The United States agrochemical giant Monsanto that is responsible for the production of Roundup, the herbicide made from glyphosate has continually argued that the herbicide is not harmful to humans because humans do not have the shikimate pathway. However, gut bacteria in humans do have this pathway. People depend on that gut bacteria for the supply of essential amino acids among other substances vital for the digestion process. Products with glyphosate are highly toxic to humans as well as other animals. Symptoms include nausea, irritation of the skin and eye, numbness, headache, elevated blood pressure, and heart palpitations.
On the November of 2009, the high court of France ruled that Monsanto had not told the truth about the safety of Roundup and glyphosate. Monsanto was found guilty of wrongly advertising its herbicide as ‘biodegradable’ and also claimed that it left the soil clean. French environmental groups brought the case to the French Courts in the year 2001 with the claim that the main ingredient used to make up Roundup which is glyphosate, was classified as dangerous for the environment by the European Union.
Given how casual the marketing of glyphosate herbicides has been, it is shocking that toxicology scientific research has been able to discover possible harmful effects in all areas of lab testing. These effects include salivary gland lesions that indicate medium-term toxicity and genetic damage in human blood cells that indicate long-term toxic effects. Other effects include adverse effects on reproduction such as reduced sperm counts and inflamed stomach linings. In studies of farmers who had been exposed to glyphosate herbicides, it was discovered that exposure to glyphosate is directly associated with an increased risk of premature birth and miscarriages, as well as cancer of the lymphoma.
Glyphosate has been defined as extremely adverse by the EPA in the United States, and has been found in streams following the applications of different industries that involve urbanization, agriculture, and forestry. Glyphosate treatment has had a role to play in the reduction of population numbers of beneficial insects and birds by killing the vegetation on which these animals rely on for food and shelter.
- 1Glyphosate has been defined as extremely adverse by the EPA in the United States
- 2The glyphosate works by blocking a metabolic path called the shikimate that is present in all plants but not animals or humans and therefore contributes to its low toxicity in animals and humans.
- 3Glyphosate alters with the microbial communities that form the basis of the digestive health of human beings
What is Glyphosate?
Glyphosate is one of the world’s most commonly used herbicides and makes up for about 25% of the entire world’s herbicide market. Glyphosate which is also known as N-(phosphonomethyl)glycine, is used to make herbicides that are constantly in use in agricultural practices due to their cost effectiveness and simplicity of the control of weeds which can prove to be a frustration for farmers. Although most glyphosate products get used in the agriculture industry, some countries use the products to control weeds in gardens and areas that are not cultivated such as industrial complexes and along rail lines.
The herbicide is regularly sprayed in public places such as parks and sports fields to make sure that they look tidy, as well as on backyard vegetable gardens to help with control of growth of weeds. Farmers usually buy special seeds to plant crops resistant to glyphosate so that when they spray for weeds, their genetically modified crops will thrive while the undesired weeds will wither away. Glyphosate is applied on non-genetically modified food crops as well before harvesting, in a process called desiccation, to make the harvesting process easier for the farmer.
Glyphosate was introduced in the year 1974 for the first time under the trade name ‘Roundup’ and has been marketed under various trade names ever since in hundreds of plant protection products that are sold globally such as Rodeo and Pondmaster. Glyphosate is not the top selling herbicide in the United States, and its use has increased by over 1400 percent over the last two decades. In Europe, glyphosate herbicides are used to control weeds in a wide range of crops that include cereals, sunflowers, and grassland. Several European countries such as Germany use glyphosate herbicides on almost half of their entire crop area. Glyphosate gets often spread on weeds in a diluted solution and is taken quickly by the plants.
Glyphosate is designed to kill weeds but is very well capable of killing most plants except for those that have been altered by Monsanto to have a resistance to Roundup. Typical genetically altered crops considered “Roundup Ready” include, soy, cotton canola, and corn which are present in a substantial amount of American food. Glyphosate hinders the plant from making proteins that are required it’s growth. The glyphosate disrupts the shikimic acid enzyme responsible for the synthesis of essential amino acids such as tryptophan, tyrosine, and phenylalanine. After the herbicide is used on the plants, they wither out and perish after a few hours or even up to a few weeks.
