Tag Archives: Claims

Glyphosate shown to disrupt microbiome ‘at safe levels’, study claims

A chemical found in the world’s most widely used weedkiller can have disrupting effects on sexual development, genes and beneficial gut bacteria at doses considered safe, according to a wide-ranging pilot study in rats.

Glyphosate is the core ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide and levels found in the human bloodstream have spiked by more than a 1,000% in the last two decades.

The substance was recently relicensed for a shortened five-year lease by the EU. But scientists involved in the new glyphosate study say their results show that it poses “a significant public health concern”.

One of the report’s authors, Daniele Mandrioli, at the Ramazzini Institute in Bologna, Italy, said significant and potentially detrimental effects from glyphosate had been detected in the gut bacteria of rat pups born to mothers, who appeared to have been unaffected themselves.

“It shouldn’t be happening and it is quite remarkable that it is,” Mandrioli said. “Disruption of the microbiome has been associated with a number of negative health outcomes, such as obsesity, diabetes and immunological problems.”

Prof Philip J Landrigan, of New York’s Icahn School of Medicine, and also one of the research team, said: “These early warnings must be further investigated in a comprehensive long-term study.” He added that serious health effects from the chemical might manifest as long-term cancer risk: “That might affect a huge number of people, given the planet-wide use of the glyphosate-based herbicides.”

Controversy has raged around glyphosate since a World Health Organisation agency – the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) – judged it to be a “probable human carcinogen” in 2015.

However, US and European regulators subsequently deemed it acceptable for use, a move campaigners condemned because of regulators’ use of secret industry papers and experts with alleged ties to Monsanto.

The US firm, which recently merged with Bayer in a deal worth more than $ 60bn, argues that it is being unfairly targeted by activist scientists with ulterior motives.

Scott Partridge, Monsanto’s VP for global strategy told the Guardian: “The Ramazzini Institute is an activist organisation with an agenda that they have not disclosed as part of their crowdfunding efforts. They wish to support a ban on glyphosate and they have a long history of rendering opinions not supported by regulatory testing agencies.”

“This is not about genuine research,” he added. “All the research to date has demonstrated that there is no link between glyphosate and cancer.”

In 2017, the Ramazinni Institute was criticised by members of the US Congress, which has provided it with funding. US congress members have also probed funding for the IARC.

The new crowdfunded pilot study which the Ramazzini Institute compiled with Bologna University and the Italian National Health Institute observed the health effects of glyphosate on Sprague Dawley rats, which had been dosed with the US EPA-determined safe limit of 1.75 micrograms per kilo of body weight.

Two-thirds of known carcinogens had been discovered using the Sprague Dawley rat species, Mandrioli said, although further investigation would be needed to establish long-term risks to human health.

The pilot research did not focus on cancer but it did find evidence of glyphosate bioaccumulation in rats– and changes to reproductive health.

“We saw an increase in ano-genital distance in the formulation that is of specific importance for reproductive health,” Mandrioli said. “It might indicate a disruption of the normal level of sexual hormones.”

The study’s three peer-reviewed papers will be published in Environmental Health later in May, ahead of a €5m follow-up study that will compare the safe level against multiple other doses.

Glyphosate shown to disrupt microbiome ‘at safe levels’, study claims

A chemical found in the world’s most widely used weedkiller can have disrupting effects on sexual development, genes and beneficial gut bacteria at doses considered safe, according to a wide-ranging pilot study in rats.

Glyphosate is the core ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide and levels found in the human bloodstream have spiked by more than a 1,000% in the last two decades.

The substance was recently relicensed for a shortened five-year lease by the EU. But scientists involved in the new glyphosate study say their results show that it poses “a significant public health concern”.

One of the report’s authors, Daniele Mandrioli, at the Ramazzini Institute in Bologna, Italy, said significant and potentially detrimental effects from glyphosate had been detected in the gut bacteria of rat pups born to mothers, who appeared to have been unaffected themselves.

“It shouldn’t be happening and it is quite remarkable that it is,” Mandrioli said. “Disruption of the microbiome has been associated with a number of negative health outcomes, such as obsesity, diabetes and immunological problems.”

Prof Philip J Landrigan, of New York’s Icahn School of Medicine, and also one of the research team, said: “These early warnings must be further investigated in a comprehensive long-term study.” He added that serious health effects from the chemical might manifest as long-term cancer risk: “That might affect a huge number of people, given the planet-wide use of the glyphosate-based herbicides.”

Controversy has raged around glyphosate since a World Health Organisation agency – the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) – judged it to be a “probable human carcinogen” in 2015.

However, US and European regulators subsequently deemed it acceptable for use, a move campaigners condemned because of regulators’ use of secret industry papers and experts with alleged ties to Monsanto.

The US firm, which recently merged with Bayer in a deal worth more than $ 60bn, argues that it is being unfairly targeted by activist scientists with ulterior motives.

Scott Partridge, Monsanto’s VP for global strategy told the Guardian: “The Ramazzini Institute is an activist organisation with an agenda that they have not disclosed as part of their crowdfunding efforts. They wish to support a ban on glyphosate and they have a long history of rendering opinions not supported by regulatory testing agencies.”

“This is not about genuine research,” he added. “All the research to date has demonstrated that there is no link between glyphosate and cancer.”

In 2017, the Ramazinni Institute was criticised by members of the US Congress, which has provided it with funding. US congress members have also probed funding for the IARC.

The new crowdfunded pilot study which the Ramazzini Institute compiled with Bologna University and the Italian National Health Institute observed the health effects of glyphosate on Sprague Dawley rats, which had been dosed with the US EPA-determined safe limit of 1.75 micrograms per kilo of body weight.

Two-thirds of known carcinogens had been discovered using the Sprague Dawley rat species, Mandrioli said, although further investigation would be needed to establish long-term risks to human health.

The pilot research did not focus on cancer but it did find evidence of glyphosate bioaccumulation in rats– and changes to reproductive health.

“We saw an increase in ano-genital distance in the formulation that is of specific importance for reproductive health,” Mandrioli said. “It might indicate a disruption of the normal level of sexual hormones.”

The study’s three peer-reviewed papers will be published in Environmental Health later in May, ahead of a €5m follow-up study that will compare the safe level against multiple other doses.

Tawel Fan scandal: inquiry rejects dementia abuse claims

An inquiry into the care of dementia patients on a troubled mental health ward in north Wales has been described as a “whitewash” after it said there was no institutional abuse.

The findings of an in-depth investigation into the treatment of patients on Tawel Fan ward at Glan Clwyd hospital in Denbighshire, contradicted those of an earlier inquiry.

The ward was closed in December 2013 and two years later an inquiry uncovered “institutional abuse”, which may have violated the human rights of patients.

A new investigation by the independent Health and Social Care Advisory Service did not substantiate the previous claims and said there was a “good overall general standard” of care on the ward.

It carried out more than 100 interviews with families and staff and examined over half a million pages of information including police transcripts, medical records, staff records and corporate records.

Darren Millar, the Conservative assembly member for Clwyd West, said: “Many will describe today’s report into Tawel Fan as a whitewash and will question the independence of the process which has led to its publication.

“Any organisation with links to the Welsh government or the Labour party involved in sensitive work of this kind should have a duty to disclose that to stakeholders upfront.

“The failure to do so in this case has given rise to a serious breach of trust and undermined the confidence of the Tawel Fan families that this was a genuine quest for truth.

“We are now almost four-and-a-half years on from the closure of the ward and yet, instead of answers, the Tawel Fan families have even more questions about the care of their loved ones.”

He added that the “Tawel Fan families and the people of north Wales deserve better” and called for “a cross-party assembly inquiry to ensure that we get to the bottom of what happened once and for all.”

Angela Burns, the Welsh Conservative party’s health spokeswoman, said: “When compared with the initial work undertaken by Donna Ockenden, who exposed ‘institutional abuse’ on the ward, the findings in today’s report cause concern of a different nature.

“Transparency and honesty are vital in all areas of public service delivery – particularly when scandals hit our most treasured public service.”

