This article by Anthony Samsel (independent scientist) and Stephanie Seneff (of MIT) confirms something I’ve suspected for a while now: “gluten intolerance” is likely to actually be intolerance to Monsanto’s toxic glyphosate (better known as Roundup). I came across the article by chance on some kind of alternative health website and was skeptical at first, so I dug deeper to discover the source: The study was published in Dec. 2013 in the journal Interdisciplinary Toxicology and is found on the website of the National Institutes of Health. Pretty solid source.
Like so many other people, I grew up happily eating bread and just about every other natural food (my mom was strictly against junk food though). I never thought I’d be one of those annoying and INTOLERANT people who demand special treatment at the restaurant or dinner party! These days, though, a little gluten makes me queasy, and more than that will leave me drooping in bed for a full day, overcome by headache and nausea, feeling like death warmed over. I don’t eat it at all anymore, except by accident at a potluck or when the restaurant server forgets to mention it. I am now forced to be that annoying person who inquires about ingredients and (good-naturedly, I hope) allows my friends to tease me about it when we eat together. In a way, I am heartened to at least have a very logical explanation for my previously inexplicable health situation – even though overall, the news is really terrible.
Symptoms of glyphosate ingestion
Here’s one of the most important excerpts from the abstract: “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. “
And then: “… a recent paper (Samsel & Seneff, 2013), argued that glyphosate may be a key contributor to the obesity epidemic and the autism epidemic in the United States, as well as to several other diseases and conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, infertility, depression, and cancer.”
Wow. Who doesn’t know someone suffering from Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, infertility, depression, autism or cancer? I personally can name a different friend or relative for every one of those categories – and some of them are already prematurely deceased.
It’s an antibiotic too?!
Furthermore, I was shocked to learn that Monsanto patented glyphosate as an antibiotic in 2010. I’ve read so much about how the industrial livestock farming is responsible for the rising antibiotic-resistance that is causing medical problems and sometimes deaths – and now it turns out that we are all consuming Monsanto’s antibiotic any time we eat wheat or any GMO crops (corn, soy, canola, sugar from sugar beets), as well as a number of non-GMO crops that are sprayed with Roundup as a dessicant right before harvest (did you know about that one?!), including, barley, buckwheat, millet and oats. Even organic foods are not entirely safe, as the USDA has apparently decided that it’s impossible to prevent all glyphosate contamination of organic farms, so there is an upper limit on allowable pesticide levels in organics. There is just no way to be sure you are eating clean food in America today.
I resent the fact that in this country, where we place such emphasis on freedom and choice – especially consumer choice – we are unable to choose healthy, uncontaminated food! Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “The right to swing my fist ends where the other man’s nose begins.” But now we live in a country in which the big players get to swing their fists and hit every single one of us, every single day. That’s just wrong.
Patrick and I conceived of Nature Towns as places of health, free of toxicity. This new information just adds to my determination to realize the pilot project: how can I face my children if I don’t do everything in my power to allow them to choose good health? They don’t even have that option right now.