by Joanie Blaxter, founder of Follow Your Gut
A box, a bag or a can… the indispensable additions to meals prepared by overworked, double and triple time family meal preparers everywhere! Or, in a pinch, eating at a local restaurant. Who has time or energy anymore to cook entirely from scratch without at least some assistance from processed foods or eating out?
The recent good news, though, is that now the FDA has ordered food manufacturers to stop using trans fats altogether within the next three years, we can count on one less unhealthy ingredient in factory produced food.
In fact, the media reports I heard emphasized how most manufacturers have already phased out trans fats. The total trans fat content of processed food is said to be down by “85%,” thus implying that the FDA ban is not a big deal because, after all, manufacturers have been voluntarily replacing trans fats for years now.
Believe me, I could go on and on about how big a deal the FDA ban on trans fats actually is!
…how Americans were used as guinea pigs for decades for a chemically altered, artificial substance (trans fats) that was added ubiquitously to virtually every manufactured food without any serious long term studies, basically because the size of the dollar signs in the eyes of giant food companies overrode anyone's concerns about health consequences to the public.
But I won't bore you with the same issue all the big news companies are talking about lately…
Because what I really want to talk about here is actually a totally different aspect of virtually all the food we either eat in restaurants or purchase from the supermarket in a box, bag or can, something that IS still in our food supply, and more insidious because hardly anyone is talking about it!
Check your ingredient labels
Most all factory produced food contains some form of corn, soy, sugar beets and/or canola — I challenge you to find a bottled salad dressing anywhere not made with canola oil! Virtually all these non-organic crops have been genetically altered and drenched in glyphosate. (For the full list of GMO crops go here.)
And if you're sure glyphosate couldn't be a problem for you because your diet is “clean,” you might just want to keep reading…
What is glyphosate?
Originally manufactured by Monsanto and marketed as Roundup (also known as Rodeo when made by Dow), the generic name is glyphosate and it is “the world’s most widely produced herbicide, by volume.”
Glyphosate is sprayed on not only much of the crops used as basic ingredients for processed/junk/restaurant foods, but also widely used to control weeds by farmers on agricultural lands, as well as on gardens, lawns, school yards, public parks, golf courses, etc.
Glyphosate is in fact all around us.
Shouldn't something that has entered both our food and water systems, not to mention our environment worldwide, be proven to be safe?
Ahhh, forgive my cynicism, but my answer to that is two words: Trans Fats!
It didn't matter for that additive, and it doesn't matter for this one either!
So let's look at some chronological history of this chemical herbicide.
Why Glyphosate is Dangerous
1974: It Starts
Monsanto begins selling glyphosate/Roundup as a weed killer, later patenting it as both a mineral chelator and antibiotic.
What is a mineral chelator?
A substance that binds with minerals, making them unavailable to be absorbed and used by the body.
Yes, every time you eat GMO crops, you are introducing a chemical into your body which effectively turns that food into mineral-free, empty calories. What are minerals used for in the body? Everything. They are the building blocks of growth!
Furthermore, Monsanto also patented glyphosate on Aug. 30, 2002 as an antibiotic. Why is this important? Fast forward more than a decade and read on…
April 10, 2013: How Glyphosate Negatively Impacts the Immune System
Two senior researchers from MIT, Drs. Anthony Samsel and Stephanie Seneff, demonstrate that, while the Shikimate protein pathway is not located in human organs, per se, it is found in the probiotic microflora in the human gut microbiome.
(source: Glyphosate’s Suppression of Cytochrome P450 Enzymes and Amino Acid Biosynthesis by the Gut Microbiome: Pathways to Modern Diseases
Entropy by Anthony Samsel and Stephanie Seneff)
Why is this important?
Because for decades the industry has argued that the way glyphosate works to kill weeds is by interfering with a specific protein pathway. The reason glyphosate has always been described as having very low toxicity for humans is because the Shikimate pathway can be found in plants, but not mammals.
Just read Monsanto's Roundup label:
DID YOU KNOW? Glyphosate targets an enzyme found in plants, but not people or pets.”
The research performed by Samsel and Seneff, however, demonstrates that, in addition to binding up minerals, glyphosate/Roundup/Rodeo also destroys probiotic gut microflora.
