Roundup: Much Worse Than We Thought

April 24, 2012 · 31 comments

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I was listening to a lecture given by Howard Vlieger from Verity Farms which was given at the WAPF conference this past November. I listen to these recordings while I ride the bike at the gym and I almost fell off listening to this one. I had to listen to the recording several times because it was dense with facts and figures. But the scary part is that I thought I knew why glyphosate (the main chemical in Monsanto’s Roundup) was so bad. I had to think again. It is much much worse than I thought.

Howard Vlieger is the president of Verity Farms. Verity Farms has a successful biological crop production program. They work with biological farmers, organic farmers and conventional farmers, who are all looking for answers to their problems. The mission of Verity Farms is the reestablishment and prosperity of the “Family Farmer”.  The family farmer is the only one capable of having the intimate relationship with the soil and the animals to raise a quality food product. You can read more about Howard Vlieger here.

Original goals of genetic modification

It all started with pharmaceutical (chemical) companies. The original goal of genetic modification was to grow pharmaceutical crops. However, contamination from the spreading pollen caused them to discontinue these particular crops.

Promises were made

Promises were made for crops with drought tolerance and a reduction of insecticide and herbicide use. This has not happened.

It is no longer legal to research GM crops unless you have the written consent from the company holding the patent on the crop. Entomologists have complained about this because they are not allowed to research the effects of genetic modification on insects, unless they can get permission. Of course, you would need to be working for the company to get that. Your results would then (conveniently) be under the control of that company.

According to Vlieger, studies have confirmed that yield is less with GM crops and water needs are doubled when using herbicides on these resistant GM crops.

How genetic engineering is done

It is actually far from “engineering” when you think about engineering as a very precise science. In genetic engineering, DNA is fired from the equivalent of a shot gun, into a gene in the DNA of the plant cells with absolutely no control where it will hit or what it will damage.

While they have the shotgun out, they also insert a virus and an agro bacterium that is an aggressive cancer-like cell. What could possibly go wrong?

Potential problems galore

The potential for a new protein to be developed is high and because of damage to the DNA, there will be an effect on the protein makeup of the plant.

There are foreign proteins that were first identified by Dr. Arpad Pusztai who subsequently lost his career when he spoke out about this. He was the first to feed GM potatoes to rats and he saw the detrimental effects on these mammals.

Genetic modification affects the stomach and GI tract

In mammals, digestion occurs along the length of the GI tract. The GI tract is also home to the immune system. If there is a foreign protein in the GI tract of animals and humans, the immune system gets activated. This causes inflammation, irritation and ulceration of the delicate mucous membranes of the intestines.

Additionally, the foreign proteins are not digested properly so there is a lack of available nutrition. Consequently, mammals eating GM foods will be malnourished.

Plenty of anecdotal evidence

There is plenty of anecdotal evidence showing the negative effects of GM foods. Genetically modified corn fed to cows caused a significant drop in fertility in cows and pigs. They also experienced ileitis (inflammation in the intestines), salmonella and digestive problems. There were also deformities in the offspring of cattle fed GM grains.

Mr. Vlieger related when he toured a conventional pig slaughterhouse and found that all the pigs had irritations, inflammations, erosions and ulcerations in their stomachs. That was considered “normal” for these GM fed animals. Conventionally fed pigs did not have this. He took pictures of hog stomachs and showed how the GM fed pigs had the most irritation, inflammation and even ulcers in their stomachs.

Mr. Vlieger related that when GM corn feed was taken away and conventional feed given, all the problems cleared up.

This anecdotal evidence has led to a scientific sturdy that has not been published at this time.

There are no independent long term third party studies that show feeding genetically modified foods to mammals has no side effects.

However, there are many bogus industry studies of short duration that do not show any problems. How convenient.

There are studies coming along that do show side effects, digestive, immune system, and abnormal sized organs. A study showed that 93% of pregnant woman have been found to have a GM toxin in their blood and this was passed on to the baby’s blood.

