Monsanto’s risky Roundup – Reuters runs with the report

  • Published on February 25th, 2011

roundupWe reported last week that a top scientist had expressed serious doubts about the safety of Monsanto’s gene-modified (GMO) plants and its Roundup weedkiller:

Dr. Don M. Huber, who coordinates the Emergent Diseases and Pathogens committee of the American Phytopathological Society, as part of the USDA National Plant Disease Recovery System, warned Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack that this pathogen threatens the US food and feed supply and can lead to the collapse of the US corn and soy export markets.  Likewise, deregulation of GE alfalfa “could be a calamity,” he noted in his letter

(Read the full story here: Scientist urges USDA to rescind approval of Monsanto’s GMO alfalfa, and also Genetically Modified Foods Causing Animal Miscarriages, but Who Cares?)

Now, the mainstream media seems to be picking up on the story. It went out over the wires yesterday in a full report from Reuters news service.

“Questions about the safety of a popular herbicide made by Monsanto Co have resurfaced in a warning from a U.S. scientist that claims top-selling Roundup may contribute to plant disease and health problems for farm animals.

…In his letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Huber said the organism has been found in high concentrations of Roundup Ready soybean meal and corn, which are used in livestock feed. He said laboratory tests have confirmed the presence of the organism in pigs, cattle and other livestock that have experienced spontaneous abortions and infertility.”

This is a rarity, and goes to show that concerns about the safety of GMOs and Roundup are spreading beyond the foodie community.

Reuters did some additional reporting on the story, and put it in context:

There have been other alarms raised about Roundup, including a report last year from Argentine scientists who claimed that Roundup can contribute to birth defects in frogs and chickens.

Monsanto says the chemical binds tightly to most types of soil, is not harmful and does not harm the crops. But some scientists say there are indications of increased root fungal disease as well as nutrient deficiencies in Roundup Ready crops. They say manganese deficiency in soybeans in particular appears to be an issue in key U.S. farming areas.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said last year that it may review glyphosate for any adverse effects as part of a protocol to review products every 15 years.

It remains to be seen how many papers will actually pick up the report. But as of this writing, it had only been published in online media; the largest being

More on Monsanto and GMOs:

(Roundup image AttributionNoncommercialShare Alike Some rights reserved by David_Reverchon)

About the Author

Jeremy Bloom is the Editor of RedGreenAndBlue. He lives in New York, where he combines his passion for the environment with his passion for film, and is working on making the world a better place.
  • Pingback: Monsanto’s GMO corn is failingStigmaBot()

  • do you realize how bad this makes the antiGm crowd look? This retired professor is no longer at purdue the university has disowned him because he is in cloud cookoo land. He has no data or evidence . He hasn’t revealed anything. If you are going to believe any kook that needs to be in a home for the senile you will discredit any hope you have. This is a perfect example how ill-informed uneducated people need to A. get an education in science before they start practicing in on blogs. Like a few other stars this guy will probably still be quoted 10 years from now. There will no data revealed its just in his crazy mind. He has not revealed any of his coworkers and the USDA will do nothing -except refer him to the secret service to make sure he doesn’t do anything else crazy. AAron did you ever interview him?????????????

    And its great to be out in front with stuff that should be in the National Enquirer – I can see it now Aliens In Monsanto Board – Gm seed planters – rectally probed in space ship – Gm pollen controls farmer’s brains to buy buy more seed……..

    Aaron – please ask the Prof when was the last time he took his medication. The sad thing the guy probably had a useful career educating people -although I would suspect that his research made zero impact on society

  • Pingback: Glenn Beck’s Moment of Truth : Newsvandal()

  • Obviously, Monsanto must be stopped by any means necessary.

    They are going to kill us – literally.

  • Good day! My name is Aaron Fown, and I’m a plant pathologist by trade. I’m going to do my best today or tomorrow to get in touch with Dr. Huber and record a phone interview with him about this new dangerous pathogen. I would like to post it on Red Green and Blue and perhaps other places on IM and my own site, with a link to your article. Are there any specific questions you might have for Dr. Huber?

    • Aaron come back when you have a PhD in Plant Pathology and try to spend more time doing research than making up crosswords

  • I love that you have routinely been out in front of these stories before they get wider attention. This is one of the best measures of the worth of your work.

  • Pingback: Tweets that mention Monsanto’s risky Roundup – Reuters runs with the report – Red, Green, and Blue --