Does herbicide glyphosate make wheat ‘toxic’? Science, farmers say ‘no’

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There’s been a lot of talk about “toxic wheat” circulating the Internet, and even a lot of denial from farmers on social media about the use of glyphosate for pre-harvesting wheat. Perhaps even more than denial, is the fact that it is not a common practice, but it is a practice used in wheat farming nonetheless.

In Alberta where we farm, our growing season is approximately 100 days, depending on the weather. Everything we do is timed, precise and done for a very particular reason. We start planting our crops in late-April/early-May, weather permitting of course. Due to our short growing season, among other reasons, we choose to use glyphosate to pre-harvest our wheat.

Use of glyphosate on pre-harvest wheat

One of the practices that is highly misunderstood is the application of glyphosate for pre-harvesting wheat, as I’ve already established. In layman’s terms, this simply means spraying our mature wheat crop with glyphosate before it’s ready to be harvested. Though glyphosate is not a true desiccant (a desiccant is applied for rapid dry down and early harvest), it is generally used for weed control and can aid in dry down of crops, but the effects take much longer. This is done with care and precise timing, and is backed by science and regulated and monitored.

It’s important to understand that we don’t just spray herbicides recklessly and certainly not needlessly. We aren’t going to spend money on expensive herbicides if we don’t need to. Just think about that for a moment. As a business, which our farm is, we want to make a profit and not lose it.

We see the accusation constantly that our crops are “drenched” and “doused” in glyphosate. I assure you, they are not.

Recommendations for pre-harvest glyphosate application

We have a Crop Protection Guide to use and according to it, pre-harvest glyphosate must be applied seven to 14 days before harvest. If you apply too early it can potentially reduce yields and damage the quality. It’s also important to note that wheat is only one of 14 crops registered for pre-harvest glyphosate and there are other desiccants that are commonly used like Reglone, Heat and glufosinate on various crops.

Is there solid research suggesting glyphosate is ‘dangerous’?

The study that gets shared and starts misconceptions about glyphosate in farming stem from Stephanie Seneff, a very well known anti-GMO proponent, whom I’ve read about a lot in the last year. One of the reasons why my red flag goes up when Senneff’s name is behind research is that she’s a senior research scientist at the computer science and artificial intelligence lab at MIT with biophysics and electrical engineering degrees also from MIT. So why the research on glyphosate from an electrical engineer/computer scientist? Truth be told, she and her colleague didn’t conduct any research at all.15622526300_51351653ff_c

Bloggers like Sarah Pope from The Healthy Home Economist, have a big misunderstanding about wheat and glyphosate. She states on her blog after reading Seneff’s paper: “When you expose wheat to a toxic chemical like glyphosate, it actually releases more seeds resulting in a slightly greater yield.” This is completely false. The yield of the crop is already determined because the wheat has stopped growing—their job is done, the plant is dead. When the plant isn’t green anymore, that means photosynthesis cannot occur or transport nutrients. Spraying glyphosate won’t magically create more kernels of wheat that late in the game to create higher yields, however weeds are still growing which can take away from yields for next year’s crop.

Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) sets and monitors maximum residue levels (MRLs) using scientific methodology far below the amount that could produce health problems. It is a very safe herbicide to use, even safer than vinegar as a herbicide. Caffeine is ten times more toxic than glyphosate! If accidentally consumed, glyphosate is excreted mostly unchanged in feces and urine, so it doesn’t stay in the body and accumulate. There have been no legitimate studies linking glyphosate to any human health ailments.

As farmer Greg Peterson stated on his Facebook page:

It is quite frustrating as a farmer to be accused of providing anything but safe and healthy food. If we knew that we weren’t, we would change our methods.”

I’m right there with him. It is so disheartening to see written that we grow “toxic wheat”. We take great pride in what we do for a living and part of that is being transparent and honest with all of you. I assure you, unless you have Celiac disease or a wheat allergy, the wheat we grow is not “toxic”.

My farmer tells me that this practice is being used more all the time and that it’s important to note that the product can be misused. This is a practice that is common for our growing area, but may not be used by all wheat farmers. Farmers are not perfect and there needs to be better communication of why you can’t spray too early such as loss in yield and increased MRLs. As I already mentioned, we are up against the calendar with our short growing season. For example, the wheat harvested in our video was graded as number 1 (the highest) before it snowed and was graded as number three because of the snow after. A difference of about $0.50 a bushel and about an 8 percent decrease in value in one snow storm.

Sarah Schultz is a nurse, farm wife, mom of two young boys, and blogger. She’s passionate about educating readers about agriculture and life on their grain farm near Calgary. You can follow her on Twitter@NurseLovesFarmr and on Facebook.

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  • Good4U

    Good job, Ms. Schultz. Please keep up your excellent educational efforts. Another related topic that could be important for future initiative on the part of the Genetic Literacy Project, as well as for your own investigation, could be the technology behind the use of desiccants (glyphosate and/or others that you mentioned) for the mitigation of toxins produced in wheat by the head blight pathogen, Fusarium graminearum (Gibberella zeae). Without the tools that farmers use today to properly time their harvests, the incidence and levels of head blight toxins such as deoxynivalenol (vomitoxin) and its analogs, and zearalenone, could be many times higher. As you know, vomitoxin is a regulated contaminant of wheat, which is particularly important with regard to protecting human health. As for genetic modification of the crop itself, it is within the realm of possibility to negate the virulence of Fusarium and other pathogens by means of biotechnology, thus making it unnecessary to apply fungicides to the crop in the field for that purpose. In that sense, GM wheat could benefit not only human health but protect the integrity of the environment.

