Glyphosate in Roundup Ready found to cause diverse health problems

May 9, 2015

Abstract: Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup®, is the most popular herbicide used worldwide. The industry asserts it is minimally toxic to humans, but here we argue otherwise. Residues are found in the main foods of the Western diet, comprised primarily of sugar, corn, soy and wheat. Glyphosate's inhibition of cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes is an overlooked component of its toxicity to mammals. CYP enzymes play crucial roles in biology, one of which is to detoxify xenobiotics. Thus, glyphosate enhances the damaging effects of other food borne chemical residues and environmental toxins. Negative impact on the body is insidious and manifests slowly over time as inflammation damages cellular systems throughout the body. Here, we show how interference with CYP enzymes acts synergistically with disruption of the biosynthesis of aromatic amino acids by gut bacteria, as well as impairment in serum sulfate transport. Consequences are most of the diseases and conditions associated with a Western diet, which include gastrointestinal disorders, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, autism, infertility, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. We explain the documented effects of glyphosate and its ability to induce disease, and we show that glyphosate is the “textbook example” of exogenous semiotic entropy: the disruption of homeostasis by environmental toxins.

Quotes: 80% of genetically modified crops, particularly corn, soy, canola, cotton, sugar beets and most recently alfalfa, are specifically targeted towards the introduction of genes resistant to glyphosate, the so-called “Roundup Ready® feature” Studies have shown sharp increases in glyphosate contamination in streams in the Midwestern United States following the mid 1990s, pointing to its increasing role as the herbicide of choice in agriculture. A now common practice of crop desiccation through herbicide administration shortly before the harvest assures an increased glyphosate presence in food sources. While short-term studies in rodents have shown no apparent toxicity, studies involving life-long exposure in rodents have demonstrated liver and kidney dysfunction and a greatly increased risk of cancer, with shortened lifespan. Glyphosate’s claimed mechanism of action in plants is the disruption of the shikimate pathway, which is involved with the synthesis of the essential aromatic amino acids, phenylalanine, tyrosine, and tryptophan. The currently accepted dogma is that glyphosate is not harmful to humans or to any mammals because the shikimate pathway is absent in all animals. However, this pathway is present in gut bacteria, which play an important and heretofore largely overlooked role in human physiology Even Roundup Ready® crops typically experience slowed growth following glyphosate applications, and this has been attributed to glyphosate’s role as a chelator of micronutrients. In early work, glyphosate was shown to interfere with the uptake of the divalent cations, calcium and magnesium, through soybean roots [33].These glyphosate-induced deficiencies would carry over to the food supply, leading to deficiencies in these nutrients in humans who consume foods derived from glyphosate-exposed crops. Beginning in around 2006, an alarming die-off of honeybees became apparent in the United States, and researchers are still struggling to understand what is causing this die-off [124]. Since the application of glyphosate also reached record levels that year, and has continued to increase since then, with no abatement in the bee colony collapse disorder, glyphosate could be playing a role in the bees' plight. While correlation does not necessary imply causation, there are strong reasons why glyphosate might interfere with bees' resistance to other environmental toxins. At first glance, pesticides might be more highly suspect, since bees are, after all, an insect. However, honeybees have an innate resistance to most pesticides, which unfortunately depends upon several CYP enzymes. For example, metabolic detoxification mediated by CYPs contributes significantly to honey bee tolerance of pyrethroid insecticides. Thus, the fact that glyphosate disrupts CYP enzymes would suggest that exposure to glyphosate would leave bees especially vulnerable to pesticides in their environment, resulting in a synergistic effect. Researchers have discovered that Roundup® is sometimes much more toxic than glyphosate by itself, and this discrepancy can be explained by the fact that Roundup® includes a surfactant which greatly enhances cytotoxic effects of glyphosate. The obesity epidemic began in the United States in 1975, simultaneous with the introduction of glyphosate into the food chain, and it has steadily escalated in step with increased usage of glyphosate in agriculture (see Figure 1 in [146]). While it is common knowledge that Americans are continuing to grow more and more obese with each passing year [147,148], there may be less awareness that obesity aligns with glyphosate usage elsewhere in the world [149]. For example, South Africa arguably has the highest obesity rates in all of Africa [150], and it is also the African country that has most heavily embraced glyphosate usage since the 1970’s and has freely adopted genetically modified crops with little regulation [151,152]. According to World Health Organization statistics [153], only 2.7% of adults in the United Kingdom were obese in 1972, a number that rose to 25.8% in 1999. Today, two thirds of U.K. citizens are either overweight or obese. Today, it is estimated that 90% of the transgenic crops grown worldwide are glyphosate resistant. Monsanto's chemicals, on their yards and farms every year. According to the most recent statistics from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) [272], the U.S. currently represents 25% of the total world market on herbicide usage. glyphosate may be the most significant environmental toxin contributing to autism. Contrary to the current widely-held misconception that glyphosate is relatively harmless to humans, the available evidence shows that glyphosate may rather be the most important factor in the development of multiple chronic diseases and conditions that have become prevalent in Westernized societies. glyphosate’s disruption of the body’s ability to detoxify other environmental toxins leads to synergistic enhancement of toxicity


Anthony Samsel and Stephanie Seneff, “Glyphosate’s Suppression of Cytochrome P450 Enzymes and Amino Acid Biosynthesis by the Gut Microbiome: Pathways to Modern Diseases”, Entropy, Vol. 15, (2013): 1416-1463 [verified 4/15/14]

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