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Surprising Science

Beyond Gluten: Are Wheat Pesticides the True Culprit?

The herbicide used to rid wheat and soy products of diseases that limit crop yields are increasingly associated with a host of illnesses.

What’s the Latest?


The herbicide used to rid wheat and soy products of diseases that limit crop yields are increasingly associated with a host of illnesses from autism, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes to pancreatic cancer, thyroid cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Parkinson’s disease–even the ongoing collapse of bee colonies. “Introduced by Monsanto in the early 1970s under the trade name Roundup (and used primarily back then as a weed killer), glyphosate is now used throughout the world on wheat and soy crops and since 2007 it has been the most widely used herbicide in the U.S.—and the growing target of research linking it to a variety of illnesses.”

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What’s the Big Idea?

The connection between heavy herbicide use and human health has been difficult to establish, and to date there have only been three major studies performed on the topic. Since many types of produce have been genetically engineered to resist the poisons contained in herbicide, farmers can spray more. As a result, the herbicide penetrates deep into the skin of fruits and vegetables. The most noted study on the subject, conducted by Drs. Samsel and Seneff, establishes a strong correlation between pesticide use and human disease, but has yet to find causation. Critics say this nullifies the research while others say the proof is just around the corner.

Read more at Outside


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