New research published at Nature.com shows that an ultra-low dose of Roundup herbicide causes non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in rats.
“For the very first time we have established a causative link between an environmentally relevant level of daily ingestion of Roundup and a serious disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease,” Dr. Michael Antoniou, Head of the Gene Expression and Therapy Group at King’s College London in the United Kingdom, led the ground-breaking research, told The Organic & Non-GMO Report.
“Overall, metabolome and proteome disturbances showed a substantial overlap with biomarkers of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and its progression to steatohepatosis and thus confirm liver functional dysfunction resulting from chronic ultra-low dose GBH (glyphosate-based herbicides) exposure,” states the research Multiomics reveal non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in rats following chronic exposure to an ultra-low dose of Roundup herbicide published by Scientific Reports 7, Article number: 39328 (2017).
Plaintiffs allege that Roundup causes non-Hodgkins’ lymphoma (cancer of the lymph nodes) in multidistrict litigation before US District Judge Vince Chhabria in In re: Roundup Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2741, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).
Herbicide detected in food and water
“Glyphosate-based herbicides (GBH), such as Roundup, are the major pesticides used worldwide. Residues of GBH are routinely detected in foodstuffs and drinking water. Epidemiological data on the human body burden of GBH residues is very limited but evidence suggests that glyphosate and its metabolites are widespread,” the research states.
“A number of toxicity studies have shown that glyphosate and its commercial formulations have non-target effects on mammalian metabolism and provoke toxic effects, especially with respect to liver and kidney structure and function,” it states.
Antoniou said that the rats consumed a glyphosate-equivalent level of Roundup that is 75,000 times lower than what is permitted in Europe and 437,500 times lower than that allowed in the U.S.
“We used cutting-edge compositional analytical methods to determine the health status of rats’ livers. Protein and metabolite profiles are a direct measure of the composition of organs and give a direct readout of the health or disease status of organs. We found that these organs weren’t healthy. There were clear hallmarks of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which correlated with previous observations of an increased incidence of tissue necrosis or liver tissue replaced with scars.
Roundup causes disease
“We were able to make a direct statement that Roundup caused disease,” he told The Organic & Non-GMO Report.
- Roundup is a previously unknown and unsuspected potential risk factor for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease that calls for further investigation.
- Twenty-five percent of the U.S. population suffers from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Risk factors include obesity, diabetes, and high blood fat levels.
- But there are risk factors for the disease that have not yet been identified, and it’s possible that exposure to Roundup could be one such missing risk factor.
“Our study results suggest that the permitted safety intake level of glyphosate-based herbicides needs to be revisited as they may have been set way too high,” he said. “The second point that this is a new risk factor for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and needs to be taken into account by the medical establishment.”
In March 2015, leading cancer experts from the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) declared that glyphosate is a “probable human carcinogen.” IARC reached its decision based on the research of 17 top cancer experts from 11 countries, who met to assess the carcinogenicity of 5 pesticides. The IARC review of glyphosate has led to the European Parliament calling for a complete ban on non-commercial public use of glyphosate and serious restrictions on agricultural use.
In contrast, on Sept. 12, 2016, the EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs (“OPP”) issued a 227-page evaluation of glyphosate’s carcinogenic potential, concluding that “[t]he strongest support is for [the description] ‘not likely to be carcinogenic to humans’ at doses relevant to human health risk assessment.” See Glyphosate Issue Paper: Evaluation of Carcinogenic Potential.
Fresno County Superior Court Judge Kristi Kapetan ruled that California can require Monsanto to label its herbicide Roundup as a possible cancer threat.
California would be the first state to order such labeling for the weed-killer, which is used by farmers and home gardeners worldwide.
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