Glyphosate Is The Most Hazardous Chemical Of Our Time

health

This is a brief overview of the chemical compound glyphosate, the active ingredient in the product RoundUp and the most widely used chemical in agriculture worldwide. We will quickly fly over the evolution of industrialized agriculture and the introduction of GMO crops and chemicals into farmlands. We will traverse the vast repercussions of such practices that have separated us from nature leading to extreme deteriorations of health for man, his environment, and his very home, planet earth. Finally, we will end with some actionable items to empower and equip you to help transform the current mess starting in your home. Understanding the precise consequences of what this chemical is doing to our world and ourselves is the critical first step to forge a path towards greater health for all.

How We Got Here

Human beings have been farming for between 12,000 and 23,000 years ago. When man first buried a seed with the intention of growing food, I doubt there was the slightest inclination of the trajectory the agricultural industry would take. For thousands of years farmers were responsible stewards of the land. They planted with the seasons and rotated crops, understanding the incredible importance of maintaining healthy soil to produce a nourishing crop. Understanding the unique biodiversity of flora and fauna in the ecosystem was of central importance. While there may not have been such an understanding of the intricate microbial ecosystem within the soil, lifestyle and farming practices ensured optimal harmony of the macro and micro environment.

It is only in the last century that humans began to act irresponsibly in their farming practices. The geopolitical establishment and monstrous agricultural industry have driven modern farmers to use chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides to boost productivity. In 1996, forces of greed finally gave way to the development of GMO (genetically modified organism) seeds that were resistant to the harsh effects of the most toxic and widely used herbicide, glyphosate, the active ingredient of RoundUp.

The promise of Monsanto, the parent company of RoundUp who also produces the GMO seeds that resist the toxic effects of glyphosate, was increased crop yields and overall productivity to feed a growing population. This promise is completely unfilled with no changes in crop yield in the last 20+ years and a still growing food shortage across many corners of the world. What has drastically changed, however, since introduction of GMO crops and increasing amounts of glyphosate in the fields is the quality of these plants, the health of the soil, and the health of the planet. The extensive consequences of increased glyphosate use increasing exponentially as this chemical continues to be poured all over our food supply.

Glyphosate may be the single most important chemical in human history when it comes to environmental and global health.

Glyphosate Destroys Weeds… and Your Health

To understand the breadth and depth of health and environmental effects, it’s important to first understand what exactly this chemical is, and how it functions as an herbicide. Glyphosate is an organophosphate compound that is actually a derivative of the amino acid glycine. This chemical compounds fits into the enzyme 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate (EPSP) synthase to disrupt a critical step in the shikimate pathway. This metabolic pathway in bacteria, fungi, algae, and plants is used to biosynthesize folate and some amino acids (phenylalanine, tyrosine, and tryptophan). Since humans don’t have this shikimate pathway, Monsanto asserted that this herbicide is safe for human consumption. 

Let’s now take a look and see how Monsanto is either completely lying, totally ignorant, or more likely, some combination of the two…

Two of the amino acids that the bacteria and plants can no longer produce (phenylalanine and tryptophan) as a result of the glyphosate chemical are essential amino acids, meaning that humans must acquire them directly through food. The third amino (tyrosine) is actually directly derived from the amino acid phenylalanine, who’s synthesis is blocked due to glyphosate. Amino acids, such as those who's formation is blocked due to glyphosate, are used to build proteins, the building blocks of life. Without a sound source of these essential amino acids, the structure of the entire human being is compromised. For example, these specific amino acids are direct ingredients for the production of many hormones and neurotransmitters in the body like thyroid hormone, serotonin, dopamine, melatonin, and all steroid hormones (testosterone, progesterone, estrogen, cortisol, etc).

If all glyphosate did was throw off the amino acid synthesis and subsequent consequences to human physiology, that alone would be devastating. But it turns out glyphosate has a number of other effects with significant repercussions.

Glyphosate is also a potent antibiotic. This is important to consider in the context of both environmental and personal health. In the environment, glyphosate abolishes the soil borne bacteria that are essential for maintaining and sustaining a healthy plant and balanced ecosystem. In the body, glyphosate deranges the intricate balance of microorganisms in the gut, that your holistic health depends on. Evidence suggests that glyphosate actually preferentially kills the beneficial bacteria in the gut that are important at maintaining a resilient barrier between you and the outside world. To make matters worse, glyphosate also inhibits digestive enzyme activity, resulting in inadequate protein metabolism. Undigested proteins promote the release of a protein called zonulin, which creates intestinal permeability. By now, we know the extensive implications of a leaky gut…

But wait, there’s more! Glyphosate is also a potent chelator, meaning that it tightly binds and holds onto various minerals. In fact, pretty much every mineral that glyphosate comes into contact with will be rendered immobile. The result is plants that are not only deficient in amino acids, but also essential minerals. This obviously makes our food sources pretty lousy, especially when we consider how important it is to have an abundance of minerals in our bodies to carry out our complex physiologic functions. Minerals like magnesium, calcium, manganese, cobalt, zinc, and molybdenum act as cofactors or catalysts for pretty much every process carried out in the body around the clock. Not only are our diets chronically deficient in essential minerals, but once in the body, glyphosate also ties up these minerals and stores them in places such as the liver and brain, creating a state of mineral toxicity and deficiency all at the same time. 

