Roundup under the spotlight in Denmark

Danish scientists have concluded that there is a need to investigate the possible effects of glyphosate herbicides on the health of livestock.

1. Danish scientists recommend further research into effects of GM soy and Roundup on livestock
2. Danish TV showcases GM soy and Roundup problems in Denmark and Argentina


1. Danish scientists recommend further research into effects of GM soy and Roundup on livestock

At the request of the Danish farm minister, scientists from Aarhus University investigated farmer reports of ill effects of GM soy feed on livestock.

The scientists concluded that there is a need to investigate the possible effects of glyphosate herbicides on the health of livestock, especially during sensitive phases of life.

Martin Tang Sørensen, a scientist in the Department of Animal Science, reviewed published studies in order to identify potential risks of glyphosate herbicides to livestock health.

He came up with two hypotheses about the possible risks of glyphosate:
* Glyphosate can affect the microorganisms in animals’ gastrointestinal system, with secondary effects on their productivity and health.
* Glyphosate can affect livestock’s mineral status with secondary effects on their production and health.

The two hypotheses are based on the known effects of glyphosate herbicides. It is known that glyphosate herbicides can affect bacteria found in the gastrointestinal tract in animals and that different microorganisms have different tolerance to glyphosate. Similarly, it is known that glyphosate can inhibit the availability of minerals, including trace minerals that have crucial functions in animals.

According to Sørensen, “There is nothing to indicate that there are risks from the GM crop itself.”

Obviously he hasn’t paid attention to the findings of the Seralini 2012 study, which showed a GM glyphosate-tolerant maize was toxic even when not sprayed with glyphosate herbicide.

Many are desperate to keep GM out of the frame when looking at possible toxic effects from GM crops, but as long as this wilful blindness persists, half of the picture of what’s wrong with GM is missing.

It’s also a pity that the investigations will be so limited. Gut bacteria and mineral status are important, but compared with other experimental findings related to glyphosate herbicides – DNA damage, birth defects, cancer, neurotoxicity, reproductive problems, and liver and kidney damage, they rather pale into insignificance.

We can’t help but think it’s a case, not exactly of “Don’t look, don’t find,” but rather, “Only look through your fingers in case you see something nasty.”

However, at least Sørensen and his colleagues are recommending more research into whether there is a risk of negative effects on livestock from the residues that can be found in both imported and home-grown feed.

Scientists’ report in Danish:
http://dca.au.dk/fileadmin/DJF/DCA/Notat_om_GM_foder_til_husdyr_20140204.pdf

Press release from the university in Danish:
http://dca.au.dk/aktuelt/nyheder/vis/artikel/behov-for-flere-undersoegelser-af-ukrudtsmiddel/


2. Danish TV showcases GM soy and Roundup problems in Denmark and Argentina

In Denmark the broadcasting station DR1 has shown an in-depth investigation of the problems with GM soy and Roundup, both in the soy-producing country of Argentina and the soy-consuming country of Denmark.
http://www.dr.dk/tv/se/madmagasinet-bitz-frisk/madmagasinet-bitz-frisk-30#!/

The programme shows an interview with Danish pig farmer Ib Pedersen, who describes the health problems in his pig herd when they were fed on GMO soy that had been sprayed with Roundup. Sadly the programme did not show Ib’s malformed piglets in the final broadcast, though after the broadcast the agrochemical industry felt the need to launch advertisements defending Roundup and GMOs.

The broadcast shows an interview with an Argentine woman living in an area where GM soy is sprayed with Roundup. She had 18 miscarriages, all after 4 months, before having three live children, of which the two died of heart failure. The only one still living is a girl, and she has also has heart failure. Dr Vazquez from Argentina talked about increased cancers and birth defects in Roundup-sprayed populations. There’s also an interview with Maria Godoy, a leader of the Mothers of Ituzaingo, a group of women campaigning against Roundup spraying on GM soy.

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