Glyphosate’s Toxic Legacy Exposed: Why This Weedkiller Should Be Banned
An Environment Article from

FROM Stephanie Seneff, Earth/Food/Life a project of the Independent Media Institute
July 2021

When it comes to Monsanto’s controversial herbicide, both the mainstream scientific community and our regulatory establishments have failed us.

Take it off the shelves: Roundup is the world’s most popular weedkiller. Its main ingredient, glyphosate, has been classified by the World Health Organization as a probable human carcinogen. (Photo credit: Mike Mozart/Flickr)

The following excerpt is from Toxic Legacy: How the Weedkiller Glyphosate Is Destroying Our Health and the Environment by Stephanie Seneff, PhD (Chelsea Green Publishing, July 2021). It is reprinted with permission from the publisher and has been adapted for the web.

In September 2012, I attended a nutrition conference where Dr. Don Huber from Purdue University was speaking on the topic of “glyphosate.” Glyphosate is the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup. While glyphosate isn’t a household name, everyone has heard of Roundup. Drive across the United States and you’ll see vast fields marked with crop labels that say “Roundup Ready.” Monsanto, the Missouri-based company that was Roundup’s original manufacturer, was acquired by the Germany-based company Bayer in 2018 as part of its crop science division. Monsanto has touted glyphosate as remarkably safe because its main mechanism of toxicity affects a metabolic pathway in plant cells that human cells don’t possess. This is what—presumably—makes glyphosate so effective in killing plants, while—in theory, at least—leaving humans and other animals unscathed.

But as Dr. Huber pointed out to a rapt audience that day, human cells might not possess the shikimate pathway but almost all of our gut microbes do. They use the shikimate pathway, a central biological pathway in their metabolism, to synthesize tryptophan, tyrosine, and phenylalanine, three of the twenty coding amino acids that make up the proteins of our body. Precisely because human cells do not possess the shikimate pathway, we rely on our gut microbiota, along with diet, to provide these essential amino acids for us.



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