I had fully intended this blog to come out yesterday, to follow Monday's first blog, but the fire at Notre Dame cathedral in Paris happened, as as I said, I didn't really think blogging yesterday, as if nothing had happened, wouldn't be fitting. Many people have sent in further articles and thoughts about it, asking me what I think. I may or may not eventually collect my thoughts into some sort of coherent pile and blog about them, or perhaps talk about them in a webinar, but for the moment I will keep those to myself.
Today's article was sent in by several people, and it's one of those things we've got to talk about. since it's an article by one of my favorite researchers, F. William Engdahl:
What caught my eye here were two things:
In a long-term animal study by French scientists under Gilles Eric Seralini, Michael Antoniou and associates, it was demonstrated that even ultra-low levels of glyphosate herbicides cause non-alcoholic liver disease. The levels the rats were exposed to, per kg of body weight, were far lower than what is allowed in our food supply. According to the Mayo Clinic, today, after four decades or more pervasive use of glyphosate pesticides, 100 million, or 1 out of 3 Americans now have liver disease. These diagnoses are in some as young as 8 years old.
But glyphosate is not only having alarming effects on human health. Soil scientists are beginning to realize the residues of glyphosate application are also having a possibly dramatic effect on soil health and nutrition, effects that can take years to restore.
While most attention is understandably drawn to the human effects of exposure to glyphosate, the most widely used agriculture chemical in the world today, independent scientists are beginning to look at another alarming effect of the agrochemical– its effect on essential soil nutrients. In a study of the health of soils in the EU, the online journal Politico.eu found that the effects of spraying of glyphosate on the major crops in European agriculture is having disastrous consequences on soil health in addition to killing weeds.
Scientists at Austria’s University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna showed that casting activity of earthworms had nearly disappeared from the surface of farmland within three weeks of glyphosate application. Casting is the process of the worm pushing fertile soils to the surface as they burrow, essential for healthy soil and plant nutrition. A study at Holland’s Wageningen University of topsoil samples from more than 300 soil sites across the EU found that 83% of the soils contained 1 or more pesticide residues. Not surprisingly, “Glyphosate and its metabolite AMPA, DDTs (DDT and its metabolites) and broad-spectrum fungicides… were the compounds most frequently found in soil samples and at the highest concentrations.”
Evidence of soil experts is beginning to reveal clear links between use of pesticides such as glyphosate and dramatic drops in soil fertility and the collapse of microbe systems essential to healthy soil. Worms are one of the most essential.
It’s well-established that earthworms play a vital role in healthy soil nutrients. Soils lacking such are soils that deprive us of the essentials we need for healthy diets, a pandemic problem of soil depletion emerging globally over the past four decades, notably the same time frame that use of pesticides has exploded worldwide. Earthworms are beneficial as they enhance soil nutrient cycling and enhance other beneficial soil micro-organisms, and the concentration of large quantities of nutrients easily assimilable by plants.
The EU puts no limits on how much glyphosate can be put on crops even though it is established that glyphosate can kill specific fungi and bacteria that plants need to suck up nutrients in addition to its effects on earthworms. That is a major blind spot.
So there you have it: glyphosate not only is now linked to non-alcoholic liver disease, which according to Mayo research is now afflicting one out of three Americans, inclusive of children, it is also destroying soil nutrients, microbes, and earthworms. We should have seen this one coming, of course, because a few years ago I blogged about a University of Iowa study of the yield-per-acre of GMO versus non-GMO crops. You might recall that the Iowa study concluded that yields of GMO fields went down over time, while costs rose, whereas the non-GMO fields maintained yields and lower costs over time.
I suspected then, and these recent studies now appear to confirm, that the soil itself was being adversely affected by the whole GMO boondoggle. What was utterly lacking ab initio with the whole GMO-glyphosate technology was, of course, proper long-term inter-generational studies of the environmental and health effects, a study that it will be recalled only the Russian Federation pointed out was lacking, and which it not only intended to conduct, but it will also be recalled that the Russian Federation has prohibited GMOs, while the neighboring Ukraine went full GMO; indeed, forgotten in the whole mess in The Ukraine was the acquisition of special port facilities for GMO companies.
Normally, of course, my habit is to indulge in a bit of high octane speculation at this juncture, but today, I'll defer to Mr. Engdahl's own implied speculations, because I happen to agree with him. He states:
What is becoming clearer is the colossal and obviously deliberate official blind eye given to potential dangers of glyphosate-based pesticides by regulatory bodies not only in the EU and the USA, but also in China, which today produces more glyphosate than even Monsanto. Since the Monsanto Roundup patent expired, Chinese companies, including Syngenta, Zhejiang Xinan Chemical Industrial Group Company, SinoHarvest, and Anhui Huaxing Chemical Industry Company, have emerged as the world’s major producers of the chemical as well as largest consumers, a not good omen for the future of the legendary Chinese cuisine.
Glyphosate is the base chemical component for some 750 different brands of pesticides worldwide, in addition to Monsanto-Bayer’s Roundup. Glyphosate residues have been found in tap water, orange juice, children’s urine, breast milk, chips, snacks, beer, wine, cereals, eggs, oatmeal, wheat products, and most conventional foods tested. It’s everywhere, in brief.
Despite the overwhelming evidence, however, EU Commission bureaucrats and the USA EPA continue to ignore prudence in not banning the toxic chemical pending thorough independent investigation over longer time. If I were cynical, I would almost think this continued official support for glyphosate-based herbicides is about more than mere bureaucratic stupidity or ignorance, even more than simply corruption, though that for sure plays a role. The nutritional quality of our food chain is being systematically destroyed and it is about more than corporate agribusiness profit. (Emphasis added)
The question, if the nutritional value not only of the food but of the soil itself is being deliberately destroyed (and for reasons other than "corporate agribusiness profit") is why? And I suspect most regular readers here share the same suspicions that I have: we're being made to pay for our own poisoning by governments no longer interested in the welfare of their own people, who view them simply as "marks" to be fleeced and cattle to be slaughtered. The one bright ray of sunshine in the whole mess is that Bayer, or as I like to call it, I.G. Farbensanto, is being made to pay for the damage its products are inflicting, and that damage is no longer confined to humans, but the soil itself. And in that, there are even more potentials for class action lawsuits, not only from farmers, but from governments themselves, should any of them ever choose to wake up.
See you on the flip side...