Common Herbicide May Devastate Future Generations

Common Herbicide May Devastate Future Generations

The study provides evidence that glyphosate-induced changes to exposed rats could be used as biomarkers for determining propensity in subsequent generations for prostate and kidney diseases as well as obesity and incurring multiple diseases at once. In fact, by the time third- and fourth-generation rats whose predecessors had been exposed to the chemical were middle-aged, 90% had one or more of these health problems, a dramatically higher rate than the control group.

Epigenome-wide association study for glyphosate induced transgenerational xxxxx DNA methylation and histone retention epigenetic biomarkers for disease

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/15592294.2020.1853319

#glyphosate #herbicide #epigenome

Glyphosate, herbicide, transgenerational, histone, DNA methylation, prostate, kidney, obesity, epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of pathology, toxicology, pesticide, organic, generation, diagnostic tests, germline epimutation, include imprinted-like gene characteristics

GMO Rice transfers the gene flow benefits to surrounding Weeds

9/23/13

Modifying Rice Crops to Resist Herbicide Prompts Weedy Neighbors’ Growth Spurt

Study Shows One Method Gives Weeds Fitness Benefits Even Without Herbicide Trigger

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Rice containing an overactive gene that makes it resistant to a common herbicide can pass that genetic trait to weedy rice, prompting powerful growth even without a weed-killer to trigger the modification benefit, new research shows.

Previously, scientists have found that when a genetically modified trait passes from a crop plant to a closely related weed, the weed gains the crop’s engineered benefit – resistance to pests, for example – only in the presence of the offending insects.

This new study is a surprising example of gene flow from crops to weeds that makes weeds more vigorous even without an environmental trigger, researchers say.

The suspected reason: This modification method enhances a plant’s own growth control mechanism, essentially making it grow faster – an attractive trait in crops but a recipe for potential problems with weedy relatives that could out-compete the crop.

“Our next question is whether this method of enhancing plant growth could be developed for any crop. We want to know whether growers could get higher yields in the crop and then, if it happened to cross with a related weed, whether it might make the weed more prolific as well,” said Allison Snow, professor of evolution, ecology and organismal biology at The Ohio State University and a lead author of the paper.

“It’s unusual for any transgene to have such a positive effect on a wild relative and even more so for herbicide resistance,” she said. “But we think we know why: It’s probably because the pathway regulated by this gene is so important to the plant.”

The work is the result of Snow’s longtime collaboration with senior author Bao-Rong Lu, a professor at Fudan University in Shanghai. Their publication appears online in the journal New Phytologist.

The weed-killer glyphosate, sold under the brand name Roundup, kills plants by inhibiting a growth-related pathway activated by the epsps gene. Biotech companies have inserted mutated forms of a similar gene from microbes into crop plants, producing “Roundup Ready” corn and soybeans that remain undamaged by widespread herbicide application.

But in this study, the researchers used a different method, boosting activation of the native epsps gene in rice plants – a process called overexpressing – to give the plants enough strength to survive an application of herbicide. Because companies that genetically modify commercial crops don’t fully disclose their methods, Snow and her colleagues aren’t sure how prevalent this method might be, now or in the future.

“This is a relatively new way to get a trait into a crop: taking the plant’s own gene and ramping it up,” Snow said. “We don’t know yet if our findings are going to be generalizable, but if they are, it’s definitely going to be important.”

To overexpress the native gene in rice, the scientists attached a promoter to it, giving the plant an extra copy of its own gene and ensuring that the gene is activated at all times.

The researchers conducted tests in rice and four strains of a relative of the same species, weedy rice, a noxious plant that infests rice fields around the world. By crossing genetically altered herbicide-resistant rice with weedy rice to mimic what happens naturally in the field, the researchers created crop-weed hybrids that grew larger and produced more offspring than unaltered counterparts – even without any herbicide present.

In regulated field experiments, the hybrids containing the overexpressed gene produced 48 percent to 125 percent more seeds per plant than did hybrid plants with no modified genes. They also had higher concentrations of a key amino acid, greater photosynthetic rates and better fledgling seed growth than controls – all presumed signs of better fitness in evolutionary terms.

“Fitness is a hard thing to measure, but you can conclude that if a gene gives you a lot more seeds per plant compared to controls, it’s likely to increase the plants’ fitness because those genes would be represented at a higher percentage in future generations,” Snow said.

When Snow and Lu set out to study this new genetic engineering method, they didn’t know what to expect.

“Our colleagues developed this novel transgenic trait in rice and we didn’t know if it would have a fitness benefit, or a cost, or be neutral,” Snow said. “With most types of herbicide resistant genes, there’s no benefit to a wild plant unless the herbicide is sprayed. A lot of transgenes in crop plants are either selectively neutral in wild plants or, if they have a benefit, it depends on environmental factors like insects, diseases or herbicides being present.”

