Saturday, March 21, 2015

Glyphosate and soils....the connection

So, another new study out just a few days ago showed a connection between phosphorus application and glyphosate in runoff.  In graduate school, my research was looking at phosphorus and runoff. 

This was published early electronically.  I am excited to read the full article.


2015 Mar 16. [Epub ahead of print]

Glyphosate Loss by Runoff and Its Relationship with Phosphorus Fertilization.

Abstract
The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between glyphosate and phosphate fertilizer application and their contribution to surface water runoff contamination. The study was performed in Aquic Argiudoll soil (Tezanos Pinto series). Four treatments were assessed on three dates of rainfall simulation after fertilizer and herbicide application. The soluble phosphorus in runoff water was determined by a colorimetric method. For the determination of glyphosate and aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA), a method based on fluorenylmethyloxycarbonyl (FMOC) group derivatization, solid phase extraction (SPE) purification, and ultrahigh-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC-MS/MS) was employed. The application of phosphorus fertilizer resulted in an increased loss of glyphosate by runoff after 1 day of application. These results suggest the need for further study to understand the interactions and to determine appropriate application timing with the goal of reducing the pollution risk by runoff. 

"Transgenic material" in milk...more research

Published research is now showing transgenic material in the milk of goats. This is a significant scientific finding as it is one of the first to show a transfer of this genetic material through the digestive tract, and resulting in changes in nursing young. 

Some points of interest from the article (their analysis of the published research):
"The horizontal transfer of transgenic DNA into the genome of those eating GM foods, or the microbes living inside those consuming GM foods poses an additional and under-recognized hazard of GM crops."
"This is yet another finding that goes against the purported claims that nucleotides are broken down by the digestive tract, preventing any toxicity of transgenic DNA to those consuming it. "


Here is a summary of the research:
http://www.i-sis.org.uk/Goats_Fed_GM_Soybean_Produce_Abnormal_Milk.php

The research article itself.
http://www.smallruminantresearch.com/article/S0921-4488(15)00052-8/abstract

Abstract

The in vivo and post mortem performance and serum immunoglobulin G (IgG) concentration in kids born from goats fed conventional (group C) or genetically modified (group T) soybean meal were evaluated. The goat colostrum quality, in terms of chemical composition, as well as immunoglobulin concentration, and the presence of feed DNA fragments were also investigated. Kid birth weights were similar, while significantly (P < 0.05) higher in those born from goats in group C at day 30 and at slaughtering. In addition, kids from mothers fed conventional soybean recorded significant (P < 0.05) higher height at the withers and chest width. Concerning the post mortem measurements, only carcass weights were significantly affected by the treatment resulting in lighter T kids (P < 0.05). Colostrum from the treated groups recorded a significantly (P < 0.01) lower percentage of protein and fat. Similarly, both chemical parameters significantly differed in milk collected 15 days after kidding, although these differences disappeared in the successive samplings. Both colostrum and kids serum IgG concentration were significantly (P < 0.01) lower in the treated groups. Transgenic target DNA sequences (35S and CP4 EPSPS) were not detected in colostrum from goats that received a diet containing conventional soybean meal. By contrast, transgenic DNA fragments were amplified (P < 0.05) in samples from goats that received the transgenic soybean.

Glyphosate a "possible carcinogen" says U.N.’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)

  Biggest news this weekend is that the U.N.’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has listed Glyphosate as a "possible carcinogen".  That basically means that there is enough evidence to show that it may cause cancer.  This is based on their survey of research available.  This is an important statement because they are admitting that this research does exist.  They also noted that glyphosate has "the highest production volumes of all herbicides.  It is used in more than 750 different products for agriculture, forestry, urban, and home applications."  Keep in mind that there is a study linking glyphosate to breast cancer.
  Glyphosate is showing up everywhere, and the regulators need to understand that it is not only agricultural workers that are being exposed.  When residue is in our food supply, the exposures will come every time someone consumes food.  The problems linked to glyphosate span the spectrum from human to animal. 



 
A sample of their report:

"Glyphosate has been detected in

the blood and urine of agricultural

workers, indicating absorption.

Soil microbes degrade glyphosate

to aminomethylphosphoric acid

(AMPA). Blood AMPA detection

after poisonings suggests intestinal

micro bial metabolism in humans.

