Originally published September 6 2015
Corrupt Monsanto scientists release flawed study claiming their cancer-causing glyphosate is not in breast milk
by David Gutierrez, staff writer
(NaturalNews) In a triumphant recent press release, Washington State University (WSU) researcher Michelle (Shelley) McGuire celebrates the findings of her research team, allegedly demonstrating that the blockbuster herbicide glyphosate (Roundup) does not accumulate in human breast milk. According to the press release, this new study disproves the findings of an earlier, much-publicized pilot study reported by Moms Across America and Sustainable Pulse, which found glyphosate in 30 percent of the breast milk samples that were tested.
Several fundamental problems with the WSU study, however, call its supposed findings into serious question.
A Monsanto-backed studyThe problems with the new study start with its conflicts of interest. McGuire's husband, animal science researcher Mark McGuire, has previously promoted the use of Monsanto's recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH or rBST). He is a close friend of John Vicini, the head of Food Safety Scientific Affairs at Monsanto.
Due to this friendship, Shelley McGuire herself has also had a long professional relationship with Monsanto. She is also a spokesperson for the American Society of Nutrition, which promotes industry research partnerships on the front page of its web site.
The most egregious conflict of interest is that from the labs used to analyze the breast milk samples. Although the press release touts the new study as "the first to have its results independently verified by an accredited, outside organization," it later quietly notes that "analyses of the milk samples were conducted in Monsanto laboratories in St. Louis and independently verified at Wisconsin-based Covance Laboratories."
The initial tests were carried out by Monsanto scientists and were later confirmed by Covance, a lab that has a long history of working with Monsanto and is currently a service contractor for Monsanto on studies into animals fed genetically engineered plants.
Even while inflating the independence of its own analysis, the WSU press release downplays the independence of the labs used in the Moms Across America/Sustainable Pulse tests. It also completely ignores the existence of the German study, which also used an independent lab. That study, performed earlier this year, found glyphosate levels of 0.210-0.432 ng/ml in human milk.
Another reason to go organicDespite the press release's grand claims, the WSU study does not appear to have been accepted for publication by a peer-reviewed journal. Neither its methodology nor its data have been made available for analysis by independent scientists. Scientifically, this makes the press release's claims suspect, if not completely worthless.
Revealing its true agenda, the WSU press release also uses rhetorical tricks to make glyphosate appear to be a less dangerous chemical than it actually is. While acknowledging that some women tested positive for glyphosate in their urine, the press release dismisses the levels as being "not of concern" without mentioning the levels or citing any basis for considering them harmless. ("Dr McGuire is not qualified to judge if this is of concern or not," Sustainable Pulse replied.)
The press release also notes that "independent regulatory and safety assessments of glyphosate... have found no consistent effects of glyphosate exposure on reproductive health or developing offspring." This statement appears to be an attempt to imply that the chemical is safe. The press release says nothing of glyphosate's recent classification by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a "probable carcinogen."
"Glyphosate is definitely genotoxic," said Christopher Portier, co-author of the WHO study. "There is no doubt in my mind."
What can concerned mothers do about this? They should keep breastfeeding, but they should try to eat smarter.
"Moms Across America feels very strongly that breast milk should still be the number one choice for mothers," the initial press release announcing the Moms Across America/Sustainable Pulse tests read.
"We just urge all mothers to eat as organic as possible, especially meat, dairy, oils and grains that are sprayed with glyphosate at harvest as a drying agent."
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