Farmers use five times more weed killers on their crops then they did in 1997, and with 94 percent of soybeans and 72 percent of corn being grown this way, herbicide use has exploded, according to a story in The New York Times. Glyphosate is the largest selling herbicide and it's a main ingredient in Roundup, one of the most popular and widely used herbicides in the U.S.
But recent findings are showing once again, that Monsanto's Roundup can cause major health problems. A new study shows that even when it's diluted to .02 percent of what is sprayed on crops it can cause DNA damage.
The study found that inhaling glyphosate causes acute membrane damage, impairment of mitochondrial functions, and damage to DNA. According to Natural News, polyoxyethyleneamine, an ingredient that facilitates glyphosate's absorption into cells, has been found to significantly increase Roundup's toxicity in humans. The main goal of the study was to see the damage that glyphosate did through inhalation.
Glyphosate Already In Trouble
Monsanto collected $2 billion in sales from Roundup and other glyphosate-based herbicides last year so it's expected that they would stand by their product. But this isn't the first time it's come under fire. The EPA is currently evaluating glyphosate to see whether its use should be eliminated or controlled. The only problem is that their deadline isn't until 2015.
"Glyphosate's days are numbered," said Paul Achitoff, a lawyer for Earthjustice, an environmental law firm that is suing the U.S. Department of Agriculture in part over concerns about heavy glyphosate use.
And it's not just the damage that Roundup Ready crops do through inhalation. The GMO crops themselves, which have been created to be resistant to Roundup, have been shown to cause organ damage as well. One study showed that when GMO corn was fed to rats it did damage to the liver and kidneys, the body's detoxifying organs, as well as the heart, adrenal glands, and spleen.