The Welsh health secretary, Vaughan Gething, demanded that the health board makes further improvements to services but urged caution over jumping to conclusions about the findings.

“The investigation had a much wider remit and, unlike the previous report, was able to access a comprehensive set of documentation, including clinical records, and draw in specific mental health expertise,” he said.

“This is a very substantial report that warrants further careful reading and consideration.

“Whilst this will be very difficult day for both families and staff who were involved or affected by the investigation, I would hope that these findings can act as a catalyst to the lifting of a dark shadow that has extended over mental health services in north Wales for a number of years.”

The health board said that, although the inquiry had revealed “systemic organisational weaknesses”, there had since been “substantial improvements” to services.

In a joint statement, the board’s chairman Dr Peter Higson and chief executive Gary Doherty said: “The investigation found the overall standard of care on the ward to be generally good and found no evidence to support the view that patients suffered from deliberate abuse or wilful neglect.

“However, it found that some patients did not receive the standard of care that we would expect across our services.”

They added: “ We are clear that we have much more to do to make improvements across all of our adult services – not just mental health services.”

Tax on sugary drinks will only be partly effective, claims study

The new sugar tax on soft drinks may see young people switch to healthier beverages, but it is unlikely to help those who have a high-sugar diet, a new study finds.

Three economists at the Institute for Fiscal Studies – Pierre Dubois, Rachel Griffith and Martin O’Connell – have raised questions about the efficacy of the government’s soft drinks industry levy.

Drinks makers who do not cut sugar levels will have to pay 18p a litre on drinks that have more than 5g of sugar per 100ml and 24p a litre on those that have 8g or more of sugar per 100ml. Already about half of makers have reduced sugar content.

According to the economists’ modelling, recently presented at the Royal Economic Society’s annual conference at the University of Sussex and which simulates the effects of a 25p per litre tax, the tax will lead young people to reduce the amount of sugar they buy via soft drinks by about 80% more than the average consumer.

“Our results show that young consumers would lower their sugar consumption by more than older individuals in response to a soda tax. The tax, therefore, succeeds in achieving relatively large reductions in sugar among one group,” the study notes.

However, the research also suggests that “those with high-sugar diets are relatively price inelastic and therefore fail to lower their sugar consumption in response to the tax by more than more moderate sugar consumers.”

The findings have implications for Britain and beyond. A growing number of cities and countries have adopted taxes on sugary drinks to help combat sugar consumption, which is blamed for rising obesity levels. The World Health Organisation recommends that no more than 5% of calories should come from added sugar. However, using data drawn from the National Diet and Nutrition Survey, the economists estimate that 94% of individuals in Britain exceed the WHO recommendation.

Tax on sugary drinks will only be partly effective, claims study

The new sugar tax on soft drinks may see young people switch to healthier beverages, but it is unlikely to help those who have a high-sugar diet, a new study finds.

Three economists at the Institute for Fiscal Studies – Pierre Dubois, Rachel Griffith and Martin O’Connell – have raised questions about the efficacy of the government’s soft drinks industry levy.

Drinks makers who do not cut sugar levels will have to pay 18p a litre on drinks that have more than 5g of sugar per 100ml and 24p a litre on those that have 8g or more of sugar per 100ml. Already about half of makers have reduced sugar content.

According to the economists’ modelling, recently presented at the Royal Economic Society’s annual conference at the University of Sussex and which simulates the effects of a 25p per litre tax, the tax will lead young people to reduce the amount of sugar they buy via soft drinks by about 80% more than the average consumer.

“Our results show that young consumers would lower their sugar consumption by more than older individuals in response to a soda tax. The tax, therefore, succeeds in achieving relatively large reductions in sugar among one group,” the study notes.

However, the research also suggests that “those with high-sugar diets are relatively price inelastic and therefore fail to lower their sugar consumption in response to the tax by more than more moderate sugar consumers.”

