Dave Murphy - Glyphosate: Unsafe On Any Plate

Are we being fed poison for profit?
Sunday, January 1, 2017, 1:16 PM

In November, a very concerning report -- Glyphosate: Unsafe On Any Plate -- was released by The Detox Project and Food Democracy Now!, raising the alarm of the high levels of glyphosate in the US food supply and the (deliberate?) low levels of awareness of its associated health risks.

Dave Murphy, executive director of Food Democracy Now!, joins us this week to explain the finding of this new report on the world's most-used herbicide (more commonly known by its retail brand: Roundup). As happened in past decades with the alcohol and tobacco industries, there's compelling evidence that profits have taken a priority over consumer safety -- and as public health concerns are being raised, Big Ag is circling its wagons and attacking the questioners rather than embracing open scrutiny.

Are we being poisoned in the pursuit of profit?

Look at the chemical and what actually it does. Monsanto has three patents for glyphosate and the first one is from 1964 from the Stauffer Chemical Company in Westport, Connecticut. It was originally used to clean pipes. It's like Drano: it basically strips minerals out of and heavy metals out of a pipe. Scientists have found that it actually chelates those same minerals in soil and makes them unavailable into the plant. At some point in the 1960s a Monsanto chemist discovered that it would also kill weeds. Monsanto applied for a patent in '68 or '69, was awarded that patent in '74, and that is when Roundup first went on the market.

It was used you know in forests and to kill weeds on road sides and that kind of thing. It was used in forest management for a long time and in public parks.

Today, 300 million pounds of glyphosate-based herbicides are used here in the United States each year. In our report ,we have one graph showing how from 1992 (four years prior to Roundup Ready crops being introduced) to 2014 -- I mean -- the states of Minnesota becomes three quarters covered in all black. Iowa is fully blotted out. Illinois is fully blotted out. North Dakota is mostly blotted out and so is South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas. And this is just showing you how widespread glyphosate use is. T

The US geological survey did tests in 2007 and again in 2011, showing that 75% of the rain water and river and stream samples in the Midwest contained glyphosate, which is pretty alarming. This chemical is being sprayed on our food and then is evaporating into the air and going downwind and being taken up into clouds. It can fall hundreds of miles away from where it is originally applied.

The reason we took our time with this report and why we made it so detailed is because the highest level of glyphosate found today is in Cheerios, which is often the first solid food that a mother will feed her child as they are transitioning from breast milk or formula. Cheerios is an iconic brand, and all the mothers I talk to explain how their babies love to grab onto them. They are a perfect finger food because they have that hole in the center. And so it is a common food for a mother to automatically give her child. The only problem is a single serving of Cheerios to a one year old child would subject them to a harmful dose of glyphosate.

Click the play button below to listen to Chris' interview with Dave Murphy (81m:26s).


Chris Martenson: Welcome to this Peak Prosperity podcast. I am your host, Chris Martenson, and today is November 28th, 2016. This is an important podcast about an important subject. Today, we are going to be talking about the chemical herbicide glyphosate. We are going to cut right to the issue affecting your health and that of your children and loved ones. Unfortunately, we are also probably going to undermine any remaining trust you may have in the hybrid system of corporate interest and government regulations that we all live under. According to a new report, glyphosate residues are found in, I will use this word carefully, alarmingly high levels, in a wide range of popular American foods. Luckily, my PhD was in toxicology, so I find the materially relatively straight-forward to interpret and report on, and I don’t trot out that pedigree very often, but today I will.

This report is thorough. It is careful. It is comprehensive. And today we are going to be talking with one of its lead authors. This report was put together by a group called Food Democracy Now and it is calling for renewed Federal investigation into the likely harmful effects of glyphosate on human and environmental health, as well as for a ban on certain uses of glyphosate.

So who is Food Democracy Now? Well Food Democracy Now or FDN is a grassroots community dedicated to building a sustainable food system that protects our natural – excuse me, that protects our natural environment and sustains farmers and nourishes families. Their first campaign successfully put officials endorsed by FDN members in the Obama administration, so they know how to get results. From the FDN website we read “Our food system is fundamentally broken. A few companies dominate the market prioritizing profits over people and our planet. Government policies put the interest of corporate agribusiness over the livelihoods of farm families. Farm workers toil in unsafe conditions for minimal wages. School children lack access to healthy foods, as well as millions of Americans living in poverty. From rising childhood and adult obesity to issues of food safety, air, water and pollution, workers rights and global warming, our current food system is leading our nation to an unsustainable future.” End quote. Now we here at Peak Prosperity share a lot in common with our assessments of the FDN.

Yes, our food system is broken. No, it does not have to remain that way. All of our interviews with Joel Salatin of Polyphase Farm and the Kaisers of Singing Frog Farms, among many others prove there is another way to farm that is actually in relationship to the earth, its rhythms and each other. To tell us about glyphosate and the startling new report they commissioned is Dave Murphy, the founder and executive director of Food Democracy Now. Murphy has been called the most crucial and politically savvy actor in the ongoing efforts to help move American agriculture into the 21st Century, as a result of his Sustainable Dozen campaign, which resulted in four candidates being placed in high level positions at the USDA, and his efforts to reform food and agriculture under the Obama administration.

In 2006 Murphy moved back to Iowa to help stop a factory farm from being built near his sister’s farm. After seeing the loss of basic democratic rights of rural Iowans, Murphy decided to stay in Iowa to fight for Iowa’s farmers and rural residents and expose the flaws of industrial agriculture to help create a more sustainable future for all Americans. Previously, he has worked as an environmental and food policy lobbyist and political strategist. His writing has appeared in The Nation, The Hill, Huffington Post and the New York Times. Welcome, Dave.

Dave Murphy: Thank you very much, Chris. It is a pleasure to be here.

Chris Martenson: It is really great to have you on, because I admire and support the work that you are doing, first to reform farming as a practice and as a lifestyle; and because we at Peak Prosperity, Dave, we have been poking around the edges of this glyphosate story for some time. I’ve got your report right in front of me. People are going to hear me thumbing through it. And it is titled Glyphosate Unsafe on Any Plate. Hey clear nod to Ralph Nader’s book that shook up the auto industry, am I right?

Dave Murphy: No, absolutely. We think that, much like the automobile industry – the interesting thing, the parallels are very similar. The automobile industry in the 40s and 50s and 60s, they focused on mass producing cars and trying to produce them cheaply. They didn’t put safety first, and when critics of safety records of automobiles first became public, they were vigorously attacked. The interesting things is European auto industry starting with Volvo and then Mercedes and Audi, they took safety, you know safe vehicles and safe cars seriously. One of the things is the European auto industry is doing much better than Detroit at this point. I mean, Detroit fought regulations and they fought safety rules and regulations and people's trust in the American automobile has declined. I think the same thing is happening here in the United States. Basically, these food companies have relied on basically an outdated mode of producing cheap calories that really started under Nixon. Producing cheap calories, that policy or that belief system has not really resulted in producing the safest, healthiest food. There is a lot of cheap calories out there, but if you walk down your average street in America, you will notice one thing – most people do not look healthy and, in fact, we have an obesity academic where over 60% of adults US and American adults are overweight or have or are obese, which is kind of alarming.

Chris Martenson: Indeed. The health epidemic that we are facing is pretty serious. There is clearly something that has gone wrong. Epidemiologically, we have all the data that we need. I like how you are framing this, saying look, when industries come along, they of course want to do things as cheaply as they can, because we have a profit motive and they do that, and then eventually people start to get more sophisticated and they say hey, we would like cars that don’t kill us when we bump into a brick wall at 10 miles an hour. That would be fantastic. Can we do anything about that? And the first response of any industry, of course, is to defend itself and defend not itself, but its profits. And so, I think that is a great way to frame this; that here is an industry. It is time for it to mature – let’s look at the data. And that is why I want to tell you, Dave, how impressed I am at this report. I’ve got it in front of me, Dave. 29 pages cover to cover. It is packed with science. It has got the latest research. Knowns, the unknowns, lots of citations. It is hard hitting, but not sensationalist. I think it is just a great example of how such a report should be done. So, first question – what led your group to put what is clearly a lot of time and effort into producing this report? Why glyphosate?

Dave Murphy: There’s two reasons. You know, one I am from a small town in Iowa. You said earlier in the introduction I moved back to fight a factory farm away from my sister’s farm. And what I really learned is that the rules of democracy are rigged against us. Especially if you are a family farmer, you are someone living in rural America and you support clean water and clean air. You know these industries have figured out a way to kind of lobby and use their political donations or lobby in influence to always rig the rules against the citizens and clean water and clean air and clean food. I will just say Roundup -- one of the things is being from Iowa you are always aware of what the biggest industry in your state is, or at least you should be. And for Iowa that is agriculture. And I moved back initially to fight factory farms, but it was very clear there was a real problem with Monsanto bullying farmers in the Midwest, threatening them over, you know, what they claim would be patent violations and making up claims that were illegally saving seeds. That is really how Monsanto first got on our radar. They are bullying farmers in the Midwest and then I started looking into it further. One of the interesting things is Iowa produces 97% GMO soybeans and 94% Roundup ready corn. So Roundup is the main chemical sprayed in our state. The more I learned about it and the more I kept reading about new studies coming out, the more concerns we had.

And then we helped lead these GMO labeling ballot initiatives. We kind of dug into the history of Monsanto. And I studied history in college, so I always like to look if I am analyzing a company, I always like to go back to their long-term history, not just the product that they are producing now. One of the alarming things in Monsanto’s history they produce some of the most toxic chemicals on the planet, including Agent Orange, PCBs, dioxin and DDT. And one of the things about them is that each – in each case of these chemicals that they produced, they were illegal, they were approved by the FDA or EPA and you know I mean the proper agencies the problem is just like the tobacco industry, Monsanto knew that these products were causing harm even to their own workers and they still hid the fact of harm. Even from their – I will just say like if you read the transcripts from the trial of US veterans, you know -- Vietnam veterans on Agent Orange, it would really give you pause when you learn that these are the people responsible for producing the seeds, and then the chemicals that go on your food.

So, we chose to do this report because, in the process of our investigation in looking into this, we found out that the USDA had never really even released pesticide residue results for glyphosate. I find that really shocking that it is the mostly widely used weed killer or herbicide in America and also the world, and the US government won’t release basic pesticide residue data to the American public. Those are the things that, as a citizen and a resident of Iowa, I find it kind of shocking. So we looked into these. We did a year and a half investigation behind the science and the regulatory, what I would say, collusion or manipulation by the industry. We looked into it, and then we were able to find a lab that did this testing. We had no idea what we are going to find, meaning we had an idea where it may be, but we had no idea what the levels actually were. I think that the reason we took our time with this report and the reason we made it so detailed is because the highest level was in Cheerios, which is the first, like, whole food that a mother will feed their child as they are transitioning from breast milk to formula. Cheerios is kind of an iconic brand and all the mothers I talk to, the babies love to grab onto them. They are like perfect finger food, because they have that hole in the center. And so it is a perfect food for a mother to automatically give their child. The only problem is a single serving with this level of glyphosate residue is twice as harmful to health, as new research is showing that like the levels we found in Cheerios with glyphosate it was 1,125.3 parts per billion. One serving of Cheerios to a one year old child is twice as evident – current research and scientific evidence shows just that one serving that child would be exposed to a harmful dose of glyphosate.

