Herbicide Discovered in Breast Milk
A pilot study commissioned by Moms Across America and Sustainable Pulse has examined the presence of glyphosate, a compound found in the widely used herbicide Roundup, in drinking water, children’s bodies, and women’s breast milk.
Glyphosate-based herbicides, best known as Monsanto’s “Roundup,” are the top-selling herbicides in the world, and Monsanto and regulatory bodies claim that they do not accumulate in the body. However, this pilot study suggests that they do.
Of the 10 women tested, 3 of them had “high” levels of glyphosate in their breast milk, ranging from 76 to 166 micrograms per liter. While the tested breast milk did not reach the maximum contaminant level, which in the U.S. is 700 micrograms per liter, this pilot study suggests that glyphosate may accumulate in the body over time. As glyphosate accumulates, the toxic load in the body increases, as does inflammation and the risk of developing disease. If glyphosate is accumulating and being stored in breast milk, these toxins are being passed on to infants.
The ten mothers tested were from across the United States, mostly familiar with GMOs and glyphosate, and had been trying to avoid them for several months to two years. Despite this awareness, 3 of them still showed elevated levels of glyphosate accumulation in their breast milk. This may suggest the importance of consuming an organic and non-GMO diet to keep the risk of glyphosate accumulation low.
While this was not meant to be a full scientific study, but rather initiate research and stimulate full studies, this pilot test shows some worrisome information that suggests glyphosate may indeed bio-accumulate.
Along with breast milk, this study also analyzed 35 women’s urine samples and 21 drinking water samples and found that urine levels of subjects in the US contained ten times more glyphosate than the levels of subjects who participated in a similar study in Europe. Americans are taking in more glyphosate than their European counterparts due to the extensive use of Roundup on crops in the US.
With these results, Moms Across America and Sustainable Pulse are urging regulatory bodies to place a temporary ban on all glyphosate-based herbicides until further testing can be done.
These troubling findings are similar to the polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) scandal in the 1970s, which found that the toxic chemical was accumulating in much higher amounts in breast milk than the bloodstream. PCBs were widely used as dielectric and coolant fluids and have been shown to cause cancer in humans. It is important that we learn from past mistakes and ban glyphosate use.