Glyphosate - rebutting some common claims

Challenger Trailed Sprayers

Glyphosate and autism

“There is simply no reason to believe that there is any link between increased use of glyphosate and increased prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)”

Dr Andrew Kniss, Associate Professor, Dept of Plant Sciences, University of Wyoming

Glyphosate and beer:

“In order to ingest quantities of glyphosate that would pose a health risk, an adult would have to drink roughly 1,000 litres of beer during one day.”

German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) – in response to a German study that found traces of glyphosate in beer (read more here)

Glyphosate and bees:

“There were no significant effects from glyphosate observed in brood survival, development, and mean pupal weight. Additionally, there were no biologically significant levels of adult mortality observed in any glyphosate treatment group.”

Thompson et al, Evaluating exposure and potential effects  on honeybee brood (Apis mellifera) development using glyphosate as an example, Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management, July 2014

Glyphosate and breast milk (Germany):

“A study commissioned by the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) ... confirmed that no residues of  ... glyphosate are detectable in breast milk.” Read more here.

Glyphosate and breast milk (US):

“our data strongly suggest that glyphosate does not bioaccumulate and is not present in human milk even when the mother has detectable glyphosate in her urine."

Michelle McGuire, associate professor, Washington State University School of Biological Sciences - read more about the study here

Glyphosate and endocrine disruption:

“glyphosate demonstrates no convincing evidence of potential interaction with the estrogen, androgen or thyroid pathways in mammals or wildlife”

US Environmental Protection Agency - more here

Glyphosate and kidney disease:

“We are not aware of any scientific evidence from studies in Sri Lanka or abroad showing that CKDu (chronic kidney disease of undetermined causes) is caused by glyphosate.”

National Academy of Sciences – Sri Lanka

Glyphosate and non-fatty liver disease:

Glyphosate and organophosphates:

“In pure chemical terms glyphosate is an organophosphate. However, it does not affect the nervous system in the way that other, now restricted, organophosphate anticholinesterase chemicals do, and does not cause the same effects on human health.”

UK Health and Safety Executive - read more

Glyphosate and urine:

“all measured values, even the highest, were of no health concern. The calculated human exposures were at least one order, but mainly two or more orders, of magnitude lower than the acceptable daily intake and acceptable operators exposure level"

German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) - read the paper here

Glyphosate and vaccines:

“This assay [testing method] has not been validated for anything apart from water, and even in water is used as a first screening step because of its chance of giving false positives. That’s why these results of 0.1-3 parts per billion (ppb) traces can’t be used as any indication that there would actually be glyphosate in vaccines. Parts per billion, meanwhile, are so far below biological relevance that they could not have an effect on our health even if they were there.”

Iida Ruishalme, cell biologist and author

Glyphosate and other products:

“Constantly improving, ever more sensitive analysis methods result in the ability to detect substances virtually everywhere … even in concentrations as low as one femtogram (0.000000000000001 g). The existence of a substance or residues thereof is therefore no indication of a health risk.”

German Federal Institute of Risk Assessment (BfR) - read more