  • Steven Offord

    Considering that the shikimic acid pathway is part of the healthy functioning of the bacteria that our gut health and everything that relies on that depends it seems that it not being present in human cells does not mean its interuption would not effect human health.

    • Good4U

      Steven, please bear in mind that the mechanism of glyphosate resistance in biotechnically modified crop plants, soybean plants for example, is to render glyphosate ineffective in them, as contrasted with the weeds in which the glyphosate mode of action is fully operative. This means that GMO soybean plants are NOT SENSITIVE to the shikimic acid pathway block, whereas the weeds continue to be sensitive, hence are killed. Consequently when the GMO soybean seeds (grain, and grain products) are consumed by animals, then the shikimic acid pathway in their gut microflora remains fully operative, unaffected by any glyphosate resistant soybean that might come down the tube. Considering the 15 year history of feeding glyphosate resistant soybean products to livestock all across North America, one would think that by now some signs of nutritive deficiency should have appeared in them if there truly were potential for disruption of their gut microflora. The hog and poultry producers surely would have been the first to complain if they had observed any growth rate deficiencies. Perhaps you should review the underlying concepts pertaining to glyphosate in more detail.

      • Steven Offord

        I am aware of the mechanism of resistence in the GM crops. I am aware that some common soil bacteria can break down glyphosate and that the DNA segments confering this ability in the “Roundup ready” crop plants was obtained from them. This does not preclude the posibility of non degraded glyphosate residues in crops, It just protects the plants. Their metabolic processes may not be interupted but the plant does not utilise the glyphosate as food and degrade it as some bacteria can.Succeptible gut bacteria exposed to plant residues could still be affected and some residue may get through that was never within the plants cell, particularly with pre- harvest application. Farm animals don’t live out their natural lifespan, so any longer term issues may not be a apparent They do not live long enough to develope many of the conditions which humans do. I have observed at least in cows that there is a much firmer structure to the typical Organic cow dropping compared to shed slurrey.
        It is at least a feasible hypothosis worthy of study that considering our gut fauna contains both the species which are killed by glyphosate and those that are not, that it may alter the balance of the population. Particularly as I have read that it is being used as a pre harvest drying aid for non-GMO bread flour wheat. The volume being used globaly on such a regularly consumed staple surely makes this worthy of further study.The shikimic acid pathway may not be present in our cellular metabolism but that is the very reason why amino acids sunthisised by it are “essential” amino acids in human nutrition, because we can not produce them ourselves and rely on the organismes that glyphosate poisons to do it for us. I would expect that any properly formulated commercial animal feed would be well suplimented with these.

        • Good4U

          Steven, you make some rational points, so thank you for providing your cautionary messages. We do agree that it would be undegraded glyphosate residues in soybean feedstock going to animals that might cause an adverse effect to their gut microflora, if in fact such an effect were real. In order to assess that potential, it is cogent to consider what those levels might be. All U.S. tolerances (maximum legal residue limits) for glyphosate are found at 40 CFR.180.364. I realize that it can be difficult to find pesticide tolerances (glyphosate is in fact a pesticide; weeds are pests in accordance with U.S. law), so here is a shortcut for bookmarking in case you wish to find them easily:

          http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=3db414c4722cc02daad994e0ccfe0185&tpl=/ecfrbrowse/Title40/40cfr180_main_02.tpl

          For glyphosate in soybean meal, the tolerance is 20 parts per million, which of course is a very low level. In contrast, the minimum effective concentration of glyphosate which would potentially affect the shikimic acid pathway is hundreds to thousands of times higher than that, depending upon the species of microorganism involved, even in pure culture. One must therefore doubt that there would be any significant effect of such low level residues on the dietary efficiency of livestock animals.
          I can’t authentically address your observations upon the composition of fecal droppings from “organic” cows vs. shed slurry (keep in mind that shed slurry contains high amounts of urine, while cow pies in the pasture do not), however your point about farm animals not living out full natural lives is not exactly relevant to the question of whether they are functioning efficiently or not. If their gut microflora were perturbed so as to not be able to synthesize essential amino acids (phenylalanine, tyrosine, tryptophan), they would not thrive. Certainly the hog and poultry producers would know about that.
          In addition, you will find from the references I provided above that the tolerances for glyphosate in human food commodities are 20x to 200x LOWER than even the ones in livestock feed. I don’t know what tolerance level might be proposed for glyphosate in bread wheat, but if it’s somewhere in the same ballpark as for rice grain (0.1 parts per million) then I really have to conclude that there is probably no authentic issue there. I would rely on the U.S. EPA scientists and their counterparts in the Canada PMRA to make that call, as they surely do have all of the data on glyphosate from which to make a sound decision.
          As a final note, if some people’s gut microflora are not functioning well, I would be much more concerned about substances that they intentionally eat or take as dietary “supplements”, yet which could be toxic in large quantities (some of those “organic” health pills really raise my eyebrows; I don’t use any of them). Conversely, I must raise the topic of proliferating obesity. One might speculate that humans in the developed world could be OVERLY efficient in utilizing our food sources if anything.

          • SageThinker

            20 ppm is a heck of a lot for some compounds. Whether it’s a little or a lot depends on what it is.

            By the way, hasn’t this been increased to 40 ppm?

            And, isn’t glyphosate possibly dangerous at levels much lower than 20 ppm even?

            And don’t the new rules allow much higher levels in some other food crops like potatoes, like 6000 ppm?

            Who do you work for?

            What is your agenda?

