Roundup Ready? Perhaps for Population Reduction

This is an interesting article on Glyphosate AKA RoundUp and the other chemicals in the mix. I’be bolded a few particular bits.

Chem Res Toxicol. 2009 Jan;22(1):97-105. doi: 10.1021/tx800218n.

Glyphosate formulations induce apoptosis and necrosis in human umbilical, embryonic, and placental cells.

Benachour N1, Séralini GE.
Author information


We have evaluated the toxicity of four glyphosate (G)-based herbicides in Roundup formulations, from 10(5) times dilutions, on three different human cell types. This dilution level is far below agricultural recommendations and corresponds to low levels of residues in food or feed. The formulations have been compared to G alone and with its main metabolite AMPA or with one known adjuvant of R formulations, POEA. HUVEC primary neonate umbilical cord vein cells have been tested with 293 embryonic kidney and JEG3 placental cell lines. All R formulations cause total cell death within 24 h, through an inhibition of the mitochondrial succinate dehydrogenase activity, and necrosis, by release of cytosolic adenylate kinase measuring membrane damage. They also induce apoptosis via activation of enzymatic caspases 3/7 activity. This is confirmed by characteristic DNA fragmentation, nuclear shrinkage (pyknosis), and nuclear fragmentation (karyorrhexis), which is demonstrated by DAPI in apoptotic round cells. G provokes only apoptosis, and HUVEC are 100 times more sensitive overall at this level. The deleterious effects are not proportional to G concentrations but rather depend on the nature of the adjuvants. AMPA and POEA separately and synergistically damage cell membranes like R but at different concentrations. Their mixtures are generally even more harmful with G. In conclusion, the R adjuvants like POEA change human cell permeability and amplify toxicity induced already by G, through apoptosis and necrosis. The real threshold of G toxicity must take into account the presence of adjuvants but also G metabolism and time-amplified effects or bioaccumulation. This should be discussed when analyzing the in vivo toxic actions of R. This work clearly confirms that the adjuvants in Roundup formulations are not inert. Moreover, the proprietary mixtures available on the market could cause cell damage and even death around residual levels to be expected, especially in food and feed derived from R formulation-treated crops.

Kinda makes a guy want to swap over to Organic foods…

As “Roundup Ready” GMO plants are rapidly taking over many bulk feed sources, and as this is specifically testing at “residual levels to be expected, especially in food and feed”, that makes this a bit of a problem. The general result of such GMO operations is that Roundup is sprayed heavily and often over the entire crop during the grow season. Lots of it accumulate in the soil. How much ends up in things like Canola Oil (one of the big R.R. crops) or corn products (among the widest used feeds in America) is a good question, but I’d expect it to be about the “expected” levels…

There is a more readable story in Scientific American (yes, that pop science rag that used to be a Science Magazine…)

One specific inert ingredient, polyethoxylated tallowamine, or POEA, was more deadly to human embryonic, placental and umbilical cord cells than the herbicide itself – a finding the researchers call “astonishing.”

“This clearly confirms that the [inert ingredients] in Roundup formulations are not inert,” wrote the study authors from France’s University of Caen. “Moreover, the proprietary mixtures available on the market could cause cell damage and even death [at the] residual levels” found on Roundup-treated crops, such as soybeans, alfalfa and corn, or lawns and gardens.

Yeah, “inert” doesn’t mean inert anymore…

So when Monsanto tests Glyphosate, do they test it with the “inert” ingredients too?

The term “inert ingredient” is often misleading, according to Caroline Cox, research director of the Center for Environmental Health, an Oakland-based environmental organization. Federal law classifies all pesticide ingredients that don’t harm pests as “inert,” she said. Inert compounds, therefore, aren’t necessarily biologically or toxicologically harmless – they simply don’t kill insects or weeds.

Well, that’s nice to know. Doesn’t kill insects, but people? Who knows…

But this is all just lab stuff with cell lines. It isn’t, you know, like, actual people. Surely this stuff isn’t getting into real people…

Toxic Herbicides Now Common in Pregnant Women’s Breast Milk, Placentas, and Umbilical Cords

Story at-a-glance

A recent study showed the toxic herbicide glyphosate (Roundup) in the breast milk of a significant percentage of American women, even those actively trying to avoid chemical contaminants

Glyphosate was also found in urine and drinking water samples at levels 10 times higher than those in the EU when tested in 2013

A Canadian study found Bt toxin in the umbilical cords and circulating blood of 93 percent of pregnant women tested
In the first ever testing for glyphosate in the breast milk of American women, Moms Across America and Sustainable Pulse found high levels in 30 percent of the samples tested.1, 2 This strongly suggests that glyphosate levels build up in your body over time, despite claims to the contrary.

Breast milk levels were found to be 76 to 166 ug/l, which is 760 to 1,600 times higher than the European Drinking Water Directive allows for individual pesticides.

Those levels are, however, lower than the 700 ug/l maximum contaminant level (MCL) for glyphosate in the US, set by the EPA based on the now-ridiculous premise that glyphosate does not bioaccumulate. There are currently no regulatory limits for glyphosate in breast milk.

Glyphosate has also been found in Americans’ urine and drinking water. In those samples, levels were found to be more than 10 times higher than those tested in the EU in 2013. This is presumably due to the fact that the EU is now backing away from glyphosate usage and GE crops, whereas the US ignorantly races full speed ahead.

