The biotechnology and processed food industries, led by Monsanto, have repeatedly spent huge amounts of money to prevent the labeling of GMO foods. They’ve been successful in the US – and the public is angry about this. For more information, see The Monsanto Protection Act is Back, and Worse Than Ever (Center for Food Safety, 2015).
You can protect your health – and vote with your dollars – by avoiding products manufactured by the following companies.
List of 68 companies and brands either owned by Monsanto or known to use genetically modified seeds sold by Monsanto (Hess, 2016):
Campbell’s (* See note below)
Delicious Brands cookies
Loma Linda Foods
Procter & Gamble
Rice-A-Roni & Pasta Roni
Weight Watchers Smart Ones
Tombstone frozen pizza
*Formerly a staunch opposer to mandatory GMO labeling, Campbell Soup, while still including GMO foods in its products, has at least recently given in to consumer pressure and agreed to label them. The company announced earlier this year that it “will advocate for federal legislation that would require all foods and beverages regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to be clearly and simply labeled for GMOs.” (Charles, 1/8/2016)
“Glyphosate levels have been found to be significantly higher in the urine of humans who ate non-organic food, compared with those who ate mostly organic food. Chronically ill people showed significantly higher glyphosate residues in their urine than healthy people.” (Robinson, Antoniou & Fagan, 2015)
This post may bring at least part of the discussion of GMO foods from the general to the personal – the effects of glyphosate on your own health.
WHAT IS GLYPHOSATE
Glyphosate is the key chemical ingredient in Monsanto’s RoundUp weedkiller, which the genetically modified seeds produced by Monsanto – called “RoundUp Ready” – are engineered to withstand. These “RoundUp Ready” seeds can be doused with glyphosate and survive while the other non-GMO plants around them are killed. (GMO Awareness, 2011)
Glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide in the world.
“Since 1974 in the U.S., over 1.6 billion kilograms of glyphosate active ingredient have been applied, or 19 % of estimated global use of glyphosate (8.6 billion kilograms). Globally, glyphosate use has risen almost 15-fold since so-called “Roundup Ready,” genetically engineered glyphosate-tolerant crops were introduced in 1996. Two-thirds of the total volume of glyphosate applied in the U.S. from 1974 to 2014 has been sprayed in just the last 10 years. The corresponding share globally is 72 %. In 2014, farmers sprayed enough glyphosate to apply ~1.0 kg/ha (0.8 pound/acre) on every hectare of U.S.-cultivated cropland and nearly 0.53 kg/ha (0.47 pounds/acre) on all cropland worldwide.” (Benbrook, 2016)
That’s a huge amount of poison being sprayed on the fruits and vegetables we eat and in the feed of most of the animal products we consume.
“Worldwide, 8 GMO crops have been approved for commercial production; soy, cotton, corn, canola, sugarbeet, papaya, squash or yellow zucchini, and alfalfa, and the biotech industry is in the process of pushing forward additionally modified foods such as rice, apples, and salmon. The four major crops that account for virtually all of the biotech output are soy, cotton, corn, and canola. The remaining GMO crops are exclusively grown in the United States with the exception being papaya which is grown in China in addition to US cultivation.”
In the US, nearly 300 million pounds of glyphosate were used on crops in 2013. (US Department of the Interior, 2016)
Glyphosate Use in US by Year and Crop, 1992-2013
The following information is from the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC, 2015):
Glyphosate is an herbicide applied to the leaves of plants to kill both broad leaf plants and grasses.
Glyphosate has been one of the most widely used herbicides in the United States since 1974. It is used in agriculture and forestry, on lawns and gardens, and for weed control in industrial areas. Some products containing glyphosate are used to control aquatic plants.
As of 2015, there were over 750 products containing glyphosate for sale in the US.
Glyphosate is a non-selective herbicide – it will kill most plants by interfering with plants’ ability to synthesize aromatic amino acids. This pathway is necessary for plants and some microorganisms’ survival.
Glyphosate exposure can take place via the skin, eyes, nose, and ingestion.
HEALTH CONSEQUENCES OF GLYPHOSATE
This list was published by GMO-Awareness.com in 2011. See More About Glyphosate (RoundUp) for more information on glyphosate and links to numerous studies on its health consequences:
Glyphosate causes disease and biological / physiological disorders in crops
Glyphosate is no longer effective at killing weeds
Glyphosate use is increasing steadily
Glyphosate is not breaking down as promised by Monsanto
Glyphosate causes birth defects, tumors, and reproductive disorders in animals, as well as sharp declines in beneficial insects
Glyphosate is a genotoxic endocrine disruptor to human cells and gut bacteria
Glyphosate is linked to cancer and deadly kidney disease in humans
Glyphosate causes DNA damage
In spite of considerable evidence, t he EPA is still deciding whether glyphosate presents any health risks to humans
Glyphosate resistance is the primary purpose of genetic crop engineering
In 2015, I sent urine and tap water samples to The Detox Project for glyphosate residue testing. Their testing uses a scientifically validated LC/MS/MS method – a powerful and highly sensitive procedure for detecting and measuring chemicals in liquid samples. (Wikipedia, 5/20/2016)
To my surprise, the sample of water from my kitchen sink contained an insignificant amount of glyphosate residue but my urine sample was a different story: 3.5ppb (parts per billion) (ng/mL) – higher than the 2.8ppb (ng/mL) average for my area of the country, the Northeast.