            Why do you lean so so so hard in Monsanto’s favor?

            http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23756170

          • Good4U

            The published tolerances for glyphosate are as I stated. You can view them for yourself by accessing the EPA website that I provided. All pesticide tolerances as defined by the U.S. EPA carry the force of law. If any commodities exceed tolerances, they are red-tagged and removed from channels of trade, i.e. destroyed.

            I don’t have any agenda. I don’t work for anyone. I don’t “lean in Monsanto’s favor” as you put it. I simply understand science, technology, and agriculture, and have spent a long time learning. How about you?

            Who do you work for?

            What is your agenda?

            Why do you harp on Monsanto when Monsanto is not even the topic of the article above? In case you don’t know (& you don’t), a large proportion of the glyphosate in the marketplace today isn’t even produced by Monsanto. There are many producers of glyphosate other than Monsanto. You have been barking up the wrong tree and chasing the wrong squirrel for no good reason. My dog does that, and I laugh every time. Red faced much, are you??

            Awhile back some Hollywood producer put out a hit piece movie against Monsanto so they could make a lot of money off of gullible dupes who don’t know squat about food. The same type who thrive on horror flicks where they gratuitously cut up bodies. To some, it’s entertainment. To me, it’s trash.

            I take my advice on what’s good food (& what’s not) from scientific professionals who make it their career to learn, understand, then deploy good technology. I approach the topic of food production in the same manner that I approach health care. I trust that the people who are good professionals will be sorted out from those who aren’t. The quack doctors won’t survive long because their patients will not thrive, i.e. they will soon die. The quack foodies (Dr. Oz and the Mata Hari food babes) will pass by the wayside for the same reason. It’s your choice as to who you will listen to. Have a ball!

          • SageThinker

            Hmmm… you spent so long insulting me that i forgot if you even made any points in your little rant. Oh well.

          • Good4U

            How sad you are…oh well to you too.

          • SageThinker

            Dude, how the hell sad are you, writing things to me like “You have been barking up the wrong tree and chasing the wrong squirrel for no good reason. My dog does that, and I laugh every time. Red faced much, are you??”…

            Pathetic bs insults. Apology would be in order.

          • Good4U

            Awww, Sage. I thought I was being kind. Seems that my skin is thicker than yours.

          • Band from Glad

            You are both ridiculous! Just because one has a degree or figures they know best means nothing. The use of pesticides is killing bees, plants, animals and probably destroying the human condition.

          • Good4U

            Get a grip, Band! The use of agriculture (feeding people) is killing bees, plants, animals, and has destroyed many humans in the process via the employment of semi-slave labor. The good news is that it’s safer for the environment now, and safer for people too, than the old “organic” ways were before biotechnology. Those who don’t know that don’t know much about agriculture. How about youi? How much do you really know about food security or the underpinnings of modern society that permits you the luxury of sitting at a computer, whiling away the hours posting air-headed nothings?

          • SageThinker

            Oh yeah, thanks for the residue levels link again, for i learned about sunflower pre-harvest spraying now.

            http://www.sunflowernsa.com/magazine/details.asp?ID=496

            Notice how high the number is for sunflowers.

            And according to a recent news story, the EPA decided not even to bother testing for glyphosate residues in food.

            http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/12/19/usda-pesticides-report-idUSL1N0U325I20141219

            We’ll see who is barking up the wrong tree.

            Oh, by the way, i use reason, and i understand science, and i have worked in the field.

            If you want a name drop, maybe i’ll let on that i worked at the Harvard Dept of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology.

            Oh, you just thought i was some idiot with a paranoia complex?

            Let’s get this relationship on a good footing, starting with some respect.

          • Bill Carey

            He did.

          • Band from Glad

            I definitely agree on the Oz/Mata Hari perception. Everybody’s selling something.

          • Mike Gilli

            I agree entirely. In fact this site looks like one more paid for by the slush funds from the mega profits of the chemical industry, considering that we have know since its legalisation in 1972 that Roundup is carcenogenic and can cause a long list of other fatal conditions, by now the death toll worldwide could be in the millions, mand it’s a slow agonising death just to fill the pockets of mega criminals, and their petty lackeys and bought out ‘scientists’ producing articles like this one….

          • SageThinker

            Well we’ve at least known since the 1980s — or would have if the EPA did it’s job and if the studies were not hidden in an unpublished state.

          • Farmer with a Dell
          • SageThinker

            In fact, “farmer”, it is. Similar to that around PCBs, which is well proven by original documents that were outed in a 2000 legal action and visible at the Chemical Industry Archives. “Conspiracy” is not a bad word and people do conspire. The chemical industry is quite rife with conspiracy. Fossil fuels as well. Big money means big motivation. So…. your point?

          • Farmer with a Dell

            Well, about the only similarity between PCBs and glyphosate would be the Monsanto connection. You certainly have your work cut out for you to steer your lame campaign against glyphosate in parallel with the successful crucifying of PCBs, especially since symptomatology and carcinogenicity are virtually lacking for glyphosate (even with your 2 cherrypicked shopworn studies).

            So for now we’ve heard all about your 2 old studies, your coincidences and your suspicions. It’s past due time for you to stop boring us with those and present the next several series of significant investigatory findings if you expect us to begin taking you seriously (you’ve got a ton of self-inflicted damage to your credibility to overcome on that score, BTW). Specifically we will need to see more studies, replicating studies in particular. That’s not negotiable, it’s how science and medicine work. So the sooner you get started, the sooner you will become another Erin Brockovich, eh?

