June 21, 2016
The “Great Glyphosate Rebellion” – a term first coined by Sustainable Pulse – continues to intensify, not only in Europe, where application of the widely used weed killer is about to expire, but also in the U.S., where Monsanto has long held regulatory authorities in a choke-hold, allowing for the persistent distribution of its toxic chemicals. But those days may finally be coming to an end.
A coalition of independent scientists held a closed door meeting with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Washington D.C. on Tuesday, during which they pressured officials to ban glyphosate once and for all.
Researchers testified that the weed killer presents serious risks to public health, animals and the environment that should not be ignored any longer.
They explained to EPA officials that exposure to glyphosate is strongly linked to a host of debilitating and often fatal health effects, including autism, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, birth defects, obesity and gluten intolerance, among other diseases.
Monsanto’s flagship herbicide linked to birth defects, obesity and autism
“When a cell is trying to form proteins, it may grab glyphosate instead of glycine to form a damaged, mis-folded protein. After that it’s medical chaos. Where glyphosate replaces glycine, the cell can no longer conduct business as usual causing unpredicted consequences with many diseases and disorders as a result,” said pathobiologist Dr. Stephen Frantz, a public health research scientist.
Frantz also highlighted the adverse effects Monsanto’s flagship weed killer has on the environment, including its ability to inhibit crops from capturing carbon from the air, an essential tool for combating climate change.
“Glyphosate negatively affects the soil microbiome. It is destroying the ability of soil to be a nutritive medium for producing crops. Organic or biological regenerative agriculture is the solution for the sustainable agricultural sector and will conserve soil, air and water quality, and sequester carbon that helps to mitigate the climate crisis. We call for a ban on glyphosate.”
Another major health concern related to glyphosate application is the role it plays in fueling antibiotic resistance, which according to the World Health Organization, is one the biggest threats to humanity.
Glyphosate and antibiotic resistance
Because the weed killer is a patented antimicrobial, consuming foods sprayed with glyphosate exposes humans to a “chronic, low dose antibiotic,” said Frantz. As a result, superbugs are becoming far more prevalent, so much so that experts are now predicting an end to the era of antibiotics.
“Glyphosate is impacting DNA and causing disease. These diseases are skyrocketing and we will only see more of this if we do not put a stop to the use of glyphosate,” added Sterling Hill, a DNA research scientist based in Louisiana.
The EPA is currently reviewing the safety of glyphosate, and will not say if the weed killer will be re-licensed until the completion of its review, which is set to be released next year.
In May, the agency published what appeared to be the results of its assessment, which concluded that glyphosate is not a human carcinogen. However, the EPA strangely yanked the assessment from its website, claiming that it was “inadvertently” released, and that its review is not yet finished.
The document that was prematurely released used Monsanto data to reach its conclusion. Environmental advocates are hopeful that the official ruling will recognize that glyphosate does in fact cause cancer.