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DBL%20Hendrix%20small.png College chemistry, 1983

Derek Lowe The 2002 Model

Dbl%20new%20portrait%20B%26W.png After 10 years of blogging. . .

Derek Lowe, an Arkansan by birth, got his BA from Hendrix College and his PhD in organic chemistry from Duke before spending time in Germany on a Humboldt Fellowship on his post-doc. He's worked for several major pharmaceutical companies since 1989 on drug discovery projects against schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, diabetes, osteoporosis and other diseases. To contact Derek email him directly: derekb.lowe@gmail.com Twitter: Dereklowe

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April 30, 2013

Is Glyphosate Poisoning Everyone?

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Posted by Derek

I've had a few people send along this article, on the possible toxicological effects of the herbicide glyphosate, wondering what I make of it as a medicinal chemist. It's getting a lot of play in some venues, particularly the news-from-Mother-Nature outlets. After spending some time reading this paper over, and looking through the literature, I've come to a conclusion: it is, unfortunately, a load of crap.

The authors believe that glyphosate is responsible for pretty much every chronic illness in humans, and a list of such is recited several times during the course of the long, rambling manuscript. Their thesis is that the compound is an inhibitor of the metabolizing CYP enzymes, of the biosynthesis of aromatic amino acids by gut bacteria, and of sulfate transport. But the evidence given for these assertions, and their connection with disease, while it might look alarming and convincing to someone who has never done research or read a scientific paper, is a spiderweb of "might", "could", "is possibly", "associated with", and so on. The minute you look at the actual evidence, things disappear.

Here's an example - let's go right to the central thesis that glyphosate inhibits CYP enzymes in the liver. Here's a quote from the paper itself:

A study conducted in 1998 demonstrated that glyphosate inhibits cytochrome P450 enzymes in plants [116]. CYP71s are a class of CYP enzymes which play a role in detoxification of benzene compounds. An inhibitory effect on CYP71B1l extracted from the plant, Thlaspi arvensae, was demonstrated through an experiment involving a reconstituted system containing E. coli bacterial membranes expressing a fusion protein of CYP71B fused with a cytochrome P450 reductase. The fusion protein was assayed for activity level in hydrolyzing a benzo(a)pyrene, in the presence of various concentrations of glyphosate. At 15 microM concentration of glyphosate, enzyme activity was reduced by a factor of four, and by 35 microM concentration enzyme activity was completely eliminated. The mechanism of inhibition involved binding of the nitrogen group in glyphosate to the haem pocket in the enzyme.
A more compelling study demonstrating an effect in mammals as well as in plants involved giving rats glyphosate intragastrically for two weeks [117]. A decrease in the hepatic level of cytochrome P450 activity was observed. As we will see later, CYP enzymes play many important roles in the liver. It is plausible that glyphosate could serve as a source for carcinogenic nitrosamine exposure in humans, leading to hepatic carcinoma. N-nitrosylation of glyphosate occurs in soils treated with sodium nitrite [118], and plant uptake of the nitrosylated product has been demonstrated [119]. Preneoplastic and neoplastic lesions in the liver of female Wistar rats exposed to carcinogenic nitrosamines showed reduced levels of several CYP enzymes involved with detoxification of xenobiotics, including NADPH-cytochrome P450 reductase and various glutathione transferases [120]. Hence this becomes a plausible mechanism by which glyphosate might reduce the bioavailability of CYP enzymes in the liver.
Glyphosate is an organophosphate. Inhibition of CYP enzyme activity in human hepatic cells is a well-established property of organophosphates commonly used as pesticides [121]. In [122], it was demonstrated that organophosphates upregulate the nuclear receptor, constitutive androstane receptor (CAR), a key regulator of CYP activity. This resulted in increased synthesis of CYP2 mRNA, which they proposed may be a compensation for inhibition of CYP enzyme activity by the toxin. CYP2 plays an important role in detoxifying xenobiotics [123].

Now, that presumably sounds extremely detailed and impressive if you don't know any toxicology. What you wouldn't know from reading through all of it is that their reference 121 actually tested glyphosate against human CYP enzymes. In fact, you wouldn't know that anyone has ever actually done such an experiment, because all the evidence adduced in the paper is indirect - this species does that, so humans might do this, and this might be that, because this other thing over here has been shown that it could be something else. But the direct evidence is available, and is not cited - in fact, it's explicitly ignored. Reference 121 showed that glyphosate was inactive against all human CYP isoforms except 2C9, where it had in IC50 of 3.7 micromolar. You would also not know from this new paper that there is no way that ingested glyphosate could possibly reach levels in humans to inhibit CYP2C9 at that potency.

I'm not going to spend more time demolishing every point this way; this one is representative. This paper is a tissue of assertions and allegations, a tendentious brief for the prosecution that never should have been published in such a form in any scientific journal. Ah, but it's published in the online journal Entropy, from the MDPI people. And what on earth does this subject have to do with entropy, you may well ask? The authors managed to work that into the abstract, saying that glyphosate's alleged effects are an example of "exogenous semiotic entropy". And what the hell is that, you may well ask? Why, it's a made-up phrase making its first appearance, that's what it is.

But really, all you need to know is that MDPI is the same family of "journals" that published the (in)famous Andrulis "Gyres are the key to everything!" paper. And then made all kinds of implausible noises about layers of peer review afterwards. No, this is one of the real problems with sleazy "open-access" journals. They give the whole idea of open-access publishing a black eye, and they open the floodgates to whatever ridiculous crap comes in, which then gets "peer reviewed" and "published" in an "actual scientific journal", where it can fool the credulous and mislead the uninformed.

Comments (130) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: The Scientific Literature | Toxicology


COMMENTS

1. George Brownfield on April 30, 2013 7:44 AM writes...

Awesome. How dare you deflate a conspiracy theory with facts ;-)

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2. Credible on April 30, 2013 7:51 AM writes...

So I can expect to see this on CNN or Fox next week...

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3. In vivo Veritas on April 30, 2013 8:09 AM writes...

Stephanie Seneff! What an embarrassment she must be to MIT. She actually was a passable language/cognition scientist, but she's gone off the rails. I guess she's tenured, or she would be long gone.

I love her caveat on her home page about her recent spate of publications:

"Note: Entropy is an Open Access journal that is willing to publish novel hypotheses regarding biochemical and biophysical phenomena, which can help the community break out of its current straitjacketed research paradigm. The papers below, many of which were published in Entropy's Special Issue on Biosemiotic Entropy: Disorder, Disease, and Mortality, cover several topics relating environmental toxins to disease, as well as the revolutionary concept that endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) synthesizes sulfate as well as nitric oxide. The papers were subjected to rigorous review by experts who were not beholden to industry influence. These papers collectively explain how widespread cholesterol sulfate deficiency throughout the body is behind most modern diseases and conditions."

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4. The Iron Chemist on April 30, 2013 8:25 AM writes...

"Straitjacketed research paradigm?" "Biosemiotic entropy?" Somebody whip out the crackpot index.

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5. anon the II on April 30, 2013 8:42 AM writes...

I'm wondering if your post on glyphosate was prompted by a trip to the midwest. When I visit my in-laws in Iowa, the discussion often turns to the miracle of Round-up and Round-up ready crops. And, the coming horror of Round-up resistant weeds and how that happens is discussed. If nothing else, a lot of people who don't believe that dinosaurs ever existed are seeing evolution in action.

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6. Marcelle on April 30, 2013 8:47 AM writes...

"Exogenous semiotic entropy" is going to be my new excuse for everything. Or the name of my new band...

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7. Rebecca Gavin on April 30, 2013 8:57 AM writes...

Another humorous and enlightening point is that Entropy is a pay for publication journal. The authors actually paid to have their paper published in this sad excuse for a scientific journal. I can't seem to find where I read it, but one science blogger said that Senoff actually has "published" eight papers in a special issue of Entropy, and that the approximate cost of that, to her, is around $9,000.

