Tag Archives | organic farming standards

Glyphosate and 2,4-D What You Should Know

When I started reading reports connecting something called Glyphosate to Parkinson’s I knew this article would be written. I watched my dad struggle and pass away from this disease earlier in the year, so I felt strong enough recently to be open to information linking new theories to this disease. I have to say after researching both Glyphosate and 2,4-D, I’m shocked. And to be honest, I’m scared. But I think we have enough of a community here with knowledge on pesticides and food system concerns to get through this. Are you ready?

Should we start at the beginning? Let’s do a quick review of GMOs and how this scary word glyphosate relates to both genetically modified food and conventional food.

GMO is food grown from genetically modified seed. The company that created them is called Monstanto. They created seeds that can withstand being sprayed with chemicals called Roundup to save farmers time with pulling weeds by hand. Basically the weeds would die, but the plant would remain intact which was celebrated news to farmers because they spend a lot of time weeding.

Fast forward a few years and those weeds are becoming resistant to the Roundup. So now farmers have to use a lot more Roundup to try and kill the weeds. The active ingredient in Roundup is glyphosate. Later in the article you’ll hear what diseases are linked to glyphosate and why it should be avoided, but when crops started to become resistant, Roundup switched to a stronger chemical called 2,4-D, which Health Canada approved in 2012. If the name 2,4-D sounds familiar, it’s because this was an ingredient in Agent Orange used in the Vietnam War.

I recently learned that Canada is 5th in the world as a top producer of GMO crops. The US is number one. 2,4-D is the second most used herbicide in the Canada Prairie agriculture after glyphosate. I had no idea Soy, Corn, and Canola were such large industries in Canada but all it takes is turning over a packaged food item to check out the ingredients to see that corn and soy fillers are used in most processed food that is not organic.

One large area of mis-information with GMOs is wheat. And I think I know why. Farmers use Roundup to grow wheat. This doesn’t mean that wheat is grown from GMO seeds, but it does mean that the wheat is treated with either glyphosate or 2,4-D before it’s harvested. If you are an advocate for clean food, this would mean the wheat is now chemical food and really makes you wonder if glyphosate is more of a problem than gluten. I’m sure that farmers growing food both locally and imported – widely use Roundup on crops even though that food is not grown from GMO seed (or called Roundup ready crop). And if the Roundup contains the chemical 2,4-D we are talking about a chemical that was used in a war that had devastating effects on agriculture, people and animals. This chemical is routinely used in pre-sowing and pre-harvest application of crops to control insects, weeds, and plant disease. And again, the crops don’t have to be GMO in order to be treated with Roundup pesticide.

And being really new to the topic of glyphosate, I needed a source to start at the beginning. And I found that with Tony Mitra and a recent podcast he taped with Stephanie Seneff who is a senior research scientist. She is controversial for her studies linking connections between glyphosate and a host of disorders but what I liked about this podcast was both Tony and Stephanie are easy to understand. The interview is scary, but not overly scientific and I recommend it for someone wanting the basics on pesticides if they are already uncomfortable with the idea of food containing chemicals. Here are some basic points from the podcast (you will quickly find how controversial Stephanie’s studies are, but the links between glyphosate and autism in particular are hard to ignore):

– glyphosate disrupts gut bateria. This active ingredient in Roundup starts a consequence of disruptions in our bodies that starts with gut bacteria.

– in 1970, 1 in 10,0000 kids were diagnosed with autism. By next year, she predicts that 1 in 30 boys will be diagnosed. She believes the direct connection are roundup ready soy and corn crops.

– the direct correlation between the amount of Roundup used on food and the rise in Autism can be connected.

– glyphosate creates an imbalance in the gut which leads to leaky gut.

– your body is dependent on enzymes and minerals that are important to the body as they are reactive.

– glyphosate is partially responsible for kids getting violent reactions from vaccines. She believes it isn’t the mercury and aluminium in vaccines alone causing reactions such as autism. She believes that it’s the glyphosate in a child’s body that triggers a much more toxic reaction from the aluminium in vaccines.

– gut bacteria is unique for every person and therefore how a body reacts to glyphosate is different.

– Roundup can be linked to global declines in starfish, monarch butterflies, ladybugs, bees and colony collapses, and bats.

– the next of the Monsanto chemicals to enter our food system will be 2,4-D which was an ingredient in Agent Orange.

– as the level of 2,4-D increases, so will the number and frequency of diseases. It’s a chemical treadmill.

– her end of interview advice for people concerned about Roundup? Eat organic food as if your life depends on it.

stephanie

So biggest learning point of this research for me personally? Learning that Roundup is connected with GMO crops but can also be spayed and used on crops that aren’t GMO (grown with genetically altered seed). So until now, I have not been worried about wheat or cane sugar because they are not GMOs, but that is wrong because huge amounts of Roundup is used to treat these crops before it’s harvested. Organic – it’s the only way to beat this. The Canadian and US Governments have and will continue to fail it’s citizens with how ruined our food system has become. The only way to save it is through consumer pressure to grow food with organic farming standards.

