When is meat not ‘meat’

As the interest in plant-based alternatives to animal products and lab grown meat grows, livestock producers are fighting back. In France use of any meat-based term to describe product that don’t contain meat have been banned. In a similar move, Missouri, state regulators in the US, have passed a bill banning plant and lab-based meat makers from using the term ‘meat’ to describe their products. In a similar move last year, the European Court of Justice ruled producers of plant based dairy alternatives were banned from using descriptions such as milk, butter and cheese to described their products. This is an ongoing discussion which is likely to run for a long-time to come as more and more alternatives to animal-based products are brought to market.

The science against glyphosate mounts

Alarming new research from the Global Glyphosate Study pilot phase highlights the dangers of glyphosate-based products to health. Researchers gave female Sprague Dawley rats an equivalent dose of the US Environmental Protection Agency’s acceptable daily dietary exposure level of glyphosate (1.75 mg/kg bw/day) in drinking water to expose pups from gestation through to weaning. Pups were then exposed through their drinking water to sexual maturity or adulthood when they were sacrificed. The dosage used in the study equates to a dose 35 time higher than the permitted level in the US. This exposure resulted in alterations to sexual development (particularly females), genotoxicity and alterations to the gut microbiome.

In another recent study from the US National Toxicology Program (NTP), researchers has confirmed the formulations of some popular weedkillers, such as Monsanto’s Roundup, are more toxic than glyphosate by itself. The NTP researchers concluded that the formulations caused “significant loss of cell viability”. These findings support Séralini’s original work on the dangers of GM crops and glyphosate, which has often been decried. Whilst Monsanto continues to robustly defend the safety of its products, recent documents which emerged in a court case last year revealed not even they had tested their product formulations. These findings only add to the case against the ongoing use of glyphosate-based products, providing regulatory agencies and policymakers solid evidence on which to base future decisions to authorise, or otherwise, continued glyphosate use.