February 11, 2014 Pesticide formulations up to 1000 times more toxic than active ingredients tested for safety
The same university academic whose controversial research exposed the cancer-causing effects of genetically modified (GM) Bt corn and the Monsanto crop herbicide Roundup (glyphosate) has made another groundbreaking discovery, this time with regard to the understated toxicity of pesticides in general.
Professor Gilles-Eric Seralini and his team from Caen University in France recently found that the vast majority of pesticides sold on the commercial market are far more toxic than we have all been led to believe. As it turns out, all those “inert” ingredients make these assumed-to-be-harmless formulas hundreds, or even thousands, of times more toxic than their approved active ingredients.
Published in the peer-reviewed journal BioMed Research International (BRI), Prof. Seralini’s game-changing study looked at nine major pesticides currently available to farmers. Eight of these nine pesticides, or nearly 90 percent, according to the data, were determined to be significantly more toxic than what government regulators have assumed based on assessments of just their active ingredients.
Like vaccines, virtually all pesticide formulas contain so-called “inert,” or inactive, ingredients that act as adjuvants in boosting the overall efficacy of their primary active ingredients. In practice, these extraneous ingredients have automatically been assumed to be safe, or at least mostly safe, which is why regulators typically avoid testing them as part of the approval process.
But in nearly every instance, tested pesticide formulas were identified as being orders of magnitude more toxic than just their active ingredients because of all the added “inert” ingredients, something that regulators have routinely failed to consider. And in at least one case, a pesticide formula was found to be 1,000 times more toxic than its active ingredient in isolation.
“[Pesticides] contain adjuvants, which are often kept confidential and are called inerts by the manufacturing companies, plus a declared active principle (AP), which is usually tested alone,” reads the study’s abstract. “Most importantly, 8 formulations out of 9 were several hundred times more toxic than their active principle.”
Roundup found to be most toxic pesticide on the market
Perhaps not surprisingly, the most toxic pesticide formula evaluated as part of the study was Roundup, the infamous weed-killing cocktail manufactured by Monsanto. Loaded with toxic glyphosate, which has been linked to birth defects, hormone disruption and cancer, among many other conditions, Roundup was found to be exponentially more toxic as a formula compared to just glyphosate alone.
This is a real problem, as the current government framework for establishing Acceptable Daily Intake levels for pesticides is based solely on the assessed toxicity of their active ingredients in isolation rather than pesticide formulas as they are actually sold commercially. The consequence of this is that the general population, both through the environment and the food supply, is being exposed to substantially more poison than anyone could have possibly imagined.
“The real toxicity of pesticides used in intensive agriculture has been hidden from farmers, policy-makers and citizens,” stressed Prof. Seralini following his study’s release. “Scientific experts in health agencies have a clear responsibility to overhaul the regulatory system in order to assess pesticides more realistically. To do nothing is at best a denial of knowledge and at worst could endanger people’s lives.”
Be sure to check out GMWatch.org‘s assessment of Prof. Seralini’s new study, which includes an abstract as it was published in BRI:
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