A study recently published in the Journal of Food Chemical Toxicology has linked glyphosate, the main chemical found in RoundUp pesticide, with an increased risk of breast cancer.
This is especially disturbing because in the United States today, 90 percent of soybeans and 70 percent of corn are genetically modified ‘RoundUp Ready,’ and are inundated with glyphosate. The use of RoundUp is, unfortunately, even more widespread than this.
The study, performed in vitro with human cells, shows that glyphosate has an estrogenic effect on the cells, and can trigger the growth of breast cancer cells. Glyphosate was found to stimulate hormone-dependent cancer cells in, according to the study’s authors, “low and environmentally relevant concentrations.”
These “environmentally relevant” concentrations of glyphosate are in the parts-per-trillion range; even in tiny amounts, the glyphosate was linked to substantial damage.
Additionally, when combined with the naturally occurring phytoestrogens in soybeans, known as genisteins, the researchers found that the estrogenic effects of glyphosate were increased.
The study authors wrote, “glyphosate-based herbicides are widely used for soybean cultivation, and our results also found that there was an additive estrogenic effect between glyphosate and genistein, a phytoestrogen in soybeans.”
They add, “this study implied that the additive effect of glyphosate and genistein in postmenopausal women may induce cancer cell growth.”
While the authors are careful to note that these additive effects “need further animal study,” the studies already in existence paint a worrying picture.
Claire Robinson, an author of a review published last year in the Journal of Environmental and Analytical Toxicology that addressed the failure of the United States and the EU to impartially address these concerns, points out, “the German government’s report on the industry dossier of tests on glyphosate submitted for its 2002 EU approval showed that treatment with glyphosate, including at the lower doses tested, increased tumour incidence in lab animals.”
The report that Johnson is referencing was apparently dismissed because the tumors did not increase in a linear relationship with increased dosage.
Another study, performed last November by a research team led by Gilles-Éric Séralini, showed that after 90 days of exposure to RoundUp, lab animals showed signs of systemic organ damage and failure, as well as tumors.
The association between RoundUp and breast cancer adds to the long list of worries regarding both widespread pesticide use and GMOs, which are inherently related.
It is clear that although they are difficult to avoid, making every effort possible to avoid foods exposed to pesticides, and genetically modified foods, is in the absolute best interest of everyone seeking to lead a healthy life free of the potential dangers.
-The Alternative Daily