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The Introduction of Thousands of Tonnes of Glyphosate in the food Chain—An Evaluation of Glyphosate Tolerant Soybeans

1
Institute of Marine Research, 9006 Tromsø, Norway
2
Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex, Brighton BN1 9SL, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Foods 2019, 8(12), 669; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods8120669
Received: 1 November 2019 / Revised: 5 December 2019 / Accepted: 5 December 2019 / Published: 11 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetically Modified Food)
Glyphosate-tolerant (GT) soybeans dominate the world soybean market. These plants have triggered increased use of, as well as increased residues of, glyphosate in soybean products. We present data that show farmers have doubled their glyphosate applications per season (from two to four) and that residues of late season spraying of glyphosate (at full bloom of the plant) result in much higher residues in the harvested plants and products. GT soybeans produced on commercial farms in the USA, Brazil and Argentina accumulate in total an estimated 2500–10,000 metric tonnes of glyphosate per year, which enter global food chains. We also review studies that have compared the quality of GT soybeans with conventional and organic soybeans. Feeding studies in Daphnia magna have shown dose-related adverse effects (mortality, reduced fecundity and delayed reproduction) of glyphosate residues in soybeans, even at glyphosate concentrations below allowed residue levels. We argue that GT soybeans need to be tested in fully representative and realistic contexts. However, the current risk assessment system has only required and received data from field trials with beans that were sprayed with much lower doses of glyphosate as compared to contemporary commercial farms. This has left knowledge gaps and a potentially serious underestimation of health risks to consumers. View Full-Text
Keywords: Daphnia magna feeding studies; food chain; genetically modified organism (GMO) safety testing; glyphosate residues in soybean; health risk; risk assessment; resistance evolution; Roundup; toxicity Daphnia magna feeding studies; food chain; genetically modified organism (GMO) safety testing; glyphosate residues in soybean; health risk; risk assessment; resistance evolution; Roundup; toxicity
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MDPI and ACS Style

Bøhn, T.; Millstone, E. The Introduction of Thousands of Tonnes of Glyphosate in the food Chain—An Evaluation of Glyphosate Tolerant Soybeans. Foods 2019, 8, 669.

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