All of us at Monsanto are consumers and parents and spouses and children and friends. We take the safety of our products very seriously, and we’re committed to developing products that contribute to safe and nutritious food choices. We’re proud of the excellent track record of the safe use of glyphosate products, and we believe it’s important to be transparent about the safety of our products. Moms Across America and Sustainable Pulse recently posted an article saying trace levels of the herbicide glyphosate had been found in three samples of mothers’ breast milk. Academics Review has published an independent critique of the web site article from Sustainable Pulse and Moms Across America. Following is a high-level summary:
- The U.S. EPA and World Health Organization have reviewed extensive safety data for glyphosate and set acceptable levels for exposure to trace amounts without incurring any appreciable health risk. In fact, glyphosate has been studied extensively for more than 40 years. Comprehensive toxicological studies have demonstrated that glyphosate doesn’t cause cancer, birth defects, mutagenic effects, nervous system effects, endocrine disruption or reproductive problems. It’s classified by the EPA in the most favorable category possible.
- Detection of a chemical in our bodies is not indicative of a health hazard. Many fruits and vegetables naturally contain low levels of very toxic chemicals. The levels cited in this report are well below the established average daily intake (ADI), and the trace levels of glyphosate were found only in a minority of the samples.
- The web site article itself fails the usual basic criteria for scientific studies. The selection of individuals, the methods of sampling, data handling methods and specific validation methods are critical to understanding the significance of any test results. Very few details about the collection and testing methods were provided.
If you want to learn more about glyphosate, you can find additional information at these online resources:
- List of Roundup / Glyphosate Background Materials, Monsanto Company
- Pesticides and Health: Myths vs. Realities, American Council on Science and Health, November 2011
- Review of Genotoxicity Studies of Glyphosate and Glyphosate-based Formulations, Larry D. Kier and David J. Kirkland, April 2013
- Epidemiologic Studies of Glyphosate and Cancer: A Review, Pamela J. Mink, Jack S. Mandel, Bonnielin K. Sceurman, Jessica I. Lundin, August 2012
- Developmental and Reproductive Outcomes in Humans and Animals After Glyphosate Exposure: A Critical Analysis, Amy Lavin Williams, Rebecca E. Watson, John M. DeSesso, January 2012
- Epidemiologic Studies of Glyphosate and Non-Cancer Health Outcomes: A Review, Pamela J. Mink, Jack S. Mandel, Jessica I. Lundin, Bonnielin K. Sceurman, July 2011