Chris Martenson: So, let’s start at the beginning. I love starting at the beginning with this then. Glyphosate -- so from your report I learned a couple of things. I learned that it was originally patented as a chemical. So glyphosate is a compound. It is a molecule. It was originally patented to clean pipes in 1964. Somebody invented a -- Stauffer Chemical -- and they are using it to remove unwanted mineral deposits from metal. Pipes, that is what they started with. It does that because it is a chelating agent. That means it binds things. So, anybody that does any or heard about so-called chelating therapies, where you have to take toxic metals out from your body. You have been acutely poisoned or chronically -- a chelating agent simply binds things. Vital nutrients such as iron, manganese, boron, in the soil, they get bound up by glyphosate. It wasn't until later; it was 1974, it was discovered -- hey, this compound also metabolically poisons plants. So, take us through the beginning of where really glyphosate came from and, beyond that, how did this really come to be such a dominant position in the Iowa landscape?

Dave Murphy: Well, listen, that is a great question. The interesting thing is, you know, Montana likes to claim that and they have claimed this for 40 years -- glyphosate is perfectly safe. It is safer than table salt. We even have Monsanto propagandists. They have PhDs, but they still – they are so zealous in their defense of Monsanto’s product. We had a guy, last year, say he would drink a pint of Roundup glyphosate on air and as soon as the interviewer offered him a glass he said oh no, no. I’m not stupid. So clearly, in you know, in theoretical world they claim it's safe, but in reality when they are exposed to it, they say no.

And here are the things, so we you look at the chemical and what actually it does. Not just one, the patent they have for herbicidal or weed killing action, and the interesting thing is glyphosate has three patents and as you mentioned the first one was in 1964 Stauffer Chemical Company in Westport, Connecticut. One of my best friends from college lives in Westport, Connecticut. I found it very interesting it was originally used to clean pipes. It’s like Drano. Like you said it basically strips minerals out of and heavy metals out of a pipe. The fact is, scientists have found with some studies that it actually chelates those same minerals in soil and makes them unavailable into the plant. Apparently, it wasn’t the best you know, it wasn’t the best pipe cleaner or they couldn’t bring it to market at scale at that time. So, at some point in the 60s a Monsanto chemist discovers that this would kill weeds. I think they applied for a patent in ‘68 or ‘69, Monsanto did. They were awarded that patent in 1974, and that is when it first went on the market.

You know, it was used, you know, in forests and to kill weeds on you know, road sides and that kind of thing. It was used in forest management for a long time and in public parks. The other thing is, interestingly though, in the 1980s Monsanto was looking for a way to diversify their portfolio. They didn’t just want to be a chemical company and biotechnology was coming along. And so, several of their scientists cleverly figured out that they could take a gene – they found some weeds that became resistant to Roundup on their property somewhere, and then there are scientists that analyze those plants, and they found a gene in there that made them resistant to Roundup and then they inserted it into corn. They made genetically engineered Roundup ready corn and soybeans. And so, in 1996 glyphosate use really started to explode across the country and had been pretty minimally, I should say, minimally used compared to what it is now. In the last 20 years since 1996 Roundup ready crops they have GMO corn that is Roundup ready, soybeans, cotton, sugar beets and canola. So, Monsanto always says, biotech industry always says, that they are here to feed the world, but these -- we need biotechnology and genetic engineering to feed the world. In reality, when you look at the business model and you look at the system of what GMOs or genetically engineered crops have created, it is really a toxic chemical delivery device. They created food crops that allow them to survive being sprayed with Roundup. Everything else in the field dies, but glyphosate and Roundup does not kill those plants that contain those genes.

The interesting thing is today 300 million pounds of glyphosate is used Roundup ready and glyphosate based herbicides are used here in the United States; and in the report we have, this one graph, this one chart on it is on page three, that kind of shows from 1992 prior to this is four years prior to Roundup ready crops being introduced to 2014. I mean, it is just like the states of Minnesota is three quarters covered in all black. Iowa is fully blotted out. Illinois is fully blotted out. North Dakota is mostly blotted out, and so is South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas. And this is just showing you how widespread glyphosate use is. The interesting thing is, the US Geological survey did tests. I think they started in 2007, and they followed up in 2011, when they showed that rainwater and river and stream samples, 75% of them in the Midwest contained glyphosate, which is pretty alarming. It is the chemical that is being sprayed on our food and then it is evaporating into the air and going down wind and you know, being taken up into clouds. It can fall hundreds of miles away from where it is originally applied.

Chris Martenson: Dave, you mentioned a third patent. I think we missed it. What was that third patent one?

Dave Murphy: Yea it – Monsanto’s patent on Roundup expired in 2000, so they went off patent and it is a generic chemical. Other chemical companies can create it. But it is still a third of their – it is still worth over $5 billion for them annually. Interestingly, in the early 2000s they applied for a patent at the patent office for an anti microbial. Not only does glyphosate work as a metal chelator, a mineral chelator and a weed killer, it also has an anti microbial aspect to it. This is where scientists really need to look into that mode of action by which glyphosate operates.

Monsanto has always gotten away, and the regulatory agencies have always gotten away, with saying that glyphosate doesn’t harm humans or mammals because we don’t have what is called a Shikimate pathway. Plants have what is called a Shikimate pathway, and that is where they produce three essential aromatic essential – I’m sorry, amino acids. And those amino acids produced in that plant, they help that plant grow through photosynthesis, though it also helps with its immune system.

The thing is, glyphosate shuts down that – the Shikimate pathway. They are claiming that humans and mammals don’t have it, so there should be no impact on human health. The fact is, humans are interestingly enough, we are an animal. We are a species, but we have trillions of bacteria on our body and in our stomach. The last five or 10 years scientists have really discovered the major importance of the autoimmune is with your stomach bacteria. So, your gut microflora and in fact your gut microflora do have Shikimate pathways. So, any level of residue on food has a possibility of going into your stomach and disrupting that essential microflora in your stomach. Just like if you take an antibiotic, it will kill beneficial microorganisms. The thing is, glyphosate does the same thing. It will kill beneficial micro organisms in your stomach and, interestingly, even USDA scientists have shown, Bob Kremer, used to work at the University of Missouri, famously showed research on his brother’s farm that glyphosate was killing beneficial micro organisms in the soil, and as a result harmful ones were coming to the surface. Famously, in agriculture production, when glyphosate is sprayed the usarium fungus is the one that comes up. I would just say it may not sound interesting, it may sound scary, but that is – the rise of usarium fungus in farmer’s fields, it leads to crop diseases. And two of the most prominent crop diseases in Iowa are sudden death syndromes of soybeans and also Gosses wilt in corn. Basically, it happens because there is a real massive imbalance in the soil bacteria and these harmful ones come to the surface.

So, Monsanto basically has a chemical that they are spraying on their food that they have only gotten approval for based on one criteria. And that is the herbicidal criteria. They think of doctors and toxicologists and they start looking at these multiple patents in these multiple mode of actions, they are really going to find in the long run glyphosate is probably even more harmful than DDT to human health and the environment.

Chris Martenson: This is really shocking and I guess it shouldn’t be, but the story here is that I think a lot of people assume that for a chemical that we are going to apply 300 million pounds of to ourselves, that would pretty thoroughly studied. That there would be a variety of studies conducted. In animal studies you would have acute and chronic studies, meaning we find out what the lethal dose is, but then we are interested more long-term. What happens? What happens when we are using this compound and you know what happens to things like cancer formation to embryo formation a long – term reproductive health effects, endocrine system functions. You would think all of that would be studied and, in particular, it wouldn’t just be the stripped out compound, it would be the actual formulation that is used; something that you point out very well in this report, which is that glyphosate is a specific molecule that is called the active ingredient in something like Roundup. But Roundup consists of both glyphosate, plus what they call, insert air quotes, “inert” ingredients which are other things that have their own effects which we should probably study the thing that is being applied as the entire compound rather than just the soul part. How much of those studies have actually been done that we just described? Acute, chronic, long-term as well as multiple species studies?

Dave Murphy: Well, listen. You obviously have a full scope of understanding of the type of what we would think would be rigorous kind of studies that are conducted or reviewed by the FDA or the EPA and the US regulatory agencies. The interesting thing is none of these agencies conduct their own studies to show if this is safe. They rely on the industry to provide them with studies.

Chris Martenson: So Monsanto conducts a study. So, who specifically in the industry has conducted any glyphosate studies that have been reviewed by the USDA and the FDA?

Dave Murphy: Every chemical that is being sought for approval the only science that the agencies will review is corporate sponsored science supplied by that corporation. So, in the case of glyphosate, it was that research, independent research, I shouldn’t say it is independent, because it is not. It is corporate sponsored. That is supplied by Monsanto in the bio tech industry. And the other data, as you mentioned here, is the thing – glyphosate is the main chemical ingredient, but it only makes up 41% of the formula of the weed killer Roundup. And glyphosate by itself does not kill weeds. It does not kill plants. It actually needs that 59% of the other formulation, which is not tested, so that you’re right. They never test the complete formulation for safety. They only test the single active ingredient. The interesting thing is other scientists around the world and even the US have done independent studies and they always show glyphosate is more harmful than Monsanto admits. But even more importantly, Roundup, the entire Roundup formula, is basically 125 times more toxic than glyphosate alone. The US government has kind of rigged the rules against us. The chemical industry helped lobby for that by only requiring the main chemical ingredient to be tested. The interesting things is yes, trade secrets. Monsanto submits trade research and the EPA reviews it.

The interesting thing is I read the old historical documents, which is the EPA and Monsanto going back and forth, and they did studies on rats, they did studies on mice, with dogs, all various animals to get this approved. But the interesting thing was the EPA’s own scientists, when they reviewed some of these studies, were alarmed. In fact, in the 1980s there was a time for several years where glyphosate was considered a probable carcinogen, but Monsanto kept submitting additional studies and additional, what they call, historical data. So eventually, the study that showed it was probably carcinogenic just became noise. They were successful in submitting an avalanche of data, new research from third party labs, that they claimed showed safety and there was no reason for concern.

Chris Martenson: Now this is – so, as a toxicologist, if I wanted to go and read these studies that have been – that were submitted to a public agency so that a compound could be regulated for a public good, where would I go to read these studies?

Dave Murphy: Well, these studies are not publicly available.

Chris Martenson: What?

Dave Murphy: You would have to do a freedom of information act request to get all the original submissions from the EPA. The EPA is the agency that governs approval for a new chemical, new weed killer, and they would submit this research. The interesting thing is, it is not publicly available. It is not listed on the EPA’s website. You can’t find it on any public or federal government website. And even worse is when you FOIA it -- I talk to other people who have tried to FOIA this. They send you back a lot of blacked out documents, meaning that they send you some information. But then they black out all this background data, which you can’t in the real scientific community; how can a chemical claim that it is perfectly safe when they only did safety assessments for 41% of that product’s formula? Even worse is when the scientific community can’t review that data independently of the federal government or independently of this company. The scientific community really has no idea if this product is safe. We just have to take the word of Monsanto scientists again, which from my review of history they are most like – they are probably one of the biggest corporate criminals on the planet, just when you review all of the chemicals that they released into the public domain and knowing and even after years of using them they find out they are harmful, they don’t try to get that product off the market. They use tobacco tactics to delay any concern. Ultimately, they are usually defeated in a court situation.

So, the good news is there is about 10 lawsuits right now linking Monsanto’s Roundup to cancer. So there is basically 10 civil suits out there. I think really fundamentally all the data needs to be released by the EPA. It is basically criminal malfeasance on the part of our government and these corporations to continue this.

Chris Martenson: Absolutely. So, I want to get into some of the data here; and for anybody listening, trust me we are going to get to very actionable things. There is a way for you to personally carve your way through this and keep yourself safe. We will get to that in just a minute. But let’s just talk very quickly. I got a little confused and I am a toxicologist, so I got a little confused going through the data. I was unfamiliar with where you talked about the acceptable daily limits have been. There is a term here, which is when we set a dose of something, we set it in terms of how much you weigh and how much of this thing you are allowed to have over some period of time. So, we might express it in milligrams, the amount, per kilogram, per day. So, reading through this, I found that in the US the daily acceptable limit is 1.75mg of glyphosate per kg per day. Did I get that right?

Dave Murphy: Absolutely.

Chris Martenson: That’s an interesting number. 1.75mg per kg per day. That means if you are an 80kg person they are basically saying hey 140mg of glyphosate ending up in you incidentally as you wander about eating things or being rained upon, I’ve just learned, is fine. We are cool with that. Let’s start with that number first. How does, first off, 1.75mg per kg per day, that is a pretty high amount to me, based on – that is, we are saying that is a fairly safe compound. First, how does that compare to what the original number was that was set in the United States that the EPA, I assume, set based on the original data that they had gotten? Let’s start there. What was the original amount?

Dave Murphy: You nailed that perfectly. You mentioned it. The current acceptable daily intake level from the US EPA of glyphosate is 1.75 mg per kg of bodyweight per day. Originally, this was set by the EPA, again based on the research that Monsanto had submitted to them it was at .1 parts per billion. So they increased it quite a bit originally. And the reason they applied for 1.75 mg per kg is because they knew that in – they were already doing research on genetically engineered crops Roundup ready crops. They raised the level as soon as they created a viable plant. The interesting thing is Europe’s assessment of glyphosate’s toxicity or safety they came in, they reviewed the same data and it was the German consumer safety agency or BBL. They set the European Union limit at almost six times lower. It is .3 mg per kg and that is basically after reviewing all the same data. In the process of this investigation, I will just say I had to go through a lot of historical documents that were neither interesting, but they did provide a lot o f fascinating information. And so I looked at the German government; this agency’s original review of glyphosate. It was 1998 when they reviewed this and they looked at the same data and they actually in their report, I think it was a couple hundred page report, they had a fascinating chart. This chart is on page 16, if you want to take a quick look at it. It says multi generational rat studies on glyphosate with recommended ADI levels. So this is a chart and it lists eight different companies applying for the allowable daily intake. They want to set a level, so that way it becomes the industry standard. So all of these other chemical companies are asking for ADI levels at, I mean .1 mg per kg .06 mg per kg .3mg per kg, .05 mg per kg and the US, you know, basically the chemical company in the United States responsible for this chemical, Monsanto, they asked for one that was at 1.75 mg per kg.

And this was so unique that the reviewers actually put this chart in there to show you the differences. More importantly, they said this – this is what they said in their food safety report. They said a very high ADI of 1.75 mg per kg of body weight was proposed in the joint dossier of Monsanto and Caminoba (that is a Dutch chemical company) based on the no, or no observable effect level for maternal toxicity in a teratogenicity study in rabbits. Basically, there is this famous study, Tasker 1980, and basically the European reviewer said it is discussed here, since it is far outside the range of all the other suggested values. So, they were shocked. They looked at the level requests by Monsanto and they just said this doesn’t make any sense, especially based on all of the studies that you have submitted. Rather than expose their citizens to a level of what may be considered harmful, they chose to pick a level that was five and a half times lower.

Again, this is all in retrospect, looking back at this, seeing how the American public has been exposed to very high levels. The interesting thing is as we are trying to get this report covered in the media and the press I had a reporter ask me, going “well, is this an illegal level?” I said “no, it is not illegal.” More importantly, you should be concerned at how high it is actually set. You know what I mean? I tried to tell about the history and the background of it. It is like today's’ reporters don’t have time to even do a surface dive into the facts. And if they know if it is going to conflict with the chemical company like Monsanto, they are just going to be attacked for days, if not weeks or months. So, journalists are, many times, hesitant to cover this topic because it is so controversial.

Chris Martenson: Controversial. Let’s be clear that is something that we cover at Peak Prosperity a lot is that there is astroturfing and other tools that corporations bring to bare. Information is important. They don’t fight clean. They don’t just like put out an ad that refutes what you are saying. They will bring in people leaving nasty comments on your site and they will make calls to your advertisers. They understand what they are doing. They understand how to play this game. But anybody who has studied, I love how you said this, the tobacco industry, this is how the corporate game is played. You do what you can. But let me get back to this – when was it bumped from .1 parts per billion all the way up to this 1.75mg per kg? When did that happen in the US?

Dave Murphy: That would have happened in the late 80s. The original .1 parts per billion that was set in the early 80s. It was very evident. I think Monsanto probably panicked when there was a two or three year period, or at least a year period year or two period where glyphosate was considered probably carcinogenic, because you know, that is probably not going to be allowed to be sprayed on your food if it had that classification. And so, I will just say they, obviously, they applied for and they received approval in the late 1980s, which is in full knowledge of the fact that Roundup ready crops would be coming online in the next decade for this high acceptable daily intake.

And the interesting thing is the federal government, it is almost like every single time that Monsanto has applied for increased glyphosate residues on food they have been awarded that. The government has complied with them. In 2013 the Obama administration, even the Obama administration, approved an increase in glyphosate residues on certain crops. It is not really based on safety assessments. It is based on the fact that more and more of this chemical is being used in our environment and especially in farming.

Chris Martenson: This is critical, because we didn’t talk about one of the key uses, which is just shocking when it is revealed, which is that glyphosate is used as a desiccant, a drying agent on certain grains, simply to help them dry a little faster at the end of a harvest cycle. I am sure you know much more about that than I do. Did I say that roughly right? It is just sort of sprayed on?

Dave Murphy: It is absolutely right. A desiccant, which no one knows what a desiccant is, unless maybe you are in science; you have taken science courses. Yes, it is used as a preharvest drying agent. Monsanto is always trying to figure out more uses for the product, just like the corn and the – the corn industry is always trying to figure out more uses for the corn. So, they figured out you can spray this chemical, Roundup, on crops, and it would dry them out faster. And so they do it on wheat, oats, barley and they do it on kind of dry, edible beans. I think in 2012 there was a case in Michigan where some of their dry, edible beans tested higher than the currently allowed level. Rather than change their spraying practices, they just went to Federal government and said can you increase this, and they did. This is where we found – I am glad you mentioned this preharvest spraying. I will just say, we had, like I said, we had an idea where we would find it, but we were shocked when we found the three highest levels are all as a result of preharvest spraying. Cheerios. 2014 General Mills took GMOs out of Cheerios, based on pressure by groups like Food Democracy Now and GMO Inside and Friends of the Earth. They removed them, so you really shouldn’t be seeing any glyphosate residue in there, but the main, their main ingredient, in Cheerios is oats, which is one of the biggest crops that uses Roundup as a drying agent.

The second highest was Stacy’s pita chips. Fascinatingly enough, Stacy’s pita chips is actually non GMO certified. So, meaning it is certified. It is tested. It doesn’t contain GMOs, but that doesn’t mean it is chemical free in any way. I think that has always been one of the criticisms of non GMO products. It does a great service educating people about GMOs in the food supply, but it doesn’t really take up that second area of concern; what kind of pesticides and chemicals are you being exposed to in your food. And the third highest was Honey Nut Cheerios, which was almost half of what regular Cheerios was. That level.

Chris Martenson: Yea. I can hear people practically through the, through my headphones listening to this going “oh my God does food have to be this complex?” I have to rank the GMOs. It is just crazy what we are doing with our food system. I want to put forward here. Again, people, there are things we can do about this. I will get to that in a minute. I just need to complete this exposure level. Here is the nutty part. The government has also set a 700 parts per billion limit in water for exposure for glyphosate. If you are over that, they consider the water unsafe. So 700 parts per billion, upper limit. If I have done my math right, there is a chance I have messed this up. If I have done my math right, 700 parts per billion in water implies that to get to that 140mg for an 80kg human being 140mg of glyphosate exposure you would basically have to drink 200,000 liters of water per day at the upper limit to get that exposure. So, for some reason exposure in water has been set wildly lower than exposure levels in foods. Is there an explanation for that?

Dave Murphy: I think it would be considered lower because they would probably not expect in an average area, they would not expect glyphosate to be in the water supply. When they set it they may have figured some agricultural run off. The problem is basically Monsanto lied about every property that this chemical has. We know that they lied. I mean, I am not using that word lightly. They said that it was perfectly safe. It was harmless to animals. It was harmless to – it was biodegradable. They actually did advertisements in France where they claimed glyphosate would clean your soil. That takes some hutzpa for a company to put a chemical out there that says for their marketing material that this actually, this cleaning the soil. The fact is, there is two court cases, one in the State of New York -- the Attorney General in the State of New York took Monsanto to court and said these are false claims. They are fraudulent – it is fraudulent advertising. You are going to have to stop making these claims that it is biodegradable. It does not wash away. It doesn’t just evaporate. And they have claimed multiple things in their submittal process that it binds tightly in the soil and that it doesn’t stay in the soil. I mean, they get away with so much regulatory malfeasance in the way I look at it, and so two court cases prove that they made fraudulent safety claims. One is in New York State; one is in France.

Interestingly enough, the US government always repeats the same talking points that Monsanto does. Glyphosate is perfectly safe. It is the most studied chemical in the history of chemicals. They keep making these claims. Nothing could be further from the truth. One of the tobacco tactics the biotech industry and Monsanto has perfected is that any scientist that does a study that shows harm or even potential harm from Roundup or glyphosate or their products, they are basically crucified and they will try to run them out of their jobs. If they are in a public university, a lot of these scientists will be fired ultimately. They tried to do that to a guy named Ignacio Apella. He is a scientist in Berkeley. He was at Berkeley, University of Berkeley. In the early 2000s he showed that there was contamination from transgenics or GMO pollen in Mexico from the corn, which is the birthplace of corn. Now he believed this was spreading because on the migratory process geese were, and ducks were picking up GMO corn that was leftover in fields and flying down to Mexico over winter in the south, and they would deposit this GMO corn they picked up and ate in the Midwest in Mexico and that is how it grew.

So Monsanto basically launched a smear campaign against him. He was denied tenure at University of Berkeley and incredibly enough he fought it. He is still at Berkeley today. This is like trial by fire. You are a scientist and you are doing your duty, an obligation to science and as a citizen of your country, and you are showing there may be harm for this product; and rather than take that consideration you know, Monsanto just shoots the messenger. They have been pretty effective at it up until recently. I think with the GMO labeling movement, you know, more and more people are starting to stand up. More evidence is coming forward that shows how corrupt they are.

Chris Martenson: Now what, while we are on this topic, tell us briefly about some of the push back that you have received to this report coming out.

Dave Murphy: Well, just my computer was hacked the night before it went out. We got the report out. It has been non stop online. And this is a pretty common thing. Within 24 hours of the report being published Monsanto had made a statement on their Facebook page claiming again, famously, claiming that Monsanto’s Roundup is perfectly safe. It has been approved by the EPA. They said that within 24 hours. Then, the other thing is, they have this kind of army of attack trolls. I have a lot of biotech scientists that are on Twitter, on social media and they say engaging in a public conversation -- well, listen these are scientists that act like angry little trolls. They act like teenage adolescents when they talk about science.

We put this out. One of the guy’s names is Kevin Volta. He was a professor at the University of Florida. Ironically, he is also the Department Chair. Within minutes of our report being public he starts attacking us on Twitter. Another one is this scientist in Wyoming -- Weeds, I can’t remember his name right now. They basically jump over this report and say “oh, you used the law – you used the wrong method. You absolutely didn’t use the – you used ELISA.” This is a testing method. ELISA is a testing method and basically it – ELISA is one of the methods that can show. It can show that glyphosate is there, but it sometimes gives false positives. So, it is really not the best way to do this type of study, this type of research. So we had a – we used an FDA registered lab in San Francisco, in Anresco Laboratories. They have been doing this since 1943. they are used as a spot and hold laboratory for imports from Asia. They do testing for the Federal government on pesticide residues. So, we did the gold standard mass spectrometry and just say instantly the biotech industry was attacking us on claiming we used the wrong method. Once they found out we used this kind of gold standard, which is the one, it is a testing method that regulatory agencies accept as the gold standard, then they switched to saying there is no way you could have done this properly. You didn’t detail how they broke down the compounds and you didn’t at the end of your report, you didn’t list how you did this. They are trying to debunk it based on the laboratory testing and the fascinating thing is this went on for over a week. And eventually, and this is a lot of back and forth on Twitter, social media and chat rooms. This guy Kevin Volta, the New York Times, did a major piece on him last year showing that despite dozens of claims that he had nothing to do with Monsanto, he was basically working behind the scenes communicating with their lobbying department almost non stop for two or three years. And he always said I am not paid from Monsanto. They don’t pay for me.

They wrote him a $25,000 check for travel funds. He’s got a $25,000 slush fund from Monsanto, so he can go around propagandizing about how good GMOs and how safe they are. The fascinating thing is, he doesn’t even do GMO research. He does research on fruits and vegetables. So why would a scientist that doesn’t even have, you know, a background in doing research on GMOs, be so angry and so attacking of this new report? I find it pretty shocking. And the interesting thing was ultimately he contacted our lab. He asked for the methods that we use. The lab explained to him how it was done and on Thanksgiving day I woke up to probably the best tweet of my life. Basically this guy admitting that the lab did the right safety tests. Did the right residue tests.

Chris Martenson: This was the first part that I turned to was your method for food testing and seeing, sorry for the geek fest here, people, but it’s liquid chromatography. Random mass spectrometry, it is really the gold standard. They actually, you put the test methods in here, so what the extraction process was, I read through it. I’m used to science papers, like, oh yea, this is a reasonable test. The limit of sensitivity is well below the limits that are being recorded. It is not like you were dancing around the limit of detection. You were finding things that were vastly in excess of limits of detection. I am intrigued it was hard to even find a lab that would be willing to come up with results that they knew might be published in this way.

Dave Murphy: It was. I understand there are over 300 labs that were contacted in this process. It was a very detailed process. But it is an interesting journey to kind of go through this, where do you test this method? Yes, we do. Could we test this process or this product? Well, yes we can test for it. It will take some time. It is a unique molecule. It is pretty small. It is hard to test. I am just saying there is always these excuses for why the FDA and USDA hasn’t done residue testing. It does take a little bit longer for some labs to calibrate and determine the right testing methods so, but they can all do it. I am just saying in 2016, maybe in 1992 and 2000 it was different. Well today, science is progress and detection levels and method have progressed rapidly. It was difficult to find a lab and several of them, at least a dozen, said “well, we will test for you, but we do not want this information to be made public.”

So, we obviously don’t want to – we want to honor that lab’s standards or what they are comfortable with, so we couldn’t use certain labs that we knew could test. We did get lucky in finding Anresco Laboratories, because they did the right test methods. They have an absolutely spotless reputation in terms of testing and they did it right. It took them months to get these testing methods and protocols down. We feel absolutely comfortable with this report.

Chris Martenson: So that was fantastic. That was essential to me and it was good on you to go forward and make sure that you had the science right because now you can build off of that and you list a bunch of peer reviewed science on glyphosate and it is not like you found one study that says “oh, maybe there is a few things here.” This is an extensive list. I am going to read through a couple of them, because this is linking glyphosate to everything from cancer to epidemiological studies supporting that direct in vivo studies; there is endocrine destruction; maybe liver and kidney damage at doses that are fairly low compared to the limits. Antibiotic resistance, the list goes on and on.

So here is a one peer reviewed study from 2014 -- the Journal of Environmental and Analytical Toxicology said that glyphosate was significantly higher in human conventional food compared with predominantly organically fed humans. Remember people, I just said we are going to get to the solution – the word just popped up, organic. Also, the glyphosate residues in urine were grouped according to the human health status -- here is the gold sentence in this for people interested – chronically ill humans had significantly higher glyphosate residues in urine than healthy humans. Chronically ill. So this is a fairly large epidemiological study it is looking at when you look across broad groups of people. You can make a linkage there. So, cause and effect we don’t know, but really, if the summary here is that glyphosate is now being linked to disturbance of lower gut bacterias, we talked about, autoimmune diseases, birth defects, reproductive problems, infertility, antibiotic resistance, you name it. There is just so much data here. I hardly know what to -- my mouth is moving but words are not really forming. To me as a scientist, once you have this body of data in here, there would be some way that this would be feeding back into our regulatory process, but it seems not to be at this point, yet. Is that fair?

Dave Murphy: That is a very fair statement. You covered that perfectly well. Listen, neuroscientists, you understand exactly what this means, and the thing is Monsanto knows what this report means, but a lot of people will read it and kind of get confused. There is a lot of science in there. I’m just saying listen last year the World Health Organization, an international agency for the research on cancer, declared glyphosate a probable carcinogen. So 2015, a group of 17 international scientists, got together and reviewed all the latest research and said that it is probably a carcinogen. So, this absolutely agrees with the same assessment from the 1980s.

The interesting thing is, listen, I have done a review of this chemical. I studied it for a decade, but I did a deep dive investigation for a year and a half, and I will just say after this investigation my biggest concerns are yes, I do think it probably causes cancer, but it does in terms of what are your exposure levels, how is a person exposed to glyphosate so that they would get cancer. I am glad that you brought up this 2014 study in Europe. And it was done by Monica Kroger in Europe. What they did is they analyzed dairy cows in Germany and in Denmark. In Germany they didn’t have GMO feed; a Roundup ready feed in Denmark they did. So the levels of a glyphosate residue were very high in these animals and in humans that had high levels of glyphosate in them. Even worse is, they showed that the animals that were the sickest and the humans that were the sickest had the highest levels of glyphosate. The real thing is my bigger concern when I look at this systematically I try to take a systems approach to looking at something, looking at a problem, analyzing it, figuring out a solution. The autoimmune impacts from the antimicrobial antibacterial aspect of glyphosate are much – because of the food level residues that we have discovered, are more likely to cause significant harm to a wider population base. The same is true with endocrine disrupting. The exposures to like if this is chronic, low dose exposure to a chemical. And so, when this scientist in Europe said that the animals and humans have the highest glyphosate levels, were the sickest, it makes a lot of sense when you understand the mode of action that you know plants of Roundup. In a farmer’s field plants do not die outright. It is not caustic. It does not automatically kill them. It kills the way that they create photosynthesis. It shuts down the immune system. So plants die by eventually being exposed to pathogens in the soil. That is how Roundup works. So if it works like that in the soil in a farmer’s field how does that impact human health? I think it is pretty concerning.

And the interesting thing is Monsanto. This is another claim that Monsanto has always made about glyphosate and Roundup, that it is rapidly excreted in urine and feces. So you know, I always, it is like Ronald Reagan says trust but verify. I have very skeptical radar when it comes to claims made by this chemical company and while I was doing some of this research I came across two different places where they said 99% of glyphosate is excreted. That is 99%. That is not 100%. Where is that extra 1% going? Then I saw one is from an EPA document and one is from that German review; and it says that glyphosate 1% of glyphosate is absorbed into bones in bone tissue. That is frightening. If you understand that it is a chelating chemical. That means it can bind with your bone and stay in there. So one of the cancers linked to glyphosate that the World Health Organization came out with last year is non Hodgkin’s lymphoma. It is basically a blood cancer. It starts in bone and bone tissue. I am saying having a chelating chemical absorb into bone and bone tissue that is a real area for exposure and significant health risk that really hasn’t been considered by the US regulatory agency or even the scientific community because many people for years have believed Monsanto’s talking point. We put it in there because we think it is a new avenue by which significant harm to human health could be happening.

Chris Martenson: Now here is my standard as a toxicologist when we studied this – you are always looking for a dose response curve and there is a level beneath which usually something you say is safe, right? In that dose response curve, if you are trying to set a daily acceptable limit on something or an exposure that you are going to call non harmful, you wouldn’t want any of your – you wouldn’t want to find anything harmful in your animal studies. Listen, animal studies aren’t perfect. Rats metabolize things differently from humans. We have to allow a little for that. Here is again from your report talking about an invivo study, that means in a living rat in a living animal, but in this case a rat. An invivo study of Roundup, not glyphosate, but Roundup which has that other 59% of who knows what in there. Invivo study administered to rats in drinking water diluted to 50 nanograms per liter glyphosate equivalents. Now that is half the level permitted in drinking water in the US, but 14,000 times lower than that permitted currently in the drinking water in the USA resulted in severe organ damage and a trend of increased instance of mammary tumors in female animals over a two year period of exposure. Age.

So, that to me is the sort of finding that if I was trying to put something forward say in a drug study or in a modern toxicological study, that would be a pretty difficult thing to get around. That finding right there. That is 50 nanograms per liter. 14,000 times lower than currently permitted. You find a finding like that -- well, we would want to follow that up; we would want to do additional studies; we would want to do multi species studies; we would want to follow that. That is pretty shocking to me.

Dave Murphy: Well, listen yea. I think the more that I study this the more concerned I became. I was shocked that they had kind of gotten away with rigging the roles against the American public. I was pretty stunned. And I really think that the scientific community has to stand up to chemical companies. They have to stand up to corporate America, where they produce flawed studies that expose humans to excessive risks. I would just say it wouldn’t be an excessive risk if glyphosate was only used on 1 to 5% of our food products. But it is – it is everywhere. 75 to 80% of the processed foods in the US contain GMO ingredients and more importantly Roundup is even being sprayed on crops that aren’t Roundup ready, as a drying agent. So, the level of exposures to the human population in the United States alone is massive. And what these glyphosate residue testing shows is that the US Federal Government is out to lunch and they are taking the word of one of the most corrupt chemical companies on the planet and they are exposing all of us and our children’s health. Basically, this is – we are playing Russian roulette with our food here.

I say that because American mothers go to the grocery store and they buy Cheerios because they trust that that company has made it and has made it within the rules and regulatory safety levels set by the US government. The problem is now we are finding that glyphosate is – the independent peer reviewed studies showing harm from glyphosate the last eight years alone has exploded. It used to be just a few of them. Now it is dozens of them. I know from my work with internet scientists in the United States and internationally, there are at least three to six more studies coming out in the very near future that will show harm from glyphosate at these low, ultra low levels that we are all chronically exposed to in our food supply. The good news is, though, you can avoid glyphosate. The way to do that is to eat organic food. You know?

And I think it looks like we may need to create a glyphosate free label for the American population just for them if you know as new evidence becomes apparent I think it is going to be the American public is really kind of recoil against what they are doing to our food system.

Chris Martenson: Oh, absolutely. That is the key thing that anybody can do and we have discussed this for other reasons in the context of neonicotinoid pesticides said hey what is the solution? Organic. Eat organic. Now, I know that eating organic is more expensive, but this just shows again that whether your concern is for the environment and not wholesale slaughtering of the biocide of neonics that are just taking out everything in the insect food chain, not just the things we are calling pests, but as well for your own personal health. You don’t want an obviously suspect toxin being used as a drying agent on your grains. Organic is the answer to that. And that is the simplest answer people can do.

Beyond that, somebody says “okay, let me just, for my own sake, go organic here.” I think it would be a great decision. What I love is you have a call to action. It is not just an oh my God, look at this crazy stupid stuff happening. You have four points here in your call to action. The first being renewed or a federal investigation into the likely harmful effects of glyphosate on human health. So on that first step how would we go about getting that federal investigation? Is the EPA, what is the process? Do they ever reopen lines of inquiry into chemicals or what actually is being asked for there?

Dave Murphy: Yea, well they do actually. The interesting thing is right now the – the FDA and there is a renewal process for glyphosate. When I say that the chemical comes up for review every 15 years. This is the same -- is true in the US as also in Europe, so the interesting thing is glyphosate was supposed to be re-authorized in 2015. The fascinating thing is it wasn’t. The Obama administration kind of kicked the can down the road. And so you know, obviously, they probably didn’t want to release this, their approval of it or the reapproval during the election and in fact, there was supposed to be a hearing. But with the EPA scientists basically on a review of its carcinogenicity and crazy enough five days before this is supposed to take place a week before the election, the Obama administration canceled it. You know, they just said “no, we are not going to do this.” We released the report. Two days after the report they came back out and they said “oh no, we are going to do this. We are going to do this on December 14th.” So basically they have a panel of experts they have reviewing this process and for carcinogenicity. The interesting things is the World Health Organization last year declares it a probable carcinogen. This year the EPA leaked, accidentally leaked, their final review of it and they said absolutely zero connection to cancer. This is why this is a pretty controversial topic right now. The EPA is currently reviewing the safety assessments for it. We are calling basically on the Inspector General to look at this whole, you know, this whole process and we are asking them basically to do a thorough review in considering – I mean here is the thing. The EPA scientists, they reviewed some of the latest studies, but they didn’t include the findings in their consideration. So yes, they looked at the study. They marked it in the docket, but they never considered that data this new scientific data that shows harm. They refuse to use that new data in their review, which is kind of a bit of a crazy thing for a regulatory agency to do, to have scientific studies that have been independent and peer reviewed showing harm. You are going to know yes, that study is out there. We are just not going to use any of that study’s data in our final review.

Chris Martenson: I don’t understand. You are using words and theoretically that sentence should make sense to me, but I don’t get it. Just – I don’t – it is like we are doing this study of the data and the only thing we are not including in that is the data.

Dave Murphy: Yea.

Chris Martenson: Okay. Alright. How would a person weigh in on that process and, you know what is the – what is this process?

Dave Murphy: Well, for direction, we have a petition. We are calling on the EPA Inspector General to ask for a review of all the latest findings. We are doing it – the Inspector General’s office in every agency is kind of like the military police. They police the agency. So they are independent. They can’t get – they can’t be corrupted. I mean, I am just theoretically – they are independent, so they would do a review and they would hopefully do a balanced review of all the latest data and you know, figure out how if there is real reasons for concern. And listen, we have done, this is one of three reports. There’s two more coming. So this is just the beginning of this process and I think when we are done I don’t think they will be wanting to buy Monsanto. I think that there will be – I think there is new evidence coming up showing likely harm from glyphosate. That probably bogged them down in court for a decade in reality. I think they should call off the merger and then buy them off the component parts at a later date. I think that is very likely to happen if the US government will actually do its job and stand up for the health and well being of the American public. I’m holding my breath, because I have only spent the last 10 years of my life trying to get this – these kind of changes in regulatory agencies and public policy and legislation. I know how difficult it is, but I do think that this is a reasonable request -- is to ask for a Federal investigation by the EPA inspector general, analyze all the data and more importantly, it is not just that. We want all the data that Monsanto submitted. We want it publicly. We want to see it publicly.

Chris Martenson: You mentioned two of the calls to action. The third then would be a permanent ban on the use of glyphosate as a pre harvest drying agent for crops such as dry beans, sunflowers, wheat, oats and barley. That seems perfectly reasonable. Hey, how about we don’t spray this stuff directly on the stuff right before you eat it? That doesn’t seem like too – what kind of economic harm would that cause to farmers if they didn’t have access to that?

Dave Murphy: Well, here, it is a new method. It is not – okay you would – if they use it to dry out the crops. It dries out the crops immediately. So, they wouldn’t have to go in storage. They need to have the moisture content down to a certain level to make sure there is no diseases that, fungus or crop diseases show up in the drying process. You have storage bins and then you have the drying time that it would cost them. All of these farmers have bins anyway. They probably haven’t been using them, because they have been spraying Roundup. It’s a shortcut. But it’s a shortcut that puts all of our health at risk. So, there is no reason to do it. And so the question really is, we are, the United States is in a system of push and shove; regulation. We need regulations. Regulations are terrible. Regulations cost businesses so much money. The question is, listen, a regulation is like the rules of the road for that industry. I would just say regulations can be burdensome, but most times they’re not. You have to understand, regulations are the thing that keeps your tires on your car not falling off while you are driving down the road. We have a very clear situation here where the regulations have been written to benefit the chemical industry, and that puts us at risk and that puts our health at risk.

Here is the thing – talking about the cost. I don’t think that there is – I think the cost to the farmer in the industry is minimal, especially when you consider it on a scale of justice, the harm and the likely harm that it is causing for massive exposure to this chemical in our environment. I think, like, having them not spray glyphosate or Roundup Ready -- Roundup on crops for preharvest, that is a – that will be a massive benefit to the American public’s health. I just think we need to start looking at things differently, and I know you do this, but I am just saying in this conversation I think it is important to remember that the health and well being of the citizens of America is a thousand times more important than any potential harm economically to a chemical company.

Chris Martenson: Totally agree and number four in your call to action is calling for the immediate release of all the restricted, allegedly trade secret data from all the previous industry studies and glyphosate hey let’s see the data and then we can all decide. I totally agree. It is not a trade -- here’s what -- it is just like the secrecy laws in government. Often they are used because of something embarrassing that you wouldn’t want to see the light of day has come out, not because it is a legitimate secret that has a protected interest behind it that is legitimate in any way. So I would agree, let’s get the data out. I don’t think that safety data should be held secret as a general principle. Of course, that is a much broader change than anything around glyphosate itself. But I feel that the winds of change are here. I am watching people being legitimately shocked at where we are. I got to tell you the ecological data is so shocking. That bounces off of most people. I mean, what do you do when you open up the newspaper and read that 40% of the birds are missing, right? Or an equivalent number of insects. What does that mean when the whole bottom of the food pyramid is just seemingly in rapture and gone somewhere else? And whether it is due to glyphosate or these other chemicals we are using, there is clear warning signs saying look, let’s not just dump stuff willy nilly, but more importantly are we going to use science to guide our decisions. If we are going to be a faith based, technologically based, science driven culture, then let’s do that or not.

Here is the thing it is not. I’m sure some people are going to start putting a partisan lens on this. I am not, because whether this was under Obama or Bush prior or Trump, now I am going to guarantee you this transcends left/right. This is about dollars versus people. This is about corporations and profit motives versus our right to live in an open, transparent and relatively safe environment to the best of our ability. So, that is why I really I like this report. I am glad to hear there is more coming. This is an extraordinary effort here. Very well researched. Lots of science. Lots of data. I hope we didn’t get too geeky for most people on this, but there are things that I think are actionable here. Your calls to action are great and for anybody, listen, just buy organic. That is just -- start there. Like listen, I don’t know what is going on in the world, so let me just buy organic. That is a great place to start. And that is a fairly easy step that anybody can take. But beyond that, Dave, tell us how people can first follow your work more closely; and also, how can they get involved in this? How can somebody listening help you help us?

Dave Murphy: Listen, Chris that is a great question. I appreciate it. You can go to the website FoodDemocracyNow.org. We have a call to action on our homepage, basically asking for this investigation at the EPA and an independent investigation also asking for a release of this data. We are also going to be launching a petition to all of these food companies asking them to halt the practiced to make it.

Here is the thing – we find this to be shocking information and we put it together. I mean, I would just say this is probably one of the driest, most sober things that I have written in the last decade, because we did not want to start a panic. We do not want to demonize food companies like General Mills and others. We really want them to just halt the practice and you know, I think the biotech industry and some of Monsanto’s’ trolls have accused us of fear mongering. Listen, this is just a reasonable risk assessment of this thing. I would just say one of the things is people -- I think it is very important that people take action in their daily lives where they can, and so we send out petitions or call to actions. Make sure I sign every petition that comes in my inbox because one, I know how much hard work it takes to create that petition, and I know how important these issues are. If you are on a list of an environmental group – I would love for you to join fooddemocracynow.org if you are interested, but any environmental group that you get a petition asking for a change in regulations or a change in policies, please sign that because that is the backbone of reform.

Now, I like to say that is kind of drive by activism. That is the first step. The next step, you know, getting engaged on Facebook and Twitter social media. Communicate your ideas and your concerns to the regulatory agencies, to the companies involved. Try to – I mean, the thing with social media one person can make a difference at light speed. Companies are responsive to this kind of thing and they do move pretty quickly with the right amount of pressure. And the other aspect is listen, we are talking about buying organic food and you know, I go down and I look in my fridge and I look in my pantry and 90% of everything I have in my house is organic. Three reasons – one, I believe it is the best food out there. Food is not a commodity and it is not just empty calories. Food is the basis for your health and eating healthy food will give you a better opportunity to be healthy. More importantly, if you think that organic food is too expensive; well, you should just look up the price tag for chemotherapy or heart disease. I am just saying eating organic food is about a long term investment in your health, the health of your family and the health of the environment. More importantly, I think it helps, can help buying organic food. I think we need to really build a new food economy that emphasizes health and well being of the consumer, the family farmer and the environment. I just think we need to take back our food supply with every bite that we eat. For me, those are the three reasons why I buy organic food. And how you can, you know, help make this change happen at warp speed.

Chris Martenson: Absolutely. Well, thank you for that and thank you for all your work on this, Dave. We have been talking with Dave Murphy. He is one of the authors of Glyphosate Unsafe On Any Plate. It is a fantastic study. Well done. Again, not sensationalist, packed with science, packed with data. Enough there to really change my view. I knew glyphosate was sort of at the edges. I am worried about it in terms of the impact on the gut biome. The more I learn about those trillions and trillions of cohabitants in my body and the impact on our health by having a deregulated or unbalanced gut biome it is just piling up. It is extraordinary. Glyphosate directly inhibits a key pathway of not all but some of the more beneficial inhabitants of my gut and your gut. On that basis alone caution would be warranted, studies definitely are needed and until we have that harder data hey, let’s avoid it. So, thank you so much for all your hard work in this. I am wishing you all the best in this. I am preparing myself for a little troll influx. It is going to happen. That is the world we live in, but this is how we have to raise awareness and give people the context they need to make the changes to help us all. So, thank you so much for your time today. Thank you everybody for listening this far into what is very much a much longer than usual podcast, but I felt it was worth it and please visit Dave at Food Democracy Now.

Dave, thank you so much.

Dave Murphy: Listen, thank you very much, Chris. I really appreciate being on Peak Prosperity and I am definitely looking forward to reading your book. So thank you so much.

Chris Martenson: You’re welcome.

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Hotrod's picture
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Pervasive use of Roundup (Glyphosate)

Thank you for giving voice to the concerns being expressed by the pervasive use of Roundup herbicide by conventional agriculture. It is simply unbelievable that Roundup is cleared to be used on grains as a desiccant right before harvest, hence the residuals found in bread and cereals.

Roundup technology has not only allowed Monsanto to corner the chemical and seed market, but has also enabled the proliferation of industrial scale farming by simply spraying in response to weed pressure, instead of using cultural practices and mechanical cultivation.

Recently a meeting was held in our community warning the populace that a factory farm was planning to expand from 6000 to 10,000 animal units in a quest to attain profitability.  There is little or nothing that can be done to stop this operation from growing this large.  In the last 3 years large farms in this area, with liquid manure systems, have contaminated local water sources with over a million gallons of liquid manure slurry.   Roundup technology has greatly enabled these operations to grow to become potential environmental disasters.

What most conventional farmers fail to realize is that the economic benefits of these chemical and seed technologies accrue mostly to the businesses that buy from and sell to farmers.  The farmer, having no economic clout, is left with little or no economic benefit, yet will fight to the death his right to continue on this ever speeding up technological treadmill and economic system that could care less if he or his customers live or die.

Sharsta's picture
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Roundup use as a dessicant

Thanks Chris for this extremely informative interview with Dave Murphy.

Having just finished listening to the whole podcast, I'm feeling more than a little sick right now thinking about the implications.

First review is diet and food sources - I see a lot more home cooking ahead in 2017!  smiley


aggrivated's picture
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Air safety?

Halfway through the interview Chris just mentioned that we get rained on with glyphosate. Possible sources that come to mind are airborne soil erosion and corn based ethanol vehicle emmisions. Does anyone have data on this? Buying an organic hoodie probably won't help.

debu's picture
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Thanks for this...

PP.com is going from strength to strength!

I've been concerned about glyphosate for years now after reading an article in Acres USA by Dr. D. Huber. Agree that eating organic is essential, the additional cost easily justified by preventative health benefits as Dave Murphy noted in the interview. Still enjoy meals at good restaurants but knowing the fare is mostly not organic takes some of the pleasure out of it.

One of the funniest things that happened to me last year was my bank, in error, showing a Syngenta (aka the Swiss Monsanto) bond position in my portfolio. Uh, no thanks.

Poison for profit indeed! This dystopia that we live in makes my head spin...

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GreenCoin's picture
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What's in Non-Organic Vegetables

Hi all, great podcast! Here is a picture of a simple 2-month experiment which has been replicated, and then also redone with romaine lettuce.  It provides a dramatic visual of what is in non-organic broccoli.  After 2 months of the decomposition process it seems that a noticeable amount of 'some brown liquid' is expelled from the non-organic broccoli. You can very easily and cheaply replicate these results in your kitchen.



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Not for profit you say?

As I clicked on the PP Featured Voice interview with Dave Murphy, what should pop up but an ad banner for, guess what, Kellogg's Froot Loops. Bon appetite!

Grover's picture
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Free Market Approach

I just finished listening to the podcast. I remembered seeing a post on the Daily Digest a couple of months back about glyphosate. Searching for "FoodDemocracyNow" returned the Daily Digest of 11/16/2016 along with a few other links. Time2Help posted the processed food chart listed in FoodDemocracyNow.Org's report (but from another source) in this post: https://www.peakprosperity.com/comment/201440#comment-201440. I remember others commenting on T2H's link, but those comments aren't on this thread. I can't remember who first alerted us to this potential danger. Sorry.

I don't normally eat any of these products other than Raisin Bran on an occasional basis. After reading the post and following links including FoodDemocracyNow.Org, I have reduced consumption of this product. I have a box in my pantry that may be the last one I buy.

I used to include Quaker Oats in my diet. I went to QuakerOats.com to see what they had to say about glyphosate. They had a FAQ that said that they don't use glyphosate in their production; however, farmers use it while growing oats. They noted that the concentration was low enough that a typical person would have to eat more than 1,000 bowls of oatmeal per day to reach FDA limits. I just went to their website to copy that answer verbatim ... only to find out that they no longer have a FAQ. When I just searched for "glyphosate" or "FAQ", I was sent to their recipe page instead. Hmmmm!

I don't like governmental regulations ... simply because regulations can become (usually are) corrupted by the moneyed interests who hide behind them. I prefer market solutions. Farmers use glyphosate as a desiccant because it is cheaper and more predictable than processing their oats the old fashioned way. As long as they have a market for their products, they will continue this practice. It is a purely pragmatic decision. There isn't any evil involved.

I contacted Quaker Oats through their contact form to tell them that I will no longer buy their product as long as they include oats treated with glyphosate as a desiccant. I received the typical response thanking me for contacting them. I haven't heard anything since.

If these big corporations hear from enough of the little people, they will change their practices. If you are concerned about your gut biome's health and you eat any of these products, please consider lodging a similar complaint. Tell your friends what you did and why. That's a way to make the free market work.


The shikimate pathway (shikimic acid pathway) is a seven step metabolic route used by bacteria, fungi, algae, some protozoan parasites and plants for the biosynthesis of folates and aromatic amino acids (phenylalanine, tyrosine, and tryptophan). This pathway is not found in animals, which require these amino acids, hence the products of this pathway represent essential amino acids that must be obtained from bacteria or plants (or animals which eat bacteria or plants) in the animal's diet.

For full disclosure, I use generic versions of RoundUp mixed with 2,4-D on my gravel driveway and along fence lines to control weeds. I don't use it in my garden. I've read how glyphosate breaks down in the soil; however, I don't have any information on the "inert" ingredients. Those inert ingredients may be more problematic than glyphosate. Sheesh. Something else to worry about.


nigel's picture
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Green Cestrum

The royal agricultural society recommend green cestrum in your garden as it's very hardy, however it's also fatal to anything that eats it. I have frequent outbreaks and I have to control it or the horses and cows die an ugly death. Now my feelings about people who think fatal plants in ornamental gardens that are allowed to invasively spread aside, I have to remove and control cestrum. I do that using glysophate. It's my only use of the product, still given the alternative I would still elect to use it, because the alternative is messy.

As per the golden mean, all things in moderation, small selective use of the chemical, managed in a thoughtful way can do more good than harm.

My question is,what can safely replace it? Would not an alternative like grazeon, or salt based solutions contain their own issues, as yet undiagnosed? I'll have to listen to this podcast, it's sure to be interesting.

richcabot's picture
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good book

This was covered years ago in the book "The World According to Monsanto".

It's since been made into a documentary movie.  You can watch it online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6_DbVdVo-k

John H's picture
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obesity epidemic

Great podcast, certainly on our farm we have had to develop different farm practices and talking to the "old timers" on how to manage without round up. We have thought for years that round up affects the soil as we needed increasing amounts of seeds per acre.

What is the cause of the obesity epidemic? Again governments interests and the food industry paying to get their industry favored. Is the problem the food industry or rather the government and politicians being bought off.

Consider our body contains 5 liters of blood and in a normal state has 5 gram of sugar in the entire 5 liters. A typical breakfast might be a bagel (50g), banana(30g), and glass of orange juice(40g) .  That is 120 grams of fast absorbing sugars coming down on your 5. The bodies response is to make insulin which in a healthy individual works well and fast. As we get older and this process goes on the tissues become resistant and your body must make more insulin to clear the blood sugar.Thus your end up with higher and higher levels of insulin. Metabolic syndrome equals insulin resistance.

Bread has a higher glycemic index than table sugar. Simply put, you would see less of a rise in blood glucose eating 5 teaspoons of sugar out of the bowel than eating 2 slices of bread.

Next consider a fat cell. This cell either takes up of gives of fat but will do nothing unless it has a signal from your body. Insulin is the main hormone that signals your fat cells and this message is hoard fat. Thus with our high carb diet and thus high circulating insulin we have the fat cell sucking energy from your body and leaving the metabolically active part of your body in calorie deficit. In addition the insulin locks the out door of the fat cell. This explains an overweight  individually eating 1500 or even less calories per day exercising like a fiend and not able to loss weight. They are tired, always hungry, and miserable. For this person a calorie reduced diet is guaranteed to fail. Thus in the late 1970's when the McGovern Commission, American Heart Associations, and NIH all supported by generous food industry financial support all came out and recommended a low fat diet, this fix was in. If you tell people to eat less fat are they just going to eat less or replace the calories with something else. Anyone interested in this issue I would recommend Gary Taubes landmark book Good Calories Bad Calories. Also lighter reading but still excellent My Big Fat Surprise by Nina Teichotlz

Adam Taggart's picture
Adam Taggart
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Help us get this podcast featued on Slashdot

We've submitted this important podcast for review to Slashdot.org's editorial team. If you're not familiar with Slashdot, it's a highly-trafficked news website with a heavy sciences bent.

Only a small fraction of submitted stories get featured on Slashdot's home page. The editors say the odds they'll pick a story is heavily influenced by how many upvotes it has.

So we want to try an experiment. We're asking the PP.com audience to click on the link below and upvote the podcast:


With your help, maybe we can make Slashdot's front page. If we can, we may be able to use our collective firepower for other future stories we deem particularly worth getting the word out about.

Let's give it a try and see if we can make our voice heard!

cmartenson's picture
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Such An Important Topic

I am so glad this podcast is now out, because it helps to highlight a really important issue.  

Very recently a man from my community who works in the moving business, said a long-haul trucker friend of his said, out of the blue, that the lack of insects on his windshield was "really weirding him out."  They used to say the "air was really wet today" when the insects were coating the windshields.

And how could this not be weirding out an observant person?  One does not simply reduce or even remove whole blocks from the bottom of the food chain pyramid.  The widespread loss of insects really ought to be considered something of a big emergency, somewhere if not everywhere important.  At least that's my view. 

I've been far more careful of my intake of non-organic grains and the whole family is going on a grain free existence for a while, more for a dietary reset than to avoid glyphosate, but it will be interesting to track what else results from removing a major source of glyphosate from our diet.  

At any rate, maybe time for a bit more curiosity and humility especially when it comes to major ecosystem disruption?


aggrivated's picture
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Economic collapse is always a subset of some other underlying support. What would be the Wall Street spin if it turned out to be bugs this time!?

I'd rather it be oil.

A world without bugs is freaky, sterile, post nuclear detonation bizarre. It's a sneak preview of a show coming to you soon, 'Your Own Demise!'

I'm hoping that it's limited to Interstate highways.

Adam Taggart's picture
Adam Taggart
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Posts: 3248
Slashdot update

While the glyphosate podcast has yet to make the Slashdot front page, we have successfully caught the attention of Slashdot's editorial team. I received the below from the site's editors last night:

Thanks for your submission to Slashdot ("Glyphosate: Unsafe On Any Plate"). Your submission has been favorably rated by Slashdot editors and readers. We get a lot of submissions, and can't run them all; all of them inform the stories that we do select, though, and we'd like to thank you for being a part of it. Contributions like yours are what power our site.

So I take this as evidence that we have a shot at getting future content onto the front page; it's just a matter of persistence, and perhaps of matching our submission topic to the gestalt of what's going on during a given week.

I've also learned through this first attempt how to better craft a submission to appeal to the Slashdot's editors' preferences. I'll be applying that knowledge on our next try.

Thanks to all those who upvoted when we asked!

PaulJam's picture
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Glysophate and "soil health"

Folks should be aware that glysophate use is being environmentally justified by way of its role in agricultural practices that  reduce soil erosion and increase soil carbon - namely in the form of no-till farming or perhaps some kinds of conservation tillage practices.  Its all under the guise of "soil health", so if you ever see "soil health" initiatives that are backed/supported by agro-industry, you can be rest assured that GMO and glysohpate use is embedded within, even though the role of glysophate/GMO use won't be mentioned at all.

For example:


John H's picture
John H
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Re Slashdot

I did my part.


davefairtex's picture
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Posts: 5739
a national security issue

Its really disturbing to hear about a company deliberately adding poisons into our food supply.  It sounds like they are just as evil as Big Tobacco was (and probably still is).

I mean, if this were a long-term Al-Queda plot to inject poison into the Cheerios of Americans babies nationwide, we'd have drones blowing up Monsanto executives in their offices and limos with hellfire missiles in under 48 hours.  We'd probably invade.  But because they are such large donors to literally everyone ($1M to the Clinton Foundation - anyone remember them?), we can't even get our own regulatory bodies to look at the scientific evidence.

I wish Monsanto was based, say, in Iran.  Or maybe in the border areas of Pakistan.  Then we'd get some action.

I'm really happy that I have steps I can take to avoid the chemical, although like everything else, it sounds like it is just a reduction of exposure rather than eliminating it.

Ultimately for me this is a national security issue.  But I guess the CIA is too busy looking for sneaky Russian hackers to pay attention.


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Don Huber

debu (comment #4) mentioned Don Huber.

Here is a recent (text-only) interview with him for those that want even more science or an Australian spin on the glyphosate issue.

Here's a short snippet for the American readers:

Graeme: Is there any evidence that the North American population has higher levels of glyphosate in their tissues considering the scale of the Roundup Ready cropping in their region?

Don: Most definitely. The level of glyphosate in breast milk is hundreds of times higher in Americans and Canadians, compared to European women. The levels found in water are also vastly higher. It is also found at concentrations of up to 400 ppm in food.

Uncletommy's picture
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Posts: 651
How long can you tread water?

As long as we, as a urbanized society, continue to expect 2% of the population to produce food for the rest of mankind, corporate interests will continue to provide the primary producers with the tools to accomplish those ends. For every weed we hope to eradicate, we will rely increasingly on chemical solutions rather than mechanical means. For every weed we manage to eradicate, we create a niche for a new form of life that may be more malevolent than its predecessor (its malevolence is relative to us, of course). Is the cure worst than the disease? How comfortable are you with a hoe in your hand?  What level of contamination are you willing to tolerate? From our friends at DuPont:


  • The proliferation of glyphosate-resistant weeds is increasingly forcing growers to use additional or alternative management tools to achieve adequate weed control.
  • For a small number of weed species, resistance to multiple herbicides now leaves growers with few viable options for control.
  • No new herbicide modes of action have been commercialized in the last 20 years, and it is unlikely any will be coming in the near future.
  • New herbicide-resistant crop technologies coming to market this decade will expand grower options for dealing with resistant weeds, but all rely on existing herbicide active ingredients with known weed resistance cases.
  • Recent experience with glyphosate resistance indicates that all herbicides are susceptible to resistant weed evolution given enough time and repetition of use. Overreliance of any new weed management tool will eventually lead to its failure.
  • Adopting best management practices for managing herbicide resistance will help prolong the useful life of current herbicides.
Waterdog14's picture
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Glyphosate and Autism

The US has the 5th highest rate of autism in the world (http://www.worldatlas.com/articles/countries-with-the-highest-rates-of-autism.html).  The causes are complicated, and both the media and medical establishment are replete with contradictory information.  Keep an open mind and recognize that glyphosate and glutamate (MSG) in combination could be a significant factor contributing to autism.  And glutamate is used as a substrate in vaccines, including the MMR vaccine.


The above article states:

Christian Bogner, MD wrote:

While taking all this research into consideration, I postulate that the etiology of autism is gastrointestinal destruction of floral bacteria via chronic low dose Roundup exposure to humans in utero and after they are born. This leads to gastrointestinal inflammation and malabsorption of key nutrients. This is explained and proven by the shikimate pathway disruption in bacterial flora (example of research evidence here). The shikimate pathway is a chemical reaction within our floral bacteria in our gut. The bacterial bioflora is doing an amazing job providing three very important compounds to be absorbed into our bloodstream from our gut: tryptophan, phenylalanine and tyrosine. The lack of these essential compounds will lead to a lot of other problems (including dealing with excess toxins like aluminum, copper and mercury). This will add to the negative effects on the whole system, because as we have learned, glyphosate activates the glutamate receptor along with excess glutamate from our diet (your prenatal vitamins included) and vaccines. Excess glutamate is impairing structured coordination of synaptic plasticity. The brain cell is literally burning out.

Or perhaps it's the manganese chelating action of glyphosate that contributes to autism:


I agree with other PP contributors than Mn chelation is probably NOT the dominant mechanism for glyphosate toxicity to unborn/new born humans.  So perhaps it's the adjuvants in Roundup(r) that cause the toxicity: 


If we sit around and wait until these issues are resolved with certainty, we will continue to spew and ingest toxins until we no longer have a healthy functioning populace.  Ok, not a bad thing if you believe that humans are the problem.  If we valued life, we would not inflict chemical damage on humans, animals, insects, or plants.   

I don't use Roundup or other toxic chemicals on my 4-acre farm.  I won't use it at home.  I cannot tolerate MSG because I "overdosed" on diet Coke (containing monosodium glutamate [MSG]) during my college years and early career and now get severe migraines from the sh**.  I don't think I'm overly sensitive to environmental chemicals, I finally learned to listen to what my body was telling me.  Many of us walk through life in pain, or masking our pain, without understanding its sources.  And imagine the pain and suffering we are inflicting on insects, small mammals, and birds with our toxic chemical soup.   

There are alternative ways to kill weeds at home, including using vinegar on a sunny day:



westcoastjan's picture
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Any chance the transcript will be ready soon for those of us who do not hear well?

Not that I am in huge hurry to read how bad it has become in the quest to slowly poison us all...... talk about hopeless...

sand_puppy's picture
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Glyphosate in CA drinking water-->Breast Cancer

Mike Adams from Natural News had an article on the glyphosate levels in California Drinking water comparing them with the known levels found to induce breast cancers.  (2013)

Two of my CA relative have breast cancer right now.  :-(

Toxic shock: California allows up to one thousand

times more glyphosate in drinking water than needed

to cause breast cancer in women

Uncletommy's picture
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MJB's picture
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Conspiracy theory is that Monsanto merged with Bayer to avoid the multitude of lawsuits coming.. Don't know if it's possible but one would think being HQ'd in a different county helps..

rheba's picture
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Good Work

I am proud to be a supporter of this site! So excited to think that we may be able to get the word out about industrial agriculture.

The solution, of course, is to get people back on the land in massive numbers.

Get rid of the industrial waste based system of production and go back to a household/peasant economy.

Easier said than done but a lot of people have access to some land and there are places to grow food in cities that might surprise you.

If you live in Massachusetts be aware that the NOFA winter conference is on January 14th in Worcester. They have a lot of interesting workshops. nofamass.org

zanydr's picture
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American poisons

The place to look is what products are banned in Europe. You would be surprised. We are being dosed with stuff you would never agree to. Ask some fish in the rivers what they think.

pyranablade's picture
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Posts: 206
Thanks for getting us this

Thanks for getting us this guest, Chris! This topic is something to be truly outraged about.

And the topic appears to have attracted new eyes to the PP site - as evidenced by a few comments from 1st-timers. 

pinecarr's picture
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Posts: 2262
Roundup causes non-alcoholic fatty liver disease at very low dos

Just posted today, "Roundup causes non-alcoholic fatty liver disease at very low doses", on http://www.fooddemocracynow.org/blog/2017/jan/10-2

Submitted by Food Democracy Now on January 10, 2017 - 1:03pm

The weedkiller Roundup causes non-alcoholic fatty liver disease at very low doses permitted by regulators worldwide, a new peer-reviewed study shows. The study is the first ever to show a causative link between consumption of Roundup at a real-world environmentally relevant dose and a serious disease.

The new peer-reviewed study, led by Dr Michael Antoniou at King's College London, used cutting-edge profiling methods to describe the molecular composition of the livers of female rats fed an extremely low dose of Roundup weedkiller, which is based on the chemical glyphosate, over a 2-year period.

The dose of glyphosate from the Roundup administered was thousands of times below what is permitted by regulators worldwide.

The study revealed that these animals suffered from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

Dr Antoniou said: “The findings of our study are very worrying as they demonstrate for the first time a causative link between an environmentally relevant level of Roundup consumption over the long-term and a serious disease – namely non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

“Our results also suggest that regulators should reconsider the safety evaluation of glyphosate-based herbicides.”


Potentially serious implications for human health

The new results demonstrate that long-term consumption of an ultra-low dose of Roundup at a glyphosate daily intake level of only 4 nanograms per kilogram of bodyweight per day, which is 75,000 times below EU and 437,500 below US permitted levels, results in NAFLD.

Regulators worldwide accept toxicity studies in rats as indicators of human health risks. So the results of this latest study have serious implications for human health.

NAFLD currently affects 25% of the US population and similar numbers of Europeans. Risk factors include being overweight or obese, having diabetes, or having high cholesterol or high triglycerides (a constituent of body fat) in the blood. However, some people develop NAFLD even if they do not have any of these known risk factors. The new study raises the question of whether exposure to Roundup is a hitherto unrecognized risk factor.

sigh! :(  Does someone know a safe alternative to triscuits?

blackeagle's picture
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Posts: 229
A bit off-topic: chickens

A bit off-topic post, but worth mentioning.

We raised chickens this summer for the first time (as a trial to see if we like this activity, what are the difficulties, etc...). Overall, good experience and we will continue.

Our chickens were (almost) naturally fed: local grain, fruits, vegetables, insects, worms. These were the same ingredients we eat. These chickens were not fed on industrial chicken food with tons of antibiotics and additive, but they did ingest the same pesticides we ingest too.

We noticed two things, and one of them is a big surprise. First, as expected the appearance of meat and taste are different from store-bought chicken. The brown meat is browner, and the taste is lighter, less pronounced. We eat these chickens without adding nothing. Just broiled. No salt. No French mustard. Nothing! A real pleasure!

Now the surprise: We all have the garbage bin underneath the sink which is emptied every few days. My wife has a much better nose than me (To me, skunks' "juice" smells like freshly ground coffee). Each time we eat store bough chicken, she demand that the bag be put outside because if we don't, the next day it smells dead rats. With our home raised chickens, we don't have this issue.

So far, we noticed this change for the first two chickens we ate. We need to continue observe for the next chickens.

We know that industrial chickens are fed with whatever crap. I never paid attention to the quick decay process of chicken bones. It was kind like normal that chickens decay much faster than say beef. I was very surprised to see that the bones of our home raised chickens do not decay as readily as industrial ones.

This is to me another proof that we are fed with "expired" food. I can imagine that chickens at the end of the processing chain in the slaughter factory are dipped into bleach solution, to be disinfected and deodorized. But this barely addresses the "rot cause" (pun intended) of food un-freshness.

Did anyone made the same observation?

My advice: for anyone who can raise his own meat, do it!


Glyphosate: Human is totally corrupted by money. Poisoning ourselves and our supporting planet just for money. Insane!

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Chickens under the veil

Up north here on the prairies, we haven't much access to greens (maybe some alfalfa hay) so, getting nice yellow yolks in your free-range eggs can be a challenge. One innovative producer  just supplements his feed with canola meal and gets nice yellow yolks. I think it's called "slight of hand".


