The shocking—and deadly—culprit behind gluten intolerance
And the simple steps you can take to protect yourself
Food intolerance has reached epidemic proportions in the United States in recent years.
Maybe you, a family member, or friend experiences cramps, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, or nausea after eating a certain type of food. Or the food causes rashes, headaches, mood swings… even malnourishment.
Those are all symptoms of food intolerance.
In past years, lactose—the natural sugar found in milk products—was the most common food intolerance. More recently, a growing number of people report they can’t tolerate gluten—a protein found in wheat and other grains.
In fact, a recent Consumer Reports survey found that about one-third of Americans try to avoid gluten. And a whopping 63% of respondents believe that a gluten-free diet could improve their physical or mental health.1
And yet, research shows that only about 7% of the population fits the medical criteria for true gluten sensitivity or celiac disease—the genetic disorder that can cause abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, headaches, bone or joint pain, chronic fatigue, depression, or ADHD after ingesting gluten.2
Is gluten intolerance all in your head?
So if only a small percentage of Americans have a clinically diagnosed gluten intolerance, is everyone else just imagining or overemphasizing the distressing symptoms they feel after consuming wheat protein?
Not necessarily. I know that eating wheat products has started to bother me personally in recent years—and it’s not just due to getting older.
So I decided to do a little sleuthing to find out why I and so many others suddenly seem to have developed gluten intolerances.
What I discovered is more sinister than I could have ever imagined.
A so-called “harmless” herbicide that’s sprayed on wheat and thousands of other crops every year is actually poisoning our GI tracts. And our brains, nervous systems, immune systems, and other organ systems.
But our crony-capitalist government agencies, not to mention politically correct politicians, just look the other way. Or even worse, they may actually be colluding with the herbicide manufacturer to poison our bodies and our environment.
Here’s the real, deadly secret behind gluten intolerance… and what you can do to protect yourself.
Roundup: Nearly half a century of toxicity
You’ve probably already guessed the herbicide I’m referring to. It’s called glyphosate—better known as Roundup. And I’ve written about its toxic legacy many times before.
Glyphosate was originally patented in 1964 as a pipe cleaner. You read that right. This chemical was designed to remove mineral deposits from pipes—just like Drano.
A decade later, a Monsanto scientist found that glyphosate could also kill weeds. Gee, what a surprise—a chemical so strong it can clean pipes can also eradicate entire living plants!
Monsanto introduced Roundup glyphosate in 1974. At the same time, it debuted “Roundup Ready Crops,” which are genetically modified (GM) soybeans, corn, cotton, sugar beets, and canola seeds engineered to be resistant against glyphosate. (Now, at least 90% of these crops grown in the U.S. are GM).
The theory was that farmers could kill weeds around these GM crops with the supposedly “harmless” Roundup. In fact, Monsanto calls Roundup an herbicide, which sounds more “natural” than a pesticide.
Monsanto trotted out a slew of studies touting the safety of Roundup. But in later years, scientists began linking the herbicide to serious health problems.
By 2015, the evidence was so pervasive that the World Health Organization and the International Agency for Research on Cancer labeled glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen (although that data had been hidden from the U.S. National Cancer Institute). And earlier this year, the state of California added glyphosate to its list of chemicals that can cause cancer.
So what does all of this have to do with gluten intolerance?
Just because there’s no GM wheat doesn’t mean you’re not eating Roundup
While Monsanto has developed GM wheat seeds, they haven’t been marketed yet. However, the seeds did show up in Oregon and Washington wheat fields in 2013 and 2016—almost two decades after Monsanto supposedly stopped testing its GM wheat in the Pacific Northwest.3 Still, it’s unlikely that Roundup Ready GM wheat is making its way into the general food supply.
However, a USDA report found that glyphosate was applied to 45% of the country’s durum wheat acreage in 2012.4 Durum, which is high in gluten, is the most common wheat used in pasta. There’s not any more recent data, but a 2016 study found that glyphosate use has been steadily increasing over the years—so it’s likely more of it is being applied to wheat as well.5
And there are other reports that glyphosate is sprayed on durum and other types of wheat right before the grain is harvested. This practice, known as desiccation, dries out the grain, making it lighter, easier to harvest and store, and resistant to mold.
There’s a debate about how often this is done. Some American wheat farmers say desiccation is pervasive; others say they’ve never heard of it. But in the end, it doesn’t really matter how glyphosate gets into wheat—what matters is that it does…and in shockingly large quantities.
How about a sprinkle of glyphosate on your Cheerios?
An FDA-registered food safety laboratory recently tested the U.S. food supply for glyphosate residues—and found alarming amounts in many common foods.6
The measurements are in parts per billion (ppb). Some peer-reviewed scientific evidence shows that human health can be harmed with glyphosate residues as low as 0.1 ppb. Others set it as high as 700 ppb, which is the allowable level of glyphosate for U.S. drinking water.
The lab test showed that Cheerios came in at a jaw-dropping 1,125 ppb of glyphosate. And Nabisco’s Ritz crackers and Oreo cookies (now made by a Mexican manufacturer) were at 270 and to 289 ppb, respectively.
