Rounding up the damning evidence: Monsanto's top-selling weed killer Roundup is widely used not just in grain crops, but yards and parks. French researchers have found that one of Roundup’s inert ingredients can kill human cells, particularly embryonic, placental and umbilical cord cells. The new findings throw gasoline on the flames of a debate about so-called “inerts,” the solvents, preservatives, surfactants and other substances that manufacturers add to pesticides. The research was funded in part by France’s Committee for Research and Independent Information on Genetic Engineering, an anti-GMO activist group. Monsanto scientists argue that the study exposed cells to unnaturally high levels of the chemicals and the tests aren't applicable to live humans. Meanwhile, an environmental group last month petitioned Argentina’s Supreme Court, seeking a temporary ban on use of glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup) in response to a high incidence of birth defects and cancers in people living near crop-spraying areas. And a group of over 250 U.S. organizations has petitioned the EPA to change requirements for identifying pesticides’ inert ingredients, arguing that the laws protecting manufacturers' secrecy are unnecessary and harm consumers. (Environmental Health News)
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