Monsanto is killing us again–part 2

Study Links Widely Used Pesticides to Antibiotic Resistance

Glyphosate, 2,4-D, and dicamba found to affect bacteria in ways that could promote resistance to common antibiotics

By Elizabeth Grossman

This has not been a good week for glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup and other herbicides. On Friday, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that it had classified glyphosate, the United States’ most widely used pesticide, as “probably carcinogenic to humans.”

Now, the chemical has another strike against it. A new study published by the American Society of Microbiology’s journal mBio has linked glyphosate and two other widely-used herbicides–2,4-D and dicamba–to one of the most pressing public health crises of our time: antibiotic resistance.

This study found that exposure to these herbicides in their commercial forms changed the way bacteria responded to a number of antibiotics, including ampicillin, ciprofloxacin, and tetracycline–drugs widely used to treat a range of deadly diseases.

Dicamba, 2,4-D, and glyphosate have been in use for decades, so why have their antibacterial-resistance effects not been documented before? As the study’s lead author, Jack Heinemann, professor of genetics at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, explains, when pesticides are tested for adverse effects, “it’s the lethal toxicity that people focus on.” In other words, how much of the chemical will kill an organism.

“What makes our study different, is that it is looking at a sub-lethal effect,” says Heinemann. “The effect we see requires that the bacteria stay alive.”

Previous studies done by other researchers have found that substances chemically similar to dicamba and 2,4-D can cause antibiotic resistance, Heinemann explains. So he and his colleagues decided to investigate whether these herbicides would produce similar effects. They added glyphosate to the study because it is chemically unlike the other two. But, to their surprise, it also produced some antibiotic resistance.

Heinemann explains that because these herbicides are not “supertoxic” to the bacteria the study tested—E. coli and Salmonella—they are not killed outright at levels typically used to kill weeds. Instead, the bacteria stay alive while activating proteins known as efflux pumps in order to rid themselves of toxins. And this defense mechanism can make the bacteria develop resistance to the threat from which it is defending itself.

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Monsantgo is killing us again!

Written by Alice Park

The latest study to look at the long-term effects of Roundup, a popular weed killer developed by Monsanto in the 1970s, raises questions about the herbicide’s possible contributions to poor health in certain communities.

The study, published Tuesday in JAMA, tracked people over the age of 50 in southern California from 1993-1996 to 2014-2016, with researchers periodically collecting urine samples during that time.

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Researchers led by Paul Mills, professor of family medicine and public health at the University of California San Diego, found that the percentage of people who tested positive for a chemical called glyphosate, which is the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup, shot up by 500% in that time period. The levels of glyphosate also spiked by 1208% during that time.

Exactly what that means for human health isn’t quite clear yet. There are few studies of the chemical and its effects on people, although animal studies raise some concerns. One trial from the UK, in which rats were fed low levels of glyphosate throughout their lives, found that the chemical contributed to a higher risk of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, a condition in which fat accumulates in the liver and contributes to inflammation and scarring of the tissue. Mills says that the levels of glyphosate documented in the people in his study were 100-fold greater than those in the rats.

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Lisa Stokke
Founder, Next 7
Co-Founder, Food Democracy Now!

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The legal opinion of the Monsanto Tribunal

The legal opinion of the Monsanto Tribuna– –has been spread to all corners of the world by social and official media. We have sent the text to a wide range of organizations and legal associations. We have not stopped Monsanto and its toxic business yet – but, of course, no one expected it would be that easy. However, it has been a major step towards a world without toxic chemicals. Monsanto is in trouble, not only because of the tribunal, but for many reasons: the authorization of Monsanto’s flagship Roundup (and its ingredient glyphosate) is expiring in the EU. People no longer accept damage to their health and sue Monsanto in court. The Tribunal and court cases have been exposing the way Monsanto works, and this helps to inspire others to show the true cost of Monsanto’s business. Films and books are released on this important topic as you can read below. Out in the fields, nature defends itself: more and more weeds are resistant to Roundup! Monsanto’s ‘solution’ to this problem, another very toxic herbicide dicamba – turns out to be a complete failure.

All this indicates that Monsanto’s toxic agriculture and extortion have reached their limits. An ever-growing number of people understand that we can and have to feed the world without poisoning it. A recent UN Report denounced the myth that pesticides are necessary to feed the world. We should reward farmers and not exploit them, we can work with nature instead of waging a war against it.

Please, help us to make that happen: spread the word.

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Monsanto Does It Again

This miracle weed killer was supposed to save farms. Instead, it’s devastating them.
–By Caitlin Dewey

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