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8. MTK on April 30, 2013 9:15 AM writes...

It's incredible to me how much people generally fail to recognize the importance of dose and exposure to toxicity. The arguments for aspartame toxicity always point out how bad phenylalanine or methanol is without ever considering dose and exposure particularly relative to other ingested foods.

If it's bad, it's bad!

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9. Vader on April 30, 2013 9:36 AM writes...

@MTK #8 --

I would be happy to encourage folks who think this way to eliminate all phenylalanine from their diet and that of their children.

But then I'm kind of ruthlessly Darwinistic that way.

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10. Algirdas on April 30, 2013 9:49 AM writes...

@Rebecca,

just have a look at TOC of the special issue (man, this one really puts 'special' into 'special issue'):

http://www.mdpi.com/journal/entropy/special_issues/biosemiotic_entropy

I count 7 articles with Senoff as an author.

As to the cost - that is nothing surprising, and, by itself, does not indicate that MDPI is a predatory publisher. Content hosting costs money, as do staff salaries. PLOS One charged us US$1000+ for an article last year.

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11. Tamar Haspel on April 30, 2013 9:56 AM writes...

Derek -- Thanks for the dope on reference 121. I wrote the Huffington Post piece you link to, and I didn't catch it.

The paper irritated me not only because it was crap, but because it seemed to be written in such a way as to attempt to bamboozle the non-scientist -- lots of big words, lots of references. Being a non-scientist, there's nothing I dislike more than being bamboozled, so I'm glad to see an actual, genuine scientist explaining it clearly.

So thanks.

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12. TB on April 30, 2013 9:58 AM writes...

Check out reference 259 in the Samsel and Seneff paper and contrast what they say it found with what it actually found. Even a first year grad student would know they couldn't get away with this.

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13. sven on April 30, 2013 10:20 AM writes...

Seneff is an electrical engineer. She thinks Alzheimer's is caused by sunscreen and the flu vaccine! See this by Seneff:
http://www.spacedoc.com/recipe_alzheimers_disease

"The elderly are greatly encouraged to renew their flu shots every single year, and I think this is another major factor that is steadily increasing their risk to Alzheimer's disease. This is mainly due to the aluminum contained in the flu shot."


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14. Dan on April 30, 2013 10:20 AM writes...

I can't speak to the quality of this review, but surely inactivity against a panel of cytochromes doesn't prove glyphosate is safe for chronic ingestion?

Just wondering about the possibility they're acting like cranks but still have a point. I guess this would require an incredibly tedious point-by-point debunking.

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15. Curious Wavefunction on April 30, 2013 10:21 AM writes...

I think you doom yourself to a state of disorder the moment you name your journal "Entropy".

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16. Scarodactyl on April 30, 2013 10:26 AM writes...

@Curious WaveFunction: Be that as it may, you're also guaranteed long-term growth.

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17. Dave on April 30, 2013 10:30 AM writes...

Flu vaccines contain Aluminum? I knew that they contained Mercury:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thiomersal

Dave

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18. Sleepless in SSF on April 30, 2013 10:41 AM writes...

The Seneff article is nothing compared to the comments on Tamara Haspel's HuffPo article. Some days I don't know whether to pound my head on the desk or weep for the future of the human race.

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19. Boris on April 30, 2013 10:55 AM writes...

#17 - the adjuvant used in most vaccines is aluminum hydroxide or aluminum hydroxy phosphate.

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20. Boris on April 30, 2013 10:55 AM writes...

#17 - the adjuvant used in most vaccines is aluminum hydroxide or aluminum hydroxy phosphate.

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21. Boris on April 30, 2013 10:55 AM writes...

#17 - the adjuvant used in most vaccines is aluminum hydroxide or aluminum hydroxy phosphate.

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22. RM on April 30, 2013 10:59 AM writes...

Rebecca Gavin@7 - From a purely cynical point of view, it's $9,000 well spent. She's now the darling of the anti-pesticide & anti-GMO crowds. Even if her current career goes belly-up, she's almost guaranteed to be able to land a job at some think tank or specialty "research organization", assuming she's content to turn the crank on the "pesticides are killing us" promotion machine. She also stands a good chance of being a media darling to fill the "reputable scientist who says pesticides are bad" chair on a he-said she-said featurette.

It certainly worked for Andrew Wakefield. (hat tip to Ben Goldacre)

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23. Mike F on April 30, 2013 11:24 AM writes...

Interesting read Derek, I had not heard of this controversy before. It goes to show how wrapping an argument around selected data and tenuous connections can make almost anything sound plausible. Thanks for untangling the web.

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24. sven on April 30, 2013 11:38 AM writes...

I am Machiavellian on this one. Let Seneff publish all she wants. The more publications in writing out there the easier it is for everyone to finally discredit these antiScience people. These people can then be connected directly to mainstream opinion news blogs who publish it, like huffingtonpost.

This then discredits the well-known antiAgScience agenda of huffingtonpost. farmers and science then win.

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25. CMJ on April 30, 2013 11:38 AM writes...

Hmm...Smells like something that would translate well into a NewScientist article...

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26. CMJ on April 30, 2013 11:39 AM writes...

Hmm...Smells like something that would translate well into a NewScientist article...

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27. ptm on April 30, 2013 12:06 PM writes...

Clearly you lot have already been poisoned and cannot comprehend the gravity of the situation. Your only hope now is to embrace exogenous semiotic entropy!

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28. Dave on April 30, 2013 12:23 PM writes...

Speaking as a toxicologist who teaches risk assessment: great blog Derek.

Pesticides are a magnet for scientific misinformation. What most people fail to realize is that any "chemical" (and many "things") can be a pesticide. It's the claims that are made that determine if a product is a pesticide.

Several years ago, a consumer products company sold a vegetable wash to remove pesticides. However, it also said the wash removed bacteria, which was a pesticidal claim. As a result, the wash itself was a registered pesticide, i.e., it was a pesticide used to wash pesticides off fruit. (in reality, it was just a simple soap)

Even simple fabric pillow/matress covers that control beg bugs or mites are considered "pesticides". If it has an EPA registration # on it, it's a registered pesticide.

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29. The Iron Chemist on April 30, 2013 12:24 PM writes...

@27: I don't know. I think endogenous semiotic entropy's the way to go.

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30. Hap on April 30, 2013 12:39 PM writes...

If your peers are the people who publish in Entropy, what exactly does that say about you?

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31. Dave on April 30, 2013 12:45 PM writes...

Speaking as a toxicologist who teaches risk assessment: great blog Derek.

Pesticides are a magnet for scientific misinformation. What most people fail to realize is that any "chemical" (and many "things") can be a pesticide. It's the claims that are made that determine if a product is a pesticide.

Several years ago, a consumer products company sold a vegetable wash to remove pesticides. However, they also said the wash removed bacteria, which was a pesticidal claim. As a result, the wash itself was a registered pesticide, i.e., it was a pesticide used to wash pesticides off fruit. (in reality, it was just a simple soap)

Even simple fabric pillow/matress covers that control beg bugs or mites are considered "pesticides". If it has an EPA registration # on it, it's a registered pesticide.

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32. Anonymous on April 30, 2013 12:46 PM writes...

What are you all- Shrills for the Glyphosate Industry?

The paper in question may be suspect to bad scientific interpretation and full of crap, but study the toxicological effects of the beast and its metabolites (over 900 references) and you will find it has significant toxic effects in most and a wide variety organisms up the food chain.

And Toxi Dave, get real.

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33. barry on April 30, 2013 12:57 PM writes...

thank, Derek!
Debunking this pseudoscience is an important intellectual exercise and an important service to the uneducated public.
Monsanto has much to answer for. But Glyphosate replaced a shelf-ful of dangerous persistent herbicides with one that is not persistent in the environment and which is remarkably safe in mammals. That's a big win, of which Monsanto should be proud.