When seeking to understand this study, it is very important to note that many of the participants in this study were familiar with GMOs and had been actively trying to avoid them for several months to two years—which makes the findings even more disheartening. However, it is encouraging that expectant moms who were actively eating only organic, non-GE foods had lower levels of glyphosate in their breast milk.

In 2011, 250 million pounds of glyphosate were used in the US, and 1.3 billion pounds doused on fields worldwide. The EPA recently doubled the amount of glyphosate allowed in your food. Soybean oil is now allowed to contain a whopping 400 times the limit at which it can impact your health. Monsanto’s sales of Roundup jumped 73 percent to $371 million in 2013 because of its increasing use on GE crops.

That article is mostly a Ra-Ra story for the organic is good crowd, but does have an interesting bit further down. I’d not heard of this one, but have seen ever more problems with gluten as the use of GMOs has increased, so there is a correlation.

You May Want to Send Monsanto a Thank-You-Note for Your Gluten Allergy

As Drs. Seneff and Samsel reveal in a recent study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, glyphosate is probably the most harmful toxin we’ve ever encountered, both in our environment and on our dinner plates. Their findings show that two of the key problems caused by glyphosate in your body are nutritional deficiencies and systemic toxicity. The researchers propose that glyphosate is the most significant causal factor in today’s epidemic of gluten intolerance, including full-blown celiac disease. Celiac disease and, more generally, gluten intolerance, is a growing problem worldwide, but especially in North America and Europe where an estimated five percent of the population now suffers from it. Drs. Seneff and Samsel mention the following as evidence of the connection between glyphosate and gluten allergies/intolerance:

Fish exposed to glyphosate develop digestive problems reminiscent of celiac disease; celiac is associated with imbalances in gut bacteria that can be fully explained by the known effects of glyphosate on these bacteria

Characteristics of celiac disease point to impairment of the enzymes necessary for detoxifying environmental toxins and other biological processes, and glyphosate is known to inhibit these enzymes

Nutritional deficiencies seen in celiac disease (minerals such as iron, cobalt, and copper, and amino acids such as tryptophan, tyrosine, and methionine) can be attributed to glyphosate’s strong tendencies to chelate minerals and deplete amino acids

Both celiac disease and glyphosate exposure have been associated with an increased risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Reproductive issues associated with celiac disease, such as infertility, miscarriages, and birth defects, can also be explained by glyphosate exposure

No, I’m not going to be avoiding all food at all restaurants and only eating those foods I’ve made myself from known origin organic sources. (Though a couple of friends do, after they developed health problems fixed by doing just that…). OTOH, I already tend to ‘eat clean’ with a fairly simple diet, and have a tendency to mostly eat things that don’t depend on weed killers. BUT, as GMOs and their excessive levels of glyphosate use become more pervasive in all types of foods, that will be a less effective strategy for avoidance.

Why my “awareness” of such (potential?) food issues? Pretty simple, really. Out of a sample size of 11 in my extended family group (including a couple of friends) we have one Celiac Disease, one Wheat Allergy, One (no soy of any kind and avoids several other foods), one Corn Allergy, one “acne with peanuts or peanut oil”, and 5 migraines (two of which resolved on Organic Vegan diets, two reduced with other food avoidances, and one controlled with meds and smaller food avoidances). Oh, and there are at least 3 of us that are reacting to cows milk (though goat milk is fine, but they eat non-GMO grass instead of corn) and there’s one scallops allergy that is likely unrelated.

Now, IMHO, that’s a pretty high count. All the Celiac, allergies, soy, corn reactions had onset after GMO production (by a few years). The migraines may be hereditary, but that they are controlled with avoidance of those same high GMO high Roundup foods is, er, interesting… Yes, it confounds familial incidence with environmental. Yes it is not statistically significant. Still, it can “focus the mind”.

What to do?

Well, for me, it is pretty simple.

Grow more of my own in the garden.

Actually start seeking out “organic” on the label.

Avoid dining out (though it is already a more rare thing as prices have become extraordinary and what is on the plate more of a dice roll. At Bahama Breeze we were about to raise fork to mouth on a nice Lobster Sauce shrimp dish when out of “near paranoia” I asked “Are you sure there are no scallops in the Lobster sauce?”… after a check with the kitchen we were informed that the Lobster Sauce was, in fact, made with scallops. An ingredient NOT listed on the menu… So as dining out has become more of an exercise in “What is hidden on the plate”, we’ve cut back anyway.

Shop more at Whole Foods, despite the higher prices, and less at Discount Mystery Ingredient R-Us.

What prompted this search? I was looking at an old posting and one of the comments mentioned The Gates Foundation and things being done to help limit population. One of the claims seemed a bit absurd, so I started doing searches on things that cause reduced fertility and were being pushed on the 3rd World, and that included GMO claims. That lead to this. Sometimes starting with “edgy” searches leads to interesting facts and papers… So basically, I didn’t start out to find this, it was a stumble-upon.

In any case, that I already avoid all corn and most soy gets the bulk of it “off my plate”. That I grow some (soon to be more…) of my own vegetables in a “no chemical” way also helps. That I avoid beef (due to it being an arthritis trigger / allergen) and cows milk also helps. Really, my main exposure paths are likely to be commercial bread (that I’m sort of avoiding due to tri-glycerides / di-glycerides / interesterified issues) but it makes better toast ;-) and secondary via corn feed pork and chicken. I use a very little canola oil (preferring safflower when I can find it, or Palm Oil for baking / frying) with butter and olive oil as my major fats in cooking, and I use no corn or soy oils, so that path is out. Over time, this will get harder as Monsanto is busy pushing GMO everything that is “roundup ready”. So potatoes and rice have been “clean”, but who knows now. Maybe it is time to do a “dig” on percent of R.R. crops in each food type…

Expect naysayers to attack the referenced article. Expect some attempts at replication, and some deliberately broken attempts by those funded by the pesticide companies. It will take time to sort this out. Until then, I think I need to start being more selective about what has been done to the food I choose to eat…

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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17 Responses to Roundup Ready? Perhaps for Population Reduction

  1. omanuel says:

    Thank you, E.M. Smith, for using your keen analytical ability to warn society.

    Data tampering became SOP for government science after WWII, and the problem will not be solved by blaming each other for lying for Big Brother.

    If you have a job – policeman, school teacher, construction worker, fireman, university professor, janitor, programmer, research scientist, etc. – your success depends on your willingness to support Big Brother’s dogma, independently of veracity.

    We must stop blaming each other and find a way to work together to end seventy years (1945-2015) of deceit to restore integrity to government science and constitutional limits on government.

  2. Gary P Smith says:

    E.M., I also wanted to find a bread product that doesn’t have the mono / di glycerides. I found the Ezezial 4:9 product line at a local Whole Foods type store. They also avoid the processed grain by making the bread out of the wheat sprouts. Not cheap. No preservatives so needs to be refrigerated. I like the taste, especially the cinnamon raisin bread.

  3. Gary P Smith says:

    Further to my previous post. Come to think of it, I may have found the Ezekiel Bread because you mentioned it in one of your previous posts. Here is a link: that describes the product.

  4. Another Ian says:

    Spread this one a bit here.

    Now O/T


    April 19, 2015 at 11:30 am · Reply

    Have you ever looked at something and thought that, hey, this sounds reasonable enough.

    Something similar happened when I looked at President Obama’s pledge for the Paris COP21 Climate Change Conference for the UNFCCC later this year.

    I wondered why he selected a 28% emissions reduction when other Nations are being more ambitious than this, some as high as 40% and more.

    I wondered why he selected 2025 as the target year.

    I wondered why he based this reduction on totals from 2005, and that answer was easiest, because that was the year of highest emissions in the U.S.

    I wondered if it related back to the original Kyoto Protocol, which asked for reductions to a level 5 to 7% lower than what they were in 1990.

    It all seemed so reasonable on the surface.

    I started to do a Post, thinking I could do it in a (relative) snap, and have it ready fairly quickly, but I wasn’t holding much hope that it would have any punch, because it all actually looked ‘doable’.

    Then it all fell into place.

    It ended up that I have spent more on this than anything I have done in the last seven years of contributing to my home site.

    It actually got a little frightening really, and the more I looked, the more I found, coming to a belief that this is something that just cannot really be achieved.

    That year of 2005 was the year of highest emissions, and working in percentages makes it look less complex than it really is, so I had to work backwards, and forwards, using the real numbers and not just percentages.

    When you work it out, his pledge to reduce emissions by 28% based on the 2005 figures, it actually means that emissions must drop to a level ….. 16% lower than what they were in 1990, more draconian than Kyoto.

    The pledge is based around the work done (obviously for him, and with Paris in mind) by the EPA, and they have a series of documents, amounting to more than 1,000 pages, and no, I didn’t trawl through them all, just the relevant ones I wanted for my information.

    So, that one Post I planned got longer and longer, and the time till publishing stretched out as I did more and more research, and it ended up becoming not reasonable as I first thought, but actually quite horrifying. It ended up as two long Posts of quite detailed analysis, and then the task was to try and explain it in a manner which could be more easily understood.

    Part One is now at my site, and Part 2 will be published on Monday at 8.31PM, (Australian Eastern Standard Time) which is Monday 6.31AM U.S. Eastern Standard Time.

    I have an Intro Post with some short text and the links to each Post in that Intro.

    Part of that 28% reduction has already been achieved, but there is still 22% to go, in ten years to the target, and see how reducing it to percentages like that, which is only around 2% a year makes it sound reasonable.

    Well, it isn’t.

    My considered guess is that it cannot be achieved, and hey shouldn’t the more important thing here be that while the U.S. plans to reduce emissions by this amount, and do it by 2025, shouldn’t there be more worry about China, which has stated that they will not achieve peak emissions until 2030, and then might consider reducing them at that time. The same might also apply for India and other Nations as well.

    I know it’s a long read, and the important part doesn’t come around until Monday, but it ended up becoming a really interesting exercise.

    Link to Intro: Kyoto Revisited – President Obama’s Pledge For Paris – Intro

    And here’s a teaser for Part Two.

    There are quite literally thousands of wind farms plants in the U.S. but only 15 of them are of a greater Nameplate than 500MW.

