Article by Margaret Boswell, DAOM
You might have heard of Glyphosate by now. It’s been in the news lately and you probably know it by the brand name “Round-up”
According to Wikipedia, Roundup is the brand name of a systemic, broad-specturm glyposate-based herbicide. Roundup is used most heavily on corn, soy, and cotton crops that have been genetically modified to withstand the chemical, but since 2012 glyphosate was used in California to treat other crops like almond, peach, cantaloupe, onion, cherry, sweet corn, and citrus. Although the main active ingredient of Roundup is the isopropylamine salt of glyphosate, it also contains a surfactant.
According to Sustainable Pulse in the article “A Short History of Glyphosate” (2017) Glyphosate was patented in 1961 for use as a descaling (for cleaning pipes) and chelating agent. In 1970 it was again patented, but this time as an herbicide by Monsanto scientist John Franz. By 1974 it had been given the trade name Roundup and was on the market. Within 11 years of being on the market, the EPA had classified glyphosate as a class C carcinogen meaning that it has “suggestive evidence of carcinogenic potential”.
By 1991, Monsanto had succeeded in reclassifying the herbicide glyphosate from class C “suggestive evidence of carcinogenic potential” to class E which suggests “evidence of non-carcinogenicity for humans”. The first roundup ready soybeans were introduced in 1996 and by 2010, Monsanto had also patented glyphosate as an antibiotic.
In 2012, almost 30 years after the first patent, studies are beginning to emerge that show harm being caused by low doses of glyphosate-based herbicides and GM crops. Rats fed on a diet containing roundup tolerant maize or water containing roundup at levels permitted in drinking water and gm crops in the US suffered severe liver and kidney damage. There were other independent studies emerging showing possible damage to health by this herbicide. The WHO classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans” in 2015. Shortly after this, the University of California at San Francisco discovers glyphosate in 93% of urine samples collected across the U. S. and by 2016 it is being found in many popular American foods.
Not too long after that a study was published showing that roundup causes liver disease at low doses. Rats who were given extremely low doses of roundup over a two year period developed non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Although this study was performed on rats and not humans, the results are disturbing because the amount of roundup given was thousands of times below what is permitted by regulators worldwide.
More recently, Monsanto was ordered to pay over 289 million dollars in total damages (reduced to 78 million) to a former school groundskeeper who developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma caused by Roundup.
The 2015 IARC report on glyphosate concluded that glyphosate is a “probable human carcinogen.”
According to the report, the cancers most associated with glyphosate exposure were found to be non-Hodgkin lymphoma and other hematopoietic cancers. The report further concluded that glyphosate exposure caused DNA and chromosomal damage in human cells, as well as genotoxic, hormonal and enzymatic effects in mammals.
Other glyphosate studies have linked the chemical to a number of health issues, including, but not limited to ADHD, Alzheimer’s disease, Autism, Birth Defects, various forms of cancer, Celiac Disease, Colitis, Heart Disease, Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome, Kidney Disease, Liver Disease, and Parkinson’s disease.
Despite the IARC report’s 2015 conclusion that glyphosate is a probable human carcinogen, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) maintains that glyphosate is not likely to be carcinogenic to humans. As such, glyphosate is not banned by the U.S. government; Roundup and other glyphosate-based herbicides are readily available for purchase throughout the country.
Around the world, 28 countries have restricted or banned the use of this herbicide. This list includes France, Italy, Sweden, Germany India, Scotland, UK, Spain, NZ, and Greece.
Many cities and counties in the US have banned or restricted its use. However, Austin is the only city in the whole state of Texas with restrictions on use. The city council has voted to prohibit its use on city lands.
Roundup is used on wheat crops also, not just the “roundup ready” wheat during time of growth, but it is also used to hasten the crop to harvest especially in years where it is slow to mature and get to harvest stage when the farmers are ready to collect the wheat and bring it to market. This is referred to as “desiccating the crop”.
Tom Ehrhardt, co-owner of Minnesota-based Albert Lea Seeds, says that sourcing grains not desiccated with glyphosate prior to harvest is a challenge.