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34. Anonymous on April 30, 2013 1:02 PM writes...

Monsanto should be proud? Are you brain damaged #33? And there are still plenty of nasty herbicides in all your foods. Go lookk up chemicals found in orange and grape juice. Guess what? You wont find any publications here because no one studies the obvious. Then go to European viniculture journals. Viola! Plenty are studied over there!

Its a cover up that we are poisoned by agricultural chemicals.

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35. anonimous on April 30, 2013 1:25 PM writes...

#34 "Go lookk up chemicals found in orange and grape juice."


Yep, both of these got DHMO in them! more than 1% by weight, if I'm any judge of these things.

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36. A Non-Mousse on April 30, 2013 1:29 PM writes...

I love it when, whenever presented with actual evidence, the rabble accuses us of being shills for one company or another (the accusation itself made obviously without evidence). It's about the best way to signal an end to the conversation.

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37. regioisomer on April 30, 2013 1:32 PM writes...

Yes, DMHO - nature's deadliest chemical. Millions die every year after ingesting it....

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38. ClutchChemist on April 30, 2013 1:32 PM writes...

#34,

Obviously you are anti-agrochemicals and mostly likely anti-GMO's as well. We are not going to change your mind in a blog comments section. My question is, do you have any better options for feeding the ever-growing population of the world? It is a fact that most of the arable land in the world is - guess what? - already being used for farming. That means we have to either (a) produce more food from the same amount of land using agrotechnological advances or (b) stop population growth by selectively killing babies. Neither are easy, but which one of those seems more reasonable? I'll take (a).

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39. Anonymous on April 30, 2013 1:54 PM writes...

Stop with the DMHO bullshit and I am not anti-chemical or anti-GMO. But forcing glyphosate and not using more modern rechniques of crop and livestock rotation is core to the problem.

But isnt science and especially chemistry supposed to warn us of chemicals that are deleterious in the environment and food supply? It works in Europe, but why not the good ol' USA?

Its because the lobbyists and their companies control the US food supply and its use of deleterious chemicals en masse.
The real problem is most scientists do not stand up against such exposures as you are all sycophants and drones of mass consumption.

And you are threatened by such statements contrary to your belief systems.

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40. NUchemist on April 30, 2013 2:08 PM writes...

#39 Anonymous - you obviously have under-developed critical thinking skills

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41. Jim on April 30, 2013 2:20 PM writes...

@39 anonymous:

Paint with broad brushes much?

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42. Anonymous on April 30, 2013 2:26 PM writes...

Critical Thinking?

A majority (>98%) of the scientific papers on glyphosate and AMPA come from countries other than the US.

How come no US scientists study the compound?

How's that for broad brushes?

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43. A Non-Mousse on April 30, 2013 2:39 PM writes...

#42: if that is the case, how about providing links to five papers based on all those non-US studies that document demonstrable harm caused by glyphosate using statistically sound and rigorous experiments? Five is all I ask for. Let's see you walk the talk.

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44. Hap on April 30, 2013 2:39 PM writes...

Pot? Is that you?

Either one of you, actually.

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45. Anonymous on April 30, 2013 2:47 PM writes...

Well, as soon as I found out all the chemicals that they put in my orange juice and drinking water, I quickly switched to grain alcohol distilled from organically grown crops. I feel much better now.

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46. sven is not an anonymous name on April 30, 2013 3:20 PM writes...

#39 Anonymous..
You think we should use more modern techniques in agriculture? Roundup IS modern farming. What you mean by modern? I am sure you want to use 100 year old organic. But of course.. pesticides like copper sulfur dust are used today for "organic". Would you rather have me (a farm owner) use more atrazine which is harsher? Atrazine has significant carry over. Europe uses a lot of chemicals harsher than Roundup. They have to use pesticides other than glyphosate since they have very little Roundup-ready crops.

You really need to get more modern. Even 1950 would be an improvement for you. You are obviously playing among the grown ups here.

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47. Shaun on April 30, 2013 3:25 PM writes...

I am not educated enough to get on either side of the toxicological argument about glyphosate. I do have enough common sense to know that we have to stop using these chemicals, which includes fertilizers. The issue of long term health damage to human is a moot point. In my opinion. The way we pour NPK salts and the other assorted chemicals onto our farmland, desertification is inevitable. Do a little research on how "dead" our farmlands are as far as soil microrganisms.

Another point, Roundup is great, but it seems that mother nature wins in the end. There are weeds that survive glyphosate. Or am I wrong? My understanding is that we now have "superweeds" which include pigweed, ryegrass, and marestail and they laugh at glyphosate. I mean, I am not a scientist but I remember some of my AP high school science, it's called selective pressure. Right? I would love to be wrong about this, but I am pretty certain it's true. I am from a farming family and I pay attention at Christmas dinner.

I don't have an iron in this fire except that I want my children, and their children, to not have to deal with a polluted world. We should deal with it now.

When people engage in this "my science is better than your science" I just want to barf. So many smart people, so much energy wasted, so much damage being done to our environment and water supply but everyone is too busy being blind to the real dangers. I say the only danger about Monsanto is that smart people are wasting a bunch of time attacking this single issue, when there are much much larger issues we could use their brainpower on.

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48. ars-chemia on April 30, 2013 3:44 PM writes...

I read the comments over at HuffPo also and it can make one despair for our future.

If one breaks down "endogenous semiotic entropy" it really makes no sense.

Endogenous = coming from outside of the organism, ok there.

semiotic = of or relating to symptoms, ok there also.

entropy = the amount of energy not available to a system to perform useful work, eh?

It's kind of like the old Sesame Street game. Which one of these things is not like the other? Which one of these things does not belong?

With each of these articles, Sagan's candle in the dark starts to sputter a little bit more. But then along comes Derek and Tamar to try to add more fuel to the candle so it doesn't go out.

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49. RM on April 30, 2013 3:56 PM writes...

Anonymous@39 :But isnt science and especially chemistry supposed to warn us of chemicals that are deleterious in the environment and food supply?

No. No it's not.

Science and chemistry are supposed to tell us about the world as it actually exists, not the way our parents told us it works, not the way the breathless reporters tell us it works, not even the way we want it to work. Science (ideally) should give us cold, hard, unrelenting reality. It should ride roughshod over our quaint prejudices and be ruthlessly brutal with our preconceived notions.

The implicit undertone in your question - the presumption that "chemicals" are likely to be harmful, and that Science's duty is limited to identifying that fact - is misguided at best. While Science certainly should identify those chemicals which cause harm to people and the environment, it should also identify the fact that there are chemicals which *don't* cause massive harm, and are perfectly safe when used under appropriate conditions. Ignoring well-performed scientific evidence that a substance fails to cause deleterious results is just as bad as ignoring well-performed scientific evidence that it does. And promoting shoddy, low-quality evidence that it does cause harm is just as bad as promoting shoddy, low-quality evidence that it doesn't.

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50. Anonymous on April 30, 2013 4:09 PM writes...

Here you go all of you- start reading! Not an American author among them!

onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/em.21775/abstract
www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0166445X1300026X
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23332878
www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1382668912000786
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23099315

"Reality is what it is- Not what you want it to be"---Frank Zappa

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51. Wile E. Coyote, Genius on April 30, 2013 4:14 PM writes...

Oh the humanity! I can just see the apocalypse coming. The glyphosate resistant GMO corn will grow legs due to the radiation exposure from the loss of the ozone hole. This GMO corn will mutate into exloding pop corn, that will march upon us and explode and destroy us due to the incomprehensibly hot environment from the devastating global warming. Talk about endogenous biosemiotic entropy!

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52. anonymous on April 30, 2013 5:02 PM writes...

