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ZERO tolerance for glyphosate.

ZERO tolerance for glyphosate.

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This petition has been created by Jodie B. and may not represent the views of the Avaaz community.
Jodie B.
started this petition to
FAO Director General Graziano Da Silva
Glyphosate was developed as a pipe cleaner and weed killer - but it is now being sprayed on our food. Published science shows that glyphosate, commonly known as Roundup, is damaging to our children, ourselves and our environment - at the levels our governments permit on our food.

In March 2015 the W.H.O International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) declared the herbicide glyphosate to be a probable carcinogen, damaging to DNA. [1] A new study in August 2015 found glyphosate to be toxic at levels within the daily allowable intake levels set by international regulators. [2]

We need to urgently get glyphosate off our food. But first we need to understand how international risk assessment for pesticides works.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Panel of Experts on Pesticide Residues (JMPR) on Food and the World Health Organisation (WHO) Core Assessment group conduct toxicological evaluations (risk assessment) and look at scientific studies to understand at what level an active ingredient in a pesticide formulation is toxic. [3]

Frequently, private studies directly supplied by the manufacturer are used to arrive at the permitted daily exposure (daily dose), per kilogram bodyweight, for a 60kg adult. The daily dose may be referred to as the 'acceptable daily intake' (ADI) or reference dose (RfD).

The same FAO/WHO panel work on a separate paper to recommend pesticide maximum residue levels (MRLs) for food crops after reviewing residue levels on crop trials. [4] Effectively the FAO Panel decides how much pesticide can be sprayed on each kilogram of food we eat.

How did Roundup end up on our food crops?

The last thorough JMPR evaluation was in 2004. After this evaluation the FAO panel recommended an increase in the allowable levels of glyphosate on many food crops - these increases are listed in the Codex Alimentarius Maximum Residue Levels. [5]

Why would they do that? Because the pesticide companies found a new way to sell their product – by spraying it directly on crops to ripen or dry the crop, and destroy weeds before harvesting. As a result, glyphosate is now sprayed directly onto corn, sugarcane, sugar beet, wheat, oats barley, peas, lentils; as well as canola, soy, cottonseed, sunflower seed (for vegetable oils); and animal feed crops (which increase residues across milk and meat products). Glyphosate is a systemic herbicide and does not wash off.

A high permitted ADI level means that we can have higher chemical exposures, daily for the rest of our lives.

Now we have new, concerning news: The JMPR panel on May 16 2016, conducting new evaluations for glyphosate, 'reaffirmed the group ADI for the sum of glyphosate and its metabolites of 0–1 mg/kg body weight on the basis of effects on the salivary gland.' [6]

The 'salivary gland study' is an unpublished 1993 study. Atkinson et al.1993b. Selected and supplied by Cheminova for the 2004 WHO FAO Toxicological Evaluations. http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/43624/1/9241665203_eng.pdf See P. 129

The 2016 JMPR panel face accusations of conflicts of interest. [7] They are yet (as at June 1 2016) to release the Monographs that show which studies were consulted.

Pipe cleaners and weed killers should NOT be sprayed on our food and animal feed crops. We believe the FAO has put the interests of the pesticide industry ahead of public health. Ahead of YOUR health.

What we do understand - is that currently the JMPR committee may be prioritising manufacturer paid, unpublished rodent tests above the published and peer reviewed science that shows that glyphosate and the additives (adjuvants) that make up the full formulation, are much more toxic, at the levels we are exposed to, every day.

The JMPR are potentially relying on 20th century scientific protocols to ignore 21st century science that can research full formulation chemical toxicity at the low (environmentally relevant) levels we are exposed to - from conception till death - because this chemical is sprayed on food crops and leaches into groundwater. [8]

A 2015 Consensus statement prepared by scientists working in the public interest has noted 'Regulatory estimates of tolerable daily intakes for glyphosate in the United States and European Union are based on outdated science' . [8]

These evaluations by the FAO and WHO only occur every 12-16 years, yet the science is already outdated?

