Transcript: The Harmful Effects of Glyphosate (and what you can do about it)
What if I told you that there’s a high chance you’re eating deadly poison every day? Yes, you heard me right. What I’m talking about is glyphosate.
Since the late 1970s, the amount of glyphosate used on agricultural crops has increased about 100-fold.
It accounts for 72% of all pesticides and agricultural chemicals used around the world and about 150,000 tons are sprayed on US crops alone every year.
And today, at least 70% of Americans test positive for glyphosate in their urine. Is this widespread use of glyphosate something we should be worried about?
Why have some countries such as Austria and the Netherlands banned or heavily restricted the use of glyphosate?
And why is the science behind this chemical so murky?
In this video, I’m going to share with you the real science behind this scary chemical and just how it messes with our bodies, our brains, and our longevity. And more importantly, stay with me until the end of this video because I’m going to share actionable steps that you can immediately take to reduce your exposure to glyphosate.
Now one of my goals is to always guide and empower you over the healing of your own body, mind, and spirit, and to give you the most current evidence on how to do that. So please hit the subscribe button notification bell if you are new and for those of you who share our videos with others, we’re incredibly grateful for you.
Mobile phones. The Sony Walkman. Digital cameras. Jaws. Bowl cuts. The Brady Bunch. Elton John. Donna Summer. Roller disco parties. Grease.
Now the 1970s may have been groovy for many reasons, but one thing that wasn’t so sexy was the introduction of glyphosate, aka Roundup.
Weeds are a significant problem in production agriculture. They compete with crops for the vital nutrients and water in the soil, decrease the quality of the crops and can even jeopardize the safety of our food. There's no denying we have some serious unwanted garden guests here folks.
This is why pesticides and herbicides are used. They prevent weeds and stop pests from destroying crops. If we didn’t use them, we would lose a vast amount of our crops and many people would go without their dinner.
Around the world today, there are over 1,000 different pesticides and their use is dramatically increasing.
Why? Well, largely thanks to genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
Farmers need to defend their crops against bugs, but GMOs have taken this protection a step further. Instead of just wearing bug spray, some plants now actually come with genetically built-in pest repellent! Thanks to genetic engineering and biotechnology, these so-called "supercrops" are becoming resistant even to heavy doses of herbicides. As a result, there has been a significant increase in the use of these chemicals across the world, and, in particular, the main guy, glyphosate.
Since the 70s, glyphosate has been the superhero of the agricultural world - but now it seems that its use has revealed some super shady health effects- information that the Monsanto company and various other groups have been desperately trying to push under the carpet.
Some of the big guns like the Environmental Health Journal have called for a “fresh and independent examination” of glyphosate-based herbicides.
And FIGO (the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics) has recommended that glyphosate exposure should end with a full global phaseout.
So why exactly should we be concerned? What are glyphosate’s shady side effects?
Well, let’s take a deep dive into the science.
Glyphosate and Cancer
On June 24 2020, one of the leading articles in The New York Times, opened with:
“When Bayer, the giant German chemical and pharmaceutical maker, acquired Monsanto two years ago, the company knew it was also buying the world’s best-known weedkiller. What it didn’t anticipate was a legal firestorm over claims that the herbicide, Roundup, caused cancer.”
The title of the article: “Roundup Maker to Pay $10 Billio n to Settle Cancer Suits.”
Legal firestorm was about right.
In fact, glyphosate has attracted considerable attention for being the subject of more than 100,000 cancer lawsuits. Wow, that number is going to take up a lot of time in the justice system!
Now, what would you do if you were the CEO of Bayer?
Well, he did what any shrewd businessman would do to save his company’s ass… etc.
He picked his battles well. For any lawsuit that is heading for a jury trial and is likely to win, Bayer offers a tidy settlement, while cases that are weak, Bayer allows to go through court and lose.
So far, 80% of all Roundup claims have been settled but there are still about 30,000 still active and pending. But if you think about it, if you are a cancer patient, the whole process takes way too long.
Bayer even went so far as to try and end all legal claims so no more litigations could be made, but the US Supreme Court rejected his bid.
