skip to Main Content

Bibliography Tag: science team publication

Vandenberg et al., 2017

Laura N Vandenberg, Bruce Blumberg, Michael N Antoniou, Charles M Benbrook, Lynn Carroll, Theo Colborn, Lorne G Everett, Michael Hansen, Philip J Landrigan, Bruce P Lanphear, Robin Mesnage, Frederick S vom Saal, Wade V Welshons, John Peterson Myers, “Is it time to reassess current safety standards for glyphosate-based herbicides?”,  Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 2017, 0, DOI: 10.113/jech-2016-208463.


Use of glyphosate-based herbicides (GBHs) increased ∼100-fold from 1974 to 2014. Additional increases are expected due to widespread emergence of glyphosate-resistant weeds, increased application of GBHs, and preharvest uses of GBHs as desiccants. Current safety assessments rely heavily on studies conducted over 30 years ago. We have considered information on GBH use, exposures, mechanisms of action, toxicity and epidemiology. Human exposures to glyphosate are rising, and a number of in vitro and in vivo studies challenge the basis for the current safety assessment of glyphosate and GBHs. We conclude that current safety standards for GBHs are outdated and may fail to protect public health or the environment. To improve safety standards, the following are urgently needed: (1) human biomonitoring for glyphosate and its metabolites; (2) prioritisation of glyphosate and GBHs for hazard assessments, including toxicological studies that use state-of-the-art approaches; (3) epidemiological studies, especially of occupationally exposed agricultural workers, pregnant women and their children and (4) evaluations of GBHs in commercially used formulations, recognising that herbicide mixtures likely have effects that are not predicted by studying glyphosate alone.  FULL TEXT

Benbrook, 2012

Benbrook, C, “Impacts of Genetically Engineered Crops on Pesticide Use in the U.S. – the First Sixteen Years,” Environmental Sciences-Europe, 2012, 24:24.


BACKGROUND: Genetically engineered, herbicide-resistant and insect-resistant crops have been remarkable commercial successes in the United States. Few independent studies have calculated their impacts on pesticide use per hectare or overall pesticide use, or taken into account the impact of rapidly spreading glyphosate-resistant weeds. A model was developed to quantify by crop and year the impacts of six major transgenic pest-management traits on pesticide use in the U.S. over the 16-year period, 1996–2011: herbicide-resistant corn, soybeans, and cotton; Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) corn targeting the European corn borer; Bt corn for corn rootworms; and Bt cotton for Lepidopteron insects.

RESULTS: Herbicide-resistant crop technology has led to a 239 million kilogram (527 million pound) increase in herbicide use in the United States between 1996 and 2011, while Bt crops have reduced insecticide applications by 56 million kilograms (123 million pounds). Overall, pesticide use increased by an estimated 183 million kgs (404 million pounds), or about 7%.

CONCLUSIONS: Contrary to often-repeated claims that today’s genetically-engineered crops have, and are reducing pesticide use, the spread of glyphosate-resistant weeds in herbicide-resistant weed management systems has brought about substantial increases in the number and volume of herbicides applied. If new genetically engineered forms of corn and soybeans tolerant of 2,4-D are approved, the volume of 2,4-D sprayed could drive herbicide usage upward by another approximate 50%. The magnitude of increases in herbicide use on herbicide-resistant hectares has dwarfed the reduction in insecticide use on Bt crops over the past 16 years, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. FULL TEXT

Winchester et al., 2009

Winchester PD, Huskins J, Ying J, “Agrichemicals in surface water and birth defects in the United States,” Acta Paediatrica, 2009, 98:4, DOI: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2008.01207.


OBJECTIVES: To investigate if live births conceived in months when surface water agrichemicals are highest are at greater risk for birth defects.

METHODS: Monthly concentrations during 1996-2002 of nitrates, atrazine and other pesticides were calculated using United States Geological Survey’s National Water Quality Assessment data. Monthly United States birth defect rates were calculated for live births from 1996 to 2002 using United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention natality data sets. Birth defect rates by month of last menstrual period (LMP) were then compared to pesticide/nitrate means using logistical regression models.

RESULTS: Mean concentrations of agrichemicals were highest in April-July. Total birth defects, and eleven of 22 birth defect subcategories, were more likely to occur in live births with LMPs between April and July. A significant association was found between the season of elevated agrichemicals and birth defects.

CONCLUSION: Elevated concentrations of agrichemicals in surface water in April-July coincided with higher risk of birth defects in live births with LMPs April-July. While a causal link between agrichemicals and birth defects cannot be proven from this study an association might provide clues to common factors shared by both variables.    FULL TEXT

Winchester et al., 2016

Winchester P, Proctor C, Ying J, “County-level pesticide use and risk of shortened gestation and preterm birth,” Acta Paediatrica, 2016, 105:3, DOI: 10.1111/apa.13288.


AIM: This study assesses the association between pesticide exposure in pregnancy, preterm birth (PTB) and shortened gestation.

