Tag

ban glyphosate

Browsing

The safety of pesticides and other agrochemicals is still the subject of heated debate. Despite nearly indisputable evidence of their health risks, the use of these chemicals is more widespread than ever. An incredible 9.4 million tons of RoundUp pesticide have been sprayed onto fields since the product’s inception in 1974, making it the most-used agricultural chemical in history.[1]

Unsurprisingly, Bayer has adopted Monsanto’s long-held stance that their products pose no human health risks. Meanwhile, an entire class of pesticides (those which contain the chemical chlorpyrifos) was recently banned, demonstrating that regulatory agencies are beginning to understand the dangers of these chemicals. A California court even acknowledged the dangerous association between pesticide exposure and cancer development by ordering Bayer-Monsanto to pay $289 million to a man who alleged his cancer was caused by frequent use of RoundUp.

These events are landmarks in the fight against toxic agrochemicals, but we have a long way to go. Progress is being made far more slowly in places like Argentina, an early supporter of GE agriculture that now is struggling to break free of its devastating effects on human health and the environment.

How companies exploit Argentinian farmers

The Argentinian agricultural industry has long been dominated by genetically engineered crops and heavy agrochemical usage. These practices were first approved in 1996, at which time the Argentinian government took Monsanto’s safety studies at face value.

It has now come to light that Monsanto ghostwrote its own safety studies on glyphosate, the main ingredient in RoundUp pesticide. Subsequent, independent studies, as well as voluminous anecdotal reports, have called the safety of glyphosate into question. The World Health Organization now classifies glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen.

Back in 1996, though, the GMO-agrochemical model simply seemed like a safe and prosperous one for Argentina to adopt. Monsanto’s commercials suggested that producing hardy, aesthetically pleasing crops and high yields would allow farmers to prosper, and that GE seeds and agrochemicals were the perfect tools for the job.

The commercials worked. Today, nearly 61.9 million acres of Argentinian land are planted with GE crops. Each and every year, farmers apply an astounding 300 million liters of RoundUp pesticide on their genetically modified soy, maize, cotton, corn, and tobacco (the most common crops in this region).

Such mass-scale farming has indeed brought more prosperity into the region, including up to 35% taxes on crop exports. But farming families have also seen a dramatic increase in the number of children born with severe defects and deformities, and they’re realizing they were lied to about glyphosate’s risks.

“Genetically modified children”

A new documentary film called Genetically Modified Children takes the viewer on a tour of Argentinian farming regions, where decades of agrochemical usage have led to shocking physical deformities and rare, life-threatening health conditions in children.

The story highlights the plight of tobacco farmers, who have become ensnared in a vicious cycle of industrial agriculture. Philip Morris, an American multinational tobacco company, exerts an enormous amount of control over the agriculture of Argentina’s Misiones Province. The company places unreasonable production standards on Argentinian farmers, who therefore must use more than 100 different agrochemicals (including glyphosate) to ensure a final product of pristine appearance. Otherwise, Philip Morris will simply pass over their crop yield and purchase from other farmers who present a more aesthetic product.

Because none of these farmers were told that glyphosate poses risks to human health, they’ve spent decades treating their crops without protecting themselves or their families from exposure. The results are heart-wrenching: the film shows children with severe deformities, epilepsy, hampered development of mental function and motor skills, multiple muscular atrophy, congenital microcephaly, and many other ailments stemming from genetic mutation. One child is even shown whose skin has no pores, and thus no ability to perspire—the results of a genetic incurable skin condition.

Many experts believe this disproportionate rate of birth defects demonstrates glyphosate’s genotoxicity, as both in vivo and in vitro animal studies have demonstrated.[2] Fearful of escalating health effects, farmers are doing their best to move their families away from chemical-laden farmland.

Many would like to detach from glyphosate use altogether, but this choice is not tenable for most of them, as the region lacks other avenues for generating income reliably. Tragically, the families most deeply affected by glyphosate are the ones least able to stop using it—they rely heavily on the income and social security provided by Philip Morris in order to tend to their children’s medical needs.

Help change this deplorable situation

The tide is beginning to turn, as evidenced by the victories discussed at this article’s outset. U.S. lawyers have begun to work on behalf of affected Argentinian families, but progress is slow, as agrobusinesses exert far-reaching political and economic power throughout the country.

In the meantime, you can do your part by boycotting companies who manufacture or encourage the use of genotoxic pesticides. This means avoiding the vast majority of conventionally grown produce and tobacco, as well as processed foods.

Watch Genetically Modified Children to learn more about Argentina’s agrochemical crisis, and to find out more about how you can help.

 


References

[1] https://enveurope.springeropen.com/articles/10.1186/s12302-016-0070-0

[2] https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf9606518

Image source

monsanto-poison

By now, you’re most likely familiar with glyphosate, the poison in best-selling pesticides that’s quickly making its way into every nook and cranny of our planet…including your body.

Last year, an organization called the Detox Project launched an initiative to discover just how widespread glyphosate contamination really is. They invited individuals to send in urine samples, and organized the first-ever comprehensive and validated glyphosate testing at the University of California San Francisco.

What they found was terrifying: 93% of all Americans who submitted samples tested positive for glyphosate. Those living in the west and mid-west had higher levels of contamination, and children showed the highest levels of all.

And it gets worse. The project was orchestrated in conjunction with the Organic Consumers Organization, which means it’s safe to assume that a good percentage of its participants regularly consume organic food products. And most people who would choose to participate in such a study are probably conscientious consumers anyways, regardless of whether or not they’re affiliated with this organization.

This means that even organic food isn’t safe from glyphosate. As we discussed in another article, testing of organic grains (especially from Montana, North Dakota, and Canada) found them to be nearly as high in glyphosate as conventional grains.

There’s many possible reasons for this contamination, each scarier than the last: some organic farmers still use glyphosate-containing pesticides in late season, and this practice isn’t even technically illegal according to the less-than-ideal standards of the USDA and EPA (in fact, in recent years, the EPA actually raised the allowable level of pesticides in food products).

And perhaps worst of all, some experts even believe that environmental glyphosate pollution has reached such a high level that organic crops are bound to be contaminated by rainwater and irrigation.

Are we sure that glyphosate is bad for you?

It’s worth noting that widespread glyphosate contamination is only worrisome to the degree that the chemical is actually bad for our bodies and our planet.

If you’re still skeptical about the evidence against glyphosate, though, know this: Experts around the around the world agree that glyphosate poses significant health risks. The World Health Organization considers it a “probable human carcinogen.” Monsanto’s own internal reports (which they went to considerable efforts to hide from the public) show that they’ve known about its toxicity from the very beginning.[1]

Independent research has linked glyphosate toxicity with a wide range of health conditions, including ADHD, birth defects,[2] Alzheimer’s disease and general cognitive decline,[3] autism,[4] celiac disease and other gastrointestinal issues,[5] chronic kidney disease,[6] depression, diabetes,[7] heart disease, liver disease, a wide range of cancers,[8] and many others. Researchers have even found a strong correlation between frequency of general illness and glyphosate blood levels.[9]

And those are just the conditions that have been specifically studied. The deeper they dig, the more researchers worry that glyphosate plays a role in nearly every major health issue of our time.

The fight continues

It’s no longer a matter of “proving” the risks of glyphosate—the task before us now is to make public policy reflect the established fact of its toxicity.

A flurry of anti-Monsanto movements and organizations are leading the charge, and many governments and regulatory bodies around the world are heeding the call. Its use is now banned or severely restricted in the Netherlands, Bermuda, and Sri Lanka, and banned for personal gardening use in France. Germany, Brazil, and Argentina are considering legislative bans, and more countries are gearing up to follow suit. The state of California is rolling out plans to label glyphosate-containing commercial products as carcinogens.

Meanwhile, Monsanto continues to deny vehemently that RoundUp poses any environmental or health risks. This denialism is particularly shocking given the recent release of 15,000 pages of Monsanto’s “sealed” documents, which display in great detail the results of the company’s own research into glyphosate. The files reveal decades of meticulous research demonstrating that glyphosate (even in ultra-low doses) causes cancers and dysfunctions of all kinds in mammals, voluminous studies showing that glyphosate does not biodegrade (and instead bio-accumulates very easily in nearly every kind of mammalian cell), and even incontrovertible evidence that Monsanto tried to dilute and falsify this data.

Sadly, this massive scandal shows that even overwhelming scientific evidence is not enough to remove poisons from commercial circulation. The hope is that Monsanto will one day be tried and brought to justice for their falsification of data and knowing endangerment of everyone on the planet.

In the meantime, though, it’s up to us to tell regulatory agencies that we won’t tolerate the use of RoundUp in our country anymore. Particular pressure needs to be applied to the EPA, which seems to be getting progressively deeper into the pocket of Monsanto—you can start by signing this petition put together by the Organic Consumers Organization.

Eliminating glyphosate from our food chain (and thus from our planetary ecosystem) is one of the most important and far-reaching actions we can take…and regulatory agencies aren’t going to get the job done unless we make our voices heard. Get involved—your health and the health of future generations depends on it!

 


References 

[1] https://www.organicconsumers.org/news/monsantos-sealed-documents-reveal-truth-behind-roundups-toxicological-dangers

[2] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1241196/

[3] http://www.sciencedirect.com.ezproxy.med.nyu.edu/science/article/pii/S0300483X14000493

[4] http://www.autismone.org/content/autism-explained-synergistic-poisoning-aluminum-and-glyphosate-stephanie-seneff

[5] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3945755/

[6] http://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/11/2/2125

[7] http://www.gmoevidence.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/GlyModern-diseaseSamsel-Seneff-13-1.pdf

[8] http://archive.boston.com/bigpicture/2013/10/agrochemical_spraying_in_argen.html

[9] http://www.omicsonline.org/open-access/detection-of-glyphosate-residues-in-animals-and-humans-2161-0525.1000210.pdf

Image source

glyphosate-contaminated-foods

We’ve written before about the horrors of glyphosate—the poisonous weed killer liberally used on a staggering number of crops throughout the United States.

Although the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) now considers glyphosate “a probable carcinogen,” and even though a mountain of evidence has come to light linking it to both health and environmental degradation, herbicide manufacturers still deny its toxicity. And even more absurdly, these companies claim that it’s only toxic to weeds, and that there’s no way that the chemical ends up in agricultural food products.

Experts how long feared that glyphosate could easily contaminate both our planetary ecosystem and planetary food chain, unless its widespread use is curbed. Countries around the world are imposing outright bans on its use—having openly acknowledged it as genotoxic and carcinogenic—and yet the United States shows no signs of banning (or even restricting) its use.

Yet now another piece of incontrovertible evidence has arisen proving the much-ridiculed opponents of glyphosate correct. Glyphosate has been detected in shockingly high levels within a variety of consumer packaged products—thus proving that the chemical has made its way deep into our global food chain.

Watch out for these products

After commissioning the testing of a number of packaged products, the Alliance for Natural Health (ANH-USA) discovered frightening levels of glyphosate contamination. Topping the list was Quaker Instant Oatmeal (Strawberries and Cream flavor), which contained a whopping 1,327.1 parts per billion (ppb) of this noxious weed killer.

Other serious offenders included Thomas’s Whole Wheat Bagels (491.9 ppb), Pepperidge Farm Whole Grain Bread (403.0 ppb), and Cream of Wheat Hot Cereal Whole Grain (260.6 ppb).

But you might be thinking…those are quintessentially conventional and “unhealthy” products; of course they’re contaminated. While it is strange for oatmeal to be so severely contaminated (because oats are not a GMO crop), your logic would still be fairly sound.

Here’s the problem, though: even some supposedly “healthier” products showed contamination. This part of the list includes many products that are specifically advertised as non-GMO, such as Dave’s Killer Whole Wheat Bread (136.4 ppb), the Whole Foods Brand 365 Coffee Creamer (104 ppb), and Original Silk Soy Creamer (86 ppb).

We’ve already written about the pitfalls of gluten, dairy, and soy—but this ANH-USA testing lengthens the list of reasons to avoid them.

So, because the presence of glyphosate in our consumer food chain is indisputable, let’s return to herbicide manufacturers’ claims that it poses no risks to your health.

Is glyphosate really so bad for you?

Let us refresh your memory…

Glyphosate has been correlated with a staggering number of society-wide health problems and conditions. Despite slanderous retorts from Monsanto and other pesticide manufacturers, credible studies have conclusively linked glyphosate toxicity to autism, Alzheimer’s, depression, obesity, gastrointestinal conditions, ALS, multiple sclerosis, infertility, autoimmune diseases, heart disease, cancer, and Parkinson’s.[1]

Furthermore, glyphosate worsens and accelerates antibiotic resistance by killing good bacteria and speeding the mutation of pathogenic bacteria. You could even say it’s disrupting the planetary microbiome—it’s ravaging natural ecosystems, and has been linked with bee colony collapse around the world.

And it’s everywhere. Packaged food products are just the beginning—just proof of how deeply it has penetrated the food chain. A U.S. Geological Survey found glyphosate in 59% of sampled water sites, 50% of soil and sediment samples, 8.4% of groundwater samples, and even 10% of water that had already undergone treatment at wastewater treatment plants.[2] Glyphosate has even been detected in woman’s breast milk and urine.[3]

How to protect yourself

Joining the fight to ban glyphosate is one of the most important actions you can take to safeguard your body and our planet.

But in the meantime, as the agricultural industry continues to douse our food with poison, you simply have to do your best to keep it out of your system.

Avoiding the products listed above is a good start—but this by no means is an exhaustive list. Assume all non-organic products to be suspect, even if they’re labeled as non-GMO. Organic products tend to be much cleaner than conventional products, but even they’re not immune.

We covered in another article, it’s been discovered that glyphosate-spraying conventional farms can sometimes contaminate nearby organic produce—and these “organic” foods are then used to make the packaged products that we believe to be healthy, simply because of that little green USDA label.

To be safe, eat only organic food products and adopt lifestyle practices that supercharge your body’s detoxification abilities.

The lab results above illustrate a frightening reality that we need to accept: nowadays, it’s nearly impossible to avoid glyphosate completely, so we must combine meticulous dietary choices with detox strategies in order to keep our bodies clean and clear of this prevalent poison.

Eat naturally detoxifying foods, boost your body’s production of natural antioxidants like glutathione and melatonin, supplement with super-supplements like liposomal vitamin C and turmeric, and integrate detoxifying activities into your life, like oil pulling and sauna sessions. All of these practices will not only keep your body clear of glyphosate’s deleterious effects—they’ll also rejuvenate and optimize every aspect of bodily functioning, so that you can feel your absolute best.

 


References

[1] http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/06/09/monsanto-roundup-herbicide.aspx

[2] http://toxics.usgs.gov/highlights/2014-04-23-glyphosate_2014.html

[3] http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/worlds-number-1-herbicide-your-body-test-yourself

Image source

glyphosate-test

By now, you’ve probably heard that one of the most destructive practices associated with GMO farming is the use of glyphosate-containing pesticides.

A mountain of scientific evidence has linked glyphosate—the main ingredient in Roundup, the world’s number 1 (and most profitable) pesticide—to a staggering number of chronic conditions, including autism, depression, gastrointestinal diseases, obesity, Alzheimer’s, ALS, multiple sclerosis, infertility, allergies, autoimmune dysfunction, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and Parkinson’s disease.[1]

And those are just the conditions for which a provable link has been found. The truth is that, once in the human body, glyphosate causes chronic nutritional deficiency and systemic toxicity. These conditions serve as fertile ground for the development of nearly any disease or condition.

Glyphosate even worsens antibiotic resistance, thus leading to the further proliferation of infectious superbugs.

The outcry against glyphosate—especially from those acutely victimized by its toxicity—is far too tragic and widespread to be ignored.

And yet, that’s exactly what Monsanto and its GMO cronies have done.

Company representatives still maintain that Roundup is safe, biodegradable, and environmentally friendly. They claim that it “leaves the soil clean,” and that it presents no danger to humans and other living organisms. And even if it did, they insist, there’s no chance whatsoever that it could ever end up in the human body.

Small-scale studies in 2014 proved all of these claims incorrect. Researchers found glyphosate not only in American water supplies, but also in women’s breast milk and urine.[2]

Manufacturers of glyphosate-containing pesticides countered that researchers’ testing method was flawed—and tragically, the EPA sided with them.

This incident is a perfect representation of why toxic agricultural practices have been allowed to continue for so long, despite the massive amount of suffering and destruction that they cause. Individuals and small groups bring attention to the issue, and the spark of awareness is immediately extinguished by a flood of money and propaganda.

It turns out that when you have as much money and influence as the agricultural industry does, you don’t need to have the facts on your side, as long as you can keep people in the dark for long enough.

But the veil is being lifted…

Something momentous happened in March: the World Health Organization declared that they now classify glyphosate as a “probable carcinogen.”

And when an entity as large as the WHO speaks against your product, no spin-doctoring or ignorance campaign can cover it up. Their declaration has greased the wheels of the growing anti-GMO movement, which seeks to ban the manufacture and sale of glyphosate.

One of the leaders of this movement is an organization called Feed the World, which has an impressive plan for ridding the world of glyphosate and its health-wrecking effects.

Feed the World rightfully believes that, in order to get regulators and politicians to take action against glyphosate, the public needs to be convinced that they’re being endangered by it.

They believe (also rightfully) that nearly all of us have been exposed to glyphosate, and that our bodies are contaminated with it. And to prove it, they’ve sponsored the development of a validated test that anyone can take.

They will present a Women’s and Children’s Bill of Rights to the Senate in October, which will call for a complete phasing out of glyphosate by 2018. They hope that, after their test demonstrates to the public that they and their family are contaminated with carcinogenic glyphosate, their campaign will receive overwhelming support.

Test yourself, protect yourself

This campaign provides an unprecendented opportunity to expose the dark side of the global biotech industry to the light of truth. In order for it to be successful, though, it’s imperative that we all participate.

Dr. Paul Winchester, Clinical Professor at the Division of Neonatology, Indiana University School of Medicine, and the Director of the Neonatal Intensive-Care Unit (NICU) at St. Francis Hospital, summed up the importance of the project in this way:

“Brave and concerned citizens will have to act if the real extent of pesticide contamination is to be known. We are being offered a chance to test ourselves for the most heavily used weed-killer in the history of mankind. RoundUp (Monsanto’s glyphosate-based herbicide) is used to kill weeds but also to desiccate crops prior to harvest. It is found in ground water, river water, rain, snow, soil, and food, and the levels are rising. Is RoundUp in you? Is it in your baby? Is this weed killer imprinting our descendants’ DNA? These are the questions we hope you will help us answer. The EPA won’t do it. The government won’t do it. Chemical companies won’t do it. Farmers won’t do it. Grocers won’t do it. I hope you will help us find out the truth.”

The test is affordable and easy to use (you just provide a sample of urine, breast milk, and/or tap water). The analysis will be conducted by a highly regarded US laboratory, who will publish their findings in a peer-reviewed journal later this year.

Visit www.feedtheworld.info for lots more information, and to order your test. Together, we can defeat one of the greatest threats to the health of our bodies and our planet’s ecosystem in recorded history.


References

[1] http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/06/09/monsanto-roundup-herbicide.aspx

[2] http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/worlds-number-1-herbicide-your-body-test-yourself

Image source