I try to eat healthily the majority of the time. I know eating pizzas, cakes, chocolate and an excess of processed food will not provide me with the figure and health I want. So I concentrate on not eating these types of food and instead replace them with vegetables, fruit, pulses and grains safe in the knowledge that if I replace high fat, high sugar foods with natural, nutritious alternatives that my health should not deteriorate and my weight should remain constant.
The assumption that this is a “safe” option was probably true back in the Mid century, however today this is a highly unlikely assumption. This is because we no longer know what happens to our food before it arrives on our plate. We no longer have control over or knowledge of our food supply and we generally have no understanding of what processes the food goes through to arrive perfectly formed, coloured and sized, ready to be consumed. We trust that the people involved in supplying our food from farm to plate are being monitored and controlled by the government and relevant bodies and that all possible health and safety checks are being adhered too. We trust the food industry to keep us safe. This is an unspoken yet strong belief held by most of us.
Yet in reality this is not the case. Most food groups are being nutritionally destroyed or contaminated on their journey to our plate, by the very people we trust to care for us. We can no longer assume that our food choices are healthy ones. So even when we try to be good and make the right choices, we are being thwarted in our quest.
This global contamination of our food supply is the responsibility of a handful of corporate giants, the most infamous of which is Monsanto and their controversial Roundup weed killer product.
Roundup Weed Killer – Is It a Killer?
I stopped in my tracks when I walked into my local DIY store this summer. There in the doorway, the first product on display before I even entered the store was aisles and aisles of Roundup weedkiller. Attractive bright green, handy spray containers just waiting to be pulled off the shelves by unsuspecting gardeners, keen for a solution to their pesky weed problem. My heart filled with fear, it was here, right on my doorstep, in my local store, in handy, easy to use containers – human poison – about to be sprayed across my local neighbourhood on all sorts of beautiful, healthy plants and food products. The mighty Monsanto had spread its poisonous tentacles across the globe and was now in my local store and was fast becoming the go-to weed killer for the everyday gardener. Not only where they controlling the agricultural lands and seeds of the world, they were now moving into our backyards. The most unnerving part of it all? Most people had no idea what it all meant. If they had the facts would they make that purchase?
Facts about Roundup weed killer :-
- Monsanto – the producer of Roundup weed killer are on a mission to own the worlds’ seed supply and lands and control all farmers and their livelihoods.
- The health of all the people and animals on the planet is not as important to Monsanto as making a profit
- The dramatic increase in cancer across the globe is in part due to carcinogenic products like Roundup and the genetically modified foods that the weed killer was created to protect
- Monsanto relies on sales of Roundup to prop up their seed monopoly, with 90% of all GMO plants grown coming from their seed.
- Their is a great deal of controversy surrounding Monsanto and Roundup. Many countries have banned it from their shelves altogether due to the health and environmental risks.
Should Roundup be Banned?
Just hours before Roundup faced a recall from shops across the European continent recently, an eighteen month extension was provided by the European Chemical Agency until the end of 2017. This was despite warnings that the key ingredient in Roundup “Glyphosate” is a known carcinogen.
Currently in 2016 seven EU states have extensive Glyphosate restrictions in place and 4 countries have impending or potential bans on the substance. Polls show 2/3 of EU citizens favoured a ban on the product in their country.
More than 6 billion tonnes of this toxic substance have been sprayed onto farms, gardens & public spaces in the last decade. The health implications of the Roundup weed killer have been investigated and reported in the study Herbicides found in human urine by by Dirk Brändli und Sandra Reinacher. The report states..
“ Glyphosate is the main active substance used in most commercial herbicides. It poisons not only plants, but also animals and humans. When testing for glyphosate contamination in an urban population, a German university found significant contamination in all urine samples with levels 5 to 20 times above the legal limit for drinking water.”
Glyphosate was invented in Switzerland in 1950 and first synthesized by Monsanto in 1970. The compound was found to radically affect the metabolism of plants by preventing them from forming essential amino acids. Glyphosate is a systemic-acting broadband herbicide that kills almost all green plants. Depending on the rate of metabolism, the affected plants die off completely within a few days.
This herbicide destroyer in turn gives rise to crops that have to be genetically engineered (gmo’s) in order to be able to resist the herbicide and be able to survive it. As all natural plant life cannot survive once sprayed with Roundup. The idea is the Roundup spray kills all natural plant life (weeds) that grow between the genetically modified non natural crops.
This would include crops such as corn, soy and canola. Although the GMO crop survives, the residue of Roundup is left on the crop and it is then transmitted to humans and animals through ingestion of or contact with the contaminated food.
Glyphosate is not only used as a common herbicide it is also used in a process called “crop desiccation”. This is the application of a herbicide to crop shortly before harvest. This is also referred to as “spraying crops to death”. This process is often used when there has been uneven crop growth to create uniformity in the stock and also if there has been poor weed control. This mass spraying effectively facilitates the drying of the crops as well as removing all weeds for the next sowing period, and has become common for the harvest of potatoes, cereals, canola and pulses. For potatoes, spraying herbicides on the field immediately before harvest, hardens the skin and reduces its susceptibility to late blight and germination, which improves the potatoes shelf life. Active compounds of the herbicide directly enter the potato through the leaves; however, decomposition of the poison takes place in the body of the consumer.
The application of glyphosate differs between countries significantly. It is commonly used in the UK where summers are wet and crops may ripen unevenly. Thus in the UK 78% of oilseed rape is desiccated before harvest, but only 4% in Germany
Health Implications of Roundup
- Glyphosate is becoming increasingly implicated in infertility and embryonic development of humans and animals
- Glyphosate is suspected to enhance cancers of the lymphatic system and to promote the development of skin tumors in humans
- Cases of skin irritation, allergies, skin lesions, respiratory problems and vomiting
- Internal organ toxicity, damaging the liver, kidney, brain and lungs
- Endocrine disruption
- By entering the digestive tracks of humans and animals Glyphosate has become a time bomb that can be ignited by stress or an unbalanced or bad diet.
- Even small amounts of Roundup lead to the death of human cell cultures (see here for relevant report)
Yet despite all evidence to the contrary Monsanto continues to argue that its Herbicide is environmentally friendly and is of no harm to humans or animals. To quote the Monsanto.com website:-
“Glyphosate has very low acute toxicity to people and wildlife. Glyphosate is unlikely to pose a carcinogenic risk to humans”
We need to be asking ourselves, what is our health worth to us? Do we want to keep ignorantly consuming more and more Glyphosate with each meal we eat? Do we want our children to be consuming it? There are alternatives to Glyphosate herbicides. Ones that are more organic and safe, that won’t harm us, the animals and the planet. As consumers and purchasers it us up to us to stop this brutal contamination of our food chain for the sake of profit. Make every food purchase count, your purchasing power united will put an end to this. Lets unite in preventing the poisoning of our food chain.
make a difference, make the change, go veggie