by Anna Hunt
The use of Monsanto’s Round-up herbicide has increased substantially over the last 40 years. Many researchers are starting to believe that increased use of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Round-up, correlates to the rise in many modern diseases.
According to Dr. Stephanie Seneff, a senior research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), glyphosate appears to be strongly correlated with the rise in Celiac disease, and, more generally, gluten intolerance.
“[G]ut dysbiosis, brought on by exposure to glyphosate, plays a crucial role in the development of celiac disease. Many CYP enzymes are impaired in association with celiac disease, and we show that glyphosate’s known suppression of CYP enzyme activity in plants and animals plausibly explains this effect in humans.” ~ Glyphosate, pathways to modern diseases II: Celiac sprue and gluten intolerance by Dr. Anthony Samsel and Dr. Stephanie Seneff
Rise in Glyphosate Use in the United States
According to the report published in Environmental Sciences Europe, titled “Trends in glyphosate herbicide use in the United States and globally” by Charles M. Benbrook, there has been a dramatic increase in the amount of glyphosate sprayed on crops since the mid-1990’s. The report states:
Since 1974 in the U.S., over 1.6 billion kilograms of glyphosate active ingredient have been applied, or 19 % of estimated global use of glyphosate (8.6 billion kilograms). Globally, glyphosate use has risen almost 15-fold since so-called “Roundup Ready,” genetically engineered glyphosate-tolerant crops were introduced in 1996.
Two-thirds of the total volume of glyphosate applied in the U.S. from 1974 to 2014 has been sprayed in just the last 10 years. The corresponding share globally is 72 %.
In 2014, farmers sprayed enough glyphosate to apply ~1.0 kg/ha (0.8 pound/acre) on every hectare of U.S.-cultivated cropland and nearly 0.53 kg/ha (0.47 pounds/acre) on all cropland worldwide.
Use of Glyphosate on Non-GMO Wheat Crop
Glyphosate, via the product Roundup, is known to be commonly sprayed on GMO corn, GMO soybean and GMO cotton crops. But what many people may not realize that glyphosate herbicide is also commonly used on non-GMO wheat crop. The practice is so common, that wheat has become the third most common crop to be sprayed with glyphosate.
In 1990, wheat crop in the U.S. was sprayed with over 497,000 pounds of glyphosate. In 2014, this increased 35 fold to over 17.7 million pounds sprayed just in that one year.
In comparison, GMO crops such as corn and soybean were sprayed with over 69.9 million pounds and 122.5 million pounds of glyphosate, respectively, in 2014. The amount used on cotton crops was similar to wheat at 17.4 million pounds. These statistics were reported by the National Agriculture Statistical Service (NASS), which is part of the United States Department of Agriculture. (Source)
The NASS also conducted the 2012 Agricultural Chemical Use Survey among wheat producers in 15 U.S. states. This report is published here. In the report, the NASS revealed that 61% of winter wheat, 99% of durum, and 97% of other spring wheat were treated with herbicides. Glyphosate use was mostly reported by durum wheat farmers.
Desiccation of Wheat
One would wonder why wheat is sprayed with glyphosate, even though wheat is not a GMO crop. This was the exact question asked by Dr. Stephanie Seneff as she researched the connection between the rise in celiac disease and the use of glyphosate.
Through her research, Dr. Seneff found that wheat farmers are using glyphosate on their crop just before wheat harvest for two reasons. First, they are desiccating non-organic wheat crops so they kill off the wheat after harvest so there is less to clear. Second, when you expose wheat to a toxic chemical such as glyphosate, it releases more seed as it dies. As a result, farmers get higher yield.
As a result, glyphosate can be found in one of the most-common ingredients of the modern western diet – wheat. Is this practice of desiccating the wheat crop mean the decimation of the gut? Dr. Seneff believes so:
“I just do not understand how the US government refuses to acknowledge that we’re basically slowly poisoning and killing our population.” ~ Dr. Stephanie Seneff
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