Roundup, GM and health: especially kids and women's health
Roundup is widely used in home Gardening. in New Zealand, however its active ingredient Glyphosate is linked to infertility, birth defects, obesity, cancer, bowel and stomach disorders, kidney disease and endocrine disruption.
Mums in America had their breast milk, children's urine and tap water tested for glyphosate (the active ingredient in the weedkiller Roundup). Results were released yesterday. Glyphosate is the most commonly used weedkiller in the world. It is sprayed on most GM crops and used to dry grain and legume crops like lentils, beans, barley and wheat before harvest. It is sprayed on curbs, roadsides, playgrounds and parks.
Glyphosate is linked to infertility, birth defects, obesity, cancer, bowel and stomach disorders, kidney disease and endocrine disruption. It is also linked to autism. In the US autism has risen 30% in just the last two years. It is estimated that by 2025 half of all children (1 in 2) will be on the autistic spectrum. This is up from 1 in 10,000 in the 1970s.
Image : Gliphosate and Autism - Nancy Swanson - www.examiner.com/slideshow/gmos-glyphosate-and neurological-disorders#slide=1
Glyphosate has been found in groundwater and in the urine of European city dwellers at rates 5-20 times the allowable level in drinking water. Glyphosate was found in all humans and animals tested. People who are chronically ill have higher levels than healthy people.
Image: Journal of Environmental & Analytical Toxicology
What is happening?
Glyphosate attacks the shikimate pathway in plants and microorganisms. Since mammals do not have this pathway it was assumed that we would be unaffected by glyphosate. However only 1 in 10 of our cells is human. The vast majority of our cells are microbial, especially in our guts. We cannot digest food, make certain nutrients or detoxify without the help of the microbiome (bacteria etc) in our digestive tract. The majority of our immune system is in our gut. Glyphosate also locks up many minerals, including zinc and manganese, which are essential for our health. Watch Dr. Stephanie Seneff talk about her work on glyphosate and its links to illness (18.30 onwards). Prior to that a pro-GM scientist speaks. See whom you find more credible.
What is being done in Australia and worldwide?
Ask your council to phase out Roundup:
- Action sheet on how to get your council to phase out Roundup
- Site listing all the studies showing harm from Roundup
- If you live in the City of Yarra in Melbourne you can contact Clare Murrell, the Consultation and Research Officer, as they are currently inviting people to contribute creative ideas on ways for the council to consult with the community.
Australian groups working on pesticides:
Pesticide Action Group WA - Sign their petition for a Royal Commission into the use of pesticides and the effect on health in Australia. Please share widely;
GM-Free Australia Alliance - as part of campaigning against GM crops
Other Actions around the world include:
The Netherlands has banned the sale of glyphosate-based herbicides to private individuals after 2015;
Glyphosate has just been banned in Sri Lanka although this has been partially reversed due to lobbying by the plantation industry . Recent research shows glyphosate is causing an epidemic of fatal kidney disease. It chelates (locks onto) metals that damage kidneys, making the metals a thousand times more toxic especially in farming areas with hard water. The water is polluted with both Roundup and these metals, leading to poor farmers being most affected by the disease. It is occurring in 11 countries and 20,000 people have died;
Denmark is investigating the effect of glyphosate on animal health; and
The EU has a public consultation on the re-approval of glyphosate. Anyone worldwide can comment on the draft assessment produced by Germany. This report claims glyphosate has no toxic effects. However this assessment is based on industry studies and data which the public and scientists are not allowed to see!
Removing GM foods from your diet is likely to lessen your exposure to Roundup because most GM crops are sprayed with Roundup. This paper shows extremely high levels of glyphosate on GM soy but none on organic or conventional soy.
Eating organic food will reduce exposure even more as crops at harvest time cannot be sprayed with glyphosate to dry them.
Mums and kids in the US are reporting great improvements in health from getting rid of GM food. After two years on organic food the teachers of one child did not even realize he had once been severely autistic (9 mins in)
Video: California for GE Labeling
Pesticides, GM foods and chemicals have been allowed into our food and lives on the basis of flawed company data and the complicity of regulators. They are causing widespread damage. Watch SBS documentary Secret Life of Breasts - Pt1 and Endocrine Disruption -The Male Predicament to see the extent of the harm being done. We cannot turn away from this – our children need us to protect them and our joint future.