Thank you for debunking this example of "drive by science" - a term I made up for this kind of drivel.

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53. qetzal on April 30, 2013 5:21 PM writes...

@13,

Alzheimer's is mainly due to aluminum in flu shots?!! There is no aluminum in flu shots! Never has been. (Not in the US at least.)

I dislike crackpots in any case, but crackpots who are too lazy or incompetent to get simple facts straight are just contemptible.

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54. dave w on April 30, 2013 7:02 PM writes...

The sad part is that stuff like this is offered as a "free full text PDF" on the web while the 'real' papers are often behind "XXX Corp. Online Library" pay-walls...

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55. josh on April 30, 2013 7:10 PM writes...

@Anonymous- " I quickly switched to grain alcohol distilled from organically grown crops"

I would hazard a guess that you might be overdoing it a bit.

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56. gippgig on April 30, 2013 8:14 PM writes...

The chemistry is wrong too. Benzopyrene is hydrolyzed (after being epoxidated) by epoxide hydrolase, which is not a CYP. (Anybody test the effect of glyphosate on EH?) Glyphosate is not an organophosphate; it is a phosphONate.
Incidentally, I'm the one responsible for naming the CYP genes. They were originally named P450C; I thought that was too unwieldy and suggested CYP.

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57. Mary on April 30, 2013 8:40 PM writes...

My comment with a link has evaporated--but if you liked the discussion here you should also see the Knight Science Journalism tracker site:

ksj dot mit dot edu / tracker

And look for Paul Raeburn's post on Keith Kloor's piece.

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58. MoMo on April 30, 2013 9:19 PM writes...

Why all the fuss? More and random pesticides equals more jobs for medicinal chemists making anticancer and neurological drugs for neuroinflammatory diseases. And food toxins added by man are paired with new drugs all the time! Look what Yellow #5 did for the Ritalin and ADHD industries everywhere! Bis phenol A and breast cancer drugs!
It bests Wiley E Coyotes mutant corn scenario by far! Hey Mom! Whats for supper? Mutant gametes? Great! Pass the Insurance Policy!

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59. Esteban on April 30, 2013 9:48 PM writes...

The rabidity of the anti-GMO crowd knows no bounds. There must be a legion of them doing web searches around the clock looking for posts like this on which to make their crackpot statements in the comments section. Watch out Derek, someone is going to hack this site and put devil's horns on your headshot. Actually, your beard is a bit pointy and you do have a mischievous look in your eye...

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60. Anonymous on May 1, 2013 2:48 AM writes...

Here you go all of you- start reading! Not an American author among them!

onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/em.21775/abstract
- frog
www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0166445X1300026X
- frog
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23332878
- worm
www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1382668912000786
- fish
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23099315
- cultured rat cells (and interestingly, the very first line of the abstract is: "Glyphosate, a common herbicide, is not toxic under normal exposure circumstances." - the paper then goes on to describe an abnormal circumstance)

Isn't this one of the criticisms of the paper? Taking examples (not human) and extrapolating? A good start for a hypothesis, but where are the large, statistically rigorous human studies?

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61. Stephanie Seneff on May 1, 2013 6:25 AM writes...

Hi Derek:

Why did you leave out the sections in our paper on aromatase, the premier example of glyphosate's disruption of cytochrome P450 enzymes?

Stephanie

Excerpts from our paper:

The evidence that glyphosate inhibits CYP enzymes comes from several directions. There are studies showing inhibition of aromatase, a CYP enzyme that converts testosterone to estrogen, and studies showing enhancement of retinoic acid, which could be achieved by suppressing the CYP enzyme involved in its catabolism. Finally, there are studies that directly show inhibition of detoxifying CYP enzymes in both plants and animals.

Two studies point to a disruption of aromatase activity [109,110]. In [109], as little as 10 ppm. of glyphosate disrupted aromatase activity in human liver HepG2 cells, a well-established cell line to study xenobiotic toxicity. In [110], it was shown that aromatase activity is disrupted in human placental cells at a concentration 100 times lower than that recommended in agricultural use. Furthermore, even small amounts of the adjuvants present in Roundup® could substantially enhance this effect of glyphosate, probably by enhancing the ease with which it gains access to the membrane-bound protein. In experiments with oyster larvae, Roundup® was found to be toxic at less than 1/20 the concentration of glyphosate needed to induce toxicity, thus exhibiting the enormous enhancing effect of Roundup®'s adjuvants [111].

The lipophilic nature of these steroids allows them to diffuse across the lipid bilayers. CYP19A1 (aromatase), whose inhibition has been confirmed in association with glyphosate [109,110] converts androgenic precursors into estrogen. Suppressed aromatase synthesis has been found in the brain in association with autism [169], leading to the “super-male” profile associated with this condition [170].

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62. ClutchChemist on May 1, 2013 7:23 AM writes...

Stephanie,

Why include studies that show glyphosate toxicity when it is directly applied to cells? No one is taking roundup and injecting it into their liver or bloodstream. If you consume tiny amounts of the compound that are residual in food, there is no way it will actually make it into any cells.

@50

I havent had time to read those papers yet, but I will tell you this: It is well known in the agrochemical world that tallow-amine ethoxylates, adjuvants that have been included in roundup to increase leave penetration, are actually more toxic than glyphosate itself, especially to aquatic life and amphibians. So, it is likely that the glyphosate is not the culprit in those references, but the TAE's. Also, they should be doing roundup studies at concentrations found in the run-off from fields, not those used when actually spraying it. No one is going to spray it directly on a river full of frogs and fish. After spraying, the glyphosate and TAE's bind pretty tightly to soil particles, which makes them much less potent than if they were in solution.

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63. ClutchChemist on May 1, 2013 7:33 AM writes...

Sorry for the double post, but it is also worth mentioning that Monsanto and others are moving away from the tallow amine ethoxylates to less toxic adjuvants that have the same function. Some of their current formulations do not use TAE's at all.

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64. Sleepless in SSF on May 1, 2013 9:35 AM writes...

@50 Your premise is ridiculous. I did a google scholar search for "glyphosate amphibian toxicity" (since amphibians were well represented in your references). Here are the author affiliations for the first ten:

Trent U, Carleton U, UVic (Canada); Curtin U (Australia); U Guelph (Canada); U Pittsburgh; National Inst Limnology (Argentina); Environment Canada; U Pitt; Oklahoma State U; Central Washington U; Dartmouth College

Hmm. 50% American, 30% Canadian, 0% European. I'm sure I could have made it 100% American by cherry picking the results, as it seems likely you did for your five.

There's no conspiracy amongst American scientists to cover up glyphosate toxicity just as there is also no evidence of significant human toxicity. Seneff ref 259, as discussed above, is very entertaining. They looked at almost 60,000 glyphosate handlers and couldn't find a significant increase in the risk of any type of cancer. Seneff et al turned that on it's head and claimed a "substantial increased risk of multiple myleoma", while the paper's author's concluded no such thing (the number of MM cases in the study group was too small to draw conclusions from).

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65. Sleepless in SSF on May 1, 2013 9:44 AM writes...

Just have to add: in double checking the cohort size for the glyphosate handler study, I noticed the author affiliations: Fred Hutch, NCI, and NIEHS. All American institutions, for those keeping score at home.

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66. weirdo on May 1, 2013 9:45 AM writes...

OMG. If #61 is the real deal . . .

So Derek EXPLICITLY states he chose a representative example of her lack of scientific rigor and demolishes her case. She comes back with "Yeah, but what about . . . "

Duck and weave, duck and weave.

It's enough for brainless automatons, but not enough for a thinking man, or woman.

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67. barry on May 1, 2013 10:03 AM writes...