METHODS: Pregnancy information was abstracted from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Non-Public Use Natality Datasets 1990-2005. Pesticide use in maternal county of residence was calculated using California Pesticide Use Reporting (PUR) data 1990-2005. Counties were ranked by pesticide use, and birth months were sorted by peak (May-June) or nonpeak (other months) pesticide use. Multivariate logistical regression models were used.

RESULTS: Counties with higher pesticide use were associated with higher PTB (low 8.59 ± 0.11%, moderate 9.25 ± 0.07%, high 10.0 ± 0.06%, p’s < 0.001) and shorter gestations (low 39.197 ± 0.014 weeks, moderate 39.126 ± 0.011 weeks, high 39.049 ± 0.011 weeks, p’s < 0.001). Peak pesticide months were associated with higher PTB (10.01 ± 0.05% vs. 9.36 ± 0.05%, p < 0.001) and shorter gestations (39.069 ± 0.007 weeks vs. 39.122 ± 0.007 weeks, p < 0.001). The pesticide effect on shortened gestation and higher PTB was found in all racial groups. Pesticide use was highest for fungicides > insecticides > fumigants > herbicides > others. Each pesticide type was found to be associated with higher PTB and shorter gestation.

CONCLUSION: PTB and shortened gestation were significantly associated with pesticide use in maternal county of residence regardless of race, gestation at birth, and in most risk categories.   FULL TEXT

Winchester et al., 2017

Winchester PD, Parvez S, Proctor C, Ying J, Gerona RR, “Fetal Exposure to Glyphosate,” Presentation, Pediatric Academic Societies, May 6-7, 2017, San Francisco, California.


Measured glyphosate in pregnant women to estimate fetal exposure and monitor potential adverse effects on pregnancy outcomes. Glyphosate was present in 91% of the urine samples and higher glyphosate levels were correlated with shorter pregnancies and lower birth weights.  FULL TEXT

Myers et al., 2016

Myers JP, Antoniou MN, Blumberg B, Carroll L, Colborn T, Everett LG, Michael Hansen, Landrigan PJ, Lanphear BP, Mesnage R, Vandenberg LN, Vom Saal FS, Welshons WV, Benbrook CM, “Concerns over use of glyphosate-based herbicides and risks associated with exposures: a consensus statement,” Environmental Health, 2016, 15:19, DOI: 10.1186/s12940-016-0117-0.

ABSTRACT:  The broad-spectrum herbicide glyphosate (common trade name “Roundup”) was first sold to farmers in 1974. Since the late 1970s, the volume of glyphosate-based herbicides (GBHs) applied has increased approximately 100-fold. Further increases in the volume applied are likely due to more and higher rates of application in response to the widespread emergence of glyphosate-resistant weeds and new, pre-harvest, dessicant use patterns. GBHs were developed to replace or reduce reliance on herbicides causing well-documented problems associated with drift and crop damage, slipping efficacy, and human health risks. Initial industry toxicity testing suggested that GBHs posed relatively low risks to non-target species, including mammals, leading regulatory authorities worldwide to set high acceptable exposure limits. To accommodate changes in GBH use patterns associated with genetically engineered, herbicide-tolerant crops, regulators have dramatically increased tolerance levels in maize, oilseed (soybeans and canola), and alfalfa crops and related livestock feeds. Animal and epidemiology studies published in the last decade, however, point to the need for a fresh look at glyphosate toxicity. Furthermore, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer recently concluded that glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic to humans.” In response to changing GBH use patterns and advances in scientific understanding of their potential hazards, we have produced a Statement of Concern drawing on emerging science relevant to the safety of GBHs. Our Statement of Concern considers current published literature describing GBH uses, mechanisms of action, toxicity in laboratory animals, and epidemiological studies. It also examines the derivation of current human safety standards. We conclude that: (1) GBHs are the most heavily applied herbicide in the world and usage continues to rise; (2) Worldwide, GBHs often contaminate drinking water sources, precipitation, and air, especially in agricultural regions; (3) The half-life of glyphosate in water and soil is longer than previously recognized; (4) Glyphosate and its metabolites are widely present in the global soybean supply; (5) Human exposures to GBHs are rising; (6) Glyphosate is now authoritatively classified as a probable human carcinogen; (7) Regulatory estimates of tolerable daily intakes for glyphosate in the United States and European Union are based on outdated science. We offer a series of recommendations related to the need for new investments in epidemiological studies, biomonitoring, and toxicology studies that draw on the principles of endocrinology to determine whether the effects of GBHs are due to endocrine disrupting activities. We suggest that common commercial formulations of GBHs should be prioritized for inclusion in government-led toxicology testing programs such as the U.S. National Toxicology Program, as well as for biomonitoring as conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  FULL TEXT

Lanphear et al., 2005

Lanphear BP, Vorhees CV, Bellinger DC, “Protecting children from environmental toxins,” PLoS Medicine. 2005, 2:3.

ABSTRACT: Not Available


Back To Top