Pesticide Safety Questioned By Pregnancy Research



Published:

New research into the world’s most widely-used pesticide raises concerns for fetal health, according to researchers from the Children’s Environmental Health Network (CEHN). Glyphosate, which is used to kill broadleaf plants and grasses, is found in more than 750 products including Monsanto’s Roundup. The study discovered a correlation between glyphosate exposure during pregnancy and lower birth weights, as well as shorter pregnancies.

The research is part of the Herbicide Use and Birth Outcomes in the Midwest CEHN Healthy Kids Project. Sixty-nine pregnant women in the Midwest, where pesticide use is extensive, were followed and the amount of glyphosate in their urine tracked from 2015-2016. Women living in rural areas had higher glyphosate levels than women living in urban and suburban areas, and 91 percent of participants tested positive for the pesticide.

For high-exposure pregnancies studied, the average gestation period was nearly four days shorter. Low-exposure gestational-adjusted birth weights were in the 58th percentile while high-exposure dropped to the 43rd percentile. Low birth weight can lead to health problems, including respiratory distress as a baby and heart disease later in life.

“This is a huge issue. Everyone should be concerned about this,” said Paul Winchester, medical director of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the Franciscan St. Francis Health System, Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis, Indiana, and lead author of the recent CEHN pregnancy research.

Although the CEHN study was small and preliminary, it adds to a growing body of research raising concerns over the use of glyphosate. The U.S. Federal Regulations for glyphosate exposure were last updated in October 1980. Since then, improved techniques and technologies, including genetic analysis, have been used to reevaluate the original toxicology conclusions.

Several important discoveries have been made about glyphosate over the past decade. Glyphosate exposure in fish is both genotoxic (damages DNA) and causes oxidative stress (damages cells and DNA). Zebrafish are often used to study early development. Results published in the journal Chemosphere reveal neurological damage and developmental delays in zebrafish exposed to glyphosate as embryos. A review in the Journal of Cardiovascular Toxicology by French and Italian researchers outlines cardiovascular changes, including arrhythmias, observed in rabbits and rats on exposure. A rat study using chronic but low doses of Roundup found liver and kidney damage, reported in the Journal of Environmental Health. A group at Massachusetts Institute of Technology makes a case for glyphosate as the cause of Celiac disease based on similar symptoms observed in fish exposed to the pesticide.

However, published human research is divided as to whether glyphosate is harmless or a health concern. CEHN’s pregnancy study reflects this, with a limited epidemiological review in 2016 and literature review conducted by a consulting firm concluding glyphosate does not have developmental or reproductive effects on humans. A report in 2011, “found no evidence of a consistent pattern of positive associations indicating a causal relationship between any disease and exposure to glyphosate.” Meanwhile, a review in 2015 found, “a coherent body of evidence indicating that [glyphosate] could be toxic below the regulatory lowest observed adverse effect level for chronic toxic effects.”

In a letter to the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health published in March 2017, a group of researchers concludes, We have identified factors that heighten concerns over the adequacy of safety assessments, and by extension, permitted levels of exposure to glyphosate. Considering what is now known about glyphosate from studies published over the last three decades, as well as the knowledge gaps that continue to raise concerns, we conclude that current safety standards for [glyphosate] are outdated and may fail to protect public health and the environment.”

Classifying glyphosate as a carcinogen is particularly controversial. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a subdivision of the World Health Organization (WHO), concluded in March of 2015 that glyphosate does probably cause cancer. The following year, a United Nations Joint Meeting on Pesticide Residues between the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and WHO concluded that glyphosate is probably not a carcinogen. However, several of the meeting’s organizers, including the chair, had financial connections to glyphosate companies including Monsanto.

When the European Union (EU) began reevaluating the use of glyphosate in 2016, the Glyphosate Task Force (GTF), “a consortium of companies joining resources and efforts in order to renew the European glyphosate registration,” was formed to promote a favorable outcome. Published reviews written by consultants hired by GTF and research funded by GTF conclude there is no connection between glyphosate and cancer. However, a meta-analysis conducted in 2014 found a positive association between glyphosate exposure and B-cell lymphoma, a form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The EU ultimately determined that the pesticide was not a carcinogen in March of 2017.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is currently reevaluating the carcinogenesis of glyphosate with a final report expected by the end of 2017, but an independent Scientific Advisory Panel is split in its assessment of the EPA’s work. When the state of California considered independently listing glyphosate as a carcinogen, Monsanto sued. California moved forward and added the pesticide to Proposition 65 list of chemicals known to cause cancer in March of 2017. Documents released as a result of legal action in California reveal possible manipulation of the EPA by Monsanto. The U. S. Department of Agriculture dropped plans to test foods for glyphosate and the Food and Drug Administration stopped its limited testing program, despite pressure from the United States Government Accountability Office to conduct routine testing.