Another voice that has been very vocal in supporting the safety of glyphosate has been the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In 2016, they issued a report that concluded that glyphosate was “not likely to be carcinogenic to humans.”
However, just one year earlier, after an assessment by the World Health Organization's IARC (the International Agency for Research on Cancer), glyphosate was classified as “probably carcinogenic to humans.” This put glyphosate in the same category as arsenic and asbestos and there’s not much argument there!
Unfortunately, the science has been so murky because, like many other things, there’s a lot of money at stake. And because like this is people’s lives that they would have to account for.
Like, for example, many of the “studies” that had been done to verify the safety of glyphosate were discovered to have been provided by a laboratory with an alleged history of fraud and misconduct.
53 studies done by pesticide companies (Sarah cups her hand over her mouth: who really should not have been involved in the first place), were evaluated and shown that they failed to meet international standards for scientific rigour.
The research to support its safety just doesn’t hold up. Unfortunately, much of the research published so far about the safety of glyphosate does not rely on sound science but on efforts to manipulate the science.
In fact the real science is showing another story…
In 2019, a meta-analysis which is like the top-tier, the gold standard in scientific research, found a “compelling link” between glyphosate-based herbicides and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. In fact, the researchers found that exposure to Roundup raised cancer risks by 41 percent! To put that in perspective, asbestos raises cancer risk by 28%, and well, every country (Sarah cups her hand over her mouth again: except Mexico and the US) has banned asbestos.
Bayer has a somewhat unique corporate resolve to ignore this evidence that Roundup causes cancer. They started off relying on unreliable data to prove their hypothesis, and when the evidence became clear, they just stuck their heads in the sand much like Trump did at the G20 summit. I’m convinced this is how history will write this story.
As for now, the lawsuits are ongoing. The good news is that Bayer has announced that it would pull glyphosate-based Roundup from retail shelves at the start of this very year (not because it “causes cancer” but to plug the hole in the bottom of the piggy bank caused by the litigation costs).
I guess we’ll see how that all pans out.
Glyphosate and Endocrine Disruption
It’s been known that Glyphosate also messes with your hormones and may possibly affect fertility and reproduction too.
- Effects on the Liver
Who knew that pesky weed killer in our gardens could be such a health hazard?
Recent research has revealed glyphosate exposure may also have serious long-term effects on the liver, including fatty liver disease and dysfunction.
- Disrupts the Microbiome
With the rise of glyphosate use, researchers have uncovered yet another unfortunate side effect: it appears to be throwing our gut bacteria out of whack. 54% of all bacterial species in our intestines are "potentially sensitive" - and this disruption could cause a whole heap of trouble!
From metabolic disorders to cardiovascular disease, diabetes and even autism spectrum disorder (ASD), evidence suggests that messing with the delicate microbial balance within us can lead to some serious medical issues. Who would've thought those tiny microbes had such power?
- Affects Neurological Function
Studies have uncovered that glyphosate can cross the blood-brain barrier and even affect our brains! In early development, it has been linked to oxidative stress, neuroinflammation, and mitochondrial dysfunction - all of which contribute to neurological damage and increase the risk of neurological disease.
It can also mess with our neurotransmitter production via its effects on the good bugs in our gut.
Guys, I’m not gonna lie. This is scary stuff. With the amount of glyphosate used in the production of our food, this isn’t something to take lightly. And it not only affects us, it also affects the environment too.
Impact on the Environment
Glyphosate makes its way into our waterways, where it contaminates our drinking water and threatens the well-being of fish and you know, the millions of other species in
Glyphosate also causes harmful changes in soil by reducing beneficial soil bacteria and may potentially pose consequences for long-term crop health and disease.
It also directly impacts a variety of animals, including insects, earthworms, fish, and, indirectly, birds and small mammals that may feed off the contaminated insects and fish.
The question then becomes, if it is so widespread, is there anything you can do about it to stop it from affecting you personally? Abso-frickin lutely! And while the science that I just talked about is quite thought-provoking, it’s not much use if we don’t know what to actually do with the information. Now, this is what I really want to hone in on today- the power that you have to mitigate its impact.
