Most of our soy and corn crops are Roundup Ready, but the question is: Are we?
What exactly is Roundup Ready?
Crops like corn and soy are genetically modified to be resistant to the herbicide glyphosate. This means the crop will live when sprayed with glyphosate and the weeds around them will die.
Since the introduction of glyphosate into our food supply in the 1970s, it has been assumed that glyphosate is harmless to humans since it disrupts the shikimate pathway in plants, a mechanism missing from humans.
This assumption may prove to be one of the most hazardous assumptions ever made. While the shikimate pathway is missing from human physiology, it is not missing from the bacteria, fungi, and other microbial species that dominate our immune system.
What are the myths surrounding the safety of synthetic weed and bug killers? Are these chemicals as harmless as we are led to believe? How concerned should we be when our children's schools spray pesticides and herbicides on a regular basis?
Pesticides have their roots in World War II. At that time we learned that we can kill people, as well as bugs, with chemicals. With no knowledge about long-term health implications, particularly for children, we embraced the chemical era.
How Pesticides Work
Many pesticides work as nerve poisons. These include organophosphates, pyrethroids, and others. These nerve poisons destroy a key nervous system enzyme—an enzyme that turns off acetylcholine, one of the critical neurotransmitters in the human brain.
Studies have been done noting the impact of organophosphates on the brains of young children. One such study was published in December 2010.
What's in your water? What you find may surprise you.
Your community's Annual Water Report will most likely contain a long list of contaminants. In a sample report we reviewed there were three pages of contaminants, including these categories: Microbiological Contaminants, Radionuclides, Lead and Copper, Inorganic Contaminants, Synthetic Organic Contaminants, and Volatile Organic Contaminants.
The following is an excerpt from the Synthetic Organic Contaminants page:
The term "endocrine disruption" is quickly becoming a familiar one. The research surrounding bisphenol A has helped bring the subject to the forefront. BPA is a known endocrine disruptor and is commonly found in plastics.
Pesticides have also been implicated in recent years. The organization Beyond Pesticides is dedicated to the eradication of pesticides and now offers a database of pesticide-induced diseases, which facilitates access to epidemiologic and laboratory studies. In the article Wide Range of Diseases Linked to Pesticides, endocrine disruption is described this way:
Endocrine disruptors function by: (i) Mimicking the action of a naturally-produced hormone, such as estrogen or testosterone, thereby setting off similar chemical reactions in the body; (ii) Blocking hormone receptors in cells, thereby preventing the action of normal hormones; or (iii) Affecting the synthesis, transport, metabolism and excretion of hormones, thus altering the concentrations of natural hormones. Endocrine disruptors have been linked to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, early puberty, infertility and other reproductive disorders, and childhood and adult cancers. More than 50 pesticide active ingredients have been identified as endocrine disruptors by the European Union and endocrine disruptor expert Theo Colborn, PhD.