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.”
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 .” 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.”
- Understanding Units of Measurement – SMARTe www.smarte.org/smarte/dynamic/resource/sn-units-of-measure.xml.pdf
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 .”
- Read more: http://www.omicsonline.org/teratogenic-effects-of-glyphosate-based-herbicides-divergence-of-regulatory-decisions-from-scientific-evidence-2161-0525.S4-006.php?aid=7453
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 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,
- The table of glyphosate use between 2006-2009 and ADHD hospital discharge rates for some U.S. states: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0133525
- The article: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0133525
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./