Hypertension, stroke, diabetes, obesity, senile dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, autism, inflammatory bowel disease, intestinal infections, end stage renal disease, acute kidney failure, or cancer of the thyroid, liver, bladder, pancreas kidney, and myeloid leukemia.
A new study has uncovered a very strong correlation between the increased use of the herbicide glyphosate (in Monsanto’s Roundup) and the growing incidence of all of these diseases. The correlation indicators or p-values (Pearson’s correlation coefficients) for all of the correlations of these diseases with glyphosate use are between .875 and .978.
What is a p-value?
The p-values calculated in this study are very significant! I looked up the explanation of p-values because I wanted to be sure I understood what the correlation p-values mean in this study..
Here is how Wikipedia defines p-value:
“The correlation coefficient [p-value] ranges from −1 to 1. A value of 1 implies that a linear equation describes the relationship between X and Y perfectly, with all data points lying on a line for which Y increases as X increases. A value of −1 implies that all data points lie on a line for which Y decreases as X increases. A value of 0 implies that there is no linear correlation between the variables.” [source]
Since all of the p-values for these correlations are .875 and up (approaching the perfect correlation value of 1) the likelihood of correlation between glyphosate use and the incidence of the disease is very high.
Correlation of Diabetes and Use of Glyphosate
I’ve chosen just one of the many charts in the study to show you how phenomenal the correlations are. This chart illustrates the strong correlation between the prevalence of diabetes in the US and the amount of glyphosate (in tons) applied to corn and soy. I find two trends in the chart to be fascinating. First, notice the slow but steady increase in incidence of diabetes between 1980 and 1994. Then take a look at the dramatic and steep rise in the incidence of diabetes and the equally steep increase in percentage of GE (also called GMO) crops and application of glyphosate beginning in the mid 1990’s after GE crops were introduced.The study gathered GE crop data, glyphosate application data and disease epidemiological data from US government databases and performed correlation analyses.
These data show very strong and highly significant correlations between the increasing use of glyphosate, GE crop growth and the increase in a multitude of diseases. Many of the graphs show sudden increases in the rates of diseases in the mid-1990s that coincide with the commercial production of GE crops. The large increase in glyphosate use in the US is mostly due to the increase in glyphosate-resistant GE crops.
Although glyphosate (in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide) was introduced in 1974, its use began increasing dramatically when genetically engineered (GMO) crops were approved and planted, since many GMO crops are Roundup-Ready (engineered to be resistant to glyphosate-containing Roundup). [source]
As the researchers concluded, “Although correlation does not necessarily mean causation, when correlation coefficients of over 0.95 (with p-value significance levels less than 0.00001) are calculated for a list of diseases that can be directly linked to glyphosate, via its known biological effects, it would be imprudent not to consider causation as a plausible explanation.” [source] [emphasis added]
The authors allow that these diseases probably do not have a single cause “as there are many toxic substances and pathogens that can contribute to chronic disease. However, no toxic substance has increased in ubiquity in the last 20 years as glyphosate has. The disruption by glyphosate of the detoxification pathways in the human body can intensify the effect of other toxic chemicals. . . . Another critical issue is that glyphosate is an endocrine disruptor and it has been argued that there are no safe levels of endocrine disruptors (Vandenberg et al., 2012; Bergman et al., 2013). This would imply that the current permitted residue levels in food could be causing multiple health problems that have been documented in the scientific literature to be caused by endocrine disrupting chemicals” [source] [emphasis added]
The number of studies that show the dangers of glyphosate are growing. How long will it take before we say NO to glyphosate, Roundup, and the GE crops they are sprayed on?
What can we do?
Our options are more limited in the US than in Europe and other parts of the world because we don’t label our foods so that we can know what poisons are in them. We can avoid much of the glyphosate, and other toxins and poisons, by always buying organic foods or, even better, by knowing the sources of our food, by knowing our farmers, and through learning how the crops are grown.
My first choice is to know the people who grow or provide my food, and, in many cases I do. I buy milk from Healthyway Dairy. I buy grassfed beef from Law Ranch Cattle Company. I buy vegetables, fruits, and yard eggs at my local farmers market. What I can’t buy locally, I buy organic whenever possible, even if I have to order online, and that’s most items. See my resource page for online sources of healthy food, and, for Houston area Real Food, go to the Local Food & Milk page of the Houston-Galveston chapter of the WAPF.
There isn’t really any such thing as cheap food! If you think there is, read We Simply Can’t Avoid the True Cost of Cheap Food! We all will pay one way or the other–we can buy good quality food now or we will pay the health care cost later (along with the pain and debilitation).
Genetically engineered crops, glyphosate and the deterioration of health in the United States of America, Swanson, Leu, Abrahamson & Wallet, Journal of Organic Systems, 9(2), 2014
Values of the Pearson Correlation
You might also want to read:
Glyphosate is already in our food, air, and water: What is it and why should we care?
Is Glyphosate (Monsanto’s Roundup) Used On Wheat?
What Does Genetically Engineered (or GMO) Mean?
Are We Sacrificing Our Children to Profits From Glyphosate (Roundup) and Roundup-Ready GE Crops?