Advocates for a GMO-free China are scratching their heads in confusion. In an effort to understand the country’s decision regarding the safety of Monsanto’s RoundUp, non-GMO advocates are urging the Chinese Agriculture Ministry to release studies that led to the registration of the World’s number one pesticide. The struggle continues in Beijing to wrangle how Chinese leaders would follow in the corrupt footsteps of regulators in Europe (EFSA) and the U.S. (EPA).
The Chinese Agriculture Ministry has:
- Stated that the studies which led to the ministry’s decision regarding the safety of RoundUp will not be released to the public because they contain Monsanto’s commercial secrets and divulging them would threaten personal privacy information.
- Followed the lead of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), refusing to release lab tests to authorities based on similar claims.
- Without admitting it overtly, likely made their decision influenced by an RMB 89.34 billion foreign aid program that involves hybrid GMO rice.
The Chinese government has also ignored requests by the Global GMO Free Coalition to release the studies used by the Chinese authorities to make their decision in favor of Monsanto’s RoundUp.
The decision of this country regarding Monsanto’s chemicals affects the world at large because China is currently the largest producer and exporter of glyphosate (the active ingredient in RoundUp) globally, and is a major importer of Monsanto’s RoundUp herbicide. Roundup accounts for 80% of the herbicide market in China. China is also the world’s largest importer of RoundUp Ready soybeans, corn, and canola products.
The only toxicology study that the Chinese Agriculture Ministry has so far referenced to justify its 1988 registration of RoundUp is an unpublished ‘acute toxicology’ study conducted by Younger Laboratories for Monsanto, but the results of this study have never been released in full. Further, the toxicology tests are no longer being conducted despite the ongoing use of the chemicals like glyphosate, which has been linked to multiple cancers, reproductive problems, and deformities in animals who eat glyphosate-ridden feed.
The Global GMO Free Coalition (GGFC) conducted an investigation to try to find a glyphosate study dated December 23 1985, as referenced by the Chinese Agriculture Ministry, but there is no Younger Laboratories RoundUp / glyphosate study on record.
There were, however, 2 Younger Laboratories studies that were conducted in 1970 on glyphosate –which do not consider the most recent RoundUp formulations and its prevalent use on GMO crops throughout the world.
There have been recently proven synergistic toxicity results from the inactive ingredients’ within glyphosate formulations like RoundUp which cause numerous health concerns.
In fact, Researchers in France tested the supposedly inert ingredients in RoundUp individually, and in standard product formulations. What they found was indeed distressing. Adjuvants were cytotoxic (meaning they cause cells to commit suicide) to kidney, liver and placenta cells. Placental cells were especially sensitive to the ‘inactive ingredients,’ dying off at twice the rate as kidney or liver cells.
Of the more than nine adjuvants in RoundUp tested by the researchers, one was 100 times more toxic than even glyphosate itself – a surfactant called POE-15. It is found in other gardening products too, including:
- Topglypho 360
- Clinic E.V. Bayer GC
- RoundUp GT and RoundUp GT+
The toxicity of these products clearly suggests that since the adjuvants like POE-15 are not considered in most tests, the ‘approved exposure levels’ given by both the U.S. and China significantly underestimate the real risk to health, especially to pregnant women and developing babies in the womb. Not measuring something at all does not ‘prove’ it is safe, it just means that scientists hired by Monsanto to conduct any tests are looking the other way.
Furthermore, the only 2 ‘acute toxicology’ studies on glyphosate registered with the EPA and conducted by Younger Laboratories were performed in 1970. One did not meet Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) guidelines, and the minimum international standards for lab experiments were not followed. Why has the Chinese Agricultural Ministry refused to consider this obvious bending of truth in their regulatory process?
Global GMO Free Coalition Coordinator Henry Rowlands stated:
“The idea that the full Younger Laboratories studies, which are ‘unpublished’, can be hidden from the general public is a public health outrage and one that is set to be challenged in court in China.”
And, according to Executive Director of the African Centre for Biosafety (ACB), Mariam Mayet has stated:
“In late 2012 the ACB formally requested access to the toxicological, residue and chemistry data required for commercial approval of glyphosate in South Africa. To our utter amazement our regulators replied that all records had been returned to Monsanto upon the completion of the registration process on the grounds that it is commercially sensitive! To compound this breath-taking dereliction of public duty, in the same communication, they suggested we apply directly to Monsanto for the information.”
This denial of information about a widely used chemical concoction along with the EPA’s refusal to release data which they based their ‘safety’ studies on speaks volumes. If the public and unbiased scientific community cannot review these studies, then Monsanto has no right to continue to manufacture and use of this questionable product.
2 thoughts on “Totally Safe: China Greenlights Monsanto’s RoundUp After Hiding Safety Studies from Public”
The excuse used by the Chinese about protecting intelectual property rights is utter tosh. The very existence of a patent is protection enough.
As for being answerable to the people its not likely to happen until the politicians grow a spine and get some moral and ethical values instilled into them. Otherwise we will be waiting a very long time.
Add to this the fact that in 2010 Monsanto patented glyphosate as an antibiotic. Why? What Earthly reason would they want to use a herbicide as an antibiotic?
The plot thickens.
Agreed Kev C! What nonsense indeed! Really daunting news for someone concerned about health, living in China. There’s just no escape from this evil!