    With this pledge to reduce emissions, that means cutting a monumentally huge chunk of electrical power generation, and all of it from the coal fired sector, (the obvious and only target here) because they can’t replace it with CO2 emitting Natural gas fired plants.

    So, that obviously means new wind plants to replace that lost coal fired generation.

    To replace that lost coal fired power, the U.S. starting right now, will need to bring on line (not thought bubble, not plan, not start construction, but actually begin delivering power from the finished plants) one new wind plant of 500MW Nameplate every, wait for it ….. every twelve days between now and 2025, working seven days a week.

    That will not happen.



  5. Annie says:

    Nothing surprises me re messing about with food.

  6. Annie says:

    I should have added thank you for this post and some of your others which I have read. I tend to look mostly at Jo Nova and WUWT.

  7. E.M.Smith says:

    @Another Ian:

    Any time a politician is using numbers, expect them to be carefully selected as the best lie possible… designed to hide the true agenda.

    @Gary P, Smith:

    Yes, I’ve used it (and mentioned it in comments I think). But sometimes you just want a nice white bread for a bit of toast with a 3 1/2 minute egg… or for a nice subtle tuna sandwich… and getting ‘plain white bread’ with square profile without mystery-oils is a challenge still. The world of commercial bread seems to sort into “regular square toaster shaped white bread with chemical soup” and “trendy haystack strange shaped loves of only natural whole grain with strong flavors”.

    Being sometimes interested in “plain white soft” bread, it’s harder to get that without the chemical soup. (Now, many of the chemicals I’m fine with. It’s the ones with known health damage I’m not fond of…) That’s part of why I started baking my own bread. Even then it took me a while to figure out that “bread flour” had more protein and was not as good at making ‘fluffy white’ as the regular flour with more starch in it. Bread flour makes a dandy bread, but a harder toast… And most of the Ezekial type breads carried by the local Whole Foods are those dumpy fat loves that don’t fit the toaster or ‘sandwich box’ well. Also, for me, the “Mixed Grain!” or “Multi-Grain!” loves are a pain as I have to search the whole label to find out if they put corn in it… Sigh.

    But yes, Ezekial is one of the nice ones.

    FWIW, while not yet posted, I’ve been looking into “interesterified” as a fat type and not liking what I’m seeing so far. More on that in a future posting.

    Back on GMOs:

    I’ve been wading through a lot of ‘Green Hype’ trying to find actual studies of GMO effects in farm animals (since they get more of it than anyone else). This is the most formal paper I’ve found so far:

    An interesting paper on a relatively long term pig feeding operation. Biggest findings I see are rather large increases in stomach inflammation and increase in uterus size with GMO feed.

    Click to access The-Full-Paper.pdf

    There’s a fair number of “green” news organizations hyping this paper to more than it is, IMHO. Yes, it shows “bad stuff”, but the overall pig mortality and growth rates are not very different. I’d not eat a diet heavy in GMO corn and soy and expect a healthy stomach, though…

    has a less technical discussion of it.

    GM-fed females had on average a 25% heavier uterus than non-GM-fed females, a possible indicator of disease that requires further investigation. Also, the level of severe inflammation in stomachs was markedly higher in pigs fed on the GM diet. The research results were striking and statistically significant.

    Lead researcher Dr. Judy Carman, adjunct associate professor at Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia, said: “Our findings are noteworthy for several reasons. First, we found these results in real on-farm conditions, not in a laboratory, but with the added benefit of strict scientific controls that are not normally present on farms.

    “Second, we used pigs. Pigs with these health problems end up in our food supply. We eat them.

    “Third, pigs have a similar digestive system to people, so we need to investigate if people are also getting digestive problems from eating GM crops.

    “Fourth, we found these adverse effects when we fed the animals a mixture of crops containing three GM genes and the GM proteins that these genes produce. Yet no food regulator anywhere in the world requires a safety assessment for the possible toxic effects of mixtures. Regulators simply assume that they can’t happen.

    “Our results provide clear evidence that regulators need to safety assess GM crops containing mixtures of GM genes, regardless of whether those genes occur in the one GM plant or in a mixture of GM plants eaten in the same meal, even if regulators have already assessed GM plants containing single GM genes in the mixture.”

    The new study lends scientific credibility to anecdotal evidence from farmers and veterinarians, who have for some years reported reproductive and digestive problems in pigs fed on a diet containing GM soy and corn.

    Iowa-based farmer as well as crop and livestock advisor Howard Vlieger, one of the coordinators of the study, said: “For as long as GM crops have been in the feed supply, we have seen increasing digestive and reproductive problems in animals. Now it is scientifically documented.

    “In my experience, farmers have found increased production costs and escalating antibiotic use when feeding GM crops. In some operations, the livestock death loss is high, and there are unexplained problems including spontaneous abortions, deformities of new-born animals, and an overall listlessness and lack of contentment in the animals.

    I’m looking for links to farmers forums of some sort where they may have collected some of those farmers observations. (Calling them ‘anecdotes’ is a bit dismissive IMHO. Farmers tend to be keen observers of their animals.)

  8. E.M.Smith says:


    You are most welcome.

    I didn’t set out to be a natural foods advocate. I’ve sprayed my fair share of Roundup on various weeds in prior decades. It’s just that comparing food related “issues” as I remember them from a 1/2 century ago with those from now, there is just way more “something is very wrong” now.