The findings have implications for Britain and beyond. A growing number of cities and countries have adopted taxes on sugary drinks to help combat sugar consumption, which is blamed for rising obesity levels. The World Health Organisation recommends that no more than 5% of calories should come from added sugar. However, using data drawn from the National Diet and Nutrition Survey, the economists estimate that 94% of individuals in Britain exceed the WHO recommendation.

Tax on sugary drinks will only be partly effective, claims study

The new sugar tax on soft drinks may see young people switch to healthier beverages, but it is unlikely to help those who have a high-sugar diet, a new study finds.

Three economists at the Institute for Fiscal Studies – Pierre Dubois, Rachel Griffith and Martin O’Connell – have raised questions about the efficacy of the government’s soft drinks industry levy.

Drinks makers who do not cut sugar levels will have to pay 18p a litre on drinks that have more than 5g of sugar per 100ml and 24p a litre on those that have 8g or more of sugar per 100ml. Already about half of makers have reduced sugar content.

According to the economists’ modelling, recently presented at the Royal Economic Society’s annual conference at the University of Sussex and which simulates the effects of a 25p per litre tax, the tax will lead young people to reduce the amount of sugar they buy via soft drinks by about 80% more than the average consumer.

“Our results show that young consumers would lower their sugar consumption by more than older individuals in response to a soda tax. The tax, therefore, succeeds in achieving relatively large reductions in sugar among one group,” the study notes.

However, the research also suggests that “those with high-sugar diets are relatively price inelastic and therefore fail to lower their sugar consumption in response to the tax by more than more moderate sugar consumers.”

The findings have implications for Britain and beyond. A growing number of cities and countries have adopted taxes on sugary drinks to help combat sugar consumption, which is blamed for rising obesity levels. The World Health Organisation recommends that no more than 5% of calories should come from added sugar. However, using data drawn from the National Diet and Nutrition Survey, the economists estimate that 94% of individuals in Britain exceed the WHO recommendation.

Tax on sugary drinks will only be partly effective, claims study

The new sugar tax on soft drinks may see young people switch to healthier beverages, but it is unlikely to help those who have a high-sugar diet, a new study finds.

Three economists at the Institute for Fiscal Studies – Pierre Dubois, Rachel Griffith and Martin O’Connell – have raised questions about the efficacy of the government’s soft drinks industry levy.

Drinks makers who do not cut sugar levels will have to pay 18p a litre on drinks that have more than 5g of sugar per 100ml and 24p a litre on those that have 8g or more of sugar per 100ml. Already about half of makers have reduced sugar content.

According to the economists’ modelling, recently presented at the Royal Economic Society’s annual conference at the University of Sussex and which simulates the effects of a 25p per litre tax, the tax will lead young people to reduce the amount of sugar they buy via soft drinks by about 80% more than the average consumer.

“Our results show that young consumers would lower their sugar consumption by more than older individuals in response to a soda tax. The tax, therefore, succeeds in achieving relatively large reductions in sugar among one group,” the study notes.

However, the research also suggests that “those with high-sugar diets are relatively price inelastic and therefore fail to lower their sugar consumption in response to the tax by more than more moderate sugar consumers.”

The findings have implications for Britain and beyond. A growing number of cities and countries have adopted taxes on sugary drinks to help combat sugar consumption, which is blamed for rising obesity levels. The World Health Organisation recommends that no more than 5% of calories should come from added sugar. However, using data drawn from the National Diet and Nutrition Survey, the economists estimate that 94% of individuals in Britain exceed the WHO recommendation.

Tax on sugary drinks will only be partly effective, claims study

The new sugar tax on soft drinks may see young people switch to healthier beverages, but it is unlikely to help those who have a high-sugar diet, a new study finds.

Three economists at the Institute for Fiscal Studies – Pierre Dubois, Rachel Griffith and Martin O’Connell – have raised questions about the efficacy of the government’s soft drinks industry levy.

Drinks makers who do not cut sugar levels will have to pay 18p a litre on drinks that have more than 5g of sugar per 100ml and 24p a litre on those that have 8g or more of sugar per 100ml. Already about half of makers have reduced sugar content.