Glyphosate works by inhibiting an enzyme that allows plants to make several amino acids they need to live. Use of the pesticide has increased dramatically with the introduction of genetically modified crops resistant to glyphosate. Residual amounts of glyphosate are found in numerous food items, including Cheerios cereal, Oreos, Ritz crackers, and even Annie’s Gluten-Free Cocoa and Vanilla Bunny Cookies. In 2013, Researchers at the University of California San Francisco tested urine from 131 people across the United States and found detectable levels of glyphosate in 93 percent of individuals.

“Is this level of exposure safe or not? We’ve been told it is, but exposures haven’t been measured,” says Dr. Winchester, lead author of the recent CEHN pregnancy research. “It’s mind-boggling.”

Brian Frederick is a Research and Communication Intern at Food Tank. Brian has worked in academia, nonprofit research institutions, and pharmaceutical companies researching biofuels, cancer, and immune health. In addition to working for Food Tank, he is currently at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque examining how arsenic in groundwater is affecting people’s immune system in Bangladesh.

This article was republished from Food Tank.

See also:
FDA Stops Testing For Glyphosate As New Report Finds High Levels Are Found In Food
Disposable Biosensor Detects Pesticides

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Daily Astrology

December 14, 2017

Today’s Scorpio Moon sings sweetly. Her early morning trine to Neptune fosters kindness and good will. Artistic inspiration is also boosted. Minutes before noon the Moon conjuncts Jupiter, the planet of all good things. Confidence soars as feelings of…
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Alternative Health Directory

Browse all listings »

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Calendar

December 2017

Free admission, 10%-20% discounts! Quality crystals, minerals and jewelry! We have an amazing display of merchandise for your viewing pleasure and purchase. We constantly add new items to our...

Where:
Cape Cod Center for Whole Health
116 State Road
Sagamore Beach, MA
View map »


Sponsor: Down to Earth Crystals and Minerals
Telephone: 508-680-6195
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The Daoist Benevolent Association offers free classes on traditional Wudang style tai chi. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Brown School
42 Milk St Newburyport
Newburyport, MA  01950
View map »


Sponsor: Daoist Benevolent Association
Telephone: 978-462-4617
Contact Name: Barbara
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Join Diane Lewis, psychic medium, for this very special holiday presentation. Be a part of this exciting evening as Diane connects to spirit, bridging the gap and gently bringing forth messages...

Cost: $40 per person

Where:
Hillcrest Country Club
325 Pleasant Street
Leicester, MA
View map »


Sponsor: Hillcrest Country Club
Telephone: 617-645-6415
Contact Name: Diane Lewis
Website »

More information

The Daoist Benevolent Association offers free classes on traditional Wudang style tai chi. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Brown School
42 Milk St Newburyport
Newburyport, MA  01950
View map »


Sponsor: Daoist Benevolent Association
Telephone: 978-462-4617
Contact Name: Barbara
Website »

More information

Daoist Priest Zhou Xuanyun teaches traditional Wudang style kung fu.

Cost: $110/month

Where:
Boston Ultimate Fitness
72 Beach Street (4th Floor)
Boston, MA  02111
View map »


Sponsor: Daoist Gate Wudang Arts
Telephone: 508-245-8305
Contact Name: Zhou Xuanyun
Website »

More information

Beginning, Tuesday, November 7th, 2017 Clarity. Knowledge. Personal transformation. No matter what you’re looking to find more of, Kabbalah 1 is the first step in your lifelong journey of...

Cost: 8 Weeks, $49.95

Where:
WeWork
31 St. James Ave
Boston, MA  02116
View map »


Sponsor: Kabbalah Center
Telephone: 1.800.522.2252
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Do you find it a challenge to quiet your mind? In Raja Yoga the mind is described as the generator of thought that resides within the soul. It is the one thing we can control in life. We simply...

