A U.S. Congressman is concerned about safety of glyphosate

“New questions about the safety of Monsanto weed killer Roundup are deeply troubling. I worked on the glyphosate issue last term and I believe consumers should immediately stop using Roundup, whose core ingredient glyphosate has been labeled a likely carcinogen and has been linked to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. We need to find out if Monsanto or the Environmental Protection Agency misled the public.”

-U.S. Congressman Ted Lieu,  “US Congressman Calls for DOJ Investigation into EPA-Monsanto Glyphosate Collusion” Mar 17 2017 – by Sustainable Pulse,

http://sustainablepulse.com/2017/03/17/us-congressman-calls-for-doj-investigation-into-epa-monsanto-glyphosate-collusion/#.WMv1yjvytPb

An employee of the EPA may have colluded with Monsanto to suppress investigation of the safety of glyphosate and the herbicide Roundup.

Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes.

Nutrient content found to be different in GMO soy; a link

Glyphosate tolerant GM soybeans were found to contain high residues of glyphosate and AMPA, a breakdown product of glyphosate. Nutrient content was also found to be different between the glyphosate tolerant GM soybeans and organically grown soybeans. The GM soybeans had less sugars, protein and zinc than the organically grown soybeans and had more omega-6, a less beneficial type of fatty acid.

Compositional differences in soybeans on the market: Glyphosate accumulates in Roundup Ready GM soybeans.

    /Disclaimer: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./

    Glycine, Cheerful Juice, and testing for glyphosate

    My experiences with taking a larger dose of the free amino acids glycine and methionine proved to my satisfaction that they are indeed essential for physical and mental health. In definition methionine is considered essential, we can not synthesize it and need an external source while glycine is considered nonessential, we can make it from other chemicals. For someone who can’t properly breakdown either though they might both be considered essential for health. It has been helping my mood and health.

    I’ve continued to take the amino acids in a half teaspoon dose since the evening I took the full teaspoon dose late at night and couldn’t get to sleep. Essential nutrients can often have ranges for how much is helpful; too little or too much of many things can cause different types of symptoms. The taste isn’t better but I’ve (almost) acquired the taste for it — the astringent tang of a Pinot Noir was the closest taste I could think of —  which does turn out to contain free amino acids, including methionine and glycine. [http://skipthepie.org/beverages/alcoholic-beverage-wine-table-red-merlot/compared-to/alcoholic-beverage-wine-table-red-pinot-noir/#proteins]

    Probably a few people can relate to the idea of red wine being a “Cheerful Juice,” it turns out that the free amino acids may have something to do with it.

    What I did find is that having a genetic defect in the metabolic pathway of an essential amino acid such as glycine can have significant negative effects on mood and energy level and that simply adding an external source of the missing nutrient can have significant positive effects.

    The genetic defect that I have may be rare, I don’t know, but if glyphosate is able to substitute for glycine within physiology then an external source of purified glycine may also be beneficial for anyone eating foods based on ingredients that may contain traces of glyphosate.

    Testing for the presence of glyphosate would not be as simple as testing for the free amino acid however; if it had been incorporated into proteins in place of glycine, then the glyphosate would only be discovered by the lab test if the longer protein chains were broken down first into the free amino acids — and glyphosate if it had been incorporated into the protein instead of glycine.

    Another way to test to see if glyphosate is being incorporated into the structure of proteins in place of glycine would be to add radioactively tagged glyphosate into a system capable of assembling proteins and then test the new mixture to see whether the radioactively tagged glyphosate was used in place of glycine within the newly synthesized protein chains.

    Glyphosate was found within vaccinations that were independently tested by a non-profit group, Moms Across America, but the company Monsanto has since stated that the lab screening that was used was invalid and the testing system Monsanto used found no residue of glyphosate in vaccinations. [http://monsantoblog.com/2016/09/13/monsanto-responds-to-flawed-study-by-samsel-claiming-glyphosate-in-vaccines/] — A test for free amino acids wouldn’t find glyphosate that had been incorporated into proteins of agar gelatin or viral proteins.

    Series on glycine and use as a supplement for genetic defect–nutrigenomics:

    1. Glycine is an Amino Acid with Neurotransmitter Roles, 10/15/2016,  http://transcendingsquare.com/2016/10/15/glycine-is-an-amino-acid-with-neurotransmitter-roles/
    2. Cheerful Juice Lives Up to its Name, 10/20/16,  http://transcendingsquare.com/2016/10/20/cheerful-juice-lives-up-to-its-name/
    3. Cheerful Juice; the morning after,  10/20/2016,  http://transcendingsquare.com/2016/10/20/cheerful-juice-the-morning-after/

    /Disclaimer: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./

    The herbicide Round-Up found more dangerous than glyphosate alone

    The herbicide Round-Up contains glyphosate which is considered the active ingredient but research suggests that the supposedly inert ingredients in the mixed product make Round-Up as much as 125 times more dangerous to health than glyphosate alone. An international society for science has assembled a review of literature on the topic within the following article:

    Round-Up ready crops have been found to require more water and do less well in drought situations than normal crops. Pigs fed GMO based foods were found to become significantly healthier when the farmer switched to non GMO based feed for them.

    Glyphosate residues have been found to drop after individuals switched to a diet based on non GMO, organic foods and autism symptoms were found to improve for individuals who were switched to a non GMO organic food diet. Single case studies may be considered anecdotal and not worth considered but each and every patient is a single case study for themselves.

    How many people need to get sick in the U.S. before we decide that we would rather not be experimented on by agribusiness and the processed food industry?

