The herbicide Glyphosate, known commercially as Round Up, is wreaking havoc on the kidneys of farmers in Central America. Sri Lanka has banned the herbicide and other countries may soon follow. Glyphosate is known to cause many health concerns despite the claims of Monsanto, the makers of the herbicide, that it is biodegradable and basically harmless to humans.
What is Glyphosate?
It is a common broad-spectrum herbicide created in the 1970’s by Monsanto. It is used to kill unwanted weeds in both commercial agriculture and household gardens. It is a known environmental toxin that is hazardous to fish, birds, insects, plants, and amphibians. It has been known to cause health issues in mammals as well, which would include humans. Even though Monsanto claims it is biodegradable it leaves its residue in the soil and water. We consume small amounts of the herbicide from the foods we eat and the water we drink.
Why is Glyphosate believed to be causing kidney damage?
When Glyphosate enters the body it acts a supercharged carrier sending heavy metals directly to your kidneys. These heavy metals, such as arsenic and cadmium, collect and affect kidney health and function.
Agricultural workers regularly experience dehydration due to the nature of the work and polluted water. When the body is dehydrated it cannot flush out toxins from the kidneys. Dehydration combined with exposure to large amounts of Glyphosate creates the perfect conditions for kidney disease.
What do the recent studies show?
Monsanto, Glyphosate’s creator, states that the studies are simply theories with no real data to back them up. However, researchers and scientists involved in the studies see things differently.
The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists have been studying the rise of heavy metal induced kidney disease and the death of 10,000 plus agricultural workers over the course of two years in Central America, India and Sri Lanka. Dr. Channa Jayasumana, the main author, said “Glyphosate acts as a carrier or a vector of these heavy metals into the kidney.”
Monsanto is aware of the danger
This information could explain why this particular geographic region has a severe increase of kidney disease. A Monsanto spokesman, Thomas Helscher states “The paper presents a theory, the theory has not been tested, and there are a significant number of publications supported by data that make the Jayasumana hypothesis quite unlikely to be correct.” Monsanto is said to already know that Glyphosate is a chelating agent that bonds with heavy metals. This action makes it a perfect delivery system for getting toxins directly to the kidneys.
Another study conducted in 2013 by WHO (World Health Organisation) and Health Officials from Sri Lanka found that 65 percent of patients with heavy metal related kidney disease also had Glyphosate show up in their urine. A sure sign that Glyphosate is an active participant in the cause of kidney disease.
Researchers and reporters are calling out Monsanto for not warning the consumer about these health concerns.
Surprisingly – and sadly, Glyphosate and Round Up are still available in Australia.
‘Ask a naturopath’ for more information about how to avoid chemicals in your environment. In the meantime try mulching to keep your weeds down!