Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Funny Thing About Glyphosate...

(This post was excised from today's Link Log because it's long enough to be a separate post.)

It's a funny thing about glyphosate. One reason why getting this stuff labelled and banned seems to be so difficult, apart from the huge amounts of money Monsanto is throwing into the fight, is that, in fact, the observable effects of this poison vary from person to person. Effects on the same person may also vary depending on the level and method of exposure.

You may have read that a Monsanto employee blustered that he'd drink a cup of "Roundup" on television, then, when invited to do so, backed down. Actually, it's slightly hazardous to your health, but it's very interesting, to observe different people (and animals) in a place where "Roundup" has been sprayed. I've done it. No two results are alike. Most people exposed to "Roundup" don't immediately get cancer; many don't even display "their usual" allergy-type reaction--but if you observe closely, everyone shows some kind of adverse effects.

In one household I observed that (1) I didn't just have "hayfever" symptoms--my nose started spouting like a fountain, immediately; (2) another woman, who had had a stroke, had no "hayfever" symptoms, but during that day's physical therapy session she fell back to the level of progress she'd reached four or five weeks ago, and made very little further progress over the next two weeks; and (3) a man, who was normally energetic and intelligent with no particular memory issues, said he felt "low," took several naps during the next few days, and seemed forgetful enough to be accused of "getting old." (That "low" feeling and urge to nap--sometimes positive narcolepsy--is evidence of harmful effects on the kidneys; glyphosate has been implicated in some patients' kidney failure.)

My cat Mogwai survived exposure to airborne "Roundup" residues, but her personality changed during exposure; my cat Bisquit died, slowly and painfully, a few days after eating an exposed bird. And so it goes...babies may have more colic, children might have more learning problems, Dad might have a headache, Mom might have stomach cramps, on and on and on.

I'm a celiac; grain crops that have been genetically modified to be "Roundup-Ready," more like grass and wheat, are known to produce celiac reactions to E. coli corn (as distinct from natural corn, or BT corn--and if corporations want us to call bioengineered corn something other than "BT" or "E. Coli" after the disease germs from which DNA has been spliced into it, they'd better put brand names on it and advertise it). I've had celiac reactions to corn and rice, which I shouldn't have to worry about, during the past two years, but that's not the complete explanation of why I've spent so much of these two years feeling sick. After people started spraying "Roundup" on fresh produce as a "preservative" (since it kills many insects as well as plants), I've had occasional celiac reactions to things that aren't even grain.

For several months in 2015 I couldn't eat peanuts. Peanuts are a safe food for celiacs, they're cheap, they can be considered local, and I happen to like them, but for some strange reason, peanuts from our main local supplier and the store brands it supplies started to affect me just as if they contained wheat. Then the next year's crop came in, and lo and behold, peanuts were once again a safe food I could enjoy eating.

At the moment, potatoes seem to be a problem food. I'm not really keen on potatoes, but they're a safe food for celiacs and I've always thought of locally produced Lay's potato chips as a safe party food. At two parties last December I ate potato chips, and was sick. Was "Roundup" sprayed on the potatoes? Were the farmers experimenting with some wacky new GMO potatoes? All I know is, no more potato products for me this year.

A Real Twit and a really scientific reader asked me how I know whether it's the GMO corn, or glyphosate residues in the corn, making me sick. I don't know, of course. I can't know. Since the two things occur in combination, since there's no reason to plant E. Coli Corn unless you're going to drench it in glyphosate, it's likely to be both of those things...making me sick, making masses of other celiacs sick, and causing many people who are not genetically gluten-intolerant to have celiac-type symptoms.

Many people exposed to "Roundup" never get cancer, but there's reason to believe that "Roundup" is one of the more potent carcinogens that contribute to the cancer some people do get. Anything that damages the kidneys obviously contributes to the progress of any type of cancer, even if it's not kidney cancer.

If your neighbors still use this nasty poison, you can see that everyone who's been exposed to "Roundup" shows some sort of adverse reaction--but, when no two individuals show the same reaction, it's hard to pinpoint exactly how this poison is harmful to humans, cats, dogs, and wildlife.

What can we do? There's one guaranteed way to stop Monsanto poisoning the food supply...stop buying the food. Leave food producers and distributors with mounds of rotting food to try to burn, or feed to hogs, or dispose of as best they can. Meanwhile, write them nice, polite letters explaining how much you've always liked Lay's potato chips, or Fritos, or Zatarain's rice mixes, or Success Rice, or whatever other food products you like that may contain GMOs and/or glyphosate, but you're concerned about these GMO and glyphosate want to know it if you do buy anything that contains either GMOs or glyphosate. Ask them to test the foods they use and print the results of their tests on their labels.

Writing to elected officials is also nice, and is a wonderful way to encourage this type of changes, and some of you might even want to use food manufacturers, faced with the fact that about 75% of Americans want GMOs banned and 90% want them at least labelled, are likely to be our best hope of getting the poison out of our food.