@47


At 7billion, the world's population is well past agricultures capacity without added "chemical" fertilizers. I use quote because manure and guano are no less chemicals than is ammonium sulfate by the Haber process.
If we could undo the last century's population growth, we could get by without Haber-process fertilizers. But in 1914 a lot of the world was near starvation (as had been normal for thousands of years). I for one am not eager to go back there.

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68. Vader on May 1, 2013 10:16 AM writes...

"I don't have an iron in this fire except that I want my children, and their children, to not have to deal with a polluted world."

Well, so long as you don't have an iron in the fire ...

Concern troll much?

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69. sven on May 1, 2013 10:25 AM writes...

#39. Anon.

Go back to huffingtonpost and it's antiScience quacks.

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70. YB on May 1, 2013 11:39 AM writes...

Dr. Seneff's scientific contribution to the field of Biosemiotic Entropy is paramount. She practically created the field for herself and her colleagues. Well worth $9,000 spent on publishing her work. I am wondering what is a driving force behind this effort? Is it self-indulgence in satisfying recent interest "in the effect of drugs and diet on health and nutrition"? New chapter in Dr. Seneff's acadamic career? The fact that Dr. Seneff allocated significant part of her MIT webpage to this endeavour and listed all her papers in Entropy along with other (I assume more legitimate) works published elsewhere makes me suspicious that it has something to do with boosting Dr. Seneffs academic career. Sharing ideas via pseudo-peer-reviewed online publications with those who don't mind the lack of scientific scrutiny is one thing. Taking advantage of such publications and putting them on a resume in pursuit of professional goals is a shameful act.

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71. beefsupreme on May 1, 2013 11:49 AM writes...

Because Brawndo's got electrolytes!

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72. The Iron Chemist on May 1, 2013 1:01 PM writes...

You can reference all of the studies you want, but they won't support your case if A) you misinterpret them (willfully or otherwise) or B) they were performed in a shoddy manner.

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73. in vivo Veritas on May 1, 2013 2:37 PM writes...

Stephanie, Derek likely did not do as you asked because he's too stuck in his straitjacketed research paradigm and he's so beholden to industry influence.

Those types of things typically get it the way of appreciating the full grooviness of endogenous semiotic entropy.

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74. Anonymous on May 1, 2013 6:29 PM writes...

You naysayers are elitists. Read the articles showing effects on amphibians. Your comments are reminiscent of the discovery of nonylphenol and its estrogen mimetic activity. It might take a paradigm shift that may take decades to stop glyphosate, but it will happen, and this pro-toxin crowd will be old, gray, or hopefully gone.

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75. Anonymous on May 1, 2013 6:29 PM writes...

You naysayers are elitists. Read the articles showing effects on amphibians. Your comments are reminiscent of the discovery of nonylphenol and its estrogen mimetic activity. It might take a paradigm shift that may take decades to stop glyphosate, but it will happen, and this pro-toxin crowd will be old, gray, or hopefully gone.

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76. wait, elitist? on May 2, 2013 4:54 AM writes...

@74

not elitists. The elite, my friend. If you spend a moment to think about it, many if the people who comment here are the members scientific and technical elite of humankind.

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77. Anonymous on May 2, 2013 7:50 AM writes...

@74

The toxicity to amphibians is due to the adjuvants that are used in the glyphosate called tallow amine ethoxylates. Monsanto is already replacing those compounds with safer ones in some formulations and they are being phased out pretty much everywhere.

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78. dave w on May 2, 2013 12:52 PM writes...

From #61: "Suppressed aromatase synthesis has
been found in the brain in association with
autism [169], leading to the “super-male”
profile associated with this condition [170]."

Yet more crackpottery? I thought "super-male profile"
ranked somewhere with "poisoning from preservatives in
vaccines" as far as -credible- theories of what is
actually going on with autism.

Hmmm... if that were the case, that would suggest that
the set of M->F transgendered individuals, who supposedly
have "female brain wiring" or a "less male profile" (by
some theories) would tend to be mutually exclusive with
that of autistic individuals: is this actually confirmed
statistically, or are trans folks as likely to be autistic
as anyone else?

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79. Morten G on May 3, 2013 8:34 AM writes...

"Global Glyphosate Market to Reach 1.35 Million Metric Tons by 2017, According to a New Report by Global Industry Analysts, Inc."

That's a lot of glyphosate. A lot per year. And looking at things like PCB, asbestos, and CFCs I understand how people can be worried (semi off-topic: anyone notice how triclosan looks like a bastard mix of PCBs and dioxane? No wonder it's persistent in the environment).
That said I do believe that review articles should be written by people that have done research in the field of the review. Simply being a scientist is not adequate.

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80. MoMo on May 3, 2013 9:59 AM writes...

Regardless of what Monsanto does, we as Americans deserve and have the right to speak out against the uses of toxic commercial chemicals. Triclosan, Bis-phenol A and many, many others including glyphosate are turning our food and water supplies is resevoirs of ill. And we are the scientific elite, those who took the time, effort and sacrifice needed to become highly trained in the chemical and biological sciences, and we should speak up when such chemical atrocities are evident.

While we have governing bodies that should protect us they are weak and enfeebled by bias, corruption and malaise. And if not effective, we should take the matter into our own hands and stop these offenses.

"Commerce without morals or ethics is a form of aggression"--Ghandi

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81. qetzal on May 3, 2013 2:07 PM writes...

Funny how certain people just seem to "know" that some things are "chemical atrocities," regardless of the actual evidence.

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82. MoMo on May 3, 2013 5:39 PM writes...

Qetzal- There is actual evidence and its all out there for you all to understand. But you probably like triclosan and its PCB-like side products in your drinking water damaging your brain cells. By your comments it sure seems like it!

Drink up, my man! mmmm-Tasty those hidden toxins!
And free too!

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83. qetzal on May 3, 2013 10:33 PM writes...

Is it? I noticed you didn't cite any of it. Is the evidence against Triclosan any stronger than the evidence regarding glyphosate? Or is it as laughable as Seneff's hand-waving? How about the one where aluminum in flu shots is causing Alzheimer's? You believe that one too?

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84. Secondaire on May 4, 2013 10:22 AM writes...

@ Stephanie, others discussing aromatase;

I once studied the inhibition of aromatase as a possible cancer chemopreventive/cancer treatment route, and I will say that aromatase is an EXTREMELY promiscuous enzyme with an extremely large binding site and an extreme ability to bind (and be inhibited by) all sorts of rubbish. One can put an alkyl chain containing some heme iron-coordinating group (e.g., imidazole) onto even huge pentacyclic alkaloids and still pull out 500 nM. I'm not surprised that a small compound inhibited a promiscuous enzyme, but simply because glyphosate inhibited aromatase in a cell line that's used to study xenobiotic toxicity does not mean it's xenobiotically toxic due to aromatase inhibition.

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85. Anonymous BMS Researcher on May 4, 2013 6:06 PM writes...

In the case of Triclosan, I can tell you lots of fellow infectious disease researchers have been opposed to its widespread use for at least 15 years. I know, because I work on infectious diseases myself, and have been hearing the opinions of colleagues on the subject for a long time.

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86. qetzal on May 4, 2013 6:44 PM writes...

@85 -
Yes, but is that because they're concerned about toxicity? Or resistance?

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87. MoMo on May 4, 2013 6:51 PM writes...

Qetzal- I have much better things to do than debate an ignoramous that has no clue- Go get a Scifinder acct instead of debating me and look at the facts yourself.

But why dont mix up a stiff cocktail of part glyphosate, triclosan and mix in shredded cash register receipts, then report back how you feel.

Peace to all, but if you douse me with hidden and toxic chemicals, expect my scorn!

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88. MoMo on May 4, 2013 7:19 PM writes...

One other thing, all of you! Just because this blog and its med chem Oracle picks some lame paper with all the peer review of a newspaper astrology column, doesnt mean 1000's of researchers and their work should be discounted.