    Excerpts from the article:

    Glyphosate widespread in the environment and in our bodies

    “Due to the official ‘safe’ status of glyphosate, data on how much we are being exposed have been scarce, forcing citizen activists and civil society organizations to find out for themselves. Friends of the Earth Europe commissioned an analysis of 182 volunteers across 18 EU countries and found detectable levels in 44 % of urine samples [13] with concentrations ranging from 0.16 ug/L average in Switzerland, to 1.82ug/L in Latvia. Of the UK citizens tested, 7 out of 10 were positive. In the US, urine samples show concentrations 8 times those in Europe [13]. The analysis, commissioned by Moms Across America, also tested 10 mother’s breast milk, which came up positive for glyphosate with levels ranging from 76 µg/L to 166 µg/L (76-166 ppb) (see [14]). These levels are 760 to 1600 times higher than the European Drinking Water Directive allows for individual pesticides, and raise obvious concerns as they fall within the range of concentrations at which developmental toxicity has been observed in animal studies (see below). This analysis is the only study on breast milk to date, as no government or public health body has found it necessary to carry out any study on bioaccumulation in internal organs and tissues or in breast milk fed to infants.”

    Health of American citizens deteriorating

    “One argument for the safety of GM food and their associated pesticides is that the US has been consuming them for years without ill effect. However, in the absence of labelling GM foods, it is illegitimate to make such a claim. On the contrary, there has been a drastic deterioration of public health in the US since GM crops were introduced. A new publication by Swanson and colleagues plots the rise of 20 chronic diseases using available US government data, all correlating closely with increasing glyphosate application to corn and soy crops, especially over the past several years. The diseases included cancers, Parkinson’s, autism, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, digestive disease and kidney failure [62]. Correlation does not prove causation, but such strong association certainly cannot be dismissed, especially in combination with the plethora of other evidence from laboratory studies, and the experiences of doctors in their clinics and farmers in the fields. For a detailed analysis of the study please see [67] Marked Deterioration of Public Health Parallels Increase in GM Crops and Glyphosate Use, US Government Data Show ( SiS 65).”

    Read more: http://www.i-sis.org.uk/Roundup_of_Roundup.php

    /Disclaimer: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./

    Glyphosate, a consensus statement; a link

    The following link is to a long but very thorough paper regarding the herbicide glyphosate and what has been discovered about its potential risks to health:

    In my last post I described glyphosate and glycine as being similarly shaped puzzle pieces on one side but not the same on the other side. Another way to visualize the possible way glyphosate may be substituting for glycine would be to consider a lock and key. If the lock is being built with glyphosate instead of with glycine then the shape of the keyhole changes and the normal ‘keys’ will no longer fit in the lock in order to activate the desired function of the protein (a protein that normally contains glycine would be the lock in this example, an enzyme or other type of messenger chemical that activates it might be the key).

    /Disclaimer: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./

    Updates regarding glycine, health, and glyphosate

    9/20/2016 Updates to a couple previous posts [1, 2]: See the following post on my other website, lpaad.org  for more about use of dimethylglycine as a supplement and the gene defect that can affect its metabolism:

    A recent post included details from Professor Seneff’s talk on dietary and lifestyle tips for reducing exposure to glyphosate and which nutrients might be affected by the chemical and food sources. Increasing intake of a substance that is being inhibited can sometimes help overcome the inhibitory effect. Roughly, the theory being suggested is that glyphosate acts as a puzzle piece that can fit in one side of the puzzle but won’t fit with the other pieces, as it is partially filling the remaining open spot on the piece. Glyphosate also does not provide methyl groups as glycine would. Methyl groups help protect against cancer among other important functions such as re-methylating molecules of vitamin B12 and  folate.

    The presence of glyphosate in vaccines almost confirms that theory being presented by Professor Seneff. If it was being built right into the animal collagen  that was used in the Petri dishes for culturing the vaccine microbes, then they would be building their own growing microbe bodies out of glyphosate too.

    A building block is a building block, a puzzle piece is a puzzle piece —  whether they fit well together or not, is an important question to ask before strewing them all over the landscape and food supply, and injecting them straight into tiny infants and pregnant women.

    /Disclaimer: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./

     

    Glyphosate was found in vaccines; and tips for reducing dietary exposure

    The nonprofit organization Moms Across America paid to have five types of vaccines tested in an accredited laboratory for the presence of the herbicide glyphosate. The chemical, which was originally patented as an antibiotic and mineral chelator, has never been tested or marketed as an injectable drug. Vaccines are injected directly into the blood stream which bypasses the protection of the gastrointestinal system.

    The World Health Organization has advised that glyphosate is a probable carcinogen and it may affect hormones which would make it dangerous potentially for pregnant women and their expected infants:

    “Honeycutt continues, “The public must know that their vaccines likely contain glyphosate, a toxic weed killer, which is acknowledged by the EPA as a “reproductive effector” ( i.e.: endocrine disruptor) which “can cause liver and kidney damage” and has been shown to be a neurotoxin. The WHO has deemed glyphosate a probable carcinogen.” – Moms Across America

    The MMR II vaccine by the Merck company was found to have the highest level of glyphosate, 25 times more than what was found in the other four types of vaccines that were tested: “had levels up to 25 times higher than the other vaccines, at 2.671ppb.” The MMR II vaccine has been associated with autism as an adverse reaction (possibly due to an encephalitis reaction which then leads to the more extreme brain damage seen in patients with autism).

    This supports the theory discussed by Professor Seneff, that glyphosate may be in vaccinations due to the use of animal products in the gelatin based Petri dishes in which the antigens for the vaccinations are grown. The theory suggests that glyphosate is similar enough to the amino acid glycine that it may be being built right into the protein structure of the animals body parts which include the collagen that is used to make gelatin. The glyphosate would be acting like a puzzle piece that kind of fits in one side of the protein but has the wrong shape on the other side of the puzzle piece so no other pieces of the puzzle can be added afterwards. One part of glyphosate would fit well into the protein structure but then another part wouldn’t be able to do what glycine does – which is donate methyl groups – which can help protect against cancer.

    Some genetic canaries in the coal mine, such as myself, may have errors in the methylation cycle that disrupt the glycine function without needing any help from glyphosate. While filling my vitamin boxes for a week’s supply I was reminded that one of the supplements I added after getting my genetic methylation cycle results is . . . DMG . . . which is Dimethylglycine. I’ve been taking one of the capsules in the morning and one in the evening — but there is no guidance for how much of it I might need with my particular genetic defect.  My favorite phrase – or least favorite: “More research is needed.” Current information available suggests 2 grams of glycine per day may be a typical amount provided by the diet but ten times that amount may increase health benefits, no toxicity upper limit has been set; https://draxe.com/glycine/

    Professor Seneff included tips for how to possibly reduce your exposure to glyphosate and some strategies that have been used on farm animals who were made sick by acute exposure to glyphosate.

    Professor Seneff’s slides for her discussion lists”Some Important Nutrients“:

    • Curcumin
    • Garlic
    • Vitamin C
    • Probiotics
    • Methyl tetrahydrofolate – (this is the bioactive form of folic acid)
    • Cobalamin
    • Glutathione
    • Taurine
    • Epsom salt baths  [My how to tips for Epsom salt baths]

    She also recommends:

    • Get Grounded” — ie work on general lifestyle and stress reduction strategies;
    • Eat organically grown foods whenever possible;
    • Eat foods containing the mineral manganese; (as glyphosate is a mineral chelator which may limit manganese’s availability for essential functions.) She mentions a few foods and shares an image which appears to include: organic whole grains, seeds, organic tofu and other beans, shellfish, tea, dark green leafy vegetables. This list provides more information — for example cardamom and pumpkin pie spice are sources of manganese:  http://nutritiondata.self.com/foods-000126000000000000000.html
    • Eat foods containing sulfur; (and/or take the Epsom salt baths which would supply magnesium and sulfur.) She mentions a few foods and shares an image which appears to include: beer, cabbage, organic eggs, especially the yolk, crab, shrimp and scallops, cheese, onions, garlic, organic liver, chicken, and something I’m not going to try to guess. Based on this list of the sulfur content of many foods the image may include a picture of dried apricots:  http://apjcn.nhri.org.tw/server/info/books-phds/books/foodfacts/html/data/data5g.html

    Professor Seneff speaks very quickly, I may have missed some of her tips for trying to protect yourself from exposure to glyphosate.

    She includes information about extracts from common plants that can treat glyphosate poisoning including:

    Extracts from common plants such as dandelion, barberry, and burdock can protect from damage, especially if administered prior to exposure.”* (*C Gasnier et al. Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology 2011, 6:3). [https://occup-med.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1745-6673-6-3]

    And cows with glyphosate poisoning have been treated with:

    Activated charcoal, bentonite clay, humic and fulvic acids, and sauerkraut juice have been shown to be effective in reducing glyphosate and improving animal health.“** (** H Gerlach et al., J Environ Anal Toxicol 2014, 5:2). [http://www.omicsonline.org/open-access/oral-application-of-charcoal-and-humic-acids-influence-selected-gastrointestinal-microbiota-2161-0525.1000256.pdf]

    See the research papers for more detail and a functional medicine professional may be able to help guide individualized treatments with some of the items that are mentioned such as activated charcoal– but seek guidance, professional help is recommended even when using natural treatments.

    /Disclaimer: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./

    The herbicide glyphosate is similar to glycine, an amino acid

    The herbicide glyphosate was originally patented as an antibiotic and as a mineral chelator (a protein that can bind and transport minerals). It has been in use as an agricultural herbicide since 1975. However it’s use greatly increased in the last ten years since genetically modified Round-Up Ready crops were developed. A professor from Massachusetts Institute of Technology has been researching glyphosate and it’s possible role in the development of autism.

    Professor Seneff gave two presentations at an Autism One conference earlier this year. The PowerPoint slides to the lectures are available in links included in the Tweets below, click these links for the pdfs to each video: people.csail.mit.edu/seneff/2016…

    The first video includes more information about the chemical similarity between glyphosate and glycine. Glycine is an amino acid that provides methyl groups. Glyphosate is very similarly shaped but has an extra side chain and it wouldn’t provide methyl groups. It is possibly similarly shaped enough, however, for glyphosate to be incorporated into the structure of proteins instead of glycine. It would be like a puzzle piece that fits into another piece but won’t allow any other pieces to be added. Glyphosate may fit in glycine’s spot within a protein but then wouldn’t provide any methyl groups and the extra side chain could interfere with receptor function – like having an extension cord with prongs that no longer can fit into an electric socket because the socket is already blocked with something else.

    The risk to health if this is true could be significant. Many proteins contain glycine and any one of them might be important in a variety of ways which glyphosate could disrupt. This is in very early stages of research but the impact could also affect vaccinations because the collagen used to culture material for vaccinations could contain glyphosate instead of glycine if the animals from which the collagen was obtained had been raised with feed containing glyphosate residue.

    Zika virus that grew in an environment that contained glyphosate might have it incorporated into proteins instead of glycine which could be making the disease far more dangerous prenatally than it had been in past decades before glyphosate became widely used. Zika infections had not been associated with microcephaly until recently. The second video goes into more detail about how glyphosate could be making Zika more dangerous.

    Professor Seneff explains in more detail about the glycine/glyphosate similarity in the first video:

    I will get back to this topic after rewatching the videos and taking notes on the recommendations she makes about food and lifestyle strategies for reducing glyphosate exposure or reducing glyphosate levels that may be stored within the body.

    9/20/2016 Update: See the following posts for more about glycine and glyphosate:

    Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes.

