The public’s appreciation of the toxicity of glyphosate is rather limited. The fact that Monsanto marketed Roundup as “environmentally friendly” and “biodegradable” may have quite a bit to do with this general lack of insight. (In 2009, a French court upheld two earlier convictions against Monsanto for false advertising.)
Glyphosate is actually, in many ways, similar to DDT, which is known to cause reproductive problems among other things.
“There are some similarities,” Dr. Huber says. “… I am familiar with DDT, and the fact that it’s a very difficult compound to degrade. It’s biologically degraded primarily by a process we call co-metabolism… [T]here are very few organisms that can utilize this as a direct nutrient source.
There are a few organisms that can utilize glyphosate as a direct nutrient source, but again, most of the degradation appears to be by co-metabolism. In other words, an organism just happens to produce the extracellular enzymes that will degrade it, rather than the organism really getting any benefit from it.”
Glyphosate Persists in Soil, and Promotes Disease-Causing Pathogens
According to Dr. Huber, glyphosate can accumulate and persist in the soil for years. Persistence is determined by biological activity, soil PH, clay content, and how firmly it’s sequestered or absorbed in the soil. This is bad news, because glyphosate not only decimates beneficial microorganisms in the soil essential for proper plant function and high quality nutrition, it also promotes the proliferation of disease-causing pathogens.
“The organisms that are stimulated are the pathogens,” Dr. Huber says. “…all of the natural biological control organisms are very sensitive to that concentration of glyphosate. What we see with the fusaria, which causes sudden death syndrome in soybeans, is that it can be stimulated by glyphosate… so we find [up to] 500 percent increase in root colonization by this fungus. It’s a very serious pathogen, not only on soybeans. Fusaria on most of our crops is a major disease organism that we have to deal with.”
This 500 percent increase in root colonization of the fusaria fungus occurs even on Roundup-ready crops, because the technology does not ‘cancel out’ the effects of the glyphosate in the plant in any way.
“All it does is make it possible for that plant to survive and to accumulate more glyphosate. We still change the soil ecology, microbial ecology, and… our intestinal microbiology.”
To quickly recap what we discussed in part one of this interview, while glyphosate promotes the growth of more virulent pathogens, it also kills off beneficial bacteria that might keep such pathogens in check—in the soil, and in the gut of animals or humans that ingest the crop.
“[W]ith glyphosate, we also see an additional stimulation of virulence, so we see increased ability to cause disease, as well as the loss of the natural biological controls,” Dr. Huber says.
It’s important to understand that the glyphosate actually becomes systemic throughout the plant, so it cannot be washed off. It’s inside the plant. And once you eat it, it ends up in your gut where it can wreak total havoc with your health, considering the fact that 80 percent of your immune system resides there and is dependent on a healthy ratio of good and bad bacteria.
Glyphosate—The Most Abused Chemical in the History of Man
Interestingly enough, when asked which toxin he would prefer to use if he had to make a choice between two evils, Dr. Huber says he’d take DDT over glyphosate any day.
“A lot of these materials can have a very beneficial use. I’m certainly not anti-chemical. But we have to use some common sense. What we have with glyphosate is the most abused chemical we have ever had in the history of man,” he says.
“… When future historians write about our time, they’re not going to write about the tons of chemicals that we did or didn’t apply. When it comes to glyphosate, they’re going to write about our willingness to sacrifice our children and jeopardize our existence, while threatening and jeopardizing the very basis of our existence; the sustainability of our agriculture.” … It doesn’t mean that it’s not reversible… But it means that we need to recognize what the concerns are, what’s happening, and then we need to change.”
According to Dr. Huber, we’re now seeing the results of a massive experiment based on flawed science and failed promises. We jumped in without the basic understanding of what these products do, and this was done just to support the bottom line of a few large companies, such as Monsanto. That’s madness!
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