Monsanto has told us not to worry, before. The deleterious effects of DDT, Agent Orange, and PCBs were only acknowledged after decades of accumulated evidence of irreversible danger to human lives. Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide is the most widely used herbicide, globally, with particular prevalence in the US where it is applied to genetically modified crops and used as a crop dessicant. The US EPA’s upper permissible limits in drinking water are predicated on the untested assumption that this chemical does not “bioaccumulate”, that it passes quickly and unchanged through the urine.
Initial testing has begun to challenge this notion and to suggest that not only does it pass through the intestinal epithelial barrier, found in 93% of pregnant women sampled, but it decimates beneficial gut bacteria, has metal chelating properties that render it kidney toxic, and is near ubiquitous and persistent in the environment.
Moms Across America and Sustainable Pulse have demonstrated the first ever quantification of Roundup in breastmilk. They found:
- 3/10 samples from around the country contained levels 760-1600x higer than is permissible by the European Drinking Water Directive.
- The testing used ELISA technology, susceptible to subthreshold presence of glyphosate not detectable through this methodology.
- The mothers tested were aware and avoidant of GMO foods; however those who had consumed an explicityly organic diet for greater than several months had lower or non-detectable levels levels.
- American urinary samples contained levels 10x higher than that of Europeans, and the 3 highest levels were in women.
This preliminary data calls for a cease and desist of all glyphosate spraying until and if appropriate safety testing can be undertaken that accounts for the signal of presence and persistence in the context of evidence of harm. I strongly support pioneering scientist, Anthony Samsel’s perspective:
“We have got to get glyphosate out of the food supply. Our health and the health of those we love are in danger from exposure to this chemical. I believe that it is urgent that people know and every moment lost will be a new health casualty.”