By Jonathan Benson
You might not want to hold your tongue out to catch that enticing drop the next time it rains — you could end up inadvertently taking a swig of Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide. New research published in the journal Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry reveals that both air and rain are contaminated with Roundup and other toxic agricultural chemicals more than 75 percent of the time in some areas, exposing potentially hundreds of millions of people to small and perpetual doses of hidden chemical poisons.
For this research, a team of scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) collected air and rain samples weekly for 12 years during each growing season in the Mississippi Delta agricultural region, testing for glyphosate, the primary active ingredient in Roundup; atrazine; metolachlor; propanil, and a host of other pesticides and herbicides in common use between the years of 1995 and 2007 — the first genetically modified organisms (GMOs) were introduced in the U.S. in 1995.
Based on an analysis of the data collected over the years, the team identified detectable concentrations of at least seven agricultural chemicals, including atrazine, metolachlor and propanil, in more than 50 percent of air and rain samples collected throughout the region. And the percentages for glyphosate and its degradation product aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA) were found to be even higher, showing detectable concentrations in more than 75 percent of air and rain samples.
“A variety of current-use pesticides were determined in weekly-composite air and rain samples collected during the 1995 and 2007 growing seasons in the Mississippi Delta agricultural region,” wrote the authors in their abstract. “Decreased overall pesticide use in 2007 relative to 1995 generally resulted in decreased detection frequencies in air and rain… [but total] herbicide flux in 2007 was slightly greater than in 1995, and was dominated by glyphosate.”
Roundup usage spiked more than 800 percent since early 1990s
So while the presence of a number of other agricultural chemicals has gradually decreased over the years, according to the study, more Roundup than ever is polluting our air, resulting in untold amounts of this brain-damaging chemical continually raining down upon our soils, our lawns and even our water supplies.
“The good news was that the overall pesticide content of the samples from 2007 [was] lower than [that] in 1995,” writes Case Adams for RealNatural.org. “But the types of pesticides have changed, as certain pesticides were not being used as much in 1995 as they were in 2007. Glyphosate application jumped from 11,000 tons in 1992 to 88,000 tons in 2007. By 2011 that use has jumped to over 90,000 tons.”
If you have been following the medical literature recently, you probably recognize that the public health ramifications of this are highly disconcerting. One recent study verified that glyphosate obstructs the normal expression of cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes, for instance, which are critical for detoxification and the proper biosynthesis of nutrients.
The consequences of this inhibition — a number of other studies have linked Roundup exposure to similar health outcomes — run the gamut of modern, mostly Western chronic illnesses, and include gastrointestinal disorders, diabetes, heart disease, autism, obesity, infertility and cancer.
“We explain the documented effects of glyphosate and its ability to induce disease,” concluded the authors of the aforementioned study, which was published in the peer-reviewed journal Entropy. “[W]e show that glyphosate is the ‘textbook example’ of exogenous semiotic entropy: the disruption of homeostasis by environmental toxins.”
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