    We had one guy with diabetes who ate in our restaurant. One. Very few folks with food allergy issues. Food was just food and folks ate it. Peanuts and all.

    In my home town of 4000 people, there was effectively zero Autism when I was a kid. This is a small farm town where everyone knows everyone. Nobody can hide a kid with issues. Now the Autism rates are near 1 in 100 and headed for 1 in 50 or so. That would be 40 kids in my old home town. Insanity to think that would be a result of not noticing in the past.

    Now this town is fairly stable in population. A town that has long term farming families tied to the land. Extra population leaves, but the core stays. Not a lot of industrial change either.

    So when asking “What changed?” it is a short list.

    What, and how, people eat. Chemicals used in farming. More electronic gadgets. Higher vaccination loads.

    I have returned to that town, on and off. Same families. Same houses. Same folks running the same stores (though now it is the kids I grew up with instead of their parents). Same bars and same fishing and hunting areas. Heck, mostly the same trees as they live a long time.

    But “back then” there was a lot of home cooking. Even in our restaurant my Mom and Dad did the cooking similar to what we did at home. Natural ingredients for just about everything (except that Crisco hydrogenated shortening was being pushed for pastries and deep frying… but there was still a lot of lard used. Heck, I remember loading lard into our deep fat fryers in the restaurant)

    Since then “plastic fats” have permeated frying and baking. Packaged goods with a laundry list of chemicals replaced plant and animal products. The whole processed synthetic foods industry has risen to dominance. And average health has dropped. As a kid, most sick folks had infections or physical injuries (or were just very old an about to die). Now they have lethargy and strange metabolic problems. Even the old are “old and sick” for a long time, where before they tended to be fit and old until the very end. Couple of months most of the time.

    I think these changes are related.

    Further, my family has tended to eat “the old ways”, as that was how I learned to cook. I have some, but limited, use of packaged foods. I don’t use anything “hydrogenated” (though the food factories have learned to hide that in “mono and di-glycerides” and “interesterified” fats so a new set of things for the ‘avoid’ list…). We have tended to be very healthy compared to those who eat the common packaged stuff (modulo allergies but that is an inherited IgE link I think).

    Now we’ve got the rise of the GMO, and the forbidden label problem. OK, I can just avoid ALL packaged foods… Sigh… And do a lot more research time to find out what to avoid. (I’d really be happier if they just let folks put on the label that it was a franken food made with GMO and we could all choose as we like…)

    When it has become a challenge to find food that is grown as it was grown for 10,000 years, something is very wrong in a society.

  9. Richard Ilfeld says:

    A lot of the problem is actually caused by the EPA and it’s predecessors.
    Roundup is a pre-emergent no-till herbacide.
    If you plow and harrow you can eliminate a lot of chemical use, but create dust, erosion, and use
    evil fossil fuels. You can use a low dose post emergent if you have a blowing weed seed problem.
    You can mound fields, cover mounds with plastic and use gas to sterilize for lots of crops.
    And awful lot of farmers have had their farming methods altered from a desk in Washington by folks who’ve never seen what the regulate actually growing.

    In many ways another word for ‘organic’s old-fashioned.
    Government has been attacking real organic farming since the 30’s.

  10. Another Ian says:


    I sent this to a medico I know and allow to keep me healthy. His response

    ” . and they use it by the 44-gallon-drumful around here, with no increase in the foetal abnormalities thus far . . .”

  11. E.M.Smith says:

    @Another Ian:

    And such is the sound of a head being firmly thrust into the sand…

    First, the focus on “foetal abnormalities”… it isn’t what happens. It is infertility and loss of pregnancies as the umbilicus / placenta has issues. It is increased digestive problems once the exposure rate in food gets high enough. It is, basically, where the doctor isn’t looking when he focuses on “foetal abnormalities”…

    My experience with practicing doctors is that they are highly trained to see the usual suspects. They are expected to rapidly and with “good enough” accuracy pick “the usual suspects” for your symptoms and map to the “usual treatment” and send you on your way in under 5 minutes. “When you hear hoof beats, think horse, not zebra.” is drummed into them. Fine and all except when a new zebra herd comes to town… ( I actually had a doctor use that line on me. I eventually cured myself using “zebra” medication…)

    Do not expect novel thinking, nor depth of analysis, from any non-research M.D.; but do expect rapid and expert treatment for the most common things in your area.

    BTW, I’d also rather look at animal effects (where there is a lot of “anecdotal” observations from farmers and a few decent lab papers) of poor reproduction as the first line (since they eat vastly more of this stuff than we do… at the moment…) and react BEFORE the human statistics stack up to an obvious level.

    Click to access zentek_studie_2008.pdf

    I’ve bolded a couple of bits:

    MGS is Multi Generation Study. GM is the GMO corn fed group. RACB is Reproductive Assessment by Continuous Breeding. ISO is the “isogenic” but non-GMO corn feed (so nearly identical genetics).

    In the MGS the continuative investigations revealed differences between the GM and ISO groups. The comparison of organ weights did not indicate directed dietary effects, except for kidneys. The electron histological investigation of the cell nuclei revealed differences as to fibrillar centres, dense fibrillar components and the pore density in hepatocytes. This could point to an effect of the GM crop on metabolic parameters. Immunohistochemistry revealed no systematic differences in CD3, CD20 positive cells and macrophages in gut tissue. The microarrays showed differences between the feeding groups. When the data of both non-GM feeding groups from MGS were combined and compared to the GM feeding group, the discrimination became more evident. Analyses of metabolic pathways indicated, that the groups differed regarding some important pathways, including interleukin signalling pathway, cholesterol biosynthesis and protein metabolism.

