According to World Wild Life since 1930, the world’s chemical production have increased dramatically, 400 fold. And today we are not only facing chemicals produced by various power plants and industries, we are also bombarded with it in our very homes, from cleaning products to health and body care products. Environmental Working Group (EWG) has found substances in more than 2,000 home cleaning products that can cause health problems. And even in our food products there’s BPA but the glyphosate being the most controversial.
What is glyphosate? It is an herbicide. It kills weeds in crops. There are GE genetically engineered crops also known as G. M. O. genetically modified organism, like Bt corn, soy and cotton that were developed to be resistant to glyphosate.
How does glyphosate kill weeds? It shuts down plant’s viral and bacterial defense, called the shikimate pathway. And thus, kill the plants in a few days. So how does that affect us as human beings? We’ll find out in a little bit. With the plants being killed, the genetically engineered glyphosate tolerant crops, however, survive.
Here’s the glyphosate agricultural use in 1996. And here’s 2012 agricultural use of glyphosate. This is excluding residential, urban, industrial and forest use.
RoundUp is the most popular pesticide containing an active ingredient, glyphosate.
It is estimated that half of the US cropland is GE corn, soybeans and cotton. Other common GE crops are canola, sugar beets and alfalfa. GE crops drive the sales of glyphosate.
Again, genetically engineered crops drive the glyphosate sales.
On GE/GMO cultivation:
Majority of the countries grow GMO depicted by the red color. 5 countries, US, Brazil, Argentina, Canada & India, make up 91% of the global GM crops. Other countries that grow GM crops: South Africa, Australia, Bolivia, Philippines, Spain, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Colombia, Honduras, Chile, Sudan, Slovakia, Costa Rica, China, Paraguay, Uruguay, Mexico, Portugal, Czech R., Pakistan & Myanmar.
Very few countries have laws restrictions on GMO cultivation but allows GMO importation depicted by a yellow tone. And only 8 countries ban both cultivation and importation, Algeria, Bhutan, Kyrgyzstan, Peru, Madagascar, Russia, Venezuela & Zimbabwe.
Going back to glyphosate. The use of glyphosate is not only for the GE or GMO crops but for pre-harvest of non-gmo crops, like wheat which is hybridized, other grains and legumes. It helps to dry it quickly and uniformly. Data shows about 28% of U.S. wheat acreage or 15.3 million acres were applied with 14.8 million pounds of glyphosate.
Pesticide drift is another issue as the glyphosate drifts to other areas where a crop producing seed grows, it becomes unfit for planting the next year. It makes the farmers dependent then on GMO seeds, and buys it again and again. So, the cycle continues.
WHO (World Health Organization) – IARC
(International Agency for Research on Cancer classified glyphosate in March 2015 as Group 2A, probably carcinogenic to humans
Group 1 “known” carcinogen
Group 2B – possibly carcinogenic to humans
However, EPA changed their assessment thrice: 1985 – a possible carcinogen
1991 – non-carcinogenic
2016 – not likely carcinogenic to humans
Let’s take a look at a particular study from the Journal of Organic Systems that will blow you away.
Genetically engineered crops, glyphosate and the deterioration of health in the United States of America.
For the purpose of understanding the study, let us understand about Pearson correlation coefficient or Pearson r. It is used in statistics to determine the relationship between A and B. The closer the relationship, the higher the Pearson r, making it highly significant. The further the relationship, the lower the Pearson r, making it insignificant.
It showed a high degree of correlation in the 22 diseases plotted against GMO corn & soy, and glyphosate applications.
Senile Dementia, Autism, Thyroid Cancer, Bladder Cancer, Acute Kidney Failure, End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), Intestinal Infection, Lipoprotein Metabolism Disorder, Cancer of the Kidney, Diabetes, Renal Failure, Obesity, Liver Cancer, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Hepatitis C , Stroke, Hypertension, Pancreatic Cancer, Alzheimer, Myeloid Leukemia, Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis
Even though we can’t determine the causation or cause and effect. But we can see that there is a higher possibility it a great contributing factor to the following diseases based on the results. That’s why it’s important to grow our own food, non-GMO and organic.