rights and content

        Addresses gap in information about glyphosate and AMPA in urban riparian groundwater.

        Glyphosate and AMPA detected at most sites, 1 in 10 samples overall.

        Detection frequency varied between sites – from none to found in most samples.

        AMPA was correlated with glyphosate, not acesulfame, suggesting a glyphosate source.
        The herbicide glyphosate and its putative metabolite aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA) have been found in urban streams, but limited information is available on their presence in urban riparian groundwater. Information is also lacking regarding the source of AMPA in these urban settings (glyphosate metabolite or wastewater), and whether, if present, glyphosate residues in urban riparian groundwater contribute significantly to urban streams. Glyphosate and AMPA were detected in shallow riparian groundwater at 4 of 5 stream sites in urban catchments in Canada and each were found in approximately 1 in 10 of the samples overall. Frequency of observations of glyphosate and AMPA varied substantially between sites, from no observations in a National Park near the Town of Jasper Alberta, to observations of both glyphosate and AMPA in more than half of the samples along two short reaches of streams in Burlington, Ontario. In these two catchments, AMPA was correlated with glyphosate, rather than the artificial sweetener acesulfame, suggesting that the AMPA is derived mainly from glyphosate degradation rather than from wastewater sources. Land use, localized dosage history, depth below ground and other factors likely control the occurrence of detectable glyphosate residues in groundwater.

        Glyphosate; AMPA; Urban groundwater; Riparian; Metabolite
        Get rights and content

        Roundup® induces Ca2+ influx through L-VDCC and NMDA receptor activation.

        The mechanisms underlying Roundup® neurotoxicity involve glutamatergic excitotoxicity.

        Kinase pathways participate in Roundup®-induced neural toxicity.

        Roundup® alters glutamate uptake, release and metabolism in hippocampal cells.
        Previous studies demonstrate that glyphosate exposure is associated with oxidative damage and neurotoxicity. Therefore, the mechanism of glyphosate-induced neurotoxic effects needs to be determined. The aim of this study was to investigate whether Roundup® (a glyphosate-based herbicide) leads to neurotoxicity in hippocampus of immature rats following acute (30 min) and chronic (pregnancy and lactation) pesticide exposure. Maternal exposure to pesticide was undertaken by treating dams orally with 1% Roundup® (0.38% glyphosate) during pregnancy and lactation (till 15-day-old). Hippocampal slices from 15 day old rats were acutely exposed to Roundup® (0.00005–0.1%) during 30 min and experiments were carried out to determine whether glyphosate affects 45Ca2+ influx and cell viability. Moreover, we investigated the pesticide effects on oxidative stress parameters, 14C-α-methyl-amino-isobutyric acid (14C-MeAIB) accumulation, as well as glutamate uptake, release and metabolism. Results showed that acute exposure to Roundup® (30 min) increases 45Ca2+ influx by activating NMDA receptors and voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels, leading to oxidative stress and neural cell death. The mechanisms underlying Roundup®-induced neurotoxicity also involve the activation of CaMKII and ERK. Moreover, acute exposure to Roundup® increased 3H-glutamate released into the synaptic cleft, decreased GSH content and increased the lipoperoxidation, characterizing excitotoxicity and oxidative damage. We also observed that both acute and chronic exposure to Roundup® decreased 3H-glutamate uptake and metabolism, while induced 45Ca2+ uptake and 14C-MeAIB accumulation in immature rat hippocampus. Taken together, these results demonstrated that Roundup® might lead to excessive extracellular glutamate levels and consequently to glutamate excitotoxicity and oxidative stress in rat hippocampus.
        Get rights and content
        Glyphosate is the primary active constituent of the commercial pesticide Roundup. The present results show that acute Roundup exposure at low doses (36 ppm, 0.036 g/L) for 30 min induces oxidative stress and activates multiple stress-response pathways leading to Sertoli cell death in prepubertal rat testis. The pesticide increased intracellular Ca2+ concentration by opening L-type voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels as well as endoplasmic reticulum IP3 and ryanodine receptors, leading to Ca2+ overload within the cells, which set off oxidative stress and necrotic cell death. Similarly, 30 min incubation of testis with glyphosate alone (36 ppm) also increased 45Ca2+ uptake. These events were prevented by the antioxidants Trolox and ascorbic acid. Activated protein kinase C, phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase, and the mitogen-activated protein kinases such as ERK1/2 and p38MAPK play a role in eliciting Ca2+ influx and cell death. Roundup decreased the levels of reduced glutathione (GSH) and increased the amounts of thiobarbituric acid-reactive species (TBARS) and protein carbonyls. Also, exposure to glyphosate–Roundup stimulated the activity of glutathione peroxidase, glutathione reductase, glutathione S-transferase, γ-glutamyltransferase, catalase, superoxide dismutase, and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, supporting downregulated GSH levels. Glyphosate has been described as an endocrine disruptor affecting the male reproductive system; however, the molecular basis of its toxicity remains to be clarified. We propose that Roundup toxicity, implicated in Ca2+ overload, cell signaling misregulation, stress response of the endoplasmic reticulum, and/or depleted antioxidant defenses, could contribute to Sertoli cell disruption in spermatogenesis that could have an impact on male fertility

