facebook pixel

Category: Nutrition

Another Important Threat Posed by GMO Food

Let’s put our conversation about the dangers of GMO foods aside for a moment and consider why so much of America’s agricultural production is now centered on the use of genetically modified seed.

One of the biggest problems faced by farmers is the intrusion of weeds into their production fields. So rather than having to resort to manually removing weeds from farmer’s fields, a wonderful alternative has been created. America’s farmers now resort to spraying a weed-killing chemical, glyphosate (RoundUp®) on their crops. And what prevents the harvested crop from also being targeted by the herbicide is the fact that the seeds used in crop production are the genetically modified in such a way as to be resistant to the herbicide’s effects. In the world of agriculture these seeds are known as “RoundUp® ready.”

There’s plenty to be concerned about in terms of the GMO part of this story, but for now, understand that the use of RoundUp® ready GMO seeds has paved the way for farmers to use huge amounts of this herbicide. And it’s happening globally. It is estimated that by 2017 farmers will apply 1.35 million metric tons of glyphosate to their crops. 

Glyphosate residues remain in and on the crops on which they are used and represent a threat to human health.  This report contains the complete list of glyphosate tolerances for residues in food crops in the U.S., as of September 18, 2013.

In addition, the report clearly describes the mechanisms by which this happens, showing how residual glyphosate:

  • Changes the composition of gut bacteria
  • Compromises our ability to detoxify toxins
  • Impairs the function of vitamin D
  • Depletes iron, cobalt, molybdenum and copper
  • Impairs the synthesis of tryptophan and tyrosine (important amino acids in protein and neurotransmitter production)

The authors conclude their comprehensive report stating: “The monitoring of glyphosate levels in food and in human urine and blood has been inadequate. The common practice of desiccation and/or ripening with glyphosate right before the harvest ensures that glyphosate residues are present in our food supply. It is plausible that the recent sharp increase of kidney failure in agricultural workers is tied to glyphosate exposure. We urge governments globally to reexamine their policy towards glyphosate and to introduce new legislation that would restrict its usage.”

Glyphosate represents a clear and present danger to human health and is part of the untold story as it relates to the bigger picture of the threat of GMO seeds now so prevalent in America’s farming industry. This is important information to keep in mind the next time you are debating issues related to the safety, or more importantly the risks, of GMO in general.

For more information, order your copy of Grain Brain today and join Dr. Perlmutter’s email list.

  • This is a serious problem, and I think that on one hand, it’s easy to blame large food/chemical corporations for this.
    But on the other hand, maybe they’re just filling in the vaccum we created when we stopped caring about where we got our food from?
    Just a thought 🙂

    • peter

      speak for yourself !

  • Gretchen Ruffner Starke

    Interesting quote here: “Celiac disease patients have an increased risk to non-Hodgkin’s
    lymphoma, which has also been implicated in glyphosate exposure.” How interesting… I have a friend that got non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma from his exposure to agent orange in VietNam….. another Monsanto product!

  • Becky

    Way more important than use of glyphosate on GMO crops is the use of it just prior to harvest on ALL dried crops, including non-GMO wheat, barley, oats, sugar cane, and any dried bean. This is far scarier than use on GMO crops because it is pervasive and it is done within a week of harvest, processing and sale of crop. Farm support organizations from various university ag programs to Grain Growers Associations all recommend use of glyphosate to speed harvest and avoid moisture issues in these crops. This has been going on for 20 years. People stop eating grains and beans and they feel better. It has nothing to do with ancient eating and everything to do with glyphosate poisoning.

    • TechnoTriticale

      > … use of it just prior to harvest on ALL dried crops …

      This is euphemistically called “dessication”, and is an off-label use of glyphosate. Is there uptake of it by the crop? Of course, the intent is to have the crop eat it and die. That may not be the only thing that eats it and dies.

      Pretty much everyone knows that a glyphosate-resistant (“RoundUp Ready”) crop is going to have uptake, as putting this herbicide on the pre-emergent or immature crop is the whole point of it.

      But for anyone consuming a non-GMO crop that has to cease growing before harvest, that “non-GMO” claim is not assuring you of no glyphosate. An additional “organic” claim would be useful here.

      • Becky

        I don’t think dessication is a euphemism – it is for drying the crops. I was not aware it is an off-label use because it is recommended across the board. Interesting. It is definitely taken up by the plant (systemic) because that is how glyphosate works. These same organizations who recommend this use adamantly caution that farmers not do this when planning to save seed for the next year. They KNOW it is persistent in the grain/bean. I would like to see an “herbicide-free” designation rather than a “GMO-free” label.

  • Carol

    What about medicines? I take Armour thyroid and just learned the pigs are fed gmo foods. Does this contaminate the thyroid hormone? Would synthetic thyroid hormone be better?

loading symbol Loading More