Approximately 80-85% of the human immune system is embedded in the walls of our intestines and directly dependent on our microbiome to function.
Balanced and robust microflora in the gut are absolutely critical to the effective functioning of the human immune system. Glyphosate, however, kills the probiotic organisms upon which our immune system directly depends.
After all, what is cancer?
An extreme dysfunction of the immune system.
April 7, 2014: Glyphosate Found in Urine and Breast Milk
Moms Across America and Sustainable Pulse publish the results of their study in which 35 American women test their urine, water and breast milk for the presence of glyphosate.
Contrary to decades of assertions by the pesticide industry that glyphosate breaks down too quickly to be retained in the body, researchers found “high” levels of glyphosate in:
- 30% of the breast milk tested and
- 85% of the participants' urine.
And the REALLY frightening part of this study?
The participants had already been on an Organic and/or GMO-free diet for anywhere from 2 months to 2 years before doing the test!
So how did glyphosate get into the bodies of the participants? Presumably from environmental exposure (remember, glyphosate is used everywhere: schools, public parks, lawns, farmlands, etc.) or possibly from their tap water (no, public water is not tested for glyphosate contamination).
Nevertheless, since according to Monsanto's own marketing claims that glyphosate breaks down too quickly to be retained in the human body, regardless of the source of exposure, glyphosate shouldn't have been found in those breast milk and urine samples at all!
How high is “high?”
760 to 1,600 times higher than the European Drinking Water Directive allows for individual pesticides.
Mar 20, 2015: The Nuclear Explosion That May Topple Monsanto
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of the World Health Organization announces that it has reclassified glyphosate as more toxic than previously thought.
Based on their own, independent laboratory tests, the IARC says that there is, in fact, sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity to move glyphosate, along with 4 other pesticides, into the “probable” cancer-causing range.
This is important because this information comes from a well-respected agency not funded by Monsanto or any other glyphosate manufacturer. The IARC's independent test results and conclusions throw doubt on decades of manufacturer-funded studies upon which the FDA and EPA have unquestionably relied for accurate safety analysis. (Note: Be sure to also see below the announcement made less than a week ago on June 17, 2015.)
Can you hear my eyes rolling? When has it EVER been a good idea to have the fox guarding the hen house?
Mar 24, 2015: Glyphosate Helps to Create Deadly Antibiotic-Resistant Superbugs
Just 4 days after the IARC's political firebomb, another study is published that finds that exposure to glyphosate changes the way bacteria respond to a number of antibiotics widely used to treat a range of deadly diseases.
In other words, the antibiotic effect of glyphosate is helping to create new forms of antibiotic-resistant superbugs.
April 21, 2015: U.S. Class Action Suit Against Monsanto
A class action suit is filed in Los Angeles county, accusing Monsanto of falsely claiming on their label that their product is harmless to humans.
This law suit has huge implications not only for individuals (home owners, landscapers, etc.) who purchased the product believing it was safe, but particularly for any worker in the U.S. paid to handle glyphosate as a regular part of their job: agricultural workers and farmers in the field, as well as municipal, county or state employees who apply glyphosate along roadways, trails, etc., week after week, year after year.
“…the beginning of an avalanche.”
With the link to cancer established via glyphosate's documented destruction of gut microflora upon which the human immune system directly depends, establishing in court that the label instructions have never been safe will open the door to a stampede of law suits.
The more people that join this class action suit, the stronger the case, although you must be a resident of California.
Residents of California can join this class action suit by contacting T. Matthew Phillips at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To read the lawsuit, go to http://www.monsantoclassaction.org/.
June 17, 2015: Decades of Corporate Studies on Glyphosate's “Safety” Shown to be Invalid
The results of tests performed by two different sets of researchers (Anthony Samsel in the U.S. and the Seralini team in France) reveal that the food given to both the control group and test groups in scientific studies regarding GMOs and glyphosate were both contaminated with glyphosate.
This means the studies regarding GMOs and glyphosate which determined them “safe” are null and void and one cannot draw any accurate conclusion about the health issues in either group under these circumstances.
ALL of the “safety” studies regarding GMOs and glyphosate provided by the chemical companies are NOT ACCURATE.