But before I do, I would really like to know your thoughts on this chemical- is it something you’ve been exposed to quite a bit? Is this new information for you? Please share your thoughts in the comments, I always do my best to reply to each and every one of you!
Ok, so how can we deal with this issue?
The secret is… to go organic! Look, I know you may be slightly cringing because it has become trendy and all that, but this is the best thing you can do to avoid glyphosate. And don’t just choose organic, choose non-GMO too!
Organically grown foods are, by definition, non-biogenetically engineered and grown without the use of glyphosate.
Unfortunately, eating organic may not be a financial reality for everyone. So if you can’t justify or afford the price tag, there are still many fresh fruits and veggies that haven't been touched by glyphosate-based pesticides.
For example, check out the list the Environmental Working Group (EWG) put together of the top fruits and veggies which are most likely to be contaminated with pesticides and what is best to purchase organic.
It’s called the Dirty Dozen and they update this list every year.
It is also helpful to recognize which non-organic foods are likely to contain GMOs.
The major crops that are GMOs are:
- Sugar beets
- Rapeseed- (much of which is used for canola oil)
- Cotton (used in clothes manufacturing)
Bear in mind that soy and corn, in particular, are used as the base ingredients for various food additives, including aspartame, both natural and artificial flavorings, and high fructose corn syrup, to name a few. But hey, glyphosate and GMOs are not the only reasons to avoid these nasties…but no, I have to stay on track here..
Beyond these crops that are biogenetically modified and often sprayed with glyphosate, many citrus fruits, including grapefruit, oranges and lemons, and tree nuts, including almonds, walnuts, and pistachios, also have high percentages of their acres treated with glyphosate. Other fruits and vegetables to watch out for include apples, papayas, pineapples, potatoes, and squash, (Sarah cups her hand over her mouth again and whispers: especially if grown in the US and Canada).
It's not just your fruits and veggies you need to worry about.
Many grains including wheat, barley, oats, sunflower seeds and lentils can be hazardous too - if they're non-organic that is! Farmers commonly spray them with pesticides such as glyphosate as part of the drying process. So when buying your pasta or bowl of porridge think 'Organic' for the healthier option (and added peace of mind).
When shopping for food, stick with food products that are certified organic or certified non-GMO or non-BE. And when ingredient lists are longer than the US Tax Code, this usually means there's some sneaky bioengineering at play.
And when you really can’t have organic, there are some other things you can do to reduce your glyphosate exposure:
- Thoroughly wash and dry chemically grown foods before eating them. Never use soaps, which can contain other problematic chemicals that can be absorbed into the skin of the food. Stick with plain ol’ water and use a scrubbing brush if necessary. Unfortunately, because plants do absorb glyphosate, it cannot be completely removed by washing.
- Throw away the outer layers and peel the skin off chemically-grown foods before eating them.
- You could even see if you have a green thumb and grow your own fruits and vegetables. You can keep insects away without any chemical warfare - all you need is an organic spray.
And if you don’t have room or time for a garden, you can still boost your diet
with good ol’ homegrown sprouts. You can sprout broccoli, clover, radish, fenugreek, sunflower, and more in a jar right on your kitchen counter.
Filter your water
Another helpful measure is installing a reverse osmosis water system in order to minimize the potential exposure risk of glyphosate. This filters out contaminants bigger than water molecules so voila, all you get is pure H20.
Just be sure not to forget mineral drops if you go this route so essential vitamins don't escape with all those other nasties. And for an even easier fix: just visit your local grocery store's reverse osmosis refill station; they've got plenty of clean water at wallet-friendly prices.
And that’s a wrap folks!
I hope you choose to implement these steps that I shared to minimise the risk of being exposed to this harmful chemical …if you did enjoy the video, feel free to give it a thumbs up, it always means a lot when you do. I really appreciate you hanging with me today.
If you want to geek out even more, you can find a more detailed article on glyphosate, how it affects our health etc in the description box. And if you want to learn more about how you can detox your body from the nasties like glyphosate, feel free to watch our video here.