    Summarizing the findings of this study it can be concluded, that multi-generation studies, especially based on the RACB design are well suited to reveal differences between feeds. The RACB trial showed time related negative reproductive effects of the GM maize under the given experimental conditions.
    The number of pups at birth (except in F2 generation) and at weaning (all generations) were always lower and pup losses were always higher in the GM group but not on a significantly different level. All data showed high variations. Over all generations about twice as many pups were lost in the GM group as compared to the ISO group (14.59% vs 7.4%).
    Relative kidney weights of females differed significantly in the F2, F3 and F4 generation. Females of the GM group had lower (p<0.001, p=0.045 and p=0.029, respectively) kidney weights than females from the ISO group. Additionally, males in the GM group of the F2 generation showed lower (p<0.001) kidney weights (Figure 8 c).
    ISO versus GM

    In total 439 genes were found to be expressed differentially (p<0.05) using the t test approach for gene expression of mice fed transgenic versus isogenic corn. The minimum fold-change with a cut-off value of 2 revealed 43 genes being upregulated and 98 down-regulated. Gene Set Enrichment Analysis (GSEA) using PANTHER database tool was performed to extract biological information from the data set. Annotation and classification of the differentially expressed genes due to their biological context revealed significant alterations between the following biological processes: protein biosynthesis (p=2.4*10-15), G-protein mediated signalling (p=1.6*10-04) and protein metabolism and modification (p=2.3*10-04). The biological processes ranking on top of the classification (p-values<1.4*10-02) are listed in table 49.
    During the 20 week period of the RACB 4 litters were bred. From 24 pairs assigned to the ISO and GM group, all females of the ISO group (100%) delivered 4 litters (Table 59). In the GM group the number of deliveries declined with time. In the 4th litter only 20 deliveries occurred (p=0.055). The average number of pups born was always lower in the GM group but not significant before the 3rd delivery. There were significantly fewer pups born in the GM group in the 3rd (p=0.011) and 4th (p=0.010) delivery and weaned in the 4th litter (p=0.025). Regarding all deliveries per group more pups were born in the ISO than in the GM group (1035 versus 844). Furthermore females of the GM group always had smaller litters (n≤ 8) as compared to females of the ISO group (Figure 18).

    So your good doctor will be occasionally seeing a woman who is not having as many kids as the neighbor, or with slightly different birth weights, or with minor shifts of metabolism and maybe one or two with smaller than expected kidneys. (Assuming, of course, the mouse study generalizes to primates). AFTER a couple of generations, some families will be having more reproductive difficulty than their organic neighbors, but it is unlikely the good doctor is still around to see it….

    Me? Well, I’d rather my food did not change / reduce my familial reproductive fitness nor shift my gene expression around too much… But then again, I’m fond of looking for zebras… (and often find them as we have many in California. Most, but not all, in zoos and safari parks, but yet there they are…) Just don’t expect to see one in your Doctor’s Office… they never see them…

    @Richard Ilfeld:

    Monsanto has a strong policy of revolving door politics. At one time (maybe still) they essentially ran the department of Ag as the head guy there was a Monsanto guy. I’d not be surprised at all to find them “helping” the EPA…

    Yes, I get a chuckle when someone says it isn’t possible to grow enough food with “organic” methods; given that ALL farming was “organic” until about a generation ago. On the farm where Dad grew up they had manure spreaders and discs, not NPK bags and Roundup…

    Several times I’ve tried pointing out to folks the clear evidence that an organic farm can easily produce more than a chemical / industrial farm (and also pointing out that the industrial / chemical approach is about “easier and cheaper not more”) and it’s a mind block for people. Don’t know why.

    Now there’s nothing WRONG with running a farm for lower labor costs and easiest operation. It is a more profitable profile. Unless, of course, the product is inferior in a damaging way… And I’m quite happy with NPK fertilizer packages and have been known to spray a bug or two. It isn’t an “article of faith” thing for me. Just a matter of keeping a tidy mind. (And no, I don’t want to go back to the says when 20%+ of the population worked on farms… been there, done that…)

    Sigh. For reasons beyond my ken, as I’m not of that sort, most folks love to run to the “simple, obvious, and wrong” explanations. I think it is a mental laziness thing… it takes some time and care to find the trouble in the details.

    There’s an Organic Farm south of me that I’ve visited from time to time. They get more total product out of their few acres than any of the industrial farms I’ve seen (other than greenhouse grow operations – that’s a whole ‘nother animal…); but it takes a much more complicated operation with much smarter workers and many more of them. They have about a 1/2 dozen folks on staff most of the time, and I’d guess about a dozen more at peaks. Were it an industrial mono-culture they could do it with just the owner / family and maybe a paid pesticide service. Then just a ‘one week one time’ harvest crew or harvest machinery. But the total money in from their higher value crops is way higher than the money from a chemical / industrial monocrop, so they are more profitable even after paying the higher wage rates… but only because the local buyers will pay extra for their high end produce boxes.