Dr. Gallagher documented that the OECD Guidelines of Sound Science has never been applied to GM crops. The debate over the introduction of the bt brinjal (eggplant) in India reflects these concerns and a safety report written by Dr. Gallagher published in 2011 shows that it is toxic.

Glyphosate

Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Roundup. It is a non selective herbicide that was patented in 1964 as a strong metal chelator. That means that it grabs hold of elements and makes them unavailable.

In 1974 Monsanto registered glyphosate as an herbicide. It binds up calcium, cobalt, copper, iron, manganese, magnesium, nickel, boron and zinc.

Glyphosate disrupts plant physiology so that they cannot grow and can’t defend themselves against disease. The plants die as a result of the diseases they may acquire — indirectly from the glyphosate.

Glyphosate is systemic.  It takes only one drop sprayed on any part of the plant and it goes throughout the entire plant. A minimum of 20% of glyphosate that hits the foliage is exuded through the plant’s root system directly to the soil. It stays in the soil.

Glyphosate is damaging

Dr. Robert Kremer, a microbiologist with the USDA Agricultural Research Service has studied glyphosate and has come to several conclusions about the ways in which it is damaging.

  1. It kills beneficial microbes in the soil that keep pathogens in check.
  2. It is a food source to opportunistic bacterium and fungi (fusarium), so it promotes bad bugs.
  3. Glyphosate binds up all the nutrients in the plant so that when the plant is used for food it is nutrient deficient and the animals suffer. Any offspring from those animals are also nutrient deficient.
  4. It takes away control mechanisms in the plant so the plant cannot defend itself.
  5. It accumulate in the new growth points of plant — roots and buds.
  6. The breakdown product of glypohsate is AMPA (aminomethylphosphonic acid) which is more toxic than glyphosate. AMPA affects microbes that make nutrients available.
  7. Glyphosate filters down into the soil and any plant in the area will take up the glyphosate. If it is used to spray weeds, it can be taken up by any plants in the area of the spraying.
  8. There are 40 documented diseases that increase as a direct result of using glyphosate in all crops.
  9. As glyphosate is destroying the soil — it is also destroying the rumen of the cow — there are increasing cases of the clostridium bacterium that causes botulism occurring inside the cow. Not a pretty sight.

Glyphosate residues show up everywhere

The US Geological Service discovered glyphosate residues in significant concentrations in the air, the rain, in rivers, in streams and in lakes.

The US Geological Service found that in 2007 there were 88,000 tons of glyphosate being used — up from 11,000 in 1992. In the soil, glyphosate residues are up from .04 ppm to .08 ppm. There are residues found in corn, soybeans, soybean meal, and potatoes.

The manure taken from the CAFOS (Confined Animal Feeding Operations) show AMPA residues (metabolite of glyphosate) are up from .24 ppm to .81 ppm.

In South America Dr. Carrasco found severe skeletal deformities (cheeks, bones) in children of mothers who lived around the fields which were sprayed with glyphosate by airplane. In his own experiments he found 1 part to 3500 glyphosate caused deformities in frog and chick embryos.

French researcher Dr Gilles-Eric Seralini, documented that only 1-2 ppm can cause complete infertility of sperm and egg. Dr. Seralini again documented 2-10 ppm to cause damage to endocrine makeup of cell.

Environmental Protection Agency lowering the standards

In 1994 the EPA allowed 2 ppm of glyphosate. In 1997 they raised it to 20ppm — a 200% increase. They increased the allowance of glyphosate in sweet corn. Coincidentally (right) two months later, Roundup sweet corn was deregulated and will be on the market !

Conclusions

We have a tremendous increase in allergies and digestive disorders due to foreign indigestible proteins. We have crops deficient of nutrients. We have an increase in the growth of opportunistic organisms, an increase in immune system challenges and and increase in disease.

The companies that make these toxic chemicals are the same companies that make pharmaceuticals and chemotherapy drugs. So it comes full circle.

We use a chemical that is a poison to raise crops. The crops are fed to livestock. The livestock get sick and we have to call the vet who uses chemicals to treat them. The chemicals from the food and the chemicals from the treatment are now in the meat of the livestock that humans eat. The humans get sick and go to the hospital where they use chemicals to treat them. Full circle.

What you can do

Call food companies and say you don’t want GMOs in food. Call your representatives and tell them we want GMO labeling on all food.

Much of the information in this post was retrieved from Howard Vlieger’s lecture. Some of the studies quoted have not been published yet.

This post is shared at: Allergy free Wednesday, Sustainable Ways, Mommy Club, Health 2Day, Whole Food Wednesday, Real Food Wednesday, Pennywise Platter, Simple Lives Thursday, Fresh Bites Friday, Freaky Friday, Fight Back Friday, Friday Food, Sunday School, Seasonal Celebration, Real Food 101, Monday Mania, Barnyard Hop, Hearth & Soul Hop, Traditional Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday Naptime, Tasty Tuesday 33

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jill April 25, 2012 at 8:40 am

Great article! Thought I’d point out the increase from 2ppm to 20ppm is 1000% (x 10)–I think there was a typo. Great information–thanks for sharing!

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2 Judy@Savoring Today April 25, 2012 at 8:42 am

Thanks so much for passing this along and so easy, concise to read and in turn, pass along ourselves. Getting the word out is so important.

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3 jean April 26, 2012 at 3:16 pm

Thanks so much for this information! I would like to put a link to this post on my blog if that is all right with you.

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4 Jen April 27, 2012 at 9:51 am

This angers me. And you are right, just when you think you know how bad it is . . .then it gets worse.

And why can’t anyone research what is being INGESTED into their BODY without the company who has a very vested interest being involved. That is so disgusting!

We are in a lot of trouble in this nation if we don’t wake up.

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5 Kelli April 30, 2012 at 12:37 pm

Its really scary to read this as roundup (along with other herbicides) is very pervasive in the environment for a long time. Its ridiculous to cause this much damage when in truth herb weeds are a healthy part of the ecosystem that actually mean nature is trying to cover up the soil again. Its a natural mechanism to heal the soil from clearing.

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6 Amber May 1, 2012 at 1:06 am

Thank you for sharing your post with us last week on AFW! Be sure to check back this week for reader favorites and hostess picks.

Be Well,
–AFW Hostesses

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7 Judy@Savoring Today May 2, 2012 at 10:47 pm

Thanks for sharing on Hearth & Soul, you always do your research, Jill.

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8 Rebecca @ Natural Mothers Network May 3, 2012 at 4:56 am

Oh this makes me so angry- it’s being hotly debated over here with a trial crop likely to be pulled up by activists in late May before pollination. The British public appear so indifferent, so thank you very much for sharing this with us on Seasonal Celebration Sunday! Rebecac @ Natural Mothers Network x

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9 Jonni May 3, 2012 at 11:08 pm

We have been trying to eat what we have control over. Eggs, chicken, milk, make our own cheeses from healthy, clean milk. Beef from a local gentleman that does not use antibiotics or hormones. (Same with his milk). It is getting more and more difficult to keep this up

Just go to the childrens hospital and see the rooms filled with children fighting for their lives. (leukemias) Even the staff says they never thought that the new hospital rooms would ever be full. There is not an empty room. My sadness is that so many people accept what is being ‘fed’ to them.

Thank you for sharing this information with us….

Jonni in Arizona

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10 Bee Girl May 3, 2012 at 11:46 pm

Thank you for sharing this. I am continually disgusted and angered by what is happening to our food supply…and it is absolutely amazing to me that more people aren’t raging against this sh%t! We’re in for a world of hurt if we don’t insist on change, and quick.

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11 Nicole, The Non-Toxic Nurse June 2, 2012 at 3:13 pm

Fantastic post! Have you seen the film “The World According to Monsanto?” I did a review of it on my blog. The documentary interviews Dr. Arpad Pusztai and others.

This is my first visit to your blog, but I will be back for sure. My immediate family is also on the GAPS diet (and otherwise follows the teachings of the WAPF), and it has helped us tremendously. When I discovered Nourishing Traditions (through one of my patients) I felt that same feeling you describe in your “About” page of “coming home.”

My younger sister will finish chiropractic school very soon. I have taught her about the value of real milk and lacto-fermentation and will continue to point her in the direction of WAPF’s teachings. I will tell her about your blog too.

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12 Jill June 2, 2012 at 4:40 pm

Hi Nicole,
Very cool! We appear to have a lot in common. I’ll be visiting your blog as well.

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13 Nicole, The Non-Toxic Nurse June 2, 2012 at 4:59 pm

Your article inspired me to write a short piece on how my family deals with weeds and on finding a responsible farmer. I shared your article within my post and also on my Facebook:-)

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14 Rachel @ Rediscovering the Kitchen June 4, 2012 at 12:33 pm

Thank you for this very informative post, I think another thing we can do is to not use roundup and other chemicals in our own gardens, and perhaps encourage our neighbors to do the same. It saddens me to be worried about what my little girl is playing in… in our own back yard! As the statistics you talk about show, wind and water carry these chemicals without concern for arbitrary human boundaries.

It is a difficult feat to avoid GM foods, and it is something I am still learning much about how, but I have felt much much better from avoiding them, and so has my husband.

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15 James Cooper August 20, 2012 at 11:49 am

Almost every one of your assertions has been disproved by scientific studies. And yes, there are hundreds of studies showing the safety of GM foods. Start with academicsreview.org which disproves all of crackpot Jeffrey Smith’s assertions using peer-reviewed science. Then look at http://ec.europa.eu/research/biosociety/pdf/a_decade_of_eu-funded_gmo_research.pdf
and
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278691511006399

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16 Jill January 7, 2013 at 7:12 pm

And yet, the European Union at least required labeling of GM products. I wonder why?

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17 Laura @ Stealthy Mom January 7, 2013 at 6:05 pm

I live in southwest Iowa. Every time I see a crop duster I wonder what is going into the water next… farmers “drink the koolade” that the seed companies offer, and fight against EPA restrictions. “Organic” is such a dirty word that when our local grocery store tries to stock organic produce it will not sell unless it is seriously marked down. When I wear my “Eat No GMOs” shirt I get dirty looks. Something has to give.

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18 Jill January 7, 2013 at 7:11 pm

Hi Laura,
It’s understandable that when people’s livelihood is questioned, they will defend it. But it’s so sad that they close their minds to the facts. I’m grateful I live in a place where tolerance is practiced.

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19 Will July 2, 2013 at 11:22 pm

You don’t know they have closed minds. I farm 8500 acres in central Iowa. I can’t afford not to use roundup ready crops. Ill go bankrupt, simple as that. I will not let my children’s future hang in the balance. We put on the lightest levels possible to try and avoid and runoff. Buts it’s not a perfect world and it never will be. You have to step back and look at the world through other people’s year every once and a while and don’t just assume they are closed minded idiots that don’t care about anything.

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20 steve shea July 19, 2013 at 2:16 am

Good point, and that is why legislation and enforcement are required steps in issues like this…so farmers like you can live in a world where they can succeed without using Roundup crops, because they have been banned and no producers can use them (except perhaps in particular cases). Honestly, what kind of children’s future is it when the very water prevents your daughter (or son) from conceiving her children because of infertility caused by Roundup.

There is no reason for this stuff to be sold all over the place, not only to farmers, but to suburbanites at Home Depot to kill crabgrass in their lawns.

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21 Megan November 16, 2013 at 3:42 pm

There is also mounting evidence linking Glyphosate to the increase in Autism spectrum disorders. Of course, this is not reported in the mainstream media. They would rather publish bs studies that do nothing to reveal the underlying environmental triggers that are causing the rates to skyrocket.

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