My urine glyphosate finding is disturbing. 3.5 ppb possibly increases my risk for a number of serious health consequences down the road. The relatively high number possibly also explains, along with repeated doses of antibiotics, how my colon came to be overrun with a Clostridium difficile infection in 2010. If my gut microbiome had been diverse and strong, my gut wouldn’t have become overrun with C. diff bacteria.
There’s also the fact that I grew up and lived a large part of my life in the Midwest. If you look at the map and chart above, you’ll see that this area has been doused with a high concentration of glyphosate.
Also, it has been only since I recovered from that C. diff infection that I started to read up on GMO vs organic and began to eat more organic foods. Yet, my life is fairly complicated with many moving parts and most of my work is conducted at my home. I’m able to get to the Union Square Greenmarket only one afternoon a week to shop for organic fruits, veggies, cheeses, and meat. The grocery stores that are convenient to my home carry a limited variety of wild caught fish and organic meats. My social life generally involves meeting friends for meals a few days a week and I take myself out to eat maybe one additional day to avoid cabin fever. I have a gluten allergy and sensitivities to several other common ingredients so am somewhat limited in dishes I can safely eat. And the kicker is that, even in New York City, the majority of well priced, interesting restaurants serve GMO food, much of it very tasty and locally produced) – meaning I’m still getting an ongoing dose of glyphosate in my salads, sushi, and chicken tikka masala.
My glyphosate score doesn’t mean I’m doomed to get any serious health conditions. It has, however, made me realize that I have to work even harder to keep my gut immunity strong.
Glyphosate, the most frequently used herbicide in the world, was found in the urine of 93% of people across American during this unique project.
Even worse, the highest levels of glyphosate were found in children!
Additionally, as The Detox Project points out, people who had themselves tested were likely already knowledgeable about the dangers of GMO foods so were inclined to avoid them – and, even so, glyphosate was found in the urine and breast milk samples from 93% of us.
Urine samples were tested by a laboratory at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) during this first ever comprehensive and validated LC/MS/MS testing project to be carried out across America.
Glyphosate was determined to be A PROBABLE HUMAN CARCINOGEN by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer in 2015 (IARC, 2015) – and now this toxic product has been shown to exist in the bodies of over 90% of the US population.
Information from The Detox Project’s press release (Detox Project 2015-2016):
Urine and Water Testing Results
“93% of the urine tested by the University of California San Francisco lab tested positive for glyphosate residues. No glyphosate was found in the tap water samples. These results are only from a small percentage of the total samples collected. More data will be released later in 2016 that shows a very similar percentage contamination rate in a much larger number of people, according to the UCSF laboratory.
“The results of this bio-survey come from the first in-lab validated LC/MS/MS testing method used for glyphosate testing of the general public in America.”
Is Glyphosate Safe at Real-Life Exposure Levels?
“Glyphosate has never been studied by regulators or the chemical industry at levels that the human population in the U.S. is being exposed to (under 3 mg/kg body weight/day). This is a huge hole in the global risk assessment of glyphosate, as there is evidence suggesting that low levels of the chemical may hack hormones even more than at mid and high levels, according to independent science – a higher dose does not necessarily make a more toxic, hormone disruptive effect.”
“Industry funded science from the dark ages suggested that the higher the dose of a chemical the more dangerous it was. However, modern independent science has discovered that many toxic chemicals have as much or even more of an influence on our health at low doses– these chemicals are known as hormone hackers (endocrine disruptors).
“A study from March 2015 stated that the health costs to the European Union of just some hormone hacking chemicals, in connection with a subset of illnesses known to be linked to hormone interference, is over EUR 150 Billion per year! The study stated that lower IQ, adult obesity and 5% or more of autism cases are all linked to exposure to endocrine disruptors.
Unique Testing Project
“The Detox Project is a unique platform for the testing of toxic chemicals in our bodies and in our food. The aim of the project is to cut out all conflicts of interest in chemical bio-surveys by allowing the public to pay directly for chemical testing that they are interested in.”
“The regions with the highest levels were the West and the Midwest with an average of 3.053 PPB and 3.050 PPB respectively.
“Glyphosate residues were not observed in any tap water samples during the early phase of the project, most likely due to phosphorus removal during water treatment.
“The results from the UCSF urine testing in America showed a much higher frequency and average glyphosate level than those observed in urine samples in the European Union in 2013. The average level in Europe was around 1 PPB with a frequency of detection of 43.9%.”