My thanks to Dr. Thierry Vrain, Dr. Shiv Chopra, and Tony Mitra who have toured and spoken out against the impact of GE foods. From the first time I’ve listed to Dr. Vrain speak until now, I feel like I’ve learned so much but I know I have a long way to go. It’s a scary journey and these men will be the first to tell you that. As a mom that is trying to protect herself and family from the diseases knocking on doors around us, I feel like this is my journey to learn so I can try to teach and protect the people I care about. This stuff has never sounded far fetched to me, rather the opposite. The connections to disease and the timelines surrounding the spikes when Monsanto was allowed to take over our food system fit. They can’t be ignored, we all just need to plug into it, like no generation has ever done before. Which is scary and seems like a lot of work at first. But what alternative do we have?

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Mommy Footprint Meets The Premier

Last week I had the privilege of sitting down for a round table discussion with the Premier of British Columbia. There was a great mix of blogger/mom type media with great thoughts on issues facing BC mothers. The issues of childcare, work, living expenses was discussed at great lengths and while I know these are important topics, I was bursting to deliver an important message to Christy Clark about my views on one basic need in my own life that is not being met – the issue of food labeling and GMOs.  When I started talking about my concerns my ears tuned out because I was so focused on remembering the key points I had practiced so Christy’s response cannot be taken word for word – but I’ve included the gist of her response under my speech. What did I think of the Premier? She definitely listens. Very well. She was super attentive to everyone speaking at the roundtable and was personable and relatable.  Since I didn’t tape record myself speaking off the cuff – I thought I’d show you the speech I had practiced so you get a glimpse of my passion heading into the room that morning. My key points were 1) GMO food and labeling in Canada 2) More coverage for Naturalpathic Care 3) Listening to Autistic parents and the issues these families face – I actually recommended the next round table discussion include parents of autistic children. There isn’t anyone that understands the effect of foods, proper holistic therapy and care, more than families with autistic children. Here are the words I had written and followed at the roundtable with Premier Christy Clark:

It might be hard to believe, but as a mom of 4 kids I find food to be my biggest challenge. I’m worried about North American food. I’m unhappy to learn that Canada is a large supplier of Genetically modified canola and grains. I’m stressed to learn that over 80% of a traditional grocery store is filled with genetically modified foods. My husband started grocery shopping after my twins were born and he feels like his hands are tied because I keep restricting what he can buy at traditional grocery stores.  All of the money I make goes to food. Every penny and through the process of understanding where my food comes from, meeting local farmers and asking questions I have changed my relationship with food. I feel grateful to find food sources I can trust that are / aren’t using GM grain to feed the cows, chickens, and pigs I eat. I trust the local farmers that are using organic farming standards to grow produce and I’ve learned to shop with what is in season, but I can’t continue to keep up this level of consumer awareness. The time, stress, and financial strain of trying to minimize genetically altered food is a struggle and moms need you help.

The West is always talking about how ‘green’ we are. Let’s show the rest of Canada that we want to follow California and the 20 other states that have labeling in front of their gov’t bodies and ask that our food be labeled. Then parents that want to avoid GM food can spend less time researching and more time preparing, canning, juicing, and cooking their food.  We live in a world were we’ve realized that convenience is our downfall . Having a seed that is resistance to the pesticides being sprayed in the fields to grow food from this seed is not healthy for the environment or our health. Over 95% of all soy manufactured is now genetically modified. How many more food sources do we want to contaminate? Think of the connections to disease spikes in the last 20 years (when GM food was first introduced). Cancer, infertility, digestive issues, diabetes, auto immune, allergies, asthma…the list goes on and we are parenting during a time like no other. We are raising children as scientists with a prayer that they won’t get cancer. Parents have had to do the work to protect our children against chemicals and we’re asking for your help with our food sources . . . this is just too big an area to tackle alone.

Canada is now behind China and Russia with food labeling. There are so many countries that have banned GM food – all we are asking for is labeling so that we can decide what our families eat. If companies choose to use GM ingredients – they need to stand behind their products and be proud to label them.

The topic of labelling GMOS lends into two other side issues because of so many gut issues – more and more families have to see naturopaths. Post on my facebook page also thought that more coverage for naturopathic care would be mentioned. Traditional medicine and doctors simply are not able to treat these issues because so many are food related.

And families with autistic children really need your help. I’m not sure if there is a voice in this room and although I don’t have an autistic child, they need a voice here. Currently kids under 6 years of age get $22k per year in BC for services and that drops to $6k a year after the age of 6.  If the reason the money drops b/c children enter the school system –shouldn’t children and parents help allocated the support were they see fit?  Traditional treatments for autistic children might not work for all and ABA Applied Behavior Analysis might not work for every autistic child and that is the scientifically proven method used in schools & therapies.

The Premier’s response to my concern over GM food?  She supports eating GM or conventional food but is also in favour of labeling it. She also said it’s a Federal issue not Provincial and gave me a contact James Moore who is local to me to chat with the issue of GMO labeling. I’ll continue to try and contact him regarding this issue that is clearly troubling for many families.

I appreciated the opportunity to join the discussion on concerns that affect BC moms and hope I can contribute again in the future. Thank you to the many people that posted comments or questions on my Fan Page before I attended the roundtable. I’m more used to writing about my passions, rather than speaking so preparing for the roundtable took time. I’ll keep you posted via the Mommy Footprint fan page on any developments on the topics I proposed to the Premier. Please follow us there if you’re not already.

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