  • First Officer

    Seneff claimed a 0.99999 percent correlation (yes 5 decimal places) between glyphosate use and the rate of certain diseases, in her testimony to Pennsylvania’s house of representatives’ Agricultural committee.

    When was the last time such correlations were seen in non-communicable diseases?

    • Can you share more detail about this testimony? How was she selected as being an expert in this field?

      • First Officer

        I don not know how she was selected but here it is:

        Click on the picture and it’ll download to your computer. It’s few hours long and she’s somewhere in the middle.

  • Mystomachyourfault

    Yea, tell that to your gut flora. That symbiotic relationship is essential for proper stomach health. Big Ag propaganda at its finest…

    • What has glyphosate to do with gut flora?

      • Well, obviously gut flora are plants, and glyphosate kills plants, so there you go! This stuff ain’t rocket surgery!

        • Good4U

          Awithonelison: Where did you get the idea that gut microflora are plants? The organisms in people’s intestines are definitely NOT plants.

          • Sorry, I left off the /sarcasm. I thought it would be obvious. Guess not.

          • Good4U

            It’s hard to tell on this site who is unbalanced and who is on an even keell. Sorry I misunderstood your sarcasm.

          • Steve Funk

            When I took biology, bacteria were part of the plant kingdom. Has this changed?

          • Captain Moonlight

            Yes, bacteria are now classified as prokaryotes.

      • Alayne

        Everything! As I have posted above, I have personal experience from glyphosate toxicity. It has caused me huge pain and suffering. I only hope you never have to experience it yourself.

  • AzSandrat

    “Seneff and Samsel have no expertise in toxicology or agriculture” FALSE: Seneff has a B.S. in Biophysics, earned before her MS and PHd, all from MIT.

    Note that another thing that is being overlooked today: Monsanto also brought us DDT, and provided false analysis showing that it was perfectly safe. Are you really willing to trust them again? Pure foolishness.


    Paid opinion by a young immigrant writer not a researcher or scientist, IMHO Junk Science article paid for by the industry.

    First of all caffeine does not bio accumulate and article makes assumptions folks will not inhale, absorb or drink Round Up, article uses flawed EPA data and the whole comparison and chart is a strawman.
    and this article was written by an intern at Boston U XiaoZhi Lim known as X currently working as a ____ guess it… “Productions Intern the American Chemical Society”!!! , XiaoZhi Lim also is a recent graduate of the Boston University Science #Journalism Graduate Program and a native of Singapore. She would be just the type to write such an article for pay, she has more to lose than her honor…

  • n8chur

    Hi, looks the the image is now broken. The source image has been removed?

  • BonnieJeanM

    this quote: “. According to plant pathologist Steve Savage, glyphosate has also replaced mechanical tillage to destroy weeds, which is “a substantial positive for the environment because of reduced erosion and retention of soil carbon.””:
    How is the destruction of so-called “weeds” reducing soil erosion and causing retention of soil carbon? If the “weeds” are not present, then what is holding the soil in place, reducing erosion? Many plants that are called weeds because they “compete” with the crop planted for nutrients are actually beneficial plants. They contribute to the entire ecosystem. They may be the preferred food or nutrient source for animal “pests” which turn to the planted, cultivated crop for an alternate source of nutrients to survive when their preferred food is removed from the environment. These “weeds” may well also be a source for an entire network or ecosystem which includes pollinators, and possibly non-pollinating insects, which are food-for-birds and food for other fauna species. The practice of eliminating a multiplicity of plant species and replacing them with engineered varieties of one specie of plant from a terminal seed is infinitely short-sighted, as the reduction in biodiversity leaves the earth vulnerable to massive crop failures with no back-up genetic material that might survive in a different environment as growing conditions and threats to survival change and fluctuate. The primary and fundamental objection to the use of these herbicides is precisely that those who promote them consider their science more sound than a million years of evolution….We don’t know what we destroyed until after we have destroyed it. It isn’t that opponents of these herbicides are alarmist out of ignorance. To assert that is to disrespect the experience and perceptions of those who are seeing a very big picture and the minutest details there-of.

