– no risk to human/animal health

The article by the African Centre for Biosafety (ACB) “Food safety compromised by lack of glyphosate tests” Farmer’s Weekly 17 August claiming that glyphosate poses a threat to human and animal health is absolute rubbish.

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Mariam Mayet raised this same argument 20 years ago without providing substantiated scientific peer reviewed evidence in support of this assertion. There is none. Glyphosate, the active ingredient of Roundup Ready, a herbicide, has been registered in 130 countries. It has been on the market, and market leader, for nearly 40 years. Apart from agricultural applications the product is used in homes, domestic gardens, zoos, golf courses, lawns and conservation areas.

In South Africa glyphosate has one of the safest ratings, with a blue label warning (“caution”). The next classification is a yellow label (“harmful”) followed by a red label (“poisonous”). The world renowned scientist, professor Bruce Chassy, professor of food safety and former head of the department of food science and human nutrition at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, USA says:

“After 40 years there is no evidence in peer reviewed scientific literature concerning claims of health risks caused by glyphosate. The safety of glyphosate has been rigorously evaluated by regulatory agencies around the world. (Including South Africa.) Both the safety and efficacy of glyphosate have been established over 40 years in the field. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) assigns glyphosate to the lowest class of toxic agents. It does not bio-accumulate in the body and it does not persist in the environment.” (Chassy 2012)

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According to the California Environment Protection Agency’s analysis of glyphosate, it concluded that: “Of the 515 pesticide-related hospitalisations recorded over 13 years on file none was attributed to glyphosate.” (Journal of Toxicology, Vol 40, No 7, 2002)

Mayet’s question “How much glyphosate is on your dinner plate” is ludicrous. There is none. The FAO/WHO health and environmental study 1986 report says: “Glyphosate is not taken up by the roots of plants. Residues from treated weeds passing into the soil are not taken up by other plants.”

Furthermore, the joint FAO/WHO meeting on pesticide residues in Rome, Italy 20-29 September 2004 reported: “Glyphosate has low acute toxicity, was not genotoxic, not carcinogen, did not produce berth defects, was not neurotoxin and had no effect on reproduction.” (FAO/WHO JMR report 2004)

Mayet is not a scientist, agronomist or nutritionist, therefore not qualified to tell farmers how to farm or consumers what to eat.

Click on the following link to read Mariam Mayet’s article on Glyphosate.