By Dr. Bryan Warner
I’ve long opposed GMO (genetically modified) food crops and the use of glyphosate ― a dangerous chemical that contributes to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, birth defects, brain and other cancers, celiac disease and gluten intolerance, diabetes, heart disease, hypothyroidism, obesity, Parkinson’s and other diseases.
Since glyphosate’s market introduction in 1996, the risk to health created by its use as a crop spray during the growing season has been a matter of serious concern. Now, however, it’s also being used in a way that greatly increases human exposure.
According to EcoWatch, GMO crops were engineered to tolerate high levels of glyphosate without killing the plants. In response, farmers used ever-increasing amounts of this chemical that appeared to be a miracle weed killer.
Over the years, data was falsified so glyphosate could be marketed as safe and environmentally friendly. A French court recognized such declarations as false advertising; however, despite the fact that science had documented glyphosate’s adverse health effects for close to 20 years, these claims of safety went unchallenged in the U.S.
Now farmers are using glyphosate for so-called “dessication” ― a practice that exponentially increases its toxicity and the number of people affected.
As of last year, 18.9 BILLION pounds of glyphosate had been sold around the world. Importantly, 74% of this amount was applied between 1996 and 2016 ― years when desiccation greatly expanded glyphosate sales.
Although unknown to most people, this practice has been promoted by the industry for the past 15 years and spread throughout the country. It involves applying glyphosate-containing herbicides to wheat and barley crops 7–10 days before harvest. As the term “dessication” suggests, it dries out the plants.
As described in a letter from wheat farmer Keith Lewis, “Farmers like this practice because [glyphosate] kills the wheat plant allowing an earlier harvest.” Because the plant “goes to seed,” dessication also produces a higher yield and, of course, higher profits.
This practice isn’t licensed, but that hasn’t prevented its adoption, and as a result of dessication, most non-organic wheat in the U.S. is contaminated with glysophate. When less mature plants are sprayed, glyphosate is taken up into the kernels and eventually makes it into the flour used in products for human consumption.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that, in 2012, herbicides were used on 99% of durum wheat, 97% of spring wheat and 61% of winter wheat. That’s an 88% increase for durum wheat, 91% for spring wheat and 47% for winter wheat since 1998.
Interestingly, dessicated lentils and peas aren’t marketable, but preharvest glyphosate treatment of wheat is allowed.
The incidence of celiac disease has spiked dramatically since 1990, paralleling the escalation of glyphosate application to wheat. The result has subjected people to immune system attacks on the small intestines and impaired their ability to absorb nutrients.
And, although glysophate has been branded a probable carcinogen by the World Health Organization (WHO), the manufacturer continues to insist that it poses little danger to humans.
The effects of glysophate don’t come all at once. Rather, they are slow and insidious. It:
Eating glyphosate-contaminated foods can lead to gastrointestinal disorders, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, depression, infertility, multiple sclerosis and autism.
Wheat in all its many forms ― bread, pizza crust, crackers, bakery treats and many other foods ― has traditionally been such a staple in the Western diet that it’s difficult to imagine life without it.
However, even if you don’t have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, eating just any wheat isn’t safe. If you want to stay healthy, you need to avoid all commercial wheat products. If you don’t, odds are that you will develop wheat sensitivity or autoimmune disease.
The same applies to all processed foods.
I recommend baking your own bread, cookies, pancakes, etc. using unhybridized Einkorn wheat flour, which you can purchase here or at other reputable online sources.
Also, avoid buying wheat products at grocery stores or ordering them in restaurants. (Ask your waiter to please remove that oh-so-tempting basket of bread they arrives before they bring your food!)
Finally, take action! Let your senator and congressional representative know that, to protect Americans’ health, we need to make products containing glyphosate illegal for human consumption. You can find their contact information here.
Roseboro, K. Why Is Glyphosate Sprayed on Crops Right Before Harvest? EcoWatch.
Sarah. The real Reason Wheat Is Toxic (it’s not the gluten). http://www.realfarmacy.com/reason-toxic-wheat/.
15 Health Problems Linked to Monsanto’s Roundup. EcoWatch. http://www.ecowatch.com/15-health-problems-linked-to-monsantos-roundup-1882002128.html. Jan. 23, 2015.
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