A British clinical study in 2017 found that Monsanto’s Roundup is associated with serious forms of liver disease. The study indicated that even tiny amounts of the key Roundup ingredient glyphosate could cause non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, a serious and often deadly liver disease.
The research in the British study was led by Dr. Michael Antoniou from Kings College, London. He said the findings of the study of glyphosate raise serious concerns about human health, per a Daily Mail article published in January 2017.
Researchers discovered that even tiny amounts of glyphosate can lead to fatty liver disease in rates who were tested for 24 months with tiny amounts of the toxin.
Antoniou asked regulators in the UK to reconsider using Roundup on farms and to keep in mind the risk of glyphosate in humans due to some foods containing the toxin.
Glyphosate is frequently used in GMO farming, especially on corn and soy crops, which have been enhanced to handle spraying with Roundup. Because of this, people on farms regularly spray their crops with Roundup to destroy weeds and allowing the GMO food plants to survive. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is often found in people who are obese.
The findings of the study are concerning because they show for the first time a strong link between Roundup consumption over the long term and serious diseases. Results also indicate that regulators should think about redoing the safety evaluation of herbicides based upon glyphosate.
According to Parker Waichman LLP, almost 40 legal actions have been filed against Monsanto in the US in the Roundup Products Liability Multidistrict Litigation #2741. Lawsuits all allege that Roundup can lead to non-Hodgkins lymphoma and that their loved ones that were deceased developed the cancer after using Roundup just for a few years.
The clinical study featured a glyphosate dose that was well below what human beings are exposed to each day, and thousands of times less than what is permitted by regulators, per a Health and Environment Alliance report that was published in January 2017.
The study conducted in Great Britain was peer-reviewed and was the first to identify risk to human health, and experts at King’s College used what was described in the Daily Mail as leading edge profiling methods, according to a research associate at Kings. The concentration of glyphosate that was put into the drinking water of the rats was related to the concentration that is found in tap water consumed by humans.
The livers of the rats were looked at closely with a microscope and showed evidence of cell damage, fatty liver disease and pieces of dead tissue. Researchers concluded that the study was unique because it was the first to show a link between consuming Roundup in the real world and a serious type of disease. Regulators around the world accept toxicity studies in rats that are an indicator of risks of human health.
The consumer advocacy group Health and Environment Alliance stated that glyphosate is already thought to be a carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer of the World Health Organization. It also is described as a chemical that could disrupt the endocrine system. Because of people’s large amount of exposure to the higher use of these types of weed killers in the last several decades, it is probably time to ban the chemical. After the aforementioned classification, several EU countries took action. These included Malta, France, Denmark, and the Netherlands.
The findings of the new research should bring new attention to glyphosate and its potential role in serious diseases, including fatty liver disease.
For its part, Monsanto had a strong negative reaction to the findings. It stated that the study was using flawed data from 2012. Monsanto argued that the data was rejected by the broader scientific community because of a flawed scientific approach. The company said the research was done by ‘infamous’ researchers, such as Robin Mesnage and Gilles-Eric Seralini, who have a history of relying on bad science to link products from Monsanto to serious health problems.
What Is Fatty Liver Disease?
Fatty liver disease affects 25% of the American population. Risk factors include being overweight, high cholesterol and high triglycerides in the blood. Some people get the disease without having risk factor indicators. This raises a valid question whether the link between Roundup and liver disease could make being exposed to glyphosate herbicide as an unknown risk factor.
Some of the symptoms of fatty liver disease include weakness, fatigue, weight loss, jaundice, appetite loss, nausea, abdominal pain, bruising, itching, swelling of the legs and abdomen and mental confusion.
Research will continue to be done about the connection between glyphosate and serious health problems including cancer and fatty liver disease.
- Monsanto’s Roundup Associated with Serious Liver Disease, Study Finds. (2017). Retrieved from https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/monsantos-roundup-associated-with-serious-liver-disease-study-finds-300392070.html
- Monsanto’s Roundup Linked to Liver Disease, Study Says. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.euractiv.com/section/science-policymaking/news/monsantos-roundup-linked-to-liver-disease-study-says/