The Monsanto Company has spent over three years defending the merits, and safety, of its controversial herbicide after a spring 2015 declaration by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer that its main ingredient is a “probable carcinogen.”
But for those who follow the daily headlines, it’s becoming more and more clear that the glyphosate controversy isn’t going away anytime soon.
While Monsanto quietly scored a major victory recently when the state of California was forced to halt its decision to put cancer-related warning labels on Roundup, additional studies, questions, concerns and controversies have been brewing.
And now, a new peer-reviewed study has shown that exposure to the herbicide may be bad news for pregnant women in particular, all in a country where reproductive health has taken a dramatic turn for the worse in recent years.
Women Exposed to Glyphosate Have Shorter Pregnancies, New Study Shows
According to this article from the website Consumer Affairs, a new study has shown that glyphosate may be capable of causing shorter pregnancies to women in Indiana’s “corn belt,” which is heavily sprayed with the chemical and others of its kind.
In order to study the effects of the chemical on pregnancy, Indiana University-Fairbanks School of Public Health researchers sampled the urine of 71 pregnant women living in the central part of the Hoosier State, where massive amounts of corn is produced.
They found that over 90 percent of the women in the study had detectable levels of glyphosate in their urine, and those with higher levels of glyphosate tended to have shorter pregnancies.
“This study reinforces a growing body of evidence suggesting that pesticide exposure in pregnancy may be correlated with gestational length, as well as adverse fetal growth,” the study said according to the article.
The findings may be significant in large part because the length of pregnancy term may have major implications on the health of the baby, researchers suggest as noted in the article.
Prior research has also shown that glyphosate is linked to low birth weight in babies as well.
Could Chemicals in Food, Air and Water Be Affecting Sky-High Infant Mortality Rates?
A quick Web search of why the health of American infants has suffered so much in recent years mostly returned many articles about infant mortality, where sky-high infant death rates in the United States stick out like a sore thumb.
As noted in a recent article from the Washington Post, babies in the United States are a shocking 76 percent more likely to die in their first year compared with other rich countries. It’s just one indicator of what has become a dismal health situation for Americans when it comes to fertility, infant health and survival rates, and other similar reproductive health issues.
While Monsanto and other chemical giants insist their products are safe based on government health body declarations and approvals, others wonder whether the persistent farming chemicals in our air, food and water may be contributing to these and other health epidemics.
Something is clearly wrong here that is not being addressed, and these are the questions that need to be asked if we’re to make any headway on what has become a dire issue in the country that spends more on healthcare than any other in the world.
You can view the full results of the study by clicking here.
Photo via Global Justice Now/Flickr