Mar 6, 2014
Is it the Gluten or is it the Glyphosate?
New evidence suggests that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup (one of the most commonly applied weed killers), is to blame for the rise of gluten intolerance, celiac disease and irritable bowel syndrome. A study recently published in the Journal of Interdisciplinary Toxicology by Anthony Samsel and Stephanie Seneff explains how the wide spread use of glyphosate as a crop desiccant (or drying agent) is entering our food chain and making us sick.
The application of glyphosate to wheat and barley as a desiccant was suggested as early as 1980, and its use as a drying agent 7-10 days before harvest has since become routine. It is now used on crops including rice, seeds, sugar cane, sweet potatoes, dried beans and peas, and sugar beets in addition to all grain crops. According to the Pulse Growers Association in Canada, desiccants are used by growers worldwide who are producing crops that ‘drying down’ to create uniformity of plant material at harvest.
Samsel and Seneff state that in 2004 glyphosate was used to treat 13% of the wheat in the UK and by 2006, 94% of UK growers used glyphosate on 40% of cereal and 80% of oilseed crops for weed control or harvest management. A report on glyphosate residues in food in the UK states that residues as high as 1.1 parts per million (PPM) were detected in whole wheat flour. 2.7 PPM was found in dried beans and 11PPM in dried chickpeas.
Despite numerous letters and documents submitted in protest, just last July the EPA raised the maximum allowable residues of glyphosate in our food, likely to accommodate levels already present. A study by Gasnier et al. cited evidence that glyphosate-based herbicides are endocrine disruptors in human cells. Gasnier reported toxic effects to liver cells at 5ppm, and the first endocrine disrupting actions at .5 PPM.
Samsel and Seneff have researched known effects of glyphosate and its ability to cause disruption of gut bacteria, breakdown in the junction of the intestinal wall, depletion of vital minerals, vitamins and nutrients, and impairment of cytochrome enzymes that aid the liver in detoxification, thus multiplying the effect of other environmental toxins to which we are exposed to in increasing amounts.
A significant increase in the amount of glyphosate applied to wheat correlates with the rise of celiac disease, peritonitis, and deaths due to intestinal infection. Samsel and Seneff argue that not these diseases not only have an environmental factor, but that not all patient’s symptoms are alleviated by eliminating gluten from the diet, indicative of another cause.
Deborah Wiancek, N.D. Deborah Wiancek