Glyphosate has become a popular herbicide because it allows farmers to sow directly into stubble fields without plowing. The herbicide has managed to replace mechanical weed control in many crops and has had quite the significant impact on agricultural practices and crop yields in Europe over the past few decades. The glyphosate works by blocking a metabolic path called the shikimate that is present in all plants but not animals or humans and therefore contributes to its low toxicity in animals and humans. The metabolic pathway is vital for the growth of the plant and therefore makes glyphosate a very effective herbicide.
How is Glyphosate toxic to humans?
Microorganisms that are progenic happen to be of high necessity for the good health of mammals. These microbes function for food digestion, synthesize vitamins, make sure that the permeability of the gut remains balanced, optimize immune response, as well as metabolize certain substances that happen to be toxic. There are microbes 10 times more in the human gut than there are in the cells of the human body. Anything that tampers with the pathway known as shikimate is harmful to human health by altering the balance of PH in the gut.
The amount at which glyphosate reaches toxic levels in humans first got publicized by Japanese physicians who analyzed 56 suicide attempts of which 9 cases happened to be fatal. Symptoms in the human beings include pneumonia, pain around the abdominal area, puking, excess fluid found in the lungs, dizziness, and a noticeable reduction of red blood cells. The Japanese scientists found out that the nine fatalities consumed about 200 milliliters and it was their belief that polyethoxylated tallowamine was brought about as a result of Roundup’s toxicity. More recent research of incidents involving poisoning have found the same symptoms, as well as low blood pressure, strange electrocardiograms lung dysfunction, degradation of the intestinal tract, kidney damage and significant damage of the voice box.
Researchers have discovered that GMO foods that have been sprayed with Roundup are causing various changes in the micro biome of the people who use them. Various changes in the gut flora have for long been associated with the consumption of genetically modified food. The researchers were able to discover the existence of deadly bacteria which grows with biotech herbicide use was causing pathogenic changes in the bacteria existing in the gut. Due to the delicate balance of gut bacteria, permanent pathogenic alterations and modifications in the gut bacteria bring about a condition called dysbiosis.
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Scientific research has been able to show that glyphosate is capable of killing bacillus, enterococcus, and lactobacillus. The proliferation of enterococcus and lactobacillus happens to be the best current form of defense against the excess development of salmonella and clostridium. Some pathogenic species such as pseudomonas can break down glyphosate to produce phosphate which it goes on to use for the synthesis of amino acids. It produces neurotoxic formaldehyde as a byproduct. Other harmful strains such as salmonella and clostridium have, however, been found to be highly resistant to glyphosate. The dysbiosis that has been induced by glyphosate causes salmonella outbreaks in facilities that deal with the commercial growth and sale of chicken as well as botulism in industrially raised beef.
Glyphosate alters with the microbial communities that form the basis of the digestive health of human beings and therefore alter the complex functioning in a way that interferes with the production of necessary amino acids and neurohormones. This interference allows harmful bacteria called Clostridium botulinum strain the freedom to move freely through the intestinal tracts of human beings.
Celiac sprue is a disorder characterized by gluten intolerance. The symptoms of celiac disease include diarrhea, weight loss, anemia, nausea, skin rashes, chronic fatigue, nutritional deficiencies and neurological diseases. There has been a recent surge concerning gluten intolerance in the United States and all over the world and glyphosate has been linked to scientific research as an essential contributor to the celiac sprue epidemic. A link exists between celiac disease where bacteria is positively and negatively affected by glyphosate as well as overgrown or underrepresented respectively about celiac disease in humans.
Pathogens bring about a breakdown of the tight junctions in the cells that line the gut through the activation of a potent signaling molecule that goes by the name zonulin, therefore leading to leaky gut syndrome. About 30 percent of celiac patients tend to experience gluten intolerance symptoms despite starting a gluten-free diet with optimal adherence. Celiac disease is associated with an overgrowth of pathogenic harmful bacteria not to mention reduced levels of enterococcus, bifidobacteria, and lactobacillus in the gut.