    Glyphosate was created as an antibiotic and mineral chelator but is being used as an herbicide

    Every cell in our bodies depends on mitochondria to produce energy from stored sugar. Mitochondria are actually bacterial in origin. They are smaller than human cells and have their own DNA that is different from the the human cell DNA. Glyphosate is presumably safe for use in the human food supply because it only affects a metabolic pathway found in plants and bacteria however if every cell of our human bodies also depends on mitochondria which are bacterial in origin then is the antibiotic glyphosate truly safe for human use? Or for use in food for farm animals – which also depend on mitochondria to produce energy from sugar (glucose is the form of sugar that is broken down for energy within mitochondria).

    A concerned scientist has been studying the topic for years and has been writing about the topic, read more: http://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/roundup-the-nontoxic-chemical-that-may-be-destroying-our-health/   The topic is dangerous to write about however within the current business world which seems to be oriented to support corporate profit  over the long term viability of our ecosystem. The authors of that paper have been labeled ‘debunked’ or something similarly dismissive.

    Glyphosate is being sprayed on invasive plants in wild areas and within waterways that are overgrown with invasive plants. However the affects of the antibiotic and mineral chelator on the desirable plants and wildlife is not known. A mineral chelator generally has been thought of as helpful, the phrase refers to chemicals that can bind onto a mineral and help transport it into cells or into the body from the gut. A mineral chelator that binds onto toxic minerals and helps transport them into the body might be not helpful or a mineral chelator that binds onto nutrients in the soil and prevents them from being absorbed by the plant would also be not helpful to the plant or possible to the humans or animals eating the plant.

    Glyphosate was first patented as an antibiotic and as a mineral chelator before it was developed into an herbicide.

    Glyphosate has been found in all samples of California wine that was tested in one study and it was found in over 40% of organically grown honey that was tested in another study and in over 60% of the commercially produced samples of honey. The chemical can be difficult and expensive to screen for using many of the typical methods however another method was used for screening the samples of honey:

    The a1nalytical program included the extraction of glyphosate from the various matrices and the subsequent determination of glyphosate residues by enzyme linked immune sorbent assay (ELISA).” “(Figure 4) depicts the concentration of glyphosate in honey samples grouped by growing method of source pollen: organic (11 samples) and traditional (58 samples); 5 of the 11 organic samples had glyphosate concentrations above the method LOQ with a range of 26 to 93 ng/g and a mean of 50 ng /g. Of the fifty-eight non-organic honey samples, thirty-six samples, or sixty-two percent (62%), contained glyphosate concentrations above the method LOQ, with a range of 17 to 163 ppb and a mean of 66 ppb.

    Read more: http://www.omicsonline.org/open-access/survey-of-glyphosate-residues-in-honey-corn-and-soy-products-2161-0525.1000249.php?aid=36354

    Figure 5 includes data comparing samples of honey produced in countries that don’t allow GMO Round-Up Ready crops with samples from countries that do. Samples from countries that don’t allow GMO crops had an average of 31 ng /g of glyphosate compared to 71 ng/g of glyphosate found in the samples of honey produced in countries that do allow GMO crops.  “Although glyphosate is not acutely toxic to bees, it is chronically toxic to animals and is reported to disrupt the endocrine system [35,36] and a recent study indicates that honey bees exposed to increasing sub-lethal concentrations of glyphosate exhibit a decrease in acetyl cholinesterase (AChE) activity [37].” Further study is recommended in order to further assess whether glyphosate might be adding to the loss of bee hives that has been associated with use of neonicotinoid chemicals. Read more: http://www.omicsonline.org/open-access/survey-of-glyphosate-residues-in-honey-corn-and-soy-products-2161-0525.1000249.php?aid=36354

    Fewer samples of wine produced in California were tested but 100% of the samples (n=10) were found to have glyphosate contaminants. The wine produced from grapes grown organically  did have less of the contaminant than the commercially produced wine. That may not help the people living in the areas where grapes are grown for the California wine: “According to the CA Dept of Health, breast cancer rates in the Sonoma, Napa and Mendocino counties is 10 to 20 percent higher than the national average.” “German scientists have shown that 0.1 ppb of glyphosate, which is patented as an antibiotic, has been shown to destroy the beneficial gut bacteria and promote the proliferation of pathogenic gut bacteria.(2)” “0.1ppt of glyphosate has also been shown to stimulate the growth of breast cancer cells.(3)” “Glyphosate has also been shown to increase antibiotic resistance, which could be leading to superbugs (9)” Read more:  https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/yesmaam/pages/680/attachments/original/1458830087/GlyphosateContaminationinWinePressReport_(2).pdf?1458830087

    So how much glyphosate might be too much? — Not much if 0.1 ppb is enough to destroy our beneficial gut bacteria and 0.1 ppt is enough to stimulate growth of breast cancer cells. And if it’s presence in the environment is increasing the risk of more pathogens developing antibiotic resistance than any of it might already have been too much for people with antibiotic resistant pneumonia.

    And how much glyphosate might be deadly? — Twenty milliliters was not quite enough for at least one suicidal patient who did manage to make herself sick with a antibiotic resistant bacterial infection after ingesting the 20 ml of glyphosate in a suicide attempt (this is sad but is not uncommon – many people commit suicide by eating agricultural chemicals). (Twenty milliliters would be equal to about 4 teaspoons of glyphosate.) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4289481/

    How many ppb in one milliliter? –> search engine –>

    “This is the same as grams per 1,000 liters, which may be converted to milligrams per liter (mg/L). Therefore, 1 g/ m3 = 1 mg/L = 1 ppm. Likewise, one milligram per cubic meter (mg/m3) is the same concentration in water as one microgram per liter (ug/L), which is about 1 ppb.”

    So not much glyphosate is needed to cause negative health effects in humans and in the environment. It can break down quickly but may also take up to twenty years to completely break down. If excessive amounts of glyphosate are allowed to accumulate it may become difficult for normal seeds to be able to grow and genetic modification might be necessary for producing any viable crops in areas where glyphosate residue becomes prevalent (such as in any countries that allow GMO crops and use of glyphosate as a desiccant.)

    How much might be too much in nature? One part per million (1 ppm) equivalent to what might be found in the environment of countries that use glyphosate was found to be enough of a dose to produce deformities in 60% of the tadpoles of a tree frog. “Jayawardena et al. (2010) found nearly 60% malformations in tadpoles of the tree frog Polypedates cruciger treated with an environmentally relevant concentration of 1 ppm Roundup.” The formulated product (glyphosate plus surfactants or other additives) was found to be more harmful to offspring than the glyphosate alone. How much is too much in our food supply? We don’t know for sure but we are beginning to know more about how much may be present in our food supply: “Residues of up to 17 mg/kg of glyphosate have been found in harvested soybean crops [10].

    Back to the search engine –> “1 mg/kg = 1000 ppb” So –> “Residues of up to [17000 ppb or 17,000,000 ppm] of glyphosate have been found in harvested soybean crops.” Which seems like it would be enough to cause malformations in at least 60% of tree frog tadpoles if they were exposed to Round-Up Ready soy.

    Maybe it is completely safe for everyone — except the 2% who are developing autism and the 5.3 million people living with Alzheimer’s Disease.  North Dakota has the highest rate of mortality due to Alzheimer’s Disease and Nevada has the lowest rate.  http://www.alzheimers.net/resources/alzheimers-statistics/

    Most glyphosate used at harvest time is done on spring and durum wheat, and mostly in the northern tier States (North Dakota & Montana) and ...”  This article is debunking a different article about use of glyphosate as a desiccant – this article states that is actually a rare practice – except possibly in North Dakota and Montana. Read more:  http://weedcontrolfreaks.com/2014/11/glyphosate-use-in-wheat/

    The search engine suggests that glyphosate has been used for invasive plant control in Nevada but did not turn up agricultural references. A study on use of glyphosate for helping establish native plants in an area with invasive plants. The glyphosate use on the invasives did help with getting the native plantings established instead. http://sfc.smallfarmcentral.com/dynamic_content/uploadfiles/152/Nevada.pdf

    The search term results: https://www.google.com/search?q=use+of+glyphosate+in+Nevada&rlz=1C1CHWA_enUS600US600&oq=use+of+glyphosate+in+Nevada&aqs=chrome..69i57.4494j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

    The search turned up a paper that has since been retracted after it was published due to some delay in the peer review process but the paper can still be viewed. It suggests there is a correlation between glyphosate use which causes an increased need for nitrogen based fertilizers because the glyphosate can affect soil bacteria that normally would make nitrogen more available so more nitrogen based fertilizer is required and which can lead to more nitrogen dioxide being released into the air which can affect ADHD risk and is also a gas involved in global warming. the paper turned up in my search terms because Nevada didn’t have some data that other states had made available. States with data available regarding glyphosate use between 2006-2009 suggest that Arizona and Utah used less than in previous years,

    It took fifty years or so before corporate control of science regarding cancer risk and smoking was freely available to consumers and it has taken twenty or so years to reveal Exxon’s role in denying the impact of fossil fuel use on climate change. It may take a while to reveal that spraying an antibiotic and mineral chelator is bad for soil health and health of other life forms. In the mean time I will continue to try to avoid sources of Round-up. It may be the combination of the adjuvants/surfactants that are used with the glyphosate that makes it more of a risk for neurodegenerative harm such as autism or ADHD than studies with glyphosate alone have suggested or it may be the changes in nitrogen based fertilizer use as suggested by the (retracted) article on ADHD and Round-Up.

    /Disclosure: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./

    CYP enzymes are needed to produce both 25 vitamin D and 1, 25 hormone D; and more on glyphosate

    The CYP enzymes that were mentioned as being inhibited by glyphosate and necessary for the conversion of 25 hydroxy D into the active 1, 25 dihydroxy D form turn out to also be essential for conversion of vitamin D3* into the 25 hydroxy D form [12] — so glyphosate could be the smoking gun that explains why U.S. citizens on average had lower 25 hydroxy D levels than Canadians (who presumably live farther North and receive less direct sunshine over the course of a year).

    • *I have read more recently that supplements of the D3 version are active in the vitamin D receptor so it may not need the same CYP enzymes to be activated as the D2 supplement form does but the D2 form is more commonly available in supplements, double check the supplement bottle when shopping to see which type is included.  See: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19944755

    And this could help explain why taking high doses of supplemental vitamin D has not been found effective to help raise patient’s 25 hydroxy D levels — if the person has glyphosate within their body inhibiting the CYP enzyme then they wouldn’t be able to convert the vitamin D supplement into the 25 hydroxy D form that the lab test is checking for and the supplemental form wouldn’t show up on lab tests for the 25 hydroxy form (which in normal health would then be available as needed to be converted by a CYP enzyme into the active 1, 25 dihydroxy D form whenever the active form was needed). There are multiple types of CYP enzymes with a variety of roles. Breaking down the active form, 1, 25 dihydroxy D, also requires a type of CYP enzyme.

    CYP enzymes are also involved in the production of bile salts which help with the digestion of fat. Intestinal problems with symptoms of fatty diarrhea can occur when there is limited bile salts available and fat soluble nutrients may be more poorly absorbed (which includes vitamin D as well as vitamin A and E).

    Glyphosate was not originally developed as an herbicide it was first used medically as a mineral chelator (binds with minerals) and as an antibiotic:

    It’s important to realize that glyphosate is not “just” an herbicide. As explained by Dr. Huber, it was first patented as a mineral chelator. It immobilizes nutrients, so they’re not physiologically available for your body. [4]

    “You may have the mineral [in the plant], but if it’s chelated with glyphosate, it’s not going to be available physiologically for you to use, so you’re just eating a piece of gravel,” Dr. Huber says. [4]

    Glyphosate is alsopatented as an antibiotic—and a very effective one at that— against a large number of beneficial organisms. Unfortunately, like all antibiotics, it also kills vitally important beneficial soil bacteria and human gut bacteria. [4]

    “Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, Enterococcus faecalis—these are organisms that keep you healthy either by providing accessibility to the minerals in your food or producing many of the vitamins that you need for life. They’re also the natural biological defenses to keep Clostridium, Salmonella, and E.coli from developing in your system,” Dr. Huber explains. [4]

    “When you take the good bacteria out, then the bad bacteria fill that void, because there aren’t any voids in nature. We have all of these gut-related problems, whether it’s autism, leaky gut, C. difficile diarrhea, gluten intolerance, or any of the other problems. All of these diseases are an expression of disruption of that intestinal microflora that keeps you healthy.” [4]

    Glyphosate first came into use as an agricultural herbicide in the U.S. in 1974. Use of the herbicide in the U.S. increased significantly around 2005 when the use of genetically modified Round-UP Ready crops became more common.  “Nearly 67 % of total agricultural glyphosate use in the U.S. since 1974 has occurred in just the last 10 years (Table 2).” [3] Table 3 from the same reference shows a significant increase in use of glyphosate also occurred between 1995 to 2000 but then the total use doubled again between 2000 and 2005 and has not quite doubled again between 2005 and 2014. Table 4 shows that the timing of use and increase of use is similar for global averages. And Table 5 simplifies the information by showing the amount used each decade since 1974 as a percentage of the total; 71.6% of the total agricultural use occurred in the years between 2005 and 2014. Glyphosate is also used as a spray along railroad tracks and other areas where an herbicide that kills all types of plants is desired (and frequently glyphosate used for non-agricultural purposes may be used in those areas at higher concentrations than recommended for agricultural uses or it may be sprayed more often).  [3]

    It is unethical to use humans as research test subjects for assessing the toxicity of a substance but when a substance is approved for use in the food supply then the entire population become test subjects (whether they know or not). Comparing health data between communities or countries that don’t use glyphosate products and those that do then becomes a way to assess toxicity of the substance — without having to worry about any pesky ethical issues in research design — the government says the stuff is safe so it must be safe right? The entire population where a product is in use can be assumed to be in the experimental group on average; individuals may or may not be consuming the same amounts of the substance but on average within the country or community where a product is in the use the average person may be assumed to have been exposed to an average amount that would be more than the average amount of exposure that an individual living in a country or community where the product is not in use making those individuals part of the control group — less exposed to the substance in question.

    Assessing the health of populations that may be exposed to larger amounts of the suspected toxin can be another way to do “human” research without directly giving toxins to experimental test subjects in one group and not giving the toxins to the control group.

    Agricultural workers might be exposed to more of an agricultural herbicide or pesticide than people who simply are eating foods that might have herbicide or pesticide residues. And sure enough agricultural workers do seem to be suffering from negative health affects due to glyphosate. Kidney failure has been a problem among sugar cane cutters and glyphosate is now used as a desiccant applied to the crop just before harvest. Kidney failure has also been observed in agricultural workers in Costa Rica and India:

    Agricultural workers in Costa Rica and India are experiencing high rate of kidney failure.” – [2]

    Looking at the rates of increase in disease compared to the rate of increase in use of the suspected toxin can be another way to do “human” research without directly giving an experimental group toxins and not giving the toxin to the control group. When looking at the rate of disease increase there are over thirty diseases including autism and Alzheimer’s Disease with increasing rates of incidence that overlap the increased rate of glyphosate and genetically engineered proteins in our food supply:

    2. Epidemiological patterns show there’s an identical rise in over 30 human diseases correlated with our increased usage of glyphosate and the increased prevalence of genetically engineered proteins in our food. [4]

    Genetically engineered proteins refers to the mystery substances that can be created during the process of developing genetically modified organisms. Genes from one species are inserted into the DNA of the organism that is being modified. The segment of DNA that is inserted may contain many individual genes that encode a variety of proteins in addition to the desired one (such as resistance to glyphosate). New allergenic proteins can be created in addition to the desired goal (of resistance to glyphosate for example). [4]

    Do we want a food supply based on traditional foods that nourish the body as nature designed? Or do we want a corporate profit system that sells food like substances that are actually man-made, untested experiments? Genetically modified crops have been shown to have less nutrient content and more herbicide and pesticide residue than traditional crops as well as the mystery genetically engineered proteins.

    To give a gross but memorable example – what if the makers of clam tomato juice (a real product used in some alcoholic drinks) wanted to save their product from the risk of ocean acidity or increased temperatures in fresh water ecosystems [5] causing a reduction in the number of clams available for making clam juice and so they decided to develop a genetically modified clam flavored tomato?

    The segment of DNA that encodes for clam aroma might be selected for insertion into a tomato seed’s DNA. The segment of DNA from the clam, however, might also include a few other genes that encode for shellfish proteins that cause allergies. If the genetically modified tomato incorporates not only the clam aroma gene but also incorporates some allergy causing shellfish protein genes then the resulting genetically modified clam-tomato would be an allergy risk to people with shellfish allergies.

    This would not be a problem if the GM clam-tomato was only used to make clam tomato juice as consumers with shellfish allergies would have a product label that suggested there was clam content in the substance but if the GM clam tomatoes ended up being grown as a replacement for most of the tomatoes and were used in most tomato products  then the shellfish allergic person might not know to start avoiding all tomato products in addition to having to avoid all shellfish products. (This is a smelly and not realistic example; if the GM hybrid worked as hoped then the clam aroma would be obvious whether the label mentioned GMO or not and so shellfish allergy sufferers would likely learn to avoid tomato products after having a few bad reactions or to at least sniff them before eating.)

    I digress and am now giggling, sorry for the smelly example. Except that people with fish allergies actually may be at risk from a different type of genetically modified tomatoes:

    Tomatoes have been developed that resist frost and freezing temperatures with antifreeze genes from a cold-water fish, the winter flounder (Pseudopleuronectes americanus). [9]

    The cold-water fish-tomato GMO has not been approved yet for general use so fish allergy sufferers can eat tomato products without worry (yet, tomato isn’t on this list of GMO crops that have been approved for general use: [10] *and I haven’t cross checked this reference for validity, it may be a joke, I read it on the internet after all aplogies to the scientists involved if it isn’t a joke.

    But do we really want a food supply based on man-made untested experiments? Or on man-made untested herbicides that may have originally been designed as mineral chelators or antibiotics? Or on man-made untested experiments that produce pesticides within the portion of the plant that is intended to be sold for human or animal consumption? (Bt GMOs are designed to produce a bacterial toxin within all parts of the plant so insects eating any part of the plant will be killed by the bacterial toxin. The GM Bt toxin turns out to be a slightly different shape than the type of Bt toxin that was traditionally used as a surface spray pesticide and which was used as a basis for safety expections about the Bt GMOs. [8] More on Bt crops and other references are in the last post.)

    Genetic modification is not well controlled with one specific gene being inserted into the plant to by modified.  A segment with many genes may be inserted and a number of changes can occur within the new species of plant. We are playing with Mother Nature or God’s roles in the creation of life. Genetic modification may be profitable for the agribusinesses or chemical company but it may be costing our environment and individual health more than we realize. Our food supply is not the only species at risk for human manipulation. Goats have been genetically modified to produce spider silk proteins within their milk which is then filtered out to be used to “make a lightweight, ultra-strong silk with a wide range of industrial and medical uses.” [9] *I didn’t cross check this for validity.  (While that’s great for humans is it healthy for the new species baby spider-goats? *my term. The article does not mention whether baby spider-goats are allowed to nurse from their mother’s or if they are bottle fed goat milk from normal goats.)

    If there’s a summary point it may be that we really need to stop the use of glyphosate and Round-Up Ready genetically modified crops and Bt crops and any others that have been associated with up to or over 30 diseases. “Proof” that something is harmful can be difficult to provide when human clinical trials can’t ethically be performed due to the risks of the experimental substance. We have to rely on the less clear but increasing large amount of circumstantial evidence that humans (and animals and insects and soil microbes) are being harmed by the man-made and largely untested experimental crops and chemical herbicides and pesticides. Agricultural workers as a group are among the most at-risk group of industrial workers for suffering acute or long-term health problems due to chemical exposure [6] — they are producing our “food” or are they producing our “food-like toxin delivery units“?

    Lack of protective gear and safety information in a foreign language are part of the problem of farm-worker poisonings. The majority of acute (short-term high dose exposure) poisonings occur in developing nations even though the they don’t use the majority of total pesticides used globally. “As a result of the frequently problematic handling of pesticides in developing countries, 70% of all pesticide poisonings and 99% of resulting deaths occur in these countries, despite the fact that of all pesticides used globally, only 25% are applied there.[41]” [6]

    It’s a little unrealistic but individually if enough consumers stopped buying all of the Round-Up Ready GMO crops and crops that use it as a desiccant and Bt crops then maybe eventually the agribusiness profit margin would be affected enough to lead to their spontaneously stopping the use of those products. I won’t hold my breath though, I will just continue avoiding the products myself as I have found they do make my autoimmune symptoms worse.

    This is likely an incomplete list but just for starters:

    The glyphosate avoid list: “corn, soy, sugar beets, canola oil, and cottonseed oil, as well as wheat and sugar cane” (glyphosate is used as a desiccant on wheat and sugar cane) [http://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/roundup-the-nontoxic-chemical-that-may-be-destroying-our-health/]

    The Bt avoid list: corn, cotton (the cotton crop may be used to make cottonseed oil which is used in prepared deep fried foods, in margarine, and other oily packaged foods). [9, 10] *I’m not sure if this means cotton clothing should also be avoided as a source of glyphosate exposure or if it is just in reference to the cottonseed oil products.

    And soy has been modified not only to be glyphosate resistant but it has also been developed to produce two types of Bt toxin. [11]

    At least 90 percent of the soy, cotton, canola, corn and sugar beets sold in the United States have been genetically engineered. The adoption of herbicide-resistant corn, which had been slower in previous years, has accelerated, reaching 89 percent of U.S. corn acreagein 2014 and in 2015, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. [9]

    Genetically modified products can be life saving, and they may even be able to help save species at risk from widespread infections (papaya was at great risk from a virus and the genetic modification made a GMO virus resistant strain of papaya), but they can also be a wild-card with unknown effects on the environment and within humans and other species. The genetically modified papaya may have risks for allergy sufferers as the virus protein that was used has similar chemical structure to a known allergen and wind is causing cross-pollination and hybridization of the virus resistant strains with organic farmer’s natural strains of papaya which can then leave them at risk of being sued by the chemical company Monsanto for use of patented crop. [12]

    “If you control the seed, you control the food; if you control the food, you control the people.” – an old saying shared by Hawaii Co. Councilwoman Margaret Wille at a “March against Monsanto” rally. [13]

    Hawaii has had a significant amount of herbicides and pesticides and GMO crops used on the chain of islands because the Monsanto company has been raising the GMO seeds there. Hawaii Co. councilwoman Margaret Wille also shared the concern of farmers who would like to be able to sell their crops to Japan and European countries that have banned GMO crops. If wind can cause cross-hybridization of an organic crop that not only places the farmer at risk of a lawsuit by Monsanto it also makes the crop unable to be sold to Japan or other countries that have banned GMO crops. [14]

