Norwegian researchers studying the compositional difference in soybeans concluded high levels of glyphosate, an herbicide brought to the market by Monsanto under the name “Roundup,” has accumulated in genetically modified soybeans.
Funded by the Research Council of Norway, the study appeared in the June issue of Food Technology. The researchers tested GE-soy, conventional soy and organic soy to determine their nutrient and element compositional differences, as well as the presence of residues of herbicides and pesticides.
According to the results, organic soybeans had the healthiest nutritional profile with more sugars, total protein and zinc. The organic soybeans had less fiber than both conventional and GM-soy.
The organic beans also contained less saturated fat and total omega-6 fatty acids than both conventional and GM-soy.
However, what was most troubling was the high amount of residues of glyphosate researchers found in GM-soy, where organic and conventional soy did not contain any.
All individual samples of GM-soy contained residue of glyphosate and AMPA.
As crops continue to be manipulated to withstand increasing blasts of herbicide, soybeans like these end up as food for human and animal consumption.
Researchers say they believe pesticide residues should have been a part of compositional analysis of herbicide-tolerant GM plants from the beginning, and the “lack of data on pesticide residues in major crop plants is a serious gap of knowledge with potential consequences for human and animal health.”
The study recommended additional sampling and testing from the market; testing for the effects of chemical residues in long-term feeding; inclusion of pesticide residue measurements and safety testing in the regulatory system for risk assessment; and more research on the ecological effects of herbicides and pesticides.
Highlights of the study include:
-Glyphosate-tolerant GM soybeans contained high residues of glyphosate and AMPA.
-Soybeans from different agricultural practices differed in nutritional quality.
-Organic soybeans showed a more healthy nutritional profile than other soybeans.
-Organic soy contained more sugars, protein and zinc, but less fiber and omega-6.
-This study rejects that GM soy is “substantially equivalent” to non-GM soybeans.
The full study can be viewed here.