Lactobacillus, Enterococcus, and Bifidobacteria are significantly lower in fecal samples of children with celiac disease being easy to control, while levels of the pathogens that include Bacteroides, Salmonella, Staphylococcus, and Shigella can be elevated. Bacteroides, Staphylococcus, and Clostridium, on the other hand, are all significantly higher in children. A high excretion of the bacterial metabolites p-Cresol and phenol are recognized as well in association with celiac disease. P-Cresol gets produced through anaerobic metabolism of tyrosine by pathogenic bacteria such as Clostridium. Clostridium is a very toxic carcinogen that is also responsible for certain causes and effects on the central nervous system, the cardiovascular system, lungs, kidney, and liver.
Probiotic treatments are recommended by medical researchers to assist in digestive healing in celiac disease. The proteolytic activity of Lactobacilli supports the breakdown of wheat into less allergenic forms. Ongoing research aims to produce gluten with sourdough bread that has gotten fermented by Lactobacilli that can then serve as probiotics to help ameliorate the symptoms of celiac disease and allow celiac patients to eat wheat.
Probiotic Lactobacilli produce the enzyme phytase that works to breaks down phytates that would otherwise deplete essential minerals and other cations through chelation. These activities, therefore, improve the absorption of these micronutrients, which is a problem that is common in celiac patients. Probiotic treatment with Bifidobacteria has been observed to alleviate symptoms associated with celiac disease. Bifidobacteria can suppress the pro-inflammatory milieu that gets triggered by the microorganisms found in celiac patients. Bifid bacterium lactic would work towards the healing of the gut if offered as a treatment in conjunction with the gluten-free diet, or might also permit the celiac patient to take in a fair amount of gluten without necessarily experiencing damaging effects.
Bifid bacterium lactis reduces epithelial permeability and improves the integrity of the tight junctions in human colon cells. Celiac disease is associated with a reduced presence in the gut of commensal bacteria such as Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria, which are known to be selectively killed by glyphosate, and with an overabundance of clostridium difficile. Clostridium is widely known to get promoted by exposure to glyphosate. Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli all have the ability to modify gluten in such a way that they can make gluten to be less allergenic. It is a characteristic that has gotten exploited in recent efforts to develop gluten-containing foods that may be safe for consumption by celiac patients. Probiotics containing active forms of these bacteria are also being actively marketed today.
Evidence of disruption of gut bacteria by glyphosate is also available for poultry, cattle, and pigs. The herbicide is able to do so in poultry as it is able to hike up the ratio of harmful bacteria to the several exisiting microbes. Salmonella and clostridium do not get affected by glyphosate as they are very resistant while enterococcus, lactobacillus, and bifidobacteria, on the other hand, are acutely susceptible. In Germany, glyphosate has been discussed to play a likely role in the increased risk of clostridium botulinum infection in cattle over the past two decades. Pigs have gotten fed genetically modified corn, as well as soy, has developed widespread intestinal inflammation that may have been due to glyphosate exposure. Several other properties of glyphosate also have an adverse impact on the chelation of minerals in the human body such as iron and cobalt which play various important roles in the human body.
Are Genetically Modified crops altering the genetic code of the human race?
Bacterial species tend to adapt to the habitat they exist in through conjugation which is a process that entails the transfer of genes. Bacteria become resistant to antibiotics when they adapt specific genes that are not vulnerable to the medicine’s intended purpose. Intestinal bacteria move genetically modified gene properties that usually produce the similar proteins as the GMO food. This means that they produce a pesticide toxin called bacillus thuringiensis (BT) which is considered by scientists to be highly toxic. A gene is able to copy itself into another coding gene therefore altering the genetic code through a mechanism called insertional mutagenesis. Insertional mutagenesis does not affect bacteria found in the human intestine but if it manages to get into the bloods, it is then able to modify the genetic code of the humans that are consuming them.