The latest work of Dr. Stephanie Seneff, scientist out of MIT, reveals that even more harm is done throughout the body due to the fact that glyphosate manages to replace glycine (the amino acid that it is so structurally similar to) in various proteins throughout the body. Imagine a toxic chemical lodged into potentially ever human protein throughout the body, rendering it to some degree less functional. What would the result of this catastrophe look like? An exponential boom of chronic and mysterious ailments and diseases, much like we see in our world today.

WTF, Monsanto!?

This mess, started by Monsanto and handed off to the largest pharmaceutical company in the world, Bayer, is completely unacknowledged and disregarded as their billion dollar lawsuit budget dissolves year after year. They claim their beloved glyphosate molecule naturally biodegrades and does not pose any threat of toxicity to animals, the water supply, or the ecosystem at large.

The fact of the matter is that this water soluble toxin bioaccumulates in our environment to pollute our waterways and kill aquatic life. Since it’s release in 1974, 3.5 billion pounds of glyphosate have been dumped in the United States alone, all of which gradually making it’s way into the water supply. While only conventionally grown and GMO crops are directly sprayed (along with many public parks, business properties, and private homes) even organically grown produce is significantly contaminated due to glyphosate literally falling from the sky in raindrops.

The good news is that there are actually some bacteria and fungi in the soil that are able to break down and deactivate glyphosate, that is if they aren’t first damaged and mutated due to the harsh effects of the chemical. This does not surprise me. The earth has such incredible built in wisdom and self-healing potential, just like you as an earthling. While there is hope that the earth will indeed heal herself and allow humans to continue enjoying life here, we first of course need to stop spraying this damn stuff by the millions of gallons. 

Your Earthling Responsibility

Knowledge is power. Knowing the truth of what is happening in this world empowers you as a global citizen to choose your destiny while helping to guide the fate of the human species.

Know that conventionally grown corn crops such as soy, canola (oil), cottonseed (oil, for vegetable oil), and sugar beets (for table sugar) are grown from GMO seed, making them resistant to the heavy applications of glyphosate they receive. Additionally, conventionally grown wheat, barley, beans, lentils, and peas are also heavily sprayed with the herbicide. Pretty much any crop that is conventionally grown is prone to a direct application of glyphosate spray. The Environmental Working Group’s “dirty dozen” and "clean fifteen" are great resource to help guide you away from the most risky fruits and vegetables and towards those that are safest for consumption based on current standard farming practices.

To the best of your ability eat organic, non-gmo food. Making this choice ensures that you are receiving the smallest dose of food-borne toxin as possible on a daily basis, while also voting with your dollar to support a growing organic farming industry. Of equal importance is knowing the status of your water supply, being sure that is free from excessive glyphosate. If necessary test your water supply and get a filter (Berkey is good) to ensure you are drinking clean water. Also, when choosing feminine products only use organic tampons/pads, as the cotton used in conventional products is known to contain significant levels glyphosate.

Focus on healing your gut by eating a diverse array of organic fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes naturally containing high amounts of fiber that promote and nourish a healthy microbial ecosystem in the gut. Get out into the world and connect with the microbial environment of the natural world to bring fresh air into your lungs, which also helps sustain a healthy microbial population in and on your body.

Glyphosate not only disrupts our health in on so many ways, but also strips the medicine from our food that naturally should be healing us. Consider finding a high quality and clean source of minerals to replace the medicine that glyphosate has stolen from you and your food supply.

It should also be noted that the biggest GMO cash crops in the U.S. that are bathed in glyphosate are corn and soy. These crops are grown predominantly to feed animals (cows, pigs, chickens) for human consumption, or to create ingredients for junk food (corn syrup, corn oil, corn starch, soybean oil, soy lecithin, etc). To best mitigate your exposure avoid processed food and animal products. Even free ranged, organic, grass fed, pasture raised animals bioaccumulate this very substance that poisons us. By steering clear from animal products, we can choose to not place ourselves at the top of the food chain and receive the brunt of glyphosate toxicity.

If you feel as passionate about this topic as I do, consider speaking up and sharing with friends, family, and community. As we near a critical mass of awareness, I believe we can leverage real change in this world.

References
  1. Samsel A, Seneff S. Glyphosate, pathways to modern diseases II: Celiac sprue and gluten intolerance. Interdiscip Toxicol. 2013;6(4):159-84.

  2. Samsel A, Seneff S. Glyphosate, pathways to modern diseases III: Manganese, neurological diseases, and associated pathologies. Surg Neurol Int. 2015;6:45. Published 2015 Mar 24. doi:10.4103/2152-7806.153876

  3. Samsel A, Seneff S. Glyphosate, pathways to modern diseases IV: Cancer and related disease. Journal of Biological Physics and Chemistry. 2015.

  4. Samsel A, Seneff S. Glyphosate, pathways to modern diseases V: Amino acid analogue of glycine in diverse proteins. Journal of Biological Physics and Chemistry. 2016.

  5. Mertens M, Höss S, Neumann G, Afzal J, Reichenbecher W. Glyphosate, a chelating agent-relevant for ecological risk assessment?. Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2018;25(6):5298-5317.

  6. Duke SO, Lydon J, Koskinen WC, Moorman TB, Chaney RL, Hammerschmidt R. Glyphosate effects on plant mineral nutrition, crop rhizosphere microbiota, and plant disease in glyphosate-resistant crops. J Agric Food Chem. 2012;60(42):10375-97.

  7. Samsel A, Seneff S. Glyphosate’s Suppression of Cytochrome P450 Enzymes and Amino Acid Biosynthesis by the Gut Microbiome: Pathways to Modern Diseases. Entropy. 2013.

 


 

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