Cost: Free

Where:
Inner Space Meditation Center & Gallery
1110 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA  02138
View map »


Telephone: 617-547-1110
Website »

More information

Don’t let the hustle and bustle of the holiday season drain you! Come join us for a holiday healing meditation and Reiki session with Judy and Geri. This session will start off with...

Cost: $25

Where:
Holistic Wellness Center
18 North Meadows Road, Unit 12B
Medfield, MA   02052
View map »


Telephone: 508-359-7400
Website »

More information

Please join us at our monthly meetings, second Wednesday each month in Northboro, MA. Stay inspired and create collaborative professional relationships. A welcoming community working for the...

Where:
First Parish Unitarian Church Hall
40 Church Street
Northborough, MA  01532
View map »

More information

Weekly yoga classes with Rev. Michelle Caron, RMT, CYT, ZIN of Harmony Way on Wednesdays at 12:15 PM and Fridays at 9:30 AM at the Wilbraham Senior Center. Class welcomes all ages and uses a...

Cost: $5

Where:
Wilbraham Senior Center
45 Post Office Park, #4502
Wilbraham, MA  01095
View map »


Sponsor: Harmony Way
Telephone: 413-636-2475
Contact Name: Rev. Michelle Caron, RMT, CYT, ZIN
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Come join Mary Budrose on October 17, November 14, December 14, from 7-8pm to learn more about the The Budrose Center For Spiritual Growth healing program and experience a chakra balancing...

Where:
Budrose Center for Spiritual Growth (Blossom Healings)
54 Main Street
Topsfield, MA  01983
View map »


Telephone: 978-561-1687
Contact Name: Mary Budrose
Website »

More information

Qigong and tai chi are 2500+ year old healing arts originating in China. These moving meditations offer unique health benefits that western medicine is integrating into treatment plans. By...

Cost: $12-$17 per class

Where:
Dragonfly Wellness Ceneter
176 Jackson Road
Devens, MA  01434
View map »


Sponsor: Cultivating Qi
Telephone: 978-856-8118
Contact Name: Dave Crocker
Website »

More information

Join us in the Northeast Reiki Center classroom in Framingham for a Reiki Circle in the Usui Reiki System of Natural Healing. We are a gathering of Reiki practitioners and others interested in...

Cost: Free

Where:
Northeast Reiki Center
61 Nicholas Road, Suite B2
Framingham, MA  01701
View map »


Sponsor: Northeast Reiki Center
Telephone: 508-808-5696
Contact Name: Lou Orsan
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Weekly yoga classes with Rev. Michelle Caron, RMT, CYT, ZIN of Harmony Way on Wednesdays at 12:15 PM and Fridays at 9:30 AM at the Wilbraham Senior Center. Class welcomes all ages and uses a...

Cost: $5

Where:
Wilbraham Senior Center
45 Post Office Park, #4502
Wilbraham, MA  01095
View map »


Sponsor: Harmony Way
Telephone: 413-636-2475
Contact Name: Rev. Michelle Caron, RMT, CYT, ZIN
Website »

More information

Daoist Priest Zhou Xuanyun teaches traditional Wudang style kung fu.

Cost: $110/month

Where:
Boston Ultimate Fitness
72 Beach Street (4th Floor)
Boston, MA  02111
View map »


Sponsor: Daoist Gate Wudang Arts
Telephone: 508-245-8305
Contact Name: Zhou Xuanyun
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Learn Reiki — revitalizing self-care and healing in the palm of your hands. Facilitated by Lou Orsan, Reiki Shihan (master teacher) This one-day class covers the basic principles of...

Cost: $125

Where:
Northeast Reiki Center
61 Nicholas Road, Suite B2
Framingham, MA  01701
View map »


Sponsor: Northeast Reiki Center
Telephone: 508-808-5696
Contact Name: Lou Orsan
Website »

More information

2 Saturday 10:30AM classes to practice IPT Yoga at Sohum in Westborough, MA Want to practice yoga to relieve pain on the bottom of the foot? Integrated Positional Technique (IPT) for...

Cost: $30 per class prereg; $55 for both; $35 each at the door

Where:
Sohum Yoga and Meditation Studio
30 Lyman Street
Suite 108b (next to hair salon)
Westborough, MA, MA  01581
View map »


Sponsor: PatLebauYoga
Telephone: 508-393-5581
Contact Name: Pat Lebau
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags