HOW I DISCOVERED THE HEALTH RISKS OF GLYPHOSATE
AND THIS WEBSITE’S MISSION TO EXPOSE ITS DANGERS
I experienced the American health care system first hand, having been physically attacked and brutally knocked down at my job a number of years ago.
I had multiple health repercussions but the worst was a traumatic brain injury. My doctors subjected me to a battery of diagnostic tests and prescribed many different medications, all of which had side effects. It was a long and difficult road for me to travel.
After a while, I became depressed about my treatment. And, guess what, I was prescribed another pill. I felt like I didn’t have any control over my own recovery. I began looking for alternatives to the traditional medical approach.
I was reminded of the famous quotation by Hippocrates: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
I decided to help myself. I read many books about nutrition, supplements, herbs and essential oils. I followed through by visiting my local health food store and asking questions. I slowly changed my diet and began taking vitamins and other supplements.
I got off most of the medications, and I felt like I was finally making progress. I continued to educate myself about health issues and nutrition.
Are We Being Fed Government-Approved Poison?
And then it happened. BAM! Blindsided and thrown to the ground…again!!
That’s how I felt when I learned there was a chemical in my food and water called glyphosate, the active ingredient found in the popular weed killer Roundup.
As part of my recovery, I had been eating a well-balanced diet and getting regular exercise. I had been eating plenty of fruits and vegetables and avoiding processed foods. I had been drinking more water and consuming fewer sugary drinks. I bought a blender/bullet and began making what I considered to be healthy smoothies. I thought I was doing great.
And then in 2015 I learned the devastating news about glyphosate and feared we all were being slowly poisoned.
Glyphosate is one of the most popular herbicides in the world. The main use of this chemical is in agriculture. Farmers routinely spray glyphosate on their crops to kill the weeds in their fields. On some farms, it is also sprayed on wheat as a drying agent before harvesting.
One of the biggest problems for us – as consumers – is that the information available about the safety of glyphosate is conflicting and confusing.
After doing my research, I was amazed to discover that glyphosate is in our food and water supply. I also was amazed that a respected international health organization said glyphosate probably causes cancer.
What Is Glyphosate and Why You Should Care?
Glyphosate has been in use since the 1970s as a potent weed killer. You may even have a bottle of Roundup around your home.
I find it very interesting that before glyphosate was introduced to the mass market as a weed killer it was used to clean and descale mineral deposits from industrial boiler pipes. Glyphosate has the ability to lock onto minerals and remove them from boiler walls.
Some scientists have expressed concern for years about the safety of glyphosate for human consumption. Its residue is on the fruits and vegetables that we eat. Feed containing glyphosate is consumed by the animals that provide us with meat, eggs and dairy products.
Scientific concerns about the safety of glyphosate got support in March 2015 from the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer, which declared it a “probable human carcinogen.”
The organization said that non-Hodgkin lymphoma is one of the cancers most associated with glyphosate exposure.
This declaration by the World Health Organization prompted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to announce that it would begin testing certain foods for glyphosate. The FDA had been criticized in the past for failing to test for glyphosate residue in food.
A spokesman for the FDA said the agency was considering glyphosate testing of soybeans, corn, milk, eggs and potentially other foods, although the FDA hasn’t provided a timetable for its testing program.
The use of glyphosate has exploded in recent years. One reason for this explosion is the development of “Roundup Ready” seeds that are tolerant to glyphosate. Therefore, farmers can spray their entire fields to kill weeds without destroying their crops.
Monsanto is the company that patented glyphosate and put it in Roundup. It also developed the Roundup-Ready seeds that are genetically modified to survive being sprayed with glyphosate. It is apparent that genetically modified (GMO) crops and glyphosate go hand-in-hand.
Corn is one of the food crops most likely to have been genetically modified and sprayed with Roundup. Others include soybeans, cotton, canola, sugar beets and alfalfa.
In response to the World Health Organization declaring glyphosate to be a probable human carcinogen, the state of California in September 2015 stated its intention to put glyphosate on its list of chemicals that cause cancer.
This prompted the filing of a lawsuit by Monsanto in early 2016 against the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment to block the placement of glyphosate on this list of cancer-causing chemicals.
Monsanto is a fierce defender of its product, contending that glyphosate is safe for human consumption. In fact, the company argues that glyphosate is as safe as table salt.
Monsanto has a huge financial stake in glyphosate because Roundup provided the company with about $5 billion in revenues in 2015. Revenue from seed sales, including Roundup Ready seeds, produced billions of dollars in additional revenue.
Despite Monsanto’s defense of its herbicide, there are members of the United States Congress who have their doubts about the safety of glyphosate, by itself, and in conjunction with other ingredients in Roundup and similar weed killers.
Several dozen of these federal lawmakers sent a letter to the head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on February 11, 2016, calling for a re-evaluation of another herbicide that contains glyphosate.
This other herbicide is called Enlist Duo, marketed by Dow Chemical, and in addition to glyphosate it contains 2,4-D, an ingredient that was in the controversial VietNam War-era herbicide Agent Orange.
In the letter to the EPA, these members of Congress cited the World Health Organization declaration regarding glyphosate’s probable link to cancer. The letter stated: “The EPA registered Enlist Duo without considering this cancer finding, and without looking at any studies on glyphosate’s cancer risk that have been published in the last twenty years.”
In 1985, the EPA classified glyphosate as “a possible human carcinogen” but six years later the agency reversed itself and said glyphosate was “non-carcinogenic.”
It is noteworthy that the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer relied, in part, on the same evidence that the EPA found persuasive in 1985 to suggest that glyphosate had carcinogenic potential.
The World Health Organization said its cancer research scientists considered not only the studies available to the EPA in 1985 but also “several more recent positive results in concluding that there is sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals.”