Glyphosate and glyphosate formulations

induced DNA and chromosomal

damage in mammals, and in human

and animal cells in vitro. One study

reported increases in blood markers of

chromosomal damage (micronuclei) in

residents of several communities after
 
spraying of glyphosate formulations.16



Bacterial mutagenesis tests were

negative. Glyphosate, glyphosate

formulations, and AMPA induced

oxidative stress in rodents and in

vitro. The Working Group classifi ed

glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic

to humans” (Group 2A).
 
 
 



http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanonc/article/PIIS1470-2045%2815%2970134-8/abstract
The full article is available here (you may have to register to see it.  http://www.thelancet.com/pdfs/journals/lanonc/PIIS1470-2045(15)70134-8.pdf

Monday, March 9, 2015

Glyphosate residue in food. Really? Really.

More studies showing glyphosate residue in food we all eat.  Moral of the story...the only way to avoid glyphosate in your food is to eat certified organic.  Honey, on the other hand, is a little bit harder. 

Sustainable Pulse reported on a recently released study.

"Researchers from Abraxis LLC and Boston University have further confirmed that the world’s most used herbicide – glyphosate – is widespread in food products around the globe. The researchers tested honey, pancake and corn syrup, soy sauce, soy milk and tofu purchased in the Philadelphia, US metropolitan area.

Samples of honey (sixty nine), pancake and corn syrup (twenty six), soy sauce (twenty eight), soy milk (eleven), and tofu (twenty) purchased in the Philadelphia, US metropolitan area in 2014 were analyzed for glyphosate residue using ELISA testing.
The minimum limit of quantification (LOQ) of the method were determined for honey, pancake syrup, and corn syrup to be 15 ppb; soy sauce, soy milk, and tofu 75 ppb. This means that even if the results were negative for some products they could have also contained glyphosate at levels under the minimum limit

Of the sixty-nine honey samples analyzed, forty-one samples, or fifty-nine percent (59%), had glyphosate concentrations above the method LOQ (15 ppb), with a concentration range between 17 and 163 ppb and a mean of 64 ppb.
Even more surprisingly five of the eleven organic honey samples, or forty-five percent (45%), contained glyphosate concentrations above the method LOQ, with a range of 26 to 93 ppb and a mean of 50 ppb.
Of the fifty-eight non-organic honey samples, thirty-six samples, or sixty-two percent (62%), contained glyphosate concentrations above the method LOQ, with a range of 17 to 163 ppb and a mean of 66 ppb."

To see the complete research report: http://omicsonline.org/open-access/survey-of-glyphosate-residues-in-honey-corn-and-soy-products-2161-0525.1000249.php?aid=36354

Gut Microbiome.....what a mouthful.

Maybe you've heard the buzz about the "gut microbiome".  It seems that many researchers are now finding that the health and balance of the good bacteria in your digestive system is critical to maintaining health. 

Ironically, this is what many in the natural foods areas have been saying for quite some time.  More recently, the group Moms Across America has been highlighting (to put it lightly) the connections between an unhealthy gut microbiome, and glyphosate residue in our food supply.

Here's a quote from one article reporting on the Nature study (Italicized text is my emphasis.). 
  • What we’ve been attempting to understand for the past several years is the increase in metabolic syndrome and inflammatory bowel diseases” that affect digestion, explains Andrew Gewirtz, Georgia State University professor of biology and lead study author. Metabolic syndrome includes obesity, increased risk for Type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases like heart attacks and strokes. All these conditions, Gewirtz explains, “are associated with changes in gut bacteria.” The recent, dramatic increase in metabolic-related diseases cannot be attributed solely to genetics, says Gewirtz. Human genetics haven’t changed in recent decades. So he and his colleagues set out to investigate environmental factors that might be responsible, including “modern additions to the food supply.” - See more at: http://civileats.com/2015/02/25/how-emulsifiers-are-messing-with-our-guts-and-making-us-fat/#sthash.4xaQW26v.dpuf 
More studies highlighting the importance of gut microbiota on health.
  • "The intestinal tract is inhabited by a large and diverse community of microbes collectively referred to as the gut microbiota. While the gut microbiota provides important benefits to its host, especially in metabolism and immune development, disturbance of the microbiota–host relationship is associated with numerous chronic inflammatory diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease and the group of obesity-associated diseases collectively referred to as metabolic syndrome. A primary means by which the intestine is protected from its microbiota is via multi-layered mucus structures that cover the intestinal surface, thereby allowing the vast majority of gut bacteria to be kept at a safe distance from epithelial cells that line the intestine1. Thus, agents that disrupt mucus–bacterial interactions might have the potential to promote diseases associated with gut inflammation."  http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v519/n7541/full/nature14232.html
Dr. Mercola weighs in on the topic.
  • "Feeding health-promoting gut bacteria with a healthy diet, avoiding hospitals (which are hotbeds for drug-resistant bacteria), and boycotting processed foods and animal foods raised in confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs)—both of which tend to have an adverse effect on your microbiome—may be keystone strategies for longevity."
  • "While antibiotics are certainly overprescribed in medicine, the primary driver of deadly “superbugs” is actually factory farming. Animals raised in CAFOs are routinely given low doses of antibiotics to promote growth and prevent diseases resulting from the crowded and unsanitary conditions of these facilities. Eighty percent of all antibiotics sold in the US are fed to livestock, so eating CAFO-raised foods is likely to be the greatest source of antibiotics for many people. Not only may this low-dose ingestion of antibiotics have an adverse effect on the composition of your microbiome, thereby affecting your health, about half of all meats sold in American grocery stores have also been found to harbor drug-resistant bacteria that can cause severe food-borne illness."

