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Glyphosate binds vital nutrients

Glyphosate binds vital nutrients


Glyphosate binds (chelates) vital nutrients such as iron, manganese, zinc, and boron in the soil, preventing plants from taking them up. This could also have implications for humans and animals that eat GM glyphosate-tolerant crops, as it could affect nutrient value.

Glyphosate binds (chelates) vital nutrients such as iron, manganese, zinc, and boron in the soil, preventing plants from taking them up.1 2 3 4 So GM soy plants treated with glyphosate have lower levels of essential nutrients and reduced growth, compared with GM and non-GM soy controls not treated with glyphosate.5 6 Lower nutrient uptake may partly account for the increased susceptibility of GM soy to disease,7 as well as its lower yield.8 It could also have implications for humans and animals that eat the crop, as it could affect nutrient value.

A German-Egyptian team of researchers found that all cows tested from Danish dairy farms excreted glyphosate in their urine. Unexpectedly low levels of manganese and cobalt were observed in all animals, which the authors said could be explained due to the strong metal chelating effect of glyphosate. Potential signs of liver and kidney toxicity were also found in the cows, which the authors noted were consistent with the findings of rodent feeding studies with GM glyphosate-tolerant plants.9


  1. Cakmak I, Yazici A, Tutus Y, Ozturk L. Glyphosate reduced seed and leaf concentrations of calcium, manganese, magnesium, and iron in non-glyphosate resistant soybean. Eur J Agron. 2009;31:114–119.
  2. Neumann G, Kohls S, Landsberg E, Stock-Oliveira Souza K, Yamada T, Romheld V. Relevance of glyphosate transfer to non-target plants via the rhizosphere. J Plant Dis Prot. 2006;20:963–969.
  3. Huber DM. What about glyphosate-induced manganese deficiency? Fluid J. 2007:20–22.
  4. Bott S, Tesfamariam T, Candan H, Cakmak I, Römheld V, Neumann G. Glyphosate-induced impairment of plant growth and micronutrient status in glyphosate-resistant soybean (Glycine max L.). Plant Soil. 2008;312(1-2):185-194. doi:10.1007/s11104-008-9760-8.
  5. Zobiole LH, de Oliveira RS, Visentainer JV, Kremer RJ, Bellaloui N, Yamada T. Glyphosate affects seed composition in glyphosate-resistant soybean. J Agric Food Chem. 2010;58:4517-22. doi:10.1021/jf904342t.
  6. Zobiole LHS, de Oliveira RS, Huber DM, et al. Glyphosate reduces shoot concentrations of mineral nutrients in glyphosate-resistant soybeans. Plant Soil. 2010;328:57–69.
  7. Kremer RJ. Glyphosate affects soybean root exudation and rhizosphere microorganisms. Int J Anal Environ Chem. 2005;85:1165–1174.
  8. Johal GS. Glyphosate effects on diseases of plants. Eur J Agron. 2009;31:144–152.
  9. Krüger M, Schrödl W, Neuhaus J, Shehata AA. Field investigations of glyphosate in urine of Danish dairy cows. J Env Anal Toxicol. 2013;3(5). doi:
  • Gerald Landry

    I have lived the consequences of inhaling a Chelation Agent used in Pulp Mills to remove Heavy Metals from pulp fibre. We (1000 tradesman) were erecting a new Air Emissions Project at the Weyerhaeuser Mill in Dryden Ontario. The project was from 2002-04. Dr. Harrada, the Japanese researcher who studied the Ojibway of Grassy Narrows who suffered mercury poisoning from eating fish downstream from the same mill in the early 70’s returned in 2004 and recommended that we get Hair Samples done to assess if we had suffered from the Toxic Fume exposures.
    My Nutritional minerals were somewhat depleted only after 3 weeks exposure. Workers who had been exposed for up to 2 years ( when the wind was from the S/SW) from the 27 vents and chimneys from the adjacent mill that was operating. Their Nutritional Minerals were right off the Report Page to the left, except for Manganese and Potassium which we were inhaling from the emissions. Because of the potassium buildup in our blood there were 13 workers who suffered cardiac issues while the project was just into its first year to August 2003.
    The high serum/blood Manganese (manganese madness) had neurological impacts. To add to a perfect storm, i worked Hole Watch for an American Contractor cleaning tubes on Condensers at the largest Coal fired power facility in North America at Nantikoke Ontario, now closed as Ontario is off of coal power generation.
    The end point being Glyphosate was developed as a mineral scale remover (chelator) in boiler tubes and industrial piping.

    • MargfromTassie

      Most interesting Gerald. Thank you for taking the time to let us know your story.

  • Gerald Landry

    I strive to grow our own vegetables organically and buy what we cannot produce or in the off season, but now realize the importance of avoiding meat from animals that have been fed gmo grain, soya meal or corn. 95% of soybean is pressed for edible oil using hexane, then the fibre meal is fed to animals.