    • RJB

      Savage is stating that reduction of mechanical tillage reduces soil erosion and promotes rentention of soil carbon.
      The rest of your post is a condemnation of all agriculture that has been practiced over the last 10,000 years.

      • BonnieJeanM

        The rest of my comment is no such thing. I take grave offense at that assertion. How do you figure I am condemning cultivation and agriculture by saying that combinations of various species living together benefit each other, and herbicides can be more harmful than the developers there – of are ready to accept?

      • Mlema

        No till farming can be accomplished without GMOs and their accompanying pesticides. It’s labor intensive until well-established. Plus, no-till has its drawbacks too. The biggest problem with GMOs (and with any agriculture that is developed around pesticides and not around IPM) is pesticides. Glyphosate may be RELATIVELY safe, but it has already given way to more toxic pesticides in newly engineered pesticide-tolerant crops. We’re going backwards now and need to face the hard questions of growing toxicity in the environment, and the consequences to our own health and habitat.

  • Guest

    So, here’s the thing… I pull the weeds in my garden. I don’t use poison. I mix steer manure in with the soil. I get awesome fruits and vegetables. I lose some to bugs (who wants a tomato with a bug bite out of it?), but enjoy the knowledge that my crops are free of poisons. It’s more labor intensive, but seems to me that we need to put more people to work, and we’ll need to do that even more in the future.

    • hyperzombie

      How many acres is your garden? Do you know that there is almost 100 million acres of just corn grown in the US, even if a person could weed an acre of corn we would need 100 million people to weed just corn… Kind of impractical don’t you think?

  • GE. Will killya

    This article is so ridiculously skewed in favor of gmo’s that it becomes incredibly clear it is one of MANY articles written to confuse or sway people in favor of gmo crops, and is clearly put together by the gmo industry giants most often Monsanto.

    • Jackson

      The mind of a conspiracy theorist: It is absolute truth that GMOs are evil, so any evidence to the contrary is just further proof of the conspiracy.

    • Have you considered changing your pseudonym to something like “Open t’ learnin’ “—and then asking some questions or offering some rationale?

  • wtf

    can anyone out there differentiate between acute toxicity and chronic toxicity? does drinking a cup of roundup until u die represent pattern of use?

  • wtf

    can anyone out there differentiate between acute toxicity and chronic toxicity? does drinking a cup of roundup until u die represent pattern of use?

  • wtf

    can anyone out there differentiate between acute toxicity and chronic toxicity? does drinking a cup of roundup until u die represent pattern of use?

  • george orwell

    can anyone out there differentiate between acute toxicity and chronic toxicity? does drinking a cup of roundup until u die represent pattern of use?

  • aldous huxley

    why does this crap website keep deleting my comment?, could it be u are the ones who lack an understanding of science and basic human medicine

  • n8chur

    Hi, can someone fix the broken image on the page? The LD50 charts appears to be broken.

    Cheers 🙂

  • Julie Rollins’Dougherty

    “GMO” genetically modified organisms are as unhealthy as they sound… I have been researching a company for 5 years that My boyfriend had worked for (before I had ever heard about GMO) and with all the material from back then to now I have 100% proof that the herbicides,pesticides & fungicides that are coated on the seeds to create these foods (GMO’s) cause serious health issues and before long nothing will be 100% organic since dust from the seeds blows to other farms & gets into Our rivers which go to Our oceans….My Boyfriend will not even be alive another year due to ALS-Lou Gerhig’s disease which is just one of the killers this crap can cause ..By breathing the dust daily like Our honey bees,baby birds & Monarch butterflies it hits the neurological system and kills them!

  • Guest

    “Glyphosate is only slightly toxic to birds and fish”. Define “slightly” and why poisoning birds and fish, on any level, is okay.

    • Dear Guest: All pesticides, organic and conventional, including glyphosate are toxic–that’s why they are called pesticides. All are AT LEAST slightly toxic to birds and fish…as many chemicals all. The point is that glyphosate, when compared to organic and other conventional pesticides, is extremely mild. It does not “poison” birds or fish or humans. But there are some conventional pesticides and organic ones that will kill fish and birds. Your concerns, while understandable, are not grounded in science.