Perhaps this whole mess shouldn't be blamed on the "overuse of antibiotics by the farmers" (while that may be the case in some instances).  They're missing the bigger picture.  In every instance of a confined animal operation, GMO's and grain/feed containing glyphosate residue are fed.  Studies have shown that glyphosate residue in the feed will effectively do the same thing to beneficial gut bacteria as an antibiotic.  The good bacteria in the manure is dead, while harmful bacteria like e.coli and salmonella thrive (because it is doing the same thing inside the animal....).  This continues on to the consumer because the glyphosate residue is also in the grains/food crops we eat, and the effect of it lingers in meat (see news stories about all the salmonella in meat, etc).  Glyphosate is registered as an antibiotic, so this should surprise no one.  In fact, the first part of creating these GMO's is to insert an antibiotic resistant gene.  That sounds like a complete recipe for disaster of a food system to me.  No surprise no one has a healthy gut biome.  Not only are the fields being sprayed, but the effects of that linger in the environment through the water, air, soil and crops, in addition to the GMO seed used.  Definitely not sustainable for anyone, not even the major agribusinesses in the long run.
 
Just my 2 cents.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Autism and Thyroid Function

Just read an article on autism prevalence and thyroid function.  In it, they referenced a study completed in Denmark, that found:

"Children born to mothers diagnosed and treated for the first time for thyroid dysfunction after their birth may have been exposed to abnormal levels of maternal thyroid hormone already present during the pregnancy, and this untreated condition could increase the risk of specific neurodevelopmental disorders in the child."(doi: 10.1111/1471-0528.12681)


 Why is this important, and how does it tie into the other articles previously reviewed? 

Mothers with hypothyroid are 4 times more likely to have a child with autism.  This is a significant piece of information, given that...
  • Gluten is tied to thyroid antibody production that leads to hypothyroid (Here is a good discussion on the connection between the two with references to scientific studies).
  • One's sensitivity to gluten can be affected by glyphosate exposure (Dr. Seneff's article)
  • Glyphosate residue is found in the environment and in foods, especially grains/dried food crops, and GMO foods.
Anyone see a problem?  I recently heard an investigator talking about his work.  He said that as an investigator you look for patterns.  When patterns appear they are clues.  We are seeing more and more patterns here.


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Vitamin D and TB

Ran across this today and found it very interesting.  This website talked about more benefits to using Vitamin D to treat and prevent illnesses. 

  "This, of course, is exactly what natural health and integrative medical practitioners have been advocating from the start. Moreover, two studies have now linked vitamin D to the successful prevention and treatment of TB. In the first study, white blood cells converted vitamin D to an active form of the vitamin which helps make a protein that kills the TB bacterium. In the second study, Indonesian scientists compared vitamin D to a placebo, testing them on seventy patients for nine months. The patients who received 10,000 IU of vitamin D (rather than the 400 IU recommended by conventional medicine) led to an astounding 100% cure rate.

  Even more exciting, a study published this month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showed that high doses of vitamin D, administered together with antibiotic treatment, appear to help patients with TB recover more quickly. The vitamin D dampens the body’s inflammatory response to infection, which leads to faster recovery and less damage to lungs."

 
Referenced journal articles are linked within the quote above.  This one below, the second study above) I found particularly fascinating.