    Oh Well.

    FWIW, my favorite kind of ag operation is the high tech Greenhouse with hydroponics. Not exactly your epitome of “organic”… The production rate / acre is up to 10x+ that of open fields. There is absolutely NO shortage of ability to grow food as these things can go just about anywhere (outside of tornado ally…) and even work well in deserts ( solar still for fresh water built in…) so it’s not like I’m coming at “organic” with a green-bias chip on my shoulder. Most high end saladings are being grown in such operations now. Look for plastic packed lettuces with the hydroponic root ball still visible on the bottom as one example. Many tomatoes for the table around here are greenhouse based. Hard to tell other than they arrive in the middle of winter… the field tomatoes are mostly for sauces and canning. Folks pay extra for the perfect skin on “hothouse’ tomatoes here.

    And, for the inevitable: No, I’m not advocating growing Field Corn for pigs in a high tech greenhouse (though we could). There is a place for “minimal cost barely good enough quality” bulk feed growing. I just don’t want my pigs passing on something bad to me, nor having their guts messed up while growing. Just pointing out that People Food is not in limited supply from any land shortage. We’ve got a 10x or more ahead of us with known, in hand, tech. AND it doesn’t need Roundup nor much bug spray. (Pests in greenhouses are a problem, but as it is a closed system the ways to deal with it are more elegant. Also hydroponics dodges all the soil pathogens and bugs. But whiteflys can be a bitch…)

  12. Power Grab says:

    After a quick bit of searching, I found something that might be of interest:

    I think you and Joel Salatin should talk… ;-)

    Aside from that, though, my two cents’ worth is that the worst thing about Roundup is that Glyphosate was originally patented to be an antibiotic and chelator. It gets taken up into the entire plant, and it’s not unusual for wheat farmers to use it to “ripen” (a/k/a kill) their crop right before harvest. So even though the development of RR wheat stopped in 2004, that just leaves the farmers free to use it to kill the wheat on their own timetable.

    Now, I understand the pressures wheat farmers have to get their crop harvested quickly and in saleable condition, but when I learned that Glyphosate is an antibiotic and actually enhances the growth of fungi because it preferentially kills off the beneficial bacteria, well that just seemed to explain why wheat is such a problem for so many people.

    IMHO, the symptoms of gluten intolerance and/or wheat allergy seem a lot like those of fungal overgrowth. Maybe our dietary emphasis on eating so much grain is a big part of what causes that. If we eat a lot of antibiotic-contaminated food (people don’t usually think of grain as being in that category, but apparently it is – big time!), then our beneficial bacteria are going to have a hard go of it, while the molds and yeasts and fungi will likely survive and take over. They are the guys that are associated with leaky gut.

    OK. And if you got leaky gut, and you’re a female, then it’s almost a no-brainer to see the strong possibility that problems with the uterus and other reproductive organs are almost a sure thing, since those organs are all packed together in the same part of the body. If your leaky gut is caused by your fungal overgrowth, and your overgrown fungi make their way out of your intestines and into/onto your uterus, ovaries, etc., then you can expect to see problems simply sustaining a pregnancy to term. Then, no, you probably will not see additional foetal abnormalities because you’re not getting pregnant and/or delivering babies because the reproductive organs have been compromised.

    I have a relative who had a hysterectomy at around age 30. I asked her recently if, during all the years she was being treated for endometriosis, did they ever check out the condition of her microbiome? Well, that was long enough ago that they had no idea that could be an issue, so the answer was “No”. But now you can find articles where they see there is an association between leaky gut and endometriosis. (Talk about your population control! This relative had dreamed of having 12 kids when she was growing up. She ended up adopting only one child.)

    So if the pigs’ stomachs were inflamed, and their uteri were enlarged, then that seems like a natural progression. IMHO. I would guess that their microbiome was severely compromised, starting first at the stomach, and enlargement of the uterus was how that organ reacted to that situation.

    I was talking to a lady two days ago whose adopted son (26 years old) has developed an incredible array of health issues, even to the point where their doctor is talking about doing a bone marrow transplant on him. In our long conversation, I asked when was the last time the son had been healthy, and what was the first thing that had gone wrong. She said he had had what he thought was a severe case of stomach flu. Then it was downhill from there. IMHO, his gut flora were severely compromised, which (because 70% of your immune system is in your gut) meant he would continue to have serious problems staying healthy. All the things she told me sounded very much like serious fungal overgrowth.

    I haven’t finished this book, but I think it’s very timely:

    One more thing, I don’t remember whether I have shared my water story with this forum, but I was able to pretty much get rid of a wheat allergy (or gluten intolerance, I don’t know for sure) by (1) minimizing exposure to antibiotics in food, (2) adding probiotic foods and supplements, and (3) avoiding chloraminated tap water. I get well water from a friend, or I can use spring water. So now I’m back to eating just about anything, as long as I can avoid exposure to the germ-killing tap water.

  13. Jason Calley says:

    A Monsanto whistle-blower reports that Monsanto has (what I would describe as) a department of online trolls.

  14. Power Grab says:

    @ Jason Calley: LOL! That explains the nuclear knee-jerk reaction I got on a health forum not long ago. I mentioned that Glyphosate was originally patented as an antibiotic and chelator, and in pretty short order I was summarily blasted as spreading “disinformation”.

