Home Sciences What is Roundup, the dangerous pesticide used in intensive agriculture?

What is Roundup, the dangerous pesticide used in intensive agriculture?


Food eaten almost everywhere in the world is contaminated with the pesticide Roundup., composed of 40% glyphosate but also “extremely toxic” petroleum-derived residues that are used in intensive agriculture, points out the French biologist Gilles-Éric Séralini, who publishes in Spain ‘The Monsanto Papers-The Case Scandal Roundup’. Spain is the country in Europe where it is most used.

The book written by Séralini, in collaboration with chef Jérôme Douzelet, from the Octaedro publishing house, will be published on March 20 and reveals the danger posed by the use of Roundup in food production in intensive agriculture worldwide and the use of pesticide-resistant genetically modified organisms (GMOs) manufactured by Monsanto – today Bayer – (MonBa).

The Monsanto Papers

More than 30 years of research and the analysis of more than two million pages of what are known as the ‘Monsanto Papers’, allow the French biologist specializing in toxicity to affirm that the foods that are currently consumed are contaminated by this pesticide , pose a “serious problem for people’s health” and cause diseases such as cancer, malformations, endocrine disorders, among others, reports Efe.

In the world there are “millions of people affected by the toxicity of the pesticide Roundup”However, only cases of those affected have been reported to the courts in the United States and Canada. After the first complaints, MonBa currently faces over 125,000 lawsuits in North America. In Europe there has not yet been any complaint, says the molecular biologist who appears cited in the ‘Monsanto Papers’ more than 56,000 times for his investigations.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs in the United States “have contacted me,” explains the researcher, who claims to have been subjected to multiple pressures, harassment and threats by the powerful company that, as he explains in the book, for years it has managed to hide the seriousness of the issue and manipulate authorities, politicians, consumers and the media.

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Glyphosate and “highly toxic” petroleum derivatives

The problem “is not just glyphosate,” explains Séralini, ehe problem is that the pesticide «Roundup is made up of glyphosate and highly toxic products for human health, including petroleum derivatives and heavy metals» causing diseases such as cancer, as cataloged by the International Center for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), which in 2015 indicated that it could be carcinogenic and discouraged its use.

Still, Roundup is the world’s best-selling pesticide and it is used not only in the fumigation of intensive agriculture but also in the elimination of pests in parks and gardens in the cities, in areas close to homes or educational centers and even in private gardening, without consumers knowing « its high toxicity”, says Séralini.

Spain, where Roundup is most used in Europe

Spain is the country in Europe where Roundup is used the most for intensive food production, which contaminates not only the products but also the soil and water sources, as in the case of the Mar Menor, affirms the researcher when asking if he knows the situation of this lagoon in southern Spain. For this reason, he maintains, “we have decided to publish it first in Spain”, where GMO seeds rejected in the rest of Europe are also grown.

Roundup contains only 40% glyphosate, the rest is petroleum derivatives that are deposited in food, explains chef Jèrôme Douzelet and discoverer of the taste of pesticides in food, because “it affects the taste buds”, as in the case of grapes, “a very widespread crop in France and Spain» for the production of wine.

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The serious thing about this use is that the “Roundup kills children and people and is authorized by authorities and governments”emphasizes Douzelet, who recalls the “dishonesty” shown by Monsanto managers in US courts by acknowledging their “knowledge of the toxicity of the products they sell.”

The people affected “should go to court” because they suffer from illnesses caused by the pesticidemaintains Séralini, who stresses that it is a chemical “authorized by governments with double standards”, because Bayer managed to reduce the sale price of Monsanto for its acquisition, for example, but it has also achieved the coalition of ministers, deputies or dependencies authorities responsible for their authorization both at national and European level.

Séralini and Douzelet, authors of other books on pesticides, are optimistic that the authorization to extend the license for MonBa be denied, which is pending review this year in the European Unionafter an extension approved in 2017, a proposal that had been announced would be proposed by the French president, Emmanuele Macron, coinciding with the French presidency of the European Council.

The book, which has a foreword by the Indian doctor Vandana Shiva, an activist against the use of Roundup and GMOs in her country, has received the support of the American lawyer and environmental activist Robert Kennedy Jr, and will be published later in Germany, Mexico and other Latin American countries, after its publication in France and the United States.

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