    There is a market for non-GMO food. Crops and soil microbes and weeds are at risk of incorporating genes from genetically modified crops into their own genetic structure through cross pollination with the GMO pollen or horizontal gene transfer. The segments of genes that are inserted into a plant to create a GMO can transfer to some other types of species such as soil microbes directly in a way somewhat similar to the way the scientist made the GMO. The gene segments were designed to invade and be incorporated into the species being modified and once they are in widespread use in nature they may be continuing to invade and be incorporated into many other life forms to create super weeds and possibly may be adding to the problem of increasing varieties of drug resistant bacteria and the more virulent viral diseases that are being spread at increased rates by mosquitoes. [14]

    Human health and Vitamin D and hormone D are important but so is protecting the environment and all of its many life forms from mobile mutant gene segments. Humans are not Mother Nature or God and so we need to stop pretending that random genetic experiments are automatically safe for widespread use with only minimal testing.

    Increased rates of over thirty diseases have been associated with the introduction of GMO crops and the increased use of glyphosate and 70% of the glyphosate has been used in just the last ten years. What are we to expect regarding chronic illness and more virulent virus and drug resistant bacteria in another ten years?

    *This veered away from glyphosate’s inhibition of the CYP enzyme and vitamin D and whatever my original point might have been (that glyphosate may be inhibiting the conversion of supplemental vitamin D into the form the lab tests look for — 25 hydroxy D as well as inhibiting the activation of 25 hydroxy D into the hormone form 1, 25 dihydroxy D which is essential for many things including immune health), into a more general discussion of GMOs and the environment, but the connection is that most species have many similarities in how their bodies work. And problems in human health are going to suggest problems will be occurring in other mammals’ health — our pets, livestock and wildlife. The enzymes for vitamin and hormone D and the functions of  vitamin D receptor act in the same ways across many species and types of life. Health problems are likely to show up throughout the food chain due to the glyphosate being applied on food crops and for non agricultural purposes.

    It lingers in the environment and in our bodies as it’s not readily broken down. Ten years of heavy use has already led to super weeds and health problems and the approval of DDT for GMO use — we need to stop risking we don’t know what kind of consequences as more toxins add up and interact in ways we also don’t know the consequences of. GMOs are very helpful but should be tested in small isolated areas for many years before being released into general use. And the issue of horizontal gene transfer and risk of more super-weeds and more virulent or drug resistant bacteria developing is a serious one that should be considered also. Genetic modification may need to be limited for use in general — it is an ethical question facing future generations as the chemicals linger.

    As individuals we can avoid using glyphosate products on our own lawns and gardens. We can also try to buy more organic choices of the foods listed above but truly avoiding all of those foods is extremely difficult as they are used as ingredients in many types of processed foods that you wouldn’t think of as corn or soy or cottonseed oil (deep fried snack foods like chips). But for people who are really sick it may be worth trying to use less of the listed foods and see if you feel better. Food is our fuel and our building blocks to repair and regrow.

    /Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and  the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./

    1. Jones G, et. al., Cytochrome P450-mediated metabolism of vitamin D, J Lipid Res. 2014 Jan; 55(1): 13–31. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3927478/
    2. Seneff, S., Roundup (C): The Elephant in the Room, MIT CSAIL, Oct. 16, 2013,  [https://people.csail.mit.edu/seneff/glyphosate/glyphosate_wellesley.pptx]
    3. Charles M. Benbrook, Trends in Glyphosate herbicide use in the United States and globallyEnvironmental Sciences EuropeBridging Science and Regulation at the Regional and European Level 2016 28:3 (Feb. 2, 2016)
      https://enveurope.springeropen.com/articles/10.1186/s12302-016-0070-0
    4. Dr. Mercola, Toxicology Expert Speaks Out About Roundup and GMOs(Oct. 16, 2013) http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/10/06/dr-huber-gmo-foods.aspx
    5. by Guy Woodward, Daniel M. Perkins, Lee E. Brown, Climate change and freshwater ecosystems: impacts across multiple levels of organizationhttp://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/365/1549/2093 *Interesting but unrelated to CYP enzymes or glyphosate: Increased freshwater temperature can be expected to impact species’ need for nutrients as the basal metabolic rate (BMR) is increased at higher temperatures and it also increases with larger body size. So larger species may have a difficult time increasing their foraging enough to meet their increased calorie needs as their environment becomes warmer on average.

      “Essentially, because individual basal metabolic rate (BMR) is set by body size and temperature, respiratory costs will rise as BMR increases, and this will be most pronounced among larger organisms at higher temperatures (Brown et al. 2004; figure 4a).”

    6. Pesticides and Health Hazards: Facts and Figures, Pestizid Aktions-Netzwerk e.V PAN Germany, (2012)  http://www.pan-germany.org/download/Vergift_EN-201112-web.pdf
    7. [http://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/roundup-the-nontoxic-chemical-that-may-be-destroying-our-health/]
    8. http://earthopensource.org/gmomythsandtruths/sample-page/3-health-hazards-gm-foods/3-8-myth-gm-bt-insecticidal-crops-harm-insects-harmless-animals-people/
    9. http://www.livescience.com/40895-gmo-facts.html
    10. http://time.com/3840073/gmo-food-charts/
    11. http://www.nationofchange.org/2015/01/11/new-double-bt-toxic-soy-just-approved-us-department-agriculture/
    12. http://butterbeliever.com/trouble-in-paradise-gmo-papayas-from-hawaii/
    13. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/05/us/on-hawaii-a-lonely-quest-for-facts-about-gmos.html?_r=0
    14. Hawaii Co. Councilwoman Margaret Wille on bill to ban GMO on the islandhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OY_nYv_7uI4