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Chelsea Green Blog

We Were Wrong: Pesticide “Roundup” Is as Safe as Coffee!</sarcasm>

My favorite thing about democracy is probably the free speech part. It’s amazing, really. Anyone can say anything! Like, our government’s audacity in trying to convince us we have fair healthcare in terms of what’s economically possible in this country, for one. And people who say homosexuals shouldn’t have legal rights like marriage, for another. Oh, and this guy, the Director of Medical Sciences and Outreach for Monsanto—the world’s leading producer of pesticides—who says that their big-selling weed killer, Roundup, is as safe as your morning cup of joe.

We received a response to our previous post on how Roundup, America’s favorite weed killer, may actually be damaging America’s pregnancies en masse. Not because we’re trying to sell an antidote, mind you (but I wish we could); just, you know, a piece of information we thought might inform the average consumer of something that’s otherwise neatly marketed as fine and dandy. According to this source, however—who is a mouthpiece for the company who produces Roundup—the weed-killer actually doesn’t kill human cells. The purportedly deadly pesticide is more like a café au lait, really, comparatively speaking. Special thanks to Monsanto for another of their speedy and brilliant efforts to combat criticism of their product on the blogosphere. For more examples, click here.

If you put a detergent of any sort on cells in a petri dish, the cells get sick. These Petri dish experiments, like the previous related experiments from Seralini’s group, have no relevance to a living animal and provide no information about real-world risks to humans. Instead, they tell us what we already know; that substances can injure unprotected cells in a test tube. To put this kind of study in context, consider that caffeine can also disrupt cell function. Caffeine was used in a similar Petri dish experiment also using cells from veins of human umbilical cords and produced the same result – cell death – by the same pathway (Matsuoka et al., 2006; see

Of course, caffeine – in its natural and added forms – is found in coffee, tea, cola beverages, new “energy” drinks, chocolate and even some medicines.

If you are interested in learning more about Monsanto’s position on Seralini’s studies, read this

Thanks so much,
Daniel A. Goldstein, M.D.
Director, Medical Sciences and Outreach
Monsanto Company

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