    • I think the issue here is just scientific vs. “normal” use of language. Scientists will never say “non-toxic”, because everything, including all sorts of substances that you think are completely innocuous, will induce toxic effects at some level. Saying “non-toxic” technically implies absolutely zero effect, which isn’t something that a measurement is ever going to tel you with complete certainty.

      The definition of “slightly” in this context is included in the independent NPIC data sheet for glyphosate at and you’ll see that the effects are _very_ slight: in normal, non-scientific use, “non-toxic” would be a pretty reasonable description. There are far more toxic pesticides in use, including in organic agriculture as Jon mentioned.

      Which doesn’t mean that things can’t be improved, but glyphosate is already a big improvement in terms of reduced toxicity over the herbicides that came before, and there is no evidence of wildlife or human health problems related to it.

  • WeDontTakeCrap

    I’m not taking a strong stance on either side, but to the point about caffeine toxicity…
    Most people obviously feel the physical effects of caffeine well below the LD50 value. I would argue that that the effects of a relative ratio ( 0.78% of the lethal dose using the articles numbers based on a 140lb human) of glyphosate could also produce noticeable physical effects.

    I have yet to find studies of the short term effects of low doses of glyphosate through food ingestion and would be curious to read some from either side as I believe this is the real underlying issue for most people.

    • The lethal dose of any chemical in an animal model can never be used as an exact predictor of the effect of low levels of exposures in humans, and some people put far too much emphasis on animal studies; however, it’s a reasonable starting point for an overall safety assessment. If you are interested in the current U.S. regulatory position, check out:

      The E.U. recently completed an updated safety analysis, including about 300 safety studies and about 900 potentially relevant research papers. I don’t claim to be familiar with all this information, but as a result of this analysis, the E.U. has not changed its position on the safety of glyphosate at typical levels of exposure. (This vast amount of scientific information still hasn’t prevented some politicians from writing legislation to restrict the access of the general public to glyphosate! Coffee is still permitted…)

      Unlike the tens of thousands of substances we are exposed to, what’s great about glyphosate is that we have so much data. (No doubt, I’ll get some heat for saying “great”). Of course, nothing is guaranteed in life, and science is just a process for getting closer to the truth. but in the mean time, we have plenty of KNOWN risks that we could address through lifestyle changes or legislation.

  • dereks

    What this article fails to discuss is the toxicity of the formulations of pesticides (specifically the active ingredients + the inert ingredients) which has been shown by numerous studies published in reputable sources (including the ncbi) that the toxicity of these formulations are over 1000 greater than the active ingredients alone i.e. glyphosate and that in the long term exposure to these formulations can lead to the disruption of the endocrine system.

    • @dereks — It would help if you were a little more specific about your claims. If you are referring to the fact that animal cells grown in culture in the absence of the normally protective serum are vulnerable to surfactants (claims from the Seralini group?), then I would agree with you. But it is bogus to claim that this is a measure of toxicity to humans. If you get shampoo or dish soap in your eye, it will sting, and the toxicity of surfactants to cultured cells is well established.

      Are you really saying that glyphosate may be 1000 times safer than soap? If so, I may quibble about the numbers, but I think you may have a good grasp of the situation.

      As far as endocrine disruption goes, please give us more specific detail about which endocrine system you are referring to.

  • landt

    Toxicity to people may be low, but what about people’s intestinal flora? There is much we don’t know.

    • Been evaluated in dozens of studies. No impact. There is little we don’t know.

      • @Jon — I cannot find dozens of studies on intestinal flora, just a few. Unlike you, there is a lot I don’t know.

        • I’d have thought this would be covered implicitly by the animal testing that is used to determine the glyphosate chronic toxicity levels — no? That data would suggest that while glyphosate can in principle kill gut bacteria, in vivo it seems not to do it enough to cause serious disruption until quite high (far above residue exposure) concentrations. Am I missing something?

          • No. We agree. I was simply challenging Jon’s somewhat inflated assertions.

          • Mlema

            I noted that assertion as well. Peter, you’re all right man. Just because we don’t agree doesn’t mean we don’t think alike. I suspect that we have a lot in common with regard to how we come at these things. We just happen to be coming at them from polar opposite starting points.

          • I think our main difference is our value systems, or set of assumptions. From your posts, I get the sense that you approach the world with the assumption that everything is dangerous, unless proven otherwise. I’ll admit that everything has the POTENTIAL for being dangerous, but you seem to be unwilling to define what it would take to remove the fear that you have. If someone gave you $5 million, could you design a set of studies that would assuage your concerns about glyphosate or GM technology?