Maybe Derek can pull a real paper on the real toxivities of glyphosate and some serious discussion. But that wouldnt draw quite a draw in this school-yard inquisition.

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89. TB on May 5, 2013 5:07 PM writes...

When you have to sink to personal attack, because you can't cite anything to back up your argument, you lose.

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90. Anonymous on May 6, 2013 2:51 PM writes...

every time i read that MoMo handle i'm reminded of another individual that uses it to pump penny stocks on that sad little corner of the internet, investorshub

It couldn't possibly be the same guy, could it?

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91. MoMo on May 6, 2013 4:28 PM writes...

Sorry Anonymous and TB- not here to pump up stocks of otherwise, and the only losers here are the environment and those who do not wish to be exposed to the wanton use of pesticides and toxins.

But it makes us all wonder why all the interest in bashing papers in internet journals- especially those against pesticides? Why not go after those published in peer-reviewed journals? That would be the scholarly thing to do.

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92. TB on May 7, 2013 9:35 AM writes...

Problem is, a blanket statement against pesticides and herbicides doesn't discriminate between those, like glyphosate, that are non-residual and are even used for prairie restoration with those, like neonicotinoids, that are causing problems like bee die-off.

And, the scholarly thing to do is to cite your sources. You know, like real scientists do.

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93. MoMo on May 7, 2013 1:16 PM writes...

If, you think this Blog is for posting the hundreds of articles on the biological findings with glyphosate, you are mistaken.

But go to PubMed, type in "glyphosate toxicity" and go to town!

Were all adults here, I dont need to hold your hand as you skip down biology lane!

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94. qetzal on May 7, 2013 4:35 PM writes...

Searched PubMed for "glyphosate toxicity." Filtered for Article Type = Review. Pulled out the following key sentences from the first three hits:

1. Epidemiologic studies of glyphosate and cancer: a review
"Our review found no consistent pattern of positive associations indicating a causal relationship between total cancer (in adults or children) or any site-specific cancer and exposure to glyphosate."

2. Developmental and reproductive outcomes in humans and animals after glyphosate exposure: a critical analysis.
"In conclusion, the available literature shows no solid evidence linking glyphosate exposure to adverse developmental or reproductive effects at environmentally realistic exposure concentrations."

3. Epidemiologic studies of glyphosate and non-cancer health outcomes: a review.
"Our review found no evidence of a consistent pattern of positive associations indicating a causal relationship between any disease and exposure to glyphosate."

Sorry, MoMo. I'm still not seeing your 'evident chemical atrocity' here. If you think that this blog is a safe place to make dire claims without offering *any* evidential support, then it's you who are mistaken.

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95. MoMo on May 7, 2013 5:18 PM writes...

You are so right Qetzal! I'll have to get a job at a consulting firm that specializes in reviews of toxicological data, study all the data,then publish it to get my point across! I wonder the funding comes from? Do you have any IDEA?

That way you feel safe eating all that good food courtesy of the Agrochemicals industry!

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96. Dr Me on May 14, 2013 6:27 AM writes...

All I can see from your rebuttal of this research Mr. Derek appears to be rabbit trails and obfuscation. What I want to know is just how much does Monsanto pay you to confuse people with your apparent lack of education and skewed reasoning. If drinking gasoline and rat poision is fine with you, by all means go for it. To encourage other weak minded and illiterate dolts to do the same is purely irresponsible and possibly criminal.

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97. Derek Lowe on May 14, 2013 7:09 AM writes...

#96, "Dr Me":

Monsanto pays me nothing; I don't even know anyone at Monsanto. I confuse the public pro bono.

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98. MoMo on May 14, 2013 12:54 PM writes...

Ha! Ha! This is no doubt one of the longest threads in ITP history!

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99. dzrlib on May 16, 2013 1:37 PM writes...

Sometimes there is a kernel of truth in the pile ...
/The authors/ tested the effects of glyphosate and Roundup at lower nontoxic concentrations on aromatase, the enzyme responsible for estrogen synthesis. The glyphosate-based herbicide disrupts aromatase activity and mRNA levels and interacts with the active site of the purified enzyme, but the effects of glyphosate are facilitated by the Roundup formulation in microsomes or in cell culture. /The authors/ conclude that endocrine and toxic effects of Roundup, not just glyphosate, can be observed in mammals /and/suggest that the presence of Roundup adjuvants enhances glyphosate bioavailability and/or bioaccumulation
[Richard S et al; Environ Health Perspect 113 (6): 716-20 (2005)] **PEER REVIEWED** PubMed Abstract

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100. Derek Lowe on May 16, 2013 1:52 PM writes...

#99, that paper is from the Seralini lab, and his research in the field is somewhat suspect:

http://www.nature.com/news/hyped-gm-maize-study-faces-growing-scrutiny-1.11566

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101. jeanne adiwinata pawitan on May 17, 2013 3:33 AM writes...

As Derek pointed out, the authors used: "might", "could", "is possibly", "associated with", etc, so the whole story is just a hypothesis.

A hypothesis can turned out to be true, or not, it depends on whether someone will test it.

Apart from the lots of contras, I find the article interesting.

Though according to Derek, "that there is no way that ingested glyphosate could possibly reach levels in humans to inhibit CYP2C9 at that potency", how if it is accumulated in a certain organ?

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102. j on May 17, 2013 3:42 AM writes...

Dear ClutchChemist (62)
Tiny amount can be accumulated in a certain organ, if the exposure is chronic. You will know the result only after a very long time.

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103. MoMo on May 17, 2013 12:33 PM writes...

Derek,

You pick one paper from the many that Seralini published, then bash it too. You should read the one that was published where glyophosate, at levels encountered in environmental and food level exposures, caused significant levels of damge to Leydig and other reproductive cells.

Thats the studies that matter, not whether you directly cause tumor formation.

But that's what you do best, pick a sensationalist topic and beat it to death, ignoring the important studies.

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104. frank on May 19, 2013 1:40 AM writes...

I have one question:

One of the claims regarding glyphosate toxicity, is that while the enzyme 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase (EPSPS) is not present in mammals, it does exist in the microorganisms living in our gastrointestinal tract.

This should be an easy question to answer in a yes or no fashion.

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105. frank on May 19, 2013 1:49 AM writes...

Forgot to actually type in the question:

does epsps exist in the bacteria and/or fungi in our gut or not?

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106. Sigh on May 29, 2013 7:24 PM writes...

Organophosphates were once used with abandon, before the science was done, and those selling them denied AT ALL LEVELS that their products could possibly be at fault. (Let's not even get into things like asbestos).

This blog (and comments) are embarrassing trash to the science community.

The author should be ashamed: the paper *never* claimed that the CYP in humans was blocked, it claimed that it was blocked in their gut fauna, and thus lead to issues. A hypothesis that actually has some weight to it, and *should* (in a proper scientific community) lead to research on the topic. (No matter what you think of the paper's authors).

You have comments by people like "Dave" stating that "pesticides get a bad wrap" when a) Glyos are herbicides, not pesticides and b) there's plenty of papers out there showing that pesticides *do* block the CYP process in humans and that's why we've banned / limited their uses.


Seriously: this entire blog is a joke.


If you need a pointer, I'd suggest: Bad Pharma - http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bad-Pharma-companies-mislead-patients/dp/0007350740

Corporate Science is being corrupted constantly, and for this blogger to throw the baby out with the bath water because it's convenient / the authors are whacky / they have an agenda is BAD SCIENCE.


Monsanto (and other agribusinesses) are known to pervert the scientific method. We need to look into environmental effects of chemicals in entire ecosystems (be that the gut, a river delta, food webs from plankton > whales or WHATEVER).

Bad science. Disgusting.

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107. Derek Lowe on May 29, 2013 8:40 PM writes...

