Sage Rad 
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Re: “The Case for Banning Monsanto's Roundup

I would like to say that the real danger of glyphosate is the effect on the human gut microbiome, the friendly microbes who are a part of our human organism.

My prime concern about glyphosate being in so much of our food is that the effect on the human gut microbiome has not been studied. You would think that for a chemical that is in the daily food of most people on the planet, this would have been studied, but it has not. This is a serious failing. Glyphosate kills plants by blocking their EPSP synthase in the shikimic acid pathway. Monsanto says that because humans don't have the EPSP synthase, this effect does not occur in humans, but this is a serious weasel-type lie because the microbes in the human gut microbiome -- 100 trillion of them -- are indeed affected in this way. Their EPSP synthase molecules get stalled by glyphosate even in very low doses, so this is a serious effect that occurs at levels we see in our food every day. I, for one, want to know the profound health effects that possibly occur as a result. Too subtle to set off alarms, but probably profound in systemic ways. To test for this hypothesis, we need serious and good science done by independent entities, in multiple studies of varied design, testing the actual outcome of humans ingesting glyphosate versus those who do not, and studying the relevant dynamics of the gut microbiome. It's not so hard, and i wonder why it hasn't been done yet. It's hard to claim that a chemical is safe, or that it has no effect on the human body, when this very basic pathway to potential disruption has not been studied adequately.

I personally look to the world with a rational mindset, which includes seeing patterns on many levels, from sociological to psychological to biological, and i see many crazy claims out there, but i also see real reasons for concern on many levels.

As for quantities that we ingest, it's in the tens of micrograms daily, from all i can tell. As you may know, micrograms of some substances are seriously potent to our bodies when they act in a highly amplified way, especially through competitive inhibition.

If the effect of glyphosate on a plant through acting on the plant's somatic cells is any indication, then glyphosate is a strong competitive inhibitor on EPSP synthase against the normal shikimic acid pathway, and seems to have a very low dissociation constant, because the plants die on receiving rather low doses of glyphosate, which is a "feature" that people use to promote how effective glyphosate is and how little needs to be sprayed.

Note that i am not claiming that it *is* going on, for i am an empiricist and would like to see something before believing it.

However, this effect seems very likely to me given the basic science around it and the results from other adjacent areas of study, which by a sort of interpolation point to this likelihood. And it is very surprising to me that the relevant studies have not been done. It seems a failing in due diligence for a chemical that will be ingested by billions of people. This leads me to a sociological interpretation of the conflict between the profit motive and public responsibility. We see the same dynamic repeatedly throughout history.

19 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Sage Rad on 04/16/2015 at 5:42 AM

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