“Glyphosate is likely to be one of these hormone hacking chemicals at real-life exposure levels down to 0.1 ppb or below, according to independent science. Regulators and the chemical industry have simply not studied the toxic effects of glyphosate at real-life exposure levels. Find more information on this here.”
YOU CAN’T WASH GLYPHOSATE OFF YOUR FOOD
Glyphosate incorporates into each cell of a plant so WASHING PRODUCE DOES NOT REMOVE IT. And it accumulates in animal tissues so you get a dose of glyphosate whenever you eat meat and dairy products from animals fed GMO grain feeds. (Carnahan, 2015)
Inflammatory bowel diseases (Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis)
Carnahan also includes her own Detox Project’s Glyphosate Analysis Report in her article along with an explanation of why she thinks the glyphosate residue level in her urine is so high. (Carnahan, 2016)
“The Detox Project provides glyphosate level testing for urine and water. This testing will provide you with an accurate report on the levels of glyphosate and 150+ man-made chemicals in your urine and water in parts per billion (ppb) and also gives you information about the results of independent peer-reviewed lab studies on rats and other animals that have been completed on glyphosate and glyphosate-based herbicides.
Carnahan, J. (2015). Glyphosate Toxicity: What You Don’t Know Might Kill You! See: http://www.jillcarnahan.com/2015/11/22/glyphosate-toxicity/http://www.jillcarnahan.com/2015/11/22/glyphosate-toxicity/
This is a follow up to my last post, Monsanto’s RoundUp “Safe to Drink” – Laugh Out Loud Video (April 2, 2015). If you haven’t been following Monsanto and its role in genetically engineering our food, you may not be aware of the lengths the company has gone to insure it gets its way in genetically engineering our food while doing untold harm to human and animal health along with the health of the soil, water, and air.
This post is a story in images about the ongoing revolving door in place between Monsanto and the US government: including the FDA, USDA & EPA (all agencies that are supposedly looking out for the country’s health and the environment), Congress, the Supreme Court, and even the White House.
Monsanto has essentially bought our government. This mutually beneficial relationship explains why efforts to regulate Monsanto or even enacting mandatory GMO labeling continually get shot down – no matter how many petitions we sign.
Perhaps this sounds like I’m a conspiracy theorist. Check it out before you decide.
SOME EXAMPLES OF HOW MONSANTO OWNS OUR GOVERNMENT – THE REVOLVING DOOR BETWEEN MONSANTO AND THE US GOVERNMENT
“Due to the vested interest that Monsanto has in controlling regulation that affects its business, it has both donated to politicians and promoted the appointment of people who work for them to positions within the American government. As of yet, Monsanto has been successful in keeping its regulatory burdens low and getting its representatives into positions within the US government. The infiltration of regulatory agencies by corporate actors that is referred to here is called the “regulatory revolving door”. Individuals who work for industry go to work for the government, make public regulations, and then return to the private sector after leaving the public service.”
In 2010 Obama appointed Michael Taylor, the previous VP for Public Policy at Monsanto and a current Monsanto lobbyist, to a high level advisory role at the Food and Drug Administration.
In 2009, as Solicitor General, Elena Kagan defended Monsanto’s right to contaminate the environment with its GM alfalfa.
In 2013, as a Supreme Court Justice, Elena Kagan announced the Court’s unanimous opinion supporting Monsanto’s patent rights on its herbicide resistant genetically altered Roundup Ready seed …
In 2008 Obama appointed Tim Vilsack, former Iowa governor and shill for agribusiness biotech giants like Monsanto, to be the United States Secretary of Agriculture. In early 2009, the US Senate confirmed the nomination by unanimous consent.
In 2010 Obama appointed Islam Siddiqui, lobbyist and then VP of Science and Regulatory Affairs at CropLife America – a lobbying organization for the pesticide and biotech industries – as Chief Agricultural Negotiator in the Office of the US Trade Representative. His government job is to promote the export of American crops. His former jobs were to promote the sale of Monsanto and other pesticides and biotech crops. His government job is to promote the export of American crops, allowing Siddiqui to represent Monsanto’s interests as if they are identical to the interests of the US.
Dr Robert Beachy, an expert in plant virology and biotechnology of plants, carried out research in collaboration with Monsanto Company that led to the development of the world’s first genetically modified food crop. In 2009 Obama appointed him as first director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), whose mission is advance knowledge for agriculture, the environment, human health and well-being.
In 2014 Putin Tells Obama: “Stop Monsanto, Or We Will” ….
For good reason, many refer to Monsanto – which began as a toxic chemical company in 1901 and then, a century later, rebranded itself as a “sustainable agriculture” company interested in helping feed the world – as “The World’s Most Evil Corporation”. To read more about Monsanto’s machinations during its devious history of profiting from the manufacture of devastatingly harmful products, see The Complete History of Monsanto, “The World’s Most Evil Corporation”. (Hanzai, 2014)