            There are thousands of unknowns in the environment we are exposed to, but life is short, and I think it’s much more important to use our best judgement to focus on which things are either most likely to be true, or to have the greatest potential for harm.

            Also, there’s more to life than avoiding risk.

      • Hi Jon, since this keeps coming up (e.g. every post from SageThinker), can you post some explicit references that cover it? Maybe as a separate article rather than just buried in the comment threads. Thanks.

      • landt

        I’m willing to read and evaluate. Please cite your three favorite studies about glyphosate’s effect on human intestinal flora.

          • landt

            I’m a scientist, so I’m always willing to be proven wrong. These are your exemplary studies of glyphosate toxicity in regard to the flora of the human gut? You picked ‘em!

            You proposed:…

            Here’s the sense of the abstract: We selected three microbes sensitive to glyphosate. There are differences in how they reacted. Please note(!): the study is nearly 30 years old.


            This is a study of poultry microbes in vitro: Salmonella and Clostridium are highly resistant to glyphosate. “However, most of beneficial bacteria . . . were found to be moderate to highly susceptible.”

            Do you propose that chicken microbes in vitro is an adequate analog for the human gut? Even if so, this study doesn’t support your position.


            This study is about microorganisms (starter cultures) in milk. “Our work is consistent with previous studies which demonstrated that the toxic effect of glyphosate was amplified by its formulation adjuvants on different human cells and other eukaryotic models.” Also, “The presented results evidence that Roundup has an inhibitory effect on microbial growth and a microbicide effect at lower concentrations than those recommended in agriculture.” By the way, “. . . unpredictable consequences of Roundup on soil microorganisms have to be considered.”

            They studied three microorganisms.

            Geotrichum candidum – a pathogenic fungus in citrus fruits, tomatoes, carrot, some other vegetables. Can also cause a disease of the lung or other organs in humans.

            Lactococcus lactis – used in the production of buttermilk and cheese

            Lactobacillus delbrueckii – used in the production of yogurt

            Tell me why I should think you’re serious about the question of glyphosate vs. human gut flora.

          • In my first citation, the Fischer group found that 400 ppm glyphosate inhibited the growth of the common gut bacterium, E. coli. (These cells were grown in the absence of amino acids—the most stringent conditions for testing the effect of glyphosate). For comparison, the glyphosate I use in my yard is about 4000 ppm. So, yes, drinking a glass of glyphosate might upset your guts, but this is thousands of times higher than the likely concentration that our gut bacteria would be exposed to from the diet!

            Just think of a few common food items in your diet (sugar, for example); then imagine the effect of consuming thousands of fold the normal amount. Chances are the gut microbiome will be affected.

    • For the bacteria tested, glyphosate would not be inhibitory at the trace levels we are exposed to.

  • JoeFarmer

    I hope everyone enjoyed seeing, “Me” getting booted from here as much as I did.

    It was almost as much fun as watching “Claude William Incest” get the boot.

    • You can’t assist here with the goal of spreading literacy if you get yourself booted.

      • JoeFarmer

        You’re right.

  • Denise Ries

    Actually, Dr. Stephanie Seneff is a senior research scientist at MIT with a B.S. degree in Biophysics, M.S. and E.E. degrees in Electrical Engineering as well as a Ph.D degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, all from MIT. We are not talking about some random, uneducated conspiracy theorist, but about a very intelligent woman whose thorough research has led her to the conclusion that glyphosate is quite harmful to human beings. The seemingly unrelated plethora of diseases Dr. Seneff equates with glyphosate exposure are in fact all related by the action of the glyphosate on the cell level. So, in spite of your discounting her studies, she may have a point.

  • Vangelis

    Being that glyphosate has been classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), an arm of the World Health Organisation (WHO), as “probably carcinogenic to humans” has your opinion on the matter shifted at all?

