Europe-The world’s largest human experiment: Laws? We don’t need no stinking laws!

02/08/2011 16:10

By Madison Ruppert - BLN Contributing Writer

In part two of this series I began to delve into the mire the European Union is now being brought in to but I only began to scratch the surface.

The EU Commission responsible for assessing the dangers of pesticides has delayed the review of glyphosate, the main ingredient of Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, until 2015. This was done without a single person of the EU having input on the issue.

In an attempt to justify this delay, the body responsible for conducting the review, the Federal Office for Consumer Protection and Food Safety of Germany (BVL), claimed that they were too busy.

For those who did not download the Earth Open Source report we began to delve into in part two, please do so here:

Roundup and Birth Defects

Note: quotes are cited by section heading not page number.

Glyphosate is not the only pesticide affected by these delays, in fact according to the European Commission’s Directive 2010/77/EU of the 10th of November, 2010, there are a total of 39 potentially toxic pesticides pending review.

However, this is not just a time delay; this will have the dark consequence of glyphosate and the other pesticides being reviewed under the old EU directive. The outdated pesticide Directive 91/414 were designed decades ago and ignore crucial factors in scientific evaluation like, “endocrine disruption, effects on development, effects of added ingredients (adjuvants), effects of combinations of chemicals, and effects on bees.” (2.6)

The old EU Directive does not stipulate that the independent, peer-reviewed scientific literature must be included in the review.

The new Regulation 1107/2009, which was supposed to come into force in June 2011, does not allow the highly questionable unpublished industry studies or studies which are kept from public review.  Furthermore, unlike the old Directive, the new Regulation explicitly states that the future pesticide reviews must include the “scientific peer-reviewed open literature.”

Since glyphosate, and thus Roundup, will not be reviewed under the new Regulation in 2015, all of these pesticides will potentially not have a truly thorough review in the European Union until 2030.

This is, of course, unless the EU Commission demands that the independent scientific literature be taken into account. Without this, the EU will suffer continually from these deadly products just like so much of the rest of the world already is.

In part two I briefly covered the Argentinian scientist Andres Carrasco’s research on Roundup’s effects on the development of chicken and frog embryos. His research found that small amounts of Roundup caused growth abnormalities in the embryos but it was singled out by the German review body, the BVL, as the only study to find problems.

This could not be further from the truth, although since the BVL cites a 1998 Draft Assessment Report on glyphosate, they can attempt to justify their statements. If you read part one of the series, you learned of two studies published in Chemical Research in Toxicity which both showed serious dangerous effects.

Germany’s 1998 report claims there is “no evidence of teratogenicity,” which is the ability of a substance to cause birth defects or malformations of any kind. Both of the studies we reviewed in part one found that glyphosate, and especially Monsanto’s Roundup formula, indeed caused malformations and even necrosis or uncontrolled cellular death.

Despite Carrasco’s results and the other independent studies showing potential dangers of glyphosate Monsanto and Dow claim, “Glyphosate does not cause adverse reproductive effects in adult animals or birth defects in offspring or these adults exposed to glyphosate, even at very high doses.”

To make matters worse for the already shattered reputability of the BVL and massive corporations like Monsanto, their claims are directly contradicted by their own 1998 Draft Assessment Report and the industry studies it is based upon.

According to the German summary of a 1993 study that examined the effects of glyphosate on rabbit fetuses found that there were a high number of major anomalies in all experimental groups. This includes the lowest dose level of 20 mg/kg and represented anomalous heart formations along with skeletal malformations.

Roundup and birth defects: is the public being kept in the dark? lists four other studies listed in the 1998 report that directly contradict the statements of Monsanto and the German regulatory body.

To sum up their review of the studies, the report reads,

“Taking all these industry studies together, there is enough evidence to require regulators to apply the precautionary principle and withdraw glyphosate from the market.” (3.2)

Indeed, Roundup and glyphosate need to be taken off the market in the United States and around the world as there is a wealth of evidence indicating the dangers in these products. Until there is a large body of independent scientific evidence, it should not be sold.

The greater insanity is that regardless of the evidence showing the dangers of glyphosate and Roundup in particular, it is allowed to be present in food supposedly fit for human consumption.

As I mentioned in part two of this series, the so-called Roundup Ready genetically modified varieties of crops engineered by Monsanto only absorb the toxin and live, passing the buck to the consumer instead of killing the plant itself.

The Genetically Modified food (GM RR) thus puts glyphosate-based Roundup into the food supply, no matter what animal happens to consume it.

Knowing the overwhelming evidence provided both by industry studies and independent, peer-reviewed scientific studies, corporations like Monsanto have continued to market and distribute their products at an unprecedented level. Even more disturbing is the fact that governments have allowed this to occur.

The Earth Open Source report gives the following outline of the deliberate cover-up of the dangers of glyphosate, and thus Roundup, perpetrated by industry and government alike.

  • Industry (including Monsanto) has known since the 1980s that glyphosate causes malformations in experimental animals at high doses.
  • Industry has known since 1993 that these effects could also occur at low and mid doses.
  • The German government has known that glyphosate causes malformations since at least 1998, the year it submitted its DAR on glyphosate to the EU Commission.
  • The EU Commission’s expert scientific review panel has known since 1999 that glyphosate causes malformations.
  • The EU Commission has known since 2002 that glyphosate causes malformations. This was the year its DG SANCO division published its final review report, laying out the basis for the current approval of glyphosate.

In part four we will continue to explore this report.

If you would like to tip me off to research or point my towards an issue to cover please do not hesitate to e-mail me at

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