            All this epidemiological and toxicological sleuthing should keep you occupied between roof tearoffs, nailbender, so can we expect not to hear from you for a few years until you have scientific confirmation? That’s also how legitimate science and medicine work, BTW. Good luck Tinkler. Knock yourself out, man.

          • SageThinker

            You’re using personal attacks because you have nothing to offer in regard to the actual topic, which is the poor and suspect safety record of glyphosate.

            Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

            There is too much industry trolling on this topic. It’s not sound science. It’s illusion and facade. It’s climate change denial writ agrochemical.

            You’re going down fakers.

          • JP

            Oh, look. Valiant Witch Hunter is back, claiming anything that disagrees with him is “industry trolling.”

          • SageThinker

            No, only that obvious agenda pushing is obvious agenda pushing. I stick to the facts. I see the situation. I see where the vested interests lie, literally “lie” — about a specific chemical that is worth many billions per year.

          • Farmer with a Dell

            Well then, Daft Tinkler, get on with the vital business of proving out your toxicology and epidemiology instead of just reciting the same lame suspicions over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and….

            Something certainly smells rotten and a troll certainly has elevated himself into an insufferable nuisance…and, oh well look at that….hey, that would be you Tinkler!

          • JP

            But he doesn’t need to prove anything, obviously. All he has to do is say that Monsanto, the EPA, the WHO, the German BfR, the EFSA and whoever else concludes something that disagrees with him is lying and that he thinks it’s obvious they’re lying, because they disagree with him, and presto! Glyphosate is dangerous.

          • SageThinker

            At the name calling i quit reading. Sorry man, no dialog.

          • Farmer with a Dell

            Thank goodness!

          • SageThinker

            So you are proud that name calling caused me to stop talking with you. That speaks volumes. You are not interested in understanding the world. You’re interested in pushing an agenda of chemical risk denialism for the agrochemical industry. If that’s what floats your boat, but don’t expect others to appreciate your deeds, which are harmful to the common good of the world, and akin to climate change denialism. You are an enemy of the people.

          • Farmer with a Dell

            I was relieved to learn you would stop babbling…for whatever reason. But, of course, it was too good to be true because here you are again, babbling away again. You are such a consistent disappointment Tinkler, such a monotonous disappointment.

          • JP

            Yeah, stop calling names, you “enemy of the people!”

          • Good4U

            Answer to your first question above: No.
            Answer to your second question: No.
            Answer to your third question: No.
            Answer to your fourth question: Nobody.
            Answer to your fifth question: To refute bullshit when I read it.
            Answer to your sixth question: I don’t. I don’t frankly care what happens to Monsanto. I just can’t stand bullshit coming from vacuous airheads..

          • SageThinker

            I see you as a child sticking your tongue out at me. Ok…

          • Steve

            u r what u see

        • SageThinker

          More than the possibility of RoundUp being in our actual food, but the certainty. It’s everywhere and allowable levels of residue in actual food have been raised by the EPA because Monsanto owns the EPA. These lies are easily refuted. What is “Good4U”‘s problem?

      • Dave Bisson

        This discussion blew my mind (figuratively speaking). Scientific evidence, and government recommendations once proclaimed the safety of 2-4-D. My father, and other farmers of his generation trusted what they were told (from private and governmental sources, both of which cited ‘scientific evidence’)…and lo and behold, the incidence of Multiple Myeloma (cancer) in that population is staggering. And before you even consider it, to suggest that their illness and deaths were coincidental would be insulting beyond description. Your ignorance is astounding, and the combined ignorance (and its complicity) of others like you is what is destroying our planet. A proud moment indeed….

        • Band from Glad

          He just ripped me a new one too! He just needs a hug. How’s that for a vacuous air headed comment?

  • Kenzie

    I think you need to take a look at this site:
    http://www.foeeurope.org/sites/default/files/press_releases/foee_6_problems_with_glyphosate_overuse.pdf

    You might not be drenching your crops in herbicides, but somehow in Europe it is ending up in people’s urine and the bread that is made from the desiccated wheat. Shouldn’t this concern you in the least bit that there are ACTUAL facts proving that this method is hurting people?

    • Good4U

      Kenzie: “Friends of the Earth” is an activist organization that for the past 4 decades has been campaigning against just about everything that humans do to obtain food, fiber, energy, shelter, in short, everything that elevates us above using stone age tools and conducting our existence as hunter-gatherers, dressed in skins, and roaming the earth in search of herbs to eat. They consist of a ragtag bunch of ideologues who are bent on changing human socioeconomic structures to resemble those of wild animals. They are funded by donations from wealthy, well fed, often hedonistic people with romantic ideas of what it means to be “green”. A lot of their funding comes from aging baby boomers the who want to assuage their feelings of guilt for the footprints they have made on the natural world. I find it intriguing, downright humorous in fact, that they print their periodical magazines on heavy paper with very thick slick glossy pages, which of course constitutes mixed waste because it can’t be recycled, therefore must be incinerated (they were pretty much dumped in landfills until recently). Every donor gets one of those magazines “free of charge”. Few people actually read them; they just look at the pictures of furry animals and cry.

      If “Friends of the Earth” truly were interested in protecting the integrity of the environment they would disband, and they would suggest to their donors to instead focus their generosity upon scientifically credible public institutions (state & provincial universities) that are now suffering due to governmental funding cutbacks worldwide. We need more support of science, and much less support of fanciful ideologies. As someone who knows (a lot) about science and agriculture, I don’t pay much attention to what “Friends of the Earth” does for its living.

      • Alan

        In your entire response, you did not refute the tests themselves. Is that because you cannot?

        At least that organization does not hide behind fake names. Who is funding you?

        • Good4U

          Nobody is funding me, Alan. There are no vested interests supporting me. I’m not hiding behind anything. I refute the BS spewed above because there are no such “tests” that you referred to. Nothing but vacuous palaver.

  • Angela.Moore

    This is pure, intentional, maliciousness to mislead the consumers. Human health held in less regard to bottom lines in the profit margin is evil, pure and simple. This is deceitful propaganda. The managers of this site know it, the representatives of the product know it (and deny it), people that self educate about their food sources know it, but unfortunately, the people that do not fit into these categories might be fooled. Does it pay well to be paid off?

    • Good4U

      Angela, I believe it’s you who have been fooled. Fooled by the touchy-feely marketeering campaigns of the “organic” bunch. Fooled by the propaganda of the hucksters who want to sell you some health food pills and their “holistic” natural cures, which don’t really cure anything but smell good while you’re doing your yoga. You tout “self education”, but that’s really nothing more than insular delusion. You have built your cave, and you are happy in it. Just don’t pollute the world with your neo-communistic drivel about evil profit margins. Try some introspection:
      Just how did you come by your computer that you use to bang on? Did some company just invent it for free and give it to you without profit?
      How about the electricity that it takes to power it, or the heat in your nice, warm house as you whiled away the hours while dreaming up your BS? Somebody just make all that energy for you with no profit motive?
      And the house itself– was the builder a non-profitable sort of guy who just hammered the sticks together and gave it to you out of the goodness of his heart?
      The car you take to work (you do work, don’t you?)– was that made in a pothead commune where nobody profits from anything?
      The clothes on your back– were they made and sold to you by people who did not profit from their endeavors?
      The people who keep you healthy, i.e. your doctors, don’t they profit from their decades of hard work that it took for them to earn their degrees and medical licenses?
      Likewise, the food in your belly. The people who grew it, picked & slaughtered it, packed it, shipped it, and put it on display on pretty shelves, each & every one of them are people who need to make a living, just like you; and if you are quite truthful about it, you would quit complaining about how evil they are and kiss the ground they walk on. You are indeed a privileged person, just to have the opportunity to live in this world, free of care & requirement to grow your own food.

      In the future, I would recommend that you think long and hard about what you are throwing up for others to read. You are quite out of touch with reality. Oh, and one more thing, I’m not paid off to write this. I just have a brain, and I use it to parse truth from BS.

  • Wendy

    f XiaoZhi is too difficult for you to say, just call me X. I am a native of Singapore and I am a freelance multimedia science journalist. I have written for Science, Genetic Literacy Project and Boston University News Service, and produced video for Inside Science TV and Bytesize Science (now ACS Reactions.)

  • Laura

    Read my blog for more health effects, even with proper use and application: http://wholesomemamamedicine.blogspot.com/2015/03/are-we-really-roundup-ready.html

  • SageThinker

    So you actually DO spray glyphosate on wheat to finish it. What the heck is your point in this article? You’re basically full of it. I don’t support your spraying and i reject your wheat and your propaganda. Glyphosate is harmful to the human body.

    • Good4U

      Sage, your assertions appear to be “full of it”. Glyphosate is not harmful to the human body. It is one of the safest substances that has ever been used on agricultural crops, and has replaced many other types of herbicides (pesticides used to control weeds), and which caused greater problems in terms of environmental degradation. If glyphosate were not used any more, those other herbicides would come back and be used again. You have been watching TV too much, where the Dr. Oz and Mata Hari food babes have titillated your imagination. Get real.

      • SageThinker

        I’ll believe that the day i believe PCBs and DDT and mercury nitrate are safe.

        It’s history, man, it’s history.

        Glyphosate is a chelator, and an endocrine disruptor, and prevents the shikimic pathway, preventing the synthesis of tryptophan in the human gut.

        What more hints do you want that maybe this shit’s fucked?

        • Good4U

          In your eloquence you have said it all…….only it’s you that are now obsolete.

          • SageThinker

            What are you talking about, nameless troll for Monsanto?

          • Good4U

            I don’t work for Monsanto. Never did. I just have a lot of understanding about agriculture, food production, and the sciences & technology that support it.

          • SageThinker

            I didn’t say you work for Monsanto in the sense of being paid by them, but you are working in their interest, and you are nameless, and in my opinion, you are troll quality.

          • Good4U

            As for being nameless, is Sage your given name, and is Thinker your surname? Since they are neither, when you refer to nameless trolls, you are not different from a ventriloquist’s dummy.

          • Good4U

            I’m talking about your use of crude, foul language, which excludes you from any intelligent discussion, meaning that you are obsolete. You appear to be irrational and uneducable.

          • SageThinker

            It’s pointless to talk with you. You’re not worth talking with.

      • Monsanto has claimed that Roundup is harmless but they have ignored its effect on gut bacteria, which is crucial for good health. Baking with Organic flour could fix this terrible problem. Here are some references:

        http://www.commdiginews.com/health-science/are-epa-approved-levels-of-glyphosate-residue-in-our-foods-too-high-13855/

        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3945755/

        http://www.theecologist.org/campaigning/2985214/keep_glyphosate_out_of_our_food.html

  • John

    Spraying chemicals on plants pre-harvest is a horrible practice and should be banned.

    • Good4U

      John, you really don’t know anything about agriculture or food production, do you? For your information, just about everything you eat is treated with some sort of “chemical” pre-harvest. If growers didn’t do that, most of your food would be rotten. You would starve to death in a couple of days. If you don’t believe that, grow your own food. You will learn in a jiffy.