According to the economists’ modelling, recently presented at the Royal Economic Society’s annual conference at the University of Sussex and which simulates the effects of a 25p per litre tax, the tax will lead young people to reduce the amount of sugar they buy via soft drinks by about 80% more than the average consumer.

“Our results show that young consumers would lower their sugar consumption by more than older individuals in response to a soda tax. The tax, therefore, succeeds in achieving relatively large reductions in sugar among one group,” the study notes.

However, the research also suggests that “those with high-sugar diets are relatively price inelastic and therefore fail to lower their sugar consumption in response to the tax by more than more moderate sugar consumers.”

The findings have implications for Britain and beyond. A growing number of cities and countries have adopted taxes on sugary drinks to help combat sugar consumption, which is blamed for rising obesity levels. The World Health Organisation recommends that no more than 5% of calories should come from added sugar. However, using data drawn from the National Diet and Nutrition Survey, the economists estimate that 94% of individuals in Britain exceed the WHO recommendation.

Tax on sugary drinks will only be partly effective, claims study

The new sugar tax on soft drinks may see young people switch to healthier beverages, but it is unlikely to help those who have a high-sugar diet, a new study finds.

Three economists at the Institute for Fiscal Studies – Pierre Dubois, Rachel Griffith and Martin O’Connell – have raised questions about the efficacy of the government’s soft drinks industry levy.

Drinks makers who do not cut sugar levels will have to pay 18p a litre on drinks that have more than 5g of sugar per 100ml and 24p a litre on those that have 8g or more of sugar per 100ml. Already about half of makers have reduced sugar content.

According to the economists’ modelling, recently presented at the Royal Economic Society’s annual conference at the University of Sussex and which simulates the effects of a 25p per litre tax, the tax will lead young people to reduce the amount of sugar they buy via soft drinks by about 80% more than the average consumer.

“Our results show that young consumers would lower their sugar consumption by more than older individuals in response to a soda tax. The tax, therefore, succeeds in achieving relatively large reductions in sugar among one group,” the study notes.

However, the research also suggests that “those with high-sugar diets are relatively price inelastic and therefore fail to lower their sugar consumption in response to the tax by more than more moderate sugar consumers.”

The findings have implications for Britain and beyond. A growing number of cities and countries have adopted taxes on sugary drinks to help combat sugar consumption, which is blamed for rising obesity levels. The World Health Organisation recommends that no more than 5% of calories should come from added sugar. However, using data drawn from the National Diet and Nutrition Survey, the economists estimate that 94% of individuals in Britain exceed the WHO recommendation.

Tax on sugary drinks will only be partly effective, claims study

The new sugar tax on soft drinks may see young people switch to healthier beverages, but it is unlikely to help those who have a high-sugar diet, a new study finds.

Three economists at the Institute for Fiscal Studies – Pierre Dubois, Rachel Griffith and Martin O’Connell – have raised questions about the efficacy of the government’s soft drinks industry levy.

Drinks makers who do not cut sugar levels will have to pay 18p a litre on drinks that have more than 5g of sugar per 100ml and 24p a litre on those that have 8g or more of sugar per 100ml. Already about half of makers have reduced sugar content.

According to the economists’ modelling, recently presented at the Royal Economic Society’s annual conference at the University of Sussex and which simulates the effects of a 25p per litre tax, the tax will lead young people to reduce the amount of sugar they buy via soft drinks by about 80% more than the average consumer.

“Our results show that young consumers would lower their sugar consumption by more than older individuals in response to a soda tax. The tax, therefore, succeeds in achieving relatively large reductions in sugar among one group,” the study notes.

However, the research also suggests that “those with high-sugar diets are relatively price inelastic and therefore fail to lower their sugar consumption in response to the tax by more than more moderate sugar consumers.”

The findings have implications for Britain and beyond. A growing number of cities and countries have adopted taxes on sugary drinks to help combat sugar consumption, which is blamed for rising obesity levels. The World Health Organisation recommends that no more than 5% of calories should come from added sugar. However, using data drawn from the National Diet and Nutrition Survey, the economists estimate that 94% of individuals in Britain exceed the WHO recommendation.