Glyphosate (草甘膦) – the active ingredient of the famous herbicide Roundup® has re-entered into the news lately and with great fanfare.
If you do not know already – Roundup® – is a well known herbicide widely used on farms. The herbicide began sales in the 1970s in the United States. The manufacturer of Roundup® – Monsanto – was acquired by the drug manufacturer Bayer in 2018.
Since the $63bn acquisition of Monsanto made by Bayer in 2018, the company and its famous product has continuously been suffering legal woes. To date, 13,000 pending law suits against the product and Bayer has been made. In California, a third law suit had been rewarded $2bn where the plaintiffs claimed Roundup® caused their cancers.
Roundup® has been marketed as a broad-spectrum weedkiller, yet in a paper published by Pest Management Journal found that up to 38 species of weeds are now resistant to Roudup® treatment. In the United States, farmers are relying on ever-growing levels of the herbicide to control the growth of weeds amongst agricultural crops. Yet, the results are less-than-ideal.
Since the introduction of GM seeds in the United States in the 1990s, farmers have been steadily increasing the use of Roundup® as weed selection worsens. In 2000, 4.4 million pounds of Roundup® was used. This later increased to 23 million pounds in 2003 and subsequently 57 million pounds used in 2010.
Glyphosate 草甘膦 has been identified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) which is an arm of the World Health Organization (WHO) as “probably carcinogenic to humans (2A)”. It was concluded at the time of the report that glyphosate exhibited limited evidence in humans for carcinogenicity, but there was positive association with non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. It was further concluded that there was sufficient evidence in experimental animals for carcinogenicity of glyphosate.
Here is the link to the IARC document itself. IARC Monograph – 112
Based on numerous independent scientific research, glyphosate has been linked to (to name a few):
- breast cancer
- birth defects
- kidney disease
- endocrine disruption
- non-Hodgkin lymphoma
- skin cancer
- liver cancer
- Parkinson disease
The chemical has been determined to bio-accumulate which means the concentration will increase over time in the body as you continue to ingest foods that contain this chemical. Glyphosate has been found in human mothers’ breast milk and urine.
In summary, glyphosate:
- is the main ingredient in the herbicide Roundup®
- is widely used in agriculture practices
- is a weedkiller®
- is often used in conjunction with genetically modified crops (GM)
- excretes in milk and in urine
- is classified as “probably carcinogenic to humans” by the IARC
草甘膦 (Glyphosate) 乃除草劑 (herbicide) Roundup® 內的一大成分 而Roundup®是美國農藥及種子大廠 孟山都 (Monsanto)旗下的產品. 孟山都也是製造了基因改造種子的公司.
孟山都公司於2018年正式加入德國藥廠拜耳公司 (Bayer)之旗下. 而自2018年, 拜耳已經收到超過13,000宗有關Roundup®的訴訟. 至今已有3宗成功勝訴, 第三宗於6月2019獲 20億元美金賠償.
孟山都 製造了除草劑Roundup®去對付害草, 也製造了基因改造種子以強化農作物對害蟲的抵抗性. 可惜, 自20世紀未 (1990年代)起基因改造農作物推出後, 農夫所用的Roundup®數量只有增無減. 在2000年美國農夫引入440萬磅Roundup®, 2003年增至2300萬磅Roundup® 而於2010年再增加至5700萬磅Roundup®. 看來, 此除草劑未能成功地完全除走害草, 反之一份在2018年刊於Pest Management Journal 的報告提到已有38種個別的雜草品種Roundup®形成了抵抗性 (resistance). 這相等於 “噴了也是白噴”, 錢用了, 功夫做了, 卻沒有什麼成效.
Roundup®究竟為什麼如此受廣大留意? 因為自2015年, 世界衛生組織 (WHO)旗下的國際癌症研究機構 (IARC) 把Roundup®內的草甘膦成分(Glyphosate) 評價為 ” 可能對人類致癌” (probably carcinogenic to humans). 有關草甘膦對人體及動物又有什麼影響呢? 結集多年來的獨立研究(即非出自孟山都的研究) 顯示此化學物與以下慢性病有關連:
- breast cancer
- birth defects 先天性缺陷
- kidney disease 腎病
- endocrine disruption 內分泌失調
- non-Hodgkin lymphoma 非霍奇金氏淋巴瘤
- lymphoma 淋巴瘤
- skin cancer 皮膚癌
- liver cancer 肝癌
- Parkinson disease 帕金森氏症
- Dysbiosis 腸道微生態失調症
大家想像一下, Roundup®用於大量農作物上, 這些農產品收成後供人類及動物 (牛,羊,豬,雞等)進食. 你及愛寵是否其實每天進食此化學物呢?