If you aren’t already convinced of the dangers of glyphosate, the chemical found in the herbicide Roundup, and the merits of avoiding GMO foods, a recent study puts another nail in the glyphosate coffin.
I avoid GMOs not just because of the dangers of eating Genetically Modified Organisms, but also because of the high levels of glyphosate used on those foods.
Published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, this study shows a clear link between glyphosate and fatal kidney disease.
Not only that, in Glyphosate, Hard Water and Nephrotoxic Metals: Are They the Culprits Behind the Epidemic of Chronic Kidney Disease of Unknown Etiology in Sri Lanka, researchers explore the hypothesis that glyphosate interacts with other environmental factors to cause the deadliness of this disease.
Q: Do Other Factors Increase the Toxicity of Glyphosate?
This study looked at geographically isolated data, studying primarily farming populations in Sri Lanka. These populations had multiple other factors present, among them high levels of arsenic and other specific elements, hard water, high ambient temperatures.
Researchers determined that, yes, other factors increase the toxicity of glyphosate.
Q: What Are Those “Other Factors”?
It might be easy for those of us living in different environs to dismiss this study as being irrelevant to our lives. However, based on the evidence, this could prove to be a dangerous assumption.
While it stands alone in guiding scientists, doctors and politicians to the factors in a debilitating epidemic, the study certainly adds to the large body of research on the toxin glyphosate and its effects on human and environmental health.
In fact, to dismiss this study for any reason undermines the need for more serious research on glyphosate and its impacts on the human body.
For instance, what “other factors” not found in Sri Lanka might also increase toxicity? Which “other factors” in your environment might increase glyphosate’s toxicity?
What This Study Means to You
Although you might not be in a risk group for chronic kidney disease, this is not the only study that implicates glyphosate in serious human health conditions. It is only the most recent in a long list of studies on glyphosate’s effect on human and environmental health.
- Other studies show glyphosates destroys human umbilical cord and embryonic cells.
- Another recent study probes the question of whether glyphosate and the interaction with the human micro-biome has contributed to the growing “gluten intolerance” epidemic. While this study is not conclusive standing alone, it begs for additional research on the topic.
- Even Huffington Post scratched the surface of the dangers of glyphosate.
How To Avoid Glyphosate
On a personal level, the solution is obvious: as much as possible, avoid situations that put you in contact with glyphosate.
Roundup is a popular and common lawn treatment. During summer, the chemical is harder to avoid with so many of your neighbors liberally spraying the chemical to keep their yards looking uniform. Maybe drop a pamphlet on their doorstep. And stay away from chemicals on your own lawn.
Avoiding glyphosate also means avoiding foods that are grown with heavy doses of the herbicide. This includes all GMO foods.
How to avoid GMOs
- Without labeling requirements, that is easier said than done. The Non-GMO Project is a good place to start.
- An even better way is finding, then getting to know and support your local farmers who make the extra effort to grow food sustainably—without the use of chemical fertilizers and herbicides.
- And, of course, growing your own food is a great way to ensure that it is chemical-free and fresh!
While the personal solutions are relatively simple, this is a global problem we cannot solve overnight. I am acutely aware of the harm done to the farmers in the study who are dying at alarming rates from kidney disease, in part caused by glyphosate. But the personal choices we make, will go a long way to creating solutions for the bigger picture.
Is it ethical to support a food system that relies so heavily on chemicals that are indisputably killing the farmers who come in contact with those chemicals?
When we make informed choices about our food, reaching for foods that are ethically produced, our conscientious choices work synergistically to create the world we wish to see by supporting the farmers and food systems that support us.
Today, I invite you to take a step, make a move, eat a bite that supports the food system we deserve. A food system that not only gives us individual health, but that contributes to an ethical food system.
For further reading:
- GreenMedInfo has an excellent full analysis of the study.
- Kristin Canty shares the GMO “titans”: Dr. Stephanie Seneff discusses GMOs with Jeffrey Smith
- Ancestral Nutritions guide to the Top 10 GM Foods
- Don’t Mess With Mama on The Dangers of Soybean Oil: One of the Most Harmful Ingredients in Processed Foods
Wherever you are in your personal journey toward clean living and local food, thank you for joining me in mine. I look forward to sharing it with you.