“I have talked with millers of conventionally produced grain and they all agree it's very difficult to source oats, wheat, flax and triticale, which have not been sprayed with glyphosate prior to harvest," he said. “It's a 'don't ask, don't tell policy' in the industry."
Dr. Stephanie Seneff has published many scientific articles on the herbicide glyphosate. In the article, “Glyphosate pathways to modern diseases VI: Prions, amyloidoses and autoimmune neurological diseases”, Stephanie Seneff and Anthony Samsel describe the way that glyphosate can interfere with human health. They say that the usage of the herbicide glyphosate on core crops in the USA has increased exponentially over the past two decades and corresponds to the exponential increase in autoimmune diseases.
Seneff and Samsel conclude that widespread misincorporation of glyphosate for glycine during protein synthesis could explain the aetiology of multiple autoimmune diseases that are currently increasing in incidence in the USA. They believe that proteins from foods such as milk, wheat and sugar beet, as well as peptides derived from microbes resident in the gut or nasal tract or introduced iatrogenically through vaccination, are all potential causes of autoimmune disease induced through molecular mimicry. They show how substitution of glyphosate for glycine during protein synthesis could yield a peptide that is more likely to induce an immune response. In this paper they also show how enzymes involved in proteolysis are likely to be disrupted due to their confirmed contamination with glyphosate. A list of possible diseases that can be attributed to this mechanism include autism, multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, coeliac disease, inflamatory bowel disease and neuromyelitis optica.
Autoimmune disease is not the only thing caused by glyphosates. According to Dr. Seneff,
“...it [glyphosate] has a direct link to high cholesterol.” She says that glyphosate interferes with the liver’s ability to make cholesterol sulfate and that this causes the liver to send cholesterol out into the body as LDL particles because it cannot distribute the cholesterol as cholesterol sulfate.
Glyphosate is present in many popular vaccines including the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine and this has been verified by Seneff and Samsel.
These are just a couple of ways that glyphosate disrupts metabolic pathways in animals and how exposure can happen. If you accept these theories, then the next step is to begin to wonder how this affects you and your loved ones. You might start by asking yourself asking what can be done to protect me and my family from glyphosate exposure?
According to Dr. Seneff, other Doctors and healthcare experts, the best way to avoid glyphosate is to eat organic as much as possible. Avoid the products made with GMO or Roundup Ready crops such as Milk, Refined Sugar (made from Beets), Wheat, Corn and Soy. Avoid products made from animals fed GMO or Roundup Ready crops. You can also add supplements to your diet that help to repair the damage done by glyphosates.
Do not eat baked goods, tortillas or chips, cereals, corn, beer, sugar, chickpeas, lentils, or soybeans.
Do not eat milk or dairy products or meat from animals fed on GMO or roundup ready crops.
Do not eat cooking oils or margarine especially no canola oil, corn oil, soy oil or safflower oil.
Do eat plenty of good quality cholesterol, get lots of sunshine and plenty of sleep.
Do eat sulfur rich foods such as garlic, onions, and organic eggs.
Take probiotics, manganese bisglycinate, dandelion, barberry, burdock, bone broth from grassfed cows, organic collagen, proteolytic enzymes, as well as fulvic and humic acid mineral supplements.
Do supplement with organic msm, b-complex that includes choline, activated charcoal, calcium bentonite clay, sauerkraut juice, glutathione, and vit c.
Do not use roundup on your own lawn, and limit your children and pet’s exposure to outdoor spaces where you suspect it is being used.
Health care experts such as Dr. Seneff conclude that glyphosate contamination is pervasive. So we are all exposed to some amount of it no matter how careful we are. But if we are diligent about eating organic you will greatly reduce our exposure to this chemical we can thereby reduce our chance of having health problems resulting from its influence on us.
Anthony Samsel1 and Stephanie Seneff 2, Glyphosate pathways to modern diseases VI: Prions, amyloidoses and autoimmune neurological diseases,* 1 Samsel Environmental and Public Health Services, Deerfield, NH 03037, USA 2 Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, MIT, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA