Even at “Safe” Levels, Glyphosate Can Disrupt Gut Bacteria
Emerging research shows that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer, can destroy the beneficial bacteria in the gut. Because the health of the gut influences total body health, this adverse effect is contributing to an expanding list of ills that includes diabetes, heart disease, cancer, autism, obesity, irritable bowel disease, depression, multiple sclerosis and autoimmune disease.
Glyphosate’s impact is so great that natural health experts are warning it’s one of the factors responsible for surging rates of these “21st century diseases.” Moreover, the harm is often perpetrated by doses that are considered safe.
Glyphosate is widely used on crops, as well as on residential lawns and parks. Because the chemical is so ubiquitous, levels in the human bloodstream have soared more than 1,000 percent within the past two decades.
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While Monsanto claims glyphosate is safe, the International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified it as a “probable carcinogen.” Earlier studies have also linked it to endocrine disruption and DNA damage.
The new revelations about glyphosate’s effect on the gut are particularly troubling. Beneficial bacteria in the gut are critically important for neutralizing toxins, absorbing nutrients, synthesizing amino acids and producing fatty acids. They also are vital for enhancing immunity, thus helping to prevent infections. The bacterial community in the gut, or microbiome, is so essential for health that life would not be possible without it.
How Glyphosate Harms the Microbiome
Glyphosate harms the microbiome by blocking a vital enzyme in the shikimate pathway, a system found in bacteria but not humans. Interference with this process affects the microbes’ survival, which in turn causes the multiple consequences on human health.
Although glyphosate has bacteria-killing action, many pathogens are resistant to it; however, beneficial bacteria like Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, which normally help control pathogens, are susceptible. Therefore, the weed killer fosters the survival of an array of infection-causing bacterial strains. For example, glyphosate promotes the survival of staphylococcus, salmonella and shigella, all of which are associated with celiac disease.
Glyphosate Cancer Victim Awarded $289 in Landmark Lawsuit
Live in the Now previously reported on Dewayne “Lee” Johnson, a cancer victim who filed a lawsuit against Monsanto. The trial’s jury recently found that exposure to glyphosate was a major factor in the development of his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and Monsanto was ordered to pay $289 in damages to Johnson. This landmark case is the first of thousands of litigations the biotech giant faces across the country.
Johnson’s plight began when he became a pest-control manager for a California school district in 2012. His job involved the regular use of glyphosate-based weed killer. Despite wearing protective gear, he received extensive exposure, particularly when a hose would come loose and spray chemicals inside his protective suit. A few months later, he developed a rash and was diagnosed with cancer. Johnson filed the lawsuit in 2016, and two weeks ago at the conclusion of the trial, the jury found that the company failed to warn consumers about the cancer risk. Monsanto continues to insist that glyphosate is safe and plans to appeal the ruling.
Glyphosate-Related Lawsuit Filed Against General Mills
Six days following the Johnson verdict, a class action lawsuit was filed against General Mills in Florida. The plaintiff, Mounira Doss, claims the company made false safety claims and concealed that Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios contain glyphosate, which violates several consumer protection laws.
Levels of the chemical in the cereals are well under the limit set by the Environmental Protection Agency, but Doss argued that research shows even ultra-low levels of the weed killer may harm human health. Part of the evidence she cited is the inclusion of glyphosate in the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment’s Proposition 65 list of chemicals known to cause cancer. In response to the filed lawsuit, General Mills, like Monsanto, said the safety concerns have no merit. Some legal experts predict the Doss case and similar litigations have little chance of prevailing in court.
Until manufacturers are forced to disclose trace amounts of glyphosate on their product labels, it’s best to avoid food likely to contain it. This is primarily accomplished by opting for foods labeled “100% Organic” or “Non-GMO Project Verified.” In addition, shunning processed foods, shopping at farmers’ markets and limiting eating out will help reduce intake of the chemical.
Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance wellness. She is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. You can visit her site and learn more at http://www.alternativemedicinetruth.com. Ms. West is also the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies.