Washington State University scientists have found that glyphosate, the main ingredient in the herbicide Roundup, does not accumulate in mother’s breast milk.
Michelle McGuire, an associate professor in the WSU School of Biological Sciences, is the lead researcher of the study, the first to have its results independently verified by an accredited, outside organization.
Her findings, presented at the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Conference on July 23 in Big Sky, Mont., show that glyphosate, the most used weed-killing chemical in the world, does not accumulate over time in human milk. She conducted the study with Kimberly Lackey, Ph.D. candidate zoology, Laboratory Technician Janae Carrothers and colleagues at the nearby University of Idaho.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is using the study as part of an ongoing review of glyphosate regulations prompted by public concern over a controversial report on the chemical released by the advocacy group, Moms Across America and Sustainable Pulse last year that claimed that traces of glyphosate were found in three out of ten breast milk samples submitted for analysis.
“The Moms Across America study flat out got it wrong,” said McGuire, who is an executive committee member for the International Society for Research in Human Milk and Lactation and a national spokesperson for the American Society for Nutrition. “Our study provides strong evidence that glyphosate is not in human milk. The MAA findings are unverified, not consistent with published safety data and are based off an assay designed to test for glyphosate in water, not breast milk.”
Editor’s note: Even though the original claims were not based on actual studies, and the report researchers refused to share their data, the unsubstantiated and inflammatory conclusions have been widely promoted by the most visible anti-GMO activist leadership, including most recently by Gary Hirshberg in an article in Huffington Post (Glyphosate is now showing-up in the drinking water, air and breast milk of mothers in areas where these herbicides are in concentrated use.”) and by the Organic Consumers Association, a pro-organic trade group.
Analyses of the milk samples were conducted both in Monsanto laboratories in St. Louis and independently verified at Wisconsin-based Covance Laboratories, which is not affiliated with the WSU/UIresearch team or Monsanto.
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