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Pay Dirt

This is the source of all of our problems (slight exaggeration, maybe). Not Glyphosate in particular, but the whole world view that spawns these kind of "solutions" to the human project of growing food.  It is in our most intimate relationship with nature, creating the food that sustains us, that the profound dysfunction of modern "relationships" is on display.  Mechanistic materialism, cooked in a stew that defines all relationships in terms of competition, dominance and aggression.

The violence it creates is everywhere, financial systems, personal relations, medical system, relations between nations, it is the water in which we swim. If you want to transform your life and the world, buy organic rather than gold, grown food rather than "financial security".  This is the foundation of action if you are concerned about the three E's. Tracking these issues in my mind is profoundly more important than where the "Markets" are or what the price of gold is.

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Its very empowering to see all the different actions we can all take to impact where things are going.  That such small things can end up being revolutionary acts when taken in aggregate is really cool.

I suspect the choices you make of where to spend your money is vastly more influential than any sort of voting exercise at the polls every few years.

If this weren't true, we wouldn't be subjected to the incredible barrage of mind-control-advertising from cradle to grave that tries to influence our daily "vote."

I also agree that where you spend your money is much more impactful than where you place your savings.

For instance, if you make $80,000 per year, and save $10,000, that $70k you are spending on "regular stuff" each year vastly outweighs the $10k you have available to buy little gold bars, or whatever.

It doesn't mean savings are unimportant - just that how you choose to spend your daily outflow has at least 5x more impact, in aggregate.

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Jim H
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You said,

If you want to transform your life and the world, buy organic rather than gold, grown food rather than "financial security".  This is the foundation of action if you are concerned about the three E's. Tracking these issues in my mind is profoundly more important than where the "Markets" are or what the price of gold is.

It's not clear to me why the desire to intelligently store some of one's own labor (or the fruits thereof)  should be demonized in this way?  Why is it an either/or?  Otherwise I very much appreciate and agree with your narrative.    

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Pervasive Problem


Thanks for posting that link. The problem is more pervasive than I thought. I understand the economic based decisions that farmers make. As long as the market doesn't care if they use glyphosate for their pre-harvest desiccation ... why should they? Until the market places monetary disincentives on these practices, we can fully expect these practices to accelerate. Don't just wring your hands. Complain! How else are producers going to be able to learn how to produce a satisfactory product?

I found this quote to be the most interesting:


Wiebe believes the use of glyphosate on wheat may be connected to the rise in celiac disease. “We’ve seen an explosion of gluten intolerance,” he says. “What’s really going on?”

​I've noticed an increase in gluten intolerance as well. It isn't just wheat that people have developed allergies to. I can't believe how many friends/acquaintances have developed allergies to nuts and other foods. It makes cooking for a large group quite challenging. ;-)

The last time I got a flu vaccine (20+ years ago,) I got the flu. I've gotten the flu perhaps a dozen times since then. I stopped getting those vaccines because I found out that viruses have to be grown in living tissue and eggs are a cheap source of living tissue. If a protein from the egg passes the screen and gets injected into your blood stream, you could develop an allergy to eggs. I'm not against all vaccinations, but I don't consider the flu vaccine worth getting.

Speaking of eggs, I've noticed that my chickens/ducks lay darker yolked eggs when I feed them foods with corn included. It looks prettier, but I prefer the milder flavor of paler yolked eggs. The best eggs are in early Spring when the girls are eating worms, bugs, and growing greenery instead of bagged food. Are you selling your eggs? Is that why you want yellower yolks? Try a side-by-side experiment with one of your pale eggs and a darker yolked egg to see the differences. You may find that it really is sleight of hand.


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I think TB was saying we should focus more on revering the stuff of life in all of its forms more than gold.   Or markets.

I mean, I love little gold bars - a weakness to be sure - but I also get what he's saying too.

I mean, how often do I buy a little gold bar, vs make choices at the market?  I eat food and drink water every day.  These things should probably be near the top of my list to make good choices about.

I'm supposed to be the markets guy, but I don't find "the markets" demonized by TB here.  Its just a different way of looking at things.  Perhaps if we had more passion about the stuff of life and less about markets and gold, we'd actually end up having more influence on people's lives through the daily votes we make.

Its just a thought anyway.  Not like I'm going to stop watching markets.  But I appreciate the viewpoint.  And the sort order it implies.  It just makes me think, I guess.

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Yes, demonized..

I took you off ignore long enough to reply Dave.  

Why not say, "buy organic food instead of an Audi A4 lease"?  No.. it's Gold.  WTF?  Is everyone who is reading this website so uniformly financially impaired (even now, while the music is still playing) that they can't both buy organic food and save a bit on the side?  Read the words Dave.. read the words;

Mechanistic materialism, cooked in a stew that defines all relationships in terms of competition, dominance and aggression. The violence it creates is everywhere, financial systems, personal relations, medical system, relations between nations, it is the water in which we swim. If you want to transform your life and the world, buy organic rather than gold

My guess is that Treebeard is probably choosing Gold based on the environmental damage (violence to the earth) that mining causes.. and there is truth to this.  But... it is one of the few means that us regular people still have to protect ourselves against the greater violence that the fiat money system imposes (and will impose) on all of us.  Good luck to all. 



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Big picture

I picked on gold because of the perceived sense of security that brings (and of course you can do both).   The bigger point is of course that the economy is a subset of the planetary ecology not the reverse.  The point is obvious enough, although 90% of humanity seems to behave as if the reverse were true. If you are going to live a life that destroys the very things that sustain you, there is little point in buying gold.  True security comes from developing right relationships with living world around you (that includes people of course too). I know I'm preaching to the choir here, but it is a matter of focus and priority.  I'm not sure that a gold backed money supply, what ever good that may do (and it may do a lot), would address the deeper relationship issues that most modern cultures have with the planet (you can of course work on achieving both).  If we don't address the relationship issues, we are done for.   I would prioritize them differently, even on brilliant site like this, think about how much ink financial issues get verses ecological issues (thought ultimately, they all relate to the same fundamental issue). 

It seems you have two dysfunction extremes, environmentalists - who want to put the world it in a glass box to protect it, and the economically minded - who simply want to exploit it.  Neither seem to understand the true nature of relationships.  How about a clock that counts species die off next to all those market tickers?

Thanks for the responses as always, you guys/gals are all brilliant, commentary is as enjoyable and as enlightening as the posted articles and pod casts.


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Our Relationship With Life

Treebeard, you nailed it!

It is in our most intimate relationship with nature, creating the food that sustains us, that the profound dysfunction of modern "relationships" is on display.  Mechanistic materialism, cooked in a stew that defines all relationships in terms of competition, dominance and aggression.


It is in our most intimate relationship with nature (...) that defines all relationships in terms of competition, dominance and aggression


As long as we consider ourselves THE SPECIES designed to dominate the world, we will never take care of it. Instead we will exploit it until its death, failing to see our own death. We are a flawed species.


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Thank you Treebeard...

For addressing my question about Gold.  I would love to see a world where Gold was not even necessary as money... some kind of post-money world where we have some advanced form of gift-economy, or whatever.  A world where our, "economic security" comes from the benevolence of the friends, family, and communities that surround us.  A world where the commons are, well,  the commons.    

Between here and there, I do think it's important to understand the differences between a money system based on Gold, which is finite and not (other than the construct of the paper futures market, which I will address here, once again) able to be created at human whim.. vs. the debt-based fiat currencies in use around the world today, controlled by central banks that collude.  Unlike finite money, as we have discussed here many times, debt based fiat systems need to expand continuously, and exponentially, in order for the systems to remain healthy and beneficial to their masters.. and hence they do (expand).  This imperative from the root money system IS the driver behind the rapacious exploitation of our earth.  

Much has been written on this topic, although most of it is in the alt. media and blogs like ours;

Without a freely chosen monetary system to gauge our use of the environment, we have no barometer to guide us in a sustainable direction. Fiat monetary policy allows the destructive utilization of natural resources without imposing the corresponding real cost that would be reflected in a freely chosen  system. If value cannot be accurately gauged by the currency, the amount of resource and labor consumed cannot reflect that which is truly needed in contrast to that which an inflated monetary base demands.


Said another way as it relates to the dysfunction induced by our fiat currency system;

and the expectation of compound interest creates unsustainable expectations for fiscal performance on the part of corporations and financial services institutions.


Ah, the growth imperative.

So, I would argue that a finite money system based on Gold, or somehow shackled to Gold, would result in less or slower damage to the envirnment than today's system. 

While on the topic of Gold, I should mention that proof mounts that the futures exchange, aka Comex, was in fact designed as a means to manipulate the Gold price and market sentiment.  DaveF's argument about, "you can't change the trend" is hogwash.  The market was literally designed to do so.. although it's not all powerful and will ultimately fail due to physical demand causing all supply to dry up.  

The newest proof, for those who could not surmise how this works from all of the past discussions regarding the effects of having price discovery occur in the context of a paper futures market.. is this;


The U.S. gold futures market was created in December 1974 as a result of collusion between the U.S. government and gold dealers in London to facilitate volatility in gold prices and thereby discourage gold ownership by U.S. citizens, according to a State Department cable written that month, obtained by Wikileaks, and disclosed today by the TF Metals Report:


The cable was sent to the State Department from the U.S. embassy in London and signed by someone named Spiers, apparently Ronald I. Spiers, the embassy's deputy chief at that time:


The cable describes the embassy's extensive consultations with London bullion dealers about the imminent re-legalization of gold ownership in the United States and possible substantial gold purchases by oil-exporting Arab nations.

The cable reads: "The major impact of private U.S. ownership, according to the dealers' expectations, will be the formation of a sizable gold futures market. Each of the dealers expressed the belief that the futures market would be of significant proportion and physical trading would be miniscule by comparison. Also expressed was the expectation that large-volume futures dealing would create a highly volatile market. In turn, the volatile price movements would diminish the initial demand for physical holding and most likely negate long-term hoarding by U.S. citizens."

It's color-by-numbers now folks.. you can't say that you just don't understand what DaveF and I, or DaveF and Chris are arguing about when it comes to market manipulation.  Anyone who denies that the Comex futures market was literally designed to manipulate price and sentiment, is lying to you, and is insincere.  


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Quercetin Supplement to Gaurd Against Pesticides
aggrivated wrote:

Halfway through the interview Chris just mentioned that we get rained on with glyphosate. Possible sources that come to mind are airborne soil erosion and corn based ethanol vehicle emmisions. Does anyone have data on this? Buying an organic hoodie probably won't help.

Quercetin provides protection against pesticides and may for herbicides too.

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Other Effects

Glyphosate lowers men's testosterone.  Men who get the most aggressive prostate cancer have the lowest Free Testosterone.   

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Using a molecule to fight the effects of another molecule. This is the reality we see everywhere we look at. As a cultural group we are not solving the root cause of the problem, We are merely patching a problem with a potentially new problem.

My position is to not consume glyphosate and make its manufacturer aware of that, instead of looking elsewhere and letting him do his criminal business as usual. if they cannot sell it, they won't produce it. Same rule apply everywhere.

The more we are that refuses chemicals in our food (and act), the more these companies will change their behaviour. Even if I am alone, I will eat better and be in better shape. This is not wasted time and effort.


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Patient: Doctor; every time I lift my arm over my head, my shoulder hurts.

Doctor:  Stop lifting your arm over your head.

(Henny Youngman)

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