ACTION ALERT from Moms Across America:
This is groundbreaking news that the EPA and our regulatory agencies cannot ignore. Coupled with the news that the World Health Organization has deemed glyphosate a “probable carcinogen” and we see it as criminally negligent if the EPA were to reapprove glyphosate for another 15 years this July. (emphasis mine)
Please let them know they MUST NOT re approve glyphosate by calling Neil Andersen head of Pesticide review board at 703-308-8187 today.
The WHO's definition of glyphosate as a “probable carcinogen” has sparked an international firestorm Americans are not hearing about.
Even though campaigns to ban or remove glyphosate have intensified the world over, particularly since the IARC's announcement in March, here in the United States, home to Monsanto, media reports are… not so much!
Nevertheless, bans, outright and partial, that are already in place include:
- El Salvador
- The Netherlands
- Sri Lanka
Countries actively moving towards a national ban include:
In addition, rather shocking to the international community, a lawsuit has been filed by private citizens against the very pro-GMO and, not particularly known for its freedom of public expression, government of CHINA. The suit charges the government knowingly withheld information from the public about the toxic effects of glyphosate.
Expect that the U.S. will be slow to pick up on anti-glyphosate news stories and to see Monsanto hitting back hard, particularly in this country.
April, 2015: Another Interesting Factoid
Monsanto's financial value falls yet again (15%) and Monsanto Vice President Kerry J. Preete sells over 40% of his stock in the company: 27,580 shares.
Note: This also occurred the same month that the law suit against Monsanto was filed in Los Angeles.
Maybe this Monsanto V.P. saw the “one-two punch” handwriting on the wall?
(source: Ending GMO's Now)
RESOURCES ON GMOs & GLYPHOSATE
Note: There are many wonderful resources for educating yourself about GMO's. Below are just a few of my personal favorites. Don't worry! As you become more involved, you'll find many, many options.
$5 of every test goes to Moms Across America to raise awareness about GMOs, when ordered from this link.
The Feed The World project launched April 23, 2015 with a World first, unique glyphosate test for the general public…
Our previous MAA tests and reports completed in 2014 showed that glyphosate is found in American women’s breast milk, urine and water, but due to the ELISA testing method used in these tests the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other government regulators were able to ignore the results.
Feed The World has commissioned and sponsored a new validated LC/MS/MS testing method which will increase the pressure on the EPA and other regulators to take serious action on glyphosate-based herbicides, and potentially ban glyphosate. (emphasis mine)
How You Can Help
We are a national coalition of Unstoppable Moms committed to empowering millions to educate themselves about GMOs and related pesticides, get GMOs labeled and offer GMO free and Organic solutions.
Moms Across America: Consider Joining!
Book: Real Food for Rookies by Kelly Moeggenborg: Kelly's new book is the perfect resource for that caring parent with not enough time, energy and money, but much desire to feed their family the most nutritious food. Where else can you find such practical recipes and tips on how to make cooking from scratch with the cleanest, glyphosate-free and preferably organic ingredients easy, inexpensive and super fast!
All Kelly's Articles on GMO's — she's still in-process with recategorizing her entire site, so you'll find some of those at this link as well, where other stories of general corruption are included as well.
Institute of Science in Society: Highly recommended for both well-referenced science as well as excellent reporting on the international community's perspective on glyphosate and genetic engineering, written by a geneticist and GMO expert, Dr. Mae Won Ho, PhD
Institute for Responsible Technology: The founder, Jeffrey Smith was one of the earliest and most dogged voices speaking out against GMO's and glyphosate.
The video below is an interview with Dr. Anthony Samsel who explains how his results show that virtually all tests on lab animals “proving” the safety of glyphosate turn out to be invalid:
This was a guest post by my sweet friend, Joanie Blaxter, who is now a regular writer around here!
Joanie has been the Ventura County, California chapter leader of the Weston A. Price Foundation since 2010, and you can contact Joanie here for health consultations. Also, find all her past posts here.
Disclaimer: neither Joanie nor I are health professionals! Use what you read here as part of your own research and then consult with a natural-minded doctor or health professional you trust to find what is best and right for YOU. Read my entire disclaimer here, and also note that there may be affiliate links in this post.