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Environmental Health News: Glyphosate Exposure Demands a Public Health Driven Response

Dr. Richard Jackson, FSPH professor of environmental health sciences, co-wrote a commentary in Environmental Health News on results of a JAMA study about the health impacts of glyphosate, the world's leading herbicide. 

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Wednesday, November 1, 2017

As more evidence emerges that glyphosate is building up in people, feds need to step up efforts to monitor, quantify risks, and regulate.

Over the last 20 years, global use of glyphosate-based herbicides has risen steadily, driven by the widespread planting of genetically engineered, so-called "Roundup Ready," corn, soybeans and cotton.

Despite this widespread use, knowledge about the public health impacts of glyphosate-based herbicides remains limited. However, a JAMA study published this month reports data on the trajectory of residues of glyphosate, and its principle metabolite AMPA, in the urine of 100 older adults participating in a major, long-term study based at the Rancho Bernado retirement community in California.

This paper raises a red flag and is testament to the enormous importance of measuring chemical residues in populations. Small doses over large populations do have effects—we have learned this from radiation exposures, lead, and other environmental pollutants, including pesticides.

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