  • Tip Reburn

    I have had glyphosate on my skin and immediately felt nauseated, short of breath, and felt a tingling on my skin at the point of exposure. Without this experience, I would not feel qualified to comment on the matter. From personal experience, I would not dare touch this chemical. The Ivory Tower people can have their highfalutin discussions, but us regular folk have to actually physically deal with the chemical. That is why they don’t give two tugs of a dead dog’s paw about whether it is safe or not. They never have to handle it. A serious message from those who have handled this substance: it should be pulled from the market immediately and replaced with an organic alternative. This is the future. Mark my words. The people, once freed from mass media brainwashing, will awaken and destroy the insidiousness inside the system, like chefs cutting out rot on over-ripe fruit. Just wait, overloads, just wait…your time is just about over and Our Day will overcome your greed ridden march to humanity’s annihilation. The Genetic “Literacy” Project is a sham paid for by Monsanto. Science that is 100s of years old is constantly under revision and criticism. How can we trust a branch of science for which they only found the blueprints in the 1950s? Genetic Engineering is not safe, not thoroughly tested over the course of decades, and is less understood than the public is led to believe. The Blindfolded are leading the blind. We must force them to take off their masks and recon with reality. Pride will be our fall unless we humble ourselves and admit we know less than we would like to admit.

    • Peter Olins

      Don’t get Roundup (or any other pesticide!) on your skin, especially in the undiluted form:
      The same applies to household cleaners such as bleach or ammonia.

    • hyperzombie

      “I have had glyphosate on my skin and immediately felt nauseated, short of breath, and felt a tingling on my skin at the point of exposure.”

      Nope, although it may make your skin itchy, it does not causes nausea, or definitely not shortness of breath (it is not volatile). i hate to sound like a jerk but if you experienced these symptoms, it was most likely all in your head.

      I have had Roundup sprayed in my face (jerk brother), down my back (broken spray hose), In my boots (another broken backpack spray hose) and never even once did I experience any of the symptoms that you mention.

      “I would not dare touch this chemical.”

      You are not supposed to touch it, it is a plant spray, not a skin treatment.

      “They never have to handle it.”

      What??? I handle it all the time.

      “it should be pulled from the market immediately and replaced with an organic alternative.”

      Well first of all there is not an organic alternative that works even as close to as well, and second Organic herbicides are even more damaging to the environment, and human health.

  • Tim Welsh

    Hey, I found this on the Internet so I can’t believe it.

  • AmIJustAPessimistOrWhat?

    You say

    “Following the same calculations, it would take 12.5 oz of glyphosate to kill an average 140 lb human being. That means drinking about three gallons of Roundup Original.”

    A study in Taiwan of glyphosate poisoning cases reports that in the 7 deaths in 93 poisoning cases, the range of consumption of a 41% glyphosate solution was 85ml to 200 ml. (2.9 oz to 6.8 oz). This does not mean that all people who consume that range will die – just that appreaciable fraction of people do.

    Acute poisoning with a glyphosate-surfactant herbicide (‘Roundup’): a review of 93 cases.

    Talbot AR1, Shiaw MH, Huang JS, Yang SF, Goo TS, Wang SH, Chen CL, Sanford TR.

    Between 1 January 1980, and 30 September 1989, 93 cases of exposure to herbicides containing glyphosphate and surfactant (‘Roundup’) were treated at Changhua Christian Hospital. The average amount of the 41% solution of glyphosate herbicide ingested by non-survivors was 184 +/- 70 ml (range 85-200 ml), but much larger amounts (500 ml) were reported to have been ingested by some patients and only resulted in mild to moderate symptomatology. Accidental exposure was asymptomatic after dermal contact with spray (six cases), while mild oral discomfort occurred after accidental ingestion (13 cases). Intentional ingestion (80 cases) resulted in erosion of the gastrointestinal tract (66%), seen as sore throat (43%), dysphagia (31%), and gastrointestinal haemorrhage (8%). Other organs were affected less often (non-specific leucocytosis 65%, lung 23%, liver 19%, cardiovascular 18%, kidney 14%, and CNS 12%). There were seven deaths, all of which occurred within hours of ingestion, two before the patient arrived at the hospital. Deaths following ingestion of ‘Roundup’ alone were due to a syndrome that involved hypotension, unresponsive to intravenous fluids or vasopressor drugs, and sometimes pulmonary oedema, in the presence of normal central venous pressure

  • mike hamblett

    Anyone want to discuss the creation of vast ecological deserts by the continuous use of pesticides and herbicides. Monoculturing and soil destroying crops is an unsustainable way to maximise short-term profits for people who’ve forgotten what real long term farming requires. In not bothered about ingestion – we all have choice; the natural world has no choice and is being decimated.

  • Maurice Ryton

    This site stinks of Industry funded and trolls galore.

    • Peter Olins

      You seem to be wasting an opportunity to contribute something useful. Clear the air, Maurice, and make a comment about the actual article.