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Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2015 Dec;73(3):758-64. doi: 10.1016/j.yrtph.2015.10.022. Epub 2015 Oct 28.

Analysis of Moms Across America report suggesting bioaccumulation of glyphosate in U.S. mother's breast milk: Implausibility based on inconsistency with available body of glyphosate animal toxicokinetic, human biomonitoring, and physico-chemical data.

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Exponent, Inc., 1800 Diagonal Road, Suite 500, Alexandria, VA, 22314, USA. Electronic address:


The non-peer-reviewed biomonitoring report published online by Moms Across America (MAA; Honeycutt and Rowlands, 2014) does not support the conclusion that glyphosate concentrations detected in a limited number of urine samples from women, men and children, or breast milk from nursing mothers, pose a health risk to the public, including nursing children. Systemically absorbed doses of glyphosate estimated from the MAA urine biomonitoring data and from other published biomonitoring studies indicate that daily glyphosate doses are substantially below health protective reference standards (ADIs; RfDs) established by regulatory agencies. The MAA report also suggested that detection of relatively high glyphosate concentrations in breast milk in 3 of 10 sampled women raised a concern for bioaccumulation in breast milk. However, the breast milk concentrations reported by MAA are highly implausible when considered in context to low daily systemic doses of glyphosate estimated from human urine biomonitoring data, and also are inconsistent with animal toxicokinetic data demonstrating no evidence of retention in tissues or milk after single- or multiple-dose glyphosate treatment. In addition, toxicokinetic studies in lactating goats have shown that glyphosate does not partition into milk at concentrations greater than blood, and that only a very small percentage of the total administered dose (<0.03%) is ultimately excreted into milk. The toxicokinetic studies also indicate that human glyphosate exposures estimated from urine biomonitoring fall thousands-of-fold short of external doses capable of producing blood concentrations sufficient to result in the breast milk concentrations described in the MAA report. Finally, in contrast to highly lipophilic compounds with bioaccumulation potential in breast milk, the physico-chemical properties of glyphosate indicate that it is highly hydrophilic (ionized) at physiological pH and unlikely to preferentially distribute into breast milk.


Bioaccumulation; Biomonitoring; Breast milk; Glyphosate; Toxicokinetics

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