Little Debbie was not innocent, either, at 265 ppb. You’re not even safe eating oatmeal, since Lucy’s gluten-free Oatmeal Cookies had a whopping 452 ppb.
And here’s something really alarming. Whole Foods’ 365 Organic Golden Round crackers posted 119 ppb—showing that glyphosate contamination is even spreading to organic wheat fields (which aren’t allowed to use any chemical pesticides under USDA organic laws). This is known as “Roundup drift,” and it’s a “growing” problem for all organic farmers.
It’s also important to note that glyphosate consumption is cumulative. So if you eat multiple wheat-based products in a day—for instance both cookies and crackers, or cake and bread—you could ingest dangerously high levels of glyphosate. And unlike with fruits and vegetables, you can’t wash glyphosate off of packaged, processed wheat products.
How glyphosate ravages your GI tract
So what happens to your body and brain when you eat foods saturated with glyphosate?
Well, it all has to do with how the herbicide attacks weeds. Roundup and other glyphosate products work by disrupting a key metabolic cycle in plants, which kills them. Because humans and other mammals don’t have this same metabolic pathway, glyphosate was thought to be “safe.”
But a variety of studies now show that human gut bacteria (probiotics) do have this same pathway. And, as I’ve often written about, probiotics are not only critical for healthy function of the GI tract, but they also affect the brain and nervous system, immune system, and other organ systems.
(One 2013 study found that besides cancer, glyphosate-associated metabolic disruptions may lead to Alzheimer’s, autism, diabetes, heart disease, infertility, multiple sclerosis, and obesity. However, the editors of the journal that published the study later issued a “statement of concern” that the researchers’ opinions and data were biased.7)
But there is strong evidence that poisoning the probiotic bacteria in our microbiomes leads to a host of other health problems, including systemic illness, digestive issues, malnourishment, and fatigue.
Sound familiar? These are all symptoms of gluten sensitivity or intolerance.
And there’s another factor at work. Some research shows that glyphosate also inhibits a type of digestive enzyme that helps us process and activate vitamins A and D3, along with detoxifying pollutants our bodies absorb every day.8 Lack of key vitamins and a toxic overload can also produce many of the symptoms we associate with gluten intolerance.
Based on this research, some scientists have concluded that it’s not the gluten in wheat that’s the problem for many people. It’s the glyphosate.
So when doctors say you don’t ultimately test “positive” for gluten sensitivity, they may be right. What you think is gluten intolerance may actually be glyphosate poisoning.
Rounding up even more problems
In addition to its effects on the human body, glyphosate harms our health in other key ways. Remember how I told you earlier that glyphosate’s original use was to remove minerals from pipes? Well, it does the same thing to plants.
Glyphosate binds to key mineral nutrients in the soil like calcium, iron, manganese, and zinc, preventing plants from taking them up. So any future crops grown in that soil will not be as nutritious. In turn, you can only imagine what the consumption of these affected crops has on the nutrients in the body. In a recent study on celiac disease patients, low levels of iron, cobalt, molybdenum, and copper were found and attributed to glyphosate’s ability to chelate with these elements. Additionally, deficiencies in essential amino acids were found, matching glyphosate’s tendency to deplete these compounds.9 Ultimately, this could lead to even worse nutrient deficiencies and malnutrition.
And this herbicide has infiltrated virtually every other aspect of our environment. It’s suspected that glyphosate may be contributing to the decline of bees, butterflies, birds, and other wildlife.
Environmental scientists also link glyphosate to the death of coral reefs that we are now witnessing.
To make matters even worse, since Monsanto’s patent for glyphosate expired in 2000, the chemical is now made by companies around the world. Each manufacturer can add ingredients of its own—which may be even more toxic to us, and our environment.
Three easy solutions for glyphosate intolerance
The good news is that unlike other health problems with complex solutions, it’s fairly easy to eliminate the metabolic poisoning issues caused by glyphosate. There are three main things you can do:
- Avoid packaged, processed cakes, crackers, cookies, and other wheat-based foods. Not only are these products likely to contain glyphosate or other chemical additives, but they’re often full of ingredients (like sugar) that are toxic for your health. In any case, you’re better off avoiding these foods.
That said, it’s time-consuming to always make your own bread and pasta, so you may find yourself buying packaged versions. In that case…
- Buy foods that say “GMO free” on the label. While this won’t completely ensure you’re not eating glyphosate, it substantially lowers your risk. After all, GM crops and Roundup go hand-in-hand.
- Go organic. Your best option is to eat organic, and preferably locally grown food.
As I mentioned earlier, any food or crop certified organic by the USDA has to be grown without chemical pesticides, herbicides, or insecticides—including glyphosate. And these organic foods also cannot be grown from GM seeds.
Of course, “Roundup drift” can be a problem in organic foods (as we saw with Whole Foods’ 365 Organic Gold Round crackers). But you’re still going to get substantially less glyphosate (or none at all) in organic foods.
Eliminate the problem
I also suggest you try a variation of an elimination diet, in which all wheat and grains you consume are certified non-GMO or organic. This will entail a lot of label reading, but I promise it’s worth it.
If you still have symptoms of food intolerance after a few weeks of this diet, then you may truly have a gluten intolerance. In that case, I suggest going gluten-free. My favorite source of healthy, nutritious, gluten-free products is Aleia’s Gluten Free Foods (www.aleias.com).
And after you’ve taken care of your own health, consider lobbying your government representatives to take care of the health of the rest of humankind… not to mention the planet (see the sidebar on page 3 for more details).
The crony capitalist government has been blatantly ignoring the documented perils of GM foods for years, and even praising them. Taking action ourselves may be the only way to stop another dietary disaster of massive proportions… in addition to the ecological calamity of glyphosate poisoning for the entire planet.
Government heel dragging setting the stage for massive health problems and real environmental disaster
People around the world have long been worried about the safety and health effects of glyphosate on both humans and the environment. So you’d think our government would care as well.
But crony-capitalist government agencies like the EPA and FDA have been dragging their feet in admitting and confronting all of the disturbing evidence about Roundup’s link to cancer and other serious health issues.
In fact, as I reported in my July 17, 2017 Daily Dispatch, the EPA inspector general is investigating whether there was collusion between EPA bureaucrats and Monsanto to cover up evidence that Roundup causes cancer. And the Department of Health and Human Services is conducting its own review of the potential toxic effects of Roundup for both human and environmental health.
As I discussed in the main article, this herbicide could very well destroy the ecology of the entire planet by killing wild plants, pollinating bees, and other wildlife. So we actually have a catastrophic ecological calamity in the making that is much clearer than other environmental dangers the politically correct like to obsess about.
These are the real problems government agencies should be dealing with, instead of chasing down their favorite politically correct health and environmental
risk factors—about which they have been all wrong, mostly wrong, or at least partially wrong…all along.
20 years of broken promises
A recent set of charts from the New York Times vividly illustrates, the line Monsanto fed us all about how GM seeds were supposed to reduce herbicide use and increase crop yields was a load of codswallop.9
Using data from the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service and the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, the Times reported that over the last 20 years, corn yields in Western Europe (which doesn’t allow GM seeds) were nearly identical to those in the United States (where about 90% of the corn is GM). And sugar beet production was substantially higher in Western Europe versus the U.S., where 95% of the sugar beets are GM.
The news wasn’t any better for herbicide use. France’s Union of Industries of Plant Protection reported that French herbicide use dropped by half, from about 90 million pounds in 1999 to around 45 million pounds in 2013. This, despite the fact that GM crops are prohibited in France.
But U.S. Geological Survey figures show that U.S. farmers’ use of herbicides shot up from over 400 million pounds in 1999 to nearly 600 million pounds in 2012.
“Much of the growth in the use of weed killers has come in Monsanto’s Roundup, in which the active ingredient is glyphosate,” the Times reported.
Is it any wonder that glyphosate poisoning—of both our bodies and the environment—is skyrocketing?
1“6 Truths about a gluten free diet.” (2014 November). Consumer Reports. Retrieved from: https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2015/01/will-a-gluten-free-diet-really-make-you-healthier/index.htm
2“Non-celiac gluten sensitivity.” Beyond Celiac. Retrieved from: https://www.beyondceliac.org/celiac-disease/non-celiac-gluten-sensitivity/
3Plume, Karl. “USDA confirms unapproved GMO wheat found in Washington state.” (2016 July 29). Reuters. Retrieved from: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-wheat-washington-gmo-idUSKCN10920K
4“2012 Agricultural Chemical Use Survey: Wheat.” (2013 May). USDA. Retrieved from: https://www.nass.usda.gov/Surveys/Guide_to_NASS_Surveys/Chemical_Use/ChemUseHighlights-Wheat-2012.pdf
5 Benbrook, Charles. “Trends in glyphosate herbicide use in the United States and globally.” (2016 February 2). Springer Open. Environ Sci Eur. 2016;28(1):3. Retrieved from: https://enveurope.springeropen.com/articles/10.1186/s12302-016-0070-0
6Murphy, D., and Rowlands, H..“Glyphosate: unsafe on any plate.” (2016). Food Democracy Now! and The Detox Project. Retrieved from: (https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.fooddemocracynow.org/images/FDN_Glyphosate_FoodTesting_Report_p2016.pdf
7Samsel, A., and Seneff, S. “Glyphosate’s Suppression of Cytochrom P450 Enzymes and Amino Acid Biosynthesis by the Gut Microbiome: Pathways to Modern Diseases.” (2013 April 18). MDPI. Retrieved from: http://www.mdpi.com/1099-4300/15/4/1416
8Samsel, A., and Seneff, S.“Glyphosate, pathways to modern diseases II: Celiac sprue and gluten intolerance.” (2013 December) NCBI. Interdiscip Toxicol. 2013 Dec; 6(4): 159–184. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3945755/
9 Russell, K. and Hakim, D. “Broken Promises of Genetically Modified Crops.” (2016 October 29). The New York Times. Retrieved from: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/10/30/business/gmo-crops-pesticides.html?_r=1