      • larrytate

        This is wrong. I and many people I know use heirloom seeds to grow and our yields are great and feed our families. We use ZERO chemicals, and some of us don’t even use petroleum (no tractors or gas powers equipment.). In fact everything I do is processed by hand.
        I am including apple and fruit trees as well as just a a out any food obtained from a plant. You simply don’t need chemicals or fertilizer to grow excellent tasty food in abundent quantities. To suggest otherwise is not only ludicrous, but contrary to thousands and thousands of years of human history– not to me nation millions of years of prehuman and prefarming history.

        Your comment is SO absurd, I’m grateful, bc I can now dismiss all of your comments. I refer to Good4U of course.

  • Kenn Bachtold

    To get the real story behing GMOs and Monsanto and Round Up, their herbicide, please read “Altered Genes, Twisted Truth” by Steven M. Druker. It’s absolutely frightening and this article is pure BS!!!!!

    • Good4U

      Some people are easily frightened….
      The article above is an accurate depiction of authentic food production technology. If you don’t like food, don’t read it.

  • SageThinker

    Glyphosate is a plant killer. And then we eat it.

    • Good4U

      Sage, I think you are a plant…………

      • SageThinker

        No, but i eat them.

        Seriously, i am a poor carpenter in Boston. What makes you think i am a plant, since i’m speaking against the interests of the corporation that has a vested interest here. (Although i recognize that large farmers have a sort of interest as well.) How do i know you are not a plant? How does anyone? You are posting an awful lot on this topic. Who are you? What’s your story?

        Or maybe you didn’t mean that kind of a plant, but rather a simple herbacious creature as my name implies.

  • SageThinker

    We eat poison so you make a buck. Good deal, bro.

    • Good4U

      See below (by chronology).

      • SageThinker

        I don’t know what you refer to, but refer to the fact that pre-harvest treatment with glyphosate is used, i think, to increase the yield by some small percentage, therefore increasing the money made per acre, by spraying this chemical mixture on the wheat we’re going to eat. I bet you would then tell me “but it doesn’t increase yield! That’s a fallacy” and i would say “Hey, i know it doesn’t mature the berries any more or create more berries, but it increases yield by reducing crop waste, i think. Then you might tell me that’s a good thing. And i might reply, well it depends on what you want, more tainted wheat or a bit less clean wheat. And then you may say “Hey, the glyph doesn’t make it into the wheat though!” and i would say “Yes, it does. In some amount.” Then you might say “But glyph is safe,” to which i would reply “I’m not at all sure about that.”

    • Bill Carey

      How about drinking it? Beverage alcohol is a Class 1 Agent. A “known” human carcinogen. Hope you’re spending as much time and energy on that part of your spiel bro.

  • SageThinker

    So, let us put out some important FACTS. Anyone who wants to dispute me, provide some serious documentation or reasoning. Ok? Don’t use personal insults or rhetoric. I’ll kick your arse.

    fact: Glyphosate is a chelator.

    fact: Glyphosate is an endocrine disruptor with similarity to estrogen and acts as such in the human body.

    fact: Glyphosate disrupts the shikimic metabolic pathway, therefore interrupting the production of tryptophan among other amino acids, which is very likely to be a part of the human organism’s biological pathways, via our gut bacteria.

    Ok…….

    Now…. the EPA raised limits on residue in food.

    The USDA doesn’t always even test for glyphosate residues. ( http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/12/19/usda-pesticides-report-idUSL1N0U325I20141219 )

    ((( A USDA spokesman who asked not to be quoted said that the test measures required for glyphosate are “extremely expensive… to do on an regular basis”. )))

    Residues in animal feed are god awful high. What are we doing to animals and the land? Farmers can go crazy with the RoundUp for an animal feed crop.

    Glyphosate is used as a pre-harvest spray on wheat and sunflowers and probably a lot more things. ( http://www.sunflowernsa.com/magazine/details.asp?ID=496 )

    We do not KNOW that glyphosate is safe for humans or the ecology. There are so many indications of its toxicity along many pathways, as well as the toxicity of the adjuvants and the interactions among the ingredients. Very easy to find, and i am NOT talking about Seneff or any quacks, but real solid research. Here is a sampling: https://scholar.google.com/scholar?as_ylo=2014&q=glyphosate+toxicity&hl=en&as_sdt=0,22

    Fact: Monsanto is a company that has committed ecocide in the past, knowingly. Search for “Anniston Monsanto memos”…. Easy to find the crimes. And i don’t care a whit about any story of discorporation or “This is the NEW Monsanto…” I do not care. They destroyed rivers near my place of birth, too. I grew up with poison fish due to Monsanto’s crimes against humanity. They need to not exist anymore. Very soon.

  • Aussie Sutra

    It’s understandable for someone who is making money from using glyphosate on crops to try to say that they think that it’s safe and that they are not trying to hurt people. However there’s a lot of disinformation in this piece. First of all, as long as one is very careful about how they define “safe”, then one can define almost anything with that term. It was for this reason that doctors in previous decades were able to use cigarettes as a treatment for asthma, amongst other things.

    I also find it very interesting that it is the usual disinfo practice to call Stephanie Seneff ONLY a computer scientist. In this article, the author lists Dr. Seneff’s degrees, which include BIOPHYSICS, and then goes on to ignore the fact that she is a BIOPHYSICIST amongst her other accomplishments, as she is in no way capable of intelligent comments on the subject of BIOPHYSICS. Typical.

    When you start writing articles in which the health and well being of the people who consume your product is your NUMBER ONE priority, then I’ll listen to some of what you have to say. In the meantime this article is nothing more than pathetic, self-interested drivel.

    • Timetowakeup

      Thank God rational and intelligent people are able to see past this b.s. Thank you Aussie.

  • Shizzarky

    So it’s apparently clear Good4U is in some way payed off by Monsanto

    • Good4U

      Bzzzt! Missed again! You keep missing. But keep shooting. It’s entertaining to watch.

  • joad2

    Arguing about the trees instead of seeing the forest is forgetting that Roundup Ready technology was created to sell chemicals. Period. It’s a failing technology and, as the UN has recently stated, organic farming produces better and is more naturally resilient in the long run for the global food supply. So the chemical industry, that thinks it can grow food better than mother nature is on a timeline..running down to zero, as the transition models of organic farming closer to where the food is actually consumed take over. Interesting to watch “Health” Canada and it’s robots try and regulate organic community farms out of business and fail miserably along the way. People are sick of this chemical and sick of Industrial Agriculture….you can talk about toxicity and “allowable” levels of poison all you like….the chemical industry loves when you debate this stuff until you’re blue in the face instead of researching the small scale chemical free revolution that’s happening and joining in….they make Round-Up, they sell chemotherapy drugs….we grow cannabis for that…..we’re coming for all you big creaking, soil killing farms, money grubbing….it’s only a matter of time now.

    • JoeFarmer

      What an awesome expression of your agricultural ignorance!

      Your medical ignorance, too, since you think growing weed is a substitute for chemotherapy!

      • joad2

        Try watching the Rick Simpson movie “Run From the Cure” or follow someone like Corrie Yelland who cured her cancer using nothing but cannabis oil…or Shona Banda who cured her Crohn’s Disease using cannabis oil…my wife used nothing but cannabis oil on skin cancer on her nose that had been bleeding for eight months….the first night she applied the oil I made for her the spot closed over and never bled again…it’s gone now, using absolutely NOTHING but cannabis oil. I’ve got all the documents and peer reviewed science, including the patents the US Government has on certain strains … chemo is ridiculous. It actually creates other cancers in a weakened immune system. There are so many ways other than chemo to battle cancer. Try watching Burzynski or research the Gerson Therapy. We can do this for days. As for my “agricultural ignorance”. As my grandfather who was a farmer used to say..I’d sooner trust a cow than a chemist. And attacking me instead of addressing why the UN would have said small scale organic farming is the most viable way into the future of the global food system isn’t productive to the conversation.

        • JoeFarmer

          “…instead of addressing why the UN would have said small scale organic
          farming is the most viable way into the future of the global food system
          isn’t productive to the conversation.”

          Because that’s not what “the UN” said!

          • joad2

            Really? Then this 2013 UNCTAD pdf is a forgery? Wow!

            http://unctad.org/en/publicationslibrary/ditcted2012d3_en.pdf

            You haven’t addressed my cannabis oil posts either.

          • JoeFarmer

            Read page 3, 1st paragraph.

            That document is an-op, not a policy piece!

            And no, I’m not going to further address your quackery regarding cannabis oil. But go ahead and toke up all you want, genius.

          • joad2

            Ad hominems don’t help either side of a debate. I guess you didn’t check out any of the cannabis references or even give them a chance. I’ll tell my wife you don’t believe her skin cancer was cured using the oil. She’ll get a good laugh out of that. Yes it was an opinion piece. From a hefty organization. They can’t state it as policy yet. The lawyers would have a field day. You, as a proponent of agri-chem will understand that. It’s how they maintain their monopoly.

          • joad2

            also..I don’t smoke…or drink. Or fly into rages during discussions.

          • JoeFarmer

            Yay, so now I’m getting twofer responses from you!

            If you think cannabis oil cures cancer, go to a medical research university and share your findings.

            And no, I don’t think op-ed pieces from minor UN committees mean much. Ag university research, yeah, that means something to me.

            But let’s go along with your organic idea for a minute. How are you going to get enough manure to fertilize everything?

            Take anhydrous ammonia, for example. It’s just one of a number of common synthetic fertilizers. About 8.7 million tons is produced annually in the U.S. Anhydrous is 82% N, so that’s 7.13 million tons of N. How many organic cows, pigs, chickens and sheep does it take to generate 7.13 million tons of N? How much feed does it take to generate that amount? How do you fertilize and grow the feed to generate that amount?

            Spend some time grinding on that, and you’ll realize that large-scale organic agriculture is a fantasy. It’s the agricultural equivalent of a perpetual motion machine.

          • joad2

            large scale organic farming was not the topic of that report. Did you read it? Regarding the cannabis oil and your suggestion, we’re already on top of that but thanks.

          • Mr. B

            Manure isn’t necessary. Large-scale organic often uses N-fixing cover crops to fertilize the soil, and it works well. The best conventional farmers also use this. This guy doesn’t know enough about good organic practices. Also, by improving soil life (using no-till etc), there is even more N in the soil from microbes, worms, etc.

  • Nela

    As you can see, Monsanto still produces it, so talks about farmers not using it can be dismissed right here.
    (http://www.monsanto.com/products/pages/roundup-pro-concentrate.aspx)

    Consolidated Operating Results — Net sales increased Liquidity and Capital Resources’’ section in this MD&A. $1,357 million, 10 percent, in fiscal year 2013 compared to fiscal year 2012. The primary contributor to the increase is both our Outlook — We plan to continue to innovate and improve our global Roundup and other glyphosate-based herbicides and corn products in order to maintain market leadership and to support businesses. (http://www.monsanto.com/investors/documents/annual%20report/2013/monsanto-2013-annual-report.pdf)

    How about report from WHO that Roundup is a possible carcinogen? Are these people trustworthy enough for you? (http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/03/20/roundup-probable-carcinogen-report-says/25115481/)
    A report published Friday in the journal The Lancet Oncology says glyphosate, the main ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup, is a “probable carcinogen.”

