A recent study has indicated that heavy use of the world’s most widely used herbicide, Roundup, could be linked to a vast range of health problems including Parkinson’s, infertility and cancers.
The study, published in the scientific journal Entropy and lead by Stephanie Seneff, a research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Anthony Samsel, a retired science consultant from Arthur D. Little, showed that traces of the popular herbicide’s main ingredient, glyphosate, has been found in food.
Residues of the chemical are said to increase the damaging effects of other food-borne chemicals and toxins in the environment leading to the disruption of normal body functions and inducing disease.
“We have hit upon something very important that needs to be taken seriously and further investigated,” Seneff told the Huffington Post.
The study claimed the chemical has an extremely dangerous impact on the body which manifests slowly over time, damaging cellular systems throughout the body as inflammation increases.
Several plant scientists and environmentalist groups have warned of the dangers associated with the heavy use of glyphosate and the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) is said to be conducting a review as to whether use of the chemical should be restricted.
Monsanto, the developer of the herbicide as well as a host of genetically modified crops which have been altered to withstand the weed killer, said the chemical is safe and is less damaging to the environment than other commonly-used chemicals. This claim has been backed by the company’s executive vice president of sustainability, Jerry Steiner.
“We are very confident in the long track record that glyphosate has. It has been very, very extensively studied,” he said in a recent interview.
Roundup is sprayed across million of acres of crops throughout the world including canola, soybean, corn and sugarbeets.
Image courtesy of Johann Coetzer via flickr