Celiac disease, and, more generally, gluten intolerance, is a growing problem worldwide, but especially in North America and Europe,
where an estimated 5% of the population now suffers from it. Symptoms include nausea, diarrhea, skin rashes, macrocytic anemia and
depression. It is a multifactorial disease associated with numerous nutritional deficiencies as well as reproductive issues and increased
risk to thyroid disease, kidney failure and cancer. Here, we propose that glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide, Roundup®,
is the most important causal factor in this epidemic. Fish exposed to glyphosate develop digestive problems that are reminiscent of
celiac disease. Celiac disease is associated with imbalances in gut bacteria that can be fully explained by the known effects of glyphosate
on gut bacteria. Characteristics of celiac disease point to impairment in many cytochrome P450 enzymes, which are involved
with detoxifying environmental toxins, activating vitamin D3, catabolizing vitamin A, and maintaining bile acid production and sulfate
supplies to the gut. Glyphosate is known to inhibit cytochrome P450 enzymes. Deficiencies in iron, cobalt, molybdenum, copper and
other rare metals associated with celiac disease can be attributed to glyphosate’s strong ability to chelate these elements. Deficiencies
in tryptophan, tyrosine, methionine and selenomethionine associated with celiac disease match glyphosate’s known depletion of
these amino acids. Celiac disease patients have an increased risk to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which has also been implicated in
glyphosate exposure. Reproductive issues associated with celiac disease, such as infertility, miscarriages, and birth defects, can also be
explained by glyphosate. Glyphosate residues in wheat and other crops are likely increasing recently due to the growing practice of
crop desiccation just prior to the harvest. We argue that the practice of “ripening” sugar cane with glyphosate may explain the recent
surge in kidney failure among agricultural workers in Central America. We conclude with a plea to governments to reconsider policies
regarding the safety of glyphosate residues in foods.
Celiac disease is a complex and multifactorial condition associated with gluten intolerance and a higher risk to thyroid disease, cancer and kidney disease, and there is also an increased risk to infertility and birth defects in children born to celiac mothers… In this paper we have systematically shown how all of these features of celiac disease can be explained by glyphosate’s known properties.
Glyphosate, patented as an antimicrobial (Monsanto Technology LLC, 2010), has been shown to disrupt gut bacteria in animals, preferentially killing beneficial forms and causing an overgrowth of pathogens.
Glyphosate may interfere with the breakdown of complex proteins in the human stomach, leaving larger fragments of wheat in the human gut that will then trigger an autoimmune response,leading to the defects in the lining of the small intestine that are characteristic of these fish exposed to glyphosate and of celiac patients.
A disturbing trend of crop desiccation by glyphosate pre-harvest (O’Keeffe, 1980; O’Keeffe, 1981; Stride et al., 1985; Darwent et al., 1994; Orson & Davies, 2007) may be a key factor in the increased incidence of celiac disease. According to Monsanto, glyphosate was used on some 13% of the wheat area pre-harvest in the UK in 2004. However, by 2006 and 2007, some 94% ofUK growers used glyphosate on at least 40% of cereal and 80% of oilseed crops for weed control or harvest management (Monsanto International Sàrl, 2010).
An increasing number of farmers now consider the benefits of desiccating their wheat and sugar cane crops with glyphosate shortly before the harvest (Monsanto International Sàrl, 2010). The advantage is improved harvesting efficiency because the quantity of materials other than grain or cane is reduced by 17%, due to a shutdown of growth following glyphosate treatment. Treated sugar cane crops produce drier stalks which can be baled more easily. There is a shorter delay before the next season’s crop can be planted, because the herbicide was applied pre-harvest rather than post-harvest.
An increasing number of farmers now consider the benefits of desiccating their wheat and sugar cane crops with glyphosate shortly before the harvest (Monsanto International Sàrl, 2010). The advantage is improved harvesting efficiency because the quantity of materials other than grain or cane is reduced by 17%, due to a shutdown of growth following glyphosate treatment. Treated sugar cane crops produce drier stalks which can be baled more easily. There is a shorter delay before the next season’s crop can be planted, because the herbicide
was applied pre-harvest rather than post-harvest.
Chemical methods to ripen sugar cane are commonly used, because they can substantially increase the sucrose content of the harvest (Richard & Dalley, 2009).
By 2005, it is estimated that 62% of the total harvested hectares of sugar cane in Louisiana were ripened with glyphosate (Legendre et al., 2005). A paper published in 1990 showed that glyphosate applied as a ripener on three different sugar cane varieties grown in Costa Rica produced up to a 15% increase in the sucrose content of the harvested sugar cane (Subiros, 1990). Glyphosate applied before the harvest is the only sugarcane ripener currently registered for use in the U.S.
There are multiple intriguing connections between celiac disease and microcephaly, all of which can be linked to glyphosate. Celiac disease is found in association with microcephaly in infants (Bostwick et al., 2001; Lapunzina, 2002), and teratogenic effects are also observed in children born to celiac mothers
Anthony Samsel and Stephanie Seneff, "Glyphosate, pathways to modern diseases II: Celiac sprue and gluten intolerance", Interdisciplinary Toxicology, Vol. 6(4), (2013): 159-184