I know that reading the paper is painful, but you really should do it before attacking what I've written about it. So it never claims that CYP in humans is blocked? Try this part:

Glyphosate from food sources or as a contaminant in water would be likely to reach the liver in high concentrations through direct transport from the digestive system via the hepatic portal vein. It could be anticipated that glyphosate would disrupt many of the diverse CYP enzymes that are bioactive in the liver, involved in cholesterol synthesis and metabolism, vitamin D3 synthesis and metabolism, the detoxification of xenobiotics, and regulation of retinoic acid.

Glyphosate would also be expected to travel throughout the blood stream, disrupting any CYP enzymes it comes in contact with. . .

Honestly, this wasn't hard to find.

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108. Sigh on May 30, 2013 5:01 AM writes...

@ Derek.

I'll accept that; I only skim read the paper and treated it as a Wikipedia article, I was more interested in their 286 citations. Given the Journal & authors (the male in particular), it's more interesting to treat it as such.

However, my point still stands on gut fauna & the worse types of Corporately sponsored 'science'.

There's been novel research recently regarding "feces transplants" to cure various illnesses such as Crohn's, and looking into potential disruption of gut fauna by environmental herbicides has a lot of merit, imo.

As I said: Don't throw the Baby out with the bath water. Seralini's trials might have issues, *however* the response should be to duplicate / do 2 year studies, not attack the man. Quite why we're not doing this by default is largely covered by the book I linked to (Bad Pharma); unless you're willing to go on record & state that there's no problems at all with the data manipulation and so on documented there?

If you are, then you're not a scientist, you're an employee. That's how science works: or used to, before $ was put over all.

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109. Anonymous on May 30, 2013 8:05 PM writes...

Gee whiz you guys.... Nature has had wheat doing just fine for a reeeeeaaalyyy long time....why you gotta go messing with it??? Leave my food alone or ima gonna poke you wit my fork... Freaking eggheads....

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110. Derek Lowe on May 30, 2013 8:32 PM writes...

#108, Sigh:

The fecal transplant stuff is very interesting indeed. I think that there's a lot of good stuff yet to be learned about microbiota and the human body. I doubt, personally, that there's enough herbicide residue in food to disturb the gut biota so severely - and I really doubt that there's enough by the time food gets to the colon, which is where you run into Crohn's, etc. But I have no problem with people looking into the possibility.

As for Seralini, the problem is "falsus in unum, falsus in omnia". His studies in which the truth has been stretched or spun are enough to make you wonder about all the rest of the work. And if you'd like to apply that principle to the rest of the work on herbicides, go ahead. It seems to me, though, as someone outside the field, that independent researchers come down a lot closer to Monsanto's results than they do to Seralini's.

His most recent work, the two-year study in rats, completely failed to mention that Sprague-Dawley rats have a huge tendency to develop tumors all on their own during that long (for a rat) period. Instead, he seemed happy to make it seem as if all the tumors came from GMO corn and/or glyphosate instead. An excellent close look at the study can be found here: http://www.emilywillinghamphd.com/2012/09/was-it-gmos-or-bpa-that-did-in-those.html

As for your last point, if you have a date before which scientists did not think about making money from their discoveries, I'd be interested to hear what year that is. . .

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111. Derek Lowe on May 30, 2013 8:37 PM writes...

109: if you think that the wheat you're eating came from Nature, you need to think again. Wheat's ancestor looks like a weedy grass. What we have today is the result of thousands of years of human labor, and most of it's genetic engineering done the old-fashioned way. Respect those guys: we humans did the same thing to corn and to many other crops. Nature didn't provide us with anything like what we have today.

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112. m dekker on June 1, 2013 7:41 AM writes...

uhuh

powered by the $$$ of monsanto ?

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113. Bombo on June 2, 2013 5:52 PM writes...

Sigh is right. To the rest of you (Derek), my humble regards to ur doctor. For me, Im sure the food companies know the damage they are doing. Remember, "DDT is good for you". Im sure Monsanto knows. Yes, Teflon is no problem either. Ur a bunch of pedantic corporate groupies (PCG's) so remember, the bees just decided to leave, it has nothing to do with "better living thru chemistry".
Ooops, Im sorry, am I going to fast for yawl. Well Im leaving now because no amt of writing on the wall or ur face will make a dent in ur lopsided indoctrination.
BomBo

PS - stop drinking that fluorine. Its affecting the way you think, ya think?

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114. Steve Magruder on June 6, 2013 8:16 AM writes...

@77...

Re: "The toxicity to amphibians is due to the adjuvants that are used in the glyphosate called tallow amine ethoxylates. Monsanto is already replacing those compounds with safer ones in some formulations and they are being phased out pretty much everywhere."

I agree that the subject study is full of holes, but this statement describes part of my reasoning for supporting labeling of GMOs and considering banning them (and no, I'm not anti-science, before anyone wants to level such a baseless charge).

Should we relax when Monsanto is removing TAE from Roundup, or should we ask the hard question: Why didn't Monsanto ensure that independent, peer-reviewed studies were conducted on this additive _before_ it was introduced in a widely available commercial product?

How many other chemicals or organisms are Monsanto releasing into the wild without rigorous scientific testing being done beforehand?

Anyone who supports the rigors of science should be wondering about this.

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115. Steve Magruder on June 6, 2013 8:39 AM writes...

#111:

Intraspecies breeding over a long period of time is not the same thing as the high-tech horizontal transfer of genes, in some cases, across kingdoms.

Hopefully, nobody is assuming the long-term consequences of the latter is as well understood as the former.

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116. YA.U ABDULLAHI on June 10, 2013 4:35 AM writes...

WE EXPECT COMENTS FROM NTA IN NIGERIA.THECHEMICAL IS HIGHLY PRODUCE IN NIGERIA.

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117. Anonymous on June 13, 2013 9:07 AM writes...

It's a funny. When articles use the same terminology of "could," "might," "associated with," to link cannabis to "harmful side effects," for some reason many people take that very seriously. They even label getting sleepy and losing your balance as side effects of its "poisoning." I always thought poison must be something which causes death or injury (according to its definition anyway) and not something that was cured by waiting for it to leave the system. If people take those results so seriously, is anyone really surprised that likely these same people think glyphosate will kill them? The word "poison" is being hopelessly misconstrued these days.

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118. Jeff Martin on June 16, 2013 3:52 PM writes...

While glyphosate may be fairly non-toxic, when it's included in Monsanto's Roundup, it becomes deadly toxic. It is the one of the inactive ingredients in Roundup that makes glyphosate deadly. Since it's a Monsanto trade secret on exactly what is in Roundup, we don't know what chemical is reacting with glyphosate to make it deadly to humans and animals.

Additionally, Roundup Ready food crops are also deadly to humans. The Roundup gene Monsanto fires into the DNA of plants is a crapshoot. Even Monsanto doesn't know the long term effects on humans are. Why not? Because they haven't done any studies and they don't care. There are studies out there that have pretty good evidence that human DNA can be affected by consuming Roundup Ready products. "The World According to Monsanto," is a great place to start understanding Roundup and Monsanto.

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119. rene on July 11, 2013 12:27 AM writes...

Hello Derek, Thanks for the critique. While I agree with your conclusions, let us not forget that the track record of certain corporate entities, tolerance for critical analysis of their own product, is fraught with examples of misrepresentation and lack of concern for the long term effects of anything other than short term gain. We should not abandon our concern about chemicals that are added to our environment on such as scale as Round-up and the their potential impact on human health as well as the larger environment. Don't throw the baby out with the bath water.

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120. Jim on July 14, 2013 5:23 PM writes...

