Alva and Alberta Pilliod have lived in Livermore, California for more than 30 years. They own three properties in the area and maintained the grounds themselves. That meant that each week, for nine months out of the year, they sprayed Monsanto’s Roundup to kill off the weeds. It’s estimated that over the years, the Pilliods sprayed 1500 gallons of Roundup on their properties. Now, that’s a lot of weed killer, but why should it matter when Monsanto has constantly touted the safety of their signature herbicide?
Fast forward to earlier this month: both Alva and Alberta have been diagnosed and treated for cancer and a jury found Monsanto responsible for their cancer and awarded the couple $2 billion dollars in punitive damages against Monsanto, along with more for pain and suffering. The media is going nuts over these verdicts. There are more than 13,000 court cases against Monsanto and the big verdicts are coming in hot for the former, unsuspecting Roundup users turned cancer victims.
The reason that these victims are winning their cases is because glyphosate is irrefutably harmful to human health. Glyphosate interferes with the function of our cytochrome P450 enzymes that we need to detoxify harmful substances. Glyphosate chelates important minerals from the body like iron, cobalt, and manganese. It interferes with the synthesis of essential amino acids, resulting in disruption in key metabolic pathways (1,2). It disrupts the gut microbiome. It is a well established carcinogen, and a probable dementogen meaning that it very likely contributes to our risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
And yet, just recently, the Environmental Protection Agency ruled that glyphosate was safe. How can this be possible? Well, the EPA ignored a mountain of peer-reviewed scientific evidence that linked glyphosate to chronic illness such as cancer. Instead, they based their claims off of non peer-reviewed, registrant commissioned studies (3). So basically the EPA took the word of the people who will profit from continued use of glyphosate that it is safe, rather than the word of scientists whose research clearly demonstrates that it will cause cancer. Wow.
We need to be aware of this kind of political influence because this is the reason why there is so much misinformation about nutrition. This is why making food decisions is so difficult for the consumer. You have science telling you one thing, and you have government agencies telling you another thing because they are under the influence of the food and agricultural industry. It shouldn’t be this way. Your governmental entities should make recommendations that are the most likely to optimize human health based on the best research. But the fact is, that’s not what’s happening.
All you can do is be an informed consumer. Don’t take anyone’s word for it. Look into the research. Or find sources that you truly trust, that have looked into the research for you. Then the decision is up to you. We hope you choose wisely.
1. Samsel & Seneff, Entropy 2013, 15, 1416-1463.
2. Samsel, Anthony & Seneff, Stephanie. (2016). Journal of Biological Physics and Chemistry,16: 9-46.