How Much Posion Are You Eating?
We all have heard to eat lots of vegetable, fruits, grain and lean meats. All these except the lean meats are laced with toxic herbicides.
Ever heard of “Round-Up Ready Seeds”? Perhaps you should Google it and see what we think we are eating to be healthy foods that are laced with the highest levels of toxins a human can digest.
This potential hazard is due to the heavy use of Round up in agriculture crop growing, the most widely applied herbicide in the U.S. Over 283 million pounds were sprayed on “Roundup Ready” crops in 2012, and the chemical remains popular today.
What is Roundup?
Introduced under its now almost infamous name by Monsanto in 1974, Roundup is a weed killer with glyphosate as its active ingredient. By 2007, Roundup was the most-used crop spray in America.
Glyphosate works by inhibiting the activity of key enzymes in plants, preventing further growth and leading to death within a few days. U.S. farmers use Roundup as broad-spectrum weed control on many crops, including corn, soy, canola, alfalfa, sorghum and cotton.
Corn and soy are two of the most ubiquitous ingredients in processed foods and animal feed. Concern has been growing over Roundup use, the potential for contamination in the food supply and whether foods made with crops treated with Roundup or meats from animals fed grain sprayed with the chemical have the potential to cause cancer and other diseases in humans.
How Can Farmers Spray Roundup Without Killing Crops?
Since Roundup kills all kinds of plants, improved corn and soybeans needed to be developed to withstand the powerful herbicide. In 1996, Monsanto introduced the first “Roundup Ready” seeds. Genetically modified to resist Roundup’s enzyme-disrupting effects, these seeds produce plants with the ability to survive indiscriminate spraying. Farmers can kill weeds without affecting crops when they plant Roundup Ready varieties, resulting in the potential for higher yields.
Although Monsanto’s patent for Roundup has run out, the company is still a large producer of GMO seeds. Reliance on these products means farmers can only use Roundup as crop spray. Because plants are only able to survive exposure from glyphosate, switching to any other type of herbicide would spell disaster for crops.
Complicating the issue is the high demand for corn and soy as a major component of the feed given to animals on factory farms. Feedlots rely on these crops to fatten animals quickly so that the meat can be moved to market to satisfy an ever-growing appetite for cheap “fast food” options.
Roundup-Ready: A Trigger for Cancer?
Whether genetically modified Roundup Ready crops or the glyphosate sprayed on them are toxic to humans continues to be a matter of debate, especially when it comes to cancer risk. A large number of consumers and advocacy groups are convinced the products are dangerous and should be banned. However, studies on glyphosate have failed to provide convincing evidence of toxicity or carcinogenic potential.
In 2015, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer classified glyphosate as a possible carcinogen, but the United Nations (UN) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) still maintain the opposite position. Personal accounts tend to favor the position of the WHO, showing many farm workers who spend part of the season spraying Round up develop serious illnesses, including blood cancer. Cancer rates have been found to be higher in areas where Roundup is sprayed on nearby farm fields. These increased incidences of breast, prostate and lung cancer may be due to the potential of glyphosate to cause DNA damage and possibly initiate cancerous mutations.
Definitively linking glyphosate to cancer is difficult due to the delay in disease development following exposure. Some new evidence suggests the supposedly “inert” ingredients in the herbicide, including the surfactant POEA, may be responsible for causing illness instead of the glyphosate itself. Another disturbing possibility was raised by a 2017 study published in the journal Entropy showing glyphosate disrupts the activity of a key detoxification enzyme, cytochrome P450, in mammals. This makes it difficult for the body to rid itself of other toxins encountered in daily life and may add another dimension to the controversy surrounding Roundup.
Which Foods are Contaminated with Roundup?
Go back to the pantry and take down a box. Look at the ingredients, and see if you can spot which are derived from improved corn and soybeans. They’re not always easy to pick out. Common ingredients, including maltodextrin, vegetable oil, citric acid and hydrolyzed vegetable protein, may actually be Roundup Ready crops in disguise. If you eat meat from a typical grocery store chain or at restaurants, the animals from which it came also likely spent their lives munching through troughs of Monsanto’s products.
Although it’s still a controversial topic, many groups are concerned about the levels of glyphosate present in the food products many Americans enjoy on a daily basis. In 2016, Food Democracy Now and the Detox Project released the results of tests showing how much Roundup was in foods from popular brands. The findings were called “alarming” and demonstrated high levels of glyphosate in such beloved foods as:
• Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios
• Doritos “Cool Ranch” variety
• Goldfish crackers
• Kellogg’s Corn Flakes, Raisin Bran and Frosted Flakes
• Lay’s potato chips
• Ritz crackers
• Simply Naked pita chips
These packaged goods are common features of the diets of most Americans, including children. The effects of long-term exposure to glyphosate through these foods are still being investigated, but many consumers are beginning to suspect a link between herbicide contamination and several common ailments, including cancer.
Whether or not major organizations agree on the carcinogenic potential of glyphosate, it’s hard to ignore reports showing the increased cancer rates among farm workers and families living near fields where Roundup is sprayed. Many people are taking steps to actively avoid glyphosate exposure.
Protecting yourself from ingesting Roundup requires diligence in food choices. Look for non-GMO and organic products, choosing whole foods instead of processed or packaged fare as often as possible. Eliminate meat raised on factory farms, and think twice about what you order in restaurants. You may be putting much more in your mouth than you bargain for.