Toxins in Modern Day Farming: What Your Food Labels Aren’t Telling You

The next time you go the grocery store and fill up your cart with fruits, vegetables, bread, and snacks, chances are that most of them will contain traces of a chemical called glyphosate. Glyphosate is the most widely produced herbicide in the world. In the US, it’s referred to as “Roundup.” You could say that Roundup is ubiquitous in our environment. People everywhere, every single day, are being exposed to over 700 different products treated with it (from agriculture and forestry to home use). That’s why I want to take this newsletter to call your attention to something that has almost certainly had an effect on your health.

Certain individuals and organizations have taken great pains to make sure that the safety of glyphosate remains foggy. Proponents claim that it’s organic and breaks down, but that is highly debatable. In reality, new data is suggesting that glyphosate is NOT harmless; rather, it may pose serious health risks to anyone who ingests it.

The World Health Organization International Agency for Research on Cancer just published a study this past March classifying glyphosate as a probable carcinogen in humans, citing correlations to cancers of the thyroid, liver, bladder, pancreas, and kidney. In addition, glyphosate exposure may be a cause of many chronic health problems. Autism in particular tends to be strongly correlated to glyphosate usage (see chart). Stroke, diabetes, obesity, metabolism disorders, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and inflammatory bowel disease are other conditions that become more common with increased glyphosate exposure. In one instance, a 54-year old man accidentally sprayed himself with glyphosate. A month later, he developed parkinsonian syndrome. 

Scientists think glyphosate might even be disruptive to the community of bacteria living in our intestines—otherwise known as the microbiome—by causing the population of bad bacteria to overtake the gut. Studies show that good bacteria tend to be more susceptible to glyphosate than bad. The good bacteria often can’t survive at all when exposed. Scientists are still assessing the importance of the microbiome to overall human health, but it is speculated that the disruption of the microbiome could be tied to diseases such as metabolic disorder, diabetes, depression, autism, cardiovascular disease, and autoimmune disease. Other conditions glyphosate has been tied to include allergies, infertility, depression, and Crohn’s disease. 

Remember, correlations are not causations; but they do give us good reason to be concerned over the use of a chemical that seeps into each and every one of our lives. Glyphosate enters the body by being either 1) absorbed through the skin or 2) directly ingested with food and water containing glyphosate. Soy, corn, and sugar beets tend to be heavily treated with glyphosate. These crops have been genetically modified to be resistant to glyphosate; so when farmers treat their fields with roundup, the weeds die but the crops live—only saturated with glyphosate. These crops are referred to as “Roundup Ready Crops.” Roundup Ready crops are staple ingredients in most processed foods. Soy especially is often used in livestock feed; meaning animals are also ingesting large amounts of glyphosate. We then ingest that glyphosate when we eat meat. 

Avoiding glyphosate isn’t easy and unfortunately, no one alive today will have led a glyphosate-free life. The question is, just how much has it affected your health? If you want to know more about the effects glyphosate has had on you personally, Ann Arbor Holistic Health can perform a comprehensive test for you measuring glyphosate exposure. For more information please contact Gary Merel at garymerel@annarborholistichealth.com or 734-222-8210. 

As far as how to avoid glyphosate: try to eat non-genetically modified foods and drink reverse osmosis water. Always buy organic when you can and always buy grass-fed meat. Avoid products made with corn, soy, and other roundup ready crops which, like I said, tend to be in most processed products. Ideally, you would wean yourself off processed foods altogether. Drinking extra water might also be helpful. Since glyphosate is water soluble, drinking more can help flush your system. 

Again, if you want to know more about the effects glyphosate has had on you, consider getting tested. When a toxin is ubiquitous in our environment, it becomes almost impossible to escape the consequences; but the first step to better health is to be informed on the state of your own body.

Stephanie's Story: A Perspective on Fighting Cancer

Stephanie was diagnosed with cancer at the age of six. She had a Wilms tumor, a kidney cancer found only in children. Removal of her right kidney led to the terrifying discovery that the cancer had spread to her lungs and most alarmingly into the right chamber of her heart. After 16 surgeries, numerous drugs and countless bouts of radiation, Stephanie was a wisp of a girl and the cancer was still there. The doctors said she wasn't going to make it. Her family was desperate. They would do anything to save her, but none of the new drugs worked. Stephanie's body was so weakened by all the treatments that she could barely stand, let alone dream of going through another bout of chemotherapy or radiation. Stephanie's parents braced themselves for her death, but refused to give up.

After researching alternative healing methods, Stephanie's parents discovered the Gerson Method. The Gerson Method seemed like the best way for Stephanie's body to gain strength and heal before the next round of treatments. Stephanie and her mother stayed at the Gerson Institute for a few weeks. They came home and continue the therapy today, six years later. Stephanie never once returned to the hospital for radiation, chemotherapy or drugs. Her body is now on the road to recovery. Her hair has grown back and she can finally attend school. Though her body has been stunted from the years of drugs and radiation, she has a luminous smile and an incredibly upbeat attitude. Her parents, who remember holding Stephanie in their arms when she weighed a mere 60 pounds on her 11th birthday, consider the Gerson family dear friends.

 

The Gerson Method, which was meant to be a breather between more rigorous treatments, saved Stephanie's life. When I watched Stephanie's interview in The Gerson Miracle, a documentary about the Method, I was stunned. The whole documentary, in fact, seemed unbelievable to me. Where was the proof? And if people like Stephanie could be cured with such a simple, straightforward method, why wasn't the whole world lining up outside the Gerson Institute's doorstep? In my line of work I need to see the facts before I am willing to try something myself, or recommend it to my friends and patients. I had to find evidence in other ways, through the testimonials of actual survivors. There are thousands of complete medical files on cancer patients who have experienced total recovery on the Gerson Therapy.