The U.S. leads the world with more than 165 million acres of GMO crops, mostly Roundup Ready® crops around which are sprayed with 200 million pounds of Roundup. Monsanto owns patents on the genes of more than 93% of soybeans, 80% of corn, and 95% of sugar beets planted in the U.S., according to Food for Democracy Now. The combination of the herbicide and the genetically modified seeds and crops attracts pests, creates superweeds and resistant crop diseases that worsen each year. Cows, chickens and pigs fed these crops are getting strange diseases. These factors are affecting the entire food chain and human health. Indeed, truth is stranger than fiction. Tonight, we have an startling article by Laurie Neverman from Common Sense Homesteading written especially for the Journal that covers this topic well.–Augie
Roundup Linked to Infertility, Spontaneous Abortions and Other Health Problems
by Laurie Neverman
We have been told since its introduction in 1973 that the pesticide Roundup is a safe and effective way to control weeds. With the introduction of Roundup Ready soybeans in 1996, and Roundup Ready Corn in 1998, Roundup use soared. According to The New York Times, in 2010, Roundup Ready crops accounted for about 90% of the soybeans and 70 percent of the corn and cotton grown in the United States.
Now, we are finding that Roundup is anything but safe. GMOs have been linked to organ disruption:
A new paper shows that consuming genetically modified (GM) corn or soybeans leads to significant organ disruptions in rats and mice, particularly in livers and kidneys. By reviewing data from 19 animal studies, Professor Gilles-Eric Séralini and others reveal that 9% of the measured parameters, including blood and urine biochemistry, organ weights, and microscopic analyses (histopathology), were significantly disrupted in the GM-fed animals. The kidneys of males fared the worst, with 43.5% of all the changes. The liver of females followed, with 30.8%. The report, published in Environmental Sciences Europe on March 1, 2011, confirms that “several convergent data appear to indicate liver and kidney problems as end points of GMO diet effects.” The authors point out that livers and kidneys “are the major reactive organs” in cases of chronic food toxicity.
According the Pesticide Action Network of Aotearoa NZ, exposure to Roundup itself has also produced poisoning symptoms such as “vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, gastrointestinal infections, itchy or burning skin, skin rashes and infections (particularly prevalent in children), blisters, burning or weeping eyes, blurred vision, conjunctivitis, headaches, fever, rapid heartbeat, palpitations, raised blood pressure, dizziness, chest pains, numbness, insomnia, depression, debilitation, difficulty in breathing, respiratory infections, dry cough, sore throat, and unpleasant taste in the mouth, balance disorder; reduced cognitive capacity; seizures; impaired vision, smell, hearing and taste; drop in blood pressure; twitches and tics; muscle paralysis; peripheral neuropathy; loss of gross and fine motor skills; excessive sweating; and severe fatigue.”
So how does Roundup work, and why is it causing problems?
Contrary to popular belief (and what I thought myself before I started researching), Roundup itself does not kill weeds directly. Glyphosate, the dominant ingredient in Roundup, is a strong chelating agent. This means that it binds up nutrients in the soil. These nutrients are critical for plant growth and protection from disease. Along with glyphosate weed killers, many industrial farmers also take steps to chemically sterilize the soil before planting. In “normal” (biologically active) soil, pathogens kill the plants. In sterile soil, the glyphosate merely stunts plant growth.
In healthy soil, millions of microbes are constantly at work to break down organic matter in the soil and build humus. Healthy plant roots are protected by symbiotic mycorrhizae (fungus), which aid the plants in extracting minerals from the soil and actually produce toxins to ward off bacteria that would consume the plant.
In the industrial farm model, Roundup works in concert with the other chemical treatments not just as an herbicide, but as a biocide. Over time, it changes the soil microflora, killing the protective mycorrhizae and other beneficial bacteria. Nature abhors a vacuum, so other more hostile microbes have moved in. Doctor Don M. Huber wrote a letter to Secretary of State Tom Vilsack expressing grave concerns about decreasing crop health and the increasing incidence of infertility, stillbirths, spontaneous abortions, and other negative health effects affecting livestock feeding on crops that have been treated with glyphosate weed killers. The following is an excerpt from Dr. Huber’s letter:
I wrote the letter to Secretary Vilsack for a very simple reason: we are experiencing a large number of problems in production agriculture in the U.S. that appear to be intensified and sometimes directly related to genetically engineered (GMO) crops, and/or the products they were engineered to tolerate – especially those related to glyphosate (the active chemical in Roundup® herbicide and generic versions of this herbicide). We have witnessed a deterioration in the plant health of corn, soybean, wheat and other crops recently with unexplained epidemics of sudden death syndrome of soybean (SDS), Goss’ wilt of corn, and take-all of small grain crops the last two years. At the same time, there has been an increasing frequency of previously unexplained animal (cattle, pig, horse, poultry) infertility and spontaneous abortions. These situations are threatening the economic viability of both crop and animal producers.
Incidence of high infertility and spontaneous abortions in the various animal species is becoming more common. Often, all previously known causes of these conditions can be ruled out as factors for these particular farm operations (Attachment 2). Detailed examination for the newly recognized organism has shown its presence in all of the cases examined to date. Koch’s postulates have been completed for animals to verify the cause/effect relationship with this newly culturable organism. A search for the source of animal infections revealed a high population of this newly discovered electron microscopic sized organism in soybean meal and corn products. The organism appears compatible, and probably synergistic, with other microorganisms such as Fusarium solani fsp. glycines, the cause of SDS of soybeans and also with gram positive bacteria. The organism also is in a very high population in Goss’ wilt infected corn caused by the gram positive bacterium Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. nebraskensis.
Although most corn hybrids have been genetically resistant to Goss’ wilt, preliminary research in 2010 demonstrated that the application of glyphosate herbicide or the surfactant from glyphosate formulations nullified this resistance and rendered them fully susceptible to this pathogen (Figure 1). This disease was commonly observed in many Midwestern U.S. fields planted to RR corn in 2009 and 2010, while adjacent non-GMO corn had very light to no infections in spite of the high inoculum present in no-till crop residues (Figure 2). The increased Goss’ wilt in 2010 was a major contributor to the estimated almost one billion bushels of corn ‘lost’ last year (based on USDA August estimated yields and actually harvested crop reported by USDA in January) in spite of generally good harvest conditions.
You can watch Dr. Huber explain in more detail on Vimeo. This interview, entitled “Dr. Huber Explains Science Behind New Organism and Threat from Monsanto’s Roundup, GMOs to Disease and Infertility” was posted by Food Democracy Now!
As if all of this isn’t bad enough, Dow Chemical is set to roll out “Agent Orange Ready” corn and soybeans. OpEd news states in the article “Would You Care for a Side of Agent Orange With Your Soy Burger?”:
The Veterans Affairs Department recognizes a whole range of diseases caused by Agent Orange exposure, including skin aberrations, several different kinds of cancer, neurological damage, type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s, and a specific type of heart disease. The Obama Administration recently added more diseases to the list, expanding the number of vets eligible for benefits under Agent Orange exposure.
Why on earth would you think it’s a good idea to bathe food products in a known neurotoxin?
I encourage you to do your own research and find out the truth about Roundup. To get started I highly recommend the following articles, which were used as sources for this post:
Laurie Neverman is a homeschooling mom with a background in engineering and a passion for natural healing, homesteading and gardening.
She blogs at Common Sense Homesteading.