Toxins in Our Bodies
I read that Glyphosate is found in nearly every human being’s system: babies, toddlers, children, adults, male, female in 18 countries (see Mercola article at end of this post). Glyphosate is the active ingredient in RoundUp, the herbicide used to keep plant material from growing along train tracks, highways, guard rails, and is sprayed on GMO crops in massive amounts to control weeds. Glyphosate has made its way into our nation’s waterways, soil (it is a microbe killer), and into our bodies.
Here is a blog post from Moms Across America with studies linking Glyphosate to all kinds of health issues, birth defects and infertility. Scroll down to the bottom of the MAA post for links to the studies; these are published studies on the effects of Glyphosate on the human body.
Glyphosate may not be a household word, but Roundup* is. You likely spray it on your weeds, or your neighbor does. Your children’s school definitely does. Your city sprays it on your sidewalks and parks and the farmers who grow your food have been told it’s the best thing since sliced bread to spray on the grounds surrounding almond trees, fruit trees, strawberries and almost every non-organic vegetable grown in America. Roundup is the most widely used pesticide in the world, 185 million pounds (1) are used in the USA alone each year and glyphosate is the active chemical ingredient.
Glyphosate isn’t the only ingredient in RoundUp that poses a danger to humans:
“Researchers have found that one of Roundup’s inert ingredients can kill human cells, particularly embryonic, placental and umbilical cord cells,” writes Crystal Gammon in her Scientific American article Weed-Whacking Herbicide Proves Deadly to Human Cells.
Where’s the Proof?
What about the long-term health effects of eating GMO foods? Why are there no published studies proving their dangers?
Many believe an absence of published studies in the US indicating the harmful effects of GMOs to mean that those foods are safe; Monsanto holds the patents on their genetically engineered seeds, and therefore, control the research. They have final approval on what is published about any research conducted on their patented seeds and the resulting crops. As the patents expire (beginning this year) I believe we will begin to see more research results, but still cannot completely trust the results as Monsanto money flows freely to universities here in the US. What happens to a research program when Monsanto threatens to stop the flow of money because of their research? This is how the big chemical companies control research in the US. That and blacklisting researchers who insist on publishing negative findings. It is an ugly world out there for those who want to learn and share the truth about GMOs (or medicine or pharmaceuticals or the environment or government spying — whistleblowers can expect to be blacklisted, banished, investigated by the IRS, sued, imprisoned or eliminated — sounds like a John Grisham novel, doesn’t it).
Chemical Assault — What Can We do?
This is just an example of what our bodies face every day. I have no control over that chemical sprayed on the side of my town’s roads, but I do have control over what I put on my skin and in my hair, and especially what I eat. I didn’t always understand the nature of chemical overload.
A few years before I became very sick with Lyme disease I broke out in hives. We could not figure out exactly what caused the outbreak, and allergy testing showed nothing definitive — strangely enough — making me think that my immune system was depressed and overreactive at the same time.
I became allergic to cold. I could not pick up a gallon of milk without my hands breaking out in hives. I couldn’t stay outside in the cold air for more than a few seconds of my skin would turn red and blotchy indicating a reaction. This condition is known as Cold Urticaria.
I had another outbreak of hives on my body during the hot months and ended up on steroids.
The kids and I pulled up the living room carpets, I begged my husband to replace our furniture with leather-covered pieces, and we finally starting putting in hardwood floors where there had been carpet. Unfortunately, our bedroom still had the carpet that came with the house and our mattress was about 20 years old. I started sleeping on the leather couch in an effort to avoid another outbreak of hives. Years later, the bedroom carpet was finally gone and replaced with hardwood but my husband would not part with that mattress, so I ended up sleeping on the couch indefinitely (I celebrated the day that my son burned that mattress and headboard, and I bought myself a new mattress and bed for myself.)
Depressed Immune System: Unable to Fight Infection
The bottom line is that I believe that my body was completely overloaded with toxins, chemicals and that I had an immune system that was not functioning properly. I look back and believe that this prelude to Lyme disease set me up for the destruction of my health; my body just couldn’t deal with Lyme and bartonella as well (when Lyme spirochetes die they release a horrible toxin). I also wonder what two rounds of steroids did to my immune system (steroids depress the immune system). All I know is that by the time I was infected with tick-borne pathogens my body was a huge mess. Add in severe Vitamin-D and moderate Vitamin-B12 deficiencies, and I didn’t have a chance.
Scientists are writing about the connection between the gut and the human immune system. Years of ingesting GMOs left my gut a huge mess. Years of antibiotics didn’t help. I needed those antibiotics to deal with the infections but I then needed to restore my gut, to let it heal which I finally did by consuming probiotic-rich foods and drinks.
I have written about avoiding GMOs, the foods that are grown so that they can withstand being sprayed directly with Glyphosate-containing herbicides. I try to buy as many organics as I can afford, which is not much these days with a food budget of about $50 a week for three people.
I have noticed empty shelves where organic foods should be stocked. The demand for organic food far exceeds the supply, so there are shortages. Either that, or distribution is being disrupted by Big Food (they are buying up as many small organic companies as they can right now).
Be a Mindful Consumer
Remember: Unless you buy organic, the following foods are most likely GMO:
soy, corn, canola, sugar (not cane), and cotton (cottonseed oil).
What can we do? What can you do? The food supply is a mess. What you find in most grocery stores is not fit for human consumption. Avoid the aisles in your grocery store. Shop the perimeter, buy and cook fresh ingredients, and avoid packaged foods. Buy organic as often and as much as you can.
We eat simply here: plain meat, cooked fresh, as many organic veggies and only organic fruit (when I can find it — I occasionally buy conventionally-grown grapes or peaches), organic beans, quinoa, rice and pasta. I use organic flour, corn meal, popcorn (as a snack), lard and olive oil, organic butter, milk and eggs, organic potatoes and garlic. I have not been able to find organic onions in my grocery store for over a month now. The organic milk and butter are produced by companies owned by Big Food which concerns me.
I do what I can, and know that deep down, something must change in our food production system from stopping the growth of GMO crops to the spraying of dangerous pesticides (remember when DDT was considered safe???). RoundUp and generic glyphosate-containing products are unsafe for the soil and humans. By buying organic, we drive the food production industry to consider safer, healthier farming and growing practices.
So many people are sick. Instead of finding cures, modern medicine treats symptoms. Instead of looking for causes, the pharmaceutical companies keep cranking out more drugs to treat chronic illnesses that seem to have no end. Autoimmune and inflammatory conditions are rampant. We can demand a better food supply by writing to food manufacturers and telling that that you won’t buy Coke or Pepsi while they are still adding Aspartame (toxic to humans) or GMO corn syrup or GMO beet sugar or the crazy cocktail of chemicals that give us those addictive flavors.
We can change the direction of our food supply if we engage. Read labels and think about what you are putting in your body (and the bodies of your children). Be a mindful consumer.
Learn More about GMOs and Glyphosate
Mercola has an article referring to several studies on the toxicity of glyphosate and GMOs: Roundup and Glyphosate Toxicity Have Been Grossly Underestimated .