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Opinion: Rounding up the Roundup

Glyphosate not ‘safe’ for humans.
Canada should be “all organic.” Healthy soil is a carbon sink.

Dear Editor
The active ingredient in Roundup is glyphosate. It's been called the “DDT of this century.” and it is.

Vancouver, Quebec City and Montreal have banned the use of glyphosate as well as other cities and countries around the world. This includes Mexico, Germany and France. And to note, Bayer of Germany, was the company that bought out Monsanto, the owner of Roundup.
Glyphosate could have been “safe” if it weren't for it's off-target effects, as medicine usually has side effects. Its mechanism of action is to shut down the shikimate pathway in plants which makes some of the essential amino acids, the building blocks of protein. Without these amino acids to make proteins, the plant dies.

Human cells do not contain the shikimate pathway, hence “safe” for humans. This pathway only exists in plants, and in fungi and bacteria that live in the soil and in our intestinal tract. The fungi, bacteria and other microbes in the soil make nutrients available to plant roots, which makes them strong, healthy and nutrient-dense, to resist pests and disease naturally. The beneficial microbes in our gut do the same for us and determine human health.

Glyphosate, being an antibiotic, as stated in the original patent, is antimicrobial, which means it kills the beneficial microbes in the soil and our gut.
Farmers use glyphosate as a weed killer, and a drying agent for grains and beans just before harvest. Then there are GMO seeds and produce, that are designed to survive the direct spray of this toxic chemical. Glyphosate can be absorbed through the leaves of these plants, so it can't be washed off. We are all consuming residues of glyphosate in our food. It seems to be in almost everything — wine, honey, boxed cereal, tampons and cotton sheets. GMO produce is in our grocery stores un-labelled.
Glyphosate causes organ damage in livestock, kidney disease in agricultural workers, disrupts hormones and reproduction, has neurological impacts on children and causes cancer. It is able to break open the tight junctions in our gut membrane as well as other membranes, such as the kidney tubules, blood vessels and the blood-brain barrier. In the intestinal tract, some of the contents there can seep through the gut barrier and into the bloodstream. Each time this happens, the immune system gets turned on which causes chronic inflammation, and is said to be the root cause of disease.

Glyphosate harms bees, butterflies, deer and other wildlife. Currently, there are class action lawsuits in Canada and the United States against Bayer, for the toxic effects of glyphosate by home gardeners, farmworkers and landscapers.

It would be best to contact the head office of your grocery store to label GMO produce and to email the city, mayor and council to ban the use of Roundup.

We all need to find natural alternatives for everything we do. Canada should be “all organic.” Healthy soil is a carbon sink.
Sandy Boates
Vernon, B.C.