(NaturalNews) The main ingredient used in Monsanto's Roundup herbicide is highly toxic to pigs, and a new study published in the journal Environmental & Analytical Toxicology has found that, when piglets consume genetically modified (GM) soy feed exposed to this pervasive chemical, known as glyphosate, they develop major health problems and developmental disorders.
The study emerged after a Danish pig farmer who ran out of his normal, non-GM animal feed had to settle for GM soy instead -- two tons of it, to be exact. Borup Pedersen quickly observed that his pigs were not doing well on the new feed, particularly after a herdsman who had not been informed of the switch began reporting diarrhea, birth defects and other problems previously not seen.
Concerned about the long-term health of his pigs, Pedersen brought 38 of them to a laboratory for analysis. Using the ELISA testing system, veterinarians from Germany and Egypt collected tissue samples from the malformed piglets, only to discover high levels of glyphosate, the only component of their diet, besides the GM soy itself, that had changed.
Most of the glyphosate, according to the study, had accumulated in the piglets' lungs, with significant amounts of the toxin also detected in their hearts. Lower concentrations of glyphosate were observed in the piglets' muscle tissue, which the research team concluded had most likely been transferred from the piglets' mothers through their placentas.
Every piglet whose mother was fed GM soy had glyphosate in its organs, tissues
Interestingly, every single piglet tested had some level of glyphosate in its system, demonstrating that the toxin does, indeed, accumulate inside the body after ingestion. Levels ranged from 0.87 to 1.13 parts per million (ppm) of glyphosate during the first 40 days of pregnancy, with maximums of 80 ppm observed in both the hearts and lungs of the animals.
"All organs or tissues had glyphosate in different concentrations," reported the research team.
In a separate picture collage accompanying the study, researchers highlighted the many observed effects that they saw in pigs exposed to glyphosate. These effects included spinal deformation, unformed ears, cranial deformation, holes in the cranium, piglets born alive with short legs and undeveloped eyes, one pig with an elephant trunk containing a bone, a female piglet with testes, a piglet born with a swollen stomach and disconnected gut, and another malformed with a swollen belly.
Return to non-GM feed eliminated health problems in Pedersen's pigs
Immediately following the study's publishing, Pedersen issued a public plea for Roundup to be banned. After switching back to normal feed and witnessing these horrific health effects disappear, Pedersen is sure that GM soy containing glyphosate is to blame for the destruction of his pig herd, which is now doing much better.
"It shocks me that the industry does not take the evidence of Roundup's and glyphosate's harmful effects more serious than it does," stated Pedersen, as quoted by GMWatch.org. "The National Institute of Animal Science already showed 25 years ago that Roundup could harm animals. ... But the unfortunate and incredible [thing] is that the authorities do not take this evidence seriously."
Though he now pays about four cents more per pound for non-GM feed for his pigs, Pedersen says that this added cost is more than worth it, as his pigs are now bearing more healthy piglets with fewer cases of ulcers, diarrhea, bloat and other health problems. Pederson's non-GM pigs also require less medical care, which means that he is now spending less on veterinarian services.
You can download a full summary of the study in PDF format, entitled Detection of Glyphosate in Malformed Piglets, here: OMICSOnline.org.