(NaturalHealth365) For decades, the environment – rivers, lakes, fields, humans, livestock and wildlife – has been exposed to the toxic effects of glyphosate, the active ingredient in the weed killer Roundup. The chemical, classified as a probable carcinogen by the World Health Organization in 2015, has been linked to kidney disease, liver damage, birth defects, cancers, Parkinson’s disease, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and more.
Plus, as if this situation weren’t outrageous enough, troubling news is emerging about one of glyphosate’s less well-known properties. It turns out that glyphosate is also an antibiotic, and has been registered as such by the most hated corporation in the world, Monsanto.
Shocking new study about glyphosate reveals an alarming prospect
The very concept of resistant bacteria – in which mutating microorganisms become immune to the effects of antibiotics – is the stuff of nightmares, with resistant bacterial infections exacting a very real toll. According to the CDC, MRSA – or methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus – claims over 11,000 lives a year.
Now, add glyphosate to the list of substances that can fuel antibiotic resistance in bacteria. In a study conducted at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, researchers found that exposure to common herbicides – such as glyphosate and dicamba – caused bacteria to change their response to antibiotics, allowing them to display increased resistance.
The results were so surprising that the researchers feared some sort of error or contamination had affected their results. They enlisted a colleague at a different university to conduct the same experiments – and the findings were reproduced.
Glyphosate seems to “target” beneficial bacteria
And the harm from glyphosate doesn’t stop with its contribution to antibiotic resistance.
Glyphosate kills plants by interfering with a system called the shikamate pathway that regulates the synthesis of amino acids. As apologists for Monsanto never tire of pointing out, the shikamate pathway doesn’t exist in humans. But it does exist in bacteria – including the beneficial bacteria on which we depend for synthesis of amino acids.
Natural health experts have long insisted that glyphosate exposure can cause depletion of the amino acids tyrosine, tryptophan and phenylalanine – thereby setting the stage for obesity, autism and depression, as well as neurodegenerative conditions such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
Researchers know from studies on chicken and cattle that ingestion of glyphosate can destroy beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract, while leaving dangerous bacterial pathogens – such as salmonella and E. coli – unharmed. There is no reason to believe glyphosate isn’t causing the same harm to humans – giving rise to the current epidemic of gastrointestinal conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease and leaky gut.
In an article published in the scientific journal Entropy, the authors concluded that glyphosate could be the most important factor in the development of multiple chronic diseases that have become prevalent in Western societies.
Glyphosate’s toxic history is marked by skyrocketing use on food crops
Glyphosate, which has been in use since the 1970s, was initially only sprayed on weeds. But with the development of genetically engineered, glyphosate-tolerant “Roundup Ready” crops, the herbicide is now sprayed liberally on food crops – with glyphosate use doubling between 2001 and 2007 alone.
In a sickening chain of contamination, animals ingest glyphosate-laden feed, and humans then consume the meat – often along with produce that has been sprayed directly with Roundup. In this way, an unprescribed (and unsafe) drug succeeds in making its way from stockyards and fields to your plate, probably several times a day.
Monsanto’s glib reassurances are ridiculous
Monsanto continues to insist that glyphosate is not toxic to humans, which is laughable enough. But the company’s defense against concerns about glyphosate residue fueling antibiotic resistance take the word “ridiculous” to new levels. You can read it for yourself here.
Claiming that it is routine for companies to patent for “reasonable “ potential uses, Monsanto goes to considerable lengths to point out that glyphosate, “when used as recommended,” is not “concentrated” enough to function as a clinical antibiotic.
First, note the sanctimonious use of the disclaimer “when used as recommended.” As demonstrated by the heartbreaking accidental pesticide poisoning of four Texas children in January, chemicals are not always “used as recommended.” Human error, accident and mishap are an unfortunate reality.
Monsanto insists that the concentrations aren’t high enough to make glyphosate “clinically effective” as an antibiotic – but is clinical effectiveness even the point? Who knows at what concentration bacteria begin to develop resistance? Does anyone feel like gambling?
It’s worth nothing that a recent animal study showed that liver damage resulted from amounts of glyphosate that were many times lower than that allowed in tap water for human consumption. If damage can occur at those low levels, why not antibiotic resistance?
What you can do to reduce your exposure to glyphosate
The first step, of course, is avoiding the use of Roundup on your lawn and garden – and encouraging others to bypass it as well. Say “no” to processed foods, “fast food” and junk food. Opt for grass-fed meat, pastured poultry, and certified organic products – which are guaranteed to be free of toxic pesticides and GMOs.
Glyphosate – a carcinogen, toxin, endocrine disruptor and DNA mutagen – has now been revealed as an antibiotic. And, the infuriating fact is: we’ve all been used like guinea pigs for this noxious chemical experiment.