Hello, the title of this article says it all. Is glyphosate poisoning everyone? The question is not answered and the answer should be clear. What value is there in attacking deductive reasoning? Disregarding the obvious is the not so obvious problem. How the CYP pathway is affected is really quite irrelevant. For example, I enjoy sausage making and cannot use hog casings from GM fed pigs due to the poor quality. Natural hog casings must be imported. Deductive reasoning insists there is a problem with hogs fed GM crops. Does anyone here truly give a rats ass why the GM food is poisoning our pigs? The fact that it is should be enough. Furthermore, since it's affecting the quality of hog casings, what is the probability of it negatively impacting our own health? Do you need a scientific study to confirm your suspicions? When eliminating GM products from the diet, the results are clear and consistent. We can blame the machine, but we're the ones building the machine.

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121. Leandro on July 15, 2013 7:34 PM writes...

"Do you need a scientific study to confirm your suspicions?"

Good lord. GOOD LORD!!

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122. Delta Echo on July 15, 2013 10:41 PM writes...

#120: So. X appears to happen in Y. We don't need to know why, just knowing X = Y though our personal observation is enough.

Therefore, if people standing on hilltops waving rakes at the sky and cursing the name of Zeus in thunderstorms (X) get hit by lightning on a regular basis (Y), then clearly it is because Zeus is angry at them, no research necessary!

Dear lord, indeed.

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123. Jim on August 10, 2013 10:17 PM writes...

The intent was to encourage the use of simple logic(common sense). If one is "standing on hilltops waving rakes at the sky and cursing the name of Zeus in thunderstorms(X) getting hit by lightning on a regular basis(Y)", then perhaps one shouldn't do that? A comprehensive study could rule out the cursing of Zeus as a factor. However, all too often studies identify Zeus as the cause. After all, the rake salesmen stands to lose a fortune. Other studies ruling out Zeus as a factor, typically result in an unfortunate disconnect between the science and the field.

Perhaps the point was missed?

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124. AdamO on August 19, 2013 10:36 PM writes...

Jim your hog casing issue is due to high grain rations fed in modern livestock finishing and not likely due to GMO's or glyphosate. High energy ration are hard on animal physiology. However since they are quickly turned into tasty, tasty bacon their long term health is not of concern. Science is the continous building on what we know today. We do need to question current knowledge but we can't get to the next step without understanding what we have now. What I do know is that as a farmer and agronomist pure organic farming is not sustainable, if for anything the phosphate cycle and the current nutrient paradigm. As farmers it is in our interest to minimize inputs for simple economic reasons nevermind our awareness of long term ecological sustainability. While there are a few scientists chasing around thousands of dollars funding,each and every one of us has millions tied up in our farms. I can assure you that our practices are leaps and bounds more sustainable than even 20 years ago and you don't need a phd to see that in the health of our soils.

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125. Zack on September 4, 2013 9:04 PM writes...

The effects of glyphosate and by-products on digestion was not researched prior to approval in the USA, but glyphosate is registered as an antibiotic and studies show it is antimicrobial.

Food is digested by bacteria in the gut, and glyphosate is antimicrobial, so kills some digestive bacteria. Allergies correlate statistically with lack of digestive bacteria, killed by low level antibiotics like glyphosate.

With no Country-of-Origin nor GE labeling, we can assume corn and soy foods and animal feed contain glyphosate residues. Clearly young parents would appreciate laws restricting the availability of GE foods, until repeatable longterm studies clarify effects of glyphosate and by-products on digestion.

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126. Zack on September 18, 2013 12:00 AM writes...

Hi Grim Eaters -
Some conventional WHEAT farmers use RoundUp on their fields to kill when ready for harvest - and so have uniform drying. So the residue is unexpected . . . and the science is also unexpectedly clear: it kills soil bacteria AND gut bacteria. Bacteria digest and feed both plants . . . and animals like us.

Background material on Glyphosate -

Monsanto has steadfastly claimed that Roundup is harmless to animals and humans because the mechanism of action it uses (which allows it to kill weeds), called the shikimate pathway, is absent in all animals. However, the shikimate pathway IS present in bacteria, and that’s the key to understanding how it causes such widespread systemic harm in both humans and animals. The bacteria in your body outnumber your cells by 10 to 1. For every cell in your body, you have 10 microbes of various kinds, and all of them have the shikimate pathway, so they will all respond to the presence of glyphosate!
from - http://naturallyfreerd.com/2013/09/03/glyphosate-toxicity-another-hidden-danger-of-genetically-modified-foods/

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


Glyphosate formulations and their use for the inhibition of 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase

Abstract
Protozoan parasites of the phylum Apicomplexa include some of the most important causative agents of human and animal diseases, in particular, malaria. The discovery that an organelle found inside parasites of this phylum probably stems from a plastid of plant origin has stimulated research on the effect of chemical herbicidal agents on Apicomplexa. Importantly, the growth of these parasites can be inhibited by the herbicide glyphosate, suggesting that the shikimate pathway will make a good target for the development of new anti-parasite agents. The present invention discloses the use of the herbicidal agent glyphosate in combination with the polyvalent anion oxalic acid for the prevention and therapy of these pathogenic infections.
Inventors: Abraham; William (Wildwood, MO)
Assignee: Monsanto Technology LLC (St. Louis, MO)
Appl. No.: 10/652,684
Filed: August 29, 2003
- - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - -
U.S. patent 7,771,736 issued August 10, 2010 was for glyphosate as an antimicrobial. One group of beneficial microbes named in the patent directly killed by glyphosate is the pseudomonas microbes. Pseudomonas soil bacteria are important phosphate mobilizers and suppressors of fusarium pathogenic fungi. Pseudomonas and most beneficial soil microbes additionally have an important function in making soil minerals available for plant use.

http://agemed.org/AMMGejournal/July2012/MorrisHealthandGMOFoodsJuly2012/tabid/714/language/en-US/Default.aspx

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127. 香水 上品 ルイ ヴィトン on November 7, 2013 4:48 PM writes...

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128. Edward R. Arnold on November 7, 2013 7:36 PM writes...

@109, "nature" has not had wheat doing just fine for about 40 years!
The wheat grown now has been so changed by humans who have hybridized
it, that it bears little resemblance to the wheat of hundreds of years
ago.

There is a parallel with humanity's infantile knowledge of the
effects of glyphosate, with humanity's now extensive knowledge of
the toxicity of modern wheat.

The parallel is clear to me because I had a very low quality of
life for 20+ years, due to the toxicity of transgenic dwarf wheat.
It is a hybrid whose seeds are sold by at least a couple companies
(DuPont, Monsanto). Its high gluten and phytate content triggered
my celiac disease, and I don't even have the known celiac genes.
Dwarf wheat has triggered a huge wave of illness, and has led to
the creation of the mammoth gluten-free foods industry. That is why
nutritionists all over the country run seminars with titles like
"When and why did the staff of life become so toxic?".

One could argue that the agronomists/botanists/etc. should have
known that hybridization of the wheat plant from Einkorn to modern
Dwarf, would cause problems. But they weren't looking for the
negatives; they were more interested in high yield and the monetary
awards in creating a plant whose seeds have to be purchased by
farmers every year.

The same goes for industrial-scale plant production based on
glyphosate as the weed controller. I question whether "scientists"
are even capable of figuring out in advance, as pointed out above,
what effect glyphosate might have on the human gut biome, or on the
soil biome, and what those effects could do to human health. But even
if they could figure that out, not enough would protest because money
is now speech, and that speech is much louder than anyone who works
in the field of public health.

We talk about "science" as though it has the power to predict and
correct. It could only do that job well if humans were mostly
rational creatures, but they are not. Perhaps the best example of
the essentially irrational nature of human beings, is that a whole
lot of them still think that atmospheric carbon has nothing to do
with changing climate.

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129. Katia on February 26, 2014 3:33 PM writes...

40 for the opportunity, still if that quantity raises to GBP350
you are able to must spend GBP82.

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130. enbrel on March 1, 2014 3:22 PM writes...

Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you penning this article and the rest of the website is also really good.

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