    /shakes dust off feet/

  15. E.M.Smith says:


    Look into the tech used in the exotic fish aquarium hobby. Chloramine kills off many kinds of fish, so folks have various ways of removing it. IIRC, one was just to boil the tap water…

    FWIW, I’ve had a couple of bouts of “bug disruption” in my life even before it was ‘trendy’ and had to get it figured out and back in balance on my own. (Before there were pills for it, a finger full of yogurt “up the wrong way” worked rather well…) On one occasion I had what I called “smelly farts” with way too much rotten egg smell. Had persistent headaches to go with it (that I’d not had before or since). Figured it was “wrong bugs” and after a couple of more days worked out the yogurt approach. Couple of days later, all was well again and “smelly farts” gone. Headaches gone too. More energy and all followed.

    Since then, I’ve regularly had yogurt after any antibiotics or after too much alcohol (that can also do a number on belly bugs…) and if done soon enough works well “top down”. With the advent of lactobacillus capsules, I’ve not need to resort to “bottoms up” for a few decades; but worth remembering if ever out in the boonies away from drugstores and healthfood stores.

    Oh, and I make it a habit to “play in the dirt” and swim in natural waters frequently. Keeping my exposure to natural bugs more diverse than just yogurt. (Whenever I visit the ocean, I “taste a bit” of it. Partly as I like the salt. Partly as a metaphorical return to the sea / origin. And with a possible of keeping my belly bugs more diverse… at any rate, I feel better psychologically…)

    All that has made a significant improvement in my life. Just keeping the bugs right after a “night out with friends” has shortened / eliminated some of the longer term negative effects of that behavior. (Before I’d sometimes have digestive upset for a few days. Having a yogurt with water makes that a non-issue.)

    So few people pay any attention at all to their belly bugs, and it’s just so important. (I’ve been pondering a posting that I’ve not gotten to yet about the experiments done with mice. You can make mice obese with the “wrong” bacteria, and it is transferable from mouse to mouse with a bacterial move. Shades of “obesity epidemic”…)

    @Jason Calley:

    It’s not just Monsanto (though I’m happy to see evidence of it). Many companies have folks assigned to “reputation management” on line. I’m fairly sure some are ‘regulars’ at WUWT from the “warmers” side. (The “rotation” of names with the same ongoing ‘style’ and near instant “pounce” on nearly every posting to get the first snark in, and with the nested comments, that leads to the top 120 comments all being in troll / thread hijack land after a while, IMHO.)

    That kind of thing is why I’m so hard core about “be polite” and oppressing “troll like behaviour”. I’m just unwilling to let that approach pollute real discussion.

  16. Alexander K says:

    Hi from the sub-tropical North of New Zealand!
    Your information re Roundup rings bells for me!
    My wife was diagnosed as a Celiac, after being unwell (but not sick enough to not work) for years.
    We have experimented at great length with baking gluten-free bread for a very long time, and have only just found a satisfactory solution. We found a new brand (to us) of imported Australian bread mix in our local market, tried making it, and the results are great – good, tasty bread, Gluten free, and at one third the cost of commercially baked stuff.
    I have also successfully made gluten and sugar free fruit cake, just as tasty as the original old and traditional recipe I started with!
    I am now convinced that all sorts of ailments, such peanut allergies, gluten intolerance, etc, which are hitting epidemic proportions now are an indicator that something malign has sneaked ( or has been sneaked) into our food chain. I think you have pointed to the culprit.

  17. E.M.Smith says:

    @Alexander K: has some interesting recipes for a variety of substitutions (like GF and peanut free and soy free and…)

    I’d wondered about the sudden rise in food sensitivities in folks with no prior family history of food issues. For me, the connection of pig stomach irritation was a bit of a Light Bulb moment.

    I’m likely to swap much more heavily away from GMO and RoundUp treated foods and buy much more “organic” (as it seems to be the only way to assure non-GMO non-Roundup in the USA. Sigh. I really don’t care about things like chemical fertilizers and all and would REALLY like to have labels that showed “grown like in the 1950s” on them, but it’s sort of “the whole organic package” or “mystery meat” as our two choices here…)

    So to get wheat not ‘killed for harvest’ by drowning in (and soaking up) RoundUp, I have to buy full on organic wheat / flour/ etc. To get zucchini for saute that isn’t GMO, I have to buy organic zucchini (or grow my own, that I’m doing seasonally). To get cooking oil without potential Bt toxin contamination I have to avoid corn and soy oils (and likely canola) and buy olive (expensive and I like it better but it isn’t a neutral flavor…) or “go organic”. The costs pile up…

    AND you get to avoid pretty much all packaged foods as their is zero on the label. (Or buy only the limited selection of things that are “organic”… and at higher prices from the scarcity of them.)

    Oh Well.

    I’ve been the ‘foot dragger’ on this as other family / friends have had issues that were resolved with the switch. But my general food style ( mostly make my own from scratch ingredients ) has avoided a lot of the major junk sources. Now, though, with both R.Ready and GMO being much more pervasive (even into squash, bananas, potatoes, wheat …) it is getting ever harder. So like it or not, I’m going to be adding to the Whole Foods bottom line.

    Best of wishes for your spouse…

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