    The report is from the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the France-based cancer research arm of the World Health Organization.

    “This latest finding, which links Monsanto’s Roundup to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and lung cancer is not the first to make these links, but it is one of the strongest indictments of glyphosate, the key ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup,” said Ronnie Cummins, international director for the Organic Consumers Association.

    • JoeFarmer

      “As you can see, Monsanto still produces it, so talks about farmers not using it can be dismissed right here.”

      You are logically-challenged.

    • Bill Carey

      Every beer, glass of wine or spirits that we drink contains an IARC Group 1 agent. The alcohol in every single one of our favorite alcoholic beverages is a “known” human carcinogen as opposed to the “probable” carcinogenic nature of glyphosate. I’m willing to bet you don’t let that bother you at all. You and “Almost Honest” Ronnie can hoist a few sometime.

  • monsatan sucks

    Dear Sarah, I wish we could separate your wheat and all of the other wheat grown using glyphosate from all the wheat that isn’t. But since we can’t we have to assume all wheat has residue thanks to farmers like you spraying it with poison 7 days before harvest. Shame on you for believing the so called agrobiz science.

  • Lee

    This is what King Author sent me in a reply to glyphosate.

    Thank you for contacting us here at King Arthur Flour.

    Thank you for
    asking about our flour. A few of our farmers occasionally may use glyphosate on
    their fields while practicing crop rotation, when other crops like corn and
    soybeans are growing there. In this case, the farmers strictly follow label
    guidance (and federal government regulations) for their use as a herbicide.
    Farmers do NOT use glyphosate as an herbicide on their wheat crop. Under very
    specific climate conditions a small number of farmers may apply this herbicide
    to hard spring wheat (bread flour wheat) at the end of the growth cycle as a
    last resort to speed harvest. Applying glyphosate to speed harvest is costly
    and not economically sound except in extreme cases where it is the only way to
    bring in a crop. We work closely with the farmers who grow our wheat to
    encourage environmentally responsible farming practices and good land
    management. Like us, our farmers want their land to be the best it can be for
    generations to come.

    We do offer a full line of organic flours, where
    the use of synthetic chemicals, including glyphosate, is prohibited. Our organic
    flours are 100% organic, flour and malt included. We proudly offer our organic
    line to ensure that our customers have options to suit their individual needs.
    Our organic flour line is also 100% US grown and milled wheat, exceeding USDA
    standards and independently verified by QAI (Quality Assurance
    International).

    Thank you for your inquiry and have a great day!

  • michellenj

    I have read studies with both slants. Those paid for by industry and those by environmental activists. It is difficult to read them both and be certain which is correct, because both provide well argued and supported points in my view. However, here is the thing which nags at me. SOMETHING is going on in our food supply. Food allergies are increasing at an astronomic rate. With all kinds of symptoms. The number of peanut allergies today versus when I was in school is ten or 20 or possibly even 30 fold. How many kids per classroom have an epi-pen? For peanuts, or eggs, or dairy, or tree fruits, or other allergen? So tell me why? I don’t think it is the peanuts themselves. I think it is the chemicals peanuts absorb either in the ground, or in processing, and packaging. Asthma, lupus, MS, all manner of auto-immune problems are on the rise, significantly. I am astounded how many people have a non-celiac gluten intolerance. And I am one who would be very skeptical about such things and possibly presume hypochondriac status for some…had it not happened in my family. To a perfectly healthy child of 15 years, no health ailments whatever. Antibiotics used 3x in their entire lifetime, no ear infections ever, breast-fed for 2 years. Organic milk, eggs, and butter always, from birth. Onset of chronic migraine, hives, itchy mouth, constricted airway. Finally after allergist and neurologist told me we were crazy, allergies do not cause migraine, we did various food elimination test diets. Kept meticulous food logs. The child finally documented and identified wheat/gluten as the offending item, and willingly avoids it ALL due to the personal consequences suffered if they don’t. After 2 months off wheat/gluten migraines gone, and with probiotics, and staying gluten free the other tree fruit allergies are clearing as well. The gut is healing. We have zero family history of celiac or food allergies. No celiac gene. Once you tell someone you have a gluten intolerance, you will be shocked, shocked how many people also have the issue in a friend or family member. I had a dear friend told me just this weekend she went paleo and eliminated all grains to test if it was causing her “year round, seasonal allergies” out of desperation after trying everything else…she had taken claritin every day for 10 years. Off grain, and allergies gone, completely gone. There are just too many stories like this from too many people to dismiss it as anecdotal. It may not be glyphosate, it could be another chemical. But something is going on.
    the public should en-masse shift and buy only organic wheat, if at all. The retailers and the farms after will follow the money. Refuse to buy it.

  • Kiwipetra

    Here is some solid research done by biochemists which should leave no doubt !

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0300483X09003047

  • Jerry Kelly

    Speaking as a guy with a dead brother thanks to agent orange forgive me if I don’t believe you…..most likely get free vacations on Monsanto tab …the evil bastads

  • Diane

    Glyphosate will kill you! I broke out head to toe with a horrible rash! Stopped eating bread and it went away! I’ve never had a problem with bread products until they started spraying the wheat!