Glyphosate herbicide harms human gut microbiome? ‘Not biologically plausible’

Microbiome FINAL
[O]n numerous occasions I have heard glyphosate critics argue that glyphosate should be opposed because it might alter the microbiome in humans. In a post on his Facebook page, The Mad Virologist discussed a recently published study on the effects of glyphosate on gut microorganisms, and inspired me to unpack the microbiome argument against glyphosate and explain what’s wrong with it.

Glyphosate binds to and inhibits the action of an enzyme known as EPSP synthase, which plants need in order to make three important aromatic amino acids: phenylalanine, tyrosine, and tryptophan via what’s known as the shikimic acid pathway, which occurs in plants, bacteria, fungi, algae and some protozoan parasites.

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The shikimic acid pathway doesn’t exist in us. Humans and other mammals, for example, can’t make those amino acids at all to begin with, so we get them directly from our food.

The claim that glyphosate harms human health via disruption of the microbiome was never a biologically plausible one, because it only makes sense when the system is not being viewed as a whole. Ironically, glyphosate and GE food opponents like to say that they take a holistic approach, but this is not a holistic argument, because it ignores the environment in which the microbiome exists.

Read full, original post: Glyphosate and the gut microbiome: Another bad argument annihilated

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