"Inert" Pesticide Ingredients Toxic To Human Cells


Weed infested corn. Image credit:Crop Life Foundation

When it comes to toxicity testing, what you don't know can hurt the most. For example, Monsanto has done a credible job of establishing that the active ingredient in it's Roundup weed killer is harmless enough to mammals. However, the "inerts" mixed into the Roundup formulation apparently weren't tested for mammalian toxicity - until now. Environmental Health News reports on some recent research conducted at France's University of Caen that demonstrates human cell mortality from pesticidal mixture "inerts;" and, the issue encompasses pesticide formulations in general: not just Monsanto.Via EHS, Weed killer kills human cells. Study intensifies debate over 'inert' ingredients.

...one of Roundup's inert ingredients can kill human cells, particularly embryonic, placental and umbilical cord cells. The new findings intensify a debate about so-called "inerts" — the solvents, preservatives, surfactants and other substances that manufacturers add to pesticides. Nearly 4,000 inert ingredients are approved for use by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Here's the money quote:-
Inert ingredients are often less scrutinized than active pest-killing ingredients. Since specific herbicide formulations are protected as trade secrets, manufacturers aren't required to publicly disclose them. Although Monsanto is the largest manufacturer of glyphosate-based herbicides, several other manufacturers sell similar herbicides with different inert ingredients.

The term "inert ingredient" is often misleading, according to Caroline Cox, research director of the Center for Environmental Health, an Oakland-based environmental organization. Federal law classifies all pesticide ingredients that don't harm pests as "inert," she said. Inert compounds, therefore, aren't necessarily biologically or toxicologically harmless — they simply don't kill insects or weeds.


More Roundup posts.
U.S. Farmers Planting Less GMO Soy
Sugar From Genetically Engineered Beets on Its Way
Rats Kicked Off The Spinach Plantations...With Herbicides

Tags: Agriculture

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