The Consensus Statement expressed with concern, the potential of glyphosates' antibiotic action to alter the microbiome, and, furthermore the potential of glyphosate to undermine antibiotic therapy. [8]

Antibiotic ineffectiveness is an emerging threat. In 2014 the Dr Keiji Fukuda, WHO’s Assistant Director-General for Health Security said “Without urgent, coordinated action by many stakeholders, the world is headed for a post-antibiotic era, in which common infections and minor injuries which have been treatable for decades can once again kill.” [9]

The calls to action from the WHO Cancer and Health sectors appear to be ignored by the WHO department with close links to trade and industry. This appears absurd.

We need immediate action NOW – we don’t want years of procrastination in bureaucratic panels and committees before residues are lowered. The FAO must take glyphosate off our food immediately – so that countries throughout the world can then change to a safer standard.

If the FAO can increase these levels of a probably carcinogenic pesticide on our food – they have the power to reduce those same levels to zero tolerance - zero maximum residues of glyphosate on our food.

FAO’s Goal no. 1 is ‘Access of all people at all times to sufficient nutritionally adequate and safe food.

Mothers today know that glyphosate sprayed on staple food crops are damaging to their children. We call on FAO Director-General Graziano Da Silva, to respond to the independent, published science and get glyphosate off our food now! We need you to urgently revise the recommended maximum residue levels of glyphosate on our human food crops and animal feed crops to NEGLIGIBLE – zero tolerance, which can be defined as ‘must not contain glyphosate residues greater than 0.01 mg/kg.’

Key references:
[1] WHO IARC Monographs Volume 112: evaluation of fiveorganophosphate insecticides and herbicides.http://monographs.iarc.fr/
[2] Mesnage, R, Defarge, N, Spiroux de Vendômois, J, Séralini, G.E, Potential toxic effects of glyphosate and its commercial formulations below regulatory limits, Food and Chemical Toxicology (2015), doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2015.08.012.
[3] Pesticide residues in food – 2004. Joint FAO/WHO Meeting on Pesticide Residues, EVALUATIONS. Part II—Toxicological. Sponsored jointly by FAO and WHO With the support of the International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS) Joint Meeting of the FAO Panel of Experts on Pesticide Residues in Food and the Environment and the WHO Core Assessment Group http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/43624/1/9241665203_eng.pdf
[4] Pesticide residues in food – 2005. FAO PLANT PRODUCTION AND PROTECTION PAPER 183. Report of the Joint Meeting of the FAO Panel of Experts on Pesticide Residues in Food and the Environment and the WHO Core Assessment Group on Pesticide Residues http://www.fao.org/fileadmin/templates/agphome/documents/Pests_Pesticides/JMPR/JMPR05report.pdf
[4] Codex Alimentarius. Pesticide Residues in Food and Feed. Glyphosate 158.http://www.codexalimentarius.net/pestres/data/pesticides/details.html?d-16497-o=2&id=158&d-16497-s=3
[6] JOINT FAO/WHO MEETING ON PESTICIDE RESIDUES Geneva, 9–13 May 2016 SUMMARY REPORT. http://www.who.int/foodsafety/jmprsummary2016.pdf
[7] UN/WHO panel in conflict of interest row over glyphosate cancer risk. May 17 2016. A.Neslen. http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/may/17/unwho-panel-in-conflict-of-interest-row-over-glyp.... Glyphosate: Is science the playground of industry?Testbiotech requests that experts with strong affiliations to industry are removed from the FAO/WHO panelTuesday, 31 May 2016 http://testbiotech.org/en/node/1651
[8] Myers J P et al (2016). Concerns over use of glyphosate-based herbicides and risks associated with exposures: a consensus statement. Environmental Health 15(19). DOI 10.1186/s12940-016-0117-0. Open access: http://ehjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12940-016-0117-0
[9] WHO’s first global report on antibiotic resistance reveals serious, worldwide threat to public health.30 APRIL 2014. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2014/amr-report/en/

Key studies showing toxic effects of glyphosate and Roundup.Earth Open Source.GMO Myths & Truths Report.http://earthopensource.org/gmomythsandtruths/sample-page/4-health-hazards-roundup-glyphosate/4-2-myt.... A Generation in Jeopardy: How pesticides are undermining our children’s health & intelligence. PAN North America.http://www.panna.org/publication/generation-in-jeopardy This is a joint petition by: www.mothersacrosstheworld.com and www.rite-demands.org

NOTE: Updated June 1, 2016 to include new information regarding WHO FAO JMPR 2016 glyphosate re-evaluation information. The update did not alter the original petition text.
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