Lawyers And Courts May Hold The Key To The Future of Glyphosate
In addition to government regulation, the future of glyphosate-based herbicides may be in the hands of the legal profession.
In March 2016, the widow of a California farmer sued Monsanto alleging that Roundup caused her husband’s death from non-Hodgkin lymphoma. According to the lawsuit, the deceased farmer exclusively used Roundup on his 20-acre fruit and vegetable farm for 30 years. The suit said he never smoked, he stayed physically fit and had no history of lymphoma.
The legal team handling this lawsuit includes prominent environmental lawyer Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., the nephew of former President John F. Kennedy.
Said Kennedy: “Mounting evidence suggests that Monsanto knew about the hazards posed by glyphosate exposure, but failed to disclose this information to the public.” He added: “Any time a corporation markets a harmful product to consumers as safe for use, it must be held accountable for the damage caused by that product.”
Kennedy believes glyphosate liability could become the next “mass tort” similar to the decades-old mass tort litigation over the harm caused by asbestos.
There is other litigation against Monsanto alleging that Roundup caused cancer deaths, and that the company manipulated regulators and the public into believing its product was safe. These lawsuits, including cases in California, Florida, Missouri, Delaware, Nebraska and Hawaii, are making their way through the court system.
In addition to the cancer link, some scientists are concerned about other possible glyphosate-related health issues, including reproductive problems, leaky gut, autism and Parkinson’s disease.
Another worry is that even very small amounts of glyphosate when ingested over long periods of time can have a negative impact on kidney and liver function.
Glyphosate is also a controversial herbicide in other countries outside the United States. Some governments have banned the use of glyphosate and others are reviewing its use.
The European Parliament has been unwilling to relicense glyphosate for the usual 15 years. Instead there are proposals to approve glyphosate for use in the European Union for 9 years, 7 years, 18 months or to ban it altogether.
Why I Care About Glyphosate
Until 2015 I had never heard of glyphosate, even though I had become a health and fitness enthusiast.
I was shocked to discover that I was consuming glyphosate residue with my supposedly healthy fruits and vegetables. I also learned that the animals from which we get our beef, pork and chicken are eating genetically modified feed that contains glyphosate.
I wasn’t sure if I was being poisoned every time I ate fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy and eggs. So I began researching herbicides, pesticides and genetically modified organisms.
The information was conflicting. According to the United States government and Monsanto, glyphosate and GMOs are safe. But I came across many scientists who disagreed, including the cancer research scientists at the World Health Organization.
Who was right? Who could I believe? Was science being influenced by corporate power and conflicts of interest?
The mission of this website is to help you sort it all out and educate you about glyphosate, the herbicide that is causing so much controversy in the United States and around the world.
And glyphosate is not just in our food supply. Glyphosate is everywhere, from the pillows we sleep on to the clothes we wear. Unfortunately, cotton also is one of the crops that is genetically modified and is routinely sprayed with glyphosate.
Until this conflicting information about the safety of glyphosate is reconciled to my satisfaction, I have decided to “go organic” whenever possible. In the alternative, I look for the “Non GMO” label.
Organic fruits and vegetables can be purchased in most grocery stores. The term “organic” means the fruits and vegetables were not grown using harmful chemicals such as glyphosate. By definition, GMOs are prohibited in organic products. As an added benefit organic products may have a higher nutritional value.
Organic foods are certified by the United States Department of Agriculture. They contain a circular green and white label that says “USDA Organic.” The Non GMO label is green, white and blue and says “Non GMO Project Verified.”
(INSERT COMPARISON CHART)
Eating Organic Is A Great Option
The labeling of foods that are genetically modified has become a hot political issue in the United States. There are powerful forces that would like to keep consumers in the dark about GMOs rather than provide accurate labels.
GMOs were developed in 1996. The most common genetically modified crops in the United States are corn, soybeans and cotton. They are engineered to be resistant to herbicides such as Roundup.
GMO corn is present in many different products. Corn is used in high fructose corn syrup that is found in many processed foods. GMO corn is prevalent in the feed given to livestock. Corn starch is another product of GMO corn and is used as an emulsifier.
GMO soybeans also are used as animal feed, and soybean oil is used in many processed foods. Soy lecithin is a thickening agent that is derived from soybeans.
GMO cotton is the basis for cottonseed oil. It is inexpensive and is used for frying in some restaurants. It is used to make potato chips and margarine. Some parts of the cotton plant are also used in animal feed. Generally what is left over, the residue, is where cellulose comes from. Cellulose is a binding agent found in convenience foods, baked goods and even chewing gum. It gives ice cream its viscosity.
When I was growing up the vegetables I ate were all organic because they were grown by my father in his large garden from non-GMO seeds. We picked the weeds by hand, and we didn’t spray the vegetables with chemicals.
Simple Recommendations for a Healthier Diet
So what is a smart consumer to do? I know from personal experience that it can be very stressful to sort through the conflicting information about what to include and what to eliminate from a healthy diet. It can be discouraging at times.
First, I recommend trying to keep things simple. Eat organic whenever possible. Planting your own vegetable garden might be a viable option for some people.
Second, I recommend reading labels. In particular, look for foods that are not genetically modified and avoid high fructose corn syrup. These so-called non-GMO foods are a second choice behind organic.
Finally, I recommend taking it slow. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Bookmark this website for articles that will help you educate yourself about the dangers of glyphosate and other harmful chemicals in our food and water supply and in our environment.
I encourage you to subscribe to our mailing list. Please follow us on social media as well. We will be reviewing health-related products and sharing delicious recipes to help you avoid chemicals and GMOs.
Thanks for your interest. Working together we have the power to bring about change for a healthier America and a healthier world.