Snow has a history in this area of research. She has found that genes from crop plants can persist in related weeds over many generations. In 2002, she led a study that was the first to show that a gene artificially inserted into crop plants to fend off pests could migrate to weeds in a natural environment and make the weeds stronger. She also has served on national panels that monitor and make recommendations about the release of genetically engineered species into the environment.

She is interested in identifying new possible outcomes of the growth of crop-weed hybrids that contain genetic modifications, but she doesn’t take sides about possible risks and benefits of genetically modified crops.

“It’s not always the end of the world if a weed starts to become a lot more common after acquiring a new trait – there may be effective ways to manage that weed,” Snow said. “You just can’t make sweeping generalizations about genetic engineering, and knowledge from ecological studies like ours can help inform risk assessment and biosafety oversight.”

This work was supported by the Natural Science Foundation of China, the “973” program, the National Program of Development of Transgenic New Species of China and Ohio State University.

Additional co-authors are Wei Wang, Hui Xia, Xiao Yang, Ting Xu, Hong Jiang Si and Xing Xing Cai of Fudan University, and Feng Wang and Jun Su of Fujian Academy of Agricultural Sciences in Fuzhou, China.

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Contact: Allison Snow, (614) 292-3445; Snow.1@osu.edu

Written by Emily Caldwell, (614) 292-8310; Caldwell.151@osu.edu

Aquatic Weed Killer Allowed on Cotton: Because GMO Cotton is Failing as Weeds Adapt. Will allow Fluridone to be used above approved Safety limits

Aquatic Weed Killer Allowed on Cotton

By RAMONA YOUNG-GRINDLE

Aquatic Weed Killer Allowed on Cotton

WASHINGTON (CN) – The Environmental Protection Agency is allowing Arkansas cotton growers to use fluridone on cotton through 2014, to avoid an expected 25 percent crop loss from aggressive weeds resistant to glyphosate, the commonly used pesticide, according to a new regulation.

“Since the introduction of glyphosate resistant cotton in 1997, twenty-one weed species have developed resistance to [it],” the regulation notes. Glyphosate-resistant palmer amaranth has become the most severe weed problem that Arkansas cotton growers face, according the regulation.

Fluridone is generally used on pond weeds such as duckweed, milfoil and watermeal, according to commercial pesticide websites.

The agency will revoke the time-limited tolerances allowing .1 parts per million of fluridone residues on cotton, before 2015 “if any experience with, scientific data on, or other relevant information on this pesticide indicate that the residues are not safe,” according to the regulation.

Learn more by clicking on the document icon for this action and others.

http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/11/09/52173.htm

 

Pesticide use ramping up as GMO crop technology backfires: study

By Carey GillamPosted 2012/10/01 at 9:18 pm EDT

Oct. 1, 2012 (Reuters) — U.S. farmers are using more hazardous pesticides to fight weeds and insects due largely to heavy adoption of genetically modified crop technologies that are sparking a rise of “superweeds” and hard-to-kill insects, according to a newly released study.

Genetically engineered crops have led to an increase in overall pesticide use, by 404 million pounds from the time they were introduced in 1996 through 2011, according to the report by Charles Benbrook, a research professor at the Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources at Washington State University.

Of that total, herbicide use increased over the 16-year period by 527 million pounds while insecticide use decreased by 123 million pounds.

Benbrook’s paper — published in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Sciences Europe over the weekend and announced on Monday — undermines the value of both herbicide-tolerant crops and insect-protected crops, which were aimed at making it easier for farmers to kill weeds in their fields and protect crops from harmful pests, said Benbrook.

Herbicide-tolerant crops were the first genetically modified crops introduced to world, rolled out by Monsanto Co. in 1996, first in “Roundup Ready” soybeans and then in corn, cotton and other crops. Roundup Ready crops are engineered through transgenic modification to tolerate dousings of Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide.

The crops were a hit with farmers who found they could easily kill weed populations without damaging their crops. But in recent years, more than two dozen weed species have become resistant to Roundup’s chief ingredient glyphosate, causing farmers to use increasing amounts both of glyphosate and other weedkilling chemicals to try to control the so-called “superweeds.”

“Resistant weeds have become a major problem for many farmers reliant on GE crops, and are now driving up the volume of herbicide needed each year by about 25 percent,” Benbrook said.

Monsanto officials had no immediate comment.

“We’re looking at this. Our experts haven’t been able to access the supporting data as yet,” said Monsanto spokesman Thomas Helscher.

Benbrook said the annual increase in the herbicides required to deal with tougher-to-control weeds on cropland planted to genetically modified crops has grown from 1.5 million pounds in 1999 to about 90 million pounds in 2011.

Similarly, the introduction of “Bt” corn and cotton crops engineered to be toxic to certain insects is triggering the rise of insects resistant to the crop toxin, according to Benbrook.

Insecticide use did drop substantially – 28 percent from 1996 to 2011 – but is now on the rise, he said.

“The relatively recent emergence and spread of insect populations resistant to the Bt toxins expressed in Bt corn and cotton has started to increase insecticide use, and will continue to do so,” he said.

Herbicide-tolerant and Bt-transgenic crops now dominate U.S. agriculture, accounting for about one in every two acres of harvested cropland, and around 95 percent of soybean and cotton acres, and over 85 percent of corn acres.

“Things are getting worse, fast,” said Benbrook in an interview. “In order to deal with rapidly spreading resistant weeds, farmers are being forced to expand use of older, higher-risk herbicides. To stop corn and cotton insects from developing resistance to Bt, farmers planting Bt crops are being asked to spray the insecticides that Bt corn and cotton were designed to displace.”

(Reporting By Carey Gillam; Editing by Ken Wills)

http://www.newsdaily.com/stories/bre89100x-us-usa-study-pesticides/

Monsanto Roundup weedkiller and GM maize implicated in ‘shocking’ new cancer study: ” Mammary tumours, severe liver and kidney damage as early as four months”

19 Sep 2012 | By Elinor Zuke

Monsanto weedkiller and GM maize in 'shocking' cancer study

The world’s best-selling weedkiller, and a genetically modified maize resistant to it, can cause tumours, multiple organ damage and lead to premature death, new research published today reveals.

In the first ever study to examine the long-term effects of Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller, or the NK603 Roundup-resistant GM maize also developed by Monsanto, scientists found that rats exposed to even the smallest amounts, developed mammary tumours and severe liver and kidney damage as early as four months in males, and seven months for females, compared with 23 and 14 months respectively for a control group.

“This research shows an extraordinary number of tumours developing earlier and more aggressively – particularly in female animals. I am shocked by the extreme negative health impacts,” said Dr Michael Antoniou, molecular biologist at King’s College London, and a member of CRIIGEN, the independent scientific council which supported the research.

GM crops have been approved for human consumption on the basis of 90-day animal feeding trials. But three months is the equivalent of late adolescence in rats, who can live for almost two years (700 days), and there have long been calls to study the effects over the course of a lifetime.

The peer-reviewed study, conducted by a team of researchers at the University of Caen, found that rats fed on a diet containing NK603 Roundup resistant GM maize, or given water containing Roundup at levels permitted in drinking water, over a two-year period, died significantly earlier than rats fed on a standard diet.

Up to half the male rats and 70% of females died prematurely, compared with only 30% and 20% in the control group. Across both sexes the researchers found that rats fed Roundup in their water or NK603 developed two to three times more large tumours than the control group. By the beginning of the 24th month, 50-80% of females in all treated groups had developed large tumours, with up to three per animal.

By contrast, only 30% of the control group were affected. Scientists reported the tumours “were deleterious to health due to [their] very large size,” making it difficult for the rats to breathe, [and] causing problems with their digestion which resulted in haemorrhaging.

The paper, published in the scientific journal Food and Chemical Toxicology today, concluded that NK603 and Roundup caused similar damage to the rats’ health, whether they were consumed together or on their own. The team also found that even the lowest doses of Roundup, which fall well within authorised limits in drinking tap water, were associated with severe health problems.

“The rat has long been used as a surrogate for human toxicity. All new pharmaceutical, agricultural and household substances are, prior to their approval, tested on rats. This is as good an indicator as we can expect that the consumption of GM maize and the herbicide Roundup, impacts seriously on human health,” Antoniou added.

Roundup is widely available in the UK, and is recommended on Gardeners Question Time. But this also represents a potential blow for the growth of GM Foods.

With the global population expected to increase to nine billion by 2050, the UN has said that global food production must increase by 50%. And a consultation led by DEFRA entitled Green Food Project recommended as recently as 10 July 2012 that GM must be reassessed as a possible solution.

Some 85% of maize grown in the US is GM, while 70% of processed foods contain GM ingredients without GM labelling. In the UK and Europe GM maize is not consumed directly by humans but is widely used in animal feed without the requirement for GM labelling.

Antoniou said there could be no doubting the credibility of this peer-reviewed study. “This is the most thorough research ever published into the health effects of GM food crops and the herbicide Roundup on rats.”

Led by Professor Gilles-Eric Seralini, the researchers studied 10 groups, each containing 10 male and 10 female rats, over their normal lifetime. Three groups were given Roundup – developed by Monstanto – in their drinking water at three different levels consistent with exposure through the food chain from crops sprayed with the herbicide.

Three groups were fed diets containing different proportions of Roundup resistant maize at 11%, 22% and 33%. Three groups were given both Roundup and the GM maize at the same three dosages. The control group was fed an equivalent diet with no Roundup or NK603 containing 33% of non-GM maize.

http://www.thegrocer.co.uk/topics/technology-and-supply-chain/monsanto-weedkiller-and-gm-maize-in-shocking-cancer-study/232603.article#