Is Roundup Driving The Autism Epidemic? Leading MIT Researcher Says YES

Is Roundup Driving the Autism Epidemic - Leading MIT Researcher Says YES

31st May 2015

By Carolanne Wright

Contributing Writer for Wake Up World

Just thirty short years ago, 1 in 10,000 children were diagnosed with autism in the United States. The latest statistics show 1 in 50 children now have autism. Dr. Stephanie Seneff, a researcher at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), believes we could be looking at half the children in America as autistic within the next ten years.

What is at the root of this disturbing trend? It cannot be genetic because genes do not mutate that rapidly, asserts Dr. Joseph Mercola. Instead, he feels there can be no doubt the skyrocketing rate has an environmental cause. Dr. Seneff agrees. And she’s convinced that she has found the culprit.

Connecting the dots

For the last 30 years, Dr. Seneff has been fascinated with the potential reasons behind autism after a close friend had a son who was diagnosed. Having conducted research at MIT for decades, she has an undergraduate degree in biology and a minor in food and nutrition. Over the the years, Dr. Seneff’s research has provided pioneering insights into the vital importance of sulfur for health. She’s also discovered that glyphosate (the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup Ready) severely affects how sulfur is utilized within the body.

“[W]e show how interference with CYP enzymes acts synergistically with disruption of the biosynthesis of aromatic amino acids by gut bacteria, as well as impairment in serum sulfate transport,” the study authors note.

“Consequences are most of the diseases and conditions associated with a Western diet, which include gastrointestinal disorders, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, autism, infertility, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. … [T]he recent alarming increase in all of these health issues can be traced back to a combination of gut dysbiosis, impaired sulfate transport, and suppression of the activity of the various members of the cytochrome P450 (CYP) family of enzymes.”

Dr. Seneff established two central issues in autism that are related to glyphosate exposure:

  • Disrupted sulfur metabolism / sulfur and sulfate deficiency. Autistic children have about 1/3 of sulfur levels compared to an average child.
  • Gut dysbiosis — the imbalance of gut bacteria, inflammation, leaky gut and food allergies.

The party line of Monsanto is that Roundup is absolutely harmless to animals and people because it uses the shikimate pathway (which is absent from animals and humans) to kill weeds. Be that as it may, the minor detail Monsanto chose to omit is that the shikimate pathway IS found in bacteria. And these microbes within the body outnumber the cells in the human body by a ratio of 10 to 1.

“Glyphosate causes extreme disruption of the microbe’s function and lifecycle. What’s worse, glyphosate preferentially affects beneficial bacteria, allowing pathogens to overgrow and take over. At that point, your body also has to contend with the toxins produced by the pathogens. Once the chronic inflammation sets in, you’re well on your way toward chronic and potentially debilitating disease,” said Dr. Mercola.

In short, glyphosate damages beneficial bacteria in the gut, allowing for harmful bacteria to flourish, which in turn, begin pumping out their own poisons. These toxins damage the gut lining and encourage leaky gut syndrome. At this point, the toxins are able to seep into the blood stream and migrate to various areas of the body, including the brain. The effect? Inflammation goes into high gear, thereby triggering autoimmune disease and food sensitivities — including gluten intolerance and celiac disease.

To make matters worse, certain microbes breakdown glyphosate into the toxic byproduct of ammonia, causing brain inflammation and subsequent developmental delays. Children with autism are shown to have remarkably higher levels of ammonia than the general population.

Is Roundup Driving the Autism Epidemic - Leading MIT Researcher Says YES

Another damaging substance associated with genetically modified foods is formaldehyde, which in humans devastates DNA and encourages cancer. Genetically modified corn, for example, exceeds safe maximum levels of formaldehyde established in animal tests — by a factor of 200.

Dr. Seneff believes the characteristics of autism closely mimic those of glyphosate toxicity and presents data that supports the strong correlation between the increasing use of Roundup with the rising rate of autism. Biomarkers of high levels of glyphosate in the body include: zinc and iron deficiency, low sulfur levels, seizures and mitochondrial disorder — all of which are present in autistic children.

And while consuming an completely organic diet is a good start, glyphosate is becoming a seriously pervasive issue around the world. In the U.S. alone, glyphosate was found in an astounding 75% of rain and air samples taken in the Mississippi Delta agricultural region during the 2007 growing season. If we don’t get a handle on glyphosate use now, there will come a time where we won’t be able to escape it’s damaging effects, no matter how clean we think our diet is.

How you can take action

If you’re worried about the environmental and health hazards of glyphosate — and the alarming autism rate — here are several steps you can take to help curb this poisonous trend:

  • Sign the petition to tell the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to halt the sale of Roundup.
  • If you live close to an agricultural area, reach out to farmers and growers to educate them in a friendly and accessible way about the negative effects of Roundup.
  • Contact autism support groups and pass along information about the dangers of glyphosate.
  • Make sure to watch the interview below with Jeffrey Smith, of the Institute for Responsible Technology, and Dr. Seneff — then share with family and friends. Let’s get the word out.

The health dangers of Roundup (glyphosate) herbicide

Jeffrey Smith and Stephanie Seneff

Article Sources

Previous articles by Carolanne:

About the author:

Carolanne WrightCarolanne enthusiastically believes if we want to see change in the world, we need to be the change. As a nutritionist, natural foods chef and wellness coach, Carolanne has encouraged others to embrace a healthy lifestyle of organic living, gratefulness and joyful orientation for over 13 years

Through her website Thrive-Living.net she looks forward to connecting with other like-minded people from around the world who share a similar vision. Follow Carolanne on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

 


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  • ThriveLiving

    “Stephanie Seneff is a Senior Research Scientist at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. She received the B.S. degree in Biophysics in 1968, the M.S. and E.E. degrees in Electrical Engineering in 1980, and the Ph.D degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in 1985, all from MIT. For over three decades, her research interests have always been at the intersection of biology and computation: developing a computational model for the human auditory system, understanding human language so as to develop algorithms and systems for human computer interactions, as well as applying natural language processing (NLP) techniques to gene predictions. She has published over 170 refereed articles on these subjects, and has been invited to give keynote speeches at several international conferences. She has also supervised numerous Master’s and PhD thesis at MIT. In 2012, Dr. Seneff was elected Fellow of the International Speech and Communication Association (ISCA).

    “In recent years, Dr. Seneff has focused her research interests back towards biology. She is concentrating mainly on the relationship between nutrition and health. Since 2011, she has written over a dozen papers (7 as first author) in various medical and health-related journals on topics such as modern day diseases (e.g., Alzheimer, autism, cardiovascular diseases), analysis and search of databases of drug side effects using NLP techniques, and the impact of nutritional deficiencies and environmental toxins on human health.”

    The above from http://people.csail.mit.edu/seneff/ found in the “Article Sources” section.

    “Also, I’m continually disgusted with the ableist hysteria around autism. Guess what? Being neural atypical is not the worst thing in the world.” I believe parents of autistic children would beg to differ.

  • katems

    I’m not trying to diminish the struggles of parents of autistic children and while my child is not autistic, my spouse, myself, my sister in law and my father in law all worked as teachers and skills trainers with autistic children across the spectrum. I’m not speaking as someone who is completely ignorant to the impact of autism. I just get frustrated with junk science.

  • Dawn J. Stevens

    My biggest issue is the idea that autism is an “epidemic” and the rising numbers must be accounted to something. Please look at the obvious. Autism is a relatively new diagnosis, with Autism Spectrum Disorders being very new to the diagnosis. We are seeing a rise not because of environmental factors, but because people are finally getting a diagnosis. It took us 10 years to get an ASD diagnosis, in which time the rate went from 1 in 88 down to 1 in 44. Do you see? It’s not that there IS more, it’s that there are just more DIAGNOSED.

    • Caette

      I work in a Pediatric dental practice and have for over 40 years. We see about 1000 kids every month. While I cannot give you data, I can give experience and I would have to say that there are more cases. That said, I think that it has leveled out some. With regard to environmental factors, it gets worse with more chemicals and pollution. The other interesting thing is that almost all